HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BRIDESMAIDS, OR NOT CHOOSE ANY AT ALL?

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All images by  Tamytha Cameron Photography (See the full wedding here!)

Congratulations you’ve just got engaged now’s the time to pick your bridesmaids, right?… Well actually you might want to think twice before rushing into asking anyone, because once you have asked, it’s becomes very difficult to take back. Trust me I know how easy it is to get caught up in all the excitement and start picking out bridesmaids left, right and center. I know what it feels like to be a bridesmaid that got dumped and I also had the unfortunate task of having to let my own bridesmaids down when my first engagement ended, so I like to think I’m pretty clued up on this area? Or not, dependant on which way you look at it?

This time round I have taken a very different approach, in that I haven’t asked anyone? That’s not saying I won’t, but until I am 100% sure of a date, a venue and everything else, I won’t be asking anyone to be my bridesmaid.

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Luckily, I haven’t had to succumb to any family politics as I come from a family of boys and so does Mr T, so there will be no awkward decisions to make over sisters and in-laws, however I am still finding it a difficult decision. For me the most important thing is to be surrounded by people I love, those I couldn’t imagine spending my day without, friends that will be there to tell me how amazing I look on the morning of my wedding and still be there telling me that in  10, 20 years time. I want to look back on my wedding photos and still be able to call these girls my closest friends, my girl gang!

Of course you will also want to choose people that will be able to help you in the lead up to the wedding, the maid of honour for example is generally the a bride’s wing woman – she is expected to plan hen parties, bridal showers, help with wedding details like choosing a dress and helping out with any DIY, as well coordinate the rest of the bridesmaids, who will also be expected to help out with tasks when needed. Of course, if your best friend is a dude or you’re particularly close to your bro, why not have them take on the role? They could be your man of honour, bridesman, brides dude the choice is yours?

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Before choosing your bridal party think about how much of role you would expect them to play in your big day? How will this affect their own personal commitments, i.e work, kids? Will you have enough budget to pay for dresses, makeup, bouquets etc. If not, would you feel comfortable asking them to pay for themselves. If they couldn’t would you still be able to afford to pay and not take it personally? 

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12 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE THE BIG DAY TO MAKE SURE YOUR WEDDING IS ALL ABOUT YOU!

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1. Pick a Theme

So many couples claim that they don’t think  they are quirky or cool enough to create their own personalised wedding and so for them opting for traditional seems like an easier option. Well we are here to tell you that is just not true! Everybody is unique, whether they think it or not. We have seen weddings inspired by music, fashion, food, art, culture, countries, hobbies, the list is endless!

So here is something you can do to find you very own unique theme. Make a note of what you and your other half have in common, how did you meet? What was your favourite date?  Your favourite holiday together or even a song that reminds you of the first time you met?

Now list some of your individual interests, hobbies, jobs, favourite food, colours etc. You will be surprised by how many things you can think of that will make your wedding personal to you. Sure, at first it will seem like a mishmash of things and you will probably need to refine the theme down to just one or two when the time comes, but we promise, you can make your wedding unique to you no matter who you are!

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2. Plan Your Wedding on Your Terms!

Once you get engaged, everybody will want to immediately know where, when and how? This is totally natural of course your friends and family are allowed to feel excited for you but it can also start to become a little overwhelming. So set some ground rules, let people know you won’t be planning anything until this date, make decisions with your partner and be clear on your priorities. It is so easy to become sidetracked by what others think you should be doing, but you are the one getting married, so make it about you right from the very beginning.

The same can be said for planning tools. They are a fantastic way of getting organised but they can also be a little misleading, especially if you are planning on DIY’ing much of your wedding. Make your own timescales and make them work for you!

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3. Prioritize

Before any planning can begin, it’s important to sit down with your fiance and talk about what your main priorities will be on the wedding day. Do you want to get married in a church or have a civil service? Do you want a venue with a particular style or a certain destination? What style of photography do you both like? Would you want to include wedding favours or a cake? Is there anything you would like to make for the wedding?

It wasn’t until I actually sat down with my fiance to talk about these things that I realised our priorities were quite varied when it came to certain aspects of the day, so we needed to decide and compromise on these things before we could move forward with the planning.

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4. Set Your Budget

Making sure you both agree on a budget before you start planning is so important. Be realistic about how much you can afford to spend and how this will effect your wedding day priorities. If you can’t afford to spend much,  get creative! We all have certain skill sets, so draw on these when planning your wedding. Perhaps you are good at baking, sewing, crafting, styling, floral arranging, cooking, all of which are extremely useful tools when planning a wedding.

