Posts

7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

Even the smartest, most on-top-of-things couple can make mistakes during wedding planning. Here are the things you should keep an eye on before saying I do.

1. Budget, what budget?
If you have started planning your wedding, you know it can cost a lot of money. Many excited brides start booking wedding professionals and making purchases without having a real budget, and then they’re shocked to discover they’ve spent all of their money (or their parents’ money) and still don’t have half the things they need. Planning a wedding is serious business. Make a wedding budget and keep track of your expenses.

7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

2. Ordering the bridesmaid or wedding dress too late
If you are not going to buy your wedding dress “off the rack,” then you need to place your gown order six to eight months prior to your wedding. Most gowns are made to order. If you wait too long before your wedding date to make your selection, you may risk the gown not arriving on time. Bridesmaid dresses should also be decided upon during the same time period, but only after your gown has been selected. You want to make sure your ladies have enough time to get measured and find accessories.

7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoidvia Wedding Dress Blog

3. Booking hotel rooms too late
Reserve rooms as early as possible for your out of town guests. Begin your research up to a year in advance, and make sure your block is booked at the eight-month mark. Be sure to include hotel information in your save-the-date cards or invitations.

7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

4. Inviting too many wedding guests
Make sure your guest list and your reception site capacity match up numbers-wise. You can’t invite 500 people assuming only 350 will accept. Analyze your guest list from the get-go, assume 80% will respond yes, and limit your guest list accordingly.

7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

5. Not hiring wedding professionals.
Would you have a friend fix a plumbing problem? Of course not. You would want a professional plumber to come in and do the job right. Same goes for your wedding. You want professionals who do this for a living – wedding photographers, DJs, videographers, florists, wedding coordinators, etc. They have the experience and skills to help you have the wedding of your dreams. There are wedding professionals that fit every style and budget. Rely on them to keep you stress-free.

7 Wedding Mistakes to AvoidThe Smitten Bride – Personal Wedding Coordination

6. Rain or shine? Don’t ignore weather warnings.
Brides marrying outdoors often test fate and just wish for the best when it comes to bad weather. Always have a backup plan, or else you may not have a place to marry at all — or your guests (and you) may be in misery at the hands of Mother Nature. A hurricane, flashflood, or gale force winds may visit on your wedding day; make sure you have an interior alternative or a tent as a back-up location.

7 Wedding Mistakes to AvoidLoudbyte Cinematography

7. Forgetting to focus on what’s important.
Keep in mind that you are getting married and starting a life together, not just planning a wedding. Brides, be good to your grooms. And grooms, be good to your brides! Some tension between the two of you (and among members of your family) is inevitable due to the sticky topics that weddings stir up, but don’t ever let things get out of control. Remember why you decided to take this leap in the first place!

7 Wedding Mistakes to AvoidYazy Jo Photography

Wedding Accessories

Wedding Accessories

When shopping for a wedding dress, most brides take this as potentially the most serious step on the way to the alter. Who needs great wedding invitations or a reception seating chart if you don’t have the perfect dress? We love the idea of being original. Though there are thousands of dresses to scout, you can make your wedding dress unique to you with just a few simple touches…wedding accessories.

One way is statement jewelry. It’s easy to be swayed at the jewelry store by “real” diamonds but trust us, there’s an easier and even customizable way! Besides, no one’s going to be inspecting your dress with a magnifier to see if they’re real diamonds. Swarovski crystals get the job done in spectacular fashion.

Think your dress needs a splash of color or accent to make it unique? Why not try a black ribbon belt with crystals or a bow on it?


Wedding Accessories

We love the thousands of options to browse through on Etsy, simply type in whatever you want to find such as “black wedding belt” or “wedding jewelry”. The prices are usually pretty fair and the shipping is minimal. We’ve had great experiences with brides dealing with Etsy artisans. What better way to support a local artist and also create your own style dress? It helps to keep this in mind when wedding dress shopping – everything can be altered and every dress can be dressed up or down with wedding accessories!

best dressed

Oscars Fashion Roundup

Oscars Fashion Roundup

Ah, the Oscars. Hollywood’s biggest night. And fully aware that we live most of the time with weddings on the mind, we couldn’t help but see the similarities. You wait all year for this one day of glits, glam, tradition and whether you walk away as the belle or beau of the ball or not, everyone loves to recap and talk best parts, and best dressed. Sound familiar? The great news is that each year, these industry leaders are at the forefront of fashion trends for the year ahead and like most brides, we are eagerly awaiting their every style move to garner full bridal beauty inspiration. This event was no exception. Here are some of our favorite looks to take note of and interpret for your own big day!

