Saddle Up for Cowboy Boots with Bridesmaid Dresses

28 Dec

You don’t have to hail from out west, live on a ranch, or round up cattle to don a pair of cowboy boots at your wedding. This cute trend of pairing bridesmaid dresses (or a wedding gown) with cowboy boots is perfect for outdoor or casual weddings.

Another plus about cowboy boots is that you don’t have to worry about coordinating shoes—the mismatched look is adorable! If your bridesmaids already own a pair, just have them wear what they’ve got and cut back on costs.

What are your ideal bridesmaid shoes? Would you rock a pair of cowboy boots on the big day?

Wedding Predictions for 2011

27 Dec

With 2010 dwindling down to its final hours, the wedding industry is abuzz with predictions for nuptial trends in the upcoming year. Here are some of the forecasts you should keep your eye out for in 2011’s wedding world!

  • Bridesmaid Dresses in Honeysuckle Each year Pantone Color Institute announces the color of the year and everyone from paint manufacturers to fashion designers take note. We’re predicting honeysuckle to make a major appearance in bridal parties this year! 

  • Do-It-Yourself Triumphs The DIY wedding will become mainstream in 2011 with most brides custom creating at least one of their big day elements. Austin Wedding Blog predicts flower shops will begin to offer DIY flower clinics for brides and Perfect Wedding Guide is calling for “hand-made, vintage, and rustic touches” to be showcased.
  • Outdoors, Stationary, and Vintage as the Hottest Eco-Friendly Options Weddings have become increasingly eco-conscious over the years, and in 2011 saving power with outdoor weddings, reducing waste with recycled stationary paper, and reusing jewelry and décor by going vintage will be popular “green” options. We’re predicting Etsy will be the year’s leading stationary vendor with its handmade cards and eco-friendly options!
  • Weddings Go Virtual Based on the 2011 Wedding Market Insight Report, it’s clear that the wedding industry’s online presence is growing. This coming year look for everything from brides using wedding planning smartphone apps, to huge increases in online shopping for wedding necessities, to Groupon and other web coupon sites targeting the wedding world with discounts.
  • Pockets Make an Appearance The forum over at Project Wedding spoke, and we agree–wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses with pockets will be big in 2011! 

So what can you expect from Bridesmaid Trade in the New Year?—All the above and much more! It’s been a great year and we can’t wait for an exciting 2011!

Happy Engagement Season!

23 Dec

It’s not just the holiday season, it’s wedding proposal season as well! To send you off into what is hopefully a wonderful Christmas weekend full of family and friends, here is one of the most thoughtful and romantic Christmastime wedding proposals we’ve ever heard!

The Proposal Story held a contest in which couples could submit their proposal stories for the chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate to Tiffany & Co (now that’s my kind of prize!). Here, via, is the winning story, and trust us, it’s worth reading!

12 Days of Christmas
by Michele Shams

The Beginning

Zach and I have been dating for 3 years and 4 months. We first met when a mutual friend introduced him to our group of friends. Back then, our whole group would hang out together every weekend and several times a week…so Zach and I got to know each other really well. Over the course of 6 months, he became one of my best friends. Never did I imagine that we would become more than that.

Months later, when he found out that my boyfriend-at-the-time and I had broken up, it didn’t take him long to profess how he “really” felt about me…that he felt it was more than just a friendship and that he had fallen hard. After the initial shock of his true feelings, I found that deep inside of me, I felt something strong for him too. We joked and said it was like Monica and Chandler from Friends. After a week of discussing the consequences, we decided to risk our friendship (along with the perfect dynamic of our circle of friends) and attempt dating. It was the best risk we had ever taken.

The Plan

Life with Zach has been exciting, fun, and filled with surprises. We have the kind of relationship where we just “get” each other. We never had to have the “so what are we” talk. Before he ever said he loved me, we both just felt it. I knew the strength of his feelings for me just by how he looked at me…and vice versa. When he finally did say the 3 little words, I already knew. The same goes for knowing that we found our life-partner. When I look into his eyes and he looks into mine, there’s not even a question…we want to grow old together.

