My mother gave me 101 sarees for my wedding!

Written By Divya Kumar

Long, long ago there was a little girl who loved wearing saris, she could barely manage her school uniform, but as soon as she came home, she opened and stared at her mom’s closet, wide-eyed she looked at all those neatly hung, color-coordinated yards and yards of fabric in hues ranging from pastels to brights. Depending on her mood, she would choose a crisply-starched cotton dhoti or drape a dainty chiffon on her tiny body. Then there were days when she just touched the silks and let its luxurious feel engulf her. 

She watched her mom wear a sari every morning in under-3-minutes! But her little fingers struggled to make any sense with this long, intimidating yet fascinating ensemble. This, of course, was decades before YouTube tutorials.
And the mother of this little girl was aware of her only daughter’s love affair with her wardrobe. So whenever the mom traveled for work or leisure, with or without the daughter she bought a sari for her little girl. The tradition went on for years, and mom bought traditional, handwoven saris to add to her burgeoning collection. 

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L-R: Vintage Resham embroidered sari in blue (my mom wore it for her wedding reception and for my wedding, I wore it for my brother’s wedding), Pink beaded sari- (reimagined design from 1960’s Bollywood, silk, and Zari embroidered sari in navy and Zaria woven sari in orange)

You guessed it right, I am that little girl and this is the story of me and my saris.  My mom, a highly placed and well-respected bureaucrat with the government of India, loved her saris. In her 36 years of service, she wore saris every single day to work. We missed her a lot when she was away but it also gave me and my brothers to explore the country when she was posted outside Delhi. Our usual trips included a tour of factories, handicraft museums or visits to local artisans workshops. The last one was my favorite.

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Me in one of the sarees


We got to meet and watch the weavers, painters, artists and craftsmen at work. We were lucky to see many masterpieces being woven and crafted. From pattu shawls of Kullu, delicate Kashmiri embroidery on pashminas, intricate mirror work in Gujarat, tye & dye or bandhej in Rajasthan, dhoop-chhav or ombre silk weaves of Benaras, phulkari of Punjab, gold zari badla and dabka work on wedding lehengas to delicate Chanderis. Magnificent south India Kanjeevarams and pochampaly Ikat saris and much more.

These trips and visits were eye-opening and educational, beautifully enlightening to say the least. I remember planning most of our holidays around sari shopping. Kumaran or Nallis in Chennai, Barrabazaar in Kolkata, Johri Bazaar in Jaipur etc.
Almost two decades and all these trips later, when finally the daughter decided to get married, she realized she will be leaving her family, her friends, only place she knew as home and crazy as it may sound, a her beloved wedding trousseau of one hundred and one saris that her mom so lovingly collected created for her over the years.

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L to R: Maroon Benares gold zari, Mysore silk sari, multicolor chiffon lahariya, Bengal silk in orange and green and fuchsia Kanjeevaram

The heart-broken mom soon discovered that her US-bound girl will not only be leaving her traditional saris behind, she will also not be carrying on the family tradition of wearing these beautiful saris.

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Me during my wedding

7 years on since the wedding and 12 years since I left India, I can count on my hands the number of times I wore my saris. I still have about 20 some saris I brought to the USA with me out of the 101, but many of them are yet to see the light of the day.

4 cross-country moves and 2 kids later, I am still hopeful that one day I will be able to bring my much-cherished collection of saris over. Each sari is a masterpiece because each one of them is hand-crafted, every one of them tells a story, a story I am looking forward to sharing with my daughters. One day….

 

7 Things Every Bride Needs To Know While Picking Her Wedding Trousseau

Your wedding undeniably would be your best day! You will be happy, excited, anxious, restless, day-dreaming, and what not. But with this comes the most tedious task of shopping and organizing your wedding trousseau that you would cherish for life.

As a bride-to- be, the one big advantage I had ‘being the youngest in the family’ is that I have learnt a lot from my sister’s mistakes made during her wedding. I remember she purchased many heavy embroidered sarees and suits for the trousseau that are hanging in the wardrobe for years now.

But when it came to my wedding, I was clear that I’d only buy stuff that was absolutely necessary, I wanted a variety of styles and colors, and not just stick to reds and pinks.

