~ From the eyes of Amy Wood – SBE Wedding Planner ~
My little sister is getting married!!! As her sister, bridesmaid, and of course wedding planner, I wanted to share behind the scenes tips and insight of the journey.
First of all, when I started wedding planning many years ago, I thought of all of my clients as sisters. There are 5 of us girls, so older or younger, more traditional or bohemian, I had a sister that reminded me of most of my brides. It also was a way to keep focus in those unexpected (and at times overwhelming) moments. “If this were Lissa how would I help her? What would I do for Abby if this were happening?” Well now it is Abby and it’s so exciting to be able to give to her what I try to give to all of my bride-sisters!
Recently all of us sisters met-up for dress-shopping. Now, having 4 older sisters boss you around could be some people’s nightmare (think “that doesn’t look good on your shoulders… nope not that one, go try on another… what’s his family going to think of that fit…”). Who can tell it to you as bluntly and with as much sincere love and happiness for you as your sisters?
Here we are with all the sisters:
This brings me to my list of tips:
Tip #1 – When dress shopping or facing any decision in wedding planning (or life), know what you need from your team and select appropriate people. Abby’s top store was BHLDN and she had only an hour to try on too many dresses. This was also her first dress appointment and her selections were all over the place. It easily could have turned into her not getting through half of her dresses. Plus, there are only a handful of BHLDN stores in the country. If she could not decide on this trip, logistically it would have been difficult for her to get a BHLDN dress. What she needed from her team was help focusing on the cuts, color, fabrics, etc. And, did her team let her down? Not only did we get her through all her dresses, but we had 20 minutes to spare for her to go back and try on the top 3 and really give them the time they deserved.
Tip #2 – Know when to walk away. After all the twirling, hair up and down, mock bustling, and holding it next to bridesmaid’s colors, it was time to go. We left, got food, got lost, and made it home. On the drive we dissected each facet of the dress, sisters campaigned and changed camps, and Abby was given assignments (put images of you in each dress all over your bathroom, visualize yourself walking down the aisle and Nace seeing you, send pictures to a few family and friends etc.). She still didn’t know and we went on with our lives. Sometimes you need to make decisions before you’re totally ready, but sometimes you have the luxury of time and settling into what feels right.
Final Tip #3 – Know what matters to you. In the conversations, a couple of deciding points came out. One dress’s favorite feature was the stunning lace back. Given the time of year and location, during most of the reception, Abby likely will have a stole covering the lace. She didn’t want that dress if the back was covered. Another top-contender was gorgeous, but felt more appropriate to a church ceremony and formal reception, not the ranch wedding she’s creating. And then one dress had a cut that she loved but her fiancé didn’t. This got side-tracked in a sisterly debate as to if his opinion of the dress mattered. For Abby, it did, after all, she didn’t want him wearing something she didn’t totally love.
At a certain point, she knew the dress that was right for her, for her sweetie, for the location, and for what she wants to create and experience on her wedding day. The decision was reinforced when we were at the ranch. She could picture herself there on her wedding day and deciding hairstyles, and selecting jewelry. I’m most happy that Abby has a dress she is so happy with and that she kept the process fun. Wedding planning is full of big and small choices and with the right support and mindset, it can be a really exciting process.
I can’t show you pictures of Abby’s dress yet, but here are a few more of my favorites from past SBE bride-sisters.