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Bridesmaid Dresses – Back Details as Pretty as the Front

Posted by: Jessica Jaeger

Wedding traditions are constantly changing. Different trends in dress styles emerge every year. We already talked about what to pick for your maids’ jewelry, but now we’re going to focus on their dresses. The newest trend in bridesmaids’ dresses is interesting and different backs (and styles) and our newest collection of bridesmaids’ dresses, Bari Jay, is a perfect choice if you want to try this new trend. It’s hard picking out bridesmaids dresses, we know. You want to find something that fits YOUR vision and taste, but something that your bridesmaids will be comfortable in and enjoy wearing. A happy bridesmaid is a helpful bridesmaid! With all the styles and colors Bari Jay has to offer, there’s something for everyone.

Style Preference:

If you want you want your girls to be dripping in glitz and glamour, Bari Jay sequin are a perfect choice. They are extremely elegant, glamorous and different in their own ways. They all have interesting backs, with this one showing a beautiful halter top, and a racerback. 

(From right to left: Bari Jay Style 1601-S Gold, Bari Jay Style 1601-S Indigo)

(From right to left: Bari Jay Style 1601 Gold, Bari Jay Style 1601 Indigo)

And if you want to mix it up a bit, you can have some bridesmaids wearing sequin dresses with racer-backs, and some with low backs, like in this dress.

(From right to left: Bari Jay Style 1617-S Champagne, Bari Jay Style 1617-S Steel)

(From right to left: Bari Jay Style 1617 Champagne, Bari Jay Style 1617 Steel)

Both dresses come in beautiful colors such as silver, champagne, gold, indigo, onyx, platinum and steel.

If you want your maids’ to look a little more conservative, the Bari Jay Bella Chiffon dresses and beautiful, modern and on the more conservative side of things.

(Right to left: Bari Jay BC-1603 Black, Bari Jay BC-1603 Red)

(Right to left: Bari Jay BC-1603 Black, Bari Jay BC-1603 Red)

This dress has an adorable sweetheart neckline with straps for a more conservative look; While it had an intricate and strappy back. Business in the front, and party in the back! 

This is another very elegant and conservative looking alternative. It has a tie knot halter top, with an open and cut out low back. It’s beautiful with a simple, but still interesting back. Both dresses come in a rainbow of colors, for any season or theme!

(From right to left: Bari Jay BC-1619 Red, Bari Jay BC-1619 Shadow)

(From right to left: Bari Jay BC-1619 Red, Bari Jay BC-1619 Shadow)

If you’re looking for your bridesmaids to wear a little bit of lace, Bari Jay has that too!

The great thing about Bari Jay lace dresses is they have a classy touch of lace, just enough for an elegant, stylish look.  

These dresses incorporate gorgeous lace, and have different and interesting backs.

Wedding Style:

If you’re wedding is a more formal affair, a beautiful chiffon dress would suit your girls perfectly.

Elegant and beautiful, this dress would be perfect for a formal affair paired with a jewelry set and heels.

If your wedding will be more on the casual side, a simple dress paired with a pendant jewelry set would be just what your ‘maids need. In an array of different colors, this dress is versatile and perfect for any kind of wedding.

If you’re wedding is on the beach, this beautiful chiffon dress with a draped chiffon back and flower shoulder detail would be perfect. It comes in every color you could want, the choice is yours! 

(From right to left: Bari Jay BC-1607 Blush, Bari Jay BC-1607 Royal)

(From right to left: Bari Jay BC-1607 Blush, Bari Jay BC-1607 Royal)

And finally, if you wanna stick with the basics and keep it simple, Bari Jay has you covered on that front too!

(From right to left: Bari Jay EN-1602 Stone Blue, Bari Jay EN-1602 Eggplant)

(From right to left: Bari Jay EN-1602 Stone Blue, Bari Jay EN-1602 Eggplant)

This beautiful chiffon dress is a timeless classic, in any color you could want. It can be dressed up or dressed down, it’s up to you!

No matter what kind of dress your bridesmaids wear, remember this is YOUR day. Good luck and happy shopping ladies! Check out our website to see Bari Jay and more designer bridesmaid dresses!

