8 tips to ensure your bridesmaids are HAPPY maids

They’re your closest friends and you easily selected which ones that you wanted to stand by your side on your wedding day. Yet, being a bridesmaid involves lots more than just showing up on the day of your wedding. Here are some tips to keep your beloved bridesmaids happy as you plan for your big day. 

1. Consider the number of bridal showers that will be thrown for you. One is good, two is doable, but if you’re having any more than that, take note of who is invited to which ones. Invite select bridesmaids to each, giving consideration to their schedules, so you can limit the showers they need to attend. And remember, it’s perfectly acceptable that maids attending multiple showers only bring a gift to one event. 

2. Be considerate of the price of the bridesmaids dresses you select. Although they are happy to be sharing in your joy, being a bridesmaid is an investment. Not only will they be paying for their dress, they’ll also need shoes and accessories to accompany it. 

3. Be considerate of the style of bridesmaids’ dresses you select. Let’s face it, not all bodies are created equally and you’ll want your maids feeling comfortable ~and beautiful~ on your big day. Consider a certain dress color and let your bridesmaids find a style, neckline and silhouette that are most flattering to their body types. 

4. Don’t dictate how your bridesmaids should wear their hair and makeup. Give them the freedom to decide what hairstyles and makeup colors best compliment them and their comfort level. And if you really want to make them happy, treat them to--meaning pay for--hair and makeup services provided by a professional stylist! 

5. Be considerate of where you have your bachelorette party. If you and your maids are all excited and in agreement to head to Vegas for the weekend, then have at it! Otherwise, keep in mind that out-of-town festivities only add to the monetary investment your maids are already making. 

6. Communicate your expectations of your bridesmaids, and keep their to-do list manageable. Do you want them to be involved in your planning details? Do you need their help in addressing your wedding invitations? Do you need them to deliver welcome bags to the hotel for your out-of-town guests? Let them know what you expect of them, so you don’t end up being upset with someone who perhaps didn’t understand (or didn’t know) what you needed of them to begin with.

7. If your bridesmaids all come from different parts of your life and don’t know each other, schedule a fun outing or two before the wedding to give them the opportunity to get to know one another. They’ll have a lot more fun together at the wedding if you do! 

8. Remember during your planning process and leading up to the big day that life is still happening for your bridesmaids as well. Make a point to talk about non-related wedding things. Check in on them and inquire about what’s going on in their lives. They still want to share life with you just as they always have. 

How will you be celebrating YOUR bridesmaids? Email us at info@triadweddings.com and let us know!  

place cards vs. escort cards…what’s the difference?

Although the two are often confused to be the same thing, fact is, they are two separate entities. Place cards are usually used for more formal weddings, and are used to not only direct guests to their specific table, but also to their particular seat at the table. Escort cards, on the other hand, direct guests to their table, but attendees are free to select their own place at the table. Here are some ideas we love that could easily be used as both place cards or escort cards: 

Plant cards into flowering pots that coordinate with your wedding décor for a beautiful botanical seating chart. 

Forego the usual wine corks for seating charts and use the wine bottles to display guest names for each table. Incorporating your favorite flowers into these wine vases makes this presentation especially beautiful!

Hang leaves for a garden wedding seating chart. Magnolia leaves are especially beautiful due to their rich color and durable texture. 

Looking for a more whimsical idea for a seating chart? Put a table number on painted balloons and attach escort/place cards to the strings. 

Perfect for the nautical couple, share the seating chart on a collection of life preservers. 

Two for one! Greet your guests with a refreshing beverage that has a hanging escort/place card as they arrive at the reception.

Having a beach wedding? Write the names of your guests on paint brush handles with their table number, and give me something to brush the sand off their feet with after the ceremony! 

Welcoming guests at a small garden wedding with freshly picked fruit is a unique, and sweet, idea.

A classy take on Cupid’s bow and arrow, this bow and arrow seating chart is so creative, and perfect for a Bohemian inspired wedding. 

Will you be having place cards or escort cards at your wedding? Share your creative ideas with us! Email them to info@triadweddings.com.  

the SWEETEST part of planning for your special day

Choosing your wedding cake is likely to be one of your favorite parts of wedding planning, especially if you’ve given consideration to the design, the flavors, how many guests you’ll be sharing this sweet confection with, and your budget. 

Today's wedding cakes are more personal to the bride and groom, ranging from nontraditional, French influenced cakes to the ever popular rustic cakes incorporating burlap, texture and wood grain, to the classic, traditional cake designs that are making a big comeback. 

The theme, style and colors of your wedding are essential factors that will guide a bride and groom as you decide what you want your cake to look like. What style are you planning for your wedding day; contemporary, traditional, futuristic, vintage? 

Flavors vary and there are so many combinations that can be made with fillings and cake. Couples are always enthusiastic about sharing their special taste(s) with their guests. This is one of the first public debuts of your combination of tastes as a couple, and it is important that the reality of your ideas work. That is where hiring a professional pastry chef is so important. Anyone can bake a cake, but getting the tastes, the style and the look to meld together takes expertise. 

One of the things you’ll learn while planning for your wedding cake is how much time, talent and hard work goes into each and every cake, especially cakes that involve intricate designs. Perhaps you’ve dreamed of a five-tier wedding cake draped in blush pink peonies and lace, but the reality is your budget won’t allow for it. A skilled pastry chef will be able to guide you in realistic ways to incorporate your vision that will also be fitting to your budget.

You’ll also want to consider the number of people you plan on having at your wedding. This number will determine how many servings will be needed, thus determining the cake size. And if you’re a traditionalist, remember that the top tier is off limits! You’ll want to save this tier to enjoy when you celebrate your 1st anniversary! Be sure to ask your pastry chef for tips on how to best preserve this portion of your cake. 