To help you, here are 7 easy tips from my personal experience as a bride-to- be:

1. Make a List :

The first thing you need to do is, make a list. You can take help from your sister or friend who recently got married. The trousseau will include almost everything you might need for at least the first six months of your married life like clothes, bags, makeup, toiletries, footwear, etc.

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2. Keep Budget in Line:

Setting a budget is very important for you to decide where and how you want to spend.

3. Decide your wedding look:

Whether you want to be a red hot chick, or go silk green is entirely your choice, but you need to decide how you want your wedding look to be. In the Internet’s era, when everything is just a click away, browsing the internet and saving a few screenshots is not a bad idea.

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Credit : CoolBluez Photography

4. Avoid Shopping with a Lot of people:
bI am sure there will be many friends and relatives who wants to help you with the wedding shopping, and getting you the best. But shopping with too many people leads to numerous suggestions that only add to the confusion.

5. Go all around the city: 

Do not settle for the first you see, visit every place possible in your city and around, before finalizing the things. Do not hurry as you might miss the best thing that you see at the next store.

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Credit : PixelStory.in

6. Lingerie:

To allure your Mr Perfect, you want to buy the sexiest and most colorful lingerie possible. But I would suggest, you must add the normal ones too, as the fancy lingeries are not that comfortable as they look. And comfort comes first!

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7. Do Not Buy in Bulk:

Buying a dozen suits or sarees would be a waste later, as fashion changes very quickly and I am certain, you don’t want to look old-fashioned.

Also, do not buy Indian clothes that are heavily embroidered or has too much sequins. They only look good from a distance, but wearing them is not that comfortable.

Brownie Point:  Keep a bag separate for Honeymoon shopping, as you won’t have much time to pack the stuff if you are leaving for a honeymoon immediately after the wedding. Pack your clothes according to the place, and do not forget to tuck in some attractive lingerie as well.

Most importantly, have fun putting together your perfect wedding trousseau and keep it real!

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6 Ways to Reuse Your Wedding Lehenga

As featured on Brown Girl Magazine

It’s needless to say that your wedding gives you memories for a lifetime. As a bride you like to cherish those beautiful pictures, videos, and greeting cards and even begin to treasure them as time goes on. Although you can indulge in fun memories through pictures and videos, and those funny messages in your greeting book, there’s something that usually remains packed away, and unvisited, after your big day—your trousseau.

Your wedding lehenga is one of the most important investments you make for your nuptials, so why let it fade away into a thing of the past? Modern day trends encourage fashionistas to mix-and-match and reuse your ensembles, so why not try and reuse your wedding lehenga?

Don’t know how? Well with a bit of tapering here, and some stitching there, your trousseau can turn into something you can wear again and again! India Boulevard provides every bride with a list of ways to reuse her lehenga. So here it goes ladies—brace yourselves, and make room in your closet because there’ll soon be another addition to your wardrobe.

Reuse the blouse:

Believe it or not but the blouse of your outfit is such a versatile piece. Pay no heed to how embroidered it is because if that’s the case, you can simply pair it with a simple skirt. However, if you opted for a rather plain top, then it only makes sense to pair the blouse with a heavier bottom. Some brides may even choose to wear a cropped blouse with their lehenga and that’s even better! When it comes to reusing your cropped blouse, you can not only pair with a different skirt, but also experiment with a fun palazzo, or add a modern-day twist and wear it with harems!

If you chose to wear an embellished blouse (something like the one above)  on your wedding day, reuse the blouse with a simple skirt!

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Make it into an Anarkali:

This idea has to be the go-to for every bride. Sometimes lehengas can get a bit over-the-top based on the occasion you’re planning on attending. But the anarkali is a classic, and timeless, trend. Simply convert your two-piece lehenga into an anarkali and pair it with simple jewels. All of a sudden your bridal look is turned into a bit of a subtle ensemble.

Your wedding lehenga can turn into an anarkali quite seamlessly. Simply stitch the top to the bottom and you have a timeless ensemble to add to your wardrobe.

large_img_0005Reuse the skirt:

Judging by generic wedding lehengas, the skirt is usually the heaviest piece. So if you decide to reuse the skirt of your trousseau, remember to pair it with a relatively plain, even contrasted, blouse. Wear your original dupatta and all of a sudden you’re ready to rock this look at a close relative’s wedding. Have we now encouraged you to pester a loved one to get married?!

