Tag Archives: Ultimate Bridesmaid

Ultimate Bridesmaid is 4 Years Old!

Ultimate Bridesmaid 4th BirthdayThat’s right, Ultimate Bridesmaid has been around for 4 years! I feel like the blog has come full circle because four years ago I was writing about my experiences as a MOH planning a bachelorette weekend in Savannah. And tomorrow I’ll be hopping on a plane for my own bachelorette weekend in Charleston! I am beyond excited for this weekend, firstly because I did not have to do anything. Seeing the bachelorette weekend from the bride’s side has made me appreciate maids of honor even more. There are so many moving parts to planning a wedding that it’s just an absolute relief to have one aspect of it that you don’t have to worry about at all. So I’m just full of pure excitement for this weekend, no anxieties about planning or what to bring! I can’t wait to spend a relaxing and fun weekend with my girls! ALL THE EMOTIONS!

So what were some of my favorite posts of the year?

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Box

My Will You Be My Bridesmaid Boxes
I loved sharing this DIY for my “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” gifts, with a handmade photo card and travel-themed gifts for my destination wedding in Maine.

Bachelorette Travel Guides
I was able to add lots of new bachelorette city guides this year (including Key West, New York City, Savannah and Disney World) and created one spot where you can find them all. And I have plans for lots more in the coming year. One of my favorite growing areas of the site.

50 Simple & Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decor Ideas
Researching and writing huge roundups like this can be incredibly time consuming, but I think it’s so worth it in the end because it gives you so much inspiration and content all in one place. And you seem to think so too! It’s one of your favorite posts of the year.

My Whole30
This was a very personal post that deviated from our usually scheduled programming, but one I’m really proud of and glad I wrote. Health and weight loss are not topics I usually feel comfortable discussing, but my January Whole30 experience was incredibly positive and made me feel empowered and ready to share. I did a second Whole30 in March on the DL, and have been eating about 80% Whole30 in my daily life: 100% Whole30 on weekdays with some wine and off-plan dinners or treats on the weekends. And when I go on vacation (like my bachelorette tomorrow!!!), I feel both in control of decisions about what I eat and zero guilt about my indulgences. Since January, I have lost 30 lbs. (!!) and am back down to my healthiest weight, like, ever. But for more on all the things I love about Whole30, you can read my very long (and very real) post.

Plus, I got to share some truly gorgeous real bridal showers and bachelorette parties. I am always blown away by the creativity I see in these parties. I try to choose events that go outside the norm, that truly show the personality of the bride and just show real women having a kickass time together. Thanks to all the photographers who shared their amazing work with me this year!


Top row: Winter Girls Getaway to Lake Louise, Pastel Garden Boudoir ShowerFlower Crown Crafting Bridal Shower
Middle row: Midcentury Modern Garden Party, Key West Bachelorette, Modern Geometric Gold Bridal Shower
Bottom row: Green & Gold Favorite Things Bridal Shower, 70s-Style Wonderland Bridal Shower, Madonna Inn Bachelorette

It’s Ultimate Bridesmaid’s Birthday (We’re 3)!

Ultimate Bridesmaid Year 3 Top Posts

Photo courtesy of Aly Carroll Photography

That’s right, Ultimate Bridesmaid is 3 years old!

It’s crazy to look back at some of the first posts I wrote and then see where the blog is today. Thanks are due, as always, to the amazing friends, family and readers who have supported this crazy blog project of mine. Your words of encouragement mean the world to me. It is also such a privilege to get to work with incredibly talented and inspiring photographers and creatives—the wedding community really is full of generous, warm-hearted people.

Usually for our blogiversary, I share what you loved the most (check out our top 10 posts from year one, many of which are still some of your all-time favs + our year two milestones here). But this year I decided to share some of my favorite posts from this year—ok, and yours too.

What’s in Your Cell Phone Game: This party game, with versions for both a bridal shower and a bachelorette party, debuted just a few short weeks ago, but it’s already edging into the daily top 10, which is fast in blog world. Usually a post has to gain momentum over time or have a really big surge due to some influential social sharing, but this baby is just knocking it out. I hear you—you like games, more games!

