How Did You Invite Your Bridesmaids?

I planned to send each bridesmaid a cute “Will You Be My Bridesmaid Card”. However, my grandmother got critically ill in May and I forgot my “plan” while out to dinner with my bridesmaid visiting from Chicago. At Rosa Mexicana, a hip NYC restaurant we went to because as Southern California girls we always miss Mexican food, I asked her in a stumbling manner if she would be my bridesmaid. When we got back from dinner the two of us were talking about wedding stuff and even my fiance was like, “You asked her already?” surprised that I didn’t stick with my plan. Well as a best friend and former roommate, she understood. But a few months later I got back on board with what I was planning, organized my thoughts and translated them into little mementos.

Here are a few pictures of how my other two “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” cards turned out:

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Bachelorette Party – For the Free-Spirited Bride

I love the idea of an all-girls weekend getaway instead of a bar hopping pink parade. A trip to New Orleans, Louisiana for Cajun food and palm readings? Riding around Wickenburg, Arizona on horseback at a girls only ranch? Lounging pool-side in Miami sipping mojitos and getting some sun?

Check out this spin on an all-girls night out! An evening camping in Josua Tree, California. I’d love to make smores sitting around the campfire gossiping. The photoshoot, while not technically “real” (the project put together by a great creative team), gives us all inspiration to keep bachelorette parties grounded to the bride. Does every girl want to run around bars wearing feather boas, penis pins, and mini tiaras? How about a relaxed yet festive party? A request for the girls to bring a sleeping bag, whisky and their best pair of hiking boots for a night under the stars! This would surely warm up the bride before her big day.

The Frock – Vintage

I love history. I love books. I love legacy.

I have been toying with the idea of wearing a vintage gown because I love the notion of wearing something that another woman wore with such excitement. As if this inanimate object gets even more and more happier, blessed, beautiful with each person wearing it. Other reasons why to buy a vintage gown: knowing that there will not be hundreds of brides wearing your dress and the ability to choose from a wide variety of styles (from Victorian to Edwardian to Deco to Flapper).

The Frock, an online vintage dress boutique, is a fun place to start “thinking” about a vintage dress. They have a great buyer so it is easy to explore well designed dresses and get your first exposure to the different decades.

A little pricey (they do offer layaway!) but if you are interested in a truly authentic vintage gown by a well known designer this is your place!

SAJA – An Ethereal Dress

So the wedding dresses from Saja are still in the running. I am still on the hunt, don’t get me wrong. But the Saja’s strapless gown has officially become my top pick. It has everything I am looking for: beautiful drapery, empire waist, cream chiffon, and an ethereal, romantic, flowing bohemian style. My only hesitation: will it be dramatic enough? Will it make me feel special enough walking down the aisle? Does it need a little bit of a train? A little crystal accent on the satin ribbon? Or a ruffly flower enclosure? Something with these elements might be a bit more “bridal” but then it wouldn’t have the effortless simplicity which I am also drawn to. It is something for me to think about.

I have my size written down on a card, the NYC headquarters 10 minutes away, and the option to order online. The great thing: it fits great. So I feel as if I have a little bit more time. No need to order it a year in advance, have three to four alteration fittings and be unhappy that it isn’t what I imagined.

Calligraphy – A Script Beginner

My handwriting has gotten worse over the years. Can that actually happen? Shouldn’t it improve as I age–I mean I have done it more and more! Well, no matter what it is my script has not aged well. Getting ready to send out my save the dates I bought a box of calligraphy pens. I didn’t end up using them because I had to use a very specific navy color –which wasn’t fox in the box. I am getting ready to begin thinking about my wedding invites. Looking around the internet I ran into this article on Project Wedding that gives you simple tips to begin writing calligraphy.