Oscars Fashion Roundup

Cate Blanchet: It must sound like a broken record at this point. This woman can literally do no wrong. Her Armani Prive nude illusion dress with plenty of embellishment in the overlay was ripped straight from the runway and fit her statuesque figure perfectly. The best part of this look was the head to toe perfection. Normally, you see stars with lighter complexions staying away from light peaches, nudes and blushes, however we think those hues are absolutely perfect for someone as fair as Ms. Blanchet. The key is to go for an all over glow and play us a luminous skin tone. Her look from hair, makeup, those incredible earrings that played up the light in her face, and illuminating gown were the perfect combination. And for Brides seeking a slightly different hue than stark white? Once again, we see the incredible value of a minor stray into the blush tone palette. It might just be the most gorgeous neutral we have ever seen.

Oscars Fashion Roundup

Lupita N’yongo: Here comes that broken record again. Lupita is without a doubt fashion’s darling right now and has absolutely been killing it all red carpet season. And it isn’t hard for her, since she might be one of the most beautiful women we have ever seen with a skin tone that absorbs colors so well she literally can’t go wrong. But what we loved the most about her custom “Nairobi Blue” Prada gown, besides the incredible color, was the silhouette. It was a modern day Cinderella with a waist that flared out but was anything but big or ball gownish.  One part Grecian, one part Oscar darling. The look also struck the best possible combination between super traditional and ultra modern. Which is a good thing because bridal designers like Reem Acra have been showing this look for a few seasons now and we think this might be the next big deal is bridal wear.

Oscars Fashion Roundup

The best of the rest with bridal potential? Kate Hudson’s white dress with a slight cape effect in the back ( loving capes!) Jennifer Lawrence in red Dior with a peplum waist. Clearly the peplum is here to stay and we’re thrilled! Camila Alves McConaughey in custom pale pink Gabriela Cadena gown was regal yet understated and would be equally as glam in white. And last but not least, red carpet pro Charlize Theron in black Christian Dior Couture. The silhouette is so classic yet with a modern neckline. Also take note of the black- Vera Wang is showing all black gowns and gowns with black tops and white skirts this season that are surprisingly fresh and beautiful looking.

Oscars Fashion Roundup

Can’t wait to see which of these trends takes hold for Bridal Season 2014! Stay tuned!

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

How to Look Thinner in Your Wedding Dress

Every bride wants to look as beautiful as possible on her wedding day. Almost all of us wish we could lose a few pounds before the big day, but it isn’t always possible to shed the extra weight in time. To look thinner in your wedding gown without dieting, check out these great tips.

corsetThe Undergarments are Just as Important as the Dress

Most brides spend a lot of time and money on the perfect gown, but what they wear under the dress is just as important. The proper undergarments will make the dress fit better and enhance your figure. Many brides choose not to wear a bra with their gown because they want to comfortable, but a great bra (possibly one with a corset included) can really improve your figure. Ask a consultant at a bra store or dress store for suggestions.

You Can’t Go Wrong with a Corset

Dresses with a corset top are a great way to show off a tiny waist because you can tighten or loosen as needed. This is also a great option for brides who frequently gain and loss weight because you don’t have to worry about their dress not fitting if they wake up feeling a little bloated. Unlike a dress that zips up, a lace up corset can be adjusted to fit your body without alterations.

Rock a Fit and Flare

One of the most popular silhouettes is the fit and flare.  This shape, which is a mix between an A-line and a mermaid style, softly drops down over the hips and gradually begins to open at mid-thigh. It is very flattering on most body types.

Accentuate Your Waistlinefit and flare

There is a great fashion secret to creating a gorgeous waistline: belts. This is also true for wedding day fashions. By adding a beaded belt or satin sash to your dress, you can easily emphasis your waistline.  Most dress stores have various belts and sashes that can be sewn on to your dress.

Heels are a Girl’s Best Friend

Heels are great because they elongate your legs, lift your butt, and make you feel more confident. You don’t have to wear a five inch heel to enjoy the benefits of these pretty shoes. Even a shoe with a quarter inch heel will improve your posture and make you look slimmer.

