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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.

I got 99 problems, but a bridesmaid ain’t one… Or is she?

February 28th, 2013

When women get engaged, they are excited – as they should be. That excitement can lead to some pretty rash decisions. Namely, choosing your bridesmaids. Now, many of us have thought about it long and hard and know who we really want to be standing beside us as we take a new last name. But sometimes, the excitement can get the best of us. I can speak from personal experience. One of my besties called me as we drove to dinner right after he popped the question. Of course, Joey told me to take the call so I could share the news. This is exactly how it went, in one long run-on sentence: “HIIIIIIII!!!!!!!! Guess what?! I’M ENGAGED!!!! Will you be a bridesmaid?” I never once regretted asking her, but I wish I could have contained myself a little longer so I could have made asking her a bit more special. Needless to say, she was shocked and didn’t believe that I was honestly asking her. I made six very good choices for my bridesmaids, so I was lucky.

However, lately, I have been hearing some bridesmaid horror stories. I’ve heard of drunk ladies who have asked someone to be a bridesmaid and then never brought it up again basically, pretending that it never happened. I’ve heard of women getting upset because someone else was chosen as the Maid of Honor – so what if the person was chosen was the bride’s only sister. I’ve heard of bridesmaids backing out of the wedding with only a month to go. I’ve heard of bridesmaids who have made the whole process about them rather than focusing on the bride. I’ve even heard of bridesmaids who got into a screaming match in the middle of the reception and had to be escorted out of the venue.

With all of that in mind, I think it is important to discuss this topic a little bit before I have to hear too many more of these stories. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You have to consider everything that goes into being a bridesmaid and encourage them to do the same before making a decision. If you’ve been a bridesmaid before, you know exactly what I mean – showers, bachelorette parties, dress/gown shopping, gifts, DIY projects… and the list goes on and on! So here are a few steps that can help when thinking about who should be such a huge part of your big day.

You don’t have to ask someone just because they asked you.

I hear so many brides say, “Well, I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, so I kind of have to ask her.” NO YOU DON’T. You should not feel obligated to ask anyone to be a part of your wedding. And as I was once told, “if you’re my [wo]man, then you’ll understand.” It is crazy to me that women get so offended when they aren’t asked to be in someone’s wedding. When this is all over, just remember what it was like to have to narrow down your list of friends to those very few. I bet you will never be upset someone didn’t ask you to be a bridesmaid again.

You don’t have to ask someone just because they are related to you (or your intended).

Honestly, who cares if she’s your cousin, sister or even fiance’s sister? If you are closer with your friends than this person, then she is not someone who should be part of the bridal party. Remember, you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. And just because you are related, it doesn’t mean that you are friends. I know. I know. It sounds harsh, but I’m just being realistic. Do you want someone who barely knows you planning your shower? You might end up with the unicorns and rainbows you loved when you were in 2nd grade because that’s all she remembers about you. Think about it.

You don’t have to choose someone just to make the bridal party even.

You fiancé has 5 potential groomsman on his list, but you only have 3. So what? Nowadays, weddings are moving away from the traditional anyway. Who says you have to have an even number on either side? If you are thinking that you don’t want your pictures to be uneven, then you have nothing to fear. Most photographers can work with any number of people. If they are good at their job, they can figure out how to position your bridal party so that it doesn’t look lopsided. After all, they have done this before and are probably pretty artistic. If you are worried about that, then you have chosen the wrong photographer. We’ll save that topic for another blog post…

You don’t have to choose someone if they are unreliable.

See above comment about bridesmaid backing out a month before the wedding. I’ve even been witness to bridesmaids who were no shows for the shower or bachelorette party with no explanation or apology. Oh and did I forget to mention that she also didn’t pitch in any moo-la for either because she said she’d bring it with her and then proceeded to insist that because she wasn’t there, she shouldn’t have to help pay? Some people are just plain inconsiderate. Do you want that to happen? You have enough on your plate. Worrying about a bridesmaid shouldn’t be one of those things.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that this day is about you and your soon-to-be spouse with all of the suggestions and requests from other people. Ultimately, you need to stop and remind yourself that it IS about you. Your bridesmaids are supposed to be there to support and help you. It is up to you to choose them wisely. Or you can listen to me saying “I told you so.” The choice is yours.