It’s always fun to see how couples choose their wedding cake, and just like the cake itself, the selection process is as unique as the couple. Some start with the flavor combination. Couples love to taste different combinations. Once they have picked their flavors, they then decide on the style and look of their special cake. 

Regardless of how you plan for your wedding cake, enjoy this sweetest part of planning for your special day! 

flower power ~ tips & inspiration to plan for your wedding florals

By Julie Williams, Blossom Artistry

Floral designers do so much more than make your bouquet! We help develop the look and feel of your wedding ceremony. We create your table centerpieces and other floral arrangements for the reception. We provide all your wedding party personal flowers, and sometimes even add floral embellishments for your cake. Here are a few tips that will make meeting with your floral professional much more productive.

  Blossom Artistry  ~ photo by Peepsake Photography

Blossom Artistry ~ photo by Peepsake Photography

  Taylored Blooms  ~ photos by Adele Lee Photography

Taylored Blooms ~ photos by Adele Lee Photography

Know your ceremony and reception venue. It is important to have chosen your wedding and reception venues. It will be easier to discuss how much floral décor you will need to achieve the look you want. 

Show us your gown. Bring a picture of your dress. The design, style and color dictate the styling and flower choices we suggest.

   Just Priceless  ~ photo by Stephen Thrift Photography

 Just Priceless ~ photo by Stephen Thrift Photography

  Just Priceless  ~ photo by Alisandra Photography

Just Priceless ~ photo by Alisandra Photography

Present your ideas. This is how we get a feel for your “vibe”. Bring your pictures and Pin boards. It is super helpful for us to see what has an appeal for you, but word of caution: use pictures for inspiration only, not to copy. Rarely can pictures be duplicated exactly, and who wants what another has had? Let us design uniquely for you and show you what we can do for your special day. 

  Occasions Floral Designs  ~ photos by Ashley Stone Photography

Occasions Floral Designs ~ photos by Ashley Stone Photography

  Occasions Floral Designs  ~ Ashley Stone Photography

Occasions Floral Designs ~ Ashley Stone Photography

Be upfront about your budget. As professionals, florists can design for almost any budget as long as we know what we are working with. We can do mock-ups to show you exactly what to expect for your budget range. Realistic expectations are the key. 

 Designs North

Designs North

 Designs North

Designs North

Share the details. Lots of times, your vendors will know each other. We like to work together to make the details flow. It is helpful to know all the details to make sure our styling, colors and décor complement one another. 

  The Garden Outlet  ~ photos by Liz Grogan Photography

The Garden Outlet ~ photos by Liz Grogan Photography

  The Garden Outlet  ~ photos by Liz Grogan Photography

The Garden Outlet ~ photos by Liz Grogan Photography

Develop a rapport. The most important thing is to develop a rapport with your floral designer. Remember, our touches really do the most to bring a design idea into reality. Make sure you feel comfortable expressing yourself with your floral provider. (I recommend developing this same rapport with all the vendors you choose.)

The moral of the story is communication. Expressing yourself and your ideas about your special day is the most important thing! We are here to make your vision come to life.

Lessons Learned from the Experienced Bride

When you get engaged, I'm sure you're immediately bombarded with advice and tips from every family, friend, and stranger at the grocery store. Likely because they've been through it and know what things they would have done differently, what they would have done better, and what they'd never change. With all that experience under their belt, they love to share, and it's easy to be overwhelmed.

One of the things we love about reading submissions from brides to TriadWeddings Magazine is that they are always filled with little gems of wisdom by brides who have just finished the wedding planning process. So, we've gathered a few of our favorite bits of wedding advice...

How did you keep your wedding uniquely yours?

The first thing that came to our mind was our guestbook. I loved our “guestbook”. it was a map I found on Etsy that we used as our “guestbook” for guests to sign. We have it framed and it is on the wall in our new home. We love to travel, so having that and the luggage tag favors was a perfect representation of us.
— Carmen
 Image by Bill Broere Photography

Image by Bill Broere Photography

Our venue which my dad built for our wedding. We started clearing the land for the venue in May 2014. My wedding was Oct 2014. In 5 short months we managed to have everything done and ready for my big day.
— Krystle
 Image by Dreamcatcher Photography

Image by Dreamcatcher Photography

What advice do you have for future brides?

My dress was a LITTLE tight! Advice I would give is definitely get bridal portraits done before the wedding - not because I regret not having them (I’m not a huge picture person) - but because it would have given me enough time in the dress to realize it fit a little uncomfortably! Oops!!
— Hayley
 Image by Keepsake Memories Photography

Image by Keepsake Memories Photography

 Image by Ray of Hope Photography

Image by Ray of Hope Photography

The only thing I would [advise] is that I would eat more throughout the day. I got so hungry by the time of our ceremony that I felt like I might pass out, but it was the best day of my life hands down.
— Sandra

What would you change about your wedding day?

 Image by Misty Photographer

Image by Misty Photographer

Of course anyone wants the sun to shine on their wedding day and we are no different. It rained off and on all day and that would be the only thing I would change about our wedding day. (They say rain is good luck on a wedding day so I am still excited about our future and large amount of good luck we should receive!)
— Danielle
Honestly, the only thing I would change would be the ceremony site decor. I chose these ribbon colors to go around the trees we were standing between, but from far away they did not pop as I was hoping they would. Other than that, I can’t say that I would change a thing!
— Caroline
 Image by Kinsey Mhire Photography

Image by Kinsey Mhire Photography