Your wedding is about building memories. You’ve hired a photographer, and you’re going to have plenty of pictures. Do you want the pictures from your ceremony to be filled with all of your friends and family staring through their phones? Of course, you don’t. You spent a lot of time choosing bridesmaid dresses, the perfect venue, décor, and everything else. You want your pictures to be perfect, and you want everyone’s memories to be unfiltered.
That’s why more and more brides and grooms are asking guests to keep their phones in their pockets or purses throughout the ceremony. This means no one’s getting in the way of the photographer, and you’re going to see a lot more beautiful designer bridesmaid dresses and gorgeous smiles than distracted picture-takers and phones in your wedding album.
If you’re going to ask your guests to keep their phones put away throughout the reception, you might want to put disposable cameras out on the tables so that everyone can have some fun taking pictures but no one’s distracted by social media.
Letting your guests capture some memories – like throwing the bouquet or a candid shot of your groomsmen and bridesmaids, dresses and tuxes, etc – is a lot of fun, but it’s even better when you have to wait until the pictures are all developed. Weddings are about lasting commitments and connectedness, not instant gratification and social media. Besides, as beautiful as you and your bridesmaids look in your dresses, you don’t want anyone distracted by a text or tweet.
Think of Your Colors
What colors are you decorating with? What colors are your bridesmaids’ dresses? If your bridesmaid dresses are crimson red or midnight blue, you shouldn’t choose a matching red or blue nail color. It’s very hard to perfectly match fabric colors with nail polish. If your choice is slightly off, it will look tacky, and even if it’s dead-on, it could still look too matchy-matchy.
Instead, choose a contrasting color that’s not too saturated. You don’t want your wedding guests getting distracted by your bridesmaids’ neon orange nails. You want their manicures to complement their beautiful designer bridesmaid dresses. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go with bright colors, especially if you’ve chosen pastel dresses. Brightly colored nails go beautifully with chiffon bridesmaid dresses, and adding color can be fun with semi-formal short dresses.
If choosing a color to complement your bridesmaid dresses and wedding colors is too daunting, you can always choose a classic wedding style: the French tip. This look is clean and elegant. White tips go with everything, so you won’t have to worry about clashing with bridesmaid dresses or standing out too much. French tips and other classic manicures are also always a good choice with formal, long bridesmaid dresses.
An Accent Nail for the Bride
However, as much as we love classic nail colors and styles, we also love the current trend in accent nails: one fingernail is painted a contrasting hue from the others. While this isn’t necessarily a good look for the bridesmaids, you might want to consider it for yourself. You could do French tips on all of your other nails and a glitter fade on your ring finger.
Talk to your bridesmaids about their favorite nail colors and manicure styles, but remember, this is your day; you have the final say.
Start Planning Now!
If you’re going to do a destination wedding right, you have to start planning immediately and stay ahead of the curve. You can’t just say, “Surprise! We’re getting married next month in Jamaica! Hope you can make it!” Hint: if you do this, you and your groom might be the only ones to show up.
You need to give your guests enough time to plan for the trip. Save-the-date announcements up to a year in advance are a great way to let those you’d like to be there plan accordingly. You will want to reserve a block of hotel rooms to make your guests’ accommodations search easier, and also make sure that everyone you would like in your wedding party is accounted for and able to make it.
Choose Appropriate Bridesmaid Dresses for the Destination
If you’re getting married on the beach in Hawaii, your bridesmaids might be uncomfortable wearing floor length satin gowns and high heels. However, if you’re planning a slope-side winter wedding, short chiffon dresses might not be appropriate either.
Long, fitted, satin gowns like these from Lela Rose and Bill Levkoff are great for formal events and cooler weather.
Accent a garden or beach scene beautifully with easy-to-wear net dresses like these from Wtoo. Whichever destination you choose, make sure you think about the right attire for your wedding party.
Do Your Marriage Law Research
Whether you’re leaving the state or leaving the country to get married, you should make sure that you’re following all of the legal requirements for marriage. Most countries require proof of residency and birth certificates to begin with, and some may also need blood work or medical tests before validating your marriage. You may also need to have lived in the country in which you are planning your ceremony in order for it to be lawful! Your bridesmaids aren’t going to be happy with you if they went to all the trouble to get their bridesmaid dresses to Jamaica in good condition and without a wrinkle, only to find out that your wedding didn’t count, so make sure you know the rules before you finish planning.
If foreign or state rules are too cumbersome for your wedding, you could also get married at the courthouse in your state first and then seal your vows at your destination wedding. This way, you know that your marriage counts where it should, and you can relax and enjoy your destination wedding.
It’s all up to you, and if you start planning and doing research now, you’ll be able to avoid a lot of pitfalls in the long run.
DESCRIPTION: Destination wedding
Choose the Dresses First
Before you start looking for a wedding hair stylist, first choose your dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses. If you choose semi-formal, draped, one-shoulder Alfred Angelo designer bridesmaid dresses, your bridesmaids can wear their hair down in loose waves or curls and look stunning. If you choose a more formal floor-length Watters bridesmaid dress, on the other hand, you might want to go with up-dos.