What horror stories have you heard or experienced? I’d love to hear some and how you dealt with it. And just because I love them so much, here is a shot of my beautiful and amazing bridesmaids. I lucked out with this group!




Tuesday Shoesday Edition 75

February 26th, 2013

With all of the brides coming in wanting that vintage feel to their wedding, I couldn’t pass up these. They are so cute!

Joan & David 'Cutie' Pump


I love the lace and bow detail! Perfect for a spring wedding too! Love, Love, Love! You can find these ones at Nordstrom.


Real Wedding: Noi & Nick

February 25th, 2013

Noi and Nick were married at the Mansion on 8.11.12. When I first met them, I couldn’t help but notice their incredible sense of style. I was so excited for their wedding. I knew it would be a direct reflection of them. They kept the palette simple – mostly white with a few accents of slate blue. I loved the vintage details she brought in to the decor.















As you can tell from the photos, they are madly in love and had a gorgeous wedding. We are so lucky to have had them at the Mansion and now as part of our family. Congratulations Nick & Noi!


The beautiful photos are courtesy of Megan Stahl.


Friday Finds 2.22.13

February 22nd, 2013

When searching for my Tuesday Shoesday this week, I decided to check out what else David’s Bridal is offering these days. Like many women, the designer things tend to pop out at me a little more. Shoes, handbags, gowns… The problem with that is unless you are a Kardashian, you might not be able to afford all of these things. That is why I am such a fan of Vera Wang’s White label with David’s Bridal. It’s reasonably priced and you still feel like a princess! I love this ombre gown for starters.

White by Vera Wang Style VW351157

I love the blush (they call it ballet) coloring because I think it makes such a statement. Don’t despair! It also comes in stone ombre and a simple ivory as well. I love the sheer straps, ball gown skirt and pick ups! Talk about feeling like a princess!


Wediquette Wednesday: Rehearsal Dinners

February 21st, 2013

I’ve had a lot of questions recently about rehearsal dinners. Where should I have it? Who do I invite? Who should pay for it? These are all great questions. And I am sure there are more of you who would like to know the answers. So to break it down for you a little bit, let’s get right into it.

What is a ceremony rehearsal?

Typically, the bride, groom, and bridal party rehearse the wedding ceremony prior to the big day. Most of you know this part. It most often takes place at the location where the ceremony is being held (church, synagogue, wedding venue, etc.). It is important that everyone involved in the wedding procession and ceremony is present. This includes, but is not limited to, parent’s of the bride and groom, bridal party, readers, officiant, grandparents, and of course, the bride and groom. During the rehearsal, you will practice the procession, ceremony and recession. That way, everyone will feel a bit more comfortable and know what to do the day of the wedding.

So then what is a rehearsal dinner and why should I have one?

The rehearsal dinner is just a dinner that takes place after the ceremony rehearsal. The main purpose is just to thank everyone who was involved in the planning or is involved in the wedding. If everyone in the bridal party doesn’t know each other, this can be a great place for them to meet and get a little more comfortable with each other. Same goes for the parents of the bride and groom, even though most parents meet way before the big day. There is really no “rehearsing” at the dinner itself. It’s more of a relaxing dinner to enjoy the company of your family and friends before the day of excitement hits. Although, some toasts may take place and serve as a bit of a rehearsal if they are also giving a speech at the wedding.

Where do we have the rehearsal dinner?

