How to Cope as the Single Bridesmaid

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Coping as the single bridesmaid: A love story.

Dearest readers,

Here at Bridesmaids Uncorked, we don’t lie. We meant it when we said being a bridesmaid is unfortunately expensive. We too, think penis cakes are silly and overrated. We agree that spending $200 on a dress for one day is bonkers. And while being a bridesmaid is an incredible honor and an experience you, your liver and your wallet will never forget, we can’t lie to you about this last part. Being the single bridesmaid in a wedding is kind of the pits.

While we will happily acknowledge that a wedding is about celebrating a couple’s eternal love for each other, we also recognize the pain of being single at such a loving, joyous affair. It’s especially tough when, as a single ‘maid, you’re sitting at a table where the topics of conversation range from engagement stories and 3 carat diamond rings to tales of wedded bliss and pregnancy announcements. You, being the fabulous single lady that you are, don’t have much to contribute. You just sit there, taking huge gulps of wine, praying for the D.J. to play Beyonce or the Cupid Shuffle, something, anything to get you away from the table and onto the dance floor. But then, the inevitable happens. Another slow song reverberates through the speakers, one that simultaneously tugs at your heart strings but also makes you want to poke your eyes out.

Instead of making a beeline towards the bar, let’s consider our options, shall we?

  • You could drink your weight in wine, bitter and sad that you don’t have a date to hang with all night. OR you could push all that to the side and realize that you being single has no weight against the fact that your best friend just got married and you, out of all the people in the world, got to stand by her side and witness her marry the person she loves.
  • You could fight a bitch during the bouquet toss. OR you could get on that dance floor, maybe catch the bouquet and regardless of the outcome, laugh it off and run home to put those babies in water, because flowers are flowers and you want these beauties to last!
  • You could tear up when old friends and the brides family keep prodding as to why you’re single. OR you could smile politely, shrug it off and go dance your face off.
  • You could partake in the first few obligatory, “I’m-a-bridesmaid-and-it’s-my-duty-to-pack-the-dance-floor” dances and then shuffle away, leaving the couples to dominate the dance floor. OR you could lady up, grab ALL your girls and kill it on the dance floor, because guess what? Weddings are for dancing. They’re for breakin’ it down with your besties, single or otherwise.

At the end of the day, please remember this: the bride won’t remember if you’re single, taken or on Tinder. She’ll remember how you, her amazing bridesmaid made the most out of her wedding. And who knows, maybe the next time you’re beckoned to be a bridesmaid, you won’t be so-totally-100%-single.

All our love,

Single-at-a-wedding-once-but-single-no-more…Bridesmaids Uncorked

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Wedding Beauty Must Haves

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The beauty products I can’t live without

The wedding bug has bitten me big time and we are less than a month away. But with wedding planning comes an unbelievable amount of events that require the bride to look her best. I have a few go-to beauty products that I can’t live without for all of those being wedding moments.

My list of pre-wedding beauty products

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil – Blue eyeliner has been my favorite eyewear accessory for years, but since discovering the MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Prussian, I don’t even go to the gym without it. It’s great for blue or hazel eyes, without looking overly exotic. I buy it in bulk.

2″ Barrel Curling Iron – Wedding planning means running around like a crazy person, and sometimes not having enough time to schedule a blow out. That’s where a large barrel curling iron comes in. Even if you don’t have time to wash your hair, just use this baby to create loose waves and body in just a few minutes.

Living Proof Shampoo – When it comes to hair, I am the snob of all snobs. I’ve tried a lot of different products, but have never found shampoo as amazing as Living Proof Restore Shampoo. It makes my hair soft and feel super clean, but it is lightweight enough that I still get tons of body. It’s a winner.

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Nalgene Bottle – I chug water during the day faster than my morning coffee. Filling up a Nalgene with water throughout the day is a phenomenal way to stay hydrated, which is a famously effective beauty tip. And because I am trying to take this water cleanse a step further, I fill it up with my new favorite drink, a lemon-based elixir courtesy of Joey Devick Fitness.

