The Best of Ultimate Bridesmaid’s Year 2

— year two milestones —

This year, Ultimate Bridesmaid hit 1,000,000 views…on my birthday. That’s right, folks. While I was snowed in at a Poconos resort (true story), blissfully avoiding contact with my email and the Internet, the blog dial quietly rolled over 1 million visitors. And in the four short months since, we’re already edging up on 1,500,000—which means over 100,000 people are visiting each month! Thank you so much! I can’t even explain how grateful I am to those of you who check in and have followed along on my adventure in blogging.

— all-time top posts —

These two posts bring in over half of the traffic to Ultimate Bridesmaid, through both Pinterest and organic searches. The Ultimate Maid of Honor Speech held the title of #1 last year as well, but 5 Bridal Shower Games That Don’t Suck made a serge this year (and seems poised to pass). I said this last year and I’ll say it again: Seeing that the top posts on the blog are articles I’ve written and put a lot of my honest opinion and heartfelt advice into means a lot to me. Putting together party features and inspiration boards is incredibly fun and, I’ll admit it, kind of easy. But the stats don’t lie. The posts you come to the most often are the advice and tutorial posts—meaning the ones I spend weeks on, the ones with few to no pictures (but still something pinnable—always something pinnable!), the ones that get to the heart of real issues and offer actionable advice. The parties make the blog look pretty, but these posts are its heart.

A great example of this is a post that did surprisingly well this year: an article on how to tell a friend she’s not one of your bridesmaids. While it wasn’t in the top 10, it did extremely well for what I thought would be kind of a niche topic. I wrote it based on a reader question, because I thought it seemed like a legitimate issue and something that would require delicacy and might cause brides a lot of stress and strain friendships. And it’s obviously true, because that post didn’t get buried in the archive—far from it! Ultimate Bridesmaid has always been about the positive aspects of being a bridesmaid: celebrating friendship, creating memorable occasions, enjoying special moments with your best friends (and yeah, cute dresses too). But there’s way more to being a bridesmaid than the fun stuff and I always try to help you through the tough moments so you can get to the champagne and glitter with your friendship and sanity intact.

your new favorites this year

Many of the articles in the top 10 posts from our first year made the list again, but rather than repeat, I wanted to highlight a few new posts that were top performers this year. In fact, one of these even shot up to the fourth most-viewed post on the site!

21 Spectacular Bridal Shower Themes

Everyone needs a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. Instead of letting you default to bridal tea party (though if that’s your cup of tea, cheers!), I pulled together a list of 21 spectacular bridal shower themes to help you personalize this pre-wedding bash. (Apologies for tea puns.)

The Bridesmaid Packing List for the Wedding Day

The bridesmaid packing list for the wedding day

Detailing everything you need for her big day, this packing list is meant to help you get organized and arrive at her wedding with everything you need, plus a few helpful tips to make the day go smoothly. As the number four all-time favorite post on the site, it’s no surprise that a few readers chimed in with amazing suggestions to expand the list. Thank you all!

Wine Basket Bridal Shower Gift

This post was a treat to write because I got to partner with my creative friend Amanda, who wrote eight original poems for this classic bridal shower gift. A bottle of wine celebrates eight milestones in their marriage, from the honeymoon to their first house to a random night of romance. Free printables included!

A Guide to Bridesmaid Dress Fabrics and Finishes

A guide to bridesmaid dress fabrics and finishes

This post technically went up in our first year, but it really took off this year, with lots of you weighing in on your favorite fabrics and asking questions about avoiding sweat marks and pulling off mixing fabrics. I also updated the article this year with a few new fabrications (well, not newly created, just new to the list), like mikado and faille.

— your favorite showers and parties —

I love, love sharing real bridal showers and bachelorette parties. I feel excited about every single party I’ve shared because each one is just so personal and unique. That’s the number one factor that goes into selecting the parties featured here. Is the bride’s personality and style reflected in this party? Is a little bit of happiness rubbing off on me just from looking at the pictures? Here are a few of your favorites, plus the details I personally love.

A Rustic Vintage Bridal Shower in Utah
A Rustic Vintage Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Alixann Loosle PhotographyHighlights:
The classiest lace panty display I’ve ever seen
The creative photo display made using a glass jug and tree branches
Potted succulent party favors displayed on vintage luggage—need I say more?

A Glitter Bachelorette Shoot in South Carolina

A Glitter Bachelorette Party in South Carolina | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Paige Winn PhotographyHighlights:
Biodegradable glitter
Some seriously stylish metallic dresses
A stunning diamond ring buried in all that confetti

A Kitschy-Cute 50s Housewife Bridal Shower

A Kitchsy-Cute 50s Housewife Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Lovely Bee PhotographyHighlights:
Four words: grilled cheese food truck
Dress-form cakes sporting vintage blue and red frocks
Patterned aprons and wooden spoon party favors

A Sunshine and Wine Bridal Party Luncheon

A Sunshine and Wine Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Sorella Muse Photography

The bride’s stylish white knit dress
The thoughtful bridesmaid gift bags complete with Toms, Stella and Dot earrings and more
Wine, cheese and that epic submarine sandwich

A Chic Chevron and Stripe Handmade Bridal Shower

Highlights: Chevron, floral, polka dots, stripes—so many stunning patterns!
The cookbook guest book

Thank you all for an amazing second year. I’m grateful to all the amazing photographers who have shared their work with me; the bridesmaids and brides who have submitted stories and images from their showers and parties; and the artists and vendors who have worked with me and been so generous with their time and advice. I can’t wait to see what year three brings!