Category Archives: Bridesmaids

Bow & Drape Custom Sweatshirts (and So Much More)

So guys, I just stumbled across Bow & Drape and now I am obsessed. I know I need one of these bling-tastic totally-custom sweatshirts for my very own, but I just can’t decide what to put on mine! Ever since I discovered these I’ve been brainstorming cute phrases to slap on ’em, and I just had to share with you guys! Here’s how it works.

bow and drape

You can totally buy one of their super-cute designs, like the ones above. OR customize your own, whether it be a soft sweatshirt, a polka-dot metallic pouch, a knit beanie or a snuggly sweater for your furry friend (for reals). And if you’re feeling super-fun, pop on a little flair, like sequin lips or mini French fries.

Obviously my first thought was that these would be awesome gifts, either from the bride to her bridesmaids or vice versa. You could go classic and just get her name in hot pink sequins, or get creative! Add that phrase she’s always saying, a tagline from your favorite show or the way you met (College Roomies, BFFs Since 2nd Grade). Or check out some of my designs below (you can order them here).

Ultimate Bridesmaid Bow and Drape sweatshirt designs

Frock + Flowers // Metallic Dress + Red Bouquet

Frock + Flowers // Metallic dresses with deep red flowers

There’s something about the holiday season that just demands sparkle—and a New Year’s wedding falls straight into that category. A glittery bridesmaid dress is reminiscent of snow and the perfect complement to candlelight (you’ll love how the dresses shimmer on the dance floor). Embrace the season’s colors with a deep red statement bouquet incorporating bold, large blooms and deep greenery. The colors feel sophisticated and strikingly modern.

Image credits: Top left: 100 Layer Cake | Top right: Magnolia Rouge | Bottom left: The Lane | Bottom right: Green Wedding Shoes

Everything a First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to Know

Everything a First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to Know

So it’s your first time as a bridesmaid? No sweat! Being a bridesmaid can be a lot of fun, a lot of work, a pain in the butt—or a little of all three. It’s really all about what you make of it. If you’re excited about being a bridesmaid and approach it with enthusiasm, you’ll end up having a blast and creating great lasting memories with your friend. If you approach it like a chore, you’ll find yourself constantly complaining about how much work there is to do and how much you just want to quit. Here are a few things to keep in mind to set you up for bridesmaid success.

1. Your #1 job is one you’re already doing: Be the best friend you can be to the bride.

2. Take on what you can handle. If you’re not Little Miss Planner, don’t offer to create the itinerary for a bachelorette weekend.

3. Offer to do what you’re best at. Are you a photographer? Snap some artful shots at the bridal shower. Great in the kitchen? Offer to cook breakfast during the bachelorette weekend. Music more your thing? Create a rocking playlist to blast while the girls are getting ready for a night out.

4. Just because something is traditional doesn’t make it mandatory. Modern brides are choosing the customs they like and leaving the others behind. Just follow the bride’s lead.

5. You are the bride’s support system on her wedding day. Emotions will be running high that day. The bride may be nervous about a thousand things. (Will the caterers remember to create a gluten-free dish for her cousin who has an allergy? Will Uncle William drink too much and start making inappropriate comments to her friends? Will she still fit perfectly into her dress after that extra glass of wine last night?) You are there to put her at ease, make her laugh, encourage her and tell Uncle William to freaking cool it.

Are you like, yeah, great advice, but what do I actually have to do? Allow me to help:

Everything a First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to Know

Bridal showers: Bridal showers are traditionally thrown by the bridesmaids or a relative of the bride (aunts, sisters, cousins, even your mother-in-law-to-be). Though thinking outside the box is always encouraged, here’s the basic idea behind a shower. Bridal showers are usually held in the morning or afternoon. The celebration is multi-generational, including female friends and relatives of the bride, from her childhood friends to her aunts and grandmother, as well any close family friends she might want to attend. Only guests who are invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower. Gifts are usually given (hence the showering part—you’re showering her with gifts). For a more in-depth description of every aspect of the bridal shower and answers to the most common FAQ, read our Bridal Shower 101.

Everything a First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to KnowBachelorette party/weekend: Bachelorette parties are usually planned by the maid of honor with the help of the bridesmaids. Many brides now opt for destination bachelorette weekends—this is the best choice for brides who have friends scattered all over the country. The bachelorette should include things the bride loves to do, whether that be good food, shopping, beach time, hiking, a sporting event or a wild night out. It’s a time to bond with your best girlfriends. For more help on planning a destination bachelorette, click here.