A Filipino-American Wedding

My fiance’s parents came to this country a little over thirty years ago from the Philippines. Their entry to America was by way of Hawaii then San Francisco then New York, where my soon-to-be husband was born. As a second generation Filipino-American he is bound by two cultures. Rejoicing in being an American and being Filipino. Of course he has been taught traditional Filipino culture from his parents, his family, and his community. As a third generation European-American I too come from a specific way of life that seems to me as completely normal. However, he is much more aware of the dichotomy and cultural norms he must adhere to in his different environments. I often assume my norms are “American” and not what my parents — an English-German third gen and a Bulgarian-English third gen–taught me.

Last February we went to the Philippines, lovingly called “PI” by second gens, and it shattered some of what he thought he knew, explained a lot of what he didn’t, and informed both of us about the nuances of his parents’ ways. We went for a wedding but this didn’t fully prepare me for the questions his mom would ask me about the wedding.

My mother-in-law-to-be’s main question since we got engaged was who our sponsors were going to be. “Sponsors?”, I thought. Are these people who will be paying for the wedding? That seems a bit “different”, I thought. No, no “sponsors” are individuals involved in your lives that will stand up and attest that you two should get married, and that you have the support of your friends, family, and the community. Basically saying, as elders, “we support this union.” From a little research this seems to be mostly a Hispanic Catholic tradition. The Philippines were ruled by Spain through Mexico City and in many ways their customs share similarities. Not being Catholic I wasn’t familiar with this term. So right now I am trying to brainstorm who in my family would be sponsors. His mom came up with examples for him. But who should be my sponsors? I’m trying to think of people with the same sort of “status” or relationship.

Typically for a Filipino this information goes on the wedding invitation. But do I want to have this on the invites? I think my friends and family will be confused by the term. I’ve got to figure this out before our wedding invitations can be printed! So by the begin of this project–by February–it has got to be planned.

A7 Wedding Invitation Box

A few weeks back I posted about my hunt for boxes for A7-sized invitations.

Recently I found wedding boxes specifically made to enclose A7 wedding invitations at Papersource. A few colors are on sale for $1.60, regularly $2.00. And a few colors can be bought in bulk–packs of five for $9.50. Papersource has beautiful colors but these are on the pricier side. With my guest list I am looking at least 50 boxes making it about $100. I am hoping to find a more budget friendly options–something that could be bought in bulk. The only problem is that the general box websites do not have the perfect A7 size (7 3/8″ x 5 3/8″ x 3/4″). Perhaps I should lean towards a slightly smaller invite–even though less traditional–to save more than half on the boxes. Just a thought!

Please let me know, Boho Brides, if you run into any boxes that would “fit”!

“Neutral” Bridesmaid Dresses

How about a neutral colored bridesmaid dress–something hand selected by each of your girls? Finding dresses that fit each bridesmaid’s body type and in a comfortable price range is a real challenge! If the dress is on the cheap end–less than $50–then it is typically made for a lean, youthful frame and usually is really teeny tiny. If it is on the high end then it isn’t affordable–especially for bridesmaids that are already asked to travel for a destination wedding! And what if the dress will never be worn again. Is it over indulgent to ask your close friends to buy something that is probably felt to be “too fancy” or “not really my style”?

I am weighing the pros and the cons about offering up the option of asking my bridesmaid to choose a dress in a specific hue . The negatives are that you don’t have much control over what they wear–obviously–which translates to a *possible* loss of your vision. Bridesmaid dresses can really influence the feeling of the wedding. They can almost instantaneously inform your guests what type of wedding they will be attending–traditional, modern, casual, eclectic. So is the loss of your wedding’s theme worth the trade off of having your gals not look like soldiers, and more of a possibility that the girls will wear their dresses again?

When I see posts like the one of Jenn and Brad’s “Indie Wedding” from Ruffled of bridesmaid dresses similar in hue but ranging in styles, I think it is a fantastic idea! Long and flowy, short and sleek, urban chic, fancifully fun…it shows off each girl’s personality and it is a bit more relaxed then if they were in the same dress.

What it all boils down to:
1. uniform bridesmaid dresses
2. the girls in the same style dress but in complementing colors
3. bridesmaid dresses in one color but different styles
4. dresses in a range of colors but all of the same “theme”–chiffon fabric, flowy, bohemian