Friday, November 1, 2013

Picking out a Wedding Dress: A five point guide

via this is glamorous
I got of the phone with my best friend yesterday, who is in the process of planning a wedding and realized just how daunting planning an off the beaten path wedding can be.  Personally I couldn’t handle it-thus the elopement.  One of the most difficult parts about planning your wedding is listening to other people’s opinions about your wedding.  Just mentioning the wedding brings up all sorts of hysteria, preconceived notions, and protocols in people’s minds.  Most people have no problem sharing their ideas with you and this is where you run into problems, you begin to doubt what you want, what your planning, and your ideas.  In my opinion this is why most weddings and wedding dresses turn out pretty much the same.  The hype over runs internal wants for individuality- but enough of my philosophizing.
Finding a wedding gown is can be one of most difficult parts of the wedding planning (at least it was for me).  For a variety of reasons your brain can get jumbled: you as a bride want to look beautiful, you don’t get to buy expensive gowns everyday, you are overwhelmed with bridal marketing, and most of all you have lots of ideas about how you want to look. Here is how I would go about picking the perfect dress.
by elisabeth millay photography

  1. Color:  Start with a vision of what color you want to wear.  Whatever color it is, run with it.  If you want to wear red but still want a white gown, add red shoes or a red sash.  Create a vision of the color you want to be in. Create a pinboard, or an evernote file with dresses in the color story you like. 
  2. Set a budget: Don’t look at anything (anything at all) outside of that budget.  You only wear the dress once so try not to get caught up in a moment at a bridal store. Setting a budget means balancing what you want in life with how much you are spending on your wedding.  If you want to buy a house don’t spend your whole down payment on a wedding.  Using your budget pick stores that carry dresses in that budget and set up appointments.  If you can’t afford a Vera Wang gown don’t look at them.  If you don’t want to spend a fortune, be creative and look at dresses not marketed as wedding gowns. 
  3. Shape: Forget the gown for a second, review pictures of yourself and see what sort of clothing looks best on your body shape.  Think about your favorite dress, why do you love it. Chances are you can quickly figure out what shape dress, what sort of neckline, and even what length you should wear.  I know everyone tells you be open, I would agree with this, but know your body too.  Styling clothing is all about fitting clothes to your shape.  If you have a tiny waist, you should accentuate this in a dress.  If you have great shoulders, show them off.  If you are petite, don’t wear a lot of fabric, it can eat you!
  4. Get Help: Find a friend or family member who you trust to tell you the truth and whose style you like.  Discuss what you want with them and make sure they are one board.  Take them with you to dress shop.  Do not take friends who love something you hate.  We have all seen the “Say Yes to the Dress” where the maid of honor hates the dress the bride loves.
  5. Ignore: Stop stressing and ignore what other people say- you are going to look gorgeous regardless.  It’s your wedding and you will be glowing and deliriously happy, the dress is an accessory to YOU. Many people will say oh your not wearing a ball gown, or white, or whatever.  Just ignore it.  Being a little different is hard but it’s worth it in the end! 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Ballerina Bride

1. Dolce&Gabbana Lace Top; 2. Christian Louboutin Pigalle; 3. Simple Bun; 4. Tulle Skirt (or here) 5. L'Agence Wrap Sweater; 6. Protea Bouquet

I have always loved ballerinas.  They are just so elegant.  Puffy tulle skirts, wrap sweaters, tight tops equal simplicity and to me perfection.  This to me is a perfect winter elopement. If you are having a more traditional wedding-perhaps you could put your bridesmaids in colored tulle skirts.  I wish I could have another wedding just to wear a tulle skirt! Plus I love how the skirt can be pulled out for years to come and worn in a million different ways: 1. Cashmere sweater plus tulle skirt and ballet flats- adorable.  2. Tee shirt plus tulle skirt and sneakers, oh so dreamy!  3. Tulle skirt plus a sparkle top and heals- perfect for a holiday party! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Italian Bride-Alberta Ferretti Bridal

