Category Archives: Bridesmaids

An “Almost a Mrs.” Donut Bridal Brunch

As the bags you’ll see below so cleverly state, “okay, you had me at donuts.” Photographer Angela Cox and event stylist Suzie of Static Couture dreamed up this “Almost a Mrs.” bridesmaid brunch for the first Greenville NotWedding. In addition to the stunning donut centerpiece, the bride and her maids had a gorgeous spread to enjoy, highlighting blueberries and grapefruit with blueberry scones, grapefruit halves, and a twist on the classic mimosa: grapefruit juice topped with berries. These ladies look beyond gorgeous and oh so relaxed in their comfy lightweight shifts done in soft neutrals and accented with statement necklaces made of natural materials—plus fuzzy woolen socks, of course. Cobalt blue shibori accents were the perfect explosion of pattern, giving the industrial space an earthy, warm vibe. The whole shoot just makes me want to cozy up with my own hot cup of coffee and warm pair of slippers.
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Photography: Angela Cox Photography | Donuts: Circa Doughnut | Fruit & Scones: Swamp Rabbit Cafe | Paper goods: Jankun Creative Studio | Florals & Styling:  Statice Couture Florals & Event Design | Platters, serving spoons, shibori and table accents: Knack Studio  | Clothing & Necklaces: Savvy Inc. Boutique | Rings: Danielle Miller Jewelry | Makeup & Hair: Isabelle Schreier

Maid of Honor Speech Writing Prompts

Maid of Honor Speech Writing Tips and Prompts

This post could probably be entitled “creative writing tips” because that’s really what writing a speech is all about—with the caveat that whatever you write needs to sounds natural when spoken aloud. Since getting started is usually the hardest part, I’ve compiled a list of prompts that will help you organize your thoughts about the bride and groom and focus your speech. I’ve also written on how to format your speech and some maid of honor speech do’s and don’ts, if you’re looking for more info.

To start writing a speech, I am a firm advocate of just vomiting out whatever enters your mind (from your fingers, not your mouth). Other people would call this “stream of consciousness” or “spontaneous writing,” but “word vomiting” is just as apt. The whole idea is to not worry about choosing the right word or turn of phrase. You want to focus on ideas rather than word choice. Organization and finesse can come later. What you need to start are the broad strokes. Sometimes I don’t even write full sentences. I just jot down phrases or words that enter my head. I skip around. I leave my thoughts unfinished. I just get something out there. Don’t worry if what you’re writing doesn’t make sense. Let yourself go.

Once you have all those words down, read over what you’ve written. What has potential to be expanded? What catches your attention? Do you see some of the same words and ideas coming up again and again? Sometimes getting out your thoughts shows you the shape of what you want to say. To give you a really good example, when I started writing this post I thought it would be a step-by-step guide to writing a maid of honor speech. But as I was word vomiting (don’t worry, I feel fine now), I realized that I was focusing a lot on the barriers that keep us from starting to write a speech and how we can overcome them. So I modified my idea, organized my thoughts and turned this post into what you see today.

Still struggling? Here are a few tiny tricks I use to help with my writing process and some general advice on maid of honor speeches in particular.

1. If you get stuck on a word, or find yourself slowing up as you grasp for a particular concept, just type “TK” and move on. TK is a editing term that means “to come” (don’t ask about the K instead of a C, I don’t know). TK is really useful because it frees you to keep writing, but you know you need to come back later and find that perfect word.

2. Sometimes your brain needs a warm-up. If I’m struggling with writing, I like to tackle a simple task or mental problem. I feel like it gets my brain organized and ready to think without all the creative frustration that can come from writing. So for example, I might work on putting together a shopping list or read a blog post by a writer I admire. Endless scrolling on Instagram or catching up on Real Housewives won’t encourage your mind to be active. Quite the opposite—those activities are like pause buttons for your brain waves.

