Do you have to have a maid of honour?

A Maid of Honor is traditionally the Brides ‘chief’ bridesmaid. Responsible for keeping the bride calm, assisting with wedding planning, bridal and bridesmaids robes or other dress shopping and coordinating the other bridesmaids. In our modern era, the tradition of the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids comes from socio-economic settings, wanting our close friends by our side to celebrate our wedding.

If we look even further back in history at the origin of the Maid of Honor, we find it actually dates back to medieval times, where a bride would turn up to her wedding with her ‘maid’. Not a friend in those days, a handmaiden or a slave, however, they performed the same role in helping to prepare the bride for her big day and to be by her side at the altar.

A Maid of Honor is traditionally an unmarried bridesmaid and the title changes to Matron of Honor if the woman is married.

So do you need to allocate this title to one of your bridesmaids, or can they just all be ‘bridesmaids’?

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There is no rule book when it comes to weddings and traditions that you should or shouldn’t follow. It really comes down to your personal preference which will be influenced by your friends and family, what type of wedding you want and in many ways, your circle of friends. If you have a stand out a close girlfriend who is a best friend and been through many life events with you, then it might be nice to honour and acknowledge this special relationship by giving her the title that differentiates her from the other bridesmaids.

Even without the title, when you have a group do friends and organising to do, one person will naturally take on a leadership role, so if you have two close friends and you are worried of insulting one by not making then the Maid of Honour, then calling them all bridesmaids do avoid this confrontation.

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You could, of course, have two Maid of Honors if you really wanted, after all, there is no rule book on what your wedding has to look like (unless of course, you have family or religious traditions you have to follow), so if you wanted two, go for it! However it is a more formal tradition of a wedding, so if you want to follow it, it might be unlikely that you want to break that tradition by naming two of this important title.

Whatever you decide to call your friends who will stand by you on your big day, make sure you select them for the right reasons, people who love and support you and will help you with the stress of planning and the nerves of getting ready and walking down the aisle on your big day. Having the right people by your side is more important than the title you allocate to them for the wedding day.

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Do You Need to Have a Wedding Bouquet? To Flower or Not to Flower!

Ten years ago the thought of even contemplating not having wedding flowers would have resulted in shocked gasps of dismay for such a traditional piece of the wedding day, however as weddings get more modern and actually aligned with the wants and needs of brides and grooms, many people are starting to turn their backs on the traditional requirement of flower bouquets.

The shift is occurring for a number of reasons. Firstly, flowers are expensive. And wedding floral packages can get up to the tens of thousands of dollars, especially if you are also using them as decoration and table pieces. For many budget-conscious brides and grooms, spending this kind of money is just not an option for a piece of the wedding that essentially dies and is thrown in the bin (barring a few kept to be dried or stored for sentimental reasons).

Another reason brides are bucking the bouquets is that traditions are changing and your wedding is such an expression of your style and love, that many of the traditional wedding events seem out of place and are questioned by many modern brides. Traditionally, back in the 15th/16th century, the wedding bouquet was held by the bride to ward off evil spirits (often containing herbs and garlic alongside the flowers) because, well personal hygiene wasn’t amazing back then so the smell of flowers masked the bride’s personal aroma. Delightful!

While the tradition of flowers is still strong and alive for most weddings these days, stinky brides aren’t one of the reasons! They are mainly still favored just because they are beautiful to look at, can help tie a wedding colour scheme together and because they prevent the awkward ‘what do I do with my hands’ conundrum facing many brides walking down that long aisle!

Do you need them for your wedding? Well, that is a personal choice and only a decision you can make, but some alternatives are artificial arrangements, which you can keep forever, felt floral arrangements or rustic branches and flowers from the location of your big day (works especially well if you are having an outdoor rustic vintage wedding).

If flowers are a big part of your day, start planning early and if you have your heart set on a certain type that has caught your eye on Pinterest, then research early on. Many flowers are seasonal and depending on the time of year of your wedding, they may not be available. Also, decide what part flowers are going to play in your big day and set a budget and stick to it. It is easy to get caught up in the planning and the ideal reception covered in flower garlands and arches decorated in your chosen florals underneath which you say ‘I do’ however this doesn’t come cheap! Leave enough time that you can find substitutes if your floral wedding dreams are turning into a small mortgage! Things like feathers and cheaper fillers like ferns are making a comeback and can provide your floral dreams at a fraction of the cost.

As with other parts of the wedding, don’t let the flowers stress you! After all, as long as you and your partner are there together on the day declaring love and spending the rest of your life together, your choice (or not) of flowers really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things.

