2013 Trend Alert: Bring on the Bridal Gown Bling

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

With the warm weather days of summer coming to a close (boo!), and the crisp chilled nights of fall right around the corner (yay!), brides are turning towards the bling, in order to turn up the heat on their wedding day… and I gotta admit, I love love loves it!

But I suppose I should state for the record that – in all reality – you’d be hard pressed to find a wedding dress trend that I couldn’t get behind.  I mean, really?  They’re wedding dresses!  How can you not love them?  Sometimes, I find myself just wanting to pretend to be engaged again; so, I can have an excuse to go into a store and just try on and twirl around until my heart’s content… I’d have to go by myself though – OBVI.  Some guilty pleasures are simply too shameful to share with others, haha!

And yet, I digress, as my embarrassing confessions are not what this post is all about.  In fact, it is about the **Bridal Bling** making its way into the forefront of fall and winter wedding fashion!  From famed designers like Vera Wang, Lazaro, Reem Acra, Alvina Valenta and Monique Lhuillier the wedding world is getting its fill of gowns that are all about the dream dazzle!

It doesn’t matter if it’s sequins, rhinestones, crystals, glass beads and the like spread from head to toe or simply concentrated in one spot… fall and winter brides are guaranteed to sparkle this season, and if you don’t believe me, all you have to do is a take a gander at some of the standouts I’ve selected below and join me on the dazzle train :)

from the Haley Paige 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Monique Lhuillier 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

from the Jim Hjelm 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Reem Acra 2014 Spring Collection.

courtesy of reemacra.com

courtesy of reemacra.com

from the Sophia Tolli 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

from the Tara Keely 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Vera Wang 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of verawang.com

courtesy of verawang.com

from the Alvina Valenta 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

But nobody – and I mean NOBODY – does the bridal bling quite like one of my FAVE haute couture dress designers, Lazaro.  Check out some of their drop dead gggoooorrrrgeous dresses… from the Lazaro 2013 Fall Collection.

Dream.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

Delight.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

Sizzle.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

Sparkle.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

Knockout Non-Strapless Wedding Dresses: A Touch of Traditional for the Modern Bride

courtesy of greentreephotography.net

courtesy of greentreephotography.net

For many years – and I know this to be true because before I worked here, I worked at a wedding dress shop – but for many years, it seemed as though brides looking for could never find anything to purchase that wasn’t strapless… Alas, a far cry from our mothers and grandmothers’ “I do” days where NOTHING was strapless.

And for a woman who was maybe more traditional or simply not comfortable in something so open, her options were almost immediately diminished to next to nothing.  Not fun or fair for any bride-to-be.

But every cloud has a silver lining and following the Royal Wedding Explosion of Prince William and Kate Middleton two years ago, the Duchess of Cambridge’s Alexander McQueen dream dress – designed by Sarah Burton – had haute couture designers in awe.  Middleton’s now famous dress, composed of silk gazer and hand-tatted lace intricately comprised with shapes representing the countries of the UK,  is considered the Rolls-Royce of wedding wear.

courtesy of vogue.com

courtesy of vogue.com

The knock out gown also featured a 9 foot train and several bling-tastic accessories.  And with inspiration like that, designers got the message loud and clear that ALL necklines and sleeve lengths are high fashion… and make for dream come true pieces on and off the runway.

While strapless dresses are still ever present and popular, there has definitely been a shift in designers gowns towards the more demure and traditional.  There’s just something to be said for the subtle sexiness; like how most non-strapless gowns somehow incorporate a surprise ooh la la factor… which hands down, has to be my favorite part!

Often times, women feel like the more covered up they are, the dowdier and less sexy they are… but this couldn’t be further from the truth with today’s designers’ modern spin on the traditional wedding dress, the potential is nothing short of extraordinary.  With their illusion necklines, backless bodices and figure hugging shapes, I would put some of these gowns against the sexiest styles in existence.

Check out below and see what I mean :)

from Claire Pettibone’s An Earthly Paradise collection…

courtesy of clairepettibone.com

courtesy of clairepettibone.com

from Tara Keely’s Spring 2013 collection…

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from Badgley Mischka’s Spring 2013 collection…

courtesy of badgleymischka.com

courtesy of badgleymischka.com

from Alfred Angelo’s Disney Fairy Tale collection…

courtesy of alfredangelo.com

courtesy of alfredangelo.com

from Alvina Valenta’s Spring 2013 collection…

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from Maggie Sottero’s Wedding Dress collection…

courtesy of maggiesottero.com

courtesy of maggiesottero.com

from Lazaro’s Spring 2013 collection…

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from Morilee’s Wedding Dress collection…

courtesy of morilee.com

courtesy of morilee.com

from Jim Hjelm’s Spring 2013 collection…

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from Sophia Tolli’s Wedding Dress collection…

