Wedding How-to: Pulling off the Mismatched Bridesmaid Look

Are you thinking about mixing things up with your bridal party style? The common fear is how it will all turn out for pictures. Every bride wonders: “What if it doesn’t work and looks like a jumbled mess?” We promise that by following a few of these tips, you can create a fun and stylish look for your girls. Once you decide which direction you want to go, we will show you how to pull it all together!

Guided Freedom:

As tempting as it may be to provide your girls with every and any possibility, it is important to give them a few guidelines. You may think that keeping the dress requirements completely open is making it easier for them, but often it is the opposite. Your girls want you to be happy and get what you want for your wedding day. It can often be more stressful for them to try and guess. There are three main elements to consider when deciding on dresses: Fabric, color and style. Pick 1 or 2 elements that you would like to remain the same, and allow your girls to run with the rest. This will ensure your looks stays cohesive, but has some flair.

Photo By: Elizabeth In Love Photography

Color me pretty:

Mixing up the colors is a fun way to add some flair to your bridal party. You have a few options here so the first step is to decide how.

1) Mixed color palette. Find some colors that fit together well by placing swatches together. The trick here is to keep your hue consistent. For example: if you are hooked on a pastel pink swatch, keep the remaining choices in the pastel family.

2) Shaded: Changing each bridesmaid dress by a shade or two can create a very interesting look for your bridal party. To pull this look off, you will need to find a gown with a fabric that is available in many colors. Start with 1 color that you love and start to work into a darker or lighter shade. It is that simple!

The long and the short of it:

When the wedding arrives, your bridesmaids will create a beautiful and elegant frame for you and your new husband. Different dress length can often be distracting to the eye and pull the focus from the couple. There are many ways to play with the mismatched bridesmaid look, but when it comes to hem length, we suggest picking just one.

The Mini-Mismatch:

Mixing up your bridesmaid style doesn’t have to mean everything is completely different. Even something as simple as different shoes, bouquets or jewelry can give your girls an opportunity to show off their personalities.

When putting together your bridesmaid style, there really are no rules. All you have to do is play with the options. Put fabrics, color and styles together until you are completely happy with the end result. Mismatching your girls is all about breaking the rules. So go ahead, be fearless!

From our Brides: 4 Ways to be the Worst Wedding Guest of all Time

It is wonderful to be able to celebrate your new Mrs. status with friends and family, but sometimes the combination of large numbers, varied personalities and high emotions can cause a little bit of stress along the way. When these moments happen, there are three things we want to remind you of.  1) You cannot please everyone. 2) There is always a solution. And 3) You’re not alone. We asked our brides to weigh in with their own personal experience dealing with difficult wedding guests.

Bride and Groom First Look

1) Dealing with the Narcissist:

“When family members who have conflict with each other make the day about them and their issues.” — Sarah Beth

If you have found yourself in this situation, we promise that you are not the first. Emotions and adrenaline are at an all time high at most weddings and this can sometimes cause tension. When diffusing a situation keep in mind that you want to make it better and not worse. If you let your emotions get the better of you. things will only escalate. With a level head and a calm voice, politely remind them why they are here today. Your wedding is a celebration of your relationship and it is OK to remind them of that.

2) Runaway guest list: “I can invite anyone I want to your wedding, right?”

Asking the morning of my wedding if you could bring your daughter, when you didn’t even bother to send your RSVP. And RSVP-ing for 3 when your invite specifically said to Mr and Mrs your name there.” — Michelle Flowers

There are 2 types of guests: 1) There was an unintentional miscommunication and your guest didn’t realize who exactly was invited. or 2) Your guest disregarded your wishes and didn’t think  a plus one was a big deal.

It is so important to be clear who the invitation is intended for. If you don’t feel like the names on the addressed envelope are clear enough, feel free to write the names out on their RSVP Card as well. This should help alleviate any miscommunication. If your RSVP mishap lands in the second category, ask yourself if it is a big deal. Do you have the space and the budget to have them there? Is it more of an annoyance than an inconvenience? If having extra person at your wedding is something you can deal with, consider letting it go and moving on. If having them there is not possible, a conversation is a great place to start. Explain to them that unfortunately you do not have any wiggle room with the guest count and although you wished more could attend, it is not possible at this time. And remember that asking is often more effective than demanding.

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3) Dealing with the Flake:

“We had a groomsmen back out the week of the wedding and then one of them “forgot” he was in the wedding all together.” — Ginny Raettig

Although situations like this are incredibly frustrating, they can often be the easiest to resolve. Many couples feel that it is really important to have an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. We are here to tell you that it is totally O.K to have an uneven bridal party. When you initially decided who you wanted to stand up with you, it was probably because they have been a key part of your life. Don’t feel pressured to find a replacement just for the sake of having a replacement. Sometimes the best solution is to let it go.

