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
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!
I’m a huge fan of color. Like HUGE. In fact, I expressed this la-Louvre in a previous post, Stand Out in Style: 10 Unique Wedding Color Combos, where I showcased some of the most over-the-top-amazing palette pleasers I could think of. Over the course of the years, I’ve even had several photographer friends agree that bright, bold colors make for incredible wedding photos.
With all that said, however… and this is a big HOWEVER… After coming across this trend for weddings dressed to the nines in nothing but neutral over and over again, I have no choice but to say: IT’S LOAF! Seriously, talk about keeping it classy, while remaining colorless. The look – seen everywhere from Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot to Brides and InStyle Weddings magazines – definitely has the “it” factor. I mean, check out these neutral beauties:
photo courtesy of ohwhatlove.com
I guess I was always of the notion that neutral meant colorless, and colorless meant boring… But I could NOT have been more wrong! Incorporating neutral, earthy tones on your big day celebrations means that everything from the setting to you will stand out all the more!
Better Homes & Gardens described it best with the following:
Decorating with neutral colors offers a multitude of ways to add personality to your rooms, proving that neutral decor is anything but dull. Soft hues, such as beige, khaki, and rain-cloud gray, create a calming atmosphere, while the contrast of a black-and-white color scheme introduces drama and flair. Go bold with splashes of rich neutrals, such as chocolate brown or slate gray, or go sleek and subtle with tone-on-tone white. (bhg.com)
Taking this into consideration, it almost seems like nothing would make more sense for a wedding day than a neutral color palette. After all, it provides a beautiful backdrop, in order for you to be the only star of the show… and what bride wouldn’t love that? Check out some ideas below :)
photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) greylikesweddings.com, emmalinebride.com, brookealiceonblog.com, fabyouliss.com, zazzle.com (insert), truephotography.com, weddingbee.com, onetowed.com, brookealiceonblog.com, wonderfuldayweddingsmn.blogspot.com and loveandlavender.com
Nowadays, it seems as though weddings are becoming less and less about tradition and more and more about trends. Be it trends of the times, trends of the industry, or my personal favorite, trends of the bride and grooms themselves, today’s weddings are all about individualized style and customizable flare.
And why shouldn’t they be?
America is known as the melting pot of the world. With all the different races, religions, cultures and ethnicity, we – as a country – already have the ingredients for a pretty ahhh(to the)mazing, custom-made meal. AND when you pile on top of that all the different family makeups and breakdowns; we’re left with one of the most eclectic family extensions known to man… EXCITING, isn’t it!!??
***If you’re still sitting in the middle of your seat and have yet to be scooted to its edge in anticipation, then consider what this kind of cultural shock means for everyone’s wedding day celebrations… Oh yeah! Now, you’re with me!***
It’s true. One needn’t look any further than a newlywed’s nuptials to recognize just how exciting our assorted arrangement is.
Because, while the meat and potatoes of wedding days may all be the same: boy meets girl, girl greets boy, boy and girl fall in love, boy asks, girl answers, marriage follows, etc…. the side dishes for the “I do’s” couldn’t be more different!
In fact, it never ceases to amaze me that no matter how many weddings I go to – and Trust(AND)Believe, I go to A LOT – there’s always something unique and different involved with each and every single one of them.
I think that’s why I love going to them so much :) And when it came to the tailored portion of the below bride’s big day, she did a little something I like to refer to as Nailing It :)
Because while I find it heartbreaking and downright criminal for any bride to ever find herself absent a father for the father / daughter dance, this particular bride had to deal with just that. <insert heartbreak here>
And even though her papa had passed away just a few months prior, the beautiful bride (along with her brother) still came up with one heck of a tribute — for reals, it’s nothing short of spectacular.
So, grab some Kleenexes (trust me on this one) and check out below to see what I mean:
Originally posted by their photographer, Michael LaFrance, who wrote:
Andrea had a very special dance with some very close family and friends at her wedding. Her father passed away so her brother [recorded] “butterfly kisses” and she danced with with all of them during her Father and Daughter dance. it was a truly touching moment not a dry eye in the house. Her dad, Mark, died earlier in the year from pancreatic cancer. Andrea’s first dance is with Mark’s father, followed by her brother Luke, then brother Nick and finally her new father-in-law Scott.
During the month of February, I can’t help but get a little case of cabin fever. Sick of the never-ending winter weather and over eager for spring to FINALLY arrive, it seems like every year, the shortest month of the year inevitably becomes the llloooooonnnnggggeeessssttt one on record.
And I feel horrible to even be mildly annoyed with it. It is – after all – the month that harbors the holiday for lovers AND both my parent’s birthday… I know. I’m an awful daughter, haha! But alas, it’s true. I’m sick of the gray, bleak, blustering days and smudged snow edging every road!
I’m ready for a warm up and a change of scenery.
With that said, I came across this wedding trend the other day, and I couldn’t help but get even more pumped for the season just around the corner and all the promise it holds! That’s right, ladies and gents, nothing quite says “Spring has Sprung!” quite like blooming fields of flowers and mouthwatering fruits and veggies.