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

from Amsale’s Fall 2013 collection…

courtesy of amsale.com

courtesy of amsale.com

and finally, from Monique Lhuillier’s Spring 2014 collection! (that’s right ladies, this look is DEF here to stay!)…

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

 

Lovely in Lace: The Perfect Blend of Wedding Trend & Tradition

photos courtesy of confettidaydreams.com

photos courtesy of confettidaydreams.com

Ahhh, lace.  A fixture in the wedding world since the dawning of “I do,” this intricate overlay is not only a detail with staying power, but it’s practically the signature for bridal royalty and vintage couture everywhere.

But in 2013, it’s proving to be one of the biggest go-to’s for bridal fashion and wedding design just about everywhere!  According to Erika Pitera of borrowedandbleu.com – an online resource for one of a kind brides looking for one of a kind weddings – there is nothing more lovely than lace for the 2013 bride.  In a recent interview with The Top 100 Wedding Blogs, she stated:

In my opinion, we are going to see a lot of lace in 2013.  Lace has been a mainstay in bridal fashion for centuries, but it seems to be making a huge a comeback righ now with modern brides.  From full on lace dresses to just a touch here and there to accent a dress, lace has already started to appear all over the runway.  (Pitera, weddingblogs100.com)

And we all know nothing gets noticed faster than when it has a presence within the designer district of haute couture.  Pitera continues:

Many designers will be showcasing classic wedding gown with lace details like lacy cap sleeves, illusion necklines, contrasting color lace and more in the Spring 2013 collections.  (Pitera, weddingblogs100.com)

Her favorite thing about lace – and I think I’d have to agree – is that it doesn’t just have to be for the dress. It can be applied to the everything from your invites and wedding cake to your centerpieces and bouquets.  In fact, it’s the versatility of lace that is what has given it such a powerful place in weddings for years.  Check out below for some of the of the most fashion forward – not to mention some of my FAVES! – lace wedding gown from famed wedding dress designers 2013 Spring & Fall Collections:

from the Alvina Valenta 2013 Spring Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Jim Hjelm 2013 Spring Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Lazaro 2013 Spring Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown Collection.

courtesy of maggiesottero.com

courtesy of maggiesottero.com

from the Monique Lhuillier 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

from the Sophia Tolli Bridal Gown Collection.

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

from the Vera Wang 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of verawang.com

courtesy of verawang.com

Keep the ‘Prints’ Charming Train Rolling: Patterned, Pretty Wedding Gowns

courtesy of onewed.com

courtesy of onewed.com

In light of Tuesday’s post: Pattern Solving 101: 2013 Weddings are WILD about Prints, I couldn’t very well open the door to its magnificence without walking through the power it has over wedding dresses too! That’s rights, ladies and gents, 2013 is all about wedding gowns featuring a little extra something something when it comes to their prints and patterns, and after further review, I have no choice but to give this trend two thumbs way, WAY up :)

I mean, I still get celeb-envy whenever I think about Jessica Biel’s wedding dress from her nuptial celebration to Justin Timberlake back in October.  Of course, it’s not just the dress to be envious of… <insert my favorite, former boy bad stud here>… *droooools*  (MARY!! Contain yourself!  PLEASE!)

Okay, I’m back :)

Anyhoot, hubby love aside, it was Jessica’s dress that truly had heads turning and eyes popping!  Who can forget the cover of People Magazine’s November 5, 2012 issue where Suit & Tie clad JT and Jessie B. graced us with what is no doubt a knock out gown??

courtesy of People Magazine

courtesy of People Magazine

Patterned, pink and unbelievably pretty, the now Mrs. Timberlake won rave reviews for her avant-garde gown choice, and it’s not difficult to see why!  In an interview with Elle Magazine, Biel opened up to her bold choice:

“I wanted the dress to be very romantic and feminine and a shape that I very rarely wear. I have never been crazy about all-white wedding dresses, for me at least. [Giambattista Valli] had created that same fabric in a fuchsia-and-pink combination for a dress in a previous collection, and I asked him if he could create that same pattern in a white combination, and he suggested pink. It was a bit of a leap of faith at the time, but it turned out better than I could have ever imagined. [Putting it on], I felt like I had made the right choice. I felt elegant. And it moved like a dream.” (Elle Magazine Interview, courtesy of huffingtonpost.com)

Now, I know their are grandmothers out there – heck, there are even modern day brides with an affinity for all things traditional – that probably think this is the worst, most over-the-top idea ever!  However, I’m not so sure :)

I think of how much even a “traditional” wedding dress can have going on, even if the overall color (or lack there of) is white and white only.  From beading and lace overlays to fabrics, structures and cuts, some of the most traditional gowns already take on the look of a print or pattern.  Depending on the style of bead or lace work and even the construction of the dress itself can create a type of pattern or print look already.  Maybe they don’t have the color to accompany them, but the patterned bones of their more colorful counterparts are most definitely already at play!