Spend the Money on Great Alterations

We know wedding dresses are expensive, but don’t try to save money by skipping the alterations. Having an expert seamstress make sure your dress fits perfectly is worth every penny. A dress that is too tight or too small will not be as flattering.

Trend Report: Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve

grace and kateWedding seasons is about to kick off and while most brides have chosen their wedding gowns and most have even been altered to fit them perfectly, we know that most are not looking for ideas of what to look for. But for the spectator, last minute bride, or newly engaged gal, here is a little trend forecasting on what to expect to see coming down the aisles.  Usually, like every season, we look to the runways to dictate exactly what is on trend. And wedding fashions are no stranger to this process either, with new shades, shapes, and details rushing down the runways at Bryant Park from some of the most sought after designers each and every season.  Bridal fashion is a perfect mix of what is on trend and what is classic and timeless, (depending on the bride, of course!) And there also may not be a better example of the “what’s old is new” approach than when it comes to bridal dressing. This mantra is perfectly exemplified in our closer look at the trend of the year and somewhat of a new take on an old look: Sleeves!nicole-richie

 

When skimming the pages of the fabulous coffee table book, Vogue Weddings, the editors have a perfectly curated collection of modern and vintage weddings that are both iconic and still providing inspiration for today’s brides. It takes a closer look at the thoughts behind a dress, and the designers that work hand in hand with some of these very lucky brides. Perhaps the most mimicked look of all time is Grace Kelly. A timeless icon of fashion in her own right, the long sleeves with intricate lace detail is one of the most remembered wedding looks of all time. Modern fashion muse, Nicole Richie, modeled her custom Marchesa gown after the famous frock and added a tulle bottom to add a ball gown effect in effort to bring her own style to it.

Going from one royal wedding to another, no one opitimizes grace and elegance more than Kate Middleton who chose British house Alexander McQueen when it came time to design her modest yet stunningly beautiful long sleeve gown.  Paired with a lower cut neck line, the look was anything but conservative and showed that covered arms can be the ultimate in flattering and not frumpy.  It also gives brides another chance to show stellar detailing, which for most is a delicate Italian lace sleeve. (Nicole Richie even had her new married name embroidered onto one sleeve! Very, cool.)

ivanka trump

 

Let’s not forget the options are endless when it comes to opting for a sleeve. You can take it all the way or do as the very modern, yet classic, Ivanka Trump did and go with a ¾ sleeve, also in a lace.  The look is classic and calls into play, the unmatched attention to detail provided by her dress designer, Vera Wang.  It also adds a refreshing new spin in a sea of strapless dresses.

So when looking for something new this wedding season, perhaps expect to take a nod from the old. And don’t forget for all of you future brides out there, sleeves aren’t just for the Fall or Winter bride anymore, they are a statement for all seasons!

Ruche Bridal Collection

We love how many major retailers are getting in on the wedding industry.  These retailers are embracing both brick and mortar stores as well as online sites to boost their visibility in the wedding world, appealing to brides all over the world.  Our most recent favorite retailer to get in on the bridal business?  Ruche!

Ruche has been holding the heart strings of online shoppers everywhere since 2008.  Ruche has an effortless vibe, blending the look of vintage and well-worn with the classic and chic.  Ruche has a bit of a homegrown feel it to it, likely influenced by how the company got its start.   So now that Ruche has jumped on the bridal bandwagon, we thought we’d take a look and let you know a few of our favorite things about their new bridal line!

Bridal Dresses: Ruche has a great selection of wedding dresses, particularly for the bride who wants that garden party feel to her look.  Dresses are made with delicate fabrics, classic lines, and soft colors.  We especially love their tea length dresses, a popular trend this spring and summer.  And out of all their dresses, we think this one might be our favorite!

Floral Bridesmaid Dresses: Ruche carries a variety of bridesmaid dresses, but we particularly love their floral dresses!  Floral is a huge trend this summer, and is a great way to infuse some whimsy into your big day.  Brides often opt to have bridesmaids wear solid color dresses, so we love the idea of shaking things up and going floral!  This one has us ready to hit “purchase!”

Headpieces: It’s no secret that we love headpieces.  (Have you seen our Pinterest page lately?  We simple cannot get enough of headpieces!)  Thankfully Ruche can’t get enough either, as they have some great pieces.  Whether you want simple and sweet or “go big or go home” a la Kate Middleton, Ruche has a great selection.

