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New Zealand’s Best Bridesmaid Dresses

If choosing a dress for yourself wasn’t tricky enough, now you have to choose bridesmaids dresses that are universally flattering, in shades and styles that all your gal pals love, to complement your attire and any wedding colours, and possibly without even having them nearby to try on. Wow… whoever thought bridesmaids dresses were a good idea?

Of course, the modern wedding party doesn’t just include bridesmaids and groomsmen either, you may be dressing bridesmen, groomsgirls, flower-people, possibly helping with Mother(s) of the Bride outfits too. Where do you begin?

Choosing Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Where to Start

  1. Uniformity, Mismatched or Choose-Your-Own Bridesmaids Dresses?
  2. Colour Palette: Pastels, Neutrals, Monochrome or Patterned?
  3. Are you buying the dresses for the girls to keep? If so, what’s your budget?

The first decision in choosing attire for your bridesmaids, and wedding party in general, is to consider whether you wish to have ‘uniformity’, or if you’d like to have a mis-matched bridesmaids dresses, or even letting them choose their own dress.

Do you have a particular vision for matching dresses, or will it be easier to dress quite different shapes of women by choosing a colour palette, general style or other? Pinterest may just be your friend here, search mismatched bridesmaids dresses to find beautiful, modern inspiration. This Nouba featured wedding of Steph & Callum showcases stunning mismatched bridesmaids who wore mismatched Hansen and Gretel dresses in lilac and yellow hues, tailored to fit each of their personal styles. “I wanted them to all feel comfortable and have their own style but still work together,” explains Steph.

Modern mismatched bridesmaids Nouba blog how to dress bridesmaids NZ
Steph & Callum – Northern Beaches Backyard Wedding

The last thing you want is your bridesmaids feeling uncomfortable in front of a large group of people, so whatever you opt for, consider how your friends will feel in whatever you (or they) choose. Bridesmaid outfit etiquette is much more relaxed than it used to be, modern brides are looking outside the box when it comes to finding dresses for their bridal parties, seeking non-traditional brands for elegant, unexpected looks that can be worn long after the bouquet toss. For the 2022/23 wedding season, even separates and pants are coming into the mix, and styles and colours are often varied.

Once you’ve decided whether to have uniformity or a little variety, consider colours, or a colour palette. Black bridesmaids dresses are certainly having a moment, and are easy to match if you are opting for different styles.

Via Green Wedding Shoes (see more black bridesmaids dress inspiration)

Next comes affordability, especially if you are purchasing the bridesmaids dresses, and gifting them to your friends to keep. Though traditionally, bridesmaids would purchase their own dresses, our etiquette guide suggests that unless they get to choose their own, the couple should probably cover the cost. If you are buying the dresses, consider your budget – although it’s possible to spend thousands on your wedding party attire, it is not necessary to do so – New Zealand has beautiful options for unique, high quality dresses at affordable prices… “The best thing is, you can shorten it and wear it again!” (27 dresses)

Hire Juliette Hogan via Designer Wardrobe

New Zealand designer Juliette Hogan’s bridesmaid collection is now available to hire exclusively through Designer Wardrobe. Reflecting the simplicity and luxury synonymous with Juliette Hogan, our Bridesmaid collection is a pared back offering, perfect for the bridesmaid looking for a dress that both elevates and resonates seamlessly with her modern everyday-luxe aesthetic. Of course, it’s also an eco-friendly wedding choice, and there’s no need to worry about whether the bridesmaids will wear it again!

Choose from a considered palette of custom shades in four tonal groups + classic and enduring black. Your colour choice can create both cohesion and interest, while still offering your bridesmaids the best colour and shape to suit their individual style and skin-tone.  

All the While Bridesmaids

All the while also ticks all the boxes… New Zealand made, supporting self-employed seamstresses and local suppliers, with a design philosophy centred around creating elegant, timeless, classic designs that stand the test of time. Blurring the lines between lounge, evening and daywear, while focusing on bridal and pre-wedding styles. All the while dresses are delicate and intimate, with relaxed bridal options and perfect bridesmaids dress styles. They only produce and make what is ordered, so every dress is especially for you.

Evolution Bridesmaids Dresses

Best known for their signature wrap bridesmaids dress (an affordable $169), Evolution have really made their mark dressing New Zealand bridesmaids since 2005. Miranda and her design team curated a unique, classic and fashion forward selection of beautiful bridesmaid dresses that are made to order for the brides special day, with the clear desire for the collections to be re-worn and not hidden away in the back of a closet after the event. Based in Auckland, they also offer virtual viewings.

Blak Bridesmaids Dresses

For over a decade, Blak has dominated in the realm of bridesmaids dresses in New Zealand. They have a range of affordable, beautiful dresses in a generous range of styles and colour palettes – or they can even colour match to a custom colour. To assist with try-ons, Blak offers an at-home try on service – four dresses are delivered to your door for you to try at home, or even send the dresses onto your bridesmaids for their thoughts and opinions.

