The last time we caught up with our Calke Abbey blogging bride, Annie, she talked us through her menu choices for her big day – and getting caught amidst the Beast from the East on the way to their menu tasting!

Today, Annie shares the story about choosing her bridesmaids as her big day gets closer and closer! Here’s what she has to say:

What do you do when you can’t decide on your best girls to be there with you, by your side for the biggest and best day of your life?

Answer: Have them all!

Yes, I have more attendees than Meghan Markle! 9, to be precise – 7 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls. This has not been without it challenges.

The girls are scattered not just around the country, but two of my bridesmaids are even from Europe. From Dover to Derbyshire, London to Alicante, getting all of these girls together at one time has been impossible. But that has not stopped me!

When looking for dresses it was hard to please everyone but to my astonishment – they ALL love the chosen dress. After realising that not all the girls would want to come shopping or had the ability to, I went with my maid of honour – Ruthie.

I knew exactly what I wanted in my mind for our bridesmaids, however I knew that not all the girls would love my choice. Therefore I had to think a little outside the box. Ruthie and I made a weekend of it, visiting the National Wedding Show in Manchester (pictured above!) – where there were no bridesmaid dresses AT ALL much to our disappointment. We then decided to visit our local national wedding attire chain, WED2B.

For those of you who don’t know, WED2B is a nationwide bridal boutique with their own range of bridesmaid dresses which are very reasonable in price. As it was the autumn, the winter dresses were in stock and we were able to find the most beautiful dresses!

A gorgeous blush colour to suit all skin tones, a slight sparkle for those who can’t get enough glitter, ruching for those who are a little more conscious than others (even though they have no need to be), long length for the taller ones and even made out of jersey fabric for those who would rather be waring leggings! YES – mission accomplished!

So surely I couldn’t get it right a second time with the shoes but yes – yes, I could! Jodie – another of my ‘I Do’ Crew was a darling and found the most perfect pair of heels that colour-matched with the dresses so perfectly.

We were on a roll until it came to the wraps…

I have searched high and low since last year for the perfect faux fur wraps to no avail. Note to all blushing brides – it is never too early to start collecting accessories. You have to remember that if for example you have an autumn or winter wedding it is best to search for all your accessories the year before or even better, in the January sales before your wedding. This way, not only will you find bargains but it’s no use looking for winter wraps in the summer! So now I guess it may have to be plan B – navy wraps to go with the rest of the colour scheme. These will also match the ribbon on the bridesmaid bouquets…

The usher’s suits were not quite as easy! But more of that next time…