I remember soon after we got engaged, I was already thinking about this blog post! I decided to hold off until after we were married because I wanted this to be in all in one kind of blog post. So, here you have it! In this post you will find how I asked my bridesmaids, a little background about each of them, bridesmaid dress shopping tips & tricks, and how we scheduled the day of. Without further ado… let’s meet my bridesmaids!
Maid of Honor, Becca
You have probably already heard this story a million times, but just in case you haven’t! Becca is one of Tim’s older sisters and I have known her since I was about 10 years old. Growing up I was a dancer and I went to the same studio for about 15 years. In our classes, we had a teacher and a teacher assistant that helped with the students. In my favorite class which was jazz, Becca was the teacher assistant. I grew up with her as one of my older sister figures at the studio, and then when time passed and I became old enough, I was the TA and she was the teacher. Fast forward to now, and she has become an older sister figure in real life as my sister-in-law, which we never saw coming! She took the Maid of Honor roll head on and planned the most beautiful bridal shower with my other sister-in-law making my dreams come to life. Not to mention my bachelorette, which was a girl’s weekend straight out of a magazine. She is still a phenomenal dance teacher to this day, who teaches our niece and hopefully one day Tim and I’s little girl too.
Matron of Honor, Kristin
Tim’s family older goes Kristin, Becca, and then Tim who is the baby of the family. Kristin was my Matron of Honor who somehow balanced being a mom of two littles and keeping up with all of my wedding shenanigans—HA! I’ve been planning my wedding for what seems like my entire life, at least ten years! I’m one of those girls who had a ton of visions and knew exactly what I wanted. Kristin was my right hand when it came to thinking out loud about ideas, texting 24/7, what I wanted, and all my hopes and dreams. Since Kristin has been married for seven years now, she knows how the wedding planning process goes, the decisions you need to make, and she’s been to so many she had so many great recommendations on dos and don’ts. All I have to say now about my Maid and Matron of Honor is…God knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he chose Tim to be my husband. Because he knew I needed his sisters, duh! ;)
My one and only sister from the same Mr., Nicole! Oh, and sister from the same Mrs., lol. My sister and I are ten years apart in age, so growing up a lot of the time people that didn’t know us would assume that we were half siblings given the age difference. In reality the story was after my mom and dad had Nicole, they were told they were not able to have any more children. I ended up being a huge surprise 10 years later, as I was completely unplanned. Something I’ll never forget from my childhood is growing up with an older (way older) sister, because it made such a difference. My music taste is because of her, my love for dance is because of her, and so much more is because of her. Only she can understand the inside jokes with my family and how we grew up. Isn’t she so lucky that my mom and dad gave her a built in best friend? Ha, but really, I’m the lucky one!
My dad was one of six children, being number four in the birth order. With that many kids, and all of those kids having kids, and then those kids having kids…my dad’s side of the family is HUGE, and it is truly the biggest blessing, especially with him being gone now. Allison is technically my second cousin, being my Aunt’s daughter (my cousins) daughter. I am the youngest grandchild on the Reyes side out of 14 grandchildren, with the oldest being over age 50. With me being the huge surprise, I am a lot closer in age with my second cousins and grew up hanging out with them at family gatherings. Alli and I have always been the same person, literally. Our styles, personalities, likes, dislikes, and everything else you can think of are very similar. Growing up together throughout every phase in life, and now being in the wedding stage, has been SO much fun. Alli will also be tying the knot in June of 2020 and I get to stand by her side as Matron of Honor and I could not be more honored and thrilled!