About a year into our relationship, we were at a party and someone blurted out to both of us “So when are you two going to get married!!” …shocked at the candid question, Zach and I just looked at each other for a moment, and without even thinking I said… “Oh, sometime in the next 70 years”. He smiled…and with that look in his eyes, I knew that he felt the same.

Money has been tight lately. Zach and I both have dreams we hope to pursue in 2010, and so in November of 09, we decided to see a financial planner. We discussed that one day…perhaps 3-5 years from now we would eventually get married, so we wanted to get a head start on how to manage our finances properly. Because money was so tight, there was no way we would be able to get engaged or married anytime soon…or so I thought.

The Proposal

On December 11th, I woke up to 12 beautiful pink roses sitting on the counter with a card. Written in the card, Zach said he wanted to do something fun this year and give me THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS in reverse order… since we couldn’t spend a lot, they would be small but fun gifts representative for each day counting down till the day he and I celebrated Christmas before we left to visit our families. Zach is very much a romantic and he knows I love surprises. It really did not seem odd to me that he would concoct this for Christmas just to make it special since we could not really afford much.

Each morning, I would wake up, and eagerly run out to the kitchen to see what he thought of for that respective day. Some days it would be in the morning, but other days I wouldn’t get a gift until later. But boy, he sure put a lot of thought into each of the gifts. And so, here’s how the story goes:

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… 12 beautiful pink roses.

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… 11 singers singing. He made a mixed CD of 11 songs that reminded him of us.

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A 10-minute massage coupon. He knows how much I love massages…Plus, I’m always asking him for one.

On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… One portable purse hanger for tables. You see, we have traveled to 9 states in the US together, and I have rested my purse down in each. This gift represented where I’ve “hung” my purse with him, and now, I’ll have a place to hang it in the future.

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A new pair of jazz dance shoes…representing the perfect 8-count. I’m a dancer, and so, in dance, we use counts of 8 to keep step.

On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A 7-inch sub from our favorite sub shop, Angie’s, in town. He actually drove 20 minutes from his work to go pick up our favorite subs, then drove another 45 minutes across town to come to my work under the guise that he was taking me to lunch. He had set everything up in my office cafe and when I got down there, he surprised me with all of it. We had a nice little lunch together sharing our favorite food.

On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… 3 Jaguar Football tickets. The number six is more significant then the gift. We love going to Jags games together, but the number 6 is significant of the date when Zach first professed how he felt about me.

On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… 5 Friends DVDs. We love the show, Friends.

On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… The 4 Christmas’s DVD. Since we both have divorced parents, we have to celebrate Christmas 4 times.

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A package of 3 golfing gloves. Zach’s great at golf, and I’m..well, not so great. But he takes the time to teach me and every so often take me out on the course. The last time we played, I forgot to bring gloves and wore my hands raw to the point where I couldn’t make it past the 15th hole. So, 3 gloves were a perfect gift.

On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a hand-crafted earring hanger. He made it him self…it is beautifully crafted and I’m so proud of him for making it!

On the final day, December 22nd, I woke up to find one card on the tree. The card basically said that he was sending me on a scavenger hunt throughout the day to find the final present. There would be 11 clues…each one leading me to the next. He said the gift wasn’t really that big, it was more the hunt that was the fun part.

And so, off I went…the first 4 clues were hidden around the house. The next instruction would come via a text later in the day.

The text came while at work….it led me to my car where 3 more clues were hidden.

Then, at 5pm, right as I was about to leave work, the next clue came….I was to go to where we had our first date and pick up the next clue. That clue, then led me across town to where we took our first dancing lessons… which in turn then led me to where we had our first kiss. With one last clue left, I was to head to where Zach first fell for me (a local Irish bar down by the beach) and pick up the final clue.When I got to the bar, that clue said I had to go to one more place to get the gift. I walked outside to go to the next location and there Zach stood, on the corner right in front of the bar and he said the following…

“I have one final clue for you…now that you’ve received the 12 days of Christmas, you must re-read all the gifts you’ve gotten.”

The card he handed me had every gift he had given me the past 11 days in the form of the 12-Days-of-Christmas song…and on the last line, my eyes began to well-up…it read “And on the last day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… One diamond ring”

As I looked up from the card, Zach got down on one knee with tears in his eyes, and proposed. Strategically, he had proposed right near where we had first met (which was on the sidewalk across the street).