How Many Bridesmaids Should I have?

For both brides who have large circles of friends and for those brides who have only a few close friends, the dilemma and decision of how many bridesmaids you should have on your wedding day is one of the first decisions in the wedding planning calendar that causes many brides much stress and angst!

For brides with smaller circles, the decision is easy and causes no angst, providing the groom is also in agreeance with the number. If the groom has more friends who he wants as groomsmen, the bride with a small circle can get stressed trying to fill the numbers to partner up the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

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For the bride with a large circle of friends, the decision is one that can cause issues in friendships, where do you draw the line on how many girlfriends to include in your bridal party?

Our formula and advice we give brides who are struggling with the decision are based on objectivity. The two factors we recommend brides look at are the wedding budget and the size of the wedding.

Wedding Budget:

You need to factor into your budget who is paying for the bridesmaid robes and gifts and hair and makeup. If you are, then you need to work out how much it costs to have one bridesmaid and then work how many your budget can handle. On average, brides spend around $500 per bridesmaid, so that quickly can deter from wanting five bridesmaids when you are looking at an additional $2500!

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Wedding Size:

Your bridesmaid and bridal party ratio should reflect that of how many guests you are inviting. For example, if you are having an intimate wedding with 50 guests, turning up with 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen can look out of place considering the bridal party is one-fifth of the guests! On the other hand, a wedding with 250 guests, doesn’t look out of place with a large bridal party. Using your number of weddings guests is a nice quick and easy and objective guide to keeping your wedding in proportion.

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Using these two measures can provide a really easy, objective and non-emotional way of deciding how many people to have in your bridal party.

However, like everything with weddings, it is your day and all the decisions are for you to make. You shouldn’t be swayed by opinions or traditions if you have your heart set on something. There is no right or wrong way of doing things, and you are the one that has to be happy and content with the outcome.

 

Creative Ways to Display Our Wedding Photos

Wedding photography is one of the big ticket items when you are planning a wedding. Finding the right photographer who captures the essence and style and of your big day is one of the most critical elements most brides stress about. It is also one of the biggest financial investments you make in your wedding budget.

After the big day has been and gone and you get all your dream images of your perfect day back, the question then becomes, what next? You can get hundreds of images and besides the few, you might put on canvas or frame and put on the wall, how do you keep all the memories and images of that special day alive and on display? Well glad you asked! We have put together some top tips for utilizing all of your wedding photos and displaying the memories!

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Digital Photo Frame:

This genius little gadget displays however many photos you upload on the screen in a rotating/slideshow. You plug in a USB or use whatever connection the frame you find requires and then literally on your coffee table for your guests and the newly married couple, you have a permanent rolling slideshow of your big day.

Wedding Thank-you/merchandise:

Merchandise from our wedding?? Well, why not! You can print on anything these days, and why not create thank you gifts for friends and family by printing a collage of wedding photos onto tea towels, bridesmaids robes or stubby coolers? You get to keep some and friends get a usable gift! Everyone wins.

Coffee Table Book:

A beautiful hard copy photo book will take pride of place in your lounge room and will allow you to reminisce and relive the beautiful day anytime you, please. There is something tangible and beautiful about photo books and they are so easy and affordable to create online. Previously a beautiful coffee table book was limited to high-end photography packages, but with the advent of getting digital photos as part of the photography package, they are super easy to do yourself online.

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Anniversary gifts:

Each year on the anniversary of your wedding, you can get a custom card with a photo of your wedding to give to your partner. A beautiful yearly reminder of the day you married your soul mate and a lovely way to reminisce together.

 Utilise Social Media:

It might seem like a no brainer in our age of reliance and communicating via social media, but after the wedding when you receive all your photos and begin life as a married couple, it can be easy to forget to create a forum/album where all your friends and family can view the official wedding photos. Everyone loves wedding photos! Create an album on Facebook so everyone can share in the joy and love of your special day.

There you have it, just a few quick and easy ways of keeping those memories at the front of mind and getting your money’s worth out of those gorgeous wedding photos!

Who Pays for The Bridesmaid Dresses?

It is the awkward question that everyone wants the answer too, but no one is willing to ask. Awkward silence and avoidance occur and brides and bridesmaids alike sweat the day the topic will come up!

So who does pay for the bridesmaid dress? The Bride or the Bridesmaids?

The answer is, there is no right or wrong answer. Each wedding and bride is different, and every bride has a different relationship with her bridesmaids which will influence this part of the wedding.

If you look at the history and tradition of weddings, traditionally the bridesmaids paid for their own dresses. Often resulting in hundreds spent on expensive ghastly gowns and formal wear that only ever see the back of the wardrobe after the wedding.

