"Style Me Pretty"

My lovely matron-of-honor Anna Antonino
in her own styled ensemble / Bonne
Headpiece by Rebellious Bunch Bonsai Fojas
Photo by Rebellious Bunch J Lucas Reyes
in Filmtastic
Our dear rebellious brides, when it comes to styling your entourage, please don't fall into the same mistakes as previous brides have done in the past.

The truth is, friends and family just love you so much that even if they don't feel confident and comfortable wearing the gown you have chosen for them, they just don't tell you (at least not to your face). They simply don't want to hurt you even if their own egos and confidence are getting hurt.

Even if you are the bride and it's your special day to shine, make your entourage happy and pretty--don't make them feel fat, or ugly or broke.

We're not saying you are intentionally doing so--but you MIGHT be unknowingly doing it--especially when you are model-esque and look good in anything--well sister--not everyone does.

Here are some mishaps that have been shared with us via direct messages by previous entourage members, and later on we will provide some suggestions on how to style your entourage pretty.

1. Please don't choose unflattering styles. Thin, sexy brides fall into this trap all the time--they think everyone else has a rockin' body and would look fab in dresses that don't look exactly nice to some. Remember that some girls wanna accentuate while some girls want to hide a body part. Learn to put yourselves in your friends' shoe. REBEL X says: "How would YOU feel if you were forced to wear an empire cut gown that makes you look preggers?"

REBEL X: "NEWSFLASH! Loose dresses look good on stick-figure models. We're not models. Don't let us wear dresses that make us look preggers" (lifted from: stylefrizz.com)

2. Please don't choose unflattering colors. As one of our contributors REBEL W shared, she felt really uncomfortable wearing a gown that didn't go well with her olive skin. She felt miserable during her friend's wedding--and all the more miserable when she was tagged on Facebook in some of the wedding photos--but she just didn't say anything.

3. Please don't ask your entourage to pay for a gown that you 'dictated' for them to wear. It's one thing to ask someone to be part of your entourage and ask them to wear a gown that they are forced to wear--to even ask them to pay for a gown that they don't have a say in the style or price???--it's just really not nice.

If you are on a tight budget--then the least you can do is provide fabrics or just allow your entourage to wear their own clothes--but don't charge them. REBEL Z says: "Hindi napupulot ang P6,000! Ipag bayad daw ang entourage? Hindi nga ako personally bumibili ng mahal na damit eh!" (You don't see P6,000/$140 just conveniently lying on the floor--why ask the entourage to pay? I don't even personally buy expensive clothes!)

4. Please back-off a little. It's one thing to have someone wear a gown you want them to wear but to dictate even the shoes is just too much. One reader said her friend wanted everyone in the entourage to wear sneakers. REBEL Q says: "Hello hindi lahat ng tao bagay mag dress na naka sneakers at gusto mag sneakers!" (Not everyone looks well in sneakers when wearing a dress and not everyone wants to wear sneakers!) "Kung gusto ng bride mag sneakers eh di siya nalang at kung sino lang may gusto. Huwag na sana mamilit parang OA na." (If the bride wants to wear sneakers then she should wear one without having to force everybody else)

5. Please consider the weather. We've also had comments about how couples should be more considerate of Manila's very hot weather. REBEL U says: "Hello maaraw at mainit sa beach. Huwag na sana bigyan ng complicated outfits ang boys and mga kids! Basta lang gusto mo? Hindi makatarungan!" (It's sunny and hot at the beach. Don't provide complicated outfits for boys and kids just because you want to. That's harsh! )

Here are some tips on 
how to make your entourage happier, more confident, and prettier :)

1. Collaborate with each of your friend

Gowns by Jun Escario / Photo by Nice Print
In Anna Antonino's wedding, one of her most treasured and proud moments was when she actually collaborated with her friends and her designer to create special looks for each of her bridesmaids. She wanted everyone to feel beautiful and comfortable, and she gave everyone the chance to "hide" body parts that the girls wanted to hide. I loved my gown so much that I even almost wore this to my own wedding! I'm not kidding.

Which leads us to the next tip:

2. Style for each body type....and the weather  It's one thing to ask the entourage to wear uniformed gowns--but uniformed styles? Don't be lazy dears. You know better than that. Again, put yourself in your entourage's shoes. You personally have certain type of styles you wear and don't wear depending on what makes you feel confident and comfortable right? (again unless you are model-esque and clueless to the world) so please try as much as you can to create variations in your entourage gowns. There are different ways to highlight and enhance all body types.

Aside from this, create looks that are conveniently light and breezy. In the entourage gowns made by Veejay Floresca below, the girls are in short dresses instead of long gowns. And really....in our tropical hot weather, this seems like the way to go.

Gowns by Veejay Floresca
3. Go for multi-way dresses

Entourage Gowns by Gretcen Pichay / Photo by MangoRed

Multi-way gowns are a great way to allow your entourage to have a little bit more fun. For RB Mica's bridesmaids, the bottom part of the gowns were made uniformed into this pretty tulle ballerina-inspired skirt while the tops of the gowns were cleverly made into multi-ways that the girls can make into off-shoulders, halters, one-sided or in any way they wanted it to be in. This allowed the girls to experiment, highlight, or hide whatever they want!

4. Assign colors or choose a color that runs in various shades

Concept Shoot / Photo by Mikki Cuenca

There are girls who are also not confident in wearing certain types of colors. In the concept bridal shower shoot above, we created an idea where the bridesmaids could choose the color of the dress that they wanted to wear.

While in Rebellious Bride Kim's wedding below, she had her entourage wear gowns that are in different shades of blue. This allows you to still have the color motif that you want, but this also gives enough leeway for your entourage to choose a shade that they are comfortable in.

Entourage gowns by Laila Papa Ramos / Photo by Toto Villaruel

5. Allow your entourage to wear their own clothes

Photos by MangoRed

I am a firm believer in this, and I highly recommend that you do the same. This is a win-win situation because it saves you a lot of money, while also giving the full freedom of expression for your entourage to shine on their own. In the Round 1 wedding, I allowed everyone to be in their own white outfits--and they could also wear whatever shoes and accessories they wanted. With the money I was able to save, I was able to provide better entourage tokens for them that I knew that they can use forever.

For the second wedding, I once again allowed the entourage to wear whatever yellow outfit they wanted, and instead, I provided head candies for them to wear. Each girl also had the freedom to choose the type of head candy that they wanted to wear.

If you don't want to go this route because you are not confident in your entourage's own style, then guide them if you must--but at the end of the day, try to be as lenient as you can. Seriously, let your entourage feel pretty on their own.

Bonne Head Candies by Rebellious Bunch Bonsai Fojas / Photos by J Lucas Reyes & Arnold Camacho

Remember that it's not just you, the bride, who needs to feel special on your wedding day. Your entourage is an integral part of your wedding, they are going to walk down the aisle with you, they will also be taken photos and videos, they are also going to publicly represent you, so make them feel just as special, as radiant, as beautiful. Make them feel like a million bucks. 



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