Hair Oil – After my loyal, and apparently distracted, hairdresser lobbed a few too many inches off my wedding locks, I started dousing my ends with Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Serum (not to mention popping prenatal vitamins and biotin like they are candy). My hair is looking gooood.

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Archipelago Lotion – I can’t go a day without slathering on the Archipelago Oat Lotion #12. It’s the best and smells incredible, without being overbearing. What is better than soft skin that smells good? Nuttin.

Hairspray – Showers, engagement parties and wedding events tend to be hours-long affairs, so your hairdo has got to last. But hair’s gotta move too! That’s why I am obsessed with the Sebastian Professional Shaper Medium Hold hairspray is the best. And trust me, I’ve tested my fair share.

Burts Bees Eye Cream – After spending bookoo bucks on eye cream, my crazy old neighbor (literally, this lady was a loon, but she had incredible skin), clued me in on a little secret. One of the best eye creams to relieve puffy eyes and unsightly lines is from your local CVS. The Burts Bees Eye Cream is outstanding, and available at a fraction of the price of luxury brands.

Deep Conditioner – I keep deep conditioners on rotation—told you I had a hair obsession. But one that stands out among the rest is Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Reconstruct Repair Masque. Use it at least once a week to maximize the results.

Colorstay Lipstick – Okay, this one is the killer. Lipstick is not good unless it lasts. I have one favorite that has worked for me for years. It’s the Revlon Colorstay Overtime Lipcolor in Always Sienna. It’s a great color for every occasion and it really lasts. Like when I was in Vegas for my Bachelorette Party 1.0, even though I was hungover as could be, I woke up with a perfect shade of lipstick. Evidence below.

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Enjoy!

Q&A with Vow to Be Chic

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Vow to be Chic is making it easier than every for bridesmaids to look good, without breaking the bank.

Being a bridesmaid is expensive. In fact, the average bridesmaid spends $1,695 per wedding—and oftentimes that number is even higher. Outside of the destination bachelorette parties that are taking over bridal parties across the country, the bridesmaid dress is oftentimes the priciest obligation of bridesmaid culture. It also feels the most wasteful because it only gets worn once (don’t tell us otherwise, we all know the truth).

This is where Kelsey Doorey, CEO of Vow to be Chic comes in. After being a bridesmaid multiple times, she concluded that there needed to be a more affordable solution for brides and bridesmaids. She started Vow to be Chic, a dress-rental company meant to save ‘maids money, while helping them to look great.

Brides and bridesmaids alike can choose dresses online, try them on at home, choosing between two sizes. Then, the week before the event, the dress arrives, complete with a return envelope. Wear it, love it, and then send it back. Her business is entirely online, making purchasing and choosing the right dresses easy, with affordable prices starting at just $50.00.

We think she’s a genius, so we chatted with CEO Kelsey Doorey about all things wedding, business and bridesmaid.

Q&A with Vow to be Chic CEO Kelsey Doorey

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BU: How many times have you been a bridesmaid?

KD: I’ve been a bridesmaid 6 times. I know that’s a lot, but it was those experiences that inspired my company! I have 6 awesome friends to thank for helping me find my dream job.

Tell us about Vow to Be Chic. As someone who has been a bridesmaid 12 times, this concept sounds amazing!

Vow To Be Chic rents designer bridesmaid dresses and and Little White Dresses to brides in search of dresses for special events such as engagement parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and receptions. By renting a dress they know they’ll only wear once, brides and bridesmaids can save 50% – 88% on dresses from designers that they know and love. Men have been renting tuxes for years; doesn’t it make sense that ladies have the rental option too?

Totally! I’m also getting married in a month, so totally can relate to wanting/needing LWD to wear for special events, not to mention that this would be a great option for my nine bridesmaids. So what inspired you to start the brand?

It was probably somewhere around my 5th bridesmaid dress when I realized that there must be a better way. It’s a great honor to be a bridesmaid in someone’s wedding but it was such an expensive, time consuming process that I decided it was time to make the bridesmaid dress experience more affordable, convenient and fun. I went shopping with a friend for his tux, and I had an epiphany that rental was the way to go. Not only can women now wear gorgeous designer dresses, they can save money while doing so!

