The day that my best friend and I have talked about for years is just a few short months away. It’s absolutely crazy. Can you guess what it is? Yep, my best friend is getting married and I’m her Maid of Honor. I could not be more excited and happy for her. So today I’m showing off some bridesmaid looks from Millybridal UK, an online shop for bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses and other formal wear.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself at plenty of weddings and also in several weddings over the last several years. I suppose it’s because I’m 29 and everyone but myself (okay that’s an exaggeration) is getting hitched. The thing is, I’m not one of those bitter people. I really, REALLY love weddings. I love wearing dresses and love any excuse to wear one! Furthermore, when my friends ask me to be their bridesmaid, I’m overjoyed. I love being there for my friends and helping them in any way I can.
So when Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood approached me about a wedding style collaboration, I of course said yes. In fact, there are six of us collaborating today! This dress is absolutely perfect for a wedding and in a less-expected color: green! I love dark green and feel like I look best in it, so I had to order this from Modcloth. In fact, I had been eyeing it for about a year before purchasing it.
Happy Friday! High fives all around because we have made it! Friday is here which means the weekend is also almost here.
Last week I did a collaboration with my friend Jena at Imbue by J.Russo. She designs beautiful jewelry aimed at brides and bridesmaids. I was recently a bridesmaid in my friend Sara’s wedding (read blog post here) and thus have a beautiful, full-length bridesmaid dress sitting in my closet. I might as well use it for a blog photoshoot, right?
Jena just came out with a new line called the Siren Collection. These pieces are from that collection. Her aim in creating jewelry is to make pieces women can wear on their big day and every day. Wearable bridal jewelry … amazing. So today I give you the five pieces both Jena and I are gushing over.
1. The Melusine Earrings
I just love these earrings. I have always been an earring girl. You’d be hard-pressed to find me not wearing a set of earrings on any given day.
Also it was just too perfect that the color scheme of her new line matched the color my friend Sara chose last fall. These earrings can be customized several different ways that you can learn about here. Also 5% of the proceeds from this piece and all her creations go to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
2. The Sirenia Earrings
I love a good pair of earrings. What I particularly love about these ones are how unique they are. This design is not something you can necessarily find everywhere. The three points at the bottom remind me of something sort of nautical. It’s fitting because they are inspired by the seductive nature of mermaids, according to the Imbue wesbite. These are made with elegant Swarovski crystals. You can learn more about this product here.
3. The Quartz and Pearl Necklace
This necklace has the right mixture of elegance and flair. It’s just the right amount of edgy for that bride who wants to be unique on her big day.
You can learn more about this necklace here.
4. The Thessa Necklace
This is another very unique piece. It goes perfectly with a dress with a low neckline. The great thing about the Versa dress is that you can create whatever neckline you want!
5. The Sirenia Necklace
This may have been my favorite necklace. It pairs so well with the earrings. You can learn more about it here.
There’s even a little part on your back! This would be perfect for a bride with an elegant up-do for her big day.
But wait, there’s more …
We have a sixth look that is amazing. We’re reserving this look just for our loyal e-mail subscribers. But you can be an e-mail subscriber too!
Click here to get an exclusive look at the sixth look with the Sirenia Harness.
Also today were linking up with:
Bright on a Budget, KT Cup of Tea, Della Devoted, The Closet by Christie, Life in Leggings, Style Elixir, Two Thirty-Five Designs, A little Bit of Everything, Liz Adventures, Hello Happiness, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely Paula
Hello all! So this was originally a Friday post. However between work, a social life and me-time, it is now a Sunday post. Either way, I always love taking the time to reflect on my week. This week has been great. I’ve had an old friend in town and so many things to do. Here are five reasons why it rocked.
1. Sara got married
I met Sara my freshman year of college while volunteering one day. We both chose to spend our day off from orientation volunteering. I suppose that right there makes us like-minded people who always want to make the world better. Our college had all these places we could sign up to volunteer at and we chose the Girl Scouts. While there, they told us we could run a troop if we wanted. At the time, that sounded great so we said “sure!” In reality, we really did not have enough time. But it was what made us friends. Ten years later and we’re still friends.