Still hesitant? Check out below for some of my favorite patterned dreams and see if things don’t change… even if just a little :)

courtesy of brides.prestonbailey.com, Atelier Aimée via weheartit.com, Atelier Aimée via weddinginspirasi.com, weddinginspirasi.com, bowtiesandbliss.com, weddinginspirasi.com , glamour.com, zakolkavrn.ru (insert), brides.prestonbailey.com, weddinginspirasi.com, brides.prestonbailey.com and eweddinginspiration.com

courtesy of brides.prestonbailey.com, Atelier Aimée via weheartit.com, Atelier Aimée via weddinginspirasi.com, weddinginspirasi.com, bowtiesandbliss.com, weddinginspirasi.com , glamour.com, zakolkavrn.ru (insert), brides.prestonbailey.com, weddinginspirasi.com, brides.prestonbailey.com and eweddinginspiration.com

Cinderella Experience for Plus Size Brides: Because Every Girl Deserves to feel Beautiful

photo courtesy of Belle Bridal Boutique's facebook page

photo courtesy of Belle Bridal Boutique’s facebook page

I gotta be real honest with y’all – as if you’d expect anything less :) – but I’m not sure the wedding market has it right when it comes to bridal couture.  For instance, anyone who has ever visited a bridal gown store will know that one of the first things they tell you is that most dresses are “cut small.”

“What?” you ask.

This means that most wedding dress designers follow patterns that cause brides to have to go UP a size… and in some more traumatic cases, maybe even two or three!! Trust and believe, lovelies, I know how ridiculous this sounds, but it doesn’t make it any less real.

The number one reason this is so ridiculous is because women are clothes tag Nazis.  What?  We are.  We can’t help it.  There’s just something confidence-boosting about being an 8, rather than a 10… even if we have to lay down, suck in, lose a rib and <squeeeeezzze> every last, ever loving roll into place in order to make it happen.  In this instance, we are all the wicked stepsisters of Cinderella… simply trying to fit our over-large feet into an uber small slipper…

photos courtesy of animatedfilmreviews.blogspot.com

photos courtesy of animatedfilmreviews.blogspot.com

Yep.  That’s us.  I realize to men – and even some women – this makes absolutely no sense, but that doesn’t make it any less true :)  So why?? OH WHY? On the one day when a girl is supposed to feel her most beautiful, would bridal gown designers make them start with an extra large strike already?  Ugh.

A strike that is further outraged by the fact that the majority of sizes bridal dress retailers carry are – on average – 8′s and 10′s, which according to bridal boutique etiquette, puts them closer to a 4 or a 6.  Really, bridal world… really???

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know a lot of girls who would fit this “norm.”  Sure, they have other sizes, but brides who, like me, might have a little extra somethin’ somethin’ will definitely struggle to get a good fit.  And that’s not the kind of gloom and doom any girl needs on her dress shopping day!

Hence, why I LOAF anything and everything about a place who takes this theory of caution and throws it to the wind, and no place could do it better than Belle Bridal Boutique!!!

Located in Bellevue, KY – right outside Cincinnati, the privately owned, mother / daughter wedding dress store features fashions for the festively (& fabulously!) plump, and they make it their number goal to ensure every bride gets her Cinderella Experience.  And I know this, because I witnessed their awesomeness firsthand :)

A couple months back, I had the privilege of accompanying my gorgeous (seriously, kids, girl has a face for poetry!), future sister-in-law, Jamie, on her dress shopping day.  I was more than happy to make the 2 hour trip to Bellevue, and just when I thought I couldn’t be more excited to be surrounded by rows and rows of blinged-out bridal couture, we made it to the store itself… and my happiness soon escalated to straight ecstatic frenzy!  I’m not kidding :)

Stacey, the daughter portion of the mother / daughter duo, met us with mimosas and smiles, and it was nothing but ahhhh(to the)mazing onward!  Jamie got to try on dress, after dress – most of which had to be tugged back and clipped in due to access fabric, and spent the entire afternoon twirling, swirling and showing off in some of the most beautiful dresses ever!

