Wedding Dress Window Shopping: Because Who Doesn’t Like Taking a Quick Look :)

via clairelafaye on etsy.com

via clairelafaye on etsy.com

This past weekend, I had the extreme fortune of going wedding dress shopping with my cousin – holler for a dollar, Chels! – in Reading’s Bridal District. Located just a few miles, and by “few” I literally mean 12.4!) from Cincinnati, Reading, OH is legitimately North America’s largest bridal district! I know, right?! Who knew?! With 25+ bridal related stores within a 2 mile radius, it’s jam packed with all thing wedding!

Whoo hoo!

Being that Reading / (okay, let’s be real, though) Cincinnati is a mere hour and a half car ride from Indy and harbors such ahhh(to the)MAZING stores like Ikea (squee!), I’d be lying if I didn’t say I frequented the easterly city’s perks (shopping, ball games, night’s out, etc.) A LOT! After all, I’ve always been of the theory “a change of scenery could ALWAYS do a world of good :)” And, Cincy / Reading, you never seem to disappoint ;)

But – anyhoot – as many times as I’ve traveled to Ohio’s super store-filled city, I’ve only visited the {quote} Bridal District {unquote} once before, which seems insane, considering the amount of weddings I’m in / attend AND the given the even bigger amount of fun and enjoyment I got out of it the first time around!

**For cereal, if you’re a Plus Size bride within safe traveling distance to Cincinnati, do yourself a favor and check out Belle Bridal Boutique! That’s where we went for my sister-in-law and couldn’t have had a better experience. Legit, I wrote about it here :)

Anyhoot, as we traveled from store to store, I couldn’t help but get all googly-eyed over all the dresses! It’s hard to explain via words just how much I was drooling over these dresses. In fact, I’d equate the following to my reactions to just about every gown store we stood outside of…


I mean seriously… can we all just spend some time being eternal brides?? Spending our days slipping in and out of all that gorgeous fabric? Please!?

{Reel it in, Mur… Reel it in}

Okay, I’m back! So, as if you haven’t already concluded, I loved it! I then, went home and continued to text back and forth with Chelsea about internet finds that fit her style. In doing so, I came across this buzzfeed.com article on wedding dresses and couldn’t help but share a few of my faves :)

Go ahead. Take a peak :)

Frida Wedding Dress $1000 via maggiemaybridal.com

Frida Wedding Dress $1000.00 via maggiemaybridal.com

The Madeline Gown $1840 via roseanddelilah.bigcartel.com

The Madeline Gown $1840 via roseanddelilah.bigcartel.com

Queen for a Day Gown $2193.22 via clairelafaye on etsy.com

Queen for a Day Gown $2193.22 via clairelafaye on etsy.com

The Gardenia Gown $672.54 via theflowerbride on etsy.com

The Gardenia Gown $672.54 via theflowerbride on etsy.com

Maisie Wedding Dress $800.00 via maggiemaybridal.com

Maisie Wedding Dress $800 via maggiemaybridal.com

Pink Wedding Dress $319.99 via tbdress.com

Pink Wedding Dress $319.99 via tbdress.com

Bacall Hollywood Wedding Gown $1013.08 via GibsonBespoke on etsy.com

Bacall Hollywood Wedding Gown $1013.08 via GibsonBespoke on etsy.com

Silk Chiffon Wedding Dress $366.84 via MelissaRenePrice on etsy.com

Silk Chiffon Wedding Dress $366.84 via MelissaRenePrice on etsy.com

Bohemian Wedding Dress  via MariStyleCouture on etsy.com

Bohemian Wedding Dress via MariStyleCouture on etsy.com

Time Will Tell Wedding Gown $1711.91 via clairelafaye on etsy.com

Time Will Tell Wedding Gown $1711.91 via clairelafaye on etsy.com

Tulle-ful Wedding Dress $266.99 via tbdress.com

Tulle-ful Wedding Dress $266.99 via tbdress.com

 

 