Bridal Shower 101: This is one of those posts that took forever to write—like, weeks. Because I really tried to cover every basic and not-so-basic question you could have about a bridal shower. From who is responsible for planning the shower and who should be invited to what to serve (is alcohol allowed?) and what to do (does the bride have to open her gifts?), this post will answer many, many of your questions. A great article to peruse for new bridesmaids!

MOH Speech Writing Prompts: As evidenced by our all-time favorite post, The Ultimate Maid of Honor Speech, writing a great maid of honor speech is a topic on many a MOH’s mind. Since I already tackled the basics of speech writing and some major do’s and don’ts, I decided to focus on one of the hardest aspects of writing any speech: getting started. These speech writing prompts will give you ideas for exactly what to talk about during those three minutes in the spotlight.

33 Spectacular Bachelorette Party Ideas: Following the success of 21 Spectacular Bridal Shower Themes, we had to bring the same treatment to the bachelorette party. Ideas include a nude drawing classes, belly dance lessons, river tubing and so much more!

What’s Wrong With the Bachelorette Party (and How We Can Fix It): Writing this post was a bit like writing Ultimate Bridesmaid’s manifesto. I really wanted to express my thought process for the aesthetic choices I make on the blog and the mission behind it, and the bachelorette party is the perfect microcosm to express all that. In a nutshell: Down with pink boas and penis-shaped straws, up with parties that reflect the bride’s personality and style!

Plus, here are a few of my favorite real bridal shower and bachelorette parties from this year!

birthday collage

Top row: Donut Bridal Brunch, Poolside Bridal ShowerCooking Classy Bachelorette
Middle row: New Orleans BacheloretteLondon Tea Party Shower, Garden Bridal Brunch
Bottom row: Bridal Crafting PartyLowcountry Bridesmaid Luncheon, Peacock Blue Bridal Shower

Personally, this was an exciting year for me because I got engaged! Andrew and I have decided to have our wedding in Maine, which is a place we fell in love with together and now visit every year (see past recaps of our trip and the places we love here and here). Originally I was going back and forth on whether we should get married in Brooklyn or Bar Harbor. Before Christmas, I was pretty much set on Brooklyn and had even scoped out a couple venue—and then all of the sudden I totally switched directions and landed on Maine.


So what happened? Well, I realized that when I thought about planning a wedding in Brooklyn, it stressed me out—there’s so much competition for venues and vendors, and don’t even get me started on the prices. But when I thought about getting married in Maine, I felt relaxed. Once I realized that, the decision was simple. Plus, as my awesome future sister-in-law pointed out, New York weddings can be a bit scattered. Guests want to go off and explore the city, and hotels may be far from the venue, so you get to see less of the people who have traveled so far for the event. At a more intimate destination, everyone will stay close and you’ll get to spend more quality time together.

Next week we’re taking a trip to Maine and will choose our wedding venue and finally set our date (eek!)! I’m trying to decide between late May and September or early October. Any advice from those familiar with the area? We always go in May and love it, but fall is my favorite season…plus, it would give me more time to plan. If anyone has gotten married on Mt. Desert Island, let’s talk!!

I’ve got big blog dreams for the coming year as well. I’ll share one with you in the hopes that putting it out on the Internet will help hold me accountable: I think I’m finally ready to tackle a site redesign. I’m in the process of looking at designers right now and trying to find the right fit, but I’m really excited about this. And nervous! So nervous. I want to improve functionality and navigation and add new features and photo galleries and spruce up our look a bit and I just need to find the right dream-vision partner to make this all happen.

Here’s to year 4!

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!

Ultimate Bridesmaid’s Top 10 Posts: Year 1

Ultimate Bridesmaid's Top 10 Guides (Bridal Shower Games, Writing a Maid of Honor Speech, Planning a Bachelorette Weekend and much more!)

When I was first asked to be a bridesmaid, I Googled “bridesmaid duties” (just like you probably did) and found myself led to a string of websites that look like they were thrown together around the time the internet was invented. I was really disappointed to see that there was very little real advice for bridesmaids that delved below the superficial and most of the lists I found seemed dated and out of touch, a sort of “Miss Manners” approach rather than an honest assessment of what to expect. I decided to use my own experience to put together articles and guides that might help other women like me. I’m really honored to find out that these articles dominate this year’s top 10. I could spend hours collaging gorgeous images of bridal showers or compiling bachelorette inspiration boards, but I really put my heart into these articles. Thanks for reading them and I promise I’ll keep more coming in year two. Please let me know what topics you’d like more info on in the coming year!