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However as weddings now are an expression of your own personality and style, the landscape and shape and look of bridesmaid robes has changed significantly, with many brides letting their bridesmaid select their own dresses. In these circumstances, many bridesmaids will pay for their own dress as the freedom to select what they personally like and will wear again.

Even for traditional weddings where the bride is very specific and prescriptive with the exact dress she wants, there is an increasing trend where the bride will pay for the dresses in these circumstances. This shift from the bridesmaids paying to the bride footing the bill is happening for a number of reasons.

Some of these include location weddings that require the bridal party and guests to travel resulting in accommodation and time of work costs, means the bride is happy to reduce the financial burden for her bridesmaids.

A change in our culture and focus on weddings from it being an honor and privilege to be a part of a bridal party to more the bride realizing that weddings end up costing a small fortune for everyone involved and not wanting to put this pressure on her bridesmaids. Now, weddings cost more, not just due to an increase in the price of living, but we want and demand more. All the extra costs like spray tans, hair and makeup and manicures and pedicures end up totaling around $500. That on top of a dress is a lot to expect a bridesmaid to pay.

So with factoring in these things, how will you know what do you for your wedding? Well, we recommend doing up a cost sheet, writing all the expenses that your bridesmaids will have, including the price of the dress, and then working out what you are going to contribute and how much you want them to contribute. That is why for many brides, paying for the dress takes the burden out of the equation when the smaller items come up. It also depends on your budget, some brides pay for everything for their bridesmaids, including giving them a gift on top of paying for hair, makeup, nails, tans and the dress. Whilst that is a lovely gesture, for many brides, they just can’t afford that and that is ok, your bridesmaids are also happy and excited to be a part of your bid day and don’t expect all expenses to be covered.

Once you do those things, clearly outline who pays for what to your bridesmaids, so everyone is on the same page and then you will avoid any awkward moments throughout the planning process.

 

How to Pick a Wedding Hair and Make-up Style That You Will Love for Years to come.

With the excitement of the engagement and the fun of planning a wedding, one of the first things many brides to do, is start a Pinterest board. And one of the most popular boards that everyone starts is one dedicated to hair and makeup styles for the bride and bridesmaids.

And for good reason, this the biggest day of your life! The day you marry your life partner in front of families and friends and it is captured in photos for the rest of eternity. You want to feel and look amazing!

However, for many brides, the excitement of getting ready can become one of the parts of the day they loved the least when their expectations of what their hair and makeup will look like, all too often fall short of reality.

So how do you avoid this and pick hair and makeup styles that you will love for years to come? Glad you asked, we have put together some of our top tips for loving your wedding hair and makeup.

Use Professional Hair and Makeup Artists.

While you might feel like the amount of YouTube and Instagram makeup tutorials has made you qualified to do Kimmy K’s face, the reality is, make-up artists and hairdressers have trained for years in their art form and the results they will achieve for you, will be above and beyond what you can achieve yourself. Make-up artists use specialist foundations and they consult with you on your lighting, location and sometimes will even talk with your photography to understand what base has to be used to prevent flashback and make sure your make up looks perfect for the entire day, not just the first couple of hours. Besides, with the stress and planning of a wedding, you deserve to be pampered the morning of your wedding with your bridesmaids! And the getting ready photos with gorgeous robes makes for beautiful photos that will be lifelong memories.

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Have a Trial Run of Your Hair and Makeup:

A trial is imperative for a couple of reasons – A) it is the time you show all the Pinterest ideas to your make-up and hair team and they give you the truth about if it is achievable for your face and skin tone. B) Not all hair and make-up artists are created equal, a trial allows you to see if you like their style and how they make you look and feel. C) having a trial allows you to see how your hair and makeup will go throughout the day, without this, your hairstyle could look great in the morning but by the afternoon look like you have been in a mosh pit all afternoon. No one wants that. A trial also allows you to put together a touch-up kit for your wedding day which you will need to keep yourself looking fresh and photo-ready all day long. A smart idea is to have your trial run on the day of your hens, that way you get to test out the look and get made up for your hens night. Win-Win.

Tan Before the Trial:

If you are getting a wedding spray tan – get this done 1-2 days prior to your make up trial. There is no point going in with lily white skin for your trial and then when your make-up artist turns up on your wedding day, your skin is 3-4 shades darker! It will change your entire look, potentially require a darker foundation and you don’t want any surprises on your big day!

If you follow our tips, you are sure to be camera ready and love your hair and makeup look for years to come!