Have you ever seen the movie “27 Dresses”? Well if not, I will just sum it up for you. . .It’s about a girl who loves weddings. She has been to 27 different weddings in fact and has been the maid of honor at every single one. She has even kept every single one of her dresses which is how the movie got its title as “27 Dresses”. Anyways it’s a really cute movie and I was fortunate enough to relive this movie at only the age of 16 if you can believe it! You got it, I was principle bridesmaid for one of my best friends in the whole wide world, my sister Jaylee.
I can say that even after just one wedding I am not already a pro at being a bridesmaid, but I do have experience to what it’s like to have a wedding be your first ever one to plan and get ready for. It’s definitely not an easy task especially since my mom had me preparing stuff before school was even out. Her wedding was in June and there was lots I had to get things prepared for: pictures, the wedding, a shower, the dress, flowers (you get the picture). Except I will say it has been a blast to do! I couldn’t have asked for a more better experience to do again. Basically I want this post to be to everyone including 16 years old and up out there with older siblings that might happen to ask you the big question for being a bridesmaid or maid of honor like Jaylee was to me. Here are some of my tips and if you have any more please leave them for me in the comments below, because like I said, I am not an expert…yet. Enough talk though, lets get on to the guide to being the perfect maid of honor.
Picking the Dress
I’ve got to tell ya this was seriously a lot harder than you think. I am sure every bride wants to believe that she will try on a lot of dresses and once she puts on “the one” she knows for sure. It definitely wasn’t the case for my sister. I stuck with her though despite the long hours of trying on dress after dress after dress. First thing to remember as a Maid of Honor and as a little sister, is to be there every step of the way. The bride is going to need your help on how you think she looks in each dress. She is really only trying on the dress so she doesn’t get much of an idea of how it looks to everyone else. I would recommend bringing along the bride’s mother and if the father would like to as well to help with the decision. The parents always have good advice to picking a good dress. It was also nice for our mom to let my sister know how she really looked in every dress and her input on what she thought about them as well.
If your bride happens to be like my sister and can’t make decisions very easily, then when the time comes to try on dresses, take pictures of every single one. My mom and I first started taking pictures just for fun so she could see how it looked when seen by an outsider, but we later on decided that it was a good idea to continue with every dress since we could tell this was not going to be easy for her to pick just the one. Every dress she tried on was gorgeous and there was always a little something she liked about each. I even began to find it hard to help her choose as well. So we also decided to write down the prices for each dress which was extremely beneficial for the deciding pick in the end. Trust me, you wouldn’t believe how much easier it was for my sister to narrow down her options once she could see how she looked in the dress along with the prices. It’s also smart to write down where each of the dresses came from because it’s not easy to find one dress again at a different place so make sure you keep that in mind.
Another tip to picking the right dress is to come with an idea of the bride’s dream dress. My sister had hers in mind as something that was flowy but not too tight, a princess dress in her words. It’s every girl’s dream to be a princess on their wedding day so helping her see that dream dress is very important. Jaylee originally disliked the idea of a mermaid dress and wasn’t planning on trying on any, but with her figure we had to see her try on at least one. Surprisingly, she liked it! Even if the bride didn’t have a certain dress in mind, let her try on something she wasn’t planning on, you never know that could help with making the final choice. Jaylee’s hubby even enjoyed seeing her in those dresses as well. *wink wink*.
I was really fortunate enough for my sister to tell me the big news before anyone else (but after my parents of course). It just shows how much she cares for my opinion as much as her own for making sure she’s got the right guy. Another great tip to being a good bridesmaid is to keep a close connection with the bride. She values your thoughts and will take any assistance you give her. Which leads to me my next step in the bridal process and that is pictures. Except you are probably confused to why your opinion should matter in picture taking. Photographers don’t usually catch unusual setups, so when I was there, we could usually let her know if it looked good or not. I also was helpful for my sister if when her hair would come undone or blown away or even her dress would need some adjusting, I was there to let her know what I thought.
Usually, pictures probably wouldn’t need to be on a Maid of Honor’s to do list, but it was actually a lot of fun to be a part of since I’ve wanted to become a photographer maybe myself. Plus, the day of her engagement photos, her photographer needed some extra hands so luckily I was there to help out. I have a good camera so it’s helpful if the maid of honor already has someone with photo experience that can save the bride some cash if she went with you instead. My sister decided though that she wanted to have a more experience photographer which was fine with me.
I still went with her both times for her engagement pictures and bridal photos just in case the photographer needed some extra help which I can say she definitely did. I was constantly fixing my sister’s hair, dress, makeup, you name it, just so she knows she would get the perfect shots in every picture. It definitely shortened the load on the photographers hands as well since she had less things she needed to worry about. Funny story for her engagement photos though. It was freezing! She had them done in about April and it just happened to be a very cold and windy day almost like winter but without any snow. Jaylee and Jeff’s (Jaylee’s husband) toes and fingers were frozen and bright red, but I kept them warm by making sure they had their jackets and blankets in between pictures. Like I said before, it’s important to be with the bride everywhere even if you have to get dragged around to cold, long photoshoots. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if the photographer’s lights were swallowed in the wind and the bride and groom freezing with no jackets. You never know, a little help goes a long way.