1. The Ultimate Maid of Honor Speech

How to Give the Ultimate Maid of Honor SpeechThis post was far and away the highest viewed in our first year. In my opinion, delivering a speech at a wedding is probably the most difficult thing asked of the maid of honor. Planning parties may be time consuming and logistically complicated, but writing and delivering a speech comes with a lot of pressure. This post breaks down how to structure the beginning, middle and end of your speech, with ideas for topics, jumping-off points and even a gimmick or two.

2. The Maid of Honor Speech: Do’s and Don’ts

The Ultimate Maid of Honor Speech: Do's and Don'ts

Speech writing and giving was such a large topic that I had to split it into two posts. If you’re looking for down and dirty tips for delivering the speech, I actually recommend this post over the first, which is more focused on the writing process.

3. Bachelorette Games: The Fiancé Quiz

Bachelorette Games: The Fiance QuizAfter the Maid of Honor Speech, you were most interested in bachelorette games. This is a classic, and is still my number one go-to for every kind of bachelorette party, be it a raucous destination weekend or a more intimate dinner with friends. It can even be adapted to a bridal shower—just make the question PG-13 for the daytime crowd.

4. Bachelorette Games: Bar Scavenger Hunt

Bachelorette Games: Bar Scavenger Hunt

Your fourth favorite post—with super-fun free printable checklist!

Ultimate Bridesmaid bachelorette bar scavenger hunt

5. Bachelorette Games: Most Likely To…

Bachelorette Games: Most Likely To

A hilarious game to play with a close-knit group of friends (even if its not a bachelorette party!).

6. 5 Simple Bridal Shower Games (that don’t suck)

5 Simple Bridal Shower Games (that don't suck)

I typically find bridal shower games to be incredibly boring, so I decided to pull together five not-lame options. Toilet paper wedding dresses are just not my jam. Being made to wear a hideous veil every time you let the word “bride” or “wedding” slip? Highly preferable. Maybe that’s just me.

7. A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Bachelorette Weekend

A step-by-step guide to planning a bachelorette weekend

This post was seriously a labor of love. I pulled from all of my experiences to put together all the details for organizing a bachelorette weekend, with a timeline and advice on how to coordinate a huge number of girls, find lodging, book dinners, plan events and keep everyone entertained.

8 and 9. Lingerie Shower and Mission Bachelorette Party!

IMG_1040These two posts make me a little bit nostalgic and bring back great memories because they are two of my very first posts on Ultimate Bridesmaid. Both talk about my own experiences planning parties, one for my friend Amanda’s lingerie shower in Atlanta and another for my friend Marisa’s bachelorette party in Savannah.

10. Six Dirty Details Bridesmaids Need to Know

Six Dirty Details Bridesmaids Need to Know

From your unofficial role as Designated Bride Bodyguard on bachelorette night to corset-lacing, bustling and the ol “help the bride pee” bit on wedding day, this list includes six parts of bridesmaiding you may not be looking forward to, but you’ll need to be prepared all the same!


Let me know what aspects of bridesmaid duties you want to know more about in the comments! I’ll have many new guides and articles in year 2.

Happy Birthday, Ultimate Bridesmaid! (We’re 1 Year Old!)

happy birthday

I’m so excited to share that today is the one year anniversary of Ultimate Bridesmaid. A year ago when I started sharing my own bridesmaid experiences, I had no idea how this blog would grow and come to mean so much to me. My first day when I received a couple dozen visitors that seemed wonderful. Today, I receive thousands of visitors each day. I took a screenshot the day my pageview ticker reached 100,000, but I’ve since seen it skyrocket to over 400,000. I’ve connected with other amazing bloggers and wedding professionals on my Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook pages. I’m grateful to all the amazing photographers who have shared their work with me; the bridesmaids and brides who have submitted stories, dress reviews 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 have big plans for year two and hope you’ll all be with me for the ride. Over the next week I have lots of posts planned to look back on the year, including the top 10 posts of the year, some of my favorite images from bridal showers and bachelorette parties, and much more.