4 Essentials To Selecting The Perfect Wedding Veil

If you’re anything like me, you knew right away what you wanted your wedding dress to look like: whimsical, elegant, sophisticated, vintage, etc., but when it came to wedding veils – I WAS SO LOST! Where to even begin looking? How to determine the millions of styles, and what is even going to go well with my dress? Additionally, I [and I know other women have the same concern] have a major minor problem with idealizing details without really considering whether it’s the best choice A) for my personality and B) for my physicality. Who hasn’t eyed a shirt online or in the store and thought, this might be THEE CUTEST thing I’ve ever seen. Then it comes in the mail, or you make it to the dressing room, slip that little sucker on and think to yourself, well this looks terrible! It’s a personal goal of mine to make sure no bride goes through purchases and wedding day decisions without considering what is going to highlight and illuminate her natural personality and beauty [this carefrontational moment brought to you by Heather Anne]. Some of the big day decisions can be mightily overwhelming, and no bride should be making choices without a little healthy girlfriend to girlfriend talk – so, here’s to the lowdown on which wedding veil will make YOU look like a TOTAL babe.

There are 4 essentials that need to be considered in regards to veil buying [or borrowing], and in this particular order:

  • Face Shape
  • Hairstyle
  • Veil Style
  • A Little of the Unconventional

Face Shape

I think knowing your face shape is one of the hidden secrets of enhancing your true beauty. Don’t lie to yourself on this one! If you’re not a sweetheart shape, it’s okay! You are more beautiful when you’re proud of what features you have. Strut those high cheekbones — work those luscious lips. Take a quick look in the mirror if you don’t know which shape you are already, and let the honesty ensue.

Then ask a girlfriend if you’ve made the correct assumption and move forward to the fun parts of the veil decision. Knowing your shape helps you determine what veil will look best on you. Always keep it in mind and honesty in check as you’re picking out what brings to life your natural features.

Hairstyle

Although some brides have at least an idea of what they want to do with their hair, hairstyle is often a major I don’t know type of decision. Don’t fret – we’ve got lots of ideas. Also, remember to take into account your facial structure and shape.

            All down

Courtesy of brides.com

Courtesy of brides.com

            Half Up/Half Down

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

            High Up-do

            Low Up-do

Courtesy of stylemepretty.com

            To the Side Up-do

Obviously there are LOTS of ways to alter these, total blow-outs or soft curls can be added to each style. Pick what makes you feel the most beautiful and shows of your natural features, and I say go with that one!

Veil Style

How helpful is this diagram?

If I had known this existed when I got married… I’m not sure it would’ve helped me pick a veil [ha!]. The reality is that you can only have ONE veil to go with ONE dress on ONE day. Based on your face shape, and on your desired hairstyle, you may then pick a veil that will not only compliment these two previous elements but also your dress… because to be honest, it’s nearly ALL about the dress.

A Little of the Unconventional

This added bit is for the unique bride [or perhaps for the bride who can’t stand to have netting near or around the face]. Maybe you have a stand out dress that shouldn’t need to compete with any other piece, or you simply hate the thought of your STUNNING hair-do being covered up. Whatever the case let these bridal headpieces inspire…

Knot Just a Fling

Courtesy of percyhandmade.com

Courtesy of percyhandmade.com

Hippiest Day of Your Life

Courtesy of etsy.com

Courtesy of etsy.com

Floral Fun

Courtesy of bridalmusings.com

Courtesy of bridalmusings.com

My last little suggestion is to look for a veil in places you didn’t necessarily think you’d find one. After taking into consideration each of these components, why not make your veil your something borrowed? I knew with my dress I wanted a chapel veil with lace trimmings. Guess who had one of those? That’s right – my mother. It felt incredibly special to marry my sweetheart in the same veil my mom married her’s in.

After reading this tutorial I now grant you permission to GO – DECIDE – WEAR in CONFIDENCE.