The same is true of your own hair. Choose your dress first and then choose your hairstyle and stylist. If your dress is full and formal, you may want a more elaborate hairstyle. If you’ve chosen a simple sheath, you may want looser hair that flows over your shoulders.
Make a Few Calls and Look at Portfolios
Call around to the salons and stylists in your area. Ask them if they have online portfolios or if they can email you some pictures of samples of their work. It’s not worth it to go for a consultation if you see their styling work and already know it’s not what you want.
Take Pictures With You to Your Consultation
Once you’ve narrowed your search down, schedule a consultation and trial hair styling at least 2 months before your wedding. This will give you time to find a different stylist or to make changes to the intended style with your current stylist.
When you go for your consultation, be sure to take pictures with you of your dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses. Your stylist has experience with wedding hair and can point out styles that will look best with your wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses.
A Masquerade Wedding
Halloween is here, and it’s one of the most fun holidays of the year. With a masquerade theme for your wedding, you can take full advantage of this costumed holiday without turning your wedding party into a haunted house or creep show.
You can incorporate masks and feathers into the reception centerpieces and place settings, and you can have a lot of fun with formal bridesmaid dresses, too. For a formal masquerade wedding, we love a Bari Jay bridesmaid dress with a sweetheart neckline, shirred bodice, and cap sleeves.
The Wizard of Oz
For an outdoor wedding, why not theme your wedding after a childhood favorite? The aisle is your yellow brick road, and who wouldn’t want to wear a pair of ruby red slippers under her wedding gown? Top the theme off with gorgeous emerald green designer bridesmaid dresses from After Six.
The scarecrow may have been the one getting his heart in the story, but you’ll be pledging yours in style with this beautiful theme amidst brilliant fall leaves.
The pumpkin spice trend may be out of control, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use pumpkins to good measure for your wedding? Make your wedding a fall classic with cornucopias as centerpieces, pumpkin soup served in little pumpkin bowls, and chocolate brown, crimson red, and warm orange accents all over.
You can even dress your bridesmaids in matching Alfred Sung bridesmaid dresses in Mandarin. The color is warm enough for fall and won’t make anyone feel like she’s dressed up like one of the pumpkins in your centerpieces.
More and more brides are forgoing the veil and choosing bridal tiaras instead, and why not? This is your day to shine, and you can be a princess (or queen) for a day in the right tiara. Better still, you can often find complementary hairpieces for your bridesmaids that both match their bridesmaid dresses – whether you’ve chosen long bridesmaid dresses or short bridesmaid dresses and whether they’re formal or semi-formal – and echo your tiara. It’s an all-around win.
Before you go off and buy the first tiara that catches your fancy, though, stop and take a breath. Buying wedding accessories is always fun, especially when you’re picking an accessory that will make you feel like royalty, but you have to make sure that you’re picking the right one – one that will go well with your wedding’s overall theme, including your dress, your bridesmaids’ dresses, etc.
Consult With Your Hair Stylist
Before you get your heart set on a particular tiara, make an appointment with your stylist. How she does your hair will have a lot to do with what you can and can’t wear on your head on your big day. She’ll also be able to make suggestions for a tiara that will top off your gown perfectly and hairpieces that will go beautifully with your designer bridesmaid dresses.
Choose a Tiara Based on Your Gown’s Shape
The rule of thumb is, “The larger the gown, the smaller the headpiece.” You don’t want your look to be overwhelming, so keep this in mind. If you have a curve-skimming sheath dress, you can choose a larger and/or taller tiara. If your gown has a very full skirt, you should probably choose a smaller one.
Also, if you’re choosing tiaras for your bridesmaids, whether you’ve chosen long bridesmaids dresses or short bridesmaid dresses, you’ll want their headpieces to be a bit smaller and simpler than your own.
Once you’ve chosen your dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and hairstyle, it’s time for perhaps the most fun part of wedding preparations: the jewelry! The right jewelry accents can really give you and your bridesmaids a finished, polished, and perfect look. You just have to figure out which pieces of jewelry are right.
For the Bridesmaids
You want your bridesmaids to look uniform, but you don’t necessarily want them to look like they’re in uniform. Choosing their jewelry is a great opportunity to find the perfect bridesmaid gifts and to add a little bit of personality to each of their looks.
You can either choose the same piece of jewelry for everyone, based on their bridesmaid dresses and the style and décor of the wedding, or you can choose something different for everyone. Still based on the look and style of their bridesmaid dresses, you can choose a pair of pearl earrings for one of your bridesmaids, a necklace for another, a beautiful pearl broach for your maid of honor, etc.
When choosing jewelry for your bridesmaids, think, “Less is more,” and lean toward classic pieces rather than edgy, contemporary styles.