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5. Find a Venue

Choose a venue that reflects your chosen theme, so if you love festivals, perhaps a barn, farm or field would be ideal. If you are looking for something a little more bohemian than you might want to consider a woodland venue, or maybe you have such a mishmash of ideas you just need a blank space to get creative in? Where ever it is, make sure it fits with your chosen, theme, style, budget and you will be well on your way to creating a personalised wedding.

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6. Wear what You Feel Comfortable in!

Traditionally when anyone gets married, the bride is expected to wear a pretty white dress, whilst the groom sports a black, brown or navy a suit. So what do you do if you don’t feel comfortable wearing either of those things?

Guess what! You don’t have to wear anything you don’t feel comfortable in! On this blog we have had brides rocking dresses in all shapes and colours, we have even had brides wearing jumpsuits, suits and shorts, whilst our grooms can also be seen wearing shorts, linen trousers, embroidered smoking jackets and suits in all colours of the rainbow.

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WANT TO DESIGN YOUR OWN WEDDING SHOES? WELL YOU CAN WITH UPPER STREET!

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When I was a little girl I was convinced I wanted to grow up and be a fashion designer, I would draw pages and pages of shoe designs and extravagant gowns in notepads. As I grew older I stopped doing that but my dream of being able to design something unique for myself remained. Do you ever feel like that? I love the idea of having something truly special to you, exactly how you envisioned it and that’s hands down how I would want to feel about pieces for my wedding….ESPECIALLY my shoes!!

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Well, the good news is you can so totally do that!! Me and Emily both had the amazing opportunity to head to Upper Street again and experience this entire design process.

So how does it work? Well you have a couple of choices, you can either design your shoes online through their website or you can book an appointment at the shoe lounge and make a real treat of it! You could even take your bridesmaids along with you for a totally girly afternoon! Once we arrived at the shoe lounge we were treated to tea and macarons while we perused through the hundreds of different options to available to us!

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The first thing we had to decide was the style of shoe we wanted, did we want a sandal? A boot? A court shoe? A ballet flat? And how big did we want the heel if any? And what style heel? After much deliberation I decided to go for a boot with a stiletto heel and Emily went for a sandal with a block heel. Next we had to decide on colours. This was the hardest part because our stylist, Lizzie pulled out hundreds of shades of colours AND materials to choose from. We had to decide what part of the shoe we wanted them on, the colour of the heel, what colour would the insole be. There were so many little touches that just made the shoes even more perfect!

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Tried & Tested: 3 Alternative Hen Do Activities!

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As much as I do love a good night on the town with the girls and lots of cocktails, I am almost a little sad to admit that some of my favourite parties have been those that have involved girly nights in with a bottle of wine, good food and a jewellery making set. I love the idea of spending time with my dearest friends eating scrumptious food, supping on cheeky cocktails and getting creative which is exactly what today’s bride-to-be did.

Kiki enlisted the help of friend and fellow wedding creative Kirsten Butler, otherwise known as the Little Wedding Helper, to help throw a bridal shower that didn’t conform to the norm. It was such a success, that we asked the two of them to share their thoughts and advice on throwing a unique hen do.

Kiki, The Bride to Be…

I’m not really a conventional bride, in fact on a day to day basis I have to admit that I like to shake things up a bit and do things differently! Planner, Kirsten knows that I’m not the sort of person to go all in for a hen do in the traditional sense so I was really touched that she organised a shoot with a few different activities for me and my bridesmaids to get stuck into. I can’t even begin to explain how excited everyone was at the prospect of just chilling out together and sharing some time surrounded by pretty.

Kirsten, The Planner & Stylist…

A hen-party, bridal shower, or whatever you want to call it, should be about more than getting drunk and ‘butlers in the buff’. For me at least it’s about spending quality time with friends and family and doing something together; so for Kiki’s Hen-do I teamed up with some of my favourite suppliers to create a day that would be fun, glamorous, and really beautiful. Kiki’s mum, sister and bridesmaids joined us on the day travelling from London for a day of pampering and surprises.

Have a Makeover!

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Kirsten…

I asked Hair and makeup artist Grace Kingsley to be in charge of pampering our guests on the day, so she gave each Hen a neon inspired make-over. I loved the pink lip and simple eyeliner look that she went for and everybody looked beautiful for the photos.

Kiki’s Verdict…

Now I have to say ladies, every girl needs to have a makeover once in a while, its totally luxurious and it was my first ever time, it left me feeling pampered and pretty! If you’ve not done it before or weren’t planning to before your wedding day definitely do!

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