by: Adair

[Editor’s Note: Although at ELD we typically share tips for couples planning their wedding, the bridal party is an integral part of the day too, and so we’re excited to be sharing a few tips and insight with you all today on how to be the BEST bridesmaid for your bride!]

As a wedding planner, I’ve interacted with lots of brides and their bridesmaids- and I’ve been one a few times myself too! Some of my brides have had bridesmaids that were less than helpful, and some have had bridesmaids that were AWESOME. So today I’m using my experience of being on both sides of the bridesmaid’s dress to share a few tips on how you can be the “best” bridesmaid… or at least just a helpful one!

How To Be The BEST Bridesmaid (Or at least a helpful one) via TheELD.com

 Image by Hunter Ryan Photo

1. Always be supportive.

It’s a pretty common notion that bridesmaids should help the bride out in some way, shape, or form. The least you can do is be supportive of her. Even if you hate the idea of a flash mob entrance or you are walking down the aisle with her smelly cousin who has always had a thing for you… be supportive. Put your big girl panties on and suck it up for a few months during the planning process and on the wedding day. The. End.

2. Gifting.

There will be a lot of parties throughout the whole wedding process, but don’t feel like you have to bring a huge gift to each one! Simply bring a card and if you are contributing in other ways, she will definitely know that! But, if you are still trying to come up with the perfect gift, think of something she will need for the week of the wedding- a mani/pedi date, a massage, or even a “something borrowed or something blue”. Another option would be gift your bride with a special detail for the wedding day- this sequin hanger is one of our favorites!

3. A plus one...

Let me break this down really quickly. Are you married? Do you have a Fiancé? If you answered yes to either of those questions then yes, you absolutely get a plus one. If you are single or have only been dating your guy for a few months, don’t be upset when you don’t get to bring them. The advice I typically give a bride is, “If you wouldn’t give a particular guest a $150.00 gift certificate for Christmas, then they shouldn’t get an invitation either.” Harsh? Maybe. But it is your friend’s day and you need to respect that when it comes down to it, it’s money being spent on those who are closest to them.

4. Have an Emergency Kit!

Even if your bride has a wedding planner, he or she might not be with you the whole time you’re getting ready, and the emergency kit the planner has won’t be available to you until you get to the venue! I would suggest that you chat with the other girls and either take on the task of creating a little emergency kit yourself, or elect someone else to so you can steer clear of any casualties earlier in the day. A few things to include: tampons, Tylenol, dry shampoo, clear nail polish, double sided table, straws, tissues, safety pins and wipes. Basically clean out the travel size area at your local Target!

How To Be The BEST Bridesmaid (Or at least a helpful one) via TheELD.com

Image via Hey Gorgeous Events

5. EAT!

Without fail, everyone always forgets to eat (or just doesn’t do it) while getting ready for a wedding, and then they are starving by the time the ceremony comes around. You are an adult who most likely likes to eat lunch around 12 or 1 every day. Remember that and be the one to order food for the whole group, or make a plan the day before for what you all will be having for lunch.

6. Timing is Everything!

Be on time for your hair and makeup appointments in the morning- and for goodness sakes ladies, please stay till the end of the wedding. That may sound easy enough, but a wedding day is a LONG one. You will be wiped out and your significant other will be begging you to leave, but you need to stay. The bride may need you (IE help in the bathroom for one last potty break) and chances are she will hold it against you if you leave. After such a great day we don’t want to end it with a grudge being formed, do we?

7. Don’t be a brat to the Wedding Planner.

Your friend hired the wedding planner, not you. It’s not a good idea to boss the wedding planner around and tell her what to do. Chances are good that if there is some kind of issue, she is already aware of it and is doing her best to take care of it. Also, don’t comment that something hasn’t been set correctly or put out yet when there are still 2 hours to go until the ceremony or reception. There are so many things going on behind the scenes of a wedding and the wedding planner is being pulled in 12 different directions, but it’s her job and she knows what she’s doing. Truth be told, if she ends up needing your help, she will ask you.


So there you have it! A few of my tips for being the BEST bridesmaid… and they’re pretty darn easy, don’t you think? This time (hopefully) will only come once for your friend, and the fact that she wants you to be there by her side throughout it is something really special. We hope you will enjoy it!

Have any other tips to add?