A heavy skirt is normally the staple of every trousseau. Next time you feel like rocking it again, pair it with a plain blouse.

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Convert your heavy dupatta into a blouse:

The dupatta of your outfit alone can make a pretty loud statement. If it’s relatively weighty you can always convert it into another blouse and reuse it with a skirt, or even a saree.

Drape it differently:

We can all agree that there is a classic bridal look that we all aim for. And as much as your trousseau, hair, and makeup influence the way you appear, draping plays a huge role in your final impression. So it’s really simple to take away the bridal effect from your lehenga by simply changing the way you drape it. For example, drape your dupatta to mimic a saree, or casually tuck the left side of the dupatta into the skirt and bring the rest of it around behind your back, and adjust it on your right shoulder.

The way you drape your dupatta can completely change the way your ensemble looks. This is a great way to experiment with your trousseau.

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Save it for your daughter:

This suggestion has to be the most beautiful and impactful of all. Although altering your lehenga is a smart way to take advantage of it again, nothing will compare to seeing your daughter walk the aisle in the same ensemble. So for the real feels of nostalgia and happiness, maybe it is a good idea to treasure your lehenga long enough to pass it on to your princess. She’ll don it on her wedding and ensure it that it never becomes a thing of the past.

Visit our website for more collection and inspiration on how to use your wedding lehenga.

7 Things Every Bride Needs In Her Clutch

You’re the bride. You have your dress ready, you chose your makeup artist, and your jewelry, shoes,everything. Your family and friends will make sure everything runs smoothly and you have your dream wedding. So what now? Well, It’s really important that you keep a small purse either with you or with someone you know will always be by your side. What should you include?

We list seven items that we think are essential to have on your special day.

1. Moisturizing Lip Color

It’s been decided. As the bride, you will be expected to have a permanent smile on your face – whether it’s in your sleep to practice and warm up your facial muscles, during the ceremony, while you are greeting every guest, or as your trying to gracefully devour a samosa to stop your stomach from constantly growling. The key to keeping your lips from drying out while maintaining a beautiful smile is a moisturizing lip color. Whether it’s a lip gloss, buttery lip stick, or tinted lip stain, keep it handy to coat your lips at a moments notice.

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2. Safety and Bobby Pins

You’re probably going to be wearing an outfit that your aunt used 100 safety pins to keep in place. It’s best not to take the chance if any of them happen to fall out. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the importance of a single pin and keep a couple (or many) in your purse to save you from any potential wardrobe malfunctions. Same thing goes for your hair up-do. Bobby pins have a magical tendency to disappear the moment you seem to need them the most so keep a handful ready to go.

3. Cell Phone

“You need to call them on their cell phone…late night when you need their help.” “Call them, beep them, if you wanna reach them.”

They being any of your immediate go-to’s when you’re most in need. Whether it’s when you need backup for your dress or makeup situation, someone to help keep you calm, or someone to smuggle you a mango lassi to quench your thirst, having your cell phone will bring you much peace and comfort on your big day. Speed dial will undoubtedly be your best friend. Also, there’s no harm in using it to listen to calming ocean wave sounds or to win the next level of candy crush while you’re getting beautified.

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4. Your Wedding Vows

One of the most beautiful moments during the wedding is exchanging vows with your husband-to- be. Now, you could start your own improv sequence on the spot and see where that goes (a career in stand-up, perhaps?) or you could avoid that route and put some extra thought and love into a written copy that fits easily in your purse. Even if you think you have it all memorized, having the physical copy will ensure your mind doesn’t go blank (flashback to the presentations you gave in school). Let the emotions pour out as you speak and let the words flow as they do on paper.

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5. Tissues

It’s going to get all emotional up in here and tissues are sure to fix most, if not all, of your issues. If you start tearing up as you listen to your family speak about how crazy you were as a toddler pretending to be a pop star, grab a tissue. If you think you are blinking too much and your mascara is smudging, grab a tissue. If you accidentally bite into a hidden chili pepper, grab a couple tissues to stop those tears from flowing like a river. If your other half gets tears in their eyes after looking at how beautiful you are (it’s obviously not at the gulab jamun you’re holding, right?), grab them a tissue.