This is where it gets fun. ANYWHERE! It can be held in a fancy restaurant or a backyard tent. There are no rules when it comes to where to hold the rehearsal dinner. The only “rule” is that it shouldn’t outshine the wedding itself. I always say that the rehearsal dinner should be more relaxed than the wedding. So if you are having a black tie affair on your wedding day, you may opt for a nice restaurant. If you are having a semi-formal wedding, then a backyard BBQ might be perfect. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure it is a reflection of you two as a couple. If you are huge sports fans, maybe you want to have it in your favorite sports bar. The options are endless!

Who pays for the dinner?

Traditionally, the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. However, as you might have figured out by now, tradition is going out the window for a lot of couples. Keep in mind that the families shouldn’t be expected to pay for anything. It isn’t that they don’t want to pay for it, they just might not be able to financially. My suggestion is just to sit down and talk with both sets of parents. If they are able to contribute, they will tell you. Even if it isn’t paying for the whole thing, sometimes they will be able to offer a smaller amount toward it.

Who should be invited?

As I mentioned earlier, everyone who is involved in the ceremony should be invited. Now, do you invite significant others? I think this really depends on your budget and venue. If you have enough space in both of those areas, then yes. I would limit this to people who are in a committed relationship. You don’t really want random people at your rehearsal dinner. Do you invite out-of-town guests? I would give the same advice on this as I did above. It is certainly a nice gesture, but not necessary. Your guest list could be 70% out-of-towners. What then? If you do not invite your out-of-town guests, then just make sure you give them a list of things to do in the area – suggest a few places for dinner, something fun to do, where they can go shopping, the numbers for the local cab service, etc.

With all of that said, I think the most important thing is that there is no right or wrong way of hosting a rehearsal dinner. Just remember that everything relating to your wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple. Don’t make decisions based on tradition or on what others want.



Tuesday Shoesday Edition 74

February 19th, 2013

As  you know, I am a huge fan of mixing up the shoes for your wedding day and doing a little something with personality. However, not everyone wants some loud, shiny, crazy heels popping out underneath their gown while walking down the aisle. And that’s OK! I think these cute peep toe heels from David’s Bridal prove that you don’t have to go with crazy colors or designs to make a statement with your shoes.

Charmeuse Pleated Peep Toe with Pearl Cluster Style PRISCILLA

Wedding shoes have come a long way since the ’80s. Haven’t they? I think these are the perfect combination of traditional and modern at the same time.


Friday Finds 2.15.13

February 15th, 2013

Happy day after Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you had a little romance yesterday or are planning a special weekend with your loves!

I came across this adorable shop that does custom embroidery on all types of items. This one in particular stood out to me since I know so many brides are sticking with that vintage theme.



I love this idea and think it would be an absolute wonderful addition to a sweetheart table during the reception! Imagine this placed beside a beautiful, low, all white, garden-style arrangement in a cute tin… Dreamy! You can find this and many other great items for your wedding at the Etsy shop for oktak.


Friday Finds 2.8.13

February 8th, 2013

I came across this adorable shirt and knew it was perfect for today. I’m a little under the weather, so anything that can make me smile today is definitely worth a share. This cute little onesie comes from Baby Image on Etsy.

Ring Security


I mean, how cute is that? The best thing is that it does come in other sizes. Just take a peek through their store and check it out! There is some other really cute stuff in there too. Happy Friday everyone!


Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 73

February 5th, 2013

I am in love with these sandals. I am yearning for some warmth and these are so pretty. Tory Burch, le sigh…



Friday Finds 2.1.13

February 1st, 2013

I have mixed feelings about unity ceremonies. I like the meaning behind them. I just don’t see how practical it is after the fact. People rarely burn the candles after the wedding and years down the road you are likely to find it half melted in a box in the attic. Sand ceremonies are cute. But again, how many people will display that for the long haul? I’ve come across some unity ceremonies that I like before, but this one really stood out to me. A couple this past October had it and I knew it was something I needed to share with you.



I really like this one because not only is the sand incorporated, but you can also add in other items as keepsakes for the big day like the champagne cork from the first bottle you opened after the ceremony (as seen above) or even the ribbon from your bouquet! So many options!! I love it! I found this one online at Daisy Days.