Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mock Bridesmaid/ Groomsmen responsibility list

 (Photo Credit: The INCREDIBLY talented Janelle Elise Photography! Check out her beautiful photos!)

I found the following list helpful from the knot book of wedding lists. I think it's a good base to add onto or take from. Each list varies depending on the things your wedding will and will not include. I hope this is helpful to you!

Groomsmen duties:
Attend and organize bachelor party
Rent or buy his own formal wear
Help (when possible) with pre-wedding tasks like transportation
Arrive early at the ceremony location to assist with any last-minute setup
Act as ushers if you haven't already assigned others to that role
Play host to guests at the wedding and pre-wedding parties
Make sure that the gifts for the wedding are transported properly
Decorate the getaway car

 Best Man duties:
Organize the bachelor party with the other groomsmen
Drive the groom to the ceremony
Hold the bride's ring until it's needed in the ceremony
Witness and sign the wedding certificate
Might be in charge of giving payments to all appropriate vendors
Give a toast at the reception

Bridesmaid duties:
Attend and organize the bachelorette party
Attend and put together the bridal shower
Usually will pay for her own wedding attire
Assist the bride in pre-wedding shopping
Help (when possible) with prewedding taks  like addressing invitations, making shower favors
Arrive early to help the bride dress
Play hostess to guests at the wedding and pre-wedding parties

 Maid of Honor duties:
Attend important shopping trips with the bride such as gown fittings
Take charge of planning a bridal shower with the other bridesmaids
Arrange the brides veil and gown at the altar
Hold the groom's ring until it's needed at the ceremony
Hold the brides bouquet while she says her vows
Witness and sign the marriage certificate
Might stand in the receiving line
Might give toast at the reception
Help the bride change clothes after the reception and take care of gown

As I mentioned in the previous post, it is SO important and will be immensely helpful to you to somehow communicate this to your bridesmaids. NEVER assume they know what to do and let them know before they accept the responsibility what will be expected. Really consider whether or not those you are asking to be a part of your bridal party will be willing to fully take on this role. I have to admit, while I was soo happy to have my closest friends with me as part of my bridal party and they helped me do whatever I had left...this is a mistake I made by having only bridesmaids who all lived out of state. I was not able to have a bridal shower as my maid of honor was the only local party member and did not plan one and my remaining bridesmaids did not live locally or within close travel distance. I ended up fulfilling most of these responsibilities myself. Example given, PLEASE! make sure you keep these things in mind when choosing and planning ladies :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Will you be my bridesmaid/groomsmen?

        Now that you've got a few resources down, you'll want to grab the most essential resources you can have in this journey...bridesmaids and groomsmen. I can say with 100% sincerity that in the end I would've never pulled it off without this crucial group of people! The majority of our wedding party came in from out of town; therefore, they couldn't help with many things until the final few days. However, anything and EVERYTHING they could do, they did. 

The decision of who to include in your bridal party can be a hard one! There will be many people who could "qualify". There are the friends you grew up with, the family members, the family friends, the friends you were once really close to, and the friends you have now. When you're making the final decision, the people you're going to need with you, will be those friends who know you more than you know yourself. Everyone has at least one friend who would knows what you need without you having to say it, a friend who knows the appropriate thing to do to make you laugh when you're becoming neurotic, and will help you see the full picture when you're beyond emotional. These are the people who need to be considered first. REMEMBER, this is not a day for you to make sure everyone knows how much you love him or her and how important he or she is to you. Your wedding is for people to support and celebrate you and where your life's headed. On the topic of feeling obligated to include family members in your bridal part, I'd say their needs to be balance, as you will have them for the rest of your life. Siblings (unless they would absolutely RUIN your wedding) should at least be strongly considered. Whether the relationship is great or estranged, is it worth the damage it could cause to not include them in some way? Think about what they will have missed if the relationship is salvaged later on. Only you know what's worth it to you, but really think about it. Also, keep in mind (unless you have a wedding coordinator) that your wedding party will be the hosts of your wedding, directing your guests, directing transitions etc at lest a few of them will need to be comfortable with being in front of people, speaking up, being assertive, and having a good time. Finally, to make sure you enjoy this experience and it doesn't chew you up and spit you (which it will if you try to do this all on your own), I'd recommend having at least 1-2 bridesmaid locally, if possible. With that said, if your situation is somewhat like mine and the majority of those you'd want with you on that day are widespread; I urge you to let other local friends or family help you out.

On to the fun part... asking your bridal party. 

There is always the conventional call or conversation to ask if your friends would be willing to be a part of your party, but after stumbling across this, I'm now a bit partial to asking in a more personal way.

I saw these great ideas posted by one of the lovely ladies over at

Asking your girls to be your Bridesmaids

These are simple ring boxes filled with fake rings and a note inside that reads, "Will you be my bridesmaid?" I thought this was such an endearing idea!

Asking the guys to be Groomsmen

In the scrolls were enclosed a charge to be with the groom on this important day. Also enclosed with each hand-sealed scroll was a cigar for the gentleman to enjoy! What a great masculine touch!