It sounds like you are a pretty experienced in the art of standing up beside a bride in her wedding. What is the most stressful part of being a bridesmaid?

Being a bridesmaid is an honor, but it’s an expensive one. You don’t want to tell your friend whom you love dearly that it all costs too much. These days you’re often paying for a plane ticket to the wedding, the bachelorette party, and to go shopping for dresses. Then, there’s all the gifts, showers, and parties. We haven’t even touched on your hair, nails, and finally the dress (a dress that you will never wear again but typically spend $300 to purchase and an extra $100 to alter). You don’t want to tell you friend that you can’t afford to stand with her during this incredibly special time in her life. Instead, millions of young women in their 20s just dig themselves into a financial hole trying to make it work.

Which is where you come in. So, how does Vow to be Chic help alleviate that stress?

First, we cut the price of the dress itself by giving bridesmaids the option of renting. Second, because we are an e-commerce platform, we eliminate the need for women to spend time and money traveling across the country to meet in one place and shop together. Our new tool, the Bridal Suite, allows our customers to shop collaboratively online. They can chat back and forth, make recommendations to the bride, and vote on their favorite styles in an organized fashion from the comfort of their own homes. Third, bridesmaids don’t have to pay additional money for alterations. When bridesmaids get ready to order their dress, we send them a preview box with their dress in 2 sizes, so that they can try them on in their home. They select the best fit and send them back. Then, we send them the correct size one week prior to the wedding. Finally, after the wedding, they just ship it back in the pre-paid envelope. Don’t worry about cleaning it or anything else. Just send it back and enjoy the extra space in your closet (and wallet).

What are the top styles we can expect to see this wedding season?

Convertible dresses are incredibly hot right now, and they create some beautiful, romantic, and unique looks. They’re perfect for when you’re dressing a party of women with very different body types, or you want each girl to look similar but with her own style. Women can accentuate and camouflage as they feel comfortable. Ultimately, you want your bridesmaids to feel beautiful, comfortable, and confident. That’s what will make them look stunning in pictures.

What advice do you have for bridesmaids out there?

On the wedding day, it’s the bride’s big day so try to be there for her by doing what you can to make the day run smoothly and ensure she has the best day possible. Think about what she likes and her vision for the big day. She will hopefully do the same for you one day! Before the wedding, don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside of the box. There are many resources at your disposal (Pinterest is incredible). Whether it is renting or another creative option, remember that there is a way to make your friend’s experience amazing without exhausting your time and money. Our bridal stylists can tell you about all of the rental options available to women. Did you know that you can rent diamond jewelry for the big day, and it’s affordable? That’s one of my personal favorites!

Thanks, Kelsey! Check out Vow to be Chic for an updated selection of styles and a lengthy list of incredible designers.

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Wedding Welcome Bag Cookies

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Putting together a welcome bag for your wedding guests? Don’t forget to include these cookies.

When planning a wedding, it’s important to remember the out of town guests. Almost always that means preparing a welcome bag for their hotel room. Most of the time this comes equipped with water, koozies, gum, chips, and, of course, cookies!

A fail-proof cookie recipe isn’t easy to come by, so we decided to provide you with two: one easy recipes for wedding welcome bag cookies, for when you’re down to the wire; and one a little more challenging if you are aiming to impress. And what do both of these have in common? Well, if it’s not going to be peanut butter, then it will definitely be chocolate. Chocolate it is.

Enjoy!

Homemade (Easy) Chocolate Chip Cookies 

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These cookies are easy, traditional and delicious. Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie? If you want to take the baking to the next level, make an extra batch or two and serve them at the wedding as a late night snack.