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6. Compact Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Don’t worry, it’s you. However, to make sure that holds true for the entirety of the very special occasion, having a compact mirror ready to go is a good idea. Great for any touch ups that are necessary, to make sure there’s nothing stuck between your teeth, and to keep an eye on anyone around you. Having a combo of a mirror and powder foundation will be a big plus so you can freshen up at a moments notice and look flawless for all the papa-paparazzi surrounding you.

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7. Extra Accessories

You will be wearing a lot of gorgeous jewelry that probably will weigh as much as a full grown elephant. Not kidding. There is going to be a point where you feel like you can barely move. How are you supposed to dance all night long without moving at the speed of a sloth? Well, that is when you can go into your handy dandy purse and pull out a pair of extra earrings that are just as stunning but feel light as a feather. Maybe a simple necklace to replace the one covering your entire neck. Or even a nice bracelet to replace the million bangles on your arms. Don’t forget to have a packet of extra bindis too, because those tend to fall off into the darkness without any prior warning.

Written By

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What to Wear: Wedding Ceremony

Your friends’ wedding is coming up which means it’s time for you to show off your best style. But what do you wear? The options are endless, and it can be overwhelming to decide. So many different events mean so many choices to make. Fortunately, we are here to help you pick the best combination of outfits so you can look beautiful at every moment.

 

The third event of the series: Wedding Ceremony. Watch the bride & groom partake in a series of rituals and traditions as they enter an exciting new stage in their life.

 

Key: Classy & Traditional. The Wedding Ceremony is the moment everyone has been waiting for  – a joyous moment shared between the bride & groom, their family, and their friends. Wear something classy with a traditional touch & don’t be afraid to heavily accessorize since you will spend your time watching the beautiful events take place.

 

Several ideas inspired by IndiaBoulevard lovely outfits. Pick the one that matches your personality & speaks to your soul. Customize based on your preferences. Add your own personal touch.

 

1Peach princess lehenga. Made from raw silk, this simple piece encompasses the perfect balance between tradition and style. Wear rose gold jewelry to accent the iced coffee dupatta & go for a subtle smoky eye with brown and gold hues. A fancy half up hairdo with curls will surely make you feel like a princess!

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2. Traditional styled orange blossom lehenga set. This set can be paired with a kundan-orange stoned choker necklace & earring set. Try a simple half up hairdo with neutral tone makeup and a nice tikka to complement this heavily embroidered outfit.

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3. Ombre Blue-Green saree / Blue & Red floral saree set. A lovely pair of sarees with a calming, aqua color scheme. The best time to bring out crystal statement chokers & earrings along with a fancy updo. Try adding a light layer of teal eye shadow in addition to some shimmer/highlighter on your cheekbones for a complete look!

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4. Marigold contrasting half and half saree. Complementary colors in the form of a half and half saree. Style this outfit with dark blue-gemmed earrings, necklace, and tikka along with loose, curled, hair.

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5. Traditional bright yellow lehenga with olive green dupatta. Make a statement with this raw silk, bright outfit that will look great with white stone kundan jewelry, a fancy hair bun, along with gold highlighter & eye shadow.

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6. Purple & Orange benarasi brocade anarkali. An alternative style to wearing a saree or lehenga – this bold brocade traditional anarkali can easily be glammed up with a simple choker, tikka, and gold & pearl earrings. Add a royal touch with a hair crown and golden heels.

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7. Emerald green & hot pink embroidered anarkali suit. Perfectly complement this anarkali with deep-green gemmed jewelry, matte nude-pink lips, and light pink eye shadow. Top it all off with a braided hairdo. Simple yet glamorous.

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What to Wear: The Sangeet

Your friends’ wedding is coming up which means it’s time for you to show off your best style. But what do you wear? The options are endless, and it can be overwhelming to decide. So many different events mean so many choices to make. Fortunately, we are here to help you pick the best combination of outfits so you can look beautiful at every moment.

 

The second event of the series: Sangeet. Dance the night away!

 

Key: Colorful & Comfortable. The Sangeet is a grand pre-wedding ceremony that is full of entertainment – singing, music, dancing, and even more dancing! It’s usually held at big event halls and hotels, so the key is to wear something that is comfortable to move in, but that makes a bright and bold statement.

