Hello SMP brides! It's Jess from Dressed By Jess and I'm so excited to share the very special story of how I asked my bridesmaids to be a part of my big day. I really wanted to create a memorable moment for the girls to enjoy. There are so many ways to pop the question, but I ultimately decided to surprise them with a fiesta-inspired lunch themed, Margs and Maids. The keyword: surprise.
When I first started planning the lunch I didn't realize how difficult it would be to coordinate schedules for six girls. Not to mention, all of them live in different states. Thankfully, I was able to nail down a date that worked for all of them. The hardest part was keeping it a secret between all six of them. Before I started planning the lunch, I engaged with my wedding photographer Jessa of Love & Light Photographs. It was important to me to have her there to capture all the details, and of course the priceless reaction on each of their faces. I honestly felt so lucky to have her join in on the fun. She was a huge part of the planning process as well!
Once I decided on a theme it was time to get to work. I started shopping for decorations and reaching out to some of my favorite wedding vendors to help me bring my vision to life. Originally, I planned to host the lunch on the beach, but here in New Jersey the weather is always uncertain so I decided to switch gears and bring it indoors. My future mother-in-law was kind enough to let me use her dining room (which is so stunning) for the occasion. Both her and my mom helped cook and run errands leading up to the lunch. I am so thankful for both of them. It's not easy to plan and execute a party by yourself!
I began handwriting letters to each bridesmaid about a month prior to the lunch. Before officially asking them to be a part of the wedding, I wanted them to know how important their friendship is to me. It took me hours to write the notes. Have you ever tried to sum up your love for a friend in a few paragraphs? It's really hard, but I'm a hopeless romantic so I enjoyed pulling at their heartstrings. The morning of the lunch was complete chaos as I anticipated. There was so much to set up and so little time. With the help of my mom, future mother-in-law, and Jessa, I was quickly able to transform the dining room into the Margs and Maids fiesta that I dreamed of.
After organizing each place setting with the handwritten notes and mini piñatas, I adorned each chair with custom tote bags from Alyssa Thiel, Owner of Parris Chic Boutique. I met Alyssa at one of her calligraphy workshops in the beginning of the year. She is extremely talented and her hand lettering is so beautiful. She created the most gorgeous sign on watercolor paper to tie the theme together. In my opinion, she had one of the most important roles, writing the words "will you be my bridesmaid" on handmade paper that I later buried inside the piñatas as the final surprise for the girls. They came out delicate, beautiful, and exactly what I was looking for. I couldn't have been happier with the results. It's also worth mentioning that Alyssa was traveling at the time of my request and she was able to turn around my order in 24 hours. For that, I am forever grateful for!
At the stroke of noon, the girls started to arrive and one-by-one they entered the house totally confused. They thought we were going to brunch and then shopping in Red Bank. We all sat down in the dining room and after I gave a quick speech, I told them we weren't going shopping after all, as I had other plans in store for them. I directed them to open the letter in front of them, which led them to the mini piñata. Stuffed inside each piñata was a tiny insert which read, "will you be my bridesmaid?" The room was teary-eyed and at that moment I felt so completely whole. I couldn't believe I pulled off the surprise without any of them finding out, with the exception of my fiancé's sister, Lindsay. She later told me she started catching on the week of the lunch! At least I had her fooled for a few weeks. It was all in good fun. The whole day went by in the blink of an eye. After weeks of planning, it was so nice to relax, sip on margaritas, and catch up with the girls. It was such a special day.
So what do you think? How did you ask or are you planning to ask your bridesmaids? Would love to hear your story in the comments below. xx Jess