As I mentioned before, this group of people is going to be crucial assets in this entire process for you. With this in mind, I'd advise including a list summarizing with the duties/expectations for the bridesmaid/groomsmen will entail. While this may sound a bit too pithy, think about it this way...
  • Some of these people may not be aware of what being a member of a bridal party even consists of. Help them. Fill them in. If you leave them in the dark, you can't exactly get upset when they have NO idea what's going on.
  • Some people, simply put, may just not be able to commit to the responsibilities (life happens). Give them a chance to decline or ask questions before finding out too late in the game that they'll just be showing up to party.
  • At times, THEY may have to remind YOU of what they're there for.
  • Bottom-line, as in many situations, it's just nice to walk into it at least somewhat informed of what the expectations would be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First 2 weeks: Take a breath...get some tools to help you build your special day

 (Photo Credit: Janelle Elise Photography YOU MUST CHECK HER OUT!)

So, you're engaged! Congratulations! Get excited!!!

 Week 1:
  • Don't immediately plunge into it all. Toe first...Then foot...etc. What I'd recommend doing this week is simple and could be done while enjoying an afternoon coffee or relaxing for an evening wind down. While you've still got the initial hype of excitement and enthusiasm, just sit down and write a list of anything and everything you'd love for your wedding to look, feel, and be like. Come back to it the next day. Organize it by ceremony and reception and in order of what is most important-things that would be ok to go without.
  • Create yourself an email address to use only for wedding stuff. There are contests, you'll want to contact vendors (who may share your email or continue to send you marketing emails). I.E.*David's Bridal will give your email and sometimes your phone number to other companies they partner with etc*. Some companies give you promos for signing up for their emailings or newsletters. This gives you freedom to join wedding websites, blogs, and whatever else that you will only really need for your wedding but also insures they won't get lost in the scramble. You can use this email to contact general website contact emails about quotes, general information, and non-committal inquiries, once again, without receiving solicitation for years to come.

Week 2:
To be honest, I'm a bit of a stickler for systems and getting things done the most efficient and less stressful way possible. If you're anything like me, or completely struggle to keep things organized, I promise, this will be helpful for you. Make a shopping list for the following supplies:
A three ring binder/notebook (if it comes with the pockets etc that's an added bonus)
-A hole punch if you don't yet have one
-Divider tabs
-Post-it flags (multi-color pack)
-A zipper pouch with holes that can be bound into your notebook
-Colorful pens (optional, to keep the bore-factor down ;)
-Sheet protectors (ones that can be bound)
-stick glue
-scotch tape

Why these random and seemingly adolescent items? Many of the books, magazines, and computer articles you read may only have a few things that you will personally need. I made myself a notebook full of any and everything that would inspire or help me on my wedding, I cut out pictures, magazine articles, printed things I'd found online and cut and pasted them as needed to sift through all the irrelevant information. I had anything from info on all the different birth control methods to articles on how to make your own cupcake tree and the calender for what flowers are in season at any given time throughout the year, neatly organized by divider tabs. I kept all my expense receipts in the zipper pouch. Any coupons I acquired etc. could also be saved there.

Doing this notebook beforehand is a fun crafty project but it also makes it SO easy for your ideas, inspiration, and information to all be portable so you can carry it along on your many wedding expeditions and won't have to try to keep it all in the forefront of your mind. It makes a great keepsake and heirloom for your family or resource to lend to friends, trust'll be a pro when it's all said and done ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What they should tell you in the beginning and you'll know in the end.

I've noticed in the aftermath of my own wedding, that there are some things that the depth of which can not even be captured in the snapshots of the event itself. Nothing will capture the beauty of it all with complete justice. Months of working SO hard and worrying myself SO much about all the little details and in the last few days leading up to and the day of my wedding...everything just sort of fell into perfect place. Sure, there were mishaps and things we forgot...but it all just pales in comparison to the overall culmination. The photographs don't show the joy and complete calm that came to my tired heart with the arrival of each friend. It never captured the complete sense of love, relief, safety that came with each family members smile. It will never measure the enormous amount of gratitude and humility I will always feel when I remember what it must've cost them to travel the distance and time they did just to surround me as I made one of the most important and terrifying decisions I've ever made in my life. They won't show you the look on my husbands face when he saw me and turned to his groomsmen and whispered "That's my bride!" It won't tell you the vast stories behind the eyes of those watching that day...each one knowing what it took to get us both to this point. I doubt they'll be pictures of all those who after being with us the entire day, then stayed behind to clean up after sending us off from our reception. I say all this to say to you, do the best you can but know that in the (whether from family, friends, or the love of your life) has a way of working things out (or at least turning a blind eye to imperfection ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Intro/Shpeel

Hey you! Look over here, over on the left! Yeah, that's me.. this is the wedding that start it all. This whole thing started when I spent an entire summer coordinating, attending, and participating in weddings while also planning my own.

As a bride to be, snatching every piece of wedding planner, "how-to", magazine, and literature I could get my hands on; I realized...I may be on my own, regardless. How does one know where to begin? Is it possible that the planners and datelines actually work as a blanket statement for EVERY bride? With a full-time job and already struggling social life, how do I and do I even have time to sift through ALL of this information to find what I actually need?! How do I even know what all needs to be done and once I know that...what comes first?! Who do I invite when I suddenly feel like I know enough people to fill Yankee Stadium? Who do I include in my bridal party? Where do I have my wedding, that is, once I decide indoor or outdoor?! Since the intial frazzle, I have done my best to sift through, note jot, organize, prioritize, and glean every bit of wisdom I could get. In doing all of this I realized how stressful it could be, not only for myself, but for all the other brides-to-be (DIY or not). Here is my attempt at the golden rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". My hope is that this becomes a resource or breath of fresh air, even if only to one person. Congratulations and ENJOY!