For the Bride
If you have a strapless wedding gowns and/or an open, wide neckline dresses, a pearl or diamond necklace will be the perfect jewelry accessory. You can go with a chunkier, larger necklace if you’ve chosen an up-do for your hair and small or no earrings.
If you’ve chosen a dress with a plunging v-neck, choose a delicate pendant necklace with a single diamond, pearl, or your birthstone if it complements your wedding colors. If you have a lot going on with the neckline of your gown, you may want to choose a pair of chandelier earrings instead of a necklace.
If you choose your jewelry based on how it complements your wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses, you can’t go wrong.
Today there are more choices than ever for wedding venues and themes. When you think about it, it’s both liberating and intimidating. You can choose absolutely anything you’d like. Would you like to get married in a barn or a large cathedral? Is a Halloween themed wedding right for you? Or would you rather be a Disney princess for a day?
When you think about weddings you’ve been to and weddings you’ve seen pictures of, you probably like a little bit from this one and a little bit from that one, but if you try to mash it all up together, you’ll just get a mess. That’s why a unifying theme can help, but how can you choose?
Make a Pinterest Board for Your Wedding
Start the pre-planning process by making a Pinterest board for wedding ideas. The more you pin, the more you’ll start to see a theme emerge. For example, you may have one image of a beautiful cathedral wedding, but all of your other Pins are of grassy outdoor weddings and garden weddings. You’re telling yourself something, and when you look back at your board in a month, when you start really planning, you’ll have a better idea of what you really want.
What’s Your Style Like?
When you look at wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, what do you gravitate toward? Do you love the fairytale look? Are you swept away by draped, flowing, semi-formal designer bridesmaid dresses? Do you find yourself entranced by flowing, long bridesmaid dresses? Do you tend to linger over chiffon bridesmaid dresses? The style of gowns and long or short bridesmaid dresses you like the most will also inform the style of décor you choose and your venue.
What’s Your Personality as a Couple?
Now, think about your relationship with your groom-to-be? Are the two of you adventurous? Are you always out on the town? Or are you happiest when the two of you are cuddled up in a blanket on the couch? Answering these questions will help you determine how formal you want your wedding to be and where you want it to be.
Taking the time to think about your favorite wedding details, bridesmaid dresses, and your relationship will help you come to a great decision for your wedding theme.
You’ve chosen your bridesmaids because they’re your best friends. They’re the women who’ve been there for you every time you needed them over the years, and now you want them to share your special day. Choosing your bridesmaids was easy, but now you have to choose your bridesmaids’ dresses.
We’ve all heard (and lived) nightmare stories of terrible bridesmaid dresses – dresses that fit horribly, with itchy fabric and colors that made everyone look sallow and sickly. You don’t want to be the bride to choose that bridesmaid dress, but what can you do?
1. Look at Your Bridesmaids
First, take a look at the women who will be standing next to you on your big day. What styles of dresses do they normally wear? What silhouettes fit them best? How tall are they? What are their problem areas? It might seem mean to focus on your friends’ imperfections, but you don’t want to highlight parts of their bodies that they aren’t comfortable with or don’t like on the big day. That’s just going to result in awkward pictures and memories.
2. Choose Designer Bridesmaid Dresses
Designer bridesmaid dresses generally have better cuts, colors, and fits than off-the-rack dresses, and they’re much more likely to fit everyone in a flattering way. If you’re worried about price, you can usually find great deals when you look online for , even designer dresses.
3. Choose a Universal Style
A-line, princess-waist, and Grecian inspired dresses look beautiful and graceful on almost all body types. These styles of bridesmaid dresses such as Dessy dresses have room to move and will often hide imperfections and flaws. Wide straps, cap sleeves, and three-quarter sleeves are also usually safer than strapless gowns unless, of course, all of your bridesmaids have been in the gym working on their shoulders, in which case, let them show off!
Choosing the perfect palette for your wedding isn’t as easy as picking your favorite color. You may be a huge fan of sunny yellow hues, but if you choose yellow and all of your bridesmaids don’t have pink or bronze undertones to their skin, they’ll end up looking washed out and sickly.
You also have to think about your venue and its color scheme. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time and money just to find that your décor clashes and looks glaringly bad in your wedding photos. So, here are a few helpful tips for choosing your wedding colors.
Start With a Selection of Colors You Like
First, choose a few different colors that you like and that you would like to see accenting your beautiful white dresses and décor on your wedding day. You can grab some paint samples from the hardware store for visual aids. Spread these out in front of you and think about each one. If you wouldn’t be happy with one, take it out of the selection.
Ask Your Bridesmaids
Next, take your color selections to your bridesmaids and talk to them about which colors will work best for their bridesmaid dresses. Remember that you can go online for designer bridesmaid dresses at discount prices and that many of them come in a wide variety of colors.
Your bridesmaids should be able to help you narrow the selection down even more. Once you’ve done this, take your color samples to your wedding venue and see how they match. This should tell you which color(s) will work best for your bridesmaids’ dresses, your décor, and your general wedding theme.
Now you just have to find the right bridesmaid dresses in that lovely hue!