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

 

 

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

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!

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

Could Fourth Time REALLY be a Charm for J.Lo?

Could wedding bells be ringing for Jennifer Lopez and current BF and back-up dancer, Casper Smart? (courtesy of hellomagazine.com)

According to recent reports from online celebrity sites, such as E!, there has been talk around the water cooler that Jennifer Lopez may be making her fourth trip down the aisle to say “I do.”  Rumors sprung into action after a mysterious tweet from Roberto Cavalli – fashion legend and long time friend of J.Lo – buzzed through the blogosphere yesterday afternoon.  The tweet went as follows:

“Today , Jenifer Lopez. Call me…… She ask me. To create a special dress. For her next weding. ! Wich color … Do you advise me. ?” (twitter.com)

While the spelling, broken English and horrendous grammar (dead sere, can’t even look at it without my former editor noggin twitching!) should’ve been a dead giveaway this was not THEE Roberto Cavalli, the press went haywire over the coulda-shoulda-woulda of it all!

J.Lo – famous the world over just as much for her unspeakably good looks as her incredible cross-media / cross-cultural talent and appeal – has been a long time supporter and friend to Roberto Cavalli.  Her body is no stranger to his clothes (as shown below); so, it seemed a bit out of place to have such a long withstanding, respected friendship be blasted over a place as public as Twitter.

J.Lo dubbed three Cavalli (pictured with her) ensembles at the World Music Awards in 2010 alone! One for the red carpet; one for her perfomace, and one while accepting the Legend Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts. (photos courtesy of fashionwindows.net)

After further reading, however, my suspicions were – in fact – proven true, and no, Roberto was not behind the “nails on a chalkboard” tweet that caused all the commotion.  Apparently, Mr. Cavalli’s twitter account was hacked… I mean really?!  Getagrip, people. 

After her separation from Marc Anthony in July 2011, she began dating back-up dancer, Casper Smart, and while they may be hot and heavy on the media radar, there have been no confirmed reports that marriage has even been part of the conversation.

I suppose it wouldn’t be totally off mark though… Just like J.Lo’s body is no stranger to Cavalli’s clothes, the girl herself is no stranger to marriage.   At 42, she’s already had three failed marriages, one long term relationship with Sean “Puffy” Combs / Puff Daddy / P.Diddy / Diddy / whatever he goes by these days and one infamous nickname forever linking her to Ben Affleck.  Oh, Bennifer, how I miss thee.

But no matter what the future holds for Ms. Lopez, one thing is for dang sure… the girl knows how to rock a wedding dress :)  So, if the path should wind her back down the marriage brick road again, she’s sure to look devastatingly stunning.  I mean, just look at the girl’s history…

First Marriage

The first marriage sprung from love with Cuban-born Ojani Noa. The two were hitched in 1997 but sadly ditched by 1998. (photos courtesy of latina.com and examiner.com)

Second Marriage

The second marriage came after her split from P.Diddy back in 2001 to back-up dancer, Chris Judd. The two were divorced by January 2003. (courtesy of people.com)

Third Marriage

The third and longest lasting marriage was to none other than Grammy award winning artist, Marc Anthony. It lasted from 2004-2011 and resulted in the birth of two beautiful twin babies, Emme and Max. (photos courtesy of popsugar.com and fanpop.com)

7 Ways to Save on your Wedding Dress

courtesy of weddingwindow.com

Huffington Post’s Kara Reinhardt reported 7 tips on how brides can budget on their wedding gown shopping, and they were soooo good I knew I had to share!  She makes her money as editor of Cheapism.com; so, you can imagine, she’s quite the expert :)

Check out below and see how some brides choose to save and still stay sassy on their wedding day:

1. Consider a bridesmaid dress in white. A sales consultant at a salon may not volunteer this option, but many elegant designs come in an array of colors — including white or ivory. If you prefer a clean, simple silhouette to a full skirt and sequins, a bridesmaid dress could play a starring role for the cost of a supporting player.

I actually had a friend who did this – wad up, Leah!  Not only did she looked absolutely b.e.a.uuuutiful on her wedding day, but she OBVS saved moolah on the gown; therefore broadening up her budget on other areas!

courtesy of Leah Matis

2. Plan a less formal event. If you imagine yourself at the altar in a cathedral-length veil, skip ahead to the next tip. But couples open to an outdoor wedding or any other casual setting can save a lot on attire. A lightweight dress for a beach ceremony is likely to cost far less than yards of embellished silk satin.

3. Seek out sample sales. Bridal salons offer big discounts a couple of times a year to clear out sample dresses, selling them as is. You may cringe if you’ve seen scenes of brides-to-be lunging at piles of marked-down gowns. But things may be more civilized at a local salon — some even take appointments during these sales. Ask about upcoming events and sign up for email lists.

4. Don’t overlook department stores. Off-the-rack retailers such as J. Crew and Ann Taylor have become go-to sources for brides on a budget, offering attractive styles and prices. But department stores have also embraced the bridal business. Cheapism found that Nordstrom is one of the best places to buy a cheap wedding dress. You can order online or make an appointment with a wedding stylist at select locations. Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor also feature “wedding shops” on their websites. The dresses don’t take months to come in and can be returned.

5. Don’t assume mass-market means cheap. While these retailers set prices as low as a few hundred dollars, sticker shock is still possible. Most styles by BHLDN — the Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie wedding brand — carry four-figure price tags, and the most expensive is $6,000. Bebe is introducing a bridal collection expected to start near $1,000. Many salons carry lines that start well below that level.

6. Give secondhand sources a chance. You may balk at consignment shops and classified websites, despite the alluring prospect of a designer gown at a discount price. But sites such as Recycled Bride and Encore Bridal often feature new and sample dresses as well. New dresses don’t necessarily carry the bad karma of a called-off engagement, either. One bride is selling a $1,430 Mikaella for $600 on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com because she switched to an outdoor venue and a simpler dress. My own bargain was hiding in the basement of a bridal consignment shop and could be ordered in my size. The experience came complete with a pedestal in front of a mirror, an attentive sales consultant, and a tearful sister-in-law exclaiming, “This is just like ‘Say Yes to the Dress’!”

7. Choose a color other than white. At New York’s bridal fashion week this fall, none other than wedding dress doyenne Vera Wang showed not one white or ivory gown. Many of her designs were black (can you believe it?), but even blush could help you sidestep the markup on anything labeled bridal. White isn’t always the easiest color to wear, and a different shade might better complement your skin tone. If you’re the type of woman who likes to turn heads, refraining from white is a surefire way to make a statement with your wedding gown.

(Kara Reinhardt, huffingtonpost.com)