Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

He asked, you said yes, and now you need to find the perfect dress. Wedding dress shopping can be one of the most exciting and fun times of your planning process, but without the right preparation, it can be a complete nightmare. Avoid the perils of wedding dress drama by following these simple steps:

Plan Ahead: Eliminate added stress from your dress shopping by planning it out carefully. Set aside plenty of time, early in the wedding planning process, to go dress shopping, giving yourself ample time to think about your decision before making a purchase. Even when ordered from bridal warehouses, wedding gowns can take weeks or months to get ordered and shipped, plus they’ll undoubtedly need alterations leading up to the wedding, so make sure you start your dress shopping as early as possible.

Do Your Homework: Flip through bridal magazines or websites to get an idea of different dress styles and designers that interest you so you know what you want to try on. Also, it’s a smart idea to do some research on the bridal shops (warehouse and boutiques) in your area, noting their hours and whether or not appointments are required, and map out a plan of attack. It’s a smart idea to visit several stores to view dresses of different styles and price points so you can find your dream dress and stick to your budget.

Bring the Necessities: When heading out for a day of dress shopping, there are a few essentials that you should always have with you. First of all, be sure to bring along the proper undergarments (in white or nude) for trying on dresses with varying necklines. Also, it’s helpful to have a pair of heels in the same height you plan to wear on the wedding day, as well as any jewelry or headpieces/veils you might be considering to see the overall effect with the dress. A camera is a crucial piece of equipment in order to snap shots of your favorite gowns to reference later when trying to make your decision. Last but not least, the most important thing you can bring along is a trusted friend or relative (or several) to give you honest feedback about each gown.

Be Open: You might have your heart set on a strapless princess gown, only to fall in love with a form fitting sheath. As great as it is to have an idea of what you like, be open to the possibility of discovering and loving something totally different. When you go dress shopping, try a variety of gowns, taking recommendations from the salesperson, to ensure that you’re getting the absolute perfect gown for your big day.

Wedding Dress Cleaning & Storage

BHLDN has arrived – Anthropologie Weddings

Monday was a big day in the bridal world.  BHLDN, the bridal brainchild of the people at Anthropologie was launched.  The whimsy, magic, and delicateness of Anthropologie has now been packed into a beautiful world for brides.

BHLDN is of course heavily focused on wedding gowns.  Their selection is one-of-a-kind and makes almost any past, present, or future bride swoon.  They’ve got something for every body type and every type of bride.  If you want elegant, they’ve got it.  If you want romantic, they’ve got.  Vintage inspired, garden appropriate, whimsy laced…yep, they’ve got those too.  The selection is nothing short of beautiful.  However, just because Anthropologie is a big name, doesn’t mean they’re pumping out their gowns by the thousands.  Dresses are sold on a limited basis, so brides don’t have to fear seeing their dress on every corner or at every alter.

And in true Anthropologie fashion, the customer service of BHLDN is special and sincere.  Their website abounds with ways to narrow down your style and find the perfect look. Shipping is affordable and returns are free with a prepaid label.  And don’t fret about confusing bridal sizing.  The folks at BHLDN have made it easy, with a focus on traditional sizing and a fit guide that can help even the most size confused bride.

But BHLDN doesn’t stop at bridal gowns, they make it a point to continue the bridal experience creating party inspired dresses for attendants, family members, and guests.  These dresses are also perfect for the bride to wear to other wedding related events and festivities.  BHLDN is the antithesis to stuffy, cheesy, and unwearable bridesmaids dresses.  It’s hard to find one dress on their site that you don’t love.

Continuing the magic, BHLDN offers shoes, lingerie, accessories, and more.  Their shoes are Cinderella worthy, and their accessories are statement pieces fit for a queen.  Glancing at their website, its easy to forget you’re in wedding world, because their pieces are so timeless, you’ll be swooning and loving them long after the wedding has passed.

Please enjoy the following images from the BHLDN collection.

Avoid Wedding Dress Drama

There’s nothing more fun that being waited on hand and foot, getting all dolled up, and receiving adoration from everyone around you, but believe it or not, wedding dress shopping isn’t always as enjoyable as it should be. Avoid wedding dress drama by following these helpful tips:

1. Give Yourself Ample Time: Most wedding dresses need to be ordered, shipped, altered, and fitted multiply times before your big day, so don’t wait too long to start shopping. Even wedding warehouse stores typically don’t carry every size on hand and have to order gowns, which can take months to arrive. Start your wedding dress shopping shortly after getting engaged to eliminate added stress of difficult time constraints.