Forever New

Forever New’s latest collection of bridesmaid dresses designed with a fresh range of spring colours and flattering silhouettes, perfect for summer. Complement the bride with one of the wide array of styles and colours – elegant wrap front dresses, romantic lace bodice gowns and modern one-shoulder styles. Forever New is not a New Zealand owned company (it is founded in Melbourne), but its presence nationwide (and in Australia) makes shopping for bridesmaids dresses pretty simple.

Leave Her Wilder

Leave Her Wilder specialises in mismatched dresses which complement, but aren’t matchy-matchy, “because no two girls are the same”. Of her chocolate-hued bridesmaids, Samantha said “The girls told me how happy they were to have bridesmaid dresses that felt so nice to wear and they were really comfortable throughout the day and night. They all said it would be a dress they would wear again which was really great to hear as I wanted to give the girls a beautiful dress that they would want to wear again.”

LHW has beautiful boho, relaxed silhouettes, that will be certain to be worn again. Their fabric is 100% natural, hand dyed and available in either a matte or sheen finish, and they’ll even make matching pocket squares for the groomsmen.

Bridesmaids wear the Coco jumpsuit and Ricky gown for Samantha & Cameron’s Wedding

Amber Whitecliffe Bridesmaids Dresses

Blissful, laid-back, modern bridesmaid dresses at affordable prices. AW has nailed the art of the wrap dress and offers a range of other styles that have proven to work for many body types (including some great ‘full coverage’ options as well as slips and wraps on the daintier side). Soft floating skirts and subtle feminine details present a relaxed and timeless beauty that will have your maids beaming.

Baby’s Breath Bridesmaids Dresses 

The embodiment of bridesmaids dresses – soft, floaty and feminine; Baby’s Breath Bridesmaids is your one stop shop. Their extensive range of styles and colours are sure to fit all of your requirements. They pride themselves on bridesmaids dress fits to favour and flatter all sizes and accentuate curves in the right places. They also offer a try at home service – pick four styles and they’ll send your picks direct to you. 

Forever New

Forever New’s latest collection of bridesmaid dresses designed with a fresh range of spring colours and flattering silhouettes, perfect for summer. Complement the bride with one of the wide array of styles and colours – elegant wrap front dresses, romantic lace bodice gowns and modern one-shoulder styles. Forever New is not a New Zealand owned company (it is founded in Melbourne), but its presence nationwide (and in Australia) makes shopping for bridesmaids dresses pretty simple.

If you’re looking for bridesmaids dresses, you may also be interested in bridesmaids gifts – discover Something Blue‘s range of bridesmaid gift boxes, bridal robes and more.

Dear Bride with ADHD, Wedding Planning Is Possible – Here’s How

If you’re planning your wedding and struggle with ADHD, it may be feeling completely impossible to get started, let alone stay organised, keep on track of your wedding budget, and remember all the little details along the way.

As a fellow Bride with ADHD, I found it extremely difficult to start wedding planning – the list of tasks were never-ending, the checklists overwhelming, and the whole thing just exhausting!

Why is Wedding Planning with ADHD so hard?

Though the way ADHD manifests itself in each person is quite individual, it is usually a combination of hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and possibly impulsiveness. A definition I resonate most with is that it is a unique brain wiring which requires engaged interest with a clear, purposeful intention (in order for an individual to pay attention).

Wedding planning doesn’t come easily to most: it is often fraught with difficult decision-making, balancing expectations, nervousness about organising and then hosting a really important event, and also anxiety over being the centre of attention for a day. These challenges are not insignificant, and so of course can be exacerbated by the neuro-divergent brain. Some of the biggest hurdles for people with ADHD to overcome are procrastination and staying focussed – both essential to planning a wedding.

How to Overcome the Challenges of ADHD when Planning Your Wedding

Each of these are expanded below, but people with ADHD often benefit from having a short, simple list to work through, so here’s 5 key Ways to Overcome ADHD when Wedding Planning:

  1. Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner
  2. Delegate as Much as Possible
  3. Set a Date (Deadlines are your friend)
  4. Assign and incentivise yourself a few tasks each month
  5. Take your time with the Budget (and any big-budget items)

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

The first thing to consider is whether your budget can stretch to include a wedding planner.
Although a professional planner is not a necessity, if you are feeling extremely anxious about planning your wedding, it might be worth the investment.

Personally, I did not hire a wedding planner, but I did spend six months following my wedding designing what I believe is the most simple, user-friendly, best wedding planner book – especially for people with ADHD (Brides, Grooms and otherwise-identifying friends, it is gender neutral).