Remember back at the top when I said I grew up dancing? Well not only did I meet Becca, but I also met Sydney at my dance studio growing up. I still remember walking into ballet class and being next to her, and we instantly clicked as I think fifth and sixth graders. Still to this day we never stop talking (ask the husbands) and will never run out of things to talk about. I also mentioned that I loved planning my wedding for the past ten years, and the wedding planning pretty much started with Sydney. Oh, if I could go back in time and pay money to see what Sydney and I did in class! Hint: It wasn’t dancing 50% of the time. We day dreamed of flowers, boys, wedding dresses and how we would get engaged. It is now 2019 and my wedding has passed and Sydney is next in November! I also get to stand by her side as Matron of Honor, and it brings me to tears just thinking about it! I know some people day dream about having a life long best friend and Sydney truly is mine—we’ve been though it all together. And what speaks the loudest is that we are still best friends!
College was an interesting experience for me. It was exactly what I needed, but it was interesting. I came in with a plan and thought I knew exactly what I was doing (which now looks absolutely nothing like that plan) and left learning one of the biggest life lessons: make plans and God laughs. Also, his plans are way better than your own. I went to a local community college, and had no intention on making any life long friends there. I wanted in and out as soon as possible, and was just focused on me. It was on the first day of school that I met Shannon in the very first class that I had. I immediately recognized her from across the room as a friendly face, and pretty much decided in my head that I was going to be friends with her. I’m almost positive (you would have to ask her!) that I walked up and said “Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Danielle and we are going to be best friends.” If I had to guess, I think she laughed and smiled and said, “Ok.” Ever since then she’s stuck with me through everything, and that says a lot.
I don't talk about this a lot on social media, and there is really is no particular reason for it. I think I just forget sometimes or think that nobody has any genuine interest. So, I leave it out even though every time I ask, people say they want to hear more. With that being said, I became open and had more interest in my faith starting my Junior year of high school. High school was a little hard for me, as it is for everyone, but I think we all have that friendly face that we know—but not too well. Melanie I’ve known since seventh grade, as we went to middle school and high school together. We always had different schedules, friend groups, and she was on cheer and I was on dance. I think we were both kind of just “there” for each other until one night, at a football game, we had a moment together and then asked ourselves…why aren’t we best friends? Life happens though, and Melanie and I sort of lost touch for the next two years. Until one day, she posted something on Facebook and I all of a sudden heard God telling me, “Message her. Talk to her. Meet her for lunch. Be her friend. Make this happen.” So I did…and here we are.
Remember when I said I went to college to get in and out and not make any friends? Well, not only did I get an interesting experience and make one best friend, I made TWO best friends. Math was never my strong suit—and I mean never. To this day I can really only do basic math. After that, it is way over my head and I am completely lost. With that being said, when I was testing into classes for college, I hated math so much I bubbled in “YOLO” on my exam, turned it in and walked out. Yeah I know, not many people believe me when I tell them that story now but I guess you can say I was a rebel in high school, ha. I got my results back and I tested into the second lowest math class you can get into to. And when I say second lowest, I mean the first lowest class is literally learning addition and subtraction over again. Did someone say winner? Anyways, I didn’t expect anything different and was actually really happy because I felt like I would re-learn stuff I didn’t get in high school and probably get a really good grade since it was going to be so easy. As far as people go though, you can imagine it wasn’t filled with the brightest. I felt out of place, since knowing if I actually took the exam, I would (hopefully lol) probably have placed in a higher class. I sat down next to a friendly face, whose name i learned was Bryana, and once I learned we shared a hatred for math together, among a ton of other things, we were friends for life.
HOW I ASKED MY BRIDESMAIDS
I scrolled through TONS of ideas on how to propose asking your bridesmaids. In my head, since I had so many, I wanted it to be resourceful since I knew it was going to be expensive. On the wedding day, it was a must for me to get getting-ready photos, so I decided to supply them with everything they needed for that morning along with asking them to be apart of the day. Doing it this way, I killed two birds with one stone! If you are like me and are picky, just buy it for them so you don’t have to hear complaining! ;)
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: TIPS, TRICKS, & HOW I SCHEDULED THE BIG DAY
MY BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESS | COLOR: OYSTER
Ok, so I wish had a whole bunch of tips and tricks, but I don’t—I only have one. Here it is: Get whatever bridesmaid dress is going to make you happy. Get whatever dress bridesmaid dress you think is pretty, flattering and fits your theme. Make sure it goes within the average amount to spend on a bridesmaid dress, which is (IMO) in between $0-$350. Forget anything else that anyone tells you.