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4) Head Count:”RSVP’s are just a suggestion, right?”

“Not RSVP-ing or saying I don’t know yet but trying….” — Jamie Wieber

It can be as simple as asking your guests to send an RSVP email or click a button on your wedding website, but hunting down RSVP stragglers is just a part of the wedding planning process. That being said, there are a few ways to make it a little easier on yourself. A handy trick is to set the “please reply by:” date a few weeks before you really require a final head count. This will give some of the stragglers extra time to get their replies in and downsize the number of people you need to track down later.

Your day is about one very important thing, getting to say “I DO”. We know that planning a wedding comes with it’s up’s and down’s, but despite the fuss, it’s going to be worth it! We are so excited to be on this journey with you and helping to put those beautiful elements into your day. We know it’ going to be spectacular!

“None it was my day and everyone put all there problems aside and made it all about me my husband and six kids.” — Stephanie Hodgins

 

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How long will I need? – Your Guide to Timing your Wedding Day

Wondering how you will fit everything into your wedding day? We have a way to customize your timeline and create a solid plan.

Start with your wedding ceremony. Once you have a set start time, work backwards to create an outline for your wedding. Every wedding runs on a different time line, you can use this as a guide to bring the overall vision for your day to life. Once you have a general idea of what your timeline will look like, make sure you speak with your vendors. They are the pros and have done this many times. They will have a really good idea of how much time they will need to help create your perfect wedding day.

Vintage Wedding Couple

Hair and Makeup

A general rule of thumb for most hairstylists is 1.5 hours for the bride and 45 minutes for a bridesmaid. Talk to your girls about their hair in advance and get a couple of key pieces of information. Will your hair be staying about this length when the wedding rolls around? Will you be doing it up or down? By answering these 2 questions for each bridesmaid, your hairstylist will be able to provide you a more exact schedule for the morning of the wedding.

Most makeup artists will typically set aside 40-50 minutes for a bride and 25 -40 minutes for a bridesmaid. A  good question to ask your bridesmaids in advance is: Will you be wearing false eyelashes? As these take a bit more time to apply than regular mascara.

Getting Makeup done on Wedding Day

The Ceremony

A great starting point for your wedding ceremony is about 20-25 minutes. A wedding of this time-frame would include the following: Procession, opening words, a reading from a loved one, exchange of traditional vows, exchange of the rings, signing of the wedding licence, first kiss and the recession. If someone will be singing or you are having a unity sand ceremony, it is important to you than make sure to include that extra time in the traditional ceremony outline. Remember to speak to your officiant about time when you are planning the ceremony for the most accurate estimate.

Classic Wedding Ceremony

Featured here: Classic Wedding Theme

Photos

Make sure to meet with your photographer for a consultation closer to the wedding. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know them a little better, review times, addresses and a few shoot locations before the big day. Talk about a list of family photo combinations (ex: Bride’s parents with Bride and Groom. Brides parents with Bride, Groom and Siblings etc.) Your photographer will be able to call out the names and your family photos can be done in record breaking times! Once you have gone through the details of the day with your photographer, ask him/her for a time estimate. Keep in mind that you may need to cut out a location, or adjust a few things.

Bride posing for photo

The Reception

It is a good idea to set aside 1 hour for dinner. This will vary depending on the number of guests, and style of service (buffet/table service), but this is where your Master/Mistress of Ceremonies are going to be very important. They can keep an eye on things and once things start to settle down and everyone has eaten, they will be able to get things rolling for the program and speeches. If you are worried about how much time the speeches and toasts will take, just mention it in advance. Provide the speakers with a set time to keep their toast within. 3-5 minutes per speaker is a great starting point. It is very important that your Master/Mistress of Ceremonies are kept in the loop. Provide them with the plan for the evening so that they can keep their eyes on the clock and make sure everything moves along smoothly.

Here are some of our favorite tips to help you stay on time:

1) Delegate: If you’ve hired a wedding planner, they will be extremely helpful in moving the day along and sticking to the schedule. But don’t worry. You don’t need a wedding planner to stay on time. Speak to a reliable member of your bridal party or family member about helping in this area. If you provide them with the day-of schedule and ask them to help move things along, they will be able to keep an eye on the clock and make sure no one loses track of time.