Everything a First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to Know
Bridesmaid dresses:
The bride generally selects the bridesmaid dress, though some brides will provide a color palette or selection of dresses and let their bridesmaids choose. Sticker shock can be a factor as some popular bridesmaid dress retailers can run $200 and up (especially for floor-length dresses). However, lower-priced options are available. If your bride asks for help in hunting down bridesmaid dresses, look outside of traditional bridesmaid dress retailers. Check your favorite stores to see if they’re carrying cute dresses in the bride’s chosen palette. Just remember that the bride does have the final say and be prepared to deal with that (even if it means a color or fabric you hate). For more of what to expect when shopping for a bridesmaid dress, click here.

Everything a First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to Know

Wedding day duties: On the day of the wedding, as mentioned, you are the bride’s support system. You’ll spend time getting ready with her, take pictures, stand with her during the ceremony and party the night away with her. The maid of honor has the important job of signing the marriage license and giving a toast at the reception. For more in-depth run-down of wedding-day duties, click here.

Still have questions? Check out our Bridesmaid Basics section or leave it in the comments!

Photos top to bottom: Sam Jasper Photography, Ducky Jessica Photography, Blue Barn Photography, Glass Jar Photography, Brooke Images Photography

Southern Cranberry Bridesmaid Inspiration

We love how this Alabama styled shoot embraced the season with a perfect blend of Southern charm and vintage flair. A deep cranberry shade served as the inspiration for the bold, lush florals by CeCe Designs. Rather than go tone-on-tone with the bridesmaid dresses, a soft rose pink was selected that really makes the vibrant florals pop. A statement red velvet sofa and plaid accent chair provide richness, while rustic accents like pinecones and feathers create the feeling of a natural woodland retreat.
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Photographer: Sam Jasper Photography | Venue: Aldridge Gardens | Event Planner: Becky’s Brides | Invitations: Fine Paperwork | Dresses: Bella’s Bridal & Formal | Floral Designer: CeCe Designs  | Cake Designer: Cakes by Kim

A Flower Crown Crafting Bridal Shower

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of bridal shower games. Now, bridal shower activities, that’s a whole other story. Engaging and fun activities like cooking classes, wine tastings or DIY projects create an interactive experience for your guests and a built-in theme for the event. So you know I’m in love with this flower crown crafting bridal shower held at San Francisco florist Studio Choo. An instructor led the guests through a demo and then helped the ladies create their own gorgeous floral crowns. Guests enjoyed a meal of paella and sangria and toasted creative bride Robin, who brainstormed the whole event. The floral studio bursting with blooms made for a naturally gorgeous setting and Natalie N Photography was there to capture all the gorgeous details of the day. A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N PhotographyA Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N PhotographyA Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N PhotographyA Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N PhotographyA Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N PhotographyA Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography A Floral Crown Crafting Bridal Shower | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Natalie N Photography

Photography: Natalie N Photography | Venue + Flower Class Instruction: Studio Choo

Our 13 Favorite Bridesmaid Trends of the Year

Modern brides continue to move away from traditional bridesmaid dress choices. While matching pastel chiffon frocks are still the norm rather than the exception, we love it when brides take bold style risks with their bridesmaid attire choices. We’ve seen vibrant colors and patterns, once-taboo white as a popular choice and new silhouettes, like maxis, jumpsuits and even pants. Here, our favorite bridesmaid trends of the year (plus, the one dress that gets its very own entry—because it’s just that big right now).

Tulle Skirts

Feminine, light, flirty…tulle is having a moment. Tulle skirts can be paired with just about anything, from bold silk blouses to patterned button-ups to neutral tanks.
01 tulle skirts

Photo via Green Wedding Shoes.

Patterned Dresses

Patterned dresses continue to be an unexpected and striking choice. When it comes to choosing a pattern, the bolder the better. While florals are the most common choice, look to stripes, polka-dots and other geometric motifs for statement-making gowns. Pro tip: For the biggest impact, this is a time to have all your maids in the same dress. If you want to try the mismatched look with patterns, choose different textured fabrics or tone-on-tone designs in the one shade to keep things from getting too busy. 02 patterned

Photo via Junebug Weddings.

Statement Pants

The first time I saw this look I was like mind = blown. Flowing floral pants are just the perfect choice for a modern bride. The silky fabric keeps the look elegant, while the billowing style is very of the moment.
03 statement pants

Photo via Green Wedding Shoes.

