How Many Bridesmaids Are Too Many Bridesmaids?

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Photo by Julia Fenner

Figuring out how many bridesmaids to choose (let alone who to choose) can get stressful. Sometimes choosing bridesmaids can feel like you’re the captain of the kickball team looking at a crowd of eligible players, trying to choose the top 5 or 10 for your team. But just because you have a lot of close friends or family members, doesn’t mean they all need to stand by your side on your wedding day. They can be there for you in other ways that don’t require a hand-picked chiffon dress or a rehearsed gallop down the aisle. If you find yourself breaking out in a stress sweat over how many bridesmaids to choose, remember these four rules for choosing your bridesmaids.

4 Rules for Deciding How Many Bridesmaids to Have

  1. There’s No “Right” Bridesmaid Number

You don’t need a certain number of bridesmaids. You don’t have to choose an odd number or an even number or a certain number, like five, because you’ve seen that most people on your Facebook timeline have selected that amount. It’s not a numbers game and there’s certainly no rule of thumb you should abide by when it comes to how many women (or men) to lead the way for you down the aisle.

  1. Don’t Feel Pressure to Have the Same Amount of Bridesmaids as Groomsmen

You also don’t need to have the same number of bridesmaids as your fiancé has groomsmen. The only time anyone will notice that you have less bridesmaids than he has groomsmen, is when it’s time to walk down the aisle. Which, by the way, no one really pays much attention to because their sitting their fidgeting with excitement, waiting for you to walk down the aisle. If you’re nervous about your pictures looking off with an uneven number, ask the photographer to stage different setups and poses for the pictures so that it’s not just a straight line of people standing beside one another.

  1. Just Because Someone Chose You as a Bridesmaid Doesn’t Mean You Have to Choose Them

If you’re picking your bridesmaids based on who has picked you in the past, you may have over 20 bridesmaids (this is a shout-out for us “always-a-bridesmaid” girls). You don’t have to grace someone with the bridesmaid honor just because they graced you. If you’re still close with them, go for it! If you haven’t spoken in two years, it may be a little awkward rekindling your friendship during your wedding adventure.

  1. It’s Okay to Not Have AnyBridesmaids—Or Include a Bridesman Instead

You absolutely don’t have to have any bridesmaids at all. There’s no cardinal rule about how many bridesmaids you should have. It’s just an age-old tradition, and you can still have a booming bachelorette party and invite all your gal-pals—they may even be happier in the long run that you saved them from having to shell out a clump of cash to buy a bridesmaid dress they are never going to wear again! On the other hand, have a guy in your life that you can’t imagine leaving out? By all means—bestow the “bridesman” title upon him and add him to the group.

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Lauren Methia Photography

You’re the social butterfly of your clique and always like to keep a gaggle of girls (or guys) around you to ham it up with. Your motto in life is to work hard, play hard and that you do! After a long day at the office, you can either be found partaking in happy hour, meeting up with your meetup group or hosting a dinner party with your besties and their significant others too. You’re charming and utterly irresistible so it’s no wonder people are naturally drawn to your bubbly energy.

7 to 9 Bridesmaids

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Photo by Ashley Caroline

You’re a modern day nomad with besties scattered all across the country. Some may say you’re indecisive, but your friends mean the world to you, and there’s no way you could picture saying I do without them all standing by your side. You jump at the chance to take girls’ vacays and enjoy gossiping about everything from celebrities to fashion to fiancé with them. Others would describe you as outgoing, fun to be around and even the life of the party from time to time.

4 to 6 Bridesmaids

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Piper Rastello Photography

While you love socializing and hanging out with your friends, you also like your alone time and can get overwhelmed when there’s too many people around at once. Your bridal party most likely consists of your sister or or sister-in-law, your BFF since childhood and a few other ladies you’ve know for years and are currently still close to. You may have been a dancing machine in your single days, but now you enjoy drinks and dinner (and brunch, of course) with the girls on the weekend.

1 to 3 Bridesmaids

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You couldn’t decide between your group of girls so you simply opted to ask only your bestie or your sister (or both) instead. That doesn’t mean you won’t have some of the rest of your squad stop by for a quick champagne toast before the ceremony, or hit the dance floor together at the reception. You’re fiercely loyal, all about family and would do anything for the people you love in your life. In your free time, you like nothing more than hitting up a local museum, going to an art show or even checking out your favorite up-and-coming band at a dive bar. On the other hand, you’re also completely happy having a movie night in with your man.

No Bridesmaids

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Melina Wallisch Photography

You march to the beat of your own drum, and as far as tradition goes, you’re certainly not afraid to break with it. Of course, you have several close friends you could ask, but your wedding is small and you really want the focus to be on you and your fiancé. That’s not to say you like being the center of attention though; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Small talk totally isn’t your thing, as you much prefer deep conversations to mindless chitchat.