Needless to say, it will be out most memorable Christmas ever.


Trading Stories: Married in Miami

22 Dec

Just as the temperature was beginning to drop up here in Boston this November, Sam was flying down to the warmth of Miami for her friend’s big day. It was months earlier, however, that Sam’s involvement as a bridesmaid started—back to when the college roommates and sorority sisters were still attending UNC: Chapel Hill.

“I helped try on dresses with the bride while we were both at school in North Carolina at some cute shops in Raleigh. We didn’t find anything that she loved that weekend, but she ended up going shopping with her sisters in Miami and found the dresses she wanted from Priscilla of Boston. She consulted us and got our opinion before ordering them, but I thought they were beautiful!” And the adorable deep purple knee length dresses that were chosen for the bridesmaids just might defy the old “you’ll never wear it again” stigma, as Sam said, given the right occasion, she’d definitely wear it again.

While the bride’s sisters, as Maids of Honor, took on the majority of planning and responsibility, Sam stayed very much up to date with the wedding process from beginning to end: “My favorite part was definitely getting to be super close to all the details throughout the whole process with the bride. Also, just getting to be part of her day—it was so special to get to stand at the altar with the other bridesmaids and see her walk down the aisle and to look at her (then) fiancé’s face.” And, as most all bridesmaids would agree, “it was also really fun to get to spend so much time with the bridal party—three of the other bridesmaids were very close friends of mine from school and I loved getting to be with them!”

For the bachelorette party, the girls spent a weekend in Miami. And as a fellow Bostonian, Sam understands the treat of being able to escape down south twice during these colder months! While the plane tickets ending up being one of the pricier expenses for her as a bridesmaid, the fun girls weekend spent at the Fountain Bleu in South Beach was well worth it. And the wedding shower took place that same weekend so that all those traveling from far away could be present for both.

“We got to spend all day Saturday at the pool and hanging out on the beach, then that night we went to a club there which was so fun! I’d say my best memory was definitely us all getting ready in the hotel rooms, pregaming with some drinks, and playing some fun games—we got the bride-to-be to share some good stories about boyfriends in her past!”

Two weekends later, Sam headed back down to Miami for the big day. The wedding ceremony and reception took place in a beautiful banquet room at the Westin Coral Cables.

“My best memory was definitely watching the bride walk down the aisle and seeing how happy she and her husband were. Also, the dancing during the reception—everyone was having a good time!”

Bridesmaid Break Down:

Dress Brand & Style: Priscilla of Boston sweetheart top, strapless knee length with bodice detailing

Dress Color: Deep Purple

Total Budget: $1,200

Main Expenses: Dress/shoes/accessories, gifts, hotels/flights

Money-Saving Tip: Book your flights in advance!

Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in…A Costume?

21 Dec

Usually when we talk about “wedding theme,” it’s in reference to the color scheme chosen. For some couples though, “theme” is anything but traditional on their big day. Forget pastels or neutrals—more like Superman or Luke Skywalker!

More than just a cult following, for some people Jedi is a way of life. May the force be with these couples:

On a day when rings take center stage, why not evoke Lord of the Rings?

These couples chose to save the day on their wedding day as super heroes:

Everyone wants a fairy tale ending on their wedding day—some couples take this a little more literally than others:

Instead of dawning the costume themselves, this bride and groom had others wear the costumes in this Hello Kitty themed wedding:

Would you step this outside of the box on your wedding day? While it’s doubtful that theme weddings will ever become the norm, we’ve got to hand it to these couples for making sure their big day is one that will NEVER be forgotten!

If (and that’s a big, hypothetical “if”) you were to do a theme wedding what would it be of? As a child of the 90’s I’m thinking a boy band/girl band theme wedding might be pretty epic…Sporty Spice marrying J.C. with the rest of the Spice Girls and N*Sync boys as the bridal party? Talk about my 5th grade dreams come true!

Sparkling Down the Aisle: Sequined Bridesmaid Dresses

20 Dec

With the holidays in full swing and New Year’s Eve right around the corner, sequined dresses are undoubtedly the season’s hottest trend. But as stunning as sequins are, the all-over look is definitely better suited for the red carpet than the aisle.

