Picking my bridesmaids was probably the easiest thing I’ve had to do wedding-wise. I’m having my sister Verity and four of my best friends, my gorgeous goddaughter Lizzie, who’s eight (and lives in New York… tricky in terms of dressing her!), and our niece Matilda, who will be two when we get married.
But, since going to the National Wedding Show this weekend, I’m wishing I’d waited a bit longer to ask them all. On one of the stalls I saw these lovely balloons that had ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ printed on them. Such a lovely touch. I wish I’d thought of something like that sooner.
All my bridesmaids said yes, so I’m pleased to report the balloon isn’t a deal breaker. But even so, if I could rewind and do it again, complete with giant, floating helium messages, I totally would!
Turns out there are loads of lovely ways to pop the all-important bridesmaid question. Cards, baked goods, personalised champagne flutes. It’s left me feeling very inadequate. Am I the only bride-to-be who doesn’t know about all this stuff? I feel like I’ve somehow cheated my bridal party out of something that would have been really special!
So – who are the adult bridesmaids? Five very, very special people – not one of whom I could imagine not being by my side when I walk down the aisle.
There’s Charlotte, who I met when we were both living in Madrid. We bonded over tinto de veranos, a penchant for Daddy Yankee and a mad flat with mirrors for walls and rooms with no windows. Char is a food writer and the most amazing cook I know. I am also very honoured that she’s taking on an extra wedding duty – making our wedding cake. (More about that at a later date.)
Then there’s Hol. We met at school when we were 11 and both wearing black padded hair bands with our names printed on them in glitter. So 90s! We grew up together loving Take That, ‘Grease 2 and garlic parties’ and making up dance routines to Motown songs, and I cried buckets when we both went off to separate universities. When she tied the knot last summer I was SO proud to be her bridesmaid, too.
Next up, James. Yes – I’m breaking with tradition and having a bridesman. (What will he wear…?! I’m thinking a suit with maybe a cravat or tie to match the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses?) Whether we’re going to Ancient Egyptian monuments dressed as members of a famous girl band (don’t ask) or hunting out non-existent techno parties in Paris, he has always, always been there for me and I know he always will be.
Then there’s Sarah, my partner in crime from university. Sarah and I have been in so many scrapes over the years – usually getting locked in foreign banks, skiing in dresses, or taking inflatable parrots on holiday. Sarah got engaged herself a fortnight ago and has asked me to be her bridesmaid, too. (And she wasn’t onto the balloon idea, either… not just me, then!) I am so excited that we’ll both be planning our weddings together. It’s almost as though our respective fiancés planned it! (They didn’t.)
And last but not least, Verity. My little sister, so obviously first in line for bridesmaid duties. She’s gorgeous and has great taste, so I’ll be needing her help choosing flowers, decorations and accessories, and more importantly to tell me how I should wear my hair. (She is much better at these things than I am.) It was Vez who masterminded the initial idea for my hen do – a long weekend in Marbella – and Vez who chose the bridesmaids’ dresses. Already worth her weight in gold!
In fact, the bridesmaids’ dresses were actually one of the first things we bought for the wedding. I was shopping in the sales after boxing day when it suddenly struck me that if I wanted dresses in autumnal colours, and dresses from the high street, I’d have to buy them sharpish – as the next time they’ll be in the shops will be late August this year. That would be cutting it way too fine.
A few days later Vez went and found the perfect ones while on a shopping trip with my mum. She said they were lovely – and they are. We bought an extra one too to make sashes for Lizzie and Matilda’s dresses, and a cravat/ tie for James, so now we just need to decide on hair, shoes and accessories…