by Claire Swinarski
PHOTOGRAPHY Front Room Photography
BRIDESMAID'S DRESSES Bella Bridesmaids
GROOMSAN FORALWEAR Harleys The Store For Men
HAIR & MAKEUP Halo Salon
FLOWERS HEADPEICE & GOUTONNIERE Belle Fiori LTD
WARDROBE STYLING Ariel Tobin Styling Terri Blahnik
MODELS James and Kurt from Ohlsson Model & Talent, and Ariel and Alexandra
When it’s time to get your bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed, a lot of thoughts may be flying through your head. You want them to look amazing, feel comfortable enough to rock the dance floor, be OK with the price, and complement you! But the old stereotype that brides prefer to dress their maids in something that won’t surpass them is totally outdated. You want your girls — and your groom’s guys — to look and feel great.
Once the color scheme is selected, one of the first things a bride will do is explore how to infuse her chosen hues into the attire of her bridal party. Whether it is with one consistent shade or variations of a single color, she’ll search high and low for bridesmaid’s dresses and groomsmen attire that bring her vision to life while being comfortable and affordable. As for trends, Ariel Tobin, the showroom manager at Milwaukee’s Bella Bridesmaids, says she’s seeing a big beading and sequin trend in bridesmaid’s dresses, as well as the color ‘cerise’ or any metallics. Another trend you’ll see a lot in the coming months? Mixing and matching various hues to create a dreamy aesthetic.
“Brides are loving that designers have created styles that allow them to mix and match different fabrics and textures, while still be able to keep everything unified,” Ariel said.
However, if you’re mixing and matching, remember a few basic rules. All bridesmaid’s dresses should be within the same color scheme and also the same length to look unified in group pictures. According to Ariel, brides have been particularly drawn to longer gowns as of late for their bridesmaids.
Before you go shopping, have a basic idea of what you want in mind. Spend some time in the pages of Veil Magazine or on our website looking at different colors, cuts and styles. Once you have a rudimentary idea, head to the boutique — that way, you won’t be overwhelmed by the rows and rows of choices.
In terms of men’s styles, Tim Ryan, the president of Harley’s: The Store for Men, said colors continue to run the gauntlet.
“Navy is becoming quite popular, black is making a resurgence, and any shade of grey is still appropriate,” Tim says.
Select the attire for your bridesmaids first, so that you’re able to choose something for the men that complements them nicely. That will give your group photos a cohesive look and help your ceremony look pretty and put together. The level of formality should be complementary as well.
When it comes to hair and makeup, even if your girls are low-maintenance ladies, you’ll still want them to at least apply minimal makeup.
“Women that don’t wear makeup in everyday life definitely need to wear some on their wedding day, or they’ll be disappointed with the pictures,” advises Diane Mouse of Halo Salon in Milwaukee. “Using airbrush or HD makeup will prevent the white face and tan body combination that happens with a flash.”
In terms of hair styling, Diane is seeing trends that are either soft and undone, or very polished, sophisticated styles. She suggests bringing in pictures for the makeup and hair artist of how the bride would look their bridesmaids to look. You can gather a lot of polished, picture-perfect looks in the many styled shoots we do. See pages 129-131 for some inspiration!
No matter what you dress your wedding party in, they are there to make you and your groom look spectacular. So whether it’s a long satin gown with tuxedos or a chiffon sundress with simply styled suits, make sure your bridal party is ready to shine!
HOW TO PROPOSE TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS
They’ve been there through tears of joy and tears of sorrow. You’ve laughed until your sides ached and vented about all of life’s roadblocks. Before there was “the one,” they were there. Best friends are an important part of who we are. They understand us to our very core. As you say “yes” to your dress, “I do” at the altar and “cheers” at the reception, who do you envision at your side?
Your maid/matron(s) of honor and bridesmaids are incredibly important and one of the first elements of your wedding to plan for because, let’s face it, the best part of being a bride-to-be is sharing these moments with your leading ladies. Sure, it’s easy to just call or send them a message asking them to be in your bridal party, but that hardly does your relationships with them justice. You want to create a memorable keepsake that they can hang up proudly and cherish forever as a memento of the bond you share.
Pinterest has become a breeding ground for wedding ideas galore, with boards dedicated to each and every detail. Places like this can be a great start for brainstorming ways to propose to your bridesmaids, but these ideas are easier to conceptualize than they are to execute. That’s where someone with a creative flair and knack for originality will be especially valuable. Two such artists can be found right here in the pages of Veil Magazine—Debbie Pape of Paper Envy and Ellen Albertson of Paper Pleasers!
Professional artisans will create a unique design and custom concept to fit your wedding day vision, while infusing the charm of each of your beautiful bridesmaids into every proposal. “They’ve been with you through thick and thin and now you’re ready to make it official, with your bridesmaids that is!” Ellen elates. “Their anticipation will surge when opening your perfectly personalized and beautifully handcrafted proposal.”
Having a theme and color scheme sets the tone for the entire wedding, and it can also be something to incorporate into your bridesmaid proposals as a way to give them a sneak peek of what’s to come. You don’t need to have all of the details figured out yet, but if you have some visions in mind this is the chance to see them unfold. Get ready to have some fun with your memory-making maven!
Aside from the design itself is the personal message on each one. Ideas for this range from a catchy poem to a heartfelt message, and there are a whole host of options in terms of what to say and how to say it. Ellen and Debbie both have an array of examples they can show you beyond what you may read about in your own research. The best advice to keep in mind as you think of what to say is to keep it intimate; something for just the two of you. “Love is in the details,” Debbie says.
As you plan where your proposal(s) will take place, consider bringing all of your girls together at once. It’s a chance for them all to meet, if they haven’t already, and bond over their shared excitement for your wedding. If something more private is what you want most, nothing is more heartfelt than that one-on-one moment where you tell them just how much they mean to you.
This is a time to truly treasure with your husband-to-be, but it’s also a time to bond with your ladies. They are no doubt just as excited, if not more, about your big day. They clearly mean a lot to you, so take the time to plan a bridesmaid proposal they can treasure forever as a reminder of your bond and a symbol of your deep affection for one another.