1 c. soft butter
1 c. brown sugar
1t baking soda
1/4 c. boiling water
1t vanilla
11/4 c. flour
1/2 t salt
2 c. quick oats
12oz chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together.  Dissolve baking soda in boiling water.  Stir into butter/sugar mixture.  Add vanilla, then dry ingredients and chocolate chips.  Drop balls into ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-15 minutes at 350.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

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This recipe is from my friend Lorraine. She’s an amazing baker and her cookies are simply to die for. Give these a try whether or not you are hosting out of towners.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant coffee
1/4 cup boiling water
2 oz unsweetened chocolate- coarsely chopped
3 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 large eggs at room temperature
8 oz walnuts (coarsely chopped)
6 oz semisweet chocolate morsels (or 6 oz bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In small saucepan, dissolve the coffee in the water. Add chocolate and over LOW heat melt the chocolate with the water/coffee mixture. Stir until smooth. Mixture will be thick. Set aside to cool slightly. In medium sized bowl sift together the flour and salt. Set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add vanilla then add sugar a few tablespoons at a time until well incorporated into butter. Add chocolate mixture (can still be warm) to butter and beat until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Scape down sides to make sure all ingredients are mixed. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides to thoroughly mix. Turn off the mixer. Add the sifted flour/salt mixture. On low speed mix only until flour is incorporated. Do not over mix…Remove from mixer. Add nuts and chocolate morsels and using spatula fold them into batter. Using a heaping tablespoon of mixture for each cookie. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes reversing sheets from top to bottom once during baking to ensure even baking. The cookies are done if they just barely spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. Do not over bake.

The Wedding Hashtag

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The “Wedding Hashtag” adds a whole new element to wedding planning. 

If you’ve planned a wedding in the last year, then you have been faced with the incredibly daunting task of coming up with a wedding hashtag. This is supposed to be a clever way of capturing your “brand” as a couple on Instagram, and to make it so all of the fun photos from the wedding are organized in one place on social media.

This is something you should start thinking about on a first date.

I’m only kind of kidding. The hashtag phenomenon is an element of wedding planning that does require a little extra time to think through and we had to move fast. My fiancé and I were thinking about adding the old hashtag to the wedding koozies we were ordering for the out of town guests (obviously we needed koozies). So I started surveying people to get an idea of what this hashtag should say.

We got some pretty stellar responses.

First, from my bridesmaids came some pretty fantastic ones. A lot of my friends call me Devo, so we were off to a good start when Shannon rolled in with these two:

#DevotedtoLogan

#DevotedtoDan

I liked them a lot, but I didn’t want the hashtag to be totally about how obsessed I have been with this man for so many years. Plus, I wasn’t sure how many people would make the DEVO connection.

Then, my future sister in law came in with a bunch. All very cute.

#Ashley+DannySittingInATree

#AshleyandDan4Eva

#BecomingMrsLogan

#LoganPartyof2

#Dan&Ashley2015

#DevickLoganWedding

#SeeYouAtMyBabyShower2016 (obviously this was a favorite).

We were getting a little bit closer, with cute ideas like #LoganPartyof2 (could easily add on numbers as our family grows, which is so super cute). I also liked #Dan&Ashley2015, but wasn’t sure if the ampersand translated to Facebook (it doesn’t) and spelling it out became too long.

A few of my favorite options that I brought to the table were #BarclayGetsaDaddy in honor of my sweet bastard puppy getting a man in his life. And then, I also liked #MeetTheLogans2015. It was simple, easy to remember, and available.

Then, my sister Lindsay stirred up a lot of activity with #DashBash2015. I liked the combination of Dan and Ash and creating a rhyme. This is big for me! But I couldn’t shake the Kardashian similarities, so we had to move on.

My other sister Samantha pulled up the rear with another supreme option: #2015yearslater It was meant to be a tribute to the fact that Dan and I have known each other for so long AND we were getting married in 2015, like a Wheel of Fortune “Before and After.” But no one got it but me. Bummer.

It was time to narrow it down to a few viable contenders. Here are the final five. What is your vote?

#BarclayGetsADaddy

#MeetTheLogans2015

#2015yearslater

#DevicktoLogan2015

#DanAndAsh2015