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The Best Thank You Gifts For Bridesmaids

I have to admit being sorely tempted to put every single one of these products into my online shopping basket (ahem, just for myself) so hopefully there’s something here that will make your best girls smile. Treating them to a little something on the day is a great way to say thank you and to acknowledge the time and effort (and let’s face it, money) that they have put into your big day. It doesn’t have to be extravagant (unless you want it to be), like all good gifts, it’s the thought that counts.

And if you’re feeling in a generous mood, head over to Rock My Style and Rock My Family where the girls are rounding up gorgeous gifts for friends and for new mums too, there are so many more lovely ideas.

But first, Bridesmaids…

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Three Bridesmaids Trends We Love

We’re using the word ‘trend’ loosely here, as we always encourage choosing things you love, rather than things that are ‘in’ at any given moment when it comes to your wedding day. But having said that, these are three Bridesmaids looks that are just everywhere right now! And given that they look beautiful, elegant and stylish, but are still versatile and adaptable to your wedding style, we think they make great options for your best girls.

They are also trends that are easy to accessorise, so the options for enhancing the look with pretty necklaces, rings and earrings are endless! As well as the gorgeous Bridesmaids images, we’ve included some gorgeous options from PANDORA to help inspire you. We think you’ll definitely find something from PANDORA to suit all of your Bridesmaids tastes. As well as complementing your dresses.

So here are the three trends we’re loving right now…

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Thank You For Being My Bridesmaid

Giving your Bridesmaids a gift to say thank you on the morning of your wedding is a lovely way to show how much you appreciate their help. The present doesn’t have to be extravagant; it just needs to be thoughtful and personal to ensure that each lady feels special. So today we thought it would be fun to share our favourite Bridesmaids memories. We’re reminiscing about the fun times spent crafting. Those excitable dress hunting moments. And the things that our Bridesmaids did to help with our big days that made all the difference to us.

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Bridesmaids Dress Trends – White on White

Bridesmaids wearing white is one of our favourite trends, ever since the lovely Middleton ladies glided down the aisle of Westminster Abbey, more and more Brides are choosing to ask their Bridesmaids to wear white. Dressing your wedding party in this shade is a lovely way to distinguish them from the guests. It also works well for any age, from tiny flower girls to Maids of Honour with their own style, who will probably want a say in what they’ll be wearing.

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Be My Bridesmaid?

Once you’ve chosen your Bridesmaids, the wedding planning fun can really begin. Hopefully you’ve picked the girls who will help make your Pinterest dreams a reality, the ones who will make you laugh when Wedmin feels overwhelming, the ones who can talk you out of a Bridezilla moment, and who will listen and advise when there are difficult decisions to be made over inevitable family dramas.

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Once Upon A Destination Wedding {Why I’m Having Six Bridesmaids}

You’d think it would be obvious, knowing who your best friends are and who you’d pick as your bridesmaids, and for most of you, maybe it was. For me on the other hand, choosing my bridesmaids was the most mentally divisive and emotionally draining decision I’ve ever had to make. The only other time I’ve found myself in a similar state of turmoil was when I was 15 and had to decide whether to euthanise my physically sound but internally crippled hamster Biggles, who I loved more than my brother.

Initially I tried to avoid the playground politics of picking a team of bridesmaids and at one point considered having none, but that just seemed depressing. I then considered three (to match the number of groomsmen) but selecting just a couple of girls from my best pals started to feel like my own miniature version of Sophie’s Choice and frankly, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional guilt that would inevitably ensue. So in the end, I’ve gone from having none, to what most of my friends and family secretly refer to as a RIDICULOUS number of bridesmaids. I have six. All adult. Plus a flower girl and page boy because they’re so damn cute.

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Pretty Maids All In A Row

One of the hardest things about planning my own wedding has been choosing the bridesmaid dresses. Ask me to select the venue and I’ve chosen it on the first visit. Judging cakey styles and flavours was seriously no sweat (ok I had some help from the boy here – cakes are his forté). Lighting upon the wedding theme and floral decor was child’s play, no actually it was a joy, but ask me which dresses I’ll be wrapping my bridesmaids in and I come unstuck.

It’s not like there’s nothing out there, there is a wealth of frocks in different materials, styles, colours and lengths. In fact we’re spoilt for choice with the ranges that specialised bridesmaid boutiques as well as high street retailers like Coast offer us. Ladies we’ve got it the best that we’ve ever had it!

So what exactly is the problem then?

I want my bridesmaids to look hot. Like seriously HOT. None of this I’m a bridesmaid and therefore I can’t look as good as the bride malarky. I want my bridesmaids to feel comfortable in what they’re wearing, to WANT to wear it. As a bride, ultimately you’re deciding the sartorial fate of your nearest and dearest on one of the biggest days of your life and with that comes a whole heap of responsibility.