Florals – of course – fit hand in hand with wedding bouquets. And now, so do fruits and vegetables! Don’t roll your eyes at me… I’m serious!
I know. I know. It sounds crazy, right? But when you see how it can be put in the works, I know you’ll have no choice but to agree! Not only are the colors of V8’s finest plush and vibrant, but the texture can be equally as incredible. And did I mention the cost?? Talk about a significant slim down on the cost of the more traditional blooms! Especially if they’re seasonal, you can save more than a pretty penny of your budget by incorporating these tasteful treats into your arrangements!
On the Fruitier Side of Fun: Take for instance, the apple. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, the apple can create an ideal pop of color and is fun for a spring, summer and even fall weddings. Then, there’s the strawberry. Richly hued in deep red, petite in size and topped with its own greenery, this deliciously seeded fruit even has all the elements to be a fantastic floral :)
There’s also grapes, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, lemons and limes! All proportionately sized and brightly colored, they can add just that extra pop of delectable whimsy!
photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) blovedweddings.com, sethandkait.blogspot.com, baysidebride.com, myinspiredwedding.com, weddingsatwork.com, brendasweddingblog.com, onewed.com, etsy.com and mywedding.com
And what about the Vivacious Veggies: Hmm, where to even start? Firstly, not only are so many vegetables brilliantly colored, but their texture is a force all on their own! Sure, broccoli and cauliflower were never any child’s favorite growing up, but pair them with calla lilies and roses, and you have a killer combo of epic proportions.
Some veggie tales even come equipped with flowers! Hello!? Ever seen an artichoke in full bloom? Ahhhmazing! Heck, I could probably dedicate a whole post to the awesomeness that is the artichoke bouquet. I won’t. But I’m just saying :) Pair with carrots. Turn up the turnips and even pepper with peppers, and these textured vegetable bouquets have me sprouting all kinds of love. *Pun intended.
photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) onewed.com, blueprintaffairs.blogspot.com, abbeyhepner.com, dmagazine.com, brides.com, crosspollinationfloral.blogspot.com, weddingwindow.com, elizabethannedesigns.com and beccadilley.com
And it’s not even a trend that is secluded simply to the bouquet; any of these ideas can be intertwined into so many other aspects of the big day celebration: centerpieces, main table décor and even boutonnieres! Check it :)
photos courtesy of eastonevents.com, pinkposhphotography.blogspot.com (insert), onewed.com, mywedding.com (insert) and bridalcookie.com
For the past few years, jewel toned weddings have been on the rise, and after having a front row seat for their unstoppable surge to the top, I’ll be the first to admit… it’s no wonder why :)
2011 introduced us to the popularity of sapphire blue, and we watched as brides and grooms the world over brought down the house with this variously shaded standout and all its regal splendor. In 2012, we sat in awe as the vibrantly hued blue was overtaken by the ostentatious amethyst and reveled in the progressive shades of purple and the royal authority it brought along with it. And this year? Well, 2013 is proving once again that “I do’s” will continue to make jaws drop for jewel… and maybe even a little green with envy.
How? Well, by incorporating Pantone’s Color of the Year: Emerald into the big day celebration. Quoted as “Lively. Radiant. Lush… Emerald is the color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” And who wouldn’t want all of that to be a part of their big day??
One of the biggest reasons behind all the bejeweled brilliance of wedding day glory is the mulch-faceted nature of the gems themselves. Because jewel tones are modeled around the gems they represent, they take on all kinds of sparkling, shimmering shades, making them easy to mimic and individualize for every bridal debut.
And as far as emerald is concerned… no jewel tone can do it better. That’s right, ladies and gents, emerald may be considered cool as far as hues are concerned, but it is FIRE HOT when it comes to presentation. It provides you with have a wide range of hues to choose, in order to create your ideal, wedding day palette. From rich teal and deep hunter to dazzling jade and stunning shamrock greens, all the facets of emerald add up to a whole lot of ahhhmazing! Check out below and see what all the fuss is all about:
photos courtesy of (from top to bottom, left to right) onestopwedding.info, pinterest.com, melissa-munding.com, beautifulblooms.com, jetfeteblog.com, weddingomania.com, arabiaweddings.com, bravobride.com and tumblr.com
So, after a slight hiatus (so sorry to have been gone so long, loves!!), I’m super PUMPED to announce Marilyn’s Keepsakes is back to blogging and embracing all kinds of business boosting changes!!
That’s right, my fellow blog-a-teers and bride-to-be’ers, MK is gearing up for the New Year in a completely New Way!!!!! And if the ultra ecstatic wording and excess use of exclamation points haven’t set your SQUEEE levels to the appropriate setting, please take into consideration the dancing doll-baby below!!!!! Haha!
