Charlotte will be marrying James on 26th August 2018 at The Brewery, in London, UK.
THREE FACTS: (1) James proposed to Charlotte in Florence… on her parent’s 36th wedding anniversary (aaaah – we love that!) (2) They are planning a Jewish urban-rustic wedding in East London (3) They have already decided on their wedding hashtags – it’s #dropitlikeitshart !
Bridesmaid dress shopping tips!
When bridesmaid shopping I instantly thought about the scene from ‘Bridesmaids‘ where they are comparing the prices of designer dresses – “But it’s a Fritz Bernaise!” And equally the scene that followed…”It’s happening!” Or being the bridesmaid who has 27 dresses that are completely outrageous was good enough inspiration for these handy tips!
Image by Jeremy Standley from Lisa and Joey’s Jewish wedding
Make sure to give yourself a lot of time to look. Before heading out to the shops make sure you do your research online. Know what type of look you are going for, it will make the whole process a lot easier! Most department stores and high street retailers in the UK now have occasion and bridesmaid dresses,there is a lot of choice out there.
If you know what style of wedding dress you are going for, think about what bridesmaid dresses would compliment them. Remember these girls will be in your wedding photos forever!
Know your budget!
This will ultimately determine where you can and can’t shop. Stick to the budget, start looking early on. You may find a dress that was over budget, that you keep checking for, has now gone into sale and is now a total bargain.
I was lucky enough to find a dress that suited all my bridesmaids that after many days, hours and weeks of searching, suddenly went down by half price and fell into my budget. Hurrah!
Image by Donna Von Bruening from Amanda and David’s Jewish wedding
Finding the right fit…
Don’t forget to cost in alterations when setting your budget! I think it is true to say that up to 75% of bridesmaids need to have their dresses altered, it all adds up! It is also easier to alter a bigger dress to fit perfectly, than trying to make yourself fit into a size too small.
Make sure on the day that you have a sewing kit with you for any mishaps, like having to last minute sew a bridesmaid into their dress an hour before the ceremony. You never know what can happen!
(Coming from personal experience of having to sew another bridesmaid fully into their dress after a zip completely broke. Picture us running round a foreign supermarket in Marbella trying to match thread to her dress – mayhem!)
Image by Jessica Claire from Jasmin and Eliot’s Jewish wedding
Think about colours that will suit every skin tone. You have universal colours, like navy, greys and black that will suit basically everyone. For paler complexions stay clear of pastels and blush, it will instantly wash you out, stick with brighter jewel tones. Or head to toe embellishment and metallic can add a bit of glamour to your bridal party.
If you are undecided get your bride squad to choose their own within your chosen colour scheme. Obviously get them to check what they are looking at before buying! That way everyone feels comfortable in their own skin.
It is okay to change your mind on a bridal party colour scheme, I went from initially wanting blush, to looking for grey dresses and ended up on choosing and loving navy!
Image by Susan Shek from Alese and Jeremy’s Jewish wedding
Arrange a girly date out with your bridesmaids, give an itinerary for the day, with every shop you are going to hit. Include food! No one likes a hangry shopping trip! Try on as many dresses as possible, and set your expectations low, this can be just so you get an idea for works and what really doesn’t!
Or if you are like me, order online and take the hassle out of getting everyone’s busy diaries together. Try organising my sister who is out of the country most weeks for work, or my other three maids, who like myself, work in fashion buying and luxury retail. Our schedules are ruthless. A trying on session with multiple dresses and sizes, and easy return policies seemed to be the best and only choice!
Image by Herschel Gutman from Dorit and Eli’s Jewish wedding
Remember that this your big day, do not feel pressure to make everyone happy – it is impossible! You need to make sure to be open minded, and listen to everyone’s opinion. And remember that your bridal party should be there to help and understand your vision!
Image by Miki Photography from Jenni and Richard’s Jewish wedding
Click here to read all Charlotte’s planning posts to date.
Charlotte & James’ Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Venue – The Brewery
Photographer – Adam and Hannah
Videographer – AT Motion
Caterer – Tony Page
Florist – Funky Flowers
Band and production – Creation Showband
Toastmaster – Steven Warwick
Hair – Gemma Harris
Bride’s dress – Pronovias
Stationery – Oh Wonder Calligraphy
Bridesmaids – Phase Eight