What Mahj Did… Bridesmaids and Bands

As I write this, I have 180 days remaining till I say “I do”.


Don’t misunderstand me, that “eeeeek” isn’t a frightened “eeeek”, rather it’s a gosh-that’s-coming-along-rather-fast “eeeek”. If you like, you can substitute the word ‘gosh’ for a far ruder one and that sentence will sound much more like me!

But I think we are on course. In a fit of mad organisation at the beginning of January, I seized one of my many Cosmo Bride magazines and proceeded to rifle through it until I found that handy checklist they give you in every issue. In all honesty, I haven’t paid this check-list much attention before, I much prefer to make my own check-lists (in fact at one point, I had made so many and was getting so stressed that Martin got cross and told me to make just one big list!). But I grabbed my pen all the same and proceeded to go through each task listed and cross off the ones we had done/had in hand and circle the ones that we have yet to do. Turns out all my millions of check-lists were good for something – there weren’t many tasks circled (whoop!) and the ones that were, were either things that we had planned to do from January or that we couldn’t do till much later on in the year anyway. I was so pleased that I rewarded myself with a Ferrero Rocher!

So, the last ‘Big Wedding Accomplishment’ of 2010 was a biggie. And a good one too. My bridesmaid’s dresses are finally S-O-R-T-E-D! These were the last major thing outstanding and they are done done done! But maybe I should introduce you all to the girlies first before I tell you about their frocks?

Chiefy Bridesmaid is my big sister Zainab. She is wise like Yoda. Only she doesn’t rearrange her sentences and isn’t small and green!

And these two ladies are my loveliest, most wonderfulist (not sure that’s a real word) friends, Leanne and Yas. Both are kind, very lovely and like to drink wine!

It was really important to me from the start to ensure that all three of them not only wore something amazing, but something that they would be comfortable and happy in. The easiest and perhaps most obvious suggestion was for them all to wear a sari. Someone (quite rudely) suggested to me once “just stick ‘em all in a sari and be done with it”. Erm no. I will not just “stick ‘em in a sari” thank you very much.

In all honesty, I just couldn’t see them wearing a sari or a lehnga when I pictured the day (something I do often!). In my mind, they were all wearing long dresses of a fusiony delightful nature. Hmmmm. Armed with this image in my mind’s eye, I hit up Monsoon about a year ago with my sister. There were lots of long dresses of a fusiony delightful nature in there, of which I got her to try on around ¾ of! After the third or fourth one, it became apparent that there was a slight problem with the way the dresses fitted and this would have been a problem for all three of my bridesmaid’s. It was delicately phrased as being “chestage encompassment” by my sister. Ahem.

Undeterred I trawled the internet, I looked high and low. Tried all the big names and some random ones. On a visit to Debenhams with Leanne, we noseyed at the full length frocks and oooed and aahed but I still wasn’t feeling it.

You see, my problem was that the image in my head aside, I had actually seen exactly what I wanted, featured in a wedding on an Indian Wedding Blog. And as soon as I had seen it, I knew that’s what I wanted them all to wear without a shadow of a doubt. It was perfect. It was what I had seen in my head. When I showed the ladies, they all loved it. It seemed to have the exact mix that I wanted and I loved how it gave a modern twist on the sari. Downside? It was nowhere to be found on the flippin’ High Street!

Determined I started branching out my search to include actual bridesmaid dress suppliers such as Dessy and Alfred Angelo. A small handful of them had one-shouldered lovelies but not in the exact style that I had seen. So I decided to leave it. Just for a while. Slept on it for a few months. I kept looking at high street shops and seeing what they had, but I stopped obsessing….

….of course you know what happened then? Quite randomly, I stumbled across a case study online about a woman based locally to me in Stockport who started her own business as a dress designer. On an equally random nosey on her website, under the bridesmaid dresses section, there in all its one-shouldered glory, was The Bridesmaid’s One. I did actual squealy jumpy claps at my desk, got some funny looks I can tell ya!

So I made an appointment to meet with Tracey from Serenity Co and you know what? She is bloomin’ lovely. Really nice and full of ideas and so creative. And the way she talks about chiffon and silk and bodices and the like, well, its ruddy brilliant! And even better? The cost of the dresses would include them being personal to each bridesmaid. They will be made to measure, there will be fittings, there will be faffings, there will be dresses of a fusiony delightful nature!