Photo Sources: USABride/ Bari Jay
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Wedding Planning 101: Keep the YOU in Your Wedding

Posted by: USABride

How many times has the average wedding planner heard brides-to-be say things like “I’d do X if it weren’t for Y.” Usually, the X is something like “wear a wedding dress that shows off my killer tattoos” or “serve a gluten-free vegan reception dinner” or “hire a bouncy castle for my adults-only wedding.” The Y is often “my family,” though it is occasionally “society’s expectations” or “tradition”.

Every bride-to-be and groom-to-be… okay, almost every bride and groom… pays tribute to the conventions laid out by culture and religion and familial wedding traditions, even if they don’t realize it. Social expectations are like advertising — we’re exposed to them our entire lives, in the conversations we hear and the media we see and the stories we’re told. Unless someone lives the extremely examined life, it can be difficult to know where societal conventions end and where one’s own wants begin.

alternative wedding - wedding planning

There are two ways to get around this. The first is to ask yourself why you want what you want. Here’s the disclaimer: there’s nothing wrong with wanting the big white princess dress for your wedding ceremony any more than there’s anything wrong with wanting to wear a neon green sailor suit. But whether you want to wear the gown or the suit, consider your motivations. Maybe you’re leaning toward the gown because you’ve been told your whole life that brides wear wedding gowns. Maybe you’re leaning toward the suit because you want to prove to everyone how really anti-establishment you are. White dresses or sailor suits might turn out to be your thing or you may discover that your true tastes lie somewhere in between. Lime green wedding gown, anyone?

The second way to get around the influence of convention is to seriously consider the random ideas that pop into your head when planning your wedding. Let’s say your brain says “How about a groom’s ‘cake’ made of your fiancé’s favorite candy bars!” Before you write that idea off as silly, consider whether it might be a fun addition to your dessert bar. Maybe your brain says something like “I want to do the hokey-pokey as my first dance!” Think about it — do you really? If you do, stop worrying that your wedding guests will think it’s weird. First dances can be pretty boring, honestly, and I’d love it if the bride and groom started shaking it all about on the dance floor.

We’ve seen a Halo-themed wedding, an all-black pagan wedding, and musical underwear for brides-to-be shipped all the way from Syria. There have been sushi wedding cakes and cheese wedding cakes (not cheesecake). There are blue-haired brides, seriously tattooed brides, and brides on bikes (motor and otherwise). All brides and grooms face at least some opposition to their choices, whether in the form of outright disapproval or headshakes from well-meaning relatives thinking “But she’s so pretty, if only she would…”

But if she (i.e., the bride-to-be) is so pretty anyway, she’s still going to be pretty whether she decides to drive a tractor to the ceremony or dye her hair to match her shockingly pink bridesmaids’ dresses. Keep that in mind if you’re planning your wedding and you’ve found yourself thinking “I’d do X if it weren’t for Y.” Heck, keep it in mind for the rest of your life! Sometimes doing X just isn’t feasible, but sometimes the only thing keeping you from doing X is that pesky Y.

Want to keep more YOU in YOUR wedding? Remember that when it comes to choosing a wedding dress or ceremony accessories or vows or reception venue or transportation or most of the other stuff associated with weddings, it’s more often than not perfectly reasonable to say “I respect your opinion Y, but I’m still going to X.”

Christa Terry is a wedding expert
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What to Do About a Reluctant Ring Bearer

Posted by: USABride

Aren’t kids in weddings just too cute? We can all agree on that. Ring bearers and flower girls – the more the merrier! They’re especially cute when they aren’t pitching a fit at the foot of the aisle because they’ve suddenly found themselves staring out into a sea of grown up strangers. How often does that really happen? Often enough to make being prepared a smart move. Here’s how you can help a reluctant ring bearer (or flower girl) have a great day:

1. Avoid reluctant ring bearers altogether by choosing one that is outgoing and polite, and old enough to understand what he’s being asked to do. Books like 10 Cool Things About Being a Ring Bearer and The Best Ever Ring Bearer can help you give your future ring bearer a taste of the role. Does he seem interested? Enthusiastic? Unsure? Make sure he knows (and his parents know) he can opt out.