2. Come Prepared: When you head out for a day of bridal dress shopping, bring along various undergarment options to accommodate differing necklines. Nude or white lingerie is recommended so leave your hot pink skivvies at home. Also, be sure to bring along a pair of heels the same height that you plan to wear on the wedding day. It also doesn’t hurt to brush on a little make-up ahead of time so you look and feel your best.

3. Bring a friend (or ten): Wedding dress shopping is a great opportunity to bond with your mom, sister, future mother-in-law, bridesmaids, or a beloved relative, so don’t be afraid to invite someone along. Plus, you’ll most certainly want (and need) the advice and opinion of a trusted pal. In an effort to truly eliminate drama, be sure to only invite individuals who will be encouraging and supportive.

4. Shop Around: Choosing a wedding dress is like choosing a fiancé: you don’t just say yes to the first one you see. Be sure to check out several bridal shops in your area to get a grasp on various options, styles, and prices. Be sure to visit Veiled in Elegance.

5. Try Anything: You might have a specific idea of what you want in a bridal gown, but could be blown away by something totally different. Be willing to try on a variety of styles, designs, and cuts to find the perfect dress for you.

6. Don’t Forget Accessories: When trying on dresses, be sure to pair them with differing headpieces and veils to find the right look and bring along jewelry as well to get a feel for the overall look.

7. Stick to the Budget: Most likely, the purchase of your wedding dress will put a significant dent in your budget, but be sure to stick to the number you determined was appropriate. And don’t forget to anticipate additional costs that might arise like expedited shipping (if you broke tip #1), veil/headpiece (see tip #6), shoes, lingerie, or alterations.

8. Think It Over: Don’t feel pressured by pushy sales reps or your own wedding excitement. When it comes to making the dress decision, you should give yourself a day or two to think about your decision. Avoid making a rash mistake by allowing yourself some time to sleep on it.

9. Take Photos: As you give yourself time to ponder the decision, snapping a few digital images might help. If you’re undecided between two gowns, reviewing the dress from different angles or showing pics to a friend can help you decide which one looks best.

10. Schedule Fittings: You’ll need a couple of dress fittings before the big day to ensure that the dress is tailored to perfection. If you’re using a seamstress at the bridal boutique, book your appointments on the day you order your dress to ensure you are included in he schedule. Otherwise, call ahead to book with another seamstress, giving yourself ample time to correct any altering mishaps.

Trash The Dress

Wedding Dress Cleaning & Preservation

Vendor Spotlight – Caroline DeVillo Couture

If you’re looking for a stunning, timeless, and breathtaking wedding gown, look no further than Chicago-based designer, Caroline DeVillo. Her Hollywood-inspired couture gowns are elegant, classic, and sure to make an impression.

Caroline DeVillo always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, but when it came time for college, she studied Marketing of Textiles and Apparel at the University of Illinois to become a buyer instead. Plans change and along the way, she found herself attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM) in Los Angeles. During her time in California, she began to work as a stylist and costume designer for TV, film, and print. After growing homesick, she decided to return to Chicago and take the plunge into design. Drawing on inspiration from Old Hollywood and her costuming experience, she designed her first line of couture bridal gowns in 2003. In 2006, her burgeoning bridal fashion career led her to open her own store in Bucktown.

Brides can choose from three couture collections to find their perfect wedding dress. Caroline DeVillo offers gowns that range from simple and understated to fun and flirty to sexy and glamorous. Whatever your personal style, Caroline DeVillo’s stunning masterpieces are certainly worth a glance.

Brides can also participate in the design process with Caroline DeVillo’s I.D. Collection. The I.D. (Individual Design) collection allows brides the opportunity to mix and match their favorite looks to create a dress that represents their unique personality and individual style.

Caroline DeVillo can also help dress the rest of your bridal party in style. She offers a beautiful collection of cocktail gowns that are perfect for bridesmaids and her customizable Kiddy Cocktail Collection provides great options for flower girls and children ages two and up.