Best Wedding Hairdos for Bridesmaids

courtesy of lilyandiris.com

courtesy of lilyandiris.com

I have several weddings coming up — shocking, I know :) — and while I’m excited for all of them… I am especially geeked for my girlfriend Katy’s.  (Wad up, girl!)  Affectionately known as “Mama” for taking care of all of us in college, she is getting married to her dream boat, Andrew, this June on her parent’s farm in good ‘ole Ogilville, Indiana.

Blessed to be one of her bridesmaids, Mama just had us all pick out our own dresses from jenjenhouse.com under the stipulations they had to be chiffon, pearl pink and floor length.  While these might seem like limiting restrictions, nothing could be further from the truth.  Even after selecting these three items, we still had 300+ dresses to choose from.  Strapless, spaghetti, one shoulder, off shoulder, halters, asymmetricals, lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

With each bridesmaid picking a dress as different as our different but equally as fabulous as our personalities, we began to think about hair.  This discussion – of course – came up for me immediately when picking a dress.  (It’s all about the hair and makeup with me, duh!)

I was wavering between a ruffly strapless and a one shoulder, low back number, but in the end, went with the strapless, knowing my hair options would be limited less… Ridiculous, right?  Wrong!  When I brought it up to some of the other girls, I realized they were all doing the exact same thing – haha!

Depending on the neckline, there are simply hairdos that aesthetically work better.  Now, let’s be real, in the end, every lady can do whatever she wants, but below are some of the most choice options we came up with for each unique neckline :)

… Laura’s Dress …

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

Best ‘Dos for the Dress.  With the high neck being completed with a flair of flower, it’s best to avoid anything to busy or mussy that would interfere with its already jazzy look.  I’d recommend doing something sleeker, more polished.  Try a modern french twist, glossy, glamorous pony tail or high bun.

courtesy of hairstylesfor2011.org and bestofhairstyles.com

courtesy of hairstylesfor2011.org and bestofhairstyles.com

courtesy of fabulousfinds4.blogspot.com and look.co.uk

courtesy of fabulousfinds4.blogspot.com and look.co.uk

courtesy of glamourmagazine.co.uk and destinationido.com

courtesy of glamourmagazine.co.uk and destinationido.com

… Nellie’s Dress …

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

Best ‘Dos for the Dress.  This dress is very symmetrical with a low cut back; so, it’d be fun to play with that.  If you have long hair, keep it hair down and dress it up in waves or for shorter ‘dos, try either a side-swept or straight-on chignon.

courtesy of josswallpapers.com

courtesy of josswallpapers.com

courtesy of glossdaily.com and fashionising.com

courtesy of glossdaily.com and fashionising.com

… Anna’s Dress …

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

Best ‘Dos for the Dress.  I absolutely love the whimsy of this elegantly mature dress.  It’s formal without being dowdy, but for girls worrying a dress like this might come off otherwise, I would recommend complimenting the dress’ more womanly lines with something messy and carefree… something extra girly :)

courtesy of mentarilolipop.blog.com

courtesy of mentarilolipop.blog.com

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

… My Dress …

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

Best ‘Dos for the Dress.  As stated above, with strapless, your hairdo is not limited by the neckline; therefore, you have more options.  I find it best to look to the style of the dress for your hair-spiration.  In this case, I’d like to play up the either the flow of the dress and go with big barrel curls or the flower and do something Bohemian.

courtesy of peaceconnections.info

courtesy of peaceconnections.info

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

… Kyra’s Dress …

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

Best ‘Dos for the Dress.  With it’s one shoulder asymmetry, as well as it’s fun pleating, this dress would look great with a complimentary, side-swept do or a low, frilly ponytail, centered in the back and accented with a bubble bouffant top.

courtesy of pinterest.com

courtesy of pinterest.com

courtesy of dropdeadgorgeousdaily.com

courtesy of dropdeadgorgeousdaily.com

… Andrea’s Dress …

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

Best ‘Dos for the Dress.  Okay, so I love the dramatic sophistication of this dress.  With it’s deep V and polished tie front, the proper hairdo should be equally as glamorous.  I’d recommend taking note of Old Hollywood hairstyles — something sleek, chic and stylish.