 

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9 Mini Cocktail Hour Food Pairings that Taste as Good as They Look

By Heather Lee

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Photo by Volvoreta

Go ahead, play with your wedding food! A guaranteed way to impress your guests at your reception is by serving mini cocktail hour food pairings—and yes, you read that correctly. Believe it or not, your cocktail hour is an opportunity to really have fun with your menu options, so take it to the next level by offering bite-sized versions of your favorite food and drink combinations. Mini tacos? We’ll have three. A tiny Bloody Mary? Don’t mind if we do.With Finger food to munch on and pint-sized beverages to guzzle back, your hors d’oeuvre selections will be the talk of your nearest and dearest long after your wedding day. Plus, if you’re hosting this festivity before the wedding ceremony, mini cocktails and light bights ensure no one will be stumbling down the aisle. Here are a few delicious (and unexpected) pairings that are sure to make stomachs grumble and mouths water at your cocktail hour.

1. Fried Chicken + Rum and Coke

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Serve up some good old comfort food in style—scaled-down, that is. Go all mini everything, from the chicken itself to the Coke bottles to even the straws. Squeeze in a dash of rum and you’re all set. This is finger food we can all get behind.

2. Fried Clams + Bloody Mary

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Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography; Catering by Peter Callahan

For a seaside-inspired cocktail hour, all it takes is a little downsizing to completely revamp your nautical menu. Serve petite glasses of Bloody Mary, paired alongside mini fried clams in decorative oyster dishes. Stick a toothpick inside this cuisine for easier (and cleaner) consumption.

3. Tacos + Margaritas

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Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography; Catering by Peter Callahan

Don’t let size fool you—bite-sized tacos pack just as much of a punch, especially with a side of mini margarita to wash them down. Good luck limiting yourself to just one of these Mexican menu staples

4. Roast Beef Sliders + Beer

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Photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie

To ensure your favorite guilty pleasure meal goes from bar snack-status to truly glam and reception-ready, pair perfectly petite burgers with corresponding beer flights. A slider of mini proportions means a more efficient, mess-free way of getting your grub on. We’ll have seconds, please.

5. Cotton Candy + Champagne

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Nothing beats a sweet and bubbly combo, especially in perfectly pint-sized proportions. Guests can raise their glasses to toast to the happy couple at cocktail hour, but only after enjoying a small sugar fix. Bottoms up, mini fluffs of cotton candy and all.

6. Coffee + Doughnut Holes

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Photo by Love & Light Photographs

Bite-sized treats shouldn’t be limited to just the reception—they can even make an appearance at post-wedding brunch, as well. Definitely don’t skimp out on hefty coffee portions (especially for guests who took a little too much advantage of the open bar), but do toss in a few doughnut holes served on decorative sticks. This pairing takes everyone’s go-to cup of joe and favorite round confection to new heights.

7. Baby Burgers + Bourbon

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Photo by Kate Headley, Catering by Occasions Caterers

When you’’re dressed in your finest, the last thing you need is a sloppy sandwich. Enter the mini version—, like this one from D.C.-based Occasions Caterers—, with all the flavor, none of the mess. Chase down the burgers with shots of your favorite bourbon or whiskey.

7. Sundaes + Soda

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Photo by Con Poulos, Catering by Peter Callahan

I like to shrink favorite iconic foods to bize-size treats”,” says New York City– based caterer Peter Callahan. To make petite banana splits feel ice cream– parlor authentic, he serves them in footed glass dishes. Pair with a classic fountain drink (and add a shot of liquor for a boozy version).

8. Mini Pops + Prosecco

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Photo by The Great Romance, Catering by Hungry Bear Catering

Take a cue from L.A.’‘s Hungry Bear Catering and serve a boozy, grown-up version of Popsicles at cocktail hour. It’s both your dessert and your drink, all in one. Added bonus: The champagne flutes catch any drips.

9. Hot Dogs + Pickles (+ Beer!)

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Photo by Josh Gruetzmacher, Catering by Betty Zlatchin Catering

Small versions of foods like hot dogs feel sophisticated and personalized. “We customize menus based on the couples favorite foods”,” says San Francisco caterer David Zlatchin of Betty Zlatchin Catering. For the drink, go with a classic American IPA or other light, crisp beer.

 

 

 

 

Everything a Bride Needs to Know About Hosting a Daytime Wedding

By Jaimie Mackey

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Jasmine Lee

While the most popular time for a wedding is a Saturday evening, there’s no rule saying you can’t get married at other times of day. In fact, considering alternative times can actually save you a good amount of money and give you some flexibility when it comes to the type of event you’d like to have. So why not kick off a weekend of celebration with a daytime wedding instead of waiting until 6 p.m.? We’ve rounded up the most common questions surrounding a midday wedding and turned to our experts for the answers.

What should our timeline look like?

The biggest difference between a daytime and evening wedding is, of course, the timing. A couple can easily spend an entire day getting ready for their 5 p.m. ceremony, so bumping that up to 11 a.m. means getting creative with timing—and probably a very early start. Counting backward from 11 a.m., you’ll want to leave for your ceremony at 10:15, which means putting on your dress at 10. Allocate two hours for your hair and makeup (not including the bridesmaids!), which means the bride will need to be in the makeup chair by 8 a.m. To make sure you have a little time to wake up, shower, and relax with your friends, that alarm will be ringing at 6!