When Sara asked me to be in her wedding, I was thrilled. The whole thing was an amazing weekend. The three other ladies she picked as her bridesmaids were just amazing people. We all got along so well and were simply happy to be there for Sara.
2. Cece was in town
Another one of my best friends Cece was in town. We hung out twice last week. She lives in Chicago, so I’ll take all the seeing-of-her that I can get! We had a ridiculous photoshoot by a bog and a lake. She’s probably the funniest person I know. She kept saying “bog blog.” Here are a few of the more ridiculous photos:
I managed to keep a lipstick I like for longer than three days! Maybe I’ll even use this one up one day!
4. Lunch with Tif
Okay so this happened longer than a week ago, but while I was in town for Sara’s wedding I met up with Tif from Bright on a Budget. She’s sort of the reason I write these posts. I discovered her link-up back in the fall and was like “why am I not doing that?” So now I am. It was good to connect. She’s very genuinely nice and down-to-earth.
5. My GwynnieBee dress
I just love this one. I may try to keep it.
This Saturday was the reveal of two secrets for one of my best friends from college. Sara and I met 10 years ago as freshmen at WKU. It’s crazy how time flies. I was thrilled when she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. As such, part of the fun is the wedding shower, which was this past Saturday in Danville, Kentucky.
Secret number 1
Secret number one was initially birthed when I wrote about my friend Megan’s business Hang it Up Hangers. She designs these personalized wedding dress hangers that look amazing in photos the day of and make for a great keepsake for years to come. This was back in November just as Sara was beginning the wedding planning crunch. In conversation the hangers came up. She said something to the effect of “they look great but I cannot justify spending money on something that is not as essential as other things.” I get it … weddings are expensive. However the great thing about being a bridesmaid is that you can get those more splurge-y items for the bride.
Secret number 2
Secret number two was a surprise in person-form. Her maid of honor is her grad school pal Katie. Katie also lives in Denver, Colorado and thus Sara didn’t want to make her feel as though she needed to fly out to Kentucky for a 2-4 hour event. Katie, however, thought it would be especially neat if she surprised her. So she let myself, Sara’s fiance and Sara’s future sister-in-law in on the big secret. She flew into the Cincinnati airport Friday night and stayed at my house.
Saturday morning we drove down to Lexington to meet Sara and Brandon for brunch at Cracker Barrel. We decided to heighten the surprise by having Katie nonchalantly sit down about five minutes after Sara arrived. I even had the wait staff in on the surprise as I told them “I want a table for four but make it seem like it’s a table for three.” They were great. So Katie just walks in and sits down. Katie said the look on Sara’s face was worth the whole trip. She was so surprised.
After brunch we headed out to Danville where Sara’s future aunt-in-law lives. When it came time to open the hanger, she was so surprised and excited as well.
I love how detailed Megan is in her work. The reason Sara wore this sweater is because teal is one of her wedding colors. Megan did an excellent job at matching the flower color. The letters also of course look amazing. To learn more visit her Etsy shop here.
Overall operation Surprise Sara was a success. Now onto planning that bachelorette party which will be full of more Sara surprises …
It all started with her own wedding several years ago. Megan Knapke was marrying her college sweetheart and was doing all sorts of DIY stuff for decorations and other things. She stumbled upon customized dress hangers, but didn’t have the time to make one for herself. However she liked the idea and kept it with her.
As time went on, other friends of hers got married and she started making hangers as wedding shower gifts. Everyone loved them. The idea is simple and yet so very personal. She simply took a wooden hanger, some wire, a flower and heavy-duty glue, and created something very special. The wire gets fashioned into the bride’s new name such as “Mrs. Jones” and the date of the wedding. This simple touch looks great in photos and gives the bride something special to hang her dress up with post-wedding as well.
This popularity led her to where she is today. She now has her own Etsy store called Hang it Up Hangers and makes about 15-20 customized hangers a month for people all across the country. In addition to making hangers for brides, she also makes smaller hangers for children. While a majority of business is for brides, she will make a hanger for any occasion. For example, she has made a hangers for a graduation, someone’s mom and cheerleading.
For Megan, the best thing is the freedom that comes with running her own business.
“It gives me the ability to do what I want when I want,” she said.
