Choosing my bridesmaids and maids of honour (yes, I have two ‘co- maids of honour’) was the easiest decision for me. I’ve always known who my bridesmaids would be, and despite having 7 of them, there isn’t one that I could pick over another, and that decision was made from Day 1. So, we have quite a large bridal party, as my fiancé has chosen (I think!) 7 groomsmen to accompany them.
We were told that having many bridesmaids and groomsmen was quite an American tradition (I always figured it was normal since its like that in all the movies!), however, I really like the idea of having our best friends/cousins/siblings take part in the wedding- even if we do have to fit all 16 of us into a photograph – it’ll be worth it!
Whilst choosing my 7 bridesmaids was a simple decision, their dresses were a little harder to decide on. This was mainly because myself, and all 7 of my bridesmaids are spread across four different countries (England, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cyprus) – so that made trying on dresses, and having that fun day out trying on everything and anything in a dressing room with champagne and all of your bridesmaids, practically impossible – especially since it was very unlikely that we would all be in the same place at the same time before the wedding. So, once again we all resorted to scoping the internet for the perfect ‘mint green’ dress (the colour I was adamant on finding). This ended up taking weeks, as once again, many bridesmaid dress shops online that are low cost didn’t appear legitimate – and again, I didn’t feel it necessary to spend £100’s on bridesmaid dresses that would also only be worn for several hours.
The dress search also became a mission when the mint green colour I was searching for was nowehere to be found. After ordering fabric samples, emailing lots of suppliers, and trying to find a dress that everyone would suit and like – I eventually decided on the Harriet Gathered Chiffon Look Maxi Dress for £38.99 (available in a variety of colours); a simple, strapless, chiffon maxi dress from Missguided.co.uk; it’s not quite mint green, but I’ve now settled for aqua blue, and its beautiful, flowy and I can’t wait to see all of my bridesmaids wearing them on the day.
It was great being able to scope the internet, which has such a vast choice of dresses. However, the down side we all found to this option was that since all of my bridesmaids were all over the place (as well as myself) it wasn’t really an option to order the dresses, try them on and then exchange or return them if we needed to. It turned out that many of the dresses were very big and that Missguided.co.uk was not very accurate in their measurements, and most of the girls would have needed a dress size or 2 smaller than their normal size stated on the website (but we shall easily have them altered by a tailor). So please keep this in mind if you think about ordering anything from missguided (I’m not certain if this sizing issue applies just to the dress I chose, or to all of their products), and allow time to be able to return/exchange products if you need to.
To add a bit of detail to go with the bridemaid dresses, I have designed and created guinea fowl feather (part of my theme- more on this later) and mint green beaded earrings for each of my bridesmaids (and a slightly different white beaded version for myself) – these earrings are also available to buy online at Marine Blue (and can be seen below).
The Bride & Bridesmaids’ Shoes
I wasn’t overly worried about what shoes to choose for the wedding, as all of the dresses are long and it is very likely no one will even see them! However, I’ve never been one to strut around in high heels (I always end up with blisters, agonising pain, and often fall over flat on my face – I just can’t do heels well) so, I quickly decided that I wanted myself and my bridesmaids to wear flat, elegant, beaded sandals that we would all be comfortable in, and I wouldn’t have to worry about falling over on my way down the aisle.
Annabelle Thom (based in Kenya) who designs and creates a collection of handmade leather bags, hats, belts and much more, was the first person who came to mind when I decided on leather sandals for my bridesmaids and I. Not only are Annabelle’s sandals comfortable, beautifully made and designed, but I felt they would double up as a great and unique gift for all of the bridesmaids to take with them as a memory from the wedding, as well as looking great on the day.
Annabelle was so helpful and willing when I asked her about creating custom made leather sandals for all eight of us! After playing around on Adobe photoshop, I managed to design the type of sandals that I wanted (derived from one of Annabelle’s current designs) – choosing a mint green/aqua blue beading for the bridesmaids, and a shimmery white beading for my wedding sandals. All eight of the sandals were created exactly as I had hoped for, and were very reasonably priced – I can not recommend and thank Annabelle Thom enough – I absolutely love all of her products!
Please have a look at Annabelle Thom’s Facebook Page for her latest products, as well as her website. Or, if you happen to be in Kenya, it is definitely worth a trip to Zebu at The Junction Shopping Mall on Ngong Road, where you can purchase Annabelle’s products.
My sandal designs, and the finished product below:
Take a look at some of my other bridesmaid dress contenders….