Maybe I’m reading WAY too much into this.

Perhaps some of you gorgeous lot feel the same way…

Whatever you’re thinking I hope that the bridesmaid fashion round-up below is useful. Perhaps it will give some of you some inspiration or even confirm what you already know. If there’s one defining thing about all of the images it’s that all of these pretty ladies are rocking it. They’re OWNING their outfits and don’t they look fabulous!

Something (Navy) Blue

Over the last few months the RMW team have noticed that quite a few of our brides have selected blue as colour of choice for their sidekicks. Strong, elegant and classic, blue hues are the preferred option of those who don’t want to dress their bridesmaids in black but want the sophistication that a darker colour palette brings.

Blues – particularly towards the navy end of the spectrum – are aristocratic and flatter all skin tones and hair colours. It’s not surprising therefore that it is one of the most popular colour trends of 2012.

This concoction of photographs is proof that a darker colourway doesn’t have to be uninteresting – the red lippy and top knots of the bride and her maids in Helen Cawte’s photo show how blue can be brought bang up to date whilst uniting a bridal look at the same time.

Flowers also ‘pop’ against darker hues and I particularly adore brightly coloured shoes paired with a more sedate dress for a bit of subtle drama. On a more practical note, bluish tones look fantastic regardless of the time of year which given the state of our ‘summer’ can only be a good thing.

Suitably Mismatched

This is one trend that just isn’t going away and why on earth should it? It’s fun, eye-catching and incredibly freeing. I LOVE it and I’m not the only one. The essence of this theme is that can be interpreted in so many different ways.

Want the same dress but in all the colours of the rainbow? Go for it!

What about different cuts but the same colour? Sounds good to me.

Hang and blast it…you want a free-for-all? Girl I’m right behind you.

Like blue hues, this trend caters for all skin tones, body shapes, hair colours and fashion tastes because you can wear literally anything you want. Choosing an eclectic theme also lifts the pressure off bridesmaids and brides alike. You can guarantee that everyone will feel comfortable on the day because they’ve retained their individuality without compromising the wider bridal style.

The key to guaranteeing a successful ‘mismatched’ look is to make sure that you resemble a ‘team’. Shoes, bouquets and accessories are all easy and fantastic ways of bringing different looks together again. A gaggle of bridesmaids sporting contrasting frocks but with the same heels makes my heart sing as does a bridal party where each maid has her own personalised bouquet.

Bagsy the peony one!

Ombré Heaven

A sister trend to ‘mismatched’, ombré dress colour palettes have been in vogue since last year and still there seems to be no sign that the popularity of this trend is abating. Literally meaning shaded (in French) we’ve seen this colour phenomenon applied to everything from nail varnish to nuptial stationery even through to wedding furniture and cakes.

If I were to describe ombré, then I’d say that it’s like a Dulux paint chart but in a totally good way. Perfect for those brides that don’t want anything too ‘matchy matchy’ but who are determined to stick to a colour theme – ombré dishes out flexibility to the bridal party by the bucketload.

For me, weddings using this type of colour theme just ooze an effortlessness, a natural quality that I can only hope to imitate. Perhaps it’s because each bridesmaid feels totally at ease in her dress. Trials and tribulations such as ‘that shade of coral just doesn’t quite work with my skin tone’ or ‘I like that dress but it’s not quite the right shade of green’ just melt away because it doesn’t have to be just so.

I also love the possibilities that ‘ombré’ provides modern day brides. Using identical dresses but in different materials in similar hues – like the gradiated metallics shown above – adds a depth to photos and is pleasing to the eye. Repeating the colour variations of the frocks in the flowers too is incredibly expressive and adds flair without unnecessary cost.

Bohemian Rhapsody

It’s clear that the influences of last year’s celebrity weddings run rampant in current bridal themes and styles. The white tones of P.Middy’s infamous frock and the gypsy glamour feel of Kate Moss’ and Jamie Hince’s nuptials is perceptibly evident in recent bridesmaid trends.

The watchwords here are ‘ethereal charm’ and ‘modern romance’ with floaty, natural chiffons, silks and cottons being the fabrics of choice. With their tousled locks and flower crowns, I want to call these bridesmaids, sprites or woodland fairies because they look so incredibly dreamlike.

But don’t let their whimsical appearances fool you – both Kates knew a good thing when they saw it, for this style and colour spectrum can be adapted to suit younger bridesmaids without compromising the fashion statement of older beauties.

Using neutral shades is not only incredibly flattering but is a surefire way to imbue your day with a distinctly modern edge too. And dressing your maidens in creams, oatmeals, fawns and off-whites actually gives the bridal party a more unified front than any other colour. They don’t call them style queens for nothing, you know.

Sexy and Flirty

Gone are the days of the dowdy bridesmaid who filed behind the bride wearing misshapen sacks. Instead sexy, sassy maidens have arrived on the scene…hello ladies.