Feel free to share your suggestions below! 



by: Lauren

Today’s California vineyard wedding comes to us from Blueberry Photography and is full of vibrant shades of purple, lush florals, and gorgeous vineyard views. Drawing their color inspiration from a simple package of candles from Ikea, Amelia and Brett wanted their wedding to be a reflection of themselves. A love for wine, signature cocktails with names reminiscent of how they met, and incorporating florals with driftwood are just a few of the ways that Amelia and Brett created their perfect wedding day. Amelia is here with us today sharing more insight into her planning, so scroll on to see and find out more!

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

I was pleasantly surprised by how involved Brett wanted to be in the planning process. We love throwing parties for our friends, so we decided that our wedding was an opportunity for the biggest party we’ll ever throw! He came to every single vendor meeting, ran countless errands, and even spent an entire holiday weekend assembling invitations with me. I couldn’t ask for a better partner!

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

I’ve been in the event planning industry for 5+ years and it’s always really important to me that I hire people who I not only like on a personal level but who also truly love what they do. I feel so fortunate to have worked with such an amazing group of people on our wedding. Everything was above and beyond what I had imagined, and there’s no way it could have all come together without their expertise and hard work!

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

I love color! When we settled on a November wedding date, I knew I wanted rich palate to complement the season and also help bring some life to the ceremony site. Inspiration struck me from a package of Ikea candles. I loved the shades of the vibrant purples!

It was really important to me that all the bridesmaids had a dress that they felt beautiful wearing. I love when things don’t match…I think it comes from growing up wearing a school uniform! Each bridesmaid chose her own dress and shade of purple. I think it helped create a fresh, interesting palate while allowing each girl to have a dress that she will hopefully wear again.

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Our florist Nicole Ha helped us to really combine our styles and focus on a cohesive design. Brett loves succulents, driftwoods and neutrals…while I love bright colors, lush florals, and anything that sparkles! Nicole pulled inspiration from both sides and helped us create a beautiful day. And as an added bonus, the succulents from my bouquet are lovely in our yard!

I think there are so many little details that can make an event personal. Brett and I both really wanted our day to be a reflection of us. We love wine, so a winery wedding was a no brainer. We wrote our own vows and worked with a fabulous officiant who created a ceremony that was very “us”. Our signature cocktails were named after his fraternity and my sorority, which is how we met. On the reply card, we asked our guests what songs would get them out on the dance floor and incorporated as many as possible. We have always dreamed of owning a VW Van and it made the perfect getaway car! (Fun fact – I was so determined to surprise Brett with the van that I had been leaving notes on cars that I had seen and had posted multiple ads on Craigslist. He ended up finding Vantigo, which ended up being a much better option. If you’re ever in San Francisco, they host some rad tours!)

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

Having all of our friends and family together was the best part of the day – besides marrying Brett of course!

Vibrant Purple California Vineyard Wedding via TheELD.com Vibrant Purple California Vineyard Wedding via TheELD.com

What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Make a budget and stick to it. Sit down together and decide which parts of the wedding are most important to you, and scale your budget accordingly. Don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money to have a great wedding!

Oh I love Amelia’s color selection, and that Brett was so involved in the planning process! I think their teamwork made for one absolutely amazing wedding, don’t you?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Blueberry Photography / Reception Venue: Palm Event Center in the Vineyard / Flowers & Decor: Nicole Ha Designs / Linens: Napa Valley Linens / Vintage Furniture Rentals: Milkglass Vintage Rentals / Lighting: Enhanced Lighting / Invitations & Stationery: Minted / Cake Baker: Sweet Tooth Confections / Bride’s Dress: Haute Bride / Bride's Accessories: Haute Bride / Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy / Bridesmaid Accessories: Rent the Runway / Hair & Makeup: Professional Makeup Artistry (Maria Chang) / DJ & Photo Booth: Fantasy Sound Event Services / Ceremony Officiant: Chris Thielen / Ceremony Musicians: Krista Strader, Harpist


by: Lauren

Inspired by a couple that loves food, drinks, and everything else in between, these foodie wedding ideas are filled with fun, inspiration, and you guessed it- great food! The inspiration for this shoot came from my husband and I (self-professed foodies); we always say that if we were to get married (to each other) again, we would want to have our wedding be focused around the food and drinks in pairings, presentation, and of course taste. I mentioned this inspiration to V List members Dairing Events, Brooke Images, and Shea Hopely Flowers, and before I knew it we were teaming up with Chef’s Garden to create a wedding look showcasing food and beer pairings that would make any and every foodie’s mouth water.