Delegate as Much as Possible

If it’s not within your wedding budget to hire someone to help plan your wedding, but you don’t believe you can do it on your own, then you can either seek out close friends or family to delegate to. If you are having a Wedding Party, then be very mindful of who to choose as your bridesmaids or groomsmen – of course you want your nearest and dearest by your side, but it will certainly be an advantage to have a friend or family member who is invested in helping you stay organised.

Set a Wedding Date, and Deadlines along the way

Although people with ADHD are brilliant procrastinators, we also benefit from having deadlines. Once you have a date set, you should find it much easier to stay motivated, and importantly get those to-do’s ticked off!

To be able to set a date, consider the season you wish to get marry in, including perhaps where you wish to honeymoon, if planning to set off right after; how long you will need to save and budget for your Big Day; and the demand for the area in which you want to marry. Some destinations, such as those with a small pool of wedding vendors, will book up earlier, and therefore you may need to consider whether you have time to secure all wedding vendors for your ideal date.

Divide tasks month-by-month, and incentivise yourself to complete them

Personally, I couldn’t stand to look at a checklist with 50 things listed. Instead, once I’d set my wedding date, I set timelines and deadlines according to when each needed to be completed (I will of course procrastinate right up until that deadline). So, divide tasks month-by-month, and incentivise yourself to complete them.

If you have ADHD, you may notice that your to-do’s fall into ‘now or not now‘ categories and you can only manage to tick off a task if it is literally due right now (anytime later is ‘not now’ and easy to put off). Planning, and especially wedding planning, is certainly a ‘not now’ task, and one that is prone to being forgotten about. Although it may feel like something you can procrastinate from doing, actually, a lot of those wedding to-do’s are due now, because if not organised in time, you will miss out on the best wedding vendors to bring your day together.

I later incorporated this idea within the wedding planner book I designed – as I recently wrote for Stuff.co.nz, “I didn’t realise at the time, but I was designing a wedding planner to perfectly suit people with ADHD

Budget Carefully (No Impulsive Spending!)

One thing people with ADHD often struggle with is impulsivity, and when it comes to your wedding budget, and spending on big-budget items, there is just no room for buying on impulse. Looking back at my own spending, I can now see that ordering an extremely expensive wedding dress, without even having the ability to see it in person (let alone try it on) was most-likely caused by my ADHD-impulsiveness. I’ve shared our wedding budget breakdown before – and in hindsight, spending 20% on a single item was a little foolish (and also what can happen if you’re not careful).

Discuss your wedding budget with your partner, and break down what you are both comfortable spending on each aspect of your wedding. Certainly don’t commit to any big-budget items without being on the same page.

Once you have completed these 5 steps, depending on how long you have until your wedding, you can begin the 12 Month Countdown to Your Wedding, or subscribe at the bottom of this page and include your wedding date for personalised help and advice.

The Ultimate Guide to Bridal Party Gifts (No Candles, Lotions or Bath Bombs in Sight!)

When planning a wedding, you know how important it is to have the very best people by your side. We know you will have chosen your bridal party with great care, with your nearest and dearest people – whether they be bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridesboys, groomsgirls or groomspeople.

Having moral, mental, and also even physical help in the days leading up to your wedding is invaluable, and you may be wanting to choose some special gifts to either ask or thank your bridal party for their assistance. And… look, while we all love smelly things, you’ve probably already thought of those, so these are our top 5 Bridesmaids and Groomsmen gifts that you probably haven’t thought of!

Choosing Gifts to Ask Your Bridal Party to Be Part of Your Wedding

The first bridal party gift you may be looking for is one to ask your bridesmaids for their hand (in planning!). Here’s where the old adage comes in… “Something old, something new, something borrowed… Something blue!” What began as a New Zealand’s first bridal subscription box in 2019 has rapidly expanded to also include beautiful bridesmaids gift boxes for your nearest and dearest.

silk-satin-lace-bridal-robes-bridesmaids-boxes-nz-03673

For the ladies (and gents) who are always there to celebrate, commiserate, and really listen to you – especially in your time of need, and when only the best will do, check out Something Blue!

P.S. If you need help – do have a read of How to Choose Your Wedding Party!

Wedding Party Gifts for Pre-Wedding Celebrations

When the rubber meets the road and the wedding date is creeping up, you may find yourself asking more and more for help from your wedding party. Think about thanking them for their time and investment with a little token of your thanks.

  1. The Cutest Little Letter Necklace – Sophie Store
Sophie Store Little Necklace Letter

2. Brass Reusable Pen – Papier HQ

Brass Reusable Pen – Papier HQ

‍3. Custom Champagne Tumblers

Champagne Tumblers – Something Blue

4. Personalised Bridal Party Clutch

bridal party gifts bridesmaids clutch copy
Bridal Party Clutch – Personalised

5. A Gender Neutral Wedding Party Gift

Gold Cocktail Shaker Set