2) Prioritize: Ask yourself “what is the most important part of the day?” Is it the photography? Is it having some alone time with your new husband? Once you have answered this question you will have a good idea of where to prioritize your time. It is also a really good idea to schedule in an extra 15 or 20 minutes for your most important item. Which brings us to our next tip!

3) Leave yourself a little wiggle room: Even the most organized of wedding days will often have a few unexpected surprises. The good news is that if you plan for them, they won’t be a problem. There are 2 ideal times to leave some”buffer space”. #1 is before the ceremony and #2 is after the ceremony. Leaving yourself an extra 20 – 30 minutes is sure to keep you on schedule and keep your guests happy.

 

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Real Wedding – Kevin & Diana

Today we are sharing one of our favorite Weddings from 2014. Kevin and Diana were married August 23 and was the epitome of elegance. The gorgeous Toronto Skyline and lake set the scene for a romantic outdoor ceremony. There was even a boat ride for the guests! This wedding had it all and we are so excited to show it off!

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James - Shtterhead Photography   & Don Kittle

Photos by : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography & Don Kittle

 

CREDITS:

Venue: Royal Canadian Yacht Club

Photographers : Tim James – Shutterhead Photography  www.shutterhead.ca

Don Kittle – www.kittle.ca
Flowers : Floral Werx & Decor www.floralwerx.com

Gown : Ellie Sanderson  www.elliesanderson.co.uk

Make-up: Maureen Greenstein at Mausmakeup  mausmakeup@rogers.com

Hair: Pam Butt

Wedding accessories : Weddingstar Inc.

 

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Take our Quiz: What is your Wedding Style?

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Every bride wants their wedding to be a unique reflection of their personality and style. Find your flair with this wedding style quiz. What kind of bride are you?

Light Up your Wedding

Lighting is so important when it comes to setting the mood. Candles and twinkle lights are usually the traditional choice when it comes to lighting up your wedding. You all know how much we love to add our twist on the traditional. Well, we have done it again! We are lighting up the blog with these incredibly cute LED lights. They come in many styles so they will fit any wedding theme. Plus, they are battery powered, so you can use them almost anywhere. This is one of our favorite décor accessories for 2015 and we know you are going to love them too.

lace lanterns3

Featured here: Mini Lace LED lanterns

Drape from your ceiling, table or displays. You can even lay them directly on your table to accentuate your centerpieces. These Mini LED lights are a huge must have for any wedding theme. So go ahead! Light up your wedding!

 

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5 Ways to Make Your Wedding Even More Meaningful

Every wedding is special and personal in its own way. And it is obvious that your wedding day is already going to be one of the most special and meaningful days of your lives. You are marrying your best friend, afterall! But we have a few ideas that might just take your wedding one step further. Here are 5 ways to make your day even more meaningful.

1) Introduce the bridal party yourselves

There are probably a few reasons that you asked your bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand up with you at your wedding. Each of them holds a special place in your lives. Rather than having your MC tell your guests what they mean to you, try telling them yourselves. Sharing a fond memory or how you became friends is even more special if it comes straight from you.

2) Having a loved one sing or play at your wedding

Music plays a huge role in weddings. Ask a friend or family member to play an instrument or sing a special song to bring you down the aisle, while your guests are arriving or while you sign your wedding license. It will be equally as special for them as it is for you and will create a special memory for you to look back on.

3) Have family time before the big day

If you ask any married couple, they will agree that the wedding day goes by incredibly quickly. Take some time to do something fun with your friends and family before the wedding day. Your out of town guests will appreciate the extra time with you and it is a great way for friends and family to meet before the big day.

4) Toast each table individually

The receiving line is a tradition that we are seeing less and less of. One of our favorite variations is to visit each table during the reception. Once dinner is starting to wind down there is usually some time before the speeches begin for you to make a loop with your new husband. By stopping at every table, it ensures that you will get a little bit of time with all your guests. It is a wonderful opportunity to personally thank them for coming and celebrating with you. It will mean a lot to your guests to be able to have some time with you and there are sure to be some good laughs along the way.

5) Unity sand ceremony

While a candle ceremony is beautiful and traditional, it leaves no permanent keepsake for the couple. The sand ceremony allows you to retain the memory of their special day for years to come. Combining the sand symbolizes the present and future  of two lives joined and forever inseparable. Every ceremony creates a different sand design that is unique like you as a couple. You can even personalize your vases and containers for an even more meaningful touch.

These 5 little touches are sure to create special moments that you will cherish for years to come! But, the best advice we can give you is to remember to keep it all in perspective. It is so easy to get swept up in the excitement and wedding plans that sometimes you just need to take a little step back. You are getting ready to celebrate the next chapter in your life as husband and wife. If you can remember WHY you are planning a wedding, that will be more meaningful than anything.