Coverups: We often hear brides comment that it can be tricky to find something to wear over their wedding dress to help with cooler temperatures, modesty considerations, or a desire a change their overall look up a bit.  Ruche has some of the sweetest coverups we’ve seen.  From shawls to shrugs, they’ve got it all.

Great Prices: We can’t lie about Ruche; we love their prices almost as much as we love their goodies!  In the wedding world, we often find that prices increase as soon as you attach the words “bride” and “groom.”  However, Ruche’s prices are insanely reasonable, which has us loving their stuff even more.  So if you’re looking for that special touch to add to your wedding day look, we highly encourage you to head over and check them out!

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!

 

Getting Started

Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now, what are you are supposed to do? The wedding planning has officially begun, but deciding where to start can be overwhelming. Here are 7 big things to consider in order to get the wedding plans started…

Choosing Your Wedding Date: How long of an engagement period do you want? What time of year do you want to say “I do?” Are there any major family events, vacations, or milestones already on the calendar that you’ll need to avoid? Ask yourself these questions as you begin considering what day you’d like to have your wedding. Setting a date is probably the most important decision you’ll make as it will determine what venues are available and how the season will influence your style, color, and flower choices.

Dress: It’s never too early to begin shopping for a wedding dress! Choosing the right gown takes a lot of time and patience so get started early to ensure you have ample time to have a dress ordered, shipped, and tailored. Custom wedding gowns take even longer than purchasing a dress off the rack, so begin scheduling appointments with designers and boutiques to guarantee you’ll have the perfect dress.

Style: Do you want a cozy, rustic affair or something elegant and glamorous? Start collecting ideas from bridal magazines and websites to determine your wedding style. Deciding what you want early on will save you the stress and cost that comes from changing your mind along the way.

Size: It’s never too early to begin working on a wedding guest list. Put together a preliminary idea of invitees to gauge just how large or small your wedding will be. The number of guests affects everything from the venue size to the catering costs, so be sure to get a ballpark figure before you start making any major decisions.

Attendants: How large do you want your bridal party to be? Do you want an intimate gathering of immediate family or a large parade of cousins, coworkers, and friends? Talk to your fiancé about the ideal size of the wedding party before you begin asking friends to be bridesmaids. Once you settle on a number, go ahead and ask your guys and gals to make sure they can save the date.

Budget: There’s nothing less fun than setting a wedding budget, but it’s a crucial responsibility that should be attended to as soon as possible. Figuring out how much money you have to work with will help direct your wedding plans and determine how elaborate or simplistic the day’s festivities will be.

Photos: Celebrate your engagement with a photo shoot! Wedding photographers often offer packages that include an engagement session, providing you with great prints to capture this exciting season of life. As an added bonus, engagement photos can be used for save-the-date cards, wedding announcements, or invitations.

 

How To Tell If Your Wedding Budget is Too Strict

Everyone knows weddings can be expensive, and unless you happen to have parents (or in-laws) who are millionaires, wedding planning typically involves compromise. However, that doesn’t mean that every decision should be based on price. It is okay to plan a budget-savvy wedding, but be careful not to become too strict; you might later wish you had planned a wedding more suited to your dreams. Here are two ways to tell if you might regret your cost-cutting ways.

You’re Settling

If you are settling on a place because it is the cheapest or choosing a wedding dress because it is on the clearance rack, you may want to reconsider what is important to you. Could you make coffee at home for the next few months instead of visiting the local coffee shop to help you pay for the dress you really want? Could you have the wedding on a Sunday or Friday to save money on the venue you really love? Compromise doesn’t have to mean settling for the cheapest option.

You’ve Become Obsessed

For some people, saving money can become an obsession. You get so excited about saving money that you focus all your attention on how much more you can save instead of focusing on the wedding plans . You are no longer choosing invitations or favors or flowers because they fit your wedding theme but because they are a good price. There is a line between budget-savvy and cheapskate. Try to stay on the right side.

There are plenty of ways to save money on a wedding. You don’t have to sacrifice the wedding of your dreams to make it happen. Instead, figure out which details are important to you and look for ways to cut spending in other areas of your life. Also, get creative with your wedding details. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to wear a discounted dress in an unflattering style and host the reception at a venue with broken toilets. Find some balance and you can have a beautiful wedding and a healthy bank account.