Caroline Devillo Couture
http://carolinedevillo.com/
1616 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647-5536
(773) 342-0096

Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation

Wedding planning can be a big undertaking.  Finding the location, the caterer, the DJ…it can be a lot to handle.  But the one thing brides seem to work the hardest at is finding a wedding dress—the perfect wedding dress.  So after all that hard work and the countless memories made on a wedding day, preserving wedding dresses has become a high priority of brides everywhere.  Gown preservation is a special process of cleaning and packaging a wedding or couture gown.  However, navigating the preservation process, including who to trust, where to go, and how to go the DIY route, can be tricky.  So here are a few tips and guidelines for preserving the beauty of your wedding dress:

Finding a Cleaner/Preservationist: Just like any other wedding vendor, finding someone to preserve your dress is an important task.  You want to find someone you trust, can communication easily with, and most of all, someone who will get the job done in a professional manner.  Lots of companies and cleaners claim to clean and preserve wedding gowns, yet not all are created equal.  Look for someone who is licensed by the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, as these vendors specialize in gown preservation and restoration.  To find a licensed specialist, visit the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

For brides in the Chicagoland area, Davis Imperial Cleaners is an incredibly popular and well respected vendor, specializing in wedding and couture gown preservation.  They are also the only vendor in the Chicagoland area licensed by the Association of Wedding gown specialists.

Time is of the Essence: Though many brides set their dress aside for a few weeks after their wedding, enjoying honeymoon trips and new wedding gifts, it is incredibly important to get your dress to the cleaner as soon as possible following the big day.  Obvious and visible stains such as red wine and dirt can clearly damage a gown, but so can invisible stains such as champagne and cake frosting.  Therefore, for best results, get your dress to the cleaner as soon as possible.  If you plan to be out of town or busy with after-wedding festivities, ask a family member or bridesmaid to drop it off at the cleaners for you.  If you have any special requests or concerns about the dress, make sure to discuss these with your family member or bridesmaid, so they can relay them to the cleaner.

Do It Yourself Dress Cleaning: While most brides would love to have their dress last forever, many are not in favor of the hefty cost associated with licensed cleaners, which can be anywhere from $200-$800.  So if you’re not crazy about the price tag or not certain that gown preservation is for you, going the DIY route may be a good option.  Though it won’t be perfect or completely stain free, there are a few main steps in home preservation to help your dress look its best.  First, wrap the dress in a white sheet or prewashed muslin before placing the dress in a sturdy box.  Avoid using plastic bags or vacuum sealed plastic containers, as plastic emits fumes that can cause your dress to yellow or mildew.  Also, make sure to avoid storing your dress in places of extreme heat.  This typically rules out basements and attics, as both can reach extreme highs and lows when it comes to temperature.  Under the bed or in a large closet are two of the safest options for storing your dress at home.

Vendor Spotlight – Jenny Yoo

Designer Jenny Yoo Defies Wedding Dress Convention

Although choosing to wear your mother’s old wedding dress on your big day, might be a sentimental gesture, chances are, you probably want to wear a dress that is as contemporary and hip as you are – a unique dress that is indicative of present-day fashion (no offense to Mom, of course). Chicago area dress designer, Jenny Yoo, has a progressive, yet simple approach to wedding dress design that portrays this aesthetic ideal quite beautifully.

Yoo grew up outside of Philadelphia, and later attended New York’s Parsons School of Design. Subsequently, she started her own company, under the philosophy of creating understated and stylish dresses for bridesmaids – as to alter the preconceived notion that bridesmaid dresses must be ornate and overdone. Today, the Jenny Yoo Collection offers dresses for all wedding roles: bridesmaids, flowergirls, and of course, brides.

Yoo’s dresses all have many common stylistic themes. The bride dresses show a simplistic elegance, presenting themselves as light and airy, while emphasizing that the all-white color scheme is one tradition worth keeping. Yoo’s opposition to convention is clear in her bridesmaid designs. Keeping consistent with modern fashion, they have little to no ornamentation, but all the while, appear extremely refined and feminine. Even the flowergirl dresses maintain a certain sense of sophistication, but are still age appropriate.

For more information on Yoo’s dresses, visit www.jennyyoo.com.

Jenny Yoo – Chicago
730 north franklin street, suite 602 / chicago, il 60654
312.642.2327 / chicago@jennyyoo.com

veiled in elegance

Vendor Spotlight – Veiled In Elegance

“Vendor Spotlight:” Veiled In Elegance – a Q&A session with Owner Kathy Lager

What is the mission statement of Veiled in Elegance, and what type of clientele do you cater to?