3. Resist the urge to use or modify a canned speech from the internet. Resist, resist, resist! 95% of the ones I have read are horrible—like truly cringe-inducing. The number one thing you speech should be is personal and there is no way you’ll get that from a template.

And here are your writing prompts. Use these to get you started. Hopefully these ideas will help you find the nugget of a story or idea that will lead to the perfect speech.

Maid of Honor Speech Writing Prompts

What words best describe the bride?

What words best describe the groom?

What words best describe their relationship?

How did you meet the bride?

How did the bride and groom meet?

What did they do on their first date?

What did you think of the groom when you first met him?

What’s your favorite story about the couple?

What do you admire about their relationship?

How did the groom propose?

What are some of the highlights or milestones of their relationship?

What were some of the challenges they faced in their relationship?

What’s your favorite story to tell about the bride?

Is there a story that epitomizes the bride?

Is there a story that epitomizes their relationship?

What hobbies and interests, like and dislikes do the couple share? How has that enhanced their relationship?

What hobbies or interests, likes or dislikes do they differ on? Has that led to any funny stories?

Have they tried to introduce their spouse to something new? Has it succeeded or failed (hopefully in spectacular fashion)?

Tips for writing your maid of honor speech, with lots of writing prompts to get the ideas flowing

 

Photograph by Christa Nicole Photography.

A Bridal Crafting Party + A DIY Bunting Banner + A Raspberry Iced Tea Recipe

Bride Gemma enticed her bridesmaids into helping her with some of her DIY projects by throwing a pretty little summer picnic on the rolling hills surrounding her grandmother’s home. The ladies gathered for a meal of love-inspired bites all shaped like hearts, including chocolate-filled cronuts (a croissant + a donut) and tomato soup paired with mini heart-shaped grilled cheeses. A hair and makeup artist herself, this DIY bride used the occasion to trial the wedding-day hair and makeup for all of her bridesmaids, resulting in gorgeous fishtail braids and casually tousled up-dos. Scroll through the sweet shots from this sunny afternoon from Maru Photography and find two bonus DIYs below: the recipe for the refreshing raspberry and citrus-infused iced tea the ladies enjoyed and instructions for the delicate bunting banner they created.

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Citrus-Infused Raspberry Iced Tea

A light, fruity tea forms the base of this recipe. For the best result, you’ll need to brew your own using loose tea leaves. Bride Gemma used a blend called Cosmopolitan that incorporates raspberry and strawberry notes. If you can’t find that exact blend, simply substitute another herbal fruit tea. David’s Tea Mighty Aphrodite would be a perfect fit.

Ingredients:
6 cups raspberry tea, brewed strong
1/2 cup simple syrup
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lime, sliced (+ lime peel twists for garnish)
A handful of raspberries to garnish
Ice

Directions:
Brew a strong batch of raspberry tea, then allow it to cool completely. Mix tea, simple syrup, lemon and lime juice together in a pitcher. Add raspberries and lime slices, then fill pitcher with ice. Take a sip and then dilute with more ice or water if necessary. Add a swizzle stick with raspberries or a lime twist to each glass for a pop of color. Enjoy!

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Bunting Banner

Gemma and her bridesmaids crafted these chic bunting banners to add a vintage, handmade vibe to her country hall wedding. On the wedding day, the banners crisscrossed the rafters along with strings of twinkling cafe lights.

Supplies:
3-5 different fabrics in varying patterns or colors
Sharp scissors
Double-sided tape
Fishing wire or a pretty string or ribbon cut to the desired length of the complete banner

Instructions:
1. Cut strips of fabric that are about 2 inches wide and vary in length from about 10 to 14 inches. Be sure to test your fabric out—avoid those that frays easily.
2. Fold each strip of fabric in half. Place double-sided tape between the two sides, leaving enough room to string the fishing wire or a ribbon through.
3. String on your fabric strips in a repeating pattern or go for a random look—either can work!