In some ways, Megan admits to being traditional when it comes to a family. She would love to be able to stay home with her future children but would still love to work while doing it. This work-from-home business gives her that freedom and flexibility. She also likes to joke with her husband who majored in entrepreneurship about how she’s the first to start her own business.
Through talking with Megan, it was evident how empowering owning a business is to her. She’s able to have ownership over something in a positive way, which she loves. Over the years, she admits she’s struggled to feel like she’s really good at something. I know this feeling well, and I feel like so many other women do. We are often our own worst critics. These hangers, however, take a great deal of detail work and practice. Not everyone is as crafty or talented as Megan. This business has really helped her to see her own talents and skills as they are.
Looking forward, Megan will be a part of a bridal show in January, something she is excited about. Also, each quarter she sends a portion of her profits to a non-profit doing great work. Last quarter, the portion went to Determined to Develop, an organization in Malawi that a friend of her’s started. She loves the ability she has to give back.
The hangers range from $16-$30 depending on size and whether you have one line of writing or two. Check out her Etsy store here.
A few days ago, I recieved a very thoughtful e-mail from my friend Sara. This coming April, Sara is getting married and I’m one of her bridesmaids. Sara and I met 10 years ago in our freshman year at Western Kentucky University. I’m excited to be a part of the wedding! As most of you can guess, bridesmaid dress shopping is very exciting to me! (however my favorite part of being a bridesmaid is the bachelorette party, but that’s a story for another time …)
The other women in the wedding are friends from grad school and her future sister-in-law, women I have yet to meet. The e-mail was a bcc to myself and the other bridesmaids. She asked us several questions:
– Do we want a short or long dress?
– What is our budget?
– Would we rather rent or buy a dress?
Looking back, even the bcc part was thoughtful. What if all the women started replying to the whole group and one was too embarrassed to admit her budget was lower than the rest? This way, our only option was to reply to Sara, allowing our answers to be completely between she and each bridesmaid. Kudos to Sara! I’m also not surprised as Sara is very detail-oriented with everything she does.
Bridesmaid dress shopping can be fun but also stressful. I’ve outlined several tips for both the bride and the bridesmaid.
1. Understand that not all your bridesmaids are made of money. While you may like that $400 designer dress, understand that even if they will wear it again, it will probably only be once or twice. Open communication before dress shopping is key.
2. Pick something they can wear again. Even if they’re not spending $400 on their dress, a bridesmaid dress is usually more expensive than your regular dress. A classic, timeless dress is nice not only for this reason but for when you look back at your wedding photos years down the road. Trends are called trends for a reason.
3. Don’t decide on something before you see at least a few of them try it on. I was in a wedding about two years ago (pictured above in a beautiful dark pink dress … affordable and timeless) and we decided on the dress together with the bride. Myself, the bride, her sister (Maid of Honor) and her mom all went to David’s Bridal. I remember gettimg stuck in one dress. That was a no. Then we found these pink ones which seemed to flatter all body types. Her two cousins (pictured on either side of me) did not live nearby, so the dress details were sent to their local David’s Bridal. Having the input of at least a few of your bridesmaids can help.
1. Understand that the dress will cost some money. My pink dress above was $168. A good ballpark is $150-$200. If you think about it, your average woman is probably going to be in 3-5 weddings in her life. So while this is an expense, for me it’s an expense I’ll gladly spend for my friends. However not all brides have their bridesmaids in typical bridesmaid dresses. Some pick a color and let them choose. It’s really just all up to the bride.
2. Understand that this is her day. She may pick something you’re not the biggest fan of. I am a fan of being open about your concerns, but if she’s super set on a dress, you’ll just have to go with it. On the bright side, it’s only one day and it’s not your big day.
3. Be open and honest up front. The last thing a bride needs on her wedding day or in the few weeks before is your bottled up feelings about stuff. As a bridesmaid, anything you can do to alleviate her stress, the better. That is part of your job. So if your bride is not as up front as Sara has been (thanks Sara!), then go ahead and take the initiative. Chances are if she asked you to be a bridesmaid, she cares about you and your feelings.
Are you a bride? Are you a bridesmaid? Have you been one or both in the past? I have never been a bride, so I do not claim to have all the answers. What tips would you have?