The New Bridesmaid


The New Bridesmaid…  According to “The Hartford Magazine” article ‘Pretty Maids All in a Row’ by Sarah Wesley Lemire, the average bridesmaid spends roughly $ 1,500 for the honor of being a bride’s attendant.  The amount increases if she has to travel, which may include train or airfare, rental car, etc. Her accommodations should be paid for by the bride or the  bride’s family.  This is to include the night prior to the wedding and the night of the event.


Top Two Photos from Lady Kitty Spencer’s Instagram

There is a new trend afoot!  Some brides are allowing their bridesmaids to choose their own gown.  In the two photos above, (taken from Lady Kitty Spencer’s instagram – If you have a good memory, she is the niece of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.  Lady Kitty is the daughter of Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer.  Any daughters of an earl have the title, “Lady”.

But I digress… As you can see in the photos above, even the aristocracy is embracing this new trend.  The bride, Lady Kitty’s friend, didn’t even designate a color palate for her maids to choose from.  She apparently said something like, “Choose a long gown you like, and wear it!”  I think it’s delightful.  Even the bride is a little avant-garde, choosing a bridal gown with a pattern.


From “Hartford Magazine”

The “Choose Your Own Bridesmaid Dress” style has also made it to our side of the pond.  In the photos above, the bride allowed her maids to choose gowns from her color palate, but ones the girls felt comfortable in, and hopefully fit in their budgets.


Tarah Zeiner & her bridal party, wearing Faber designs -From “Hartford Magazine”

Same is true for the lovely Tarah in the picture above.  All bridesmaids are dressed in navy, (if you’d like to read my blog post about “A Navy Blue Wedding” click on the link!), but each lady chose a different gown style. Thoughtful both of different body types and budgets.  I love it!

Bridesmaids Dresses – Contrasting Colors


Bridesmaids Dresses – Contrasting Colors

Now that fall is here, (the most  popular wedding season), we can talk about more dramatic jewel toned bridesmaids dresses.  Whereas spring bridal attendants look better in pastels, deeper colors are more in keeping with  a fall or winter wedding. What I love about jewel toned gowns, is the strong contrast with the bride’s white dress.  The dramatic difference photographs beautifully.  (If you choose dresses like the ones above, better make sure your bridesmaids are super svelte.  These gowns are unforgiving.


The dresses above are lovely, and I know the latest trend is beige/ muted bridesmaids attire, but I find it rather blah.  And definitely does not make the bride stand out.


Love, love the rainbow dresses above.  All the colors compliment each other, and there’s no question who the bride is.  While not jewel tones, they are strong colors, not insipid at all.


Want to be really different?  You could outfit your maids in patterned dresses like the ones above!  The patterns at bold and definitely aid in setting the bride apart from the other ladies. Additionally, this bride is a little adventurous in her tea length gown. But I like it.  More in keeping with spring wedding perhaps, but it works well with the more casual feel of the patterned frocks.


I see more and more of the attire like the dresses above.  The bride has chosen a color and then allowed her bridesmaids to pick  their own style and shade.  Very thoughtful and pretty.


Brides’ Duties to Their Maids


We talked about your bridesmaids’ responsibilities to you, the bride, but what are your responsibilities to them?  As the bride, try to be considerate of your bridesmaids’ pocketbooks.  When choosing dresses, choose a gown that is not too pricey.  You know they’ll never wear it again…Same goes for the shoes.

For my daughter, KK’s summer wedding, she is asking only that her bridesmaids wear gold shoes/sandles.



As three of her bridesmaids are my own daughters, I appreciate this.  My youngest daughter, Julia, has picked out some sandals, (remember, we have a casual theme), that she had already desired.  How often does THAT happen?  Luckily, all KK’s attendants are within driving range, so air fare is not a factor.  But when it comes to providing lodging the night before the wedding and the night of, you or your parents are responsible.  It can be your home, that of a near relative or a hotel.  But it is yours.  You must also ensure that your bridesmaids have a safe ride with a designated ‘alcohol free’ driver from the reception to their lodgings.  On the night of the wedding, they are your responsibility.

The bride also traditionally gives a “Bridesmaids’ Luncheon” shortly prior to the wedding.  This is the occasion where she says “thank you” and presents the ladies with a keepsake gift of her special day.  I love the two photos above.  The tables have a different feel, but both are exquisite.  Your luncheon need not be extravagant, just a small time to relax, reminisce and gear up for WEDDING!


Although not mandatory, if you DO plan a luncheon, the cookies above would be the perfect favors.  The beauty of these, you could ice them in any color to match your theme.  I rather like the green…


Going quite formal?  The invitation above is pretty AND informative!  I had found that paperless post, has provided the best customer service both electronically and on paper.  And they quality’s excellent, too.



Bridesmaids’ Duties

A long time friend recently asked me, “So, Mary, what are the duties of the bridesmaids?”  So for my friend, Cindy, and anyone else who is interested, here is a good sum-up of the bridesmaids’ duties, directly from

  • “Offer to help with prewedding tasks. Try to be specific when you volunteer. For example, say, “Would you like me to help you shop for bridesmaids dresses/stuff invitations/pack for the honeymoon?” instead of just, “What can I do?”
  • Scout out bridesmaid dresses, shoes, jewelry, and other wedding accessories. Pay for the entire ensemble. (Break in your shoes before the wedding day — that will minimize slipping, blisters, and aching tootsies.)
  • Help to plan, cohost, and pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party with other bridesmaids.


  • If the maid/matron of honor isn’t already handling this task, keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and bridal showers (so that the bride/couple can write thank-you notes); maintain RSVP lists.
  • Attend the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. (Keep abreast of all prewedding parties, and go to as many as possible.)
  • Run last-minute errands. On the day of the wedding, be on hand to confirm flower delivery times, meet and greet the ceremony officient, or satisfy junk food cravings.
  • Stand in the receiving line at the bride’s request.
  • Serve as auxiliary hostess at the reception by introducing guests, making sure they know where the bar is located, and inviting them to sign the guest book.


  • Hit the dance floor when the music kicks in. Dance with groomsmen during the formal first-dance sequence. Also, be on the lookout for toe-tapping guests who might need encouragement and/or a dance partner.
  • Give the matron/maid of honor a break by helping to carry the bride’s wedding gown train whenever necessary. Bustle the train before dancing begins, and be ready to help fix it if it comes unhooked. Accompany the bride on visits to the restroom, if asked.
  • Purchase a wedding present perhaps with one or several of the other bridesmaids. This provides more buying power, and two heads are better than one when it comes to wedding gift ideas. Sometimes the entire bridesmaid troupe pitches in for one knock-her-socks-off wedding gift.


  • Be a trooper, no matter how stressful the ordeal becomes. Try not to complain about the bridesmaid dress — even if the color is horrendous. Be gracious and tactful.
  • Provide plenty of emotional support during the planning and on the wedding day.”

Lots for young ladies to do, and I have three daughters in KK’s bridal party!

Three of my daughters below, at Maggie’s wedding.

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Image #5 Patty Cloherty Photos