2. Don’t expect the moon from any ring bearer – especially if you’ve chosen a really young ring bearer or one who can sometimes be a little shy. Walking down an aisle with lots of strangers on either side? Easy for most adults. Utterly terrifying for some children. If your reluctant ring bearer makes it from point A to point B without bawling, flopping down on the aisle runner, or making a break for the door, consider it a job well done.

ring bearer inspiration

3. Practice makes perfect. One rehearsal is enough for most adults, but if at all possible, have your ring bearer’s parents bring him to your ceremony venue and show him where he’ll be and what he’ll be doing during the wedding. A reluctant ring bearer may simply not understand what’s expected of him. Kids don’t have the experience to think, oh yes, a wedding with chairs and an aisle and a ceremony then cake. The wedding itself may be this mysterious thing in your little man’s mind, and nothing is as scary as the unknown.

4. Assign a ring bearer shepherd, preferably one who is well known to the child. Walking down an aisle flanked by tall grownups becomes a lot less frightening when you have your tiny hand firmly settled in papa’s big one. If this feels too much like you’re asking the parent to participate in your wedding – which you kind of are no matter what since they have to buy junior’s babytux – you can give your reluctant ring bearer the confidence to go it alone by having him escorted to the foot of the aisle by mama, who sets him on his path, and caught by papa, waiting for him by the couple in the first row.

5. Finally, say “It’s okay, you don’t have to be in the wedding if you don’t want to or are afraid.” Some adults are easily offended by children’s whims, but in so many cases, a child’s choices don’t have malicious intent behind them. Maybe your chosen ring bearer started out enthusiastic and has grown increasingly reluctant as the wedding draws nearer. If he says he’d rather not participate, don’t force it. His fears or impulses aren’t anything like logical, but children aren’t logical creatures. Better to go ring bearer-less than to have a sulking little boy in all your wedding photos.

Christa Terry is a wedding expert
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Summer’s Here! And So are Our Favorite Beachy Must-Haves and Wedding Accessories!

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Summer is finally here at USABride headquarters – finally! And we are looking forward to three months of amazing beach weddings that’ll have us gushing over bridal accessories, dresses, and everything else at ceremonies and receptions on the shore. Naturally I have my own pretty strong opinions about what is hot or not for beach weddings but I thought let’s keep it simple. Your tastes are yours, mine are mine, but there’s definitely going to be things we agree on. Like these beach wedding must-haves:

1. a gorgeous beach wedding hairstyle:

beach wedding hairstyles

2. and a beautiful bridal hair flower to put in it:

wedding-hair-flower

3. a wedding dress that’s light, airy, and easy to wear in the sand:

beach wedding dress - destination wedding gown

4. something like this because heels are a no no:

beach wedding shoes - sandals

5. bridal flip-flops – make them fun:

beach wedding flip flops

6. comfy semi-formalwear for the groom:

beach wedding groom

7. and maybe some beach wedding accessories just for the guys:

beach wedding groom boutenniere

8. something fun for bridesmaids:

beach-wedding-ideas-meg-courtney-photography

9. what you need to beat the heat:

bridal parasol - wedding umbrellas

10. an antidote to the sun’s glare:

southboundbride-sunglasses-wedding-favors-002

sunglass-wedding-favors

11. a beachy bridal bouquet (should be loose and light, not heavy):

beach wedding bouquet

12. keepsakes to help guests keep cool:

wedding fans - beach wedding fans

13. And something pretty for your favorite ladies, of course:

starfish earrings - destination wedding - beach brideAre you getting married on the sand? Share your pics here!

 
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Classy Bridal Shower Games

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Does anyone else out there cringe when the bridal shower small talk is over and it’s time for the bridal shower games? They’re just so… cheesy. Fun, sometimes, but sometimes cringe-worthy, too. Like please, don’t post the pics of the bridal shower games to Facebook, whatever you do. What makes a bridal shower game less than classy? Tying guests to other guests, for one. Games involving dressing funny or getting dirty. And games that get, um, a little too personal where s-e-x is concerned.