courtesy of bridalmusings.com  and prom.about.com

courtesy of bridalmusings.com and prom.about.com

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

… Samantha’s Dress …

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

courtesy of jenjenhouse.com

Best ‘Dos for the Dress.  While this dress is also a one-shoulder standout, it also has a considerable Grecian feel to it, as well, and whenever a dress – regardless of its neckline – gives off a particular style era, it’s always super fun to take hair-spiration from that.  In this case, Grecian goddess, I’d recommend braids and twists – both side-swept or centered :)

courtesy of wedshare.com

courtesy of wedshare.com

 

Bridal Buzz: 6 Simple Tips to Make Wedding Planning Easier

courtesy of Lazaro via jlmcouture.com

courtesy of Lazaro via jlmcouture.com

Give yourself a break, ladies!  Wedding planning can be rough, and the more you stress, the rougher it can get.  And the rougher “it” gets, the rougher you’ll get… and I can’t be having any of my bridal beauty queens looking or feeling anything but FAB(to the)ULOUS on their wedding day!!

So, here are 7 Tips & Tricks (you might not have thought of) to make your planning all the easier on you!

1 |  Create a new email account specifically for wedding planning.  If you’re anything like me, you probably already have more than one email address.  One for work.  One for play.  One for Junk, and one for “I’m not sure what I was thinking and / or am embarrassed that I bought from there” emails.  Yep, guilty :)  So, by creating a fresh new account, you’ll keep everything in one place and – more importantly – away from any other distraction!

courtesy of google.com

courtesy of google.com

2 |  Use a personalized return address stamp.  And save LOADS of time on addressing all the invites and thank you cards you’ll need to send.  Trust(&)Believe, when I say this is a HUGE time saver!  Plus, with all the designs out there to choose from, it’ll even add cool, custom look to whatever you’re mailing.  Win / Win!

courtesy of Studio255 via etsy.com

courtesy of Studio255 via etsy.com

3 |  Number your RSVP Cards.  That way, each number will correspond to a particular invite, and you’ll easily be able to decipher illegible names or who has yet to get back to you at all.  In a perfect, this wouldn’t be needed, but let’s be real, we all people who will drop the ball  - mayhaps even some of us have been guilty a time or two :) – and this just makes it easy.

courtesy of lavastationery.com.au

courtesy of lavastationery.com.au

4 |  Break in your bridal shoes.  I’d like to think this one goes without saying, but as every bride might not be the I-have-two-closets-one-for-my-clothes-and-one-for-my-shoes type, it’s vital to stress just how IMPORTANT it is for your shoes to be properly broken in.  Wear them while doing laundry or watching a movie.  Put them on while vacuuming or simply lounging around… just make sure to put them on and break them in!

courtesy of elegantweddingconcept.com

courtesy of elegantweddingconcept.com

5 |  Create a list contacts for vendors to call on your wedding day.  Let’s be real, you need to be worried about gettin’ your hur and makeup did and lookin’ Beyonce level *F*L*A*W*L*E*S*S*  No need for you to deal with last minute questions; so, create a list of people you trust to handle certain situations, and let them handle it.  Even if they have to come to you for verification, at least you’ll remain hands-free :)

courtesy of PaintTheDayDesigns via etsy.com

courtesy of PaintTheDayDesigns via etsy.com

6 |  Use Postcards for Thank You’s.  And cut out the middle man of the envelop altogether.  No more sticky sealing or additional postage; just a crisp, clean alternative to a newlywed’s must do list.  Use a picture from your wedding to create something even more sentimental… not to mention adorably distracting!  People are less likely to notice if you got writer’s cramp at 2am and had to write a little less ;)

courtesy of nostalgicimprints.com

courtesy of nostalgicimprints.com

Brides are Going Bold with Rich Red Puckers

courtesy of iwantthatwedding.co.za

courtesy of iwantthatwedding.co.za

As the undisputed and self proclaimed chapstick queen, wearing lipstick was never really my M.O.  In fact, I always felt uncomfortable to have any color on my lips — even blushes and nudes felt too cumbersome.  {pause for gasps and guffaws to subside}

I know, right?  It seems insane for a girly girl, especially one in her (cough, cough) just turned thirties, to not know about lipstick, but alas, I digress.