Veiled In Elegance brings high quality bridal gowns and unique complimentary accessories to brides, to make them look and feel their most beautiful on their wedding day.  We do this in an intimate setting and with personal attention throughout the planning process.

How has the company evolved since its inception?

VIE began in 1995 as a bridal accessory shop offering custom veils and headpieces.  Jewelry, shoes, and flowergirls naturally followed.  When gowns and bridesmaid dresses were added,  I joined the company with my expertise as a custom bridal gown dressmaker.

What is your specific background with regard to dresses?  What dress experience does the rest of the staff add to the Veiled in Elegance experience?

I was a custom bridal gown dressmaker for 10 years, then began doing alterations for the brides at Veiled in Elegance, soon after I bought the business from the original owner.  All the girls assisting the brides, whether in choosing their gown, accessories, or with alterations, have studied fashion design.  They are professional and knowledgeable of each detail of the item they are working with.

How is Veiled in Elegance different from the next wedding dress shop?

We have an intimate setting and provide personal service.  Our headpieces, veils and jewelry are all custom made to compliment any gown.  When deciding what designers to carry in the shop, I look for high quality silk fabrics and lace, with great construction and fit.  I also search for designers who provide all this at an affordable price to brides.

What style of dresses and accessories do you specialize in?  Do you have a specific aesthetic that you aim for?

Our gowns have a simple, classic and elegant look that is timeless yet modern, and even, at times fashion forward.
The accessories are unique with special attention paid to each detail.

What does the future hold for Veiled in Elegance?

At Veiled In Elegance, we continue to seek original designs in gowns and accessories, offering details such as hand embroidering the bride’s new initials in her gown, or creating a bouquet for the wedding rehearsal out of ribbons saved from her bridal showers.  We even work with an eco-friendly dry cleaner to preserve the gowns after the wedding.

For more information about Veiled in Elegance, visit www.veiledinelegance.com

trash the dress

Trash The Dress

trash the dress
Trash The Dress…Looking for a way to put your wedding stress and anxiety behind you now that the big day is over? Photographer John Michael Cooper has an unlikely remedy: trash your wedding dress. The modern photographer created a concept that’s become a nationwide trend and is stirring up a bit of controversy.

John Michael Cooper’s ” trash the dress ” idea is exactly what it sounds like. Sometime after the wedding day is over, brides meet up with their photographer or videographer for an edgy, symbolic, or disturbing film session where they literally destroy their wedding gown. Many brides who participate in the new tradition say that the destruction of their dress signifies their freedom from the stress and anxiety of planning a wedding.

Each woman’s “trash the dress” day is unique and different. Some women choose water as their source of destruction, having their photographer snap pictures as they climb into a city fountain, roll on a sandy beach, or even wade into a dirty swamp. Others choose to have their new husbands help in the destruction, opting to be cut out of the dress with scissors or a knife or, in some extreme cases, set the garment on fire. Still others have chosen to rely on nature to ruin the gown by rolling in mud, sitting in dirt, or even hiking a dusty trail.

While it’s an unconventional method to overcome wedding-related stress, many brides find the “trash the dress” festivity to be cathartic and therapeutic. They also enjoy having a unique photo or video to remember their dress rather than preserving it in a box in their attics or closets. Not surprisingly, critics find the act offensive and irresponsible arguing that if brides no longer want their dress, they should donate them to charities or less-fortunate individuals. Here is a great place to donate your dress – White Chicago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Dress Designers

Wedding Dress Designers You Need To Know

The Island Fashionista – Tamara Catz


Miosa Couture, Sacramento, CA, 916-443-1301, miosabride.com, $1,600-$10,000

The Green Pioneer –  Deborah Lindquist


Deborah Lindquist, North Hollywood, CA, 818-762-7199, deborahlindquist.com, $935-$3,000

The Southern Belle – Suzanne Perron


Suzanne Perron, New Orleans, LA, 504-899-6895, suzanneperron.com, $6,000 and up

The Embellishment Artiste – Mariana Leung


Weng Meng Design Studio, New York City, 917-453-1979, hautecoutureembroidery.com, $150-$20,000

source: elegala.com

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