 

Several ideas inspired by IndiaBoulevard lovely outfits. Pick the one that matches your personality & speaks to your soul. Customize based on your preferences. Add your own personal touch.

 

1. Turquoise floral printed & mirrorwork embroidered anarkali. A modern, stylish and colorful floor length anarkali – quick, easy and comfortable to wear. Pair it with golden accessories, a bright bindi, and a fancy half up hairdo to make a fashionable statement on the dance floor.

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2. Fiesta & peach echo / Mesh beige & pink floral lehenga. These trendy contemporary lehengas make a bold statement on their own. Pair them with medium sized gem earrings, many colorful bangles, bold matte lips and wavy hair for an elegant style.

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3. Leaf green sequined lehenga set. A bright, flowy lehenga. Show off the beauty of the high collared blouse with a fancy bun hairdo. Add kundan jewelry to tie it all together!

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4. Red & pink ombre / Orange floral printed lehenga set. Gorgeous is an an understatement. These new floral themed lehengas come with trendy cut blouses – all eyes will be on you! Very easy to accessorize.

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5. Two-way floral and navy blue skirt & crop top / Navy blue skirt & paisley print crop top set. A fabulous contemporary look. Crop tops & flowy skirts are always in style and go great with kundan or rhinestone jewelry. Add a fancy chain headpiece to a half up curly hairdo for a lovely look.

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6. Fuchsia pink with a crop top lehenga set. Such a stylish piece – a modern crop top and lehenga with a floral print jacket to complete the look. Ruby stone jewelry, liquid matte lipstick, and colorful bangles will perfectly complement the rich fuchsia color theme.

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7. Navy blue asymmetrical lehenga set. Twirl around in this lovely outfit and you’ll feel just as fabulous as you look. This trendy tie dye cut out crop top comes with a high waist & flowy skirt piece. Cuff earrings, a nice gold toned choker, and a messy half up hairdo are great additions.

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The Bridal Party

The beauty of a wedding stems from the love between the bride and groom, the happiness in the parents’ eyes, the laughter and wide smiles amongst the guests, the lovely decorations…but also from the bridal party’s gorgeous attire that add balance and harmony to the entire occasion.

 

Picking the perfect outfit that not only enhances the beauty of each member of the bridal party but also highlights the rich and unique outfits of the bride and groom is essential…and IndiaBoulevard is the perfect avenue for doing just that!

 

We take your desired inspiration & create sketches with the ideal design work – all we need from you are the measurements for each bridesmaid. Then, the sketches translate into reality. It’s as easy as that. Take a look for yourself at this stunning bridal party of twelve. Such simplicity, much beauty.

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What to Wear: The Mehendi

Your friend’s wedding is coming up which means it’s time for you to show off your best style. But what do you wear? The options are endless, and it can be overwhelming to decide. So many different events mean so many choices to make. Fortunately, we are here to help you pick the best combination of outfits so you can look beautiful at every moment.

The first event of the series: Mehendi!!! Get beautiful henna designs done, dance and sing!

COMFORT AND SIMPLICITY IS KEY.
The Mehendi is a pre-wedding ceremony celebrated by the bride’s close family and friends and is most commonly held at the bride’s house or a banquet hall – it’s usually one of the smaller scale events, so the key is to be simple yet stylish.

Several ideas inspired by IndiaBoulevard lovely outfits. Pick the one that matches your personality & speaks to your soul. Customize based on your preferences. Add your own personal touch.

 

1. Rose quartz & Iced Coffee. This beautiful high low georgette anarkali is simple and trendy – one of my personal favorites! Pair it with neutral makeup, a side braid and accessories that accent the antique gold embellishments.

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2. Eggplant with a floral twist. Pair this high collared anarkali with a messy bun and gold tinted accessories for a quick yet sophisticated look. You can also create a bold eye to match the eggplant color and some blush to accentuate the floral pink dupatta.

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3. Maroon and gold resham work anarkali. The perfect opportunity to add a bold lip is for this traditionally printed piece. Simple earrings, a half up half down hairdo, and some bronzer are perfect add-ons!