It wasn’t until a few years back when I was I maid of honor in a girlfriend’s wedding that all this changed.  In fact, Andrea (the aforementioned friend) didn’t give us a choice… if you were in her bridal party, you would be wearing one of three shades of lipstick.  Um, what?  The chapstick chicka in me had already planted several in discreet locales to insure my lips would never be barren or parched at any point of the day.

*Note to all current and future bridesmaids: it’s not your day; so, no matter what, suck it up and smile :)

So, picking up the least offensive shade, I slathered my lips with a steady hand and went on my way.  And went on my way, I DID!  Not only did I become a fan of lipstick that day, but even me – the ultimate in clear lip cheer’er – fell in LOAF with the way everyone’s smiles dazzled all the more – especially in Dre’s photos!

But don’t let me be the only one to tell you!  Former reality star turned fashionista, Lauren Conrad, listed this as her #3 trend for weddings stating,

[Now] is the time to add a pop of color to your pucker! Berries and bright reds are the perfect complement to a white dress. Tip: Keep the rest of your makeup simple for a fresh bridal look. (laurenconrad.com)

Not only does a bold lip stand out impeccably in photos, but when using bright, deep or rich reds, the vibrant pop of color will also help your pearly whites look whiter… and what bride wouldn’t wanna get behind a brighter, whiter smile?  Um, none that I can think of :)

Plus, it looks good on everyone! Every skin tone.  Every skin type.  On ravishing redheads, blonde bombshells, brunette beauties, black haired hotties and every shade in between and even outside the spectrum.  For cereal, e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.  Don’t believe me?  Check out below for some examples of how bold lips make for even more beautiful brides.

courtesy of weddingpartyapp.com (2), tudoorna.com, vintagesoul.com.au, people.com, wedsociety.com, prettychicblog.dk, darkredlipstick.info (2), onewed.com, fashionandhappify.info and awildaheartsmakeup.blogspot.com

courtesy of weddingpartyapp.com (2), tudoorna.com, vintagesoul.com.au, people.com, wedsociety.com, prettychicblog.dk, darkredlipstick.info (2), onewed.com, fashionandhappify.info and awildaheartsmakeup.blogspot.com

Winter Bride Style Alert: Stay Warm & Stylish with these 5 Wedding Day Wraps

courtesy of blog.suzannah.com

courtesy of blog.suzannah.com

I wanted to begin by saying, “With winter right around the corner,” but being as though I live in Indiana and nothing is less predictable than Midwest weather, I can’t anymore.  That’s right, my little chick-a-dees, we already had our first snowfall of the season!

So, it would appear that winter isn’t around the corner… it’s already here!  And with colder weather, comes chillier brides; so, stay warm and stylish this winter with these 5 Wedding Day Wraps that will keep you feeling warm and looking HAWT!

Cardigan Cutie. I absolutely ADORE this trend!  Brides have the choice to keep it classy and traditional by donning a neutrally colored and naturally beautiful sweater shrug or do something vibrantly colored and fantastically fabulous!

courtesy of magalpaweddings.blogspot.com and weddingpartyapp.com

courtesy of magalpaweddings.blogspot.com and weddingpartyapp.com

Fabulous (Faux) Furs. I believe the chicness of the photos below speak for themselves, daahhhhling :)

courtesy of iamintothis.com and tahoeunveiled.com

courtesy of iamintothis.com and tahoeunveiled.com

Bold Boleros. Love love love me a bold bolero!  Defined as both a spicy Latin dance and a short jacket worn open in the front, a bolero jacket adds a touch of avant garde appeal that can really only be captured by this brave and beautiful accessory.

