01 March 2016

Long distance bridesmaid

My sister-in-law {Taylor's baby sister} got married a few weeks ago.  The week after her engagement she asked me to be a matron of honor {along with our other sister-in-law}.  I was thrilled and of course said yes.  The planning and festivities started and I had to figure out how to be the best bridesmaid while being long-distance.  So here is what I found helpful and how I stayed connected and useful to the bride while living five hours away.  {It can be done!  I promise.}
photo courtesy of Nicole Holman Photography
{one} Start a group Pinterest board for inspiration.  I can't decide if I am bummed or glad that Pinterest wasn't around while I was planning my wedding.  On the one hand, it would have been super helpful for getting ideas all in one place, but I also think it could have made my expectations exceed what was within our budget and ability.  But, since it is here to stay, I say utilize it.

I created a secret Pinterest board and added both of my sisters-in-law to collaborate on it.  We could add things we saw and liked, all while keeping it hidden from others who may be attending the wedding as guests.  It was fun to see what each found and then see what the bride liked best.  It gave great inspiration and ultimately steered us in the right direction.

{two} Give input from a distance.  I wasn't able to go dress shopping with her, look at flowers, or be at the bakery as she chose a cake, but I tried to find ways that I could be useful and give input when she needed it.  Invitations was a great way to do this.

Wedding Paper Divas makes it fun and easy to find great invitations.  It's easy to mock up several different ones and email them to others that you want to show.  I mocked up some, the bride mocked up some and then it was up to her to decide.  She picked beautiful ones and then we went back and forth working on the wording and getting them perfect to mail out.  The process was so simple and I felt like I was participating and filling my roll as bridesmaid.

{three) Make the most of the days leading up to the wedding. I knew I wouldn't  be able to make the five hour trip numerous times before the wedding.  Having a toddler and a nursing baby make it pretty much impossible to just go.  So we made the most of the days leading up to the wedding.  After the rehearsal dinner, the bridesmaids threw a little lingerie shower for the bride.  It was a fun way to end the night and help keep the wedding jitters at bay.

We also hosted a bridal brunch early Friday morning.  Who doesn't like brunch?  Tiny sandwiches, mimosas, if you wish, and an excuse to eat pastry, am I right?  I'm right.  This was the perfect time to just enjoy the weekend and get to interact and visit with out of town family, like grandmothers.

{four} Plan on getting ready with the bride. Wedding day is all about the bride.  My sister-in-law didn't force anything on us in terms of hair, makeup and nails, but I knew it would be fun to get ready that day with her. So I decided to get my hair and makeup done with her at the salon.   It was a fun and laid back time to talk with her and see how she was feeling on the big day.  It also doesn't hurt to get pampered. I mean, I literally walked in looking like a mom-zombie and walked out as a glammed up lady.

{five} Be there.  I made it my goal to be the advocate for my sister-in-law. At the rehearsal when they asked if she felt good about the run through, I could tell she wanted to do it one more time. So, I spoke up and said let's do it again.  When people were missing or things weren't where they should be, I made sure she didn't have to deal with it.

I also made sure to put my phone away and be present in the day with her. She asked me to be a part of her special day because she wanted me there. So, I wanted to be all there.

Congrats to my sweet sister-in-law!

*Wedding invitations were provided by Wedding Paper Divas

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