Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Choosing and Asking Your Bridal Party

I've attended weddings with ten people on either side of the bridal party and those where they just have a Maid of Honor and Best Man. It would be so exciting to have so many people stand up for you on your wedding. However, when we got engaged, I wasn't sure I wanted a bridal party. I was reluctant to ask my friends to invest all the money and go through all the work of being bridesmaids. But in the end, I am SO glad that I asked the girls that I decided upon to be my bridesmaids. They were such an important support system for me throughout the process and it really is meaningful to have people stand up and support your marriage.

I feel like I have this curse that all of the most amazing ladies I know are scattered throughout the country. Seriously, my closest friends live in Chicago, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Washington DC, and Milwaukee. Conversely, I always have people to visit! People told me it would be difficult to have bridesmaids who weren't living locally and were unable to help on a regular basis. But I definitely made the right decision with every one of them!

Maid of Honor - Amy

2013 at a wine tasting
There was no question that I'd ask my younger and only sister to be my Maid of Honor. She's 4 and a half years younger than me and we've been especially close since we've gotten older. Though she didn't admit to me that she didn't like my ex-boyfriend until after we'd broken up, she loved Cody and as soon as she met him. It was so fun to see them develop a friendship while we were dating. She's the only one that lives in Minneapolis and she did SO much to help with the wedding. She threw me a beautiful shower, not one, but two bachelorette parties, ran countless errands and helped with EVERYTHING. At the rehearsal dinner I forgot literally everything I was supposed to bring and she immediately turned around, walked out the door, and went to get it for me. She also hates public speaking and gave a great speech in front of everyone!

Bridesmaid - Julia 

2007 in Atlanta
Julia is my oldest friend that I'm still close with. We met in orchestra class in seventh grade and were inseparable until we graduated from high school. We somehow finagled having identical class schedules and were co-captains of the swim team. She went away to college in Atlanta, and I to Boston and she's lived in Washington DC, Miami, and Chicago since then while I did my stint in China and then went back to Minneapolis. We haven't lived the same place since 2005 but we've remained very close. She's one of those people that I can always pick up exactly where I left off, no matter how busy we've been or how long it's been since we've talked. She was the perfect amount of honest I needed in the wedding planning process. I'm so glad that she told me I could do better when I showed a dress I was considering. While Cody and I were engaged, Julia was in medical school but she made it home to go dress shopping with me, for my bachelorette party, and the wedding. She has also always employed the same honesty about guys. I knew when she didn't nay-say Cody, he was good. I also forgot to mention that she's hilarious. Our photographer got the funniest pictures of her and her fiance dancing at our wedding. And when I think about their wedding next year, I practically tremble with excitement!

Bridesmaid - Mariam 

2010 in China
Mariam and I were randomly matched as roommates freshman year of college in Boston. I thought it was so strange that a girl from New Mexico and a girl from Minnesota ended up meeting in Boston. Despite not initially having that much in common, we got along great and even spent Thanksgiving together when we couldn't fly home. Then, during senior year I emailed her to let her know I was thinking about going to China for the next year and asked if she would be interested in something like that. She e-mailed me right back, "I'm in." So off we went to China, having no idea what we were doing. We totally leaned on each other throughout that experience and when traveling in Vietnam, Cambodia, The Philippines, and India. She lives in beautiful Albuquerque now and I've loved visiting her there and having her come to MN. She hates the cold, so I know that when she comes here, she's a really good friend. She fielded every crazy text message from me while wedding planning like a champ and flew to Vegas to celebrate my bachelorette party. She and her boyfriend stayed with us the week of the wedding and were the perfect guests.

Bridesmaid - Karissa

2013 at another wine tasting, go figure
Karissa and I actually grew up together but never knew each other well. We ran into each other again when we were 23 and found out we were both pursuing teaching degrees. We quickly became extremely good friends and she's one of the only people who I truly feel I can talk about anything with. She has one of the biggest hearts and so many of her friends adore her that she's in almost everyone's wedding! She moved to Las Vegas where she accepted a teaching job in 2013 which was sad but worked out well because she met the love of her life, who we also love! Karissa has supported me in some of my most difficult teaching moments and is such a great confidant in every part of life. She was so supportive right when Cody and I started dating and almost caused my to go deaf when she screamed in reaction to our engagement. She was such an attentive bridesmaid and jumped up with a bobby pin as soon as my hair slipped during speeches. She also pounded mimosas with me on the morning of the wedding and was such a fun influence on the mood of getting ready that day.

Junior Bridesmaids - Kaylee and Kristen

2013 at a UofM Gopher hockey game
Cody has two younger sisters who were 11 and 13 at the time of our wedding. We really wanted them to be a part of wedding but they were clearly too old to be flower girls so it was perfect for them to be junior bridesmaids. They did such a good job and looked so cute. It's crazy to look at this picture now because they already look so much older!

Asking the Girls

As soon as we were engaged I scoured Pinterest for ideas for everything and came up with how I wanted to ask my bridesmaids. Since most of them lived out of state, I knew I wanted to sent them something in the mail. Here's what I created:

I got all of my supplies at Michael's. I wish I'd known when I'd made these that I'd be a blogger in the future and want nice pictures to post. But I am glad that I was able to find these pictures on my old phone.

I got a wooden box and decoupaged gold patterned scrapbook paper on the top. I put a translucent pink paper over it and a gold sticker with their initial. Inside of the top of the boxes was navy card stock (our wedding colors: navy, gold, and coral).

I got a mini bottle of champagne and created a customized label that said, "One question left to pop..."

Each word was on a gold card stock disc, strung on navy string.

There were cards with information about the bridal party and wedding, held together by mini clothespins and a tiny bouquet.

I put everything in the boxes with chocolate and pink shred paper. I wrapped them up with brown paper and mailed them off! It was so fun to wait for the girls to receive them and get their calls. Cody's sisters apparently screamed and jumped up and down when they got them and I still see them sitting on their dressers at home when we visit.

It was so exciting to wait for their calls as they said yes!

Here we are on the day of!
The most gorgeous bridesmaids, in my opinion!
Cody asked his groomsmen a little less extravagantly through phone calls and asking them in person. Probably not too surprising that he didn't decoupage boxes for each of them.

Best Man - Ron 
Cody's mentor

Groomsman - Ryan 
Cody's roommate. They met working at the MN House of Representatives. He was also there when we met in Las Vegas and was somewhat responsible for our relationship since he started dating my friend and it was his birthday party that I attended and saw Cody again after Vegas. He and his girlfriend are some of our best friends.

With their other roommate, Elliot in 2013
Groomsman - Hart
Cody's college roommate. He also did a great reading at our wedding.

2010 at a MN Twins game

Groomsman - Jeremiah
Cody's college roommate.

2008. I think they look so cute here!

Cody's guys:

Here are some pictures of the best bridal part we could have imagined!

With our junior bridesmaids, Cody's sisters and our ushers, Ron's kids.
It was literally 1 degree that day. Everyone was so good about taking outdoor photos!

I laugh every time I see Ryan's face in this photo!



  1. aw that photo of you and your girls together is precious! i hope that is framed in your house ;) i just verbally asked my friends and i am very grateful they said yes.

  2. What a great way to ask your girls - those boxes came out great. I did something very similar for my girls. I love how much of a special place all of these people hold in your lives. I also have to echo Kristen, that photo of you and your ladies is wonderful Thanks so much for linking up with Macy and me for Wedding Wednesday this week!