THREE FACTS: (1) Alexandra and Jordan met in college and have been together ever since. (2) They are planning a romantic fairy tale garden wedding inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream – LOVE! (3) Alexandra’s wearing Galia Lahav for the big day – one of our absolute fave Israeli designers!
Popping the Question!
After the groom pops the question, it’s now the bride’s turn to ask… her bridal party! There are many different ways to ask your best ladies to stand by your side on your big day. You can send an ask via post or over the phone, ask each bridesmaid individually in person, or gather your crew and ask all at once!
For me, I wanted to see the look on everyone’s faces and cherish the moment as a group. After searching high and low for spots that fit my desired ambiance and budget, I decided to host a brunch on my parent’s patio. I spent a lot of time planning and wanted to share my tips with the STG community!
Set a Theme and a Budget
Being a dessert lover, I landed on the theme “I Do-Nut Want to say ‘I Do’ Without You”! I tied the theme into the day in three ways – décor (a donut wall), food (personalized donuts), and gifts (donut bath bombs!)
You can make your bridal party feel excited and special on any budget so take your time considering how much you can afford to spend on your ask. If you’re planning to send a package via post, remember that shipping can get pricey depending on weight. If you’re having a get-together like I did, set your budgets for food, alcohol, décor, and of course gifts!
Swag It Up
My half of the bridal party consists of eight bridesmaids and two MOHs. In planning out what I wanted to give them, it was important to me to personalize gifts that they would actually want to have or use.
In my baskets:
- Mini champagne bottles with personalized “Will You Be My…” labels and paper straws. I order the PDF for the labels on Etsy, but I definitely recommend ordering from someone who will print the labels for you (I had a difficult time reformatting!)
- “I Do-Nut Want to Say ‘I Do’ Without You” bath bombs from TresMonkeysShop. She was so sweet and even sent me a special gift!
- “Ally’s Tribe” tanks with our wedding hashtag (#theyWINNtheGOLD – my last name is Winnegrad and his is Goldie) from ShadesofPinkBtq.
- Personalized champagne flutes from my college friend, Sparkle Studio Design.
- Keepsake candles that I made (see DIY below!)
- Initial jewelry dish from a local trinket shop.
- Special touches for the MOHs: I asked my sister and my best friend to be Co-MOHs. They both love mermaids, so I added a cute tote to their baskets from AvenueBlueApparel, that say “Mer-Maid of Honor”. I also added personalized mugs from MJsBridalSupport who took the time to make sure that the details were just right!
- Extras: I put everything in a reusable plastic basket with a wood plaque personalized with initials. I added a “Stop & Smell the Roses” scent insert, and a faux flower for my ladies to place in the empty champagne bottle to save/display.
Capture the Moment
If you’re taking the time to gather your bridal party in one spot, don’t forget to take lots of pictures! You’ll want to remember the first time you bonded as a group, prior to your bachelorette party or bridal shower. You can also utilize the photos later on in your wedding journey, such as through a video montage.
Budget-Friendly Tips & Tricks
1. Do it yourself!
My mom and I DIY-ed all of my bridal brunch décor. We re-purposed a photo wall we made out of old wood pallets for my engagement party, made a cute donut wall using wood, pegs, glue, and paint, froze edible flowers in ice cubes, and made a hanging floral mobile out of a wreath and faux florals (all supplies from local craft stores or Amazon). It took some work, but the memories created with my mom along with the beautiful end result made it more than worth it!
I also DIY-ed a candle that went in each of my bridesmaids/MOHs baskets. I wanted to give them a keepsake photo of us in a unique format that wouldn’t take up much space and would be usable. Inspired by Shutterfly’s photo candles, I figured that there must be a way I could make these myself! I bought little candles and clear printable sticker paper at a local craft store, and then simply printed, cut, peeled, and stuck! I love how these turned out and so does my bridal party!
2. Don’t be afraid to bargain!
When ordering in multiples, be sure to inquire about a discount. Many Etsy stores and bridesmaid websites do this regularly, although some do not openly advertise the savings. Almost every item in my bridal baskets had a “buy more, save more” discount applied. Even if the answer is no, it’s definitely worth asking!
3. Do it at home!
If you can, it’s a great savings to host your get-together at home, whether it be yours, your family’s or your friend’s place. Savings on food and alcohol are unbeatable, plus you have the freedom to decorate as you please and enjoy your time rather than worrying about getting booted out of a reserved space!
Double the Fun
When my fiancé heard about my bridal brunch, he asked if his half of the party could join in. A couple of hours after my brunch, his friends came over and he asked them to be his groomsmen with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a personalized Zippo lighter from ThePersonalizedGift . We then all celebrated together throughout the night and into the next day. While not originally planned, it was very special to have our entire bridal party together to bond as a group and get excited for our wedding!
My Current Wedding Priorities
My top 3 priorities this month are:
- Book our honeymoon → This is the only priority mentioned in my last post that we haven’t settled on! Contenders are still Bali and Greece – both seem like amazing trips and we are now working with a travel agent to (hopefully) guide us in the right direction.
- Order our wedding cake → We can’t wait to have our tasting later this month! To blend with our romantic fairytale theme, we will likely choose a simple design draped in flowers.
- Ask our flower girl/ring bearers → The last proposal we need to make is to our flower girl and ring bearers. We are hoping to ask them in a fun way that they’ll always remember.
Follow our wedding journey on Instagram @theyWINNtheGOLD!
Click here to read all Alexandra’s planning posts to date.
Alexandra & Jordan’s Wedding Vendors booked so far: