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Save the Date

October 12Everything is cyclical right? And all fashions come back around again, don’t they? So it’s no surprise that every few years or so, the most popular dates for getting married change and those tried and true dates of the past become quite trendy once again. This year was no different. The most popular date for 2013? Drumroll please…10.12.13!  And while October is certainly very popular, especially in most areas where the weather is pretty mild (not too hot, not too cold) the clever numbering definitely makes it desirable for couples seeking a memorable date…literally.

So what else is in a date?  Well, the once prominent and most popular month of June is back! Big time! The second most popular date this year was June 1st. Thankfully, when a number like 1, or 31 lands on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can almost always be sure that it will take off in terms of popularity. Venues and churches alike tend to see major spikes when notable dates in the Spring through Fall land on a weekend. Typically in the case of couples with no real ties to a specific date or month go looking for availability they really just end up picking a date that sounds good. And from there, a lifetime love of that date will ensure. Kind of cool, right?

And so far the final numbers are in on popularity with June, the old favorite that was later passed up for Fall fetes, reigning in at number one. September, the favorite of the last few years came in a close second and October, the new fall preference was right on target in third place.

 

fall wedding

For destination areas in the U.S., experts followed the trends down to Florida concluding that the high times are November and December. The reason for the Holiday wedding spike? Most couples consider their guests desire to escape the colder temperatures and with most people getting more time off for Thanksgiving and the break between Christmas and New Year’s the idea of a beach wedding is music to their ears. Also, the temps in the South are scorching the Summer and even into early Fall, making winter a better time to say “ I Do.”

 

florida

One thing is for sure when it comes to dates. According to MSN Weddings, if you really want to stand out, set the date for January!

one shoulder wedding dresses

One Shoulder Dresses Are Here to Stay!

One shoulder

When Oscar nominees Naomi Watts showed up on this past year’s red carpet in a custom Naeem Khan metallic creation I think she made one thing totally clear: the one shoulder “look” is here to stay. So it came as no surprise with Brides Magazine names the one shoulder dress the biggest thing in wedding dress fashion for the upcoming season. We shy away from calling it a trend at this point- it’s more like just another great option that might be the most flattering neckline for many brides- especially those trying to switch it up from strapless.  And let’s face it- it gives enough coverage for a Fall or Winter wedding while also being perfectly appropriate for a Spring or Summer wedding.  Could this be the most versatile wedding dress look yet?

While the look dates well back into ancient Greek and Roman times (think the movie Troy with style star Diane Kruger modeling the look almost exclusively)  it has made quite the resurgence in the last decade.  And while the 60’s saw Jackie O wear it and the 70’s were all about it with designers like Halston making slinky one shoulders a staple look, it seems to be a more permanent fixture nowadays, which makes it perfect for the Tradition dress seeker with modern taste.                      

one shoulder1

And this season is no exception, with several magazines calling for even more of the look! The bridal runways were filled with one straps of all kinds. Right now, we are especially loving the delicate late wrapped ones and the all beaded, blinged-out one shoulders. For a more feminine look, we think our Southern brides will absolutely love the flower embroidery and ruffled straps we are seeing with full skirts for the utmost in tradition. You really can’t go wrong with the look but here is the low down on the best bets on who is perfect for this kind of dress!

Bridal stylists everywhere agree that while once trendy, the one shoulder is actually extremely easy to wear for the majority of brides of all shapes and sizes.  The one shoulder strap or simply “one covered arm” look elongates the neckline and continues focus downward , which is perfect for accentuating a long torso. It also gives you a very statuesque look, again perfect for long and lean body who really wants to play it up but even better for a girl looking for a little heights. But what is really beautiful away the one shoulder is that is draws attention up to the face. You can play with your hair to sweep mot of it up and have pieces framing the face. Playing up the most important feature for the most important day of your life is always a plus!

one should montage

Come Rain or Come Shine

Come Rain or Come Shine

Come Rain or Come Shine. “April showers, bring May flowers.” We’ve heard it a million times. So what’s the worry when planning a gorgeous outdoor summer wedding? Well, rain…maybe. It’s no doubt that the seasons are changing and the weather is more unpredictable than ever. And for those of us Midwesterners, we value every sunny day we can get, even the ones where it rains a little bit! But never fear, we would never tell you not to plan a summer wedding with outdoor ambitions! But we MUST warn you to always have a backup plan. In this case, we call it PLAN B for outdoor weddings and we have some expert tips on how to turn a little sprinkle on your wedding day to just another chic element of a spectacular day, rain OR shine!

rain weddingAndrew Huth Photography

Parasols are back! And while some heavy duty smaller umbrellas will do the trick for a little rain, they are also perfect for when the sun comes back out and the temperatures sore! They also can add the perfect pop of color (hello, yellow!) to your event. And for those more neutral brides, they are conveniently just as adorable in black, white and tan. Gather a few baskets or decoration ceramic pots as holders and scatter them throughout the grounds, tent, walkways, wherever and you have a prop that is not only super fun and cute but highly functional as well!

yellow parasols

Laura Novak Photography

Having a “Plan B” is also key when accounting for weather.  If for no other reason than peace of mind, designating an alternate space for your outdoor event can save you a lot of heartache and less worry about the upcoming weather.  Should you be hosting an outdoor event under a tent at home, for example, make sure you ask the rental company if your tent can withstand rain and wind. Also, make sure to opt in favor of the tent siding. You may not need it for the whole day, but should a sudden storm sweep through just before guests arrive you can lock in the look and keep things dry inside as if nothing ever happened. In the case of total weather havoc, make sure you can also accommodate your guests inside as a worst -case scenario. Moving around furniture so that hosting an impromptu cocktail hour inside would be a breeze is always a great idea.  Just remember, it’s all about being prepared!

tent weddings

And lastly, another thing to keep in mind when braving the elements is considering your overall look for the day.  Consider bringing a spare pair of shoes to and from the church or venue to keep your fancy wedding footwear dry and clean.  If you are dealing with high winds, also take into account that a practical hairdo is better than a windblown one. Stock up on mini hair spray bottles and a comb to touch up from place to place. And keep in mind that a little wind might just provide that fabulous photo shoot look you were going for! But don’t forget that sometimes those “ messy on purpose” looks take a lot of work!

boots

Either way, we would never say avoid the outdoors all together.  Just be ready for anything and you will be good to go!

Staying Cool at Summer Weddings by SimplyBridal

Staying Cool at Summer Weddings by SimplyBridal

Staying Cool at Summer Weddings by SimplyBridal. Summer is such a popular time for weddings, who wouldn’t love getting a little sunshine on their gorgeous white gown? It’s perfect for the wedding photos, and the greenery is in full bloom. It’s safe to say summer wedding ceremonies are just too much fun, though in some areas the heat can really get to your guests. Being considerate hosts and hostesses don’t forget to take a few precautions to insure your guests stay cool and comfortable. SimplyBridal has helped you brainstorm just a few ways to stay cool!

Staying Cool at Summer Weddings by SimplyBridal

Tips for a Fruitful Marriage

We just love new ideas when it comes to decorating your wedding tables!  Perhaps there is no better way to make a statement than with a show-stopping tablescape that mimics your weddings central theme.  When scanning all of the new trends and timeless accents, we find ourselves always drawn to elements that are both natural and extremely elegant.   Flowers are always our favorite go-to, but there seems to be another “from the earth” statement piece making quite a name for itself of the décor circuit: FRUIT!

fruit centerpiece 1

Studio Benjamin James

From citrus for summer soirees to plums and deep hued pears for Fall fetes, we keep seeing this trend used year after year to compliment florals and greenery.  It sounds like it couldn’t be any simpler, but using fruits and other seasonal objects can maximize their statement when used in some pretty interesting new ways. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use fruit right now!

fruit centerpiece 3

Summer Citrus:  Fresh, vibrant, and fragrant!  Meyer lemons, key limes, and gorgeous navel oranges are all bright and fun but can also add a certain whimsy to a summer wedding.  Our favorite look is taking lemons in bulk and keeping the look monochromatic. That means large revere bowls overflowing with stacked lemons, various sizes of apothecary jars filled to the brim with even more lemons and bud vases and bowl filled with yellow flowers interspersed between the displays.  We say when it comes to the big, bold colors of summer, keeping things all one tone maintains a level of elegance that is imperative for a wedding.  We also love sliced lemons bordering a clear glass vase that is filled with bright yellow roses, tulips, or daisies.  Fun summer flowers like ranunculus can also be a fun addition to the mix!  For those ready to really mix it up, we say it’s okay to throw in a small pop of green with some key limes and lemon leaves. The mix of greenery and long garland with lemons and limes or even oranges mixed in can be a really fresh and organic way to celebrate!

fruit centerpiece 5

Jennifer Weems Photography

Fruits of Fall:  The deep colors of Fall make the season one of our absolute favorites for any event, especially weddings.  In recent years, September and October have replaces Spring and summer months as the most popular for couples to say “I do.” And we can totally see why:  Perfectly rouge plums, pomegranates, and pears are the perfect show pieces for an Autumn affair.  Mixed with plush, deep hued florals and accented by napkins or menus tied with natural raffia, runners of burlap or small natural linen satchel bags, we can hardly resist this look!

fruit centerpiece 4

fruit centerpiece 2

Martha Stewart Weddings

So when planning your event, don’t forget to think of all of the seasonal elements, not just flowers.  Fruits also prove to be a huge money saver considered how much bang you get for your buck. We love seeing this trend and hope its homage to all things natural continues!

Fall Wedding Trends

It’s that time of year again; the air is turning extra crisp and the days are getting shorter. That’s no reason not to celebrate however, because Fall is one of our favorite seasons and paired with the changing hue of the leaves and charmingly rich tones we get to enjoy, we don’t see why Fall can’t be the perfect time for a wedding.  Since we are merely weeks away for the big holiday kickoff, the time is ripe for more intimate affairs and for the unexpected send- off to wedding season. In years past, summer weddings in May, June and July dominated in popularity when it came to planning your nuptials. Not that those months have taken too much of a hit but just last year it was revealed (in Chicago anyway) that September, the unequivocal welcome mat of Fall took the top prize for most popular month. And October and November aren’t falling that far behind.

So let’s dig in to our favorite fall trends.  There’s something quite magical and full of whimsy when it comes tot his time of year and these ideas are sure to echo that sentiment.

GOLD! We’ve seen the latest craze in Gold foiling and metallic spray painting pumpkins ( which could easily be used in a rustic, cornucopia style wedding) and now we are seeing other fall staples such as leaves, apples, pears, and even acorns used as décor.  The idea of walking into a wedding and finding your name wistfully scrolled onto a card attached to a perfectly gold polished apple is about as gorgeous as it gets. And so easy!  It’s organic, budget friendly, and something to really set-off the tone of Fall.  Follow it up with many other small gilded gourds or foliage around vases of seasonal flowers for your tables and you are golden!

Burgundy: If you think you are experiencing fashion déjà vu, you are not alone. Burgundy is without a doubt, the HOTTEST color for Fall and we have been seeing it on everyone!  Some call it Merlot, wine, jeweled maroon, but any way you put it, one thing cannot be denied: It’s HOT! The rich color is always a showstopper for bridesmaids as it really compliments most skin tones, and mixed with this season’s ever –so- hot hint of lace, it is a true fashion statement. We are even seeing brides with bright burgundy sashes on dresses and oversized bows for their bouquets. Either way you incorporate it, this color of the moment is sure to please even the most fashion- forward guest.

Natural Elements: Some of the most elegant Fall weddings we’ve seen actually took place in barns. With natural bead lights, and rustic table settings, the choices are anything but ordinary. Using the natural beauty of nature is key when it comes to an Autumn affair.  We love the use of seasonal fruits in large bowls; the dark grapes, the perfectly rouge Anjou pears, varieties of seasonal squashes mixed with natural raffia twine and seasonal flowers.  Take advantage of what’s all around you and you may be surprised by the inordinate and breathtaking choices you have available. Skip the peonies and lilies for something that makes sense. Practicality has never been so chic!

 

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Groomsmen Sperry’s.  It’s hard to believe that summer is already winding down, but fall will be taking over the Midwest before we know it.  That being said, we’re soaking up all things summer, and this shot of these groomsmen and their Sperry’s did just the trick.  Footwear is one of the easiest ways for guys to infuse a little fun into their wedding day look, as well increase the overall comfort level for the big day.

Mike Larson Photographers, Inc.

Initials Cake Topper.  We’ve seen lots of fabulous cake toppers, and in fact, cake toppers seem to be making a comeback these days.  From fondant figures to vintage ceramic duos, there are tons of options if you want to have a happy couple sitting a top your wedding cake.  But if you want something a bit less traditional, how about these great initials?  From an adorable Etsy site, these letters would finish off any dessert with just the right amount of pizzazz and class.

Black, White, and Gold.  Black and white is a classic color combination, but it doesn’t have to be boring.  And this pin is perfect proof that the classic combination is bigger and better than ever.  With pops of gold and punches of patterns, the classic combo takes on a whole new life, perfect for a celebration to remember.  From the polka dots, to the box, to the gold rings around the candles, we are simply smitten with the fun take on this classic combo.

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Balloon Spelling Bee: We’re always on the lookout for fun wedding photo ideas, and this pin caught our eye.  We’ve seen couples holding chalkboards with text, pre-made signs, and brightly colored balloons, but these shiny gold XOXO balloons are beyond delightful!  Seeing these letter balloons had our brains thinking of all the other fun combinations you could do.  “Love,” “kiss,” “I do”…the possibilities are endless.  We could even see a couple holding the letters of their new monogram!