Win 2 Tickets to the 3rd NYC NotWedding!

Engaged in New York? Win 2 tickets to the 3rd NYC NotWedding!

All the wedding fun, none of the drama—that should be the NotWedding’s motto. Conceived as a bridal show alternative, it’s also just a pretty dang fun party. A married couple renews their vows in a gorgeous setting (this season they’ll be at the Green Building, which is something of a blank canvas, so I can’t wait to see what they create!) while local brides-to-be get to see vendors at work. Everything else you love about a wedding—gourmet treats, freely (and free) flowing bubbly, a dessert bar, photo booth fun, dance floor shenanigans—you’ll find it.

The best part? Ultimate Bridesmaid is giving away 2 tickets to the 3rd NYC NotWedding, Sept. 23rd at the Green Building in Brooklyn. I highly recommend it as a fun night out with a girlfriend, or feel free to bring your fiance along—I saw plenty of ‘em hitting up the bar at May’s event. To enter to win, leave a comment on this post or like our Facebook page, then submit your contact info through the Rafflecopter form below.

*No purchase necessary. A winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter on 9/16/14. Winner will be notified via email by Ultimate Bridesmaid and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize. Winner grants Ultimate Bridesmaid the right to share the winner’s email address with the giveaway sponsor (The NotWedding) for the sole purpose of delivering the prize to the winner. No email addresses will be used or retained to send promotional materials. The prize will consist of two tickets to The NotWedding held in Brooklyn on 9/23/14. Winner is responsible for his or her own transportation to and from event. Prize cannot be redeemed for cash or substituted for anything other than the stated prize.

A Flower-Crowning Bridesmaid Brunch in Napa Valley

First of all, can we make it a rule that fiancés have to carry their brides-to-be to the bridal brunch? I’m head-over-heels in love with this bohemian bridesmaid brunch designed by Julia Lake Parties and captured by Taylor Gage Photography. Bride Lindsey invited the ladies to her family’s ranch in St. Helena, CA, a few days before her wedding and thanked them with a creative (and downright gorgeous) twist: a flower crowning ceremony! Once crowned and with a crystal goblet of sparkling grapefruit punch in hand, the girls set off through the vineyard on a scavenger hunt that led them through the forest to a nearby lake (toasts were plentiful). The girls each shared special memories with the bride before heading to their final surprise: a garden breakfast nook decked out with jewel-toned pillows, oriental rugs, vintage artwork and baskets overflowing with white hydrangeas and babies breath. The ladies lounged in their garden oasis and enjoyed a bountiful menu prepared by Alexandra Phelps, included such standouts as a colorful farro salad tossed with shredded Brussels sprout and pepper confetti and a tray of orange curd and lemon cream cheese tartlets.  Photography: Taylor Gage Photography | Venue: Private ranch in St. Helena, California | Event Planning, Design and Florals: Julia Lake Parties | Catering: Alexandra Phelps

Frock + Flowers // Pink Peony Abundance

Peonies are having a moment. Okay, they’ve been having a moment for quite some time now. But it’s easy to see why these soft blossoms have become a popular wedding bouquet choice. Classically pretty and impossibly full, the blooms almost beg to be touched. Here, pink peonies are paired with delicate pastel and peach gowns to create a look that’s both romantic and a bit ethereal. Each bouquet incorporates an element of green, giving the florals a fresh-from-the-garden vibe.

Image credits: Top left: Katie Pritchard Photography | Top right: Style Me Pretty | Bottom left: Magnolia Rouge | Bottom right: 100 Layer Cake

The 10 Most Overdone Bridesmaid Photos on Pinterest

You’ve been meticulously planning your wedding for months—well, let’s be honest, more like years via your secret “Future Mrs.” Pinterest board. So it’s understandable that you’ve seen a lot of cute wedding photos. Here’s the trouble. What may have started out as a cute and original idea has had all the cuteness and originality sucked out of it when a simple search yields dozens, if not hundreds, of girls doing the exact. same. thing.