So that’s what not to do, but how about some bridal shower game to-dos? Here are some bridal shower games that will have guests smiling instead of sighing.

handbag hunt - bridal shower games

1. The Scavenger Hunt

Practically everyone has a phone with a camera so a picture scavenger hunt – even if it’s just around the neighborhood – is a fun way to get guests from different parts of the bride’s life talking to one another.

2. Guess Her Age

The hosts create a collage of the bride at different ages and guests try to guess how old she was in each photo. It’s a fun way to reminisce and a sweet way to honor the bride-to-be.

3. Words of Wisdom

Guests write words of wisdom for the bride and groom, and everyone at the shower tries to guess who wrote which tips and tricks for staying happily married. This one can veer into naughty territory sometimes but you might be surprised at who shares the sauciest advice.

4. The Cupcake Contest

This one is simple – have all the fixins on hand for guests to decorate their own cupcakes and then let everyone vote on which one is prettiest. Winner gets a prize

5. Memory Lane Mystery

Ask people to share a memory that includes the bride along with their RSVP and let guests guess who sent along which memory. It’s a fun way to get people talking about their favorite memories of the bride-to-be.

What are you favorite/least favorite bridal shower games?

Images via: Government Street; Kansan.com; Weddings By Color
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Helpful Hints When Kids are in the Wedding Party

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Kids in the wedding party? Cute. Also a potential hiccup in your big day because they’re unpredictable. But you want them there because they’re too darn cute – especially if they’re yours. And then of course you want them there, even if they cry their way down the aisle.

flower girl jewelry - flower girl tiara

As with anything else, the secret to successfully including kids in a wedding party is thoughtful pre-planning and then the kind of damage control that you can employ before a minor cry turns into an all-out tantrum. What follows are some of the best tips real brides – and moms of flower girls, too – have shared with us so tomorrow’s brides can have the best and most kid-friendly weddings possible.

  • Have a toy or book hidden under the petals of the basket for the flower girl to open once she has completed her walk. Or ready and waiting on the seat of the ring bearer’s chair if he’ll be sitting there during the rest of the ceremony. Make sure it’s something she can open quietly – and then play with quietly.
  • Don’t force a flower girl or ring bearer to go down the aisle alone… or at all! Let them walk with their mom or dad if they’re scared, and let them bow out (even at the last minute) if they need to.
  • Have someone in your family or from the parish (if you’re marrying at your church) ready to whisk younger ring bearers and flower girls off to the bridal suite or Sunday School room where snacks, toys, games, and crafts will be waiting for them. Better yet, so no one has to volunteer to miss your ceremony, have your flower girl’s parents ask their usual sitter to attend.
  • Don’t expect little ones to stand up with the rest of the wedding party for the whole ceremony – it’s unrealistic and even kind of mean.
  • Lois offered this tip: ” An attendant or a groomsmen should be assigned the task of keeping an eye on the kids during the service. Should the child become unruly, their parent should be alerted to come and remove the child from this focal point of the ceremony.”
  • Make sure mom or dad understand that they need to stay nearby to help keep their little lady or gentleman happy and well behaved before, during, and after the ceremony.
  • Recent flower girl mother, Lease Moon, had her daughter keep a diary about her flower girl experience as well as a calendar up in her daughter’s room to mark off the days until the wedding. Her daughter let everyone know she was keeping a “diarrhea” of the wedding, lol!
  • Remember, perfection isn’t the goal. You’re asking a little one to alter their morning routine, put on scratchy strange clothes and hard new shoes, sit for a hairstyle, keep a flower girl tiara on top of their head (for girls), get through per-ceremony pictures, hold a basket and not lose it, drop petals or carry a ring pillow, walk slow, walk straight, and then two hours later be expect to be clean, smiling and quiet for more pictures? Sure.
  • Make sure your flower girl and ring bearer’s parents have prepared them for the big day by talking to them about what they will be wearing and doing.
  • A calm easygoing bride is the best medicine for nervous flower girls and ring bearers and also helps to relax the mother as well. Keeping your expectations low and having a go with the flow attitude is the best strategy for the bride to be.
  • Lois Pearce, President, Beautiful Occasions in Hamden Connecticut has these additional comments about kids in weddings, “Children need praise. Praise them for their performance and thank them for their cooperation. They will react accordingly. All they want is a little love!”