Susan Sancomb Photography

Kate Middleton Updo.  In a little over a year, Kate Middleton has become an international celebrity and a major fashion icon.  She has had an influence on a 2012 wedding trends.  So it’s no surprise that just hours after she attended a London Olympic gala concert, images of her were all over Pinterest.  Women everywhere were pinning images of her dress, makeup, and jewelry.  But it was this fabulous updo that had us clicking faster than you can say “princess.”  We love that its elegant, but not over the top, young but not overly trendy.  Well done, Kate Middleton, well done.

Mixed Summer Floral.  The weather is heating up which has us itching for the new season of florals.  This summer bouquet is bright and playful, adding the perfect amount of fun to a summer wedding.  This bouquet would also be great for the budget conscious bride, as it would allow her to mix and match with what she or her florist has on hand.  Bring on the summer florals!

Jennica Jo Photography

Wedding Programs 101

The wedding programs can be a creative detail that also helps guests feel like active participants in your wedding ceremony. The opportunity for creativity and personalization are endless, but here are a few tips on how and why to create wedding programs:

What They Should Say:

Ultimately, what you do or don’t include in your wedding programs is up to you. Some couples opt for a simple, one-page list of the wedding events, while others use wedding programs as an opportunity to get personal and creative. Consider adding some or all of these details when creating your wedding programs:

  • Full names of the bride and groom, along with the date and location of the festivities
  • A full list of the members of the bridal party with the option of including a short bio, sweet or humorous, about the person’s relationship to the happy couple
  • A personalized note of thanks to the bride and groom’s families, as well as a message to all of the guests in attendance
  • Include a special mention, letter, photo, anecdote, or poem dedicated to any deceased loved ones
  • Order of the wedding ceremony, including details about specific readings or music selections
  • Explanation of traditions, rituals, or customs being performed during the wedding
  • The bride and groom’s new address
  • Favorite quotes, poems, song lyrics, or religious scriptures
  • Photos of the happy couple, the bridal party, or late family/friends that you’d like to honor

How They Should Look:

Like every other detail of the wedding, the programs should be unique and complementary to the theme. Consider adding fun embellishments or photos to them to personalize them, or get creative and think outside the box. Try making paddle fan programs for outdoor weddings, scrolls in bottles for a beach affair, or craft paper booklets for a rustic event. Use stamps, ribbons, unique papers, and colored card stock to add personalized touches.

How They Should Be Made:

Wedding programs are a great DIY project that is easy and can help you stick to your wedding budget. Ask everyone to pitch in by scheduling an arts-and-crafts night for a group of creative girlfriends. By creating specific stations and an assembly line, you can get all of your programs made in no time. If you’re looking for something slightly more structured, consider purchasing a print-at-home kit from a local paper or craft store with guided instructions on how to design and assemble programs. Lastly, if you don’t have the time or energy, you can pay to have programs designed and made at most stationery stores.

How They Should Be Distributed:

How you arrange and hand out programs is yet another opportunity to be creative and thoughtful. Assemble them inside baskets, tucked into wooden crates, laid along trays, or sticking out of pails—whatever complements your wedding theme. Having a close friend or family member pass them out as guests arrive adds a personal touch and allows you to incorporate another person into the wedding festivities. You can also have programs laid out on seats when guests arrive.

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Statement Back.  We often find ourselves swooning over bridal gowns, but when we saw the back of this bridal number, we were literally speechless!  We’re not sure we’ve ever seen such a magnificent backside view of a gown.  Sometimes guests complain about having to stare at the back of the happy couple as they say their vows, but with this dress, we don’t think anyone would mind!  Wanting a blinged out backside like this?  Think hair up and simple jewelry to really let the gown sing.

Paul Vincent Photography

Streamer Backdrop.  Springtime in Chicago is upon us, and that means we’re gearing up for some fantastic outdoor summer weddings.  While we love some of the popular outdoor venues in the Windy City, we also love how more and more couples are embracing backyards, nearby parks, and hometown nature preserves.  This simple streamer backdrop adds the perfect amount of pizzazz, without distracting from nature’s beauty.  We love the multicolored streamers, but we also think this backdrop would look beautiful with shades of white, draped with ivory, cream, and tea stained linens.

Erin Chen Photography

Embrace Neon.  Neon is one of the biggest wedding fashion trends of the season.  We’re seeing it in both men’s and women’s fashions, with brightly hued chinos, handbags, and sunglasses.  So when we saw these groomsmen’s neon pink socks, we couldn’t help but love their attention to both trends and personality.   The pairing of the spunky color with the classic argyle print is a match made in sock heaven.  We also love that these socks add some whimsy without distracting from the overall look too terribly much.  Bring on the neon socks!