This was one of the funnest events I got to help with, mainly because I got whatever she didn’t want out of it. Well not really ha. The only hard part was picking out the theme. I asked Jaylee what she wanted, but she didn’t really have a certain subject in mind so I narrowed it down to two things that she loved, Disney and Paris. She always dreamed to go to Paris and Disney, well I mean who doesn’t love Disney? I couldn’t pick between the two and when she liked both, she couldn’t pick either. It all came down to my dad who was a huge help! He simply said that she never really has gone to Paris and may never will which left Disney as something she has grown up to always love, especially the Disney movie, UP! So it was, an UP themed Bridal Shower. If you would like to download a printable of what her invitation looked like, feel free by clicking the link below.
Her Bridal Shower wasn’t anything big, but Pinterest was my best friend in planning it all. It legit had the cutest ideas of what to do for practically any themed shower, all we had to do was make the changes to fit UP. The decorations we used all related to the movie UP such as the house, the globe, and even a little Adventure Book. We just had one table for decor and treats and we easily decorate that with some colorful table toppers and “Mr & Mrs” sign which you can find practically anywhere. We found ours at Walmart. The best I can say is to just keep it simple. Don’t over do it. I tried my best to make it something that could easily be set up in about a day or so. I had a lot of help, including my mom, Jeff, Jaylee, and my cousin, who happened to be her other bridesmaid. You can never really do anything on your own, so don’t be afraid to ask. Things get done a lot quicker with more help.
Flowers and Cake
We were all about keeping a good budget for planning all of this, so when it came to flowers, we found out that they could be pretty expensive. Luckily, my mom had some experience in creating her own bouquet. She in fact made an exact replica of her wedding flowers in fake ones just so she could keep that one for a long time. Well, good news, my sister would rather have a bouquet she could keep, so we picked out the colors she wanted and shopped for some fake flowers. Weird I know, but you won’t believe how pretty they turned out to be. My mom even made the boutonnieres for all the boys, and the corsages for the girls, and the bridesmaid’s bouquets. It saved us tons of money and the best thing was that we got the flowers at Michael’s for a great price. I would definitely go get flowers after or before Mother’s Day there if you are thinking about saving money.
We again didn’t want to spend a lot on the wedding cake for her dinner after the wedding so when we found out that it would cost a $100 or so to get one made, we again went ahead with making our own. My mom got really creative by baking three different layers of cake with a combo of Jeff and Jaylee’s favorite kinds of cakes. She decorated again with more fake flowers and all of it was homemade. You can make it easier by just buying some store bought cake mix as well.
Another important thing to worry about in a wedding is what you and the other Bridesmaids are going to wear. Obviously they need to go with the Bride’s wedding colors so shop for anything close to them. Don’t wear white, black or grey simply because those are just not what you want to see at a wedding, especially since white is mainly for the bride. Don’t worry if you end up changing dresses. It’s just like a wedding dress it’s hard to find the perfect one. We only changed once luckily and the one we ended up choosing was a pretty lace, formal dress. If there are other bridesmaid, make sure they are just as satisfied as you with the dress, because you aren’t the only that’s going to be wearing it. I would choose something formal and with a bit of style instead of a straight, old, plained colored dress. Lace is always something good to have a wedding since it’s simple but still beautiful. My mom also got a good deal on our dresses by using a site called retailmenot.com . It has coupons for practically anywhere you shop and can give you anywhere from 25% to 65% off of something!
You really can go with any shoes as well if you’d like but we went with these cute Jelly flats that you can find on Amazon for under $8. They are sparkly and very comfy, and perfect for a wedding. They look as if they could be pretty expensive, but really aren’t. We mainly went with them since Jaylee’s name sounds so close to Jelly. She even got some for herself so we were all matching on the wedding day.
The Big Day!
You’ve finally made it and your bride’s big day is here! The best thing you can do for this is to simply make sure the bride is ready, that is her dress is here, supplies for hair and makeup have arrived, and most importantly that she gets her beauty rest. We pushed and pushed my sister to get to bed for her big day since she had to wake up extra early to get her hair done and since her wedding was at 1. My mom and I did a few finishing touches including some car decorating ideas, and made sure all was in order for her day. Remember it is her day so make sure not just you are excited, but the bride is just as happy and excited as well. Giver her words of encouragement, lots of hugs, and most importantly, big smiles. When it all comes down to it, you can look back at all you’ve done and maybe just like the girl from 27 dresses, you can keep your bridesmaid dress so you can always relive that special time you took in preparing for one Bride’s special day.
It was a success. I know that no matter what the age, or who the person, we all can make a good bridesmaid or Maid of Honor. Even though it was my first time as a Maid of Honor, I had a fun time being one even though I was only 16. That’s pretty young for someone to be a Maid of Honor, and I will admit, I didn’t do it alone. You would think I would be the flower girl, but I don’t think I would have been able to spend the longest, and most likely, last times with my sister as I did if I didn’t do it. She was a beautiful bride and she couldn’t thank me enough for all I did. I know any Maid of Honor can do it out there! Just be yourself and have fun with the Bride. Do your best to give her, her best wedding day. After all, being Maid of Honor is a high honor inside and out. Have a great summer and leave me a comment below if you would love to see more on how I did her wedding shower along with some fun ideas for parties!