Not to mention, we were the only ones there, which only made the pampered experience even more special.  At Belle Bridal Boutique, they work by appointment only; so, there was never a need to share the space with anyone else.  It was a very intimate, very sweet time for celebrating.  We were never rushed or hurried and literally spent our entire afternoon sipping on champagne goodness and enjoying Jamie’s dress shopping experience.

An experience which left her feeling fabulous, beautiful, and most especially, comfortable!!

And who can say that when it comes to any experience including a fitting room?  Um, practically no one!  This kind of pleasantry made me start thinking how wonderful it would be to have more stores following this concept!!  After all, it’s a great idea… and there’s npothing better than when a great idea turns into an even better business :)

So, I’d just like to say cheers to Stacey, her mom – Henrietta and all the beautiful memories and brides they’re making at Belle Bridal Boutique!

Oh!  And if anyone other bride has locations of similar plus size bridal stores, please feel free to leave them below!

Spring Wedding Dress Trend: Ca-Ca-Ca-Color!

courtesy of Blush via jlmcouture.com

Now I know at least one pretty lady (wad up, Carolyn – our fearless MK leader) who won’t be happy about this trend, but I gotta admit, I kind of dig it :)

Sure, it’s not traditional in the least, and it would take just the right bride to pull it off… but some of the colorful results are nothing short of spectacular!  According to Brides Fashion Director, Rachel Leonard, “You don’t have to wear a white wedding dress anymore, but it still has to look like a wedding dress.  The trick is to find a color that’s flattering on your skin tone, and not everyone looks good in white.” (brides.com)

I mean, heeeellllooooo?!?!  It seems so simple.  Sure, tradition would have every bride pinned in white, but what tradition doesn’t understand is that some ladies simply don’t feel sexy in it.  And shouldn’t every bride get to feel beautiful on her big day?  I think YES!

So, bring on the colorfully carefree bridal gowns and see how some of today’s biggest designers put a more vibrant pallette to work!

Vera Wang.  While her entire Fall 2013 bridal line is chalk full of deep blush tones and black, her Spring 2013 line is filled with color in HD! 

courtesy of verawang.com

Oscar de la Renta.  It’s all about ice blues and red hots in Oscar’s 2013 Spring Bridal Collection, and looking at these pups strut, I can see why!

courtesy of oscardelarenta.com

Demetrios.  Lavender blue dilly dilly dilly, lavender green… and all the other pastel colors in between can be seen in Demetrios’ bridal line!

courtesy of demetriosbride.com

Douglas Hannant. And don’t forget about patterns… they’re no longer just for bridesmaids as Douglas Hannant’s Spring 2013 Collection shows!

courtesy of douglashannant.com

Once Upon a Time Weddings: The Princess Bride is Back!

courtesy of alfredangelo.com

And no, I’m not referencing one of my favorite movies ever!  I’m talking about princess styled brides – duh!  And not only are they back, but they are completely redefined!

No longer are the princess brides of too much tulle and over the top headpieces – yes, I’m talking about you Celine Dion…

courtesy of ivillage.com

& you, crazy inflatable Barbie with too much… everything!  I mean, really?  Who let you say yes to the mess… I mean dress :)

courtesy of wedinator.com and tackyweddings.com

Now are the days of the redefined princess bride.  One that can be found in a more figure flattering, curve hugging gown, statement-worthy headwear and vintage jewels.  Think long fishtail-styled trains, tastefully modified tiaras (yes, tiaras!) and cathedral length veils.   Consider turning in that old Cinderella ball gown for a body skimming dress bedecked in all things that dazzle. 

And while the glass slippers may also have to go, the fairytale *twinkle* can stay!  Let the sparkles dance throughout the entire ensemble by adding in sequin and crystal bling to all your big day details.  Imagine everything from your dress and bouquet to the centerpieces and cake sprinkled in pixie dust!  It’ll be avant garde glitter at its best!  As long as the fairy tale wedding is done right – avoiding all things Exhibit A and B ^^ encompass - I’d say you’re well tuned for one of the happiest happily ever afters ever!  See below and start wishing…

Arm yourself with frocked in layers and chandelier earrings and see how ooh your la la can be!

courtesy of jlmcouture.com/Lazaro

Modernize the traditional tiara and show how fab regal can be!

courtesy of jlmcouture.com/Alvina-Valenta

Wow ‘em at the wedding with a cathedral length veil and round it up for the reception… it’s a win / win for princesses everywhere!

courtesy of etsy.com and jessikafeltz.com

Fairy Tale Brides Always Get their ‘Happily Ever After’

Alfred Angelo has done it, my friends.  He’s created a line of fairy tale, dream-come-true dresses perfect for the princess bride in all of us, and there’s nothing (and I do mean NOTHING!) that I love more about this than that each one is modeled after one of the grandest princesses of them all… a Disney Princess!  Whoop, whoop!