Taking place at the private warehouse of a Jacksonville, Florida brewery, Engine 15, this inspiration includes just about everything you could possibly think of- from a welcome box filled with snacks and beer, all the way to individual cakes for each guest. Fellow foodies, I hope you enjoy… I have a feeling after you see this, we’ll all be enjoying a beer (or cheese, or both) tonight!

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These “escort growlers” double as guests’ take-home favors- selecting their choice of beer to fill up the growler and take home with them at the end of the night!

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We chose to do a twist on family-style dining, placing platters of meats, cheeses, and hummus on the table as a first course, leaving placed throughout the meal for intermittent enjoyment by guests.

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Every foodie couple is going to want to have unlimited amounts of fun at their wedding! This definitely involves the ability to be comfortable, so we chose a reception dress from One Fine Day Bridal that converts into a short cocktail-length dress!

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Table side service is a great option to the typical plated meal. It’s a different take on family style dining, but still gives your guests the decision in exactly what they want to eat (and how much of it too). Not to mention that it saves space on your table for decor too!

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So tell me- do you want beer, cheese, and cake now?! I know I certainly do!

A big huge thank you to all the vendors who made this foodie wedding inspiration happen! The thing I love about this inspiration is that it’s something that is so reflective of a “foodie” couple, and if that’s you, it can absolutely be done for your own wedding. Oh, and definitely keep an eye out for another post in the near future with tips for having a “foodie wedding”!

Where are my foodie couples at? Would you consider doing something like this, or incorporating any of these foodie elements into your wedding?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Planning & Design: Dairing Events / Photographer: Brooke Images / Flowers & Decor: Shea Hopely Flowers / Catering: Chef's Garden / Location & Beer: Engine 15 Brewing / Tables & Decor: Emily Grace Design / Rentals & Signage: Soulshine Rentals / Stationery: Feathered Heart Prints / Invitations & Stationery: Olivia Grace Paperie / Cake Baker: Alleycakes Bakery​ / Bridal Salon: One Fine Day Bridal / Hair & Makeup: Elite look Productions / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids

Exclusive ELD Vendors

Like the post above? Here are the Every Last Detail vendors that participated making this post beautiful! Featured vendors are hand picked and approved by Lauren. Get more information by clicking on them below:




by: Carly

In an effort to provide you all with as much information about wedding planning as we possibly can, every now and then Lauren and I will be sharing excerpts from some of The V List members’ own educational blog posts!

Deciding which vendors to contact and what questions to ask when you meet can feel extremely overwhelming, especially if you’re meeting with a potential wedding photographer! Just as photographer Jillian Joseph notes in her post, your wedding photographer will be by your side for the duration of your wedding day. As a result, it’s imperative that you not only like his or her photography style, but you appreciate and connect with who he or she is as a person.

In order to be provided with more personality insight, Jillian shares her top five questions that truly get to the core of who the photographer is and why he or she adores her job within the industry…

1. Why did you decide to become a wedding photographer?

This answer will tell you a lot about who your photographer is as a person. Are they in it simply to make money? Do they view it as an art form, or do they love the sentiment of it? Either way, you’ll actually learn something about the person behind the camera, which is invaluable.

Top 5 Questions To Ask A Wedding Photographer via TheELD.com

2. What is your favorite part of a wedding and why?

The answer to this question will tell you what motivates him/her. While they’re answering, pay close attention. Are they excited? Do they seem truly passionate and engaged with their profession or are they just there to take pictures? This question and answer yields insight into their attitude.

Top 5 Questions To Ask A Wedding Photographer via TheELD.com

Photos via Jillian Joseph’s V List Member Profile

3. How do you handle couples that are not comfortable in front of a camera?

Again, the answer to this question will offer you a lot of insight into whether or not you’re a good fit for each other, even if you’re not camera shy. Is your potential photographer awkward or does he/she simply have a sense of humor that isn’t quite the same as yours? It may seem like small details now, but on your wedding day, you’re going to want to know you have someone you connect with that you can trust by your side throughout your day.


Click here to read the rest of Jillian’s

top 5 questions to ask a photographer!

 

Top 5 Questions To Ask A Wedding Photographer via TheELD.com