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4. Rose pink floral sequins and pearls embroidered gown. The serene color in the form of a gorgeous gown with the perfect embellishments. Bring out the best in the outfit with a low bun and subtle makeup: pink highlight on your cheekbones, gloss for your lips and a little mascara.

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5. Marigold in brocade with a hint of red anarkali set. A simple classic! Pair it with bright red lips to bring out the color in the silk trim, a low pony, and gold highlight for your eyes and cheekbones.

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6. Blue studded with mirror work anarkali set. A calm and unique color combination that when paired with a coral lip, simple pony and gunmetal crystal earrings, all eyes will be on you!

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7. Yellow crop top & iced coffee culottes. Last but definitely not the least. Be a style setter with this more casual yet super fashionable look that’s perfect for those summertime weddings! Add some creamy lip paint, a simple choker and matte coffee shade eyeshadow.

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15 Tips for A Bridesmaid

So you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid. What an honour. And what fun! That said, what a lot of work, too. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to ensure you are super well-prepared for the big day. Let’s look at 15 things to do to be the best bridesmaid.

 

TIP 1# Have a plan
Stay as organised as possible by keeping a spreadsheet of the bridesmaids’ contact information, a timeline of the events, a planner/to-do list, an outline of wedding-related expenses so you can budget appropriately, etc.

 

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TIP 2# Be a team player
You’re a part of the wedding and not running it. Don’t let it become a competition of “Who Can Be the Best Bridesmaid?”   

 TIP 3# Remember the bachelorette party is for the bride
Assuming the best idea is the stereotypical night-out partying is a careless mistake. Keep in mind what type of person the bride is, and plan accordingly. Yes, you want everyone to have a good time, but the bachelorette party is not about you and the other bridesmaids. It’s about the bride.  

 

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TIP 4# Be there for the bride
Make sure throughout the entire process you’re both physically and emotionally present for the bride. Offer to go with her to dress fittings, venue viewings, etc. Offer to assist her with non-wedding activities when she needs a break. If you think being a bridesmaid is hard, imagine what it must be like for the bride.   

 

TIP 5# Don’t get drunk
Of course you should have a good time. But don’t drink to the point of getting wasted. If you’re bombed, you can’t entirely be there for the bride. Being a bridesmaid means your behaviour is a reflection of the bride. Don’t embarrass her!

 

TIP 6# Never complain to the bride 
A lot of the stress a bride experiences stems from making sure other people are happy and enjoying themselves. If you absolutely must vent about another very frustrating bridesmaid, the constant expenses, or how time-consuming it’s been, do it to someone else… preferably someone who doesn’t know the bride.

 

TIP 7# Keep tissues handy
You can never have too many with you on the day of the wedding. Whether it’s to dry tears, fix make up, or help dap off last-minute stains, pack generously.

 

TIP 8# Wear waterproof makeup
A marriage is a happy occasion, which means there will be tears. You don’t want to be worrying about make-up in the middle of a great cry.

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TIP 9# Carry a change of shoes
When the ceremony ends, kick off those heels that are starting to leave pretty little blisters all over your toes and pop on a pair of stylish and comfy flats. You’ll have more fun flirting and dancing this way.

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TIP 10# Don’t forget the cell-phone charger
Yes, there’s a very good chance you will. You have so much on your plate and a long day ahead of you. It’s always good to make sure your phone has some extra juice to it. Bring along your charger so that you won’t have to worry about battery life when the bride asks you to snap some extra photos for her when the party starts.

 

TIP 11# Bring an extension cord
Speaking of the cell-phone charger, also carry an extension cord – because there’s never enough outlets for everyone or every curling iron.

 

TIP 12# Have pictures of hair and makeup suggestions
Know how you want your hair and makeup to look on the day of the wedding. So come prepared with photos and ideas to show the bride and the beauty team.

 

TIP 13# Carry your own beauty kit
Have a kit of your favourite makeup items at hand so you can do quick touch ups before pictures and in between trips to the dance floor.

 

TIP 14# Wear a good attitude
No matter what be sure to carry a positive attitude and good energy so you can support the bride more than you ever have before.

 

TIP 15# And choose IndiaBoulevard for your outfits
Our selection of specials for bridesmaids is here to help you pick what’s right for you in style without burning a queen-sized hole in your pocket.

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