From Our Brides: 10 Pieces of Advice to Consider When Planning Your Wedding

This week we asked our brides to weigh in on our Facebook page.

We’ve chosen our top ten favorite, most valuable pieces of advice, as told by you, to consider when planning your wedding.

1)Make a list of everything you need to do and group them into what you have to do each month before your wedding. Use a couple of lists from different websites, then organize it in a way that works for you. Then only focus on what you have to do that month. Have a smaller list to focus on will help reduce the stress of everything you have to do.” — Sara Butkus

We have helped break down the average 12 month planning journey. If you have ever wondered when you need to buy what, we have a helpful list to ensure you stay on track. View our Buying Guide here.

2) “Dress, shoe shopping, hair and makeup pick yourself by yourself. It becomes a game of opinions and you may not end up with the results you want. — Shylah Karuks

When considering these details, it is a good idea to look at many different styles. Remember to keep an open mind because you just might surprise yourself! We have some great ideas on our Pinterest board if you are looking for somewhere to begin.

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3) “Planning a wedding is stressful enough. Your girls are there to support you and help you keep everything in check so you have less to worry about. Delegate duties to your bridesmaids and anyone else willing to help your plans and you. Stick to your plans and your choices. This is you and your future husband’s day and No one else’s.— Tricia Ann Chubb

If you are having a hard time asking for help, try to ask yourself “why?” You might be nervous about losing control of your vision or maybe you are afraid to bother anyone. It is important to remember that your bridesmaids and family care about you a lot and want to help make your day a success. Try starting with something small. You might find that planning gets easier with extra sets of hands.

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4) “Get a binder and make a list of what you need to get and mark it off once it is done. Keep guest lists and anything you are needing for the wedding all together in one binder. It is helping me A LOT. — Jess Woodward

It is important to pick a system that works best for you. Spreadsheets, lists, wedding apps and binders can be great assets to your planning. Find a way to keep everything together and you will be on your way to a smooth engagement.

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Featured here: Rustic Wood Pencils

5) “I have defiantly learned a lot planning our wedding but I wish earlier on I knew about hidden prices in venues. I almost got ripped off at our first choice because they didn’t want to tell us until they signed until I requested I knew all before signing. We found a venue with all the fees laid flat out beforehand. Be careful of any hidden fees or extra costs from venues and even vendors. It’s defiantly helped me keep a eye out when picking things now. — Desiree Diamond

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Wedding vendors are experts in their field and have a lot of helpful information. The more you know, the more prepared you will be.

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6) I wish I knew how many little details went into planning and how much every little thing costs. You put wedding in front of anything and the cost doubles!! Advice: really do your research before you do ANYTHING. get prices. And certain themes cost more. Pick a theme that will go with your budget. I never knew this!! Good luck to future planners. — Taya Gorissen

Creating your wedding budget can be tricky business. That is why we have put together the Weddingstar-Budget-Planning-Document. Just place a few details in the cells and watch as it automatically gives you a guideline for your spending!

personalizing your wedding

Featured here: Vintage Wedding Theme

7) Remember to breath, enjoy planning your wedding. Once your wedding day arrives, it is over in a flash with barely enough time for you to realize what has happened! Also, make a conscious effort to walk around to every table at the reception and thank everyone for making it to your big day – it goes a long way. — Valerie Richards

We really cannot stress enough how much organization helps. Try to do as much as you can in advance so that little things don’t creep up on you at the end. It will help your stress level stay low and keep things running smoothly.

8) When you think you’ve found the dress, sleep on it! You might realize the next day that you were so fixated on one part of the dress that you realized you didn’t like another part. — Lauren Connors

This tip is very useful in other areas as well. When it comes to the big decisions like color palette and theme, take a few days or even a couple of weeks before making your final decision. If it is still perfect for your day, then you will know it is the right decision.

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9) Make sure you put personal touches on your wedding! A “pinterest-perfect wedding” can be beautiful, but don’t forget to add some details that are uniquely you! It will set your wedding apart from the rest and make it really memorable for you and your guests.” — Jade Demers

Don’t be afraid to break tradition or bend the rules a little. If something isn’t your style, then make a few adjustments along the way. You and your husband are unique as a couple and your wedding is a wonderful chance to celebrate that.

10) Postage is expensive! Remember that! lol — Tanya O’Connor

Make sure to check the price of stamps beforehand. Visit your postal service’s website or even take an invitation to the post office. They will be able to weigh and measure it to tell you exactly what it will cost. It is always a good idea to try and avoid any surprises with your wedding budget.

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