Pinterest can be an amazing tool and asset. But too often we try to turn it into a dream xerox machine. There are a few great articles written by photographers and bloggers alike about the effect of Pinterest on the wedding industry. They talk about how Pinterest discourages the creative process and creates both unreal expectations and a copy-cat culturePinstrosity and #pinfails are the ultimate expression of that phenomenon. You see something you love and you try to make it yourself, and you fail…epically. Unfortunately, while we’re quite used to thinking of nail art tutorials and simple peanut butter souffle recipes as ripe for a pinstrosity, we don’t often think about wedding photography that way—but we should. Trying to recreate an image you love will have the same result. What looked natural and beautiful or freakin hilarious on Pinterest will most likely look forced and awkward when you try it yourself. This is because taking a good photograph is not the same as following a recipe. It’s much, much harder.

What’s frustrating about this problem is that it comes from a good place, a place of wanting to be creative and unique. Pinterest really is very inspiring. For me, there’s a strong element of discovery in Pinterest. In particular, it has led me to a ton of blogs I would have never otherwise found. It has introduced me to artists, photographers and designers who are doing amazing work. In a practical sense, I have used Pinterest for party planning, recipe hunting and even Christmas list making. I also use it to pin pretty pictures of ice creams that I will never make—but I know it’s just an ice cream dream…really!

So, without further ado, the top 10 bridesmaid-related photos that are way overdone. Don’t let Pinterest create a wedding shot list for you. Let yourself live in the moment of the day and see if you don’t unintentionally create an authentic moment that translates into a beautiful photograph that someday finds its way onto this list.

1. Bride and MOH Jumping on the Bed

Photo by Brad Ross

How bout we make this rule: If you have not jumped on a bed in the last ten years, you do not get to do this. I think that seems fair.

2. The Bridesmaids Pose

Photo by The Bird and the Bear

Did you even like this movie? Please tell me you’ve at least seen it. Also, their poses aren’t that interesting. So you’re just doing weirdly specific poses from a 2011 comedy. This is going to get dated fast.

3. Don’t Corrupt the Flower Girl

Photo by Maria Vicencio

I love that this image is so popular that we have collected agreed on a phrase for this pose: “Don’t corrupt the flower girl.” If you’d like to be truly horrified, look up some of the less successful attempts at recreating the above original.

4. How We Met the Bride (With Chalkboard, Of Course)

Photo by Katy Hall Photography

Here’s a case where the first time someone ever did this, it was cute. Now? Played out. Also, so many chalkboards! Why the chalkboards, all the time, everywhere?

5. Bridesmaids at the Bar

Photo by Miller Miller Photography

Uggghhhh, cheese factor times one thousand. Also, did they all legitimately chug a beer before the wedding? Because to get it upside down like that, you gotta be draining that thing.

6. We’re All Wearing Such Cute Matching Floral Robes

Photo by Melanie Lust Photography

I mean, I get it. Robes are cute. But this particular type of robe is just every-freakin-where.

7. Just Wait Till You See Her!

Photo by Perry Vaile

The conceit behind this one is that you’re supposed to take this picture and then text it to the groom right before the wedding. My first thought is: Is the groom supposed to think this is cute? Clever? I’d wager money he will think neither. Second thought: What do you do if you don’t have exactly six bridesmaids?

8. Bouquet Face

The 10 Most Overdone Bridesmaid Photos on Pinterest

Photo by Dani Fine Photography

You spent so much time on your makeup, ladies. Why hide your faces?

9. Your Affection Disgusts Us

Photo by Ricky Stern Photography

No one is that disgusted by kissing. I mean, they should at least be going to second base for this to make any sense.

10. Bridesmaid Booty Shot

This one just cropped up recently, but it’s threatening to gain popularity. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, please, do not let this happen.