Not only are the dresses too cute to boot, but each one is reasonably priced (under $1,399) and available in a size to fit any princesses’ frame (0 to 30W). 

So, without further adieu (and in no particular order of ahhhmazing), I give thee, Alfred Angelo’s Line of Disney Dresses

ArielNot even ten leagues Under the Sea could this dress’ beauty be hidden from view!

 

Jasmine.  Open the crowd’s eyes to A Whole New World.

 

Aurora.  You’ll never want to Sleep in the Beauty!

 

TianaYou may have Kissed a lot of Frogs to get to your Prince… but in this dress, who even cares??

 

CinderellaNot even a Glass Slipper or room full of ladies in waiting can outshine you!

 

BelleCaptivate the hearts of even the most Beastly men on the day you say “I do.”

 

Snow WhiteWicked Queens and Poisoned Apples beware… there’s a princess ready to party!

Match Made in Heaven: Alfred Angelo & Disney Team Up 2 Launch Fairy Tale Dress Line

photo courtesy of dan-dare.org

If you’re a “dreams come true” or “happily ever after” bride 2 be… have I got some BIG news for you!  Alfred Angelo, a top family owned and operated bridal manufacturer 80 years in the making, has recently joined forces with the darlings at Disney to create a line of fairy tale dresses for fairy tale brides.

Debuting this past weekend at Chicago’s Bridal Market, this line of bridal gowns will feature designs inspired by several of the Disney’s most sought after princesses.  According to  glamour.com, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White and Tiana are all topping the list of Angelo’s latest and greatest garments and will feature everything from extra dazzle to lots and lots of ooh la la!

The wedding dresses will be available in sizes 0 to 30W and are reasonably priced anywhere from $599 to $1,199!  So, if you’re a bride looking to marry your Prince Charming in a dress fit for Disney… I suppose today’s your lucky day!  Here’s a sneak peak…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzj94IoIAws]

Marry in the Roses of June & Life will be one Long Honeymoon

1953 June cover of Ladies' Home Journal

It seems that ever since I can remember, little girls are always taught that June is the month to marry… being a November bride myself, I couldn’t help but wonder why.  So, like any good researcher, I first turned to my favorite grade school subject, history, to see what I could discover.

And discover, my dear friends, is exactly what I did!  Historically speaking, there are several reasons why June has been the unmistakable month to marry.  First, June is named after the Roman goddess, Juno, who is famously known as the patroness of marriage.  I mean, hello???… seems like a pretty good start to me! 

June is also the month known synonymously for warmer weather, and in previous centuries was typically related to the time of year right after a woman’s annual bath… and yes, I said annual… personal hygiene wasn’t really the main focus during the mid to late centuries.  I suppose, however, if everyone smelled to high heaven together, what diff did it make?  Haha!

photo courtesy of blog.photography.si.edu

Even as time went on, June remained the standout marrying month for female pioneers because it was thought if a woman were to get married in June, she’d birth her first child the following spring and have plenty of time to recover before the fall harvest.  (Is anyone else glad they were born in the 20th century?)

photo courtesy of movies.ign.com

But it’s not just historical facts, myths, legends and superstitions that lead so many women to say “I do” in June; it’s also all the hype that the present day puts on it.  In Bride Wars, both Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway’s characters refuse to be anything but a June Plaza bride. 

This same reference is made in Sweet Home Alabama when Melanie Smooter, played by Reese Witherspoon, reiterates to her supposed future mother-in-law that all the press would be expecting the Plaza in June… because apparently, if you’re a New York bride, it’s all about the Plaza in June.  And I have to admit, after getting an eyeful of the picture below, I can see why…

photo courtesy of allegrophotography.com

Without a doubt, June has been the hands down winner for “most likely to succeed in wedded bliss” year after year.  Several celebutantes – as if you didn’t already KNOW I’d need to reference them :) – have also followed the June bridal suit. 

photo courtesy of usmagazine.com

Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez (on marriage # 3) and Nicole Kidman (on marriage # 2) all took the plunge in June.  Kendra Wilkinson, Alicia Silverstone, Christy Turlington and Jennifer Garner said “I do” during the famed sixth month of the year, and not to mention, Marcia Cross, Adriana Lima and Tori Spelling who all made their love offish in June!

The list goes on and on, people.  (Even with brides that didn’t make it – cough cough – Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Anniston – cough cough – wed in June!)  There’s simply no escaping the phenomenon known as the June Bride.  Between movie references, celebutantes and every day brides, stepping out of single town and into married life was then, is now and perhaps forever shall be, June.