Photography By Emily Saenz
Do you have a friend that’s engaged? Or are YOU engaged? Than this blog post is for you!
When your bestfriend gets engaged, a whole new journey begins as a bridesmaid! My dear friend and sister in Christ, Brittan (now) ZAMORA got engaged in November of 2016 and set her date for her big day for September 3, 2017! In the midst of her wedding planning process, she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, something that I consider (as do most women I hope) a true honor! Let’s real talk… I’ve watched my fair share of wedding shows and also listened to strangers share their bridesmaid horror stories of bridezillas who make you buy outrageous dresses, spend a fortune on an extravagant hotel or cabana for a Bachelorette Party, or expect you to go beyond your role as friend for outlandish favors, but I knew that none of my girlfriends, especially Brittan, would EVER cause any such drama!
So what did the bridesmaid process look like?
In about February of last year, Brittan stopped by my work for a coffee break and brought the sweetest box of treats filled with trinkets that matched her color story for the wedding including a jewelry tray, an EOS egg, the swatch for her bridesmaid dresses, and a thoughtful card asking me to be her bridesmaid. I of course immediately said yes (this was my first time!), with some tears in my eyes (sorry John, that our proposal was a ‘really?’ not an immediate yes)! I guess practice makes perfect! LOL! And so then the journey began.
Step One: Get Your Dress Early
When it came to Bridesmaid dresses, Brittan envisioned her 6 Bridesmaids all in different dresses, but in the same color palette (which as you can see below, was soft pink/blush tones), which I think every girl was ecstatic about! Originally she had a website picked out that she wanted us to select all of our dresses from, all at an extremely reasonable price around $150. About a month later, Brittan decided to open up the dress selection to ANY website, but just asked that we get her approval first. Naturally, I went to Nordstrom.com and went crazy on dresses because I knew I could return any that didn’t work. I ordered about 3 dresses (two different styles, but one in two sizes to get the best size). Of course the one that I loved, ended up being more expensive than her original website at about $200, but that was on ME to choose, not the bride. I loved the dress, and so did Brittan, so I went with the more expensive option because that’s what I felt most comfortable in, and we had the freedom to choose! I’m glad that I ordered my dress with month or two to spare so that I could get alterations complete, and Brittan would have the final vision of her Bridal Party in advance of the Big Day.
Step 2: The Bridal Shower
Brittan, being the blessed bride that she was, has a big family and lots of friends, so she had a total of 3 Bridal Showers, with different sides of the family and also different groups of girlfriends. Brittan also being the realistic bride that she was, set up her expectation that she did not at all expect the bridal party to be able to attend all 3 and definitely not to bring gifts for all 3 showers. It was just about quality time with the people who loved her! I was able to attend the first and the last shower, both that included amazing desserts and super fun bride trivia! Do you ever wonder what to get a bride for her Bridal Shower? Their registry is always a great place to start! Because I’ve known Brittan for 10+ years, I took the risk to purchase something not on the registry! I ended up putting together a cozy/ lazy day gift that included a lounge dress that said something quirky about ‘not adulting today’ and a super soft Kennebunk throw blanket, and a yummy scented candle. As our parting gift, we were sent home with popcorn bags that said something about ‘popping the question.’ It was SUPER cute.
Step 3: The Bachelorette Party
Brittan’s MOH, Laura did an AMAZING job planning this Bachelorette Party. We spent a weekend in Palm Springs in August, full of poolside relaxation and homemade Sangria. Our costs that we chipped in for were the 2 Nights at the Air B&B, food and drinks for the house, decorations, getting our nails done (if we so wanted) and a Lingerie gifting game that we did on night 2. Overall, this was a very inexpensive weekend in comparison to a stereotypical Vegas trip that would include flights, hotel stay, table service, expensive drinks, etc. Brittan’s theme for the Bach weekend was Brittan’s Final Fiesta! You can assume that included a sombrero with a veil attached, dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and cactus themed everything. The girls got along like we were all sisters, and overall it was an amazing weekend with our Bride-Bestie!
Step 4: The Few Days Prior
Leading up to the wedding, the only help that Brittan requested was helping addressing her invites! She had someone from Etsy design a watercolor invite that she had photo copied with all the little cards and envelopes, and RSVP info that needed to be cut and attached, then addressed. Us girls all got together to help make this go really fast! The day before the wedding, we all gathered together to help create her watering-can floral centerpieces. Her florals were delivered in individual buckets, and we got to assemble them as a group! I had never done this before, so not only did I learn something, but it was a great DIY bonding moment!
Step 5: The Wedding Day
All the bridesmaids spent the night before the wedding in a hotel close to the venue. We played games and were up late dancing and singing! The next morning, we all woke up early from excitement and enjoyed some bubbly and fruit while we got our makeup done and did our hair. Brittan gave us the option to get our makeup done and/or our hair done (at our own expense), but there was no pressure. I was confident in my hair curling abilities, so I opted to do my own hair. However, I wanted to be glammed up when in came to my face! We all got falsies and our makeup lasted ALL DAY, even through a little bit of rain during the ceremony! Once we were all dolled up, the photographer (Emily Saenz) met us at the hotel to capture the final steps in the getting ready process! Then it was time for the ceremony which went off without a hitch, just a smidge of rain which made for incredible lighting! We met in the RSM canyon close to the ceremony and reception space for group photos! Once we arrived at the reception venue, we made our grand entrance, we were reconnected with our significant others and danced the night away until the sparkler exit!
I am so grateful that Brittan and I are able to walk through life together, especially during the engagement phase of our lives! Nothing was going to bring this girl down on her wedding day, and she had the best outlook on a gorgeous and God-centered day. I learned so much about the wedding planning process through the involvement in her wedding, and I am so lucky that I was able to see the insider scoop of what the actual day looks like for the Bride and her bridal party!
Now you may be wondering, so Sarah, what does this mean for your bridal party?
I’m glad you asked!
John and I have chosen to forgo bridesmaids & groomsmen for two reasons.
The first reason is that we are having such a small wedding, that the ladies and gents that we are inviting, would be in bridal party, which would leave no-one in the chairs to create an isle for us to walk down!
The second is that because we chose a destination wedding, we are already asking our guests to get time off work and book their flight/amenities which we know is a financial sacrifice for many of our guests. We didn’t see it fit for our situation to then ask our friends to put out even more money for suits, dresses, etc.
We of course have asked our siblings (John’s brother & my sister) to stand by our sides as Best Man and Maid of Honor and are still planning to have Bachelor and Bachelorette parties with our friends, but our bridal party is kept to just family for simplicity!
I’m going to leave you with a verse from the parable of the 10 bridesmaids in the book of Matthew.
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.” – Matthew 25:1
If you are curious to find out what happens next in this story, read it here!
Leave a comment below what your findings are! It’s a fascinating parallel!
Have a blessed week!