Real Bride Blogger Jessica: Seafoam, Celedon, and Mint Oh My!

Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a people pleaser. Finding bridesmaid dresses, aka, one of the most dreaded tasks for a bride like myself, almost lead me to a full on wedding meltdown. Lucky for me, I have such amazing bridesmaids, that as soon as I started to panic they stepped in and reassured me that I should be focusing on what I want, and told me to pick the outfits I had always envisioned for the wedding. My girls are so accommodating and flexible, they definitely turned this daunting search into a joyous one.  I would love to share how my bridal party came about being out-fitted in this post!

I knew from the beginning I wanted my girls to wear floor-length, flowing bridesmaid dresses to compliment my lace gown; that was the starting point. I also wanted the dresses to match the beachy vibe of the wedding. Nothing too fussy, just effortless chic. Long & airy dresses to capture the perfect balance of casual, yet put-together for our fall wedding night at the beach.

{Via Peppermint Bliss & People }

I played around with putting all the girls in the same dress, but ultimately my heart was set on the mismatched look. Browsing through Pinterest, I was able to find pictures of my vision. Different dresses but overall cohesiveness was the final choice. I think the key to the mismatched dresses is to make sure they have a unifying element such as the same fabric, color, or shape. The dresses really need to look interrelated and not competing to work together, in my opinion.

{via Ruffled & Annette Gomez }

I also love that the mismatched look means each girl is able to pick out her own dress that matches her body type and personal style. Let’s be honest it’s hard to find a dress that looks good on everyone. Plus, bridesmaid dresses can be expensive, so why not let your besties pick something they want? I really felt it was important that my girls each selected something they loved- because I really want them to feel beautiful and special on the Big Day. Honestly, I can’t stress how important it is to have happy bridesmaids that adore their dresses- I want my girls to feel great and be dancing the night away, not hiding from embarrassment in the corner!

{via Swell. ASOS. Nordstrom}

The dresses above were all contenders. Then, I discovered that Dessy offers a huge selection of bridesmaid dresses in every style and shade under the rainbow. At first I thought of doing the girls in different shades for an ombre effect. We played around with the  Spa, Celadon, and Meadow colors. Since there are only three girls, we decided to stick with one shade to make it more consistent. We chose Meadow, as the perfect shade of blue/green that will also go great with the guys’ grey suits.

I told my girls to pick any Dessy or After Six dress they liked in Meadow in a long chiffon style. I think the combo they came up with looks amazing, see the winning dresses above. All the dresses go together but each girl’s style will be able to shine. See Kate’s inspiration board below for how she’s envisioning the look coming together. I can’t wait for us all to get dressed up together on the Big Day. We are going to be one sexy bridal party!

Click board above to see larger! {necklace.dress. nails. hair. shoes}

Real Bride Blogger Jessica: Making the List & Checking it Twice

Woooo-hooo! I’m engaged. I honestly jumped up and down for over an hour. I could not sit still. I don’t think I even slept that night I was so happy. And the next day, all I could do was stare at my ring. I barely got any work done.

And then it hit me- now I have to start planning one of the most important days of our lives together. Seriously, I recommend taking a week or two to just enjoy being engaged. Don’t make any decisions- just relax, because pretty soon all you are going to think about is your wedding and everyone is going to be asking you a million wedding questions. After giving myself time to simply bask in the newly engaged bliss, I decided to get down to business. Right off the bat, we both knew we wanted to tie the knot in October. October in Southern California is just beautiful- perfect weather and no crowds. It’s pretty much summer with no tourists.

Next came the hard part, deciding what kind of wedding we wanted. I poured over pictures on Pinterest and all the standard wedding blogs- SMP, GWS, Ruffled….However, looking at all the different wedding styles only confused me. One day I was sure I wanted a rustic barn wedding, but the next day my heart would be set on backyard soiree.

Luckily, Kate & Ellen gave me a solid little piece of advice– make your guest list and everything else will follow. Smart, but I still tried to avoid making the guest list right away because it seemed like a daunting task. Who wants to sit down and determine which friends and family  make the cut!?

I’m not going to lie, it was hectic and emotional narrowing down the people who matter most to us. We knew all along we wanted a smallish wedding with our close friends and family, but sitting down and selecting names was rough. Our conversations went something like this:

Me: If you invite so-and-so then you have to invite his girlfriend too, you know.

Him: What?! No, I don’t.

Me: Um, yes you do.

Him: We should invite what’s-his-name. He would be funny.

Me: You’d rather invite him than your <insert family member>.

Him: Well, he’s a good dancer.

Me: Um, don’t you think that would cause problems with your family. And how long has it been since you talked to him?

Him: Uhhh I don’t remember. A long time.

Frankly, there is no secret way to get the guest list done, except for sitting down and talking it out. We created a couple different lists and then asked ourselves these questions: Would we regret not inviting this person? Has this person played a role in our lives? Do we see them remaining close with us? After a few solid hours of work, we finally decided on seventy-five people we knew had to be part of our special day. Stay tuned for my venue selection post next week…

From B & A: It seems easy to blow off the guest list, but guest count really does play the central part in your budget. With additional guests- you have to budget more food, alcohol, tables- which then affects linens, centerpieces, chairs, etc. Likewise, the guest list can really help to determine the venue. Fifty people would look silly in most ballrooms and two hundred and fifty people are not going to fit at the cute little beach look-out.

As Jess mentioned, a ton of brides want to figure out every detail (favors, bridesmaid shoes, signature cocktail) of their wedding within the first couple weeks of being engaged. In order to stay sane and make sure the important things get tackled first we recommend strarting from a priority list and locking in important vendors before thinking about all the small things. And of course, first and foremost the guest list!