These are the kind of dresses that you are totally wearing again on a night out. Mostly glitzy, the majority short, these dresses scream glamour with a capital G. It’s not about upstaging the bride, it’s about being a team of glamour amazons and injecting a large dose of gorgeousness into the day.

Perhaps my favourite image here is the row of city-shorted clad bridesmaids complete with pretty camisoles. It’s young, fresh and modern and utterly different. Plus this outfit brings a whole new level of meaning to the word wearability. You just know that these girls will be shaking up the dance floor later without any worries about revealing too much…

Sexy doesn’t have to mean eye-raising hemlines either – the long metallic dresses at the bottom here are divine. Actually I’m really lusting after these for my own wardrobe, not for any special occasion but you know… just because.

So what do you think girls? Which of the above themes will you be embracing for your big day – if any?

Does bohemian princess rock your boat or has it been done to death? Does ‘mismatched’ send shivers up your spine or do you love the intrigue of an eclectic look?

And what are your thoughts on choosing made to measure bridesmaid dresses rather than off the peg? I’m toying with the idea and I’m keen to hear your experiences.

If anything I’ve now confused myself even more about which direction I’m going to take and I think I need a lie down.

Love Lauren xx

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Maid in Heaven

So, while we had the lovely ladies together last week we thought we might as well squeeze a little bit more out of the day… nothing like setting yourself a challenge! We spend a considerable amount of time here at Rock My Wedding talking about bringing maids fashion up to date and making your best ladies look a million dollars. We love a colour scheme as much as the next person but we also like individuality, unique style and a bit of good old fashioned affordability so we thought we would put together a couple of looks to show you how good ideas that are often seen in shoots can look in real life.

We put the styling together on a very last minute basis, used a combination of the girls own dresses and our own clothes and a bit of sheer luck when it came to fit and theme but I don’t think the results were half bad?

First up, in keeping with this season block colour trends, how about mixing your brights?

Block Colour

If you’ve been living under a rock, then you may not have heard, but we’re certainly taking no credit for breaking this trend… Spring/Summer 2011 is all about block colour. And that means juicy or primary brights mixed and matched. If you’re a little shy then you can add in a spot of neutral, this look certainly isn’t for the faint of heart and neither are our girls…

For this part of the shoot, Mahj wore a yellow ‘Sunray’ dress from Girl Meets Dress by Ruth Tarvydas. It might sound a little outdated but if you want your ladies in designer and super stylish GMD might just be the budget friendly option… at £59 to hire, thats a lot less than most spend on bridesmaids dresses, which lets face it, are unlikely to be worn again.

And yes… it had pockets. I’m sensing a theme here 🙂

Naomi wore a dress of her own, jewel toned and be-pocketed, it rocked with her slick of fuschia lip. Naomi tells us this was a Dunnes Stores bargain 2 years ago but we think it’s more than worthy as a maids dress and looks chic and modern. Pink shoes by KG and gold feather earrings, Accessorise.

While Naomi was rocking her statement quiff, Julie’s hair had been changed once more to pull the bun down and work a low side pony with luscious curls, again, just a touch more modern for your maids. Her dress was from Limited Collection by Marks and Spencer’sthe flouro pink working perfectly with those minxy eyes!

Magical Metallics

For a winter wedding, this is a super easy look to pull off, and what keeps it modern is the mix and match vibe of fabrics and even metallics… who says silver and gold don’t mix or that mix and match isn’t chic?

Based on a background of modern neutrals – grey, navy and black, these dresses are up to the minute, suit each girls style and shape, but still look really co-hesive and well put together. For a winter soiree, with the addition of bouquets and chic cover ups, you couldn’t do much better 😉

Dresses: Julie – Stripe T’Shirt sequin dress, French Connection; Mahj – Grey leopard sequin spot dress, Whistles; Naomi – Back Metallic Dress, Coast.

Accessories throughout this week have been supplied by Siu Coll at Liberty in Love, for which we are eternally grateful. Aplogies to anyone left blinded by the beauty of this bling…

And thats it. Sad face.

On Sunday, we’ll be giving a huge shout out to the team behind the shoot, and we really want to stress how fabulous each and every person involved was. If you’re looking for suppliers for your wedding, I don’t think you could get a better recommendation than seeing them all at their best like this! Go check ’em all out right now!

Genius Photography – Dani and Chris at CBMedia

Stunning Accessories – Mahj – Peacock Mantilla Comb by Stephanie Brown; Julie, Regalia Madame comb, also Stephanie Brown and the ubiquitous Amour headband by Louis Mariette on Naomi. All at Liberty in Love

Flawless Make-up – Catherine Hughes at IvyClara

Hair Maestro – Severin Hubert at Hepburn Collection

Super Styling – Charlotte and Rebecca at Rock My Wedding. 😉

Yours Truly,