How are you helping your littlest wedding attendants feel happy and comfortable on your wedding day?
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Can I Really Choose ANY Bridesmaids Dresses?

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Sometimes the utterly overwhelming range of options can put brides-to-be into a tailspin. Not only are their potentially hundreds of ceremony and reception venues to choose from, thousands of styles of crystal and pearl wedding jewelry, millions of wedding gowns, and an infinite number of cake flavor combinations, there are also the things brides need to pick for others. Even your wedding colors will impact your wedding VIPs!

One of the biggest for others picks a bride-to-be will make is the bridesmaids’ dresses because the bride is choosing clothing for other people – and clothing can be a pretty personal thing. The bridesmaid who feels less than body confident may prefer a very different dress than the bridesmaid who is a fitness instructor, for instance. The color that looks smashing on one washes another out. One finds strapless bridesmaids’ dresses flattering. Another thinks they’re immodest.

Film Title: Bridesmaids

And so on and so forth.

Of course, the bride-to-be has final say over what the bridesmaids will wear just like she has final say over almost everything else. That doesn’t mean that she can’t do the kind thing and take her bridesmaids’ sizes, preferences, and personalities into account when choosing bridesmaids dresses. There is something to be said for good manners and there’s almost nothing more mannerly than making sure that the people who will celebrate your big day with you will be comfortable and happy and look their best.

alfred sung bridesmaids dresses

If your bridesmaids are all very different people, this gets more difficult. Your options include simply making a final choice after taking everyone’s opinions and preferences into account, letting bridesmaids choose their own dresses in one color or color family, or choosing a designer and letting bridesmaids pick frocks from a particular collection in one specific color.

You may be surprised at how grateful your bridesmaids are that you’ve either given them even the chance to offer up some input or the full freedom to choose their own dresses. Never forget that letting someone else dress you can be a pretty scary thing.
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When Your Ring Bearer Is Reluctant

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

We admit it: we love children in weddings. That British tradition of having a whole heard of little ones carrying the bride’s train slays us every time. Most of us don’t necessarily have access to a herd of children but few and far between are the brides (and grooms) who don’t have any nieces or nephews, friends with small children, or even small children of their own. Acquiring a child to fill the role of ring bearer, flower girl, or even train carrier isn’t the issue here.

ring bearer responsibilities

The issue is that wee ones are notoriously fickle. They may be excited to participate in a wedding – until they actually find out what a wedding is. They may agree to accept the responsibilities of ring bearer or flower girl and then at the very last minute, refuse to walk down the aisle. They have this tricky habit of bursting into tears at a moment’s notice. And many would rather eat a bug than walk solo between two crowds of grownups with snapping iPhones.

What can one do about a child who has indicated I every possible way that he is pumped to be a ring bearer and then freaks on the big day?

Well, nothing much in the moment. If your ring bearer digs in his heals and steadfastly refuses to participate then you’re out of luck.

ring bearer duties

What you can do is make every effort before your wedding day to help him understand what he’ll be doing along with every effort to make the experience nice for him. For instance:

  • There are books for little ones that describe what happens during a wedding ceremony and what ring bearers actually do. Be sure to give a copy of one or more of them to the little guy’s parents.
  • Make sure he knows that the rings on his pillow or tree ring or teddy are not the real deal so if he has some kind of last-minute oopsie it is okay and he won’t end up disrupting the whole works by hiding in the bathroom and scaring the bejeezus out of everyone.
  • Don’t make him go it alone. Let him walk down the aisle with his mom or dad and he’ll be less inclined to bolt. Or aim him toward someone familiar (like mom or dad) in the front row.
  • Make sure there are plenty of treats on hand. Bribery is one of the oldest tricks in the book because it works. Let your reluctant ring bearer know that there is candy at the end of the tunnel!

Got any more tips for brides-to-be with less than enthusiastic ring bearers and flower girls? Let’s hear them!
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