Shannon and Ben Part 4: Bridesmaids Proposals and Wedding Websites

 

You’ve probably heard the term “proposal” used for more than just marriage proposals. Recently there has been a lovely trend of engaged couples doing specialized proposals for their bridal party members. We’ve seen it all from special shirts to tote bags, banners, balloons, and just about anything else you can think of. Today, the bride of our Couple of the Year Shannon is talking about how she made the big ask to her bridal party and even has a few tips for finding the best gifts! Plus, she shares her


This is a section of the wedding blog that anyone who was married prior to 2010 will probably say “in my day, brides didn’t do any of this ‘stuff’ when I was getting married”. We may even get a few people saying “why is this necessary?”. It may not be crucial to the overall success of your wedding day, but it’s just fun to do things like bridesmaid proposals, wedding hashtags, and wedding websites! The entire wedding planning process can be stressful. These activities give you the opportunity to be creative, have a little fun, and serve as a great outlet to temporarily distract yourself from the “weight” of wedding planning.

Selecting the people who would stand next to us on our wedding day was fairly easy. We both have known who would be in our respective bridal parties before we were even together, let alone engaged to one another. To start, we each have a sister and a brother, all of whom are included in our big day. Ben followed tradition, selecting his brother as his Best Man. My sister and I are close, but there are 6.5 years between us. She’s currently a junior in college, while I’m officially in my late 20s. We’re just in very different points within our lives. Realistically someone else would have been doing all the “Maid of Honor” duties, so it didn’t make sense to give my sister the title of MOH but give all the responsibilities to someone else. Luckily my sister was on the same page as I was on this (didn’t want or expect the title). Instead, I gave the honor to my best friend since 2nd grade. We’ve been attached at the hip since moving to the same neighborhood. Anyone who is blessed (cursed) to know us both assumed she would be my MOH. The rest of the party, on both sides, is made up of best friends coming in the following varieties: cousins, military friends, friends from home, and friends from college. All together, we will have 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen cheering us on our wedding day.

After I selected my bride tribe, the fun then became figuring out how I was going to ask them to be in my wedding. Thanks to Pinterest, I originally had these very glamorous and elaborate boxes in mind, but I couldn’t find anything that quite fit my vision (or budget, since x8 adds up quick!). After long hours of Googling, I was able to come up with some cute boxes that didn’t totally break the bank.

  • The Vessel: After some serious searching I found a wholesale website that sold silver fold top boxes. The insides were a little boring though, so I purchased a wall paint sample from Home Depot and painted the insides of the boxes to try and brighten them up.
  • The “Stuffing” – this was harder to find that I expected. At party stores, I couldn’t find enough of the same colored crinkle paper (since 1 or 2 little packages wouldn’t even fill 1 bridesmaid box). Luckily, I was able to find bigger bags of stuffing on Amazon.
  • Mini Bottles of Champagne attached with “will you be my bridesmaid?” labels (which you can find all over Amazon in different colors & styles). 
  • Stemless wine glasses with initials 
    • At the time I wasn’t a big fan of the options I was finding on websites. Instead, I went to TJ Maxx, bought stemless wine glasses, and then I applied monograms I purchased off Etsy. While this was definitely cost effective… it did leave a lot to chance. I had to throw away 1 or 2 wine glasses that didn’t come out good (even after using “practice glasses”).
    • I have since stumbled upon some other great wine glass options. In fact, I have recently gifted an insulated stemless wineglass from Bridesmaids Gifts Boutique in Connecticut. I would highly recommend these for any Bride hunting for gifts for their bridesmaids. They keep my cold drinks cold and my hot drinks hot. I love mine so much that I am considering on gifting these cups to the girls attending my bachelorette party in May.
  • OPI Nail polish
  • Knot Earrings
  • Loft gift card for the MOH – I could have gotten her a shirt or something like that which said “MOH”, but realistically I thought she would enjoy something from the Loft more (since we both buy everything from there).

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The girls all loved the boxes! I’m happy to say that they all accepted my “bridesmaid proposal”. At this point in time, Ben hasn’t done a “groomsmen proposal” yet, but he’s got some ideas in the works. If and when he does something, we’ll be sure to share some more details on that ordeal!

Another “new” wedding tradition we wanted to implement into our day was using a social media wedding hashtag. From a practical standpoint, wedding hashtags give you a quick and easy way to see all the photos you and your wedding attendees have posted from your big day. Not to mention, they’re just a fun thing to use! Unbeknownst to me, my soon-to-be new last name (Holt) is apparently a very popular last name, making it difficult to come up with a hashtag that not only had a nice “ring” to it but was also unique and hadn’t been used before. Hitched With A Hashtag helped fix this problem for us! All that we gave their team was our first names and last names, and they came back with SO many wedding hashtag options for us. All the options were so great that we had a hard time picking just one to use. Eventually, we decided to go with #ItHadToBeHolt (which we love!). A few runner ups were #ShanAndBenWed and #ItsAlwaysBenShannon.

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 2.08.27 PMI think in today’s day in age, you absolutely need a wedding website. You can include anything you want on a physical invitation or save the date, but paper can be easily lost. There’s a bunch of different options you can go with, but the 3 most popular wedding websites are probably The Knot, Zola, and Minted. We decided to go with Minted for our wedding website for a few reasons. I thought their layouts and website formatting was better. They also offer hundreds of different website designs to pick from, so you’re bound to find at least one (or multiple) that you like and that fits with your wedding theme/colors. Minted also offers a “premium” wedding page feature for $20, where you can get a custom .com handle. With that option, you also get the ability to upload pictures of you and your future spouse, as well as the wedding party. We decided to spring for the premium option, mainly because of the ability to customize different pages within the website. With our wedding being a “destination” wedding for most of the people on Ben’s side, we wanted to include a page with ideas on things to do in the Boston area. Side note on the premium feature that we didn’t know about originally – your personal website .com handle is only active for 1 year and then it switches back to a minted.us option. I was so excited to make a wedding website that I did it 15-16 months in advance of our wedding…. so we got stuck paying the $20 a second time in order to keep the handle active (which was also on our save the dates). Pro tip here would be to make your wedding website 11-10 months before your actual wedding day. Not everyone remembers to buy gifts ahead of the wedding, so you’ll definitely want the website up and running for at least a month after your wedding happens.

Long story short – just remember to have fun when you can! ☺

– The Future Holts

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