collage courtesy of onewhitedress.net

collage courtesy of onewhitedress.net

Captivating Caplets. Great for year round pizzazz, capelets are basically a shorter, more feminine version of the the cape.  They can be as colorful, bedazzled and over the top as any diva bride would see fit or as simple and sheer as an understated bride would expect… and I think that’s what I like most about them :)

courtesy of hollystalder-com.myshopify.com, elizabethannedesigns.com, unitedwithlove.com, theplungeproject.com (3), queenslandbrides.com.au and etsy.com

courtesy of hollystalder-com.myshopify.com, elizabethannedesigns.com, unitedwithlove.com, theplungeproject.com (3), queenslandbrides.com.au and etsy.com

Pretty Pashminas. Okay, so I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was slightly partial to this one.  While celebrating my younger brother’s wedding, the mother of the bride (holler for a dollar, Nance!) gifted all the bridesmaids with b.e.a.uuuutiful green pashminas the night of the rehearsal dinner.  Not only were they absolutely gorgeous, but they complimented our rich purple dresses perfectly and made for some ahhhh(to the)mazing photos!  Therefore, this an ideal trend for not just the bride, but every girl in her bridal party!

courtesy of munaluchibridal.com, amazon.com, acarrollphotography.com, dessy.com and fashionscarvesblog.com

courtesy of munaluchibridal.com, amazon.com, acarrollphotography.com, dessy.com and fashionscarvesblog.com

Pristine & Pretty: Wedding Gloves for the Iconic Bride

Audrey Hepburn did it in Funny Face

courtesy of coquetteinparis.wordpress.com

courtesy of coquetteinparis.wordpress.com

Jackie “O” wore ‘em when she made her way down the aisle to JFK…

courtesy of weddingbee.com

courtesy of weddingbee.com

Even the epitome of princess standards, Cinderella, kept it classy in her over the elbow accessories…

photo courtesy of bangthemisfit.blogspot.com

photo courtesy of bangthemisfit.blogspot.com

I mean, no matter how you slice it, there’s just something incredibly elegant and overtly classic about wearing gloves.  It just seems like such a throwback to a more demure and graceful time, which I think is why it works so well when brides add them to a wedding day!

Recently, I attended a wedding ceremony – shout out to Stephanie and Samuel! – who got married at Sacred Heart, an old German Gothic church in Indianapolis.  The place is absolutely beautiful and needed no extra frills to make it a standout ceremony site.  Look below to see what I mean…

courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography (Indianapolis, IN)

courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography (Indianapolis, IN)

courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography (Indianapolis, IN)

courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography (Indianapolis, IN)

courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography (Indianapolis, IN)

courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography (Indianapolis, IN)

The bride, who looked like a dream come true in a flowing chiffon, crisp white gown, opted to keep the beauty of the church as is and not add much to it.  In fact, Stephanie – who also dressed her ‘maids in sleek champagne – chose not to even do flowers.  She decided instead to simply have the bridesmaids’ hands covered in white, lace gloves as they were escorted down the aisle by the groomsmen.  It was a touch of simplicity and whimsy, and it DEF didn’t go unnoticed by me!

It truly was a tasteful, understated display, and one I thought played extremely well into the overall feel of the day.  This got me thinking just how wonderful the gloved look can be!

No matter who you are, what your personal preference or style is, you can’t deny that there is simply something irrefutably regal about the classic nature wedding gloves bring to a bridal look.  Whether their long, luxurious and sleekly polished with satin buttons or short, lacey and decorated with delicate details, bridal gloves can be a chic way to dress up your big day.