Everyone is very different when it comes to this, so I’ve learned. Which is totally ok! Some want all of the bridesmaids to match, some want them wearing different colors, different styles, to pick their own, etc.. I wanted mine to all match, I wanted to pick the dress, and for it to be in the same color and style. I personally did my best to find a dress that did all of the things I listed above, and I think I did a dang good job!
When it comes to asking your bridesmaids how much money they want to spend on a dress, I would personally (what I did and I would do it again) not ask them. Whether you have four bridesmaids or eight bridesmaids, you could get a whole wide variety of answers when it comes to this question. You are welcoming in opinions that are not your own, and opening a can of worms that is really hard to close. Remember, it’s your day, and bridesmaid should know before accepting the job that they WILL have to spend money, regardless of how big or small your wedding is.
I listed a price range above that some people might think is too much, but others (like me) may think it is normal. If you are aware of someone in your bridal party who does not have a job, is really struggling, or another sort of circumstance, of course take that into consideration. Not everyone has the same financial situation. But also remember as a bride, to not feel pressure to take on anyone in the bridal’s parties burden or worry…after all, they accepted the job in the first place and it is their responsibility to think of these things ahead of time, and be prepared.
DAY OF SCHEDULE
Makeup: Starting at 6:30 AM, with two girls at a time.
Hair: Starting at 8:00 AM, with two girls at a time.
***We had 11 people who needed hair and makeup done, including 8 bridesmaids, the bride (me), and two moms. We needed to be leaving the hotel to get to the venue at 1!:30 AM.
One of the bigger questions when it comes to weddings for being a bridesmaid is, what is happening for hair and makeup. This question is broad, so let me tell you what people mean when they ask this. They want to know whose paying for it, if they have to get it done (or if they can do it themselves), do they need to hire their own people, where are they getting ready, basically what the heck is happening.
I hired a hair and makeup artist and paid them to do all of our hair and makeup. I also hired for both artists to bring assistants knowing we had a lot of girls to get through. i then paid for hotel rooms for the bridesmaids so we could all spend the night the night before, so everyone was in the same place the next morning so I didn't have to stress. If I were to do it again, I would do it the same way and recommend doing it this way too. It costs money, yes, but it takes away a lot of stress and worry which is what you don’t want on your big day.
I was VERY relaxed on our wedding day, and I mean VERY. Leading up to our wedding though, a lot of tears were shed and the stress and panic of planning was non-stop. It was so worth it to me though, now knowing the outcome of that day. Of course, it was all about me and Tim though and really nothing else mattered. But you know, us brides put in a ton of work and we want it to all pay off! I truly believe it worked out great because I planned so much, and I let no one do anything for the bridal party- everything was set for them and they didn’t have to figure out anything. It was all planned for and paid for them, so there was no complaining, whining, or uneasiness about the day of due to things being last minute. Because nothing was, so when the day came all we had to do was enjoy and have fun. And that’s how it should be!
I hope this blog post helps some of you future brides, because I know I went to read something like this when I was planning and I could find nothing. No advice or anything. So, I did everything the way I thought it should be done and the way that I thought would work best, and it turns out I was right! Everyone has a different budget for their wedding, and everyone has different wants and needs, because everyone is different! Sharing my experience though with you guys is something that was important to me because I got SO much feedback shortly after our wedding that everyone was shocked with how relaxed I was, because truly everyone was expecting the opposite. Not only that, but letting you into my personal life a little bit and getting to know the girls that stood by my side is also so fun! I’m excited to share more about our wedding day, so stay tuned for more posts! If you have any questions that I didn’t answer in this post, comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.