Sisters of the Bride


Sisters of the bride —

Everyone wants to give their children what they didn’t have.  And in one way, I’ve done that.  Yes, I have many wonderful women friends, and a “close as a sister cousin’, Kim — but I am an only child.  My girls have each other.  How many women can say they have THREE sisters?  Not many.  And while they can bicker with the best of them – they are close, and I truly believe, always will be.


Getting our KK ready for her ceremony was surely a family affair.  All her sisters had something to contribute, whether is was Julia putting on KK’s “Something Borrowed” (my silver marquisette necklace and earrings in the top photo), to Tess adjusting her headpiece, (mine – worn at my wedding 32 years ago, and most recently by Maggie at her wedding last year — think I can talk Tess and Julia into wearing it in a few years at THEIR weddings??? – Hope so…)  – To Maggie adjusting the final satin covered buttons in the photo above.


I love how our photographer hung KK’s dress in the windows and created this romantic view in the picture above.  As I think I told you in a previous post, I was right behind Hannah, our photographer, snapping her artistic creations with my little iPhone.  🙂  You may not have seen it, but KK’s dress had a lovely train.  If you have a train, you must have a bustle sewn in.  It is an extra, to be added by only an expert wedding dress seamstress – and there are many types, depending on your dress and fabric style.  Check out my post, Wedding Dress Bustles, for more detail!


And in our final photo, my four girls are together, posing happily with their sister.  KK has often said she doesn’t really resemble her sisters, favoring her dad, my husband, more than I, but I don’t know…I think I see a likeness…what about you?

Photo creds: All Mary P Karnes

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?” She’s getting married and has asked her bridesmaids to help her with Bridesmaid Gift Boxes but doesn’t know what they actually do! 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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How Will You Ask Your Bridesmaids to Be in Your Wedding?


How will you ask your bridesmaids to be in your wedding?  It’s a big time. If your bridesmaids are local, there is dress shopping, shoe shopping, and let’s not forget emotional support!

Then there’s the financial strain.  Those, often hideous, bridesmaids dresses are not cheap…and neither are the shoes.  Your attendants’ travel may be another expense, if they’re from out of town.  Remember… the bride and her family are responsible for their lodging the night before the wedding and the night of.

Let’s not forget the parties!  Your bridesmaids will certainly be invited to a wedding shower or two, as well as your bachelorette.  They may even be hosting one of those events.

As for “bridesmaids invitations” to the big event, the jewelry route is an option. Below is a lovely necklace requesting a bride’s friend to “stand up” for her.  This is a economical option.  Not only is it an a beautiful invitation, but it can double as the “attendant gift” a brides traditionally give to her maids.









What about a humorous approach?  These “rings” simulating a proposal, and are adorable.  If you’re interested in purchasing something like them, there is a link below.










You might want a more casual approach, like the mug in our next photo.  Cute, and definitely practical.



My daughter, Kathleen, who will be married July 3, 2015, made the most adorable notebooks and gave them to her bridesmaids when she officially asked them to be in her wedding.  Inside, she wrote a personal letter to each, gave instruction as to their duties, (she is SUCH a big sister!), and then left space for their own personal planning pages.  It’s truly a wonderful keepsake.

Maggie…You have big shoes to fill in your capacity as Matron of Honor at KK’s shindig!










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