^^Yep. That pretty much sums up my excitement level right now!^^
Firstly, the Blog is Back!! And will return to its former glory with dual weekly postings every Tuesday and Thursdays! So, mark your calenders, pretty ladies, and start your eCommerce loving engines.. because our journey back to awesome starts today!
“Why the sudden return to the bi-weekly awesomeness known as MK’s blog?” one might ask.
Well, that’s do entirely to the even bigger awesomeness that we are now under new management, ownership and overall ahhh(to the)mazing direction… <enter stage right> Amy Furrow!!
No stranger to shooting for the stars and making big things happen, Ms. Furrow – our fearless leader and your new favorite retailer specialist! – has now set her sights on her growing passion for growing business… and the best part? It’s all for you!
So, keep your eyes peeled, ears open and excitement levels engaged for all that’s in store! And in the mean time, feel free to take a gander at our new digs, ya dig?
If you’re a music geek (like me!), chances are you’ve seen a few music videos in your time. Well, how would like it if you could look back on your wedding day, TRL style? Ta-da! Here ya go!
Marryokes (pronounced marry-o-key), a company out of Belfast, Ireland (no worries, they travel everywhere in the world!), have made their name on putting that MTV twist on wedding videography. I know there are a lot of fun loving couples who have filled the web with videos of their musical grooves down the aisle (I still can’t get Chris Brown’s “Forever” out of my head!), but this, my friends, is something completely different! It’s not just the bride, groom, and wedding party that get to throwdown their dance moves, and mad karaoke skills; they get all of your wedding guests in on the act too!
It may kinda seem like it would be a big production at first glance, but Marryokes husband and wife team assures the process is completely painless for every guest, and most importantly, the bride and groom! God knows you don’t need anything else to stress out about (did someone say wardrobe malfunction?).
Now, because I’ve done karaoke before (The Temptations are my fav!) my big question for Marryokes was, “Are there only a few songs that a couple can pick from?” Their response: “No way!” You get to pick, because let’s be honest, who would want to have to lip-synch a song they hate?! They do say you should pick a song you know the words to though, because the truth is we all have friends that “know the words” to songs and mumble their way through the whole thing. You know who you are! :)
With all of the pieces of the Marryokes puzzle pieced together, I think I would have to say this is one of the coolest ways to capture a wedding day I have seen in a second, but like I said, I’m a music nerd! If the music video thing isn’t really your scene, they also do a gorgeous job at giving you a straight forward wedding day video too….but who would want that when you could have this!……
For serious, I just about DIED when I saw this tickle-me-pink treat this morning! Sent to me from Ms. T (wad up, Lauren!), via mywedding.com, this one of a kind wedding day detail is just about as unique as they come. Why? One may ask. Well, to put it frankly, it’s because it’s about the groom!
All too often when it comes to wedding planning, grooms are rarely (if ever!) mentioned. Falling to the wayside after the proposal, soon-to-be-hubbies almost always become props in their bride’s wedding day plans. But the most amazeballs part is how gladly said grooms assume their role in the way, WAY back just to please their queens. (Sigh) Whether they don’t really care about the details or they simply care about her too much, I always seem to warm from the inside out at the thought of the notion :)
With that said, however, I also absolutely la-Louvre when a groom takes matters into his own hands (without roughing the bridal waters) and provides his lady with a special surprise, unique to his personality, as well as their love.
Set up as anniversary present for his wife, Denne, Dan made a “slammin” rap mix for their one year celebration. With the help of GiftRapped.com, Dan was able to put his lyrics to music and accompany it with photos from their wedding day. Haha! Too and much. Check out below and see what I mean.
My only concern now is… who am I gonna make one of these treats for?? It’s not like you have to have a good voice to rap; you just have to have a voice! Therefore, it’s something open for all!
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!
Forget the diamonds and pearls. You can keep your tulle and lace… because brides everywhere are flocking to flowers when it comes to finishing their looks, and the result is nothing short of stunning.
Breathtaking baby’s breath. Powerful peonies. Radiant roses. Delicate daisies. Lovely lilies and greens of grandeur all come together in one of this spring’s hottest trends: Flower Crowns!
Their popularity can really only be defined by their versatility. Sure, it’s easy to picture your happily clad, hippie friend or a Boho-chic beauty when you think of these blossoming toppers, but just below the surface of the obvious, there’s a whole new audience delightfully delving into this Mother Nature inspired trend.
Because the crowns can be anything from avant garde and over-the-top to softly serene and ethereal, they really are something every bride can adjust to her particular taste. Not to mention, they can make for an incredibly easy and fun DIY wedding project! Check out below and see what I mean :)
photos courtesy of (from left to right, top to bottom) lexiebeauty.blogspot.com, myfavouritecolourisshiny.wordpress.com, peoniesandpearls.co.uk, allyritchie.com, onewed.com, bridalmusings.com, lovelybride.com, engagedandinspired.com, portender.com, c-h-c-h-e-r-r-y-b-o-m-b.tumblr.com, engagedandinspired.com, etsy.com, wolfeyebrows.wordpress.com and chicvintagebrides.com