After the ceremony, you can skip cocktail hour and go straight to the meal you’ve planned at around 11:45. Guests should be wrapping up their meal around 1 p.m., and you can follow that with dancing, mingling, or another activity. Don’t forget to cut the cake! Your grand exit could be at 2:45 p.m., or if you’re planning to entertain guests for the afternoon, you can push it back as far as 4:30.

Do we have to provide evening entertainment?

Once your daytime wedding is over, there’s no obligation to entertain your guests for the rest of the evening. You may, however, want to offer some ideas for those who are in town for the weekend. Suggest activities (like local museums or sporting events) for the afternoon, provide a list of your favorite restaurants for dinner, and consider asking everyone to meet up at your favorite bar for a drink and another chance to toast.

What should we do after the wedding?

When it comes to the newlyweds’ afternoon, the sky is the limit! Book appointments at the hotel spa, take a nap in your honeymoon suite, or spend the evening with friends. We love the idea of an intimate celebratory dinner, either just for two or with your immediate families.

Can it still be a formal celebration?

Yes! Your daytime wedding can be as casual or as formal as you want. Of course, formal during the day isn’t quite the same as white tie at night, so don’t expect guests in ball gowns. You can, of course, still send formal invitations, use traditional wedding wording, and have a formal plated meal (think tablecloths and French service).

What should we wear?

Most couples having a daytime wedding opt for a slightly lighter and less formal version of traditional wedding attire. For a man, that might be a suit in gray or blue instead of black (or a morning coat instead of a formal tuxedo). For a woman, a traditional wedding gown is still the go-to, though often with a more relaxed silhouette (think A-line instead of ball gown) and fewer embellishments.

What should guests wear?

Your guests’ attire will depend on the formality you choose for the event, though they, like the couple, may opt for lighter colors and fabrics. Women might wear a skirt suit, a formal sundress, or daytime-appropriate cocktail attire. Men should wear suits (again, in a color other than black), and for a truly formal daytime wedding, should opt for a morning suit.

 

 

How to Have a Wedding Morning That’s All Chill and Zero Drama…

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Jenny Fu

Have food figured out.

Don’t wait until you’re half made-up and hangry to send someone out in search of snacks (vending-machine Peanut M&Ms are not going to have you feeling like your best self, protein notwithstanding). Whether you’re getting ready at a hotel or at home, eliminate any guesswork and hassle by pre-ordering breakfast/brunch for delivery or to be picked up by a family member; pay when you place the order to nix one more day-of logistic. You could assign out food strategizing to a reliable bridesmaid. Either way, “this will alleviate a lot of stress,” Keegan says. “It’s so important that everyone, including the couple, eats before the day really gets started.” Planning what you’ll eat beforehand also allows you to choose foods that will keep you energized even if you’re too jittery to eat later on—ideally, something with protein and complex carbs. Pre-think your drinks, too: Janelle had plenty of snacks on hand for her MVPs, as well as Rosa Regale sparkling red by Banfi, which, at 7 percent alcohol by volume, is light enough that everyone can enjoy a glass or two before walking down the aisle.

Have these items at the ready.

Speaking of headaches, don’t forget to have your wedding emergency kit at the ready, packed with items that will help avert mini disasters during your busy morning. Think tampons, Advil and Pepto, garment tape, a blister stick, safety pins, instant stain remover, a sewing kit. Assembling it is a fun scavenger hunt you could assign to an eager bridesmaid or mom. Two more potentially life-saving items to pack: a hand-held steamer and a power strip, for when 52 phones and hair appliances need to be plugged in and your hotel suite has 6 outlets.

Hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.

Even if you’re having a destination wedding and getting ready at the hotel, your door needn’t be open to every relative and long-lost friend who’s eager to say hello. “The only people we suggest having access to the ‘getting-ready room’ are those getting hair and makeup done,” Keegan says. “It can be too overwhelming and stressful if other friends and family come in and out. You should feel free to maintain a relaxing and stress-free environment in the morning, as the rest of the day is going to be quite overwhelming.”

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Jenny Fu

Set the tone with the right music.

Don’t underestimate the power of a great wedding-morning playlist—it’s the best way to get everyone in the mood to celebrate and help keep the happy vibes flowing, even when someone’s hair tendrils won’t cooperate, or a strapless bra goes missing. Think upbeat but non-distracting (this is no time to deplete your energy/voice by belting out power ballads). With so many pre-mixed playlists to stream, you don’t even have to spend time creating your own unless you’ll enjoy that. “On Spotify I love Yacht Rock or Budda Bar, depending on what mood everyone is in—both are fun yet easy listening,” Keegan says.

 

Are you planning a destination wedding?

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With stunning locations, luxurious guest accommodations, and activities for all ages, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts have everything couples love. With packages designed exclusively for Palladium by celebrity wedding planner Karen Bussen, wedding preparations will be as enjoyable as they are elegant. An expert in design, flowers, food, wine and hospitality, her professionalism comes guaranteed by a wide range of experience working in New York and organizing events for celebrities and famous names in the world of business. Palldium offers a variety of international cuisine and design styles, so that every aspect of your day will be catered to your vision.

Visit: PalladiumWeddings.com

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