There’s just one small problem – I have no idea what colour to have them all in. With taking the exploding-bag-of-skittles approach, I have ensured that our day will be colourful for sure, but then which colour do the bridesmaids wear? Do they all wear the same colour and if so, which one? Do they wear different shades of the same colour? Do they each wear a different colour of their choice and would the last 2 options work with just 3 of them? So my request to the all-mighty RMW Community is this: please help me decide?! All your heads are better than just mine!

Also, at the beginning of January we hit a slight hiccup: our band cancelled on us! Something to do with not being able to find a replacement guitarist as the original guitarist will be on holiday. Musicians! In fairness, they did try very hard to find us one and we appreciate that they told us sooner rather than later, but we were still gutted and still bereft of a band. Which lead us back to ye olde band VS. DJ debate!

We loved the band we were originally going to have and whilst they were kind enough to make us some recommendations for other bands, we just weren’t feeling any of them. So I made the effort to contact a couple of DJ’s that had had good reviews online and luckily both of them were free. So we decided to sleep on it for a while and see how we felt. Just this past weekend, we have decided to go with one of the DJ’s who has a kick-ass website (I am such a sucker for a funky website, I’m looking at you RMW!) and amongst other things has an ethos that includes no back perm, no cheesy one-liners and no medallions. Well, actually, the medallion is negotiable! Also (and perhaps most importantly), they play the music that you want to hear. They ask you to create your own playlist but can offer advice in choosing songs and which order certain genres should be played in. All very funky and cool.

So there you have it. I gained some bridesmaid dresses, lost a band and then gained a DJ. I guess that’s what you call turning a frown upside down!


Mahj xoxo

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

24 thoughts on “What Mahj Did… Bridesmaids and Bands

  1. Great post Mahj! Re the bridesmaid dresses, I would say if they are all having the same dress pick one colour and go for different shades of that colour. If each dress is going to be slightly different though have them all in the same colour. Which colour would complement your dress? Or do you have a main colour on the tables or invites that you could pick out? Lucky girls have such fab dresses made for them!

  2. I love the idea of having the same dress in different colours, since your theme is like a bag of skittles as you put it!!! Definitely fun and the dress looks beautiful!!! Maybe have the men wear different coloured ties and matching socks too???

  3. I love the idea of having different coloured BM’s dresses too.

    Or, the same coloured dresses but with different skittle coloured accessories and flowers!

    Oh, I don’t know! It’s so hard.

    I’m having the same dilemma as you Mahj, but think I’m going for dresses the same colour but different flowers


  4. I reckon maid in either same dress but different shades, or different dress same shade.

    The multi-coloured skittle bouquets… you should put lollipops in them like that bride from the Soho Sexy wedding.

    In fact that reminds me, I saw some amazing bouquets in New York that immediately made me think of your flowers and colours – I’ll forward them to you later x

  5. Great post!
    Hmmm… I think varying shades of the same colour that teal colour is lovely and I think shades of blue are a winner!

    I’ve fallen into the DJ camp just so we have something that suits everyone. When choosing our DJ a big factor was how he read the crowd making sure the dance floor is full, all night long!


  6. Mahj! This is now getting spooky! Having read all of your posts – including original submission when I was catching up since I discovered RMW after the voting – we have so many similar ideas! We are also having a fusion wedding only I’m Scottish and H2B is Indian so the other way round. He is going to wear something Indian for the ceremony (humanist – lucky us being in Scotland it’s legal here!) and a kilt for the evening and we are trying to have a mix of both Scottish and Indian influences throughout the day. Ever since the start (well, secretly before actually being engaged, shhh 😉 ) I have planned on having a one shoulder empire line maxi dress based on a design of a Monsoon dress I wore to my Uni reunion last April! Unfortunately couldn’t find the colour I wanted in ANY shop in ANY style so have resorted to having them made!

    I really love that jade colour from the website image but I think from the sounds of your multi-skittle-coloured wedding that different colours would be great, I’ve seen a picture somewhere of a pink, yellow and orange set of bridesmaids each with calla lilly bouquets in colours matching their dress, although you could go for white flowers for them and have multi coloured flowers in yours? Mine are having white/cream flowers while I have green and white. Please just don’t have them all in green or I really will worry that we’re having the same wedding! 🙂


    (I will try and find the picture if you want? Email me via my website and I can send it to you!)