Boots

Let’s face it: Heels and grass do not mix. Boots are absolutely perfect for an outdoor wedding, especially in the fall when they feel seasonally appropriate. Practical meets pretty in this style trend. 04 zip back and boots

Photo via Ruffled.

All in White

White isn’t just for the bride anymore. This trend started a few years back and is still going strong. While some brides have even embraced long white dresses for their maids, Ultimate Bridesmaid still firmly suggests the short white dress if you want an all-white wedding—that way, there’s never any confusion on just whose wedding this is.

white dresses

Photo via Style Me Pretty.

Contrasting Dresses

Can’t decide on one bridesmaid look? Have two! This bride chose both a bold, neon patterned dress and a neutral sheath as well. The key to pulling off this look is to make sure the dresses have some common element—in this case it’s their geometric patterns and pops of gold, plus the matching shoes. The result is a look that seems purposeful and considered, rather than haphazard. Stylish to the extreme. 05 geometric contrasting looks

Photo via Ruffled.

Metallics

Metallic bridesmaid dresses are here to stay. The trend really picked up steam over the last few years and is still one of our favorites. What can we say? We like to sparkle!

metallics

Photo via 100 Layer Cake.

This Dress

Yep, this Adrianna Papell dress has exploded onto the bridesmaid scene and quickly become one of the “it” dresses of the wedding world. And why shouldn’t it be? It has a flattering fit, a timeless deco pattern, a hint of sparkle and though we are seeing it pop up in wedding after wedding, it still feels fresh each time. Originally available only in nude, you’ll now find it in a range of soft hues, including this stunning mint.

adrianna papell 3

Photos via Style Me Pretty and Elizabeth Anne Designs.

Ombre

Multicolored bridesmaids go to the next level with this subtle ombre effect. You’ll need to choose a dress retailer that carries an extensive range of colors to truly pull this off. The more subtle the color shift, the better. Having two bridesmaids in each shade is also a smart choice—it’s what creates an ombre effect rather than a rainbow one.

06 ombre

Photo via Junebug Weddings.

Creative Cover-ups

Truth: Sometimes bridesmaids get cold. Especially in the winter. Taking that fact of life into consideration and choosing a striking cover-up is both thoughtful and pays off in style points. We love leather jackets, faux fur wraps, plaid scarves and and even patterned blanket shawls, like this one. 07 pretty cover ups

Photo via Ruffled.

Maxis

Sure, floor-length bridesmaid gowns have been around. But the maxi is a bit different. The style is loose and more casual (dare we use the word mumu?) and the result is boho chic. We love this neutral pleated version. The silhouette says “beach” but the subtle sparkle says “style.”

maxis

Photo via Style Me Pretty.

Classic in black

The LBD gets its own acronym for a reason: it just never goes out of style. Black is the perfect choice for a formal wedding and also the color choice your bridesmaids are most likely to incorporate into their regular wardrobe. We love modern black sheaths like these for a sophisticated yet timeless look.

classic LBD

Photo via 100 Layer Cake.

Bold separates

There’s nothing we love more than a bride not afraid to make a bold style choice: like these turquoise floral pencil skirts paired with maroon silk tunics. Selecting vibrant separates like this isn’t for every bride—but when it works, it’s just wow08 Ruffled separates

Photo via Ruffled.

A Modern Geometric Gold Bridal Shower

Led by bride Rachel’s sister and MOH, Ashley, this creative group of bridesmaids took DIY to the extreme with this modern geometric bridal shower. Rachel’s other sister Taylor, a wedding photographer herself, was happy to capture the gorgeous details that all the bridesmaids worked so hard to create. “We went spray paint happy for two days straight. It was so much work but well worth the effort,” says Taylor. Clear balloons mixed with tons of gold accents and geometric shapes kept the look modern but classic, while vibrant wildflowers added a pop of color. The hanging geometic shapes were constructed from simple drinking straws spray painted gold. The room was also dotted with air plants and succulents, some of Rachel’s favorite things. An empty coat closet was transformed into a bar, where mimosas and mojitos were served in vintage glasses that belonged to the bride’s grandmother. Even the food was DIY: Bridesmaid Scarlett prepared an amazing menu of fresh, seasonal dishes like peppercorn-crusted ahi tuna, grilled watermelon and feta skewers and prosciutto and melon bites. Thanks to Taylor Cotilla Photography for sharing!
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