So how can you incorporate this popular trend into your bridesmaid dresses without making your wedding party look like a cocktail party? The solution is simple: details, details, details! By reducing sequins’ role from leading lady to supporting actress, bridesmaid dresses with sequined embellishments aren’t overwhelmed with sparkle, but still carry off this stunning trend.

These pictures from The Knot, Alexia Admor, and Weddingbee show how sequined detailing can make a bridesmaid dress really sparkle! Whether it’s a sequined hem, sequin and gem stone neck embellishment, or the shimmering gold in this traditional Hindu-meets Western wedding, a little shimmer goes a long way.

Another way to incorporate the sequin trend into a bridal party is pairing the chosen dresses with a sparkly shoe.  For inspiration check out Steve Madden’s selection of glittery pumps, sandals, and flats. From sky-high heels to the more practical and comfortable flats, you can easily find shoes that shimmer in every style these days.

At Bridesmaid Trade we’ve got some gorgeous bridesmaid dress options that embrace the sequined trend without going overboard. The sequined bodice on THIS periwinkle Della Roufogali dress is sure to dazzle.

THIS floor-length black dress by Sherri Hill is elegant and flattering with its sequined sweetheart neckline.

For a subtler sequined look, THIS lavender dress has the perfect amount of sparkle on the spaghetti straps and waistline.

My Best Friend’s Wedding: The Beginning

17 Dec

We’re adding a new feature on our blog–every couple weeks or so, I’ll be posting my own experiences of being a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding! Stay tuned as we deliberate over dress choices, decor, bachelorette party ideas, and all that comes along with planning a wedding!

*          *          *          *          *

It was a rainy evening last March and I was about to head out for one of the last nights of my college spring break, when the familiar text message ding-ding sounded on my phone. It was a picture message from my best friend, Ellen, who was on a trip with her boyfriend, Ryan, in New Orleans:

After loudly and giddily telling my inanimate iPhone screen to “Holy crap! SHUT UP!” several times, I dialed up Ellen to congratulate her and get all the details. The first of my friends to get engaged and my first experience as a bridesmaid!

Ellen and I grew up together on Martha’s Vineyard, have been friends ever since I can remember, and best friends since the 5th grade, where we drove our poor teacher to the brink of insanity. Seen here playing “Wizbang,” a game we invented in my basement one weekend, I think it’s safe to say we’ve always had a rather unique bond…

Ellen and her fiancé Ryan, who grew up on the Vineyard as well, first dated in middle school (I know what you’re thinking—since when do those relationships end in marriage?!), and began dating again after high school.

Flash-forward to today, and we’ve got a wedding to plan! The big day is set for September 17, 2011 at the breathtakingly scenic Captain Flander’s House in Chilmark, MA.

Ellen’s sister and I will be sharing bridesmaid duties as co-Maid of Honors, and while the heavy-duty planning isn’t in full swing quite yet, the hunt for bridesmaid dresses has already begun. Ellen is thinking of a purple color theme for her wedding, recently refining her colors to jewel-tone purple and orange. The color choice was no surprise because she LOVES purple. Purple cell phone, purple wallet, purple jewelry–it’s been her color for years! Originally, Ellen was thinking a light purple or lavender for bridesmaid dresses, but the shade slowly gotten darker, settling on a beautiful deep jewel tone. And since we all know darker colors tend to be a little more flattering with tighter dresses, I’m certainly not complaining! Here are the bridesmaid dress options that have been tossed around so far (The first is from J. Crew, the next two are from Priscilla of Boston, and the last is Alfred Angelo):

For this J. Crew dress, I love the bodice detailing and think the fitted bust with an empire waist and whimsical skirt is an extremely flattering combination on almost all body types. (Luckily Ellen’s sister and I have similar body types, so settling on a dress that looks great on us both should be that much easier). The shade of purple Ellen’s thinking of has gotten darker though, so this one might be out out the running.

I love that these two dresses from Priscilla of Boston are form-fitted. For everyday occasions, I would normally opt for something more fitted, so when Ellen suggested these two, I had a natural inclination towards them. And the strapless choice has some strategically-flattering rouching, which is always great!