  7. Same dress in different colours, definitely. I love peacock colours for this: bright blue, teal, green, pink, purple – gorgeous. Not too ‘matchy’ and they will be more likely to wear the dress again if they like their colour. The dress design will link them together. xx

  8. Yeah the same dress diff colours, but then I am really rubbish at making decisions so I would probably umm and ahh and just hope the dresses just appeared in front of me as if by magic!
    Its getting close then, good luck with the stuff you have left to do! Sounds a really colourful wedding can’t wait to see the photos!! x

  9. sounds like its been a hectic time for you recently! abit like myself 😉

    I still need to sort the dreaded BM dresses, nightmare!
    Love the one you have chosen, i think different colours same dress will look great, especially with the colours you have chosen.

    cant wait to hear more! xxx

  10. I have serious Mahj love- (in a totally non-creepy way, of course!) I really look forward to your posts and the crazy fusion-ness!
    If it were me I’d be tempted to have them all in a one shoulder number and in different yummy colours like the jade and also violets, raspberry and maybe a bright yellow!
    So many colours, so many options! Makes me lust after a bit of colour instead of my slightly anaemic colour pallette! Good luck with everything!

  11. I love the dress you have picked – delicious!! I’m feeling same dress, different shades of one colour!! Although, I’m sure whatever you go for will look fabulous Mahj!

    Looking forward to your next post


  12. Hi Mahj, always look forward to reading a fellow Manchester bride’s journey 🙂 the style of dress is beautiful and I think the idea of having the dress in different colours is perfect seeing as you’re having the ‘exploding bag of skittles’ effect. I loved the idea for our wedding but with all our BM dotted around the world it was going to be too much of a headache, but seeing as you’re having them made it would be an ideal opportunity to do that. I loved the pink / purple BM dresses at this wedding, looked gorgeous and would really work well with the bright colours you’ll be having for your wedding (not necessarily pink/purple but I think a combination of colours is gorgeous) 🙂


    Good luck with the rest of your planning xx

  13. Mahj- I have been waiting to read your post all ruddy day!! Ah that BM dress is so beautiful, your wedding party is going to look so frigin gorgeous!

    Had a similar dilemma and decided to let my ladies choose a dress in the style that suited them but all in the same colour. They all ended up choosing the same one except for my sister which worked out quite well as she too is Chiefy Bridesmaid.

    Whatever you decided I am sure it will be wunderwa!


    ps- feeling the ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkk!’

  14. Mahj – you are my hero! I LOVE your writing. And those dresses are sumptuous and sexy and stylish and…I’ve run out of s-words. But they’re ace.

    I like the idea of different jewel tones…you can see the effect in Rach’s wedding. Different shades of the same colour is also a good shout. Can I be the rogue fourth BM? I wouldn’t mind hiding in the pews. I would LOVE to waft about in one of these, with that billowy bit of fabric flying out behind me!

  15. I love the dresses. I would stick with the dress but rather than a whole colour palate I would have them all in the same. I agree different colours looks good but in my personal opinion it looks much better with the US style I.e a gazillion bridesmaids. We thought about different shades for my friends wedding in July so we draped ourselves in the fabric and stood next to each other. It looked too mismatched with less people-almost like we hadn’t enough fabric if that makes sense.

    I always try and simplify the palate to it’s purest form. If you want to bring in colour do so with the bouquets?

    Just my tastes I guess.

    Excellent news on the DJ. Rock and Roooooll.

    And don’t start with the lists. I have lists of lists.

  16. Ladies –

    Due to internet problems at home, this is the first time I have been able to get on and comment on all your comments – I do not recommend trying to read all these on clever smart phones – you get permanant squinty eyeness!

    As always thanks for your support, advice, suggestions and Mahj-love (Luci, Martin and my sister think its great that you have Mahj-love!).

    I have to admit that I love both the idea of the bm’s each being in bright n bold colours of their own as well as different shades of the same colour….further research may be required!

    Bex – tis spooky indeed! I would love to see the photos you mentioned, will email you at the weekend.

    Anna K – love the idea of you being a rogue bm, kinda like a rogue spy, just without all the gadgets!

    Will update you all in my next post about what was decided on!

    Big colourful love
    Mahj xoxo

  17. Sorry I’m late to this fusion commenting party!

    Here’s my tuppence worth-

    Firstly, the dress is hot! They will look super glam and sexy in those bad boys. I’m thinking same dress in serious of scrumptious jewel colours but tied together with choice of flowers.

    Now for their hair… Maybe something “all sculpted”? 😉

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