Not only that, but their appeal isn’t limited to a simple standard.  Sure, they can be kept true to form in white or ivory, inspired by Old Hollywood glamor and vintage velour, but they can also be taken to the next level and modernized with color, fingerless shape or Avant Garde appearance.  As always, the decision is left to the bridal beauty rockin’ ‘em, but one this is for certain… bridal gloves have got classic style and vintage glam covered!  Take a gander below and see what I mean :)

photos courtesy of i-weddingdresses.com, shoponline2011.com, wedding-dress-gown.com, bridalshoesuk.co.uk, atfirstswoon.com and brides.com

photos courtesy of i-weddingdresses.com, shoponline2011.com, wedding-dress-gown.com, bridalshoesuk.co.uk, atfirstswoon.com and brides.com

Short, Sassy & Spectacular: Trendy Wedding Dresses Fit to a “Tea”

courtesy of onewed.com

courtesy of onewed.com

You heard that homonym right, ladies!  2013 weddings are all about the trend, and one trend that I simply can’t get enough of is the resurgence of tea-length dresses.  Legit, if I were an archeologist, I’d dig these bad boys the most.  (Oh, yeah, I took it there.)

Tea-length dresses are the epitome of 50′s glam, and with vintage chic being all the rage these days, it’s no wonder that somewhat shorter dresses have packed some serious wedding swagger!  With their trendy look, flirty feel and mod swing, tea length gowns are ideal for modern day brides looking for a little retro rewind.

Not only that, but there are also countless trends to be found within this trend that creating looks that are straight awesome-sauce is easy as pie!  Some of my favorites are the blush bridal tea length.  Both sweet and sophisticated, the look of blush on a shorter bridal gown can really add softness and allure.

courtesy of onewed.com

courtesy of onewed.com

I’m also a HAAA-HUGE fan of the sweeping sweetheart neckline.  Pair this look with a pair of short, white gloves, and literally, it’s like being transported back in time when class and lady couture was done impeccably :)

courtesy of colorattire.com

courtesy of colorattire.com

While several wedding dress designers – David’s Bridal, Moonlight, Kleinfeld, Melissa Sweet, Justin Alexander, etc. – all do beautifully cut, tea length gowns, no one quite does ‘em like Stephanie James Couture.

Crisp, clean and couture, the styling of these short wedding gowns are courtesy of a husband / wife duo, based out of SoCal - that’s “Southern California” for all you surf’s up slackers :) – and are truly of a breath of fresh fashion air!  Check out below for some of my pinned faves!

photos courtesy of stephaniejamescouture.com

photos courtesy of stephaniejamescouture.com

So, if your destination, backyard BBQ or retro-rific wedding is in need of a little extra oomph, you might want to ditch that traditionally trained gown for a killer cocktail dress instead!

Avoid Awkwardness: Practice Makes Perfect in Wedding Photography

courtesy of dandelion-cha.com

courtesy of dandelion-cha.com

At the risk of being judged, I’m just gonna say it… I love America’s Next Top Model.  There, I said it, and I can’t even say I’m sorry.  A bit ashamed, deserved of disgusted eye rolls?  Of course.  But sorry?  Nope :)

The show is ridiculous.  Between Tyra’s over-the-top level of love for herself and the models absurd arguments - exchanged for what I can only assume is more air time -, ANTM is hands down one of the guiltiest pleasure this side of reality TV!

Be that as it may, Ms. Banks, in her (self-proclaimed) infinite wisdom, did teach me something very crucial in the ways of wedding photography…

KNOW. YOUR. ANGLES.

Every bride wants to feel beautiful on her wedding day; hence, why I consider it a tragedy of the utmost proportions when a beautiful bride with an even more beautiful spirit ends up hating the way she looks in her wedding photos!  It’s borderline blasphemy!

But alas!!  This is something that can be fixed, as long as you, what, ladies??  “Know your angles!”  That’s right!!  Look-at-choo… bunch of star pupils, you :)

Because aesthetically speaking, everyone has a “good side,” it’s important for every woman to know – in order to WORK! – hers. This goes double for body angles, as well.  If you’re unsure what yours may be, try looking at yourself in a mirror – preferably one that’s full length and well lit (and for those with nerves… one behind a closed AND locked door – ha!) – and go from side to side finding the positions your face and body look best.  Make mental notes on any ones you want to exploit and / or avoid; then mimic them on your wedding day!