I was admittedly surprised at first when Ellen said she wanted to incorporate orange into her color theme, but then I saw this dress option, and I just kept envisioning how beautiful the colors would look against a bright flower bouquet. The sash option on this dress is great because it allows for a second color to make an appearance in the bridal party.

Which is your favorite so far? We’re set to go dress shopping January 4, so be sure to check back for updates—I’ll keep you posted throughout the whole process of being a first-time bridesmaid!

Countdown to the Big Day: 275 Days

MOO: It’s Not Just for the Cows

16 Dec

With the company vision “great design for everyone,” MOO is your one-stop shop for online quality printing needs. What does a printer have to do with weddings, you may ask? With save-the-dates, bridal shower invites, wedding invites, place holders, and thank you notes all on a bride’s To-Do List, we’d say printers have a LOT to do with weddings!

THESE small thank you cards, with a picture of the couple on one side and some kind thanks on the other, are absolutely adorable and cost-effective.

THIS idea, using pictures of the newly-engaged couple as children is a unique and cute way to style your save-the-dates.

Beyond the invitations, thank you notes, and place holders (all of which MOO can provide), MOO’s Inspiration Gallery is full of creative and unique ideas for the big day.

We love this idea for Ice-Breaker Cards, in which cards are printed with different questions about the bride and groom and placed on the wedding reception tables. Just because the bride and groom know and love everyone in the room doesn’t mean the guests have met, and Ice-Breaker Cards are a great conversation starter and fun way to test your knowledge on the newlyweds! Use Moo’s MiniCards or Business Cards to create your own Ice-Breaker cards, customized with your pictures and questions.

Undertaken any creative print projects of your own lately? Tell us how you’d utilize MOO!

Cake Pulls: A Charming Idea for Weddings and Bridal Showers

15 Dec

As explained (and shown) by the talented photographer over at Mark Eric Weddings, Cake Pulls are a Southern tradition dating back to Victorian times. Sterling silver charms attached to ribbons are baked inside the wedding or bridal shower cake, and all the single ladies get a chance to pull one out before the cake is cut.

Each charm has a different meaning and foretells the future of the woman who pulls it. A fortune-telling AND a piece of jewelry?—we think it’s time for this Southern tradition to make it’s way up North! For affordable charms online, check out Wedding Cake Charms and Charm Country. Both websites offer a variety of charms and includes the meaning behind each.

The lucky lady who pulls THIS hot air balloon charm is destined for a life of adventure and travel.

THIS tree charm predicts a life of stability.

And I certainly wouldn’t complain if I drew THIS crown charm that carries the meaning “queen for a lifetime!”

There are many ways to orchestrate the pulling of the charms, with this idea from Weddingbee a perfect option for giving each woman’s charm and corresponding fortune the spotlight:

After each bridesmaid pulled her charm (and licked off the chocolate, of course!) the bride handed her a printed corresponding fortune to be read out loud in front of the wedding reception.

While the charms may not be the tastiest part of dessert, cake pulls are a fun tradition you can add to your wedding or bridal shower, and make for a great keepsake that can be added to any bracelet or necklace. Have you ever participated in a cake pull? Tell us which fortune you pulled!

December Wedding Flowers

14 Dec

When it comes to choosing flowers for a December wedding, many people opt to embody the time of year with holiday or winter themes. We’ll break down three trends and provide you with some wonderful choices for flowers that are in bloom this month.

  • Holiday Bouquets and Arrangements Poinsettia, holly pine boughs, holly berries, ivy vines—these holiday flowers and decorations are a popular choice in December weddings and look absolutely amazing against a white gown. We love the look of this holiday bouquet infused with ivy and pine boughs:

Another way to do the holiday theme is to stick to holiday colors like deep red and green. This
arrangement of roses is simple yet stunning:

  • All-White Bouquets and Arrangements Nothing says winter wonderland like the color white. This bouquet of orchids, stephanotis, roses, and ivy is the perfect example:

  • Icy-Blue Bouquets and Arrangements Infusing a bouquet with icy blue flowers is a perfect way to evoke this winter month. The blue hydrangea in this bouquet of roses, mini calla lilies, gyp, ivy, and tree fern make for a stunning effect:

Attending any December weddings yourself this year? Keep an eye out for the flowers and tell us about them!