I would even suggest Google-ing images of brides and grooms and try out anything you think looks fun or interesting.  If you’re working with the same photographer for you engagement and wedding photos, use the engagement session to trial run anything you really want to make work.  Most photographers all the more happy to help!  Because Trust&Believe, they want you to look as fabulous as possible…. because if you look good, they look good.  And who doesn’t love a win / win?

Feel free to find some jumping off inspiration below :)

Even though your all dressed up, don’t be afraid to let your inner child shine…

courtesy of wedsociety.com

courtesy of wedsociety.com

Or mayhaps, have your groom swing you like thunder…

courtesy of prague-wedding-photographer.com

courtesy of prague-wedding-photographer.com

Or even go for a chocolate chip, honey dip…

courtesy of geraldpope.blogspot.com

courtesy of geraldpope.blogspot.com

Feel free to get up close and personal…

courtesy of wedsociety.com

courtesy of wedsociety.com

Or remain at a safe distance…

courtesy of freshblendmedia.com

courtesy of freshblendmedia.com

Set yourselves into the scenery and each others gaze…

courtesy of kristenweaverblog.com

courtesy of kristenweaverblog.com

Say it with me… heart hands, haha!

courtesy of bridalguide.com

courtesy of bridalguide.com

Take flight for your future!

courtesy of weddingbee.com

courtesy of weddingbee.com

Or ride off to new adventures…

courtesy of brendasweddingblog.com

courtesy of brendasweddingblog.com

& if you’re tired, pop a squat and conversate…

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

Get artsy fartsy with it…

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

& frame up your favorite shot…

courtesy of bridalguide.com

courtesy of bridalguide.com

Be Creative…

courtesy of prettybrasstacks.com

courtesy of prettybrasstacks.com

Be silly…

courtesy of erickotaraphotography.com

courtesy of erickotaraphotography.com

But above all, be fun!!  If you’re having fun, everything else will translate as such :)

courtesy of mywedding.com

courtesy of mywedding.com

Polished to Perfection: A Unique Something Blue for Brides Just Like You!

courtesy of lienzoluegoexisto.com

courtesy of lienzoluegoexisto.com

While today’s modern bride is all about making her day, her way (and rightfully so!), there are still several traditions that always seem to uphold and remain steadfast when it comes to planning a wedding.

For starters, who isn’t familiar with the age old saying, “Something old.  Something new.  Something borrowed.  Something blue??”  Well, no one that I can think of — sans people living under rocks, that is.  It’s one of the most well-known phrases every bride familiarizes herself with from the start.  Heck, even most grooms-to-be probably recite this fearsome foursome in their sleep.

But even with its famed prowess and well known presence, the motto’s checklist of four isn’t always easy for every bride to compile.  It’s one of those things that while you know about it almost all too well, you don’t necessarily think about it until last minute.  So, what’s a girl to do when she finds her self on the side of “Can’t Decide” or worse yet, panicked parkway?

Well, Mindy Weiss, one of the today’s most prominent and well to do wedding planners of America’s royalty, recently offered some advice to InStyle about what brides could do who were indecisive about the “something blue” portion of the eminent wedding tagline above.

Sure, there’s always the simple solution of a blue garter or for the riskier bride, blue shoes, but Weiss suggests a bride pretty herself with polish and check off the something blue in a hue she’ll adore!  Check it, princess piggies… in blue!

courtesy of freestyleweddingsblog.com

courtesy of freestyleweddingsblog.com

Whether polishing your fingers or toes, blue nail polish is all the rage for brides-to-be struggling to find their perfect “something blue.”  It’s an idea that is great in both theory and practice, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.

When you think about it, a bride has the option to be as bold – filling each bed with different hues of blue, topped with sparkles and ombre accents – or as simple – sticking with a single, clean shade of robin’s egg – when being polished to perfection.  It can even be something that remains hidden under close-toed shoes or simple white gloves… for cereal – and we’re back to my favorite thing about modern weddings! – it’s literally up to each bride to choose and make it her own!  Check out below for a mere sampling of what can be done!

courtesy of itsabrideslife.com

courtesy of itsabrideslife.com