While strolling in Rome, I spotted the Alberta Ferretti bridal shop and was smitten.  The dress in the window from the 2013 collection seemed to call my name.  It was structured and airy, formal and effortless, girly and classic.  I loved it.   I usually don’t love a classic white dress but I was ready to run in and try a few on.  Upon further inspection, all of Alberta Ferretti ‘s bridal collection showcases the body while adding just the right amount of lightness to the dress! If you are looking for a gown, check out this collection- I don’t think you will be disappointed!
Alberta Ferretti Window Roma

Alberta Ferretti Bridal 2014

Alberta Ferretti Bridal 2014
Alberta Ferretti Bridal 2014

Alberta Ferretti Bridal 2013

Alberta Ferretti Bridal 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

And the bride wore- a cardigan

As fall approaches, I love the idea of a wedding gown and a cashmere cardigan! First if you do decide to wear a white gown, you will be able to reuse your cozy cardigan forever and it will always remind you of your wedding- how romantic.  Second, lets be honest, who wants to be cold? 

In general I love a cardigan. They are cozy, warm, and at the same time both chic and girly.  Why not wear a cardigan on your wedding- the Duchess of Cambridge did! I love mixing fabrics, so the idea of combining lace, chiffon, or glitter with a simple knit to me seems sublime.  It is the very definition of effortless chic! 

Images from
Left Image Haley Sheffield via Ruffled; Right Image Andrea Ball via A Cup of Jo

Left Duchess of Cambridge; Right-Image via LovelyGirls

Brendan Photography via Cup of Jo and Once Wed

Get the Look

1. Girl By Band Of Outsiders Pointelle Button Cardigan; 2. J. Crew Collection Cashmere Cardigan; 3. Dolce & Gabbana Cashmere and Silk Cardigan; 4. Nina Ricci Metallic Cardigan with Peplum Hemline; 5. Jardin des Orangers Round Neck Cashmere Cardigan 6. J. Crew Metallic Leather High Heal Sandals 7. Lanvin Wedding Gown

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wedding Dress Shopping-Why White?

I found this yesterday and just had to post it.  I think the hilarious Grace Helbig from dailygrace sums up wedding dress shopping perfectly. Yes you need a dress, yes the dress is important, but don't forget to laugh a little!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Real Wedding Inspiration- and the bride wore wellies?

How cute is this English wedding on the River Thames?  This wedding proves a rainy day is far from a bridal disaster! From the clear umbrellas to the combination of casual and dressy, I love it. Doesn’t the adorable Tracy Oshiro and Mary Ryan just make you smile?

And lets just take a moment for some awesome footwear.   Puddle jumping anyone?

Images from Beaux Art Photographie, and Snippet & Ink
You can read more about the event on Tracy sister's blog Santa Barbra Chic.

Event Details:
Photographer: Beaux Arts PhotographieReception Venue: The Windmill, ClaphamEvent Design & Production: Kelly Oshiro Design;  Bride’s Dress: Marisa BaratelliBridesmaid Dresses: BHLDNMenus: Wedding Paper DivasCake Baker: Georgina's CakesBride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Friday, August 23, 2013

The White Jumpsuit

Looking to buck the traditional gown trend, check out these white jumpsuits! I love a bridal jumpsuit. How cute are these for a casual city lunch, city hall wedding, or maybe a rehearsal dinner?  Or if you are going all out with the bridal theme, these would be adorable for a bridal shower. Très Chic! 
Left-J.Crew Romper; Middle Giambattista Valli White Jumpsuit; Right- Victor & Rolf Bridal Jumpsuit

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dress Details- The Back

Like the old mullet adage- “work in the front, party in the back!” Or in the case of a wedding maybe the saying should “classic in the front, revealing in the back.”  If you plan on having a wedding at an alter, people are going to spend a lot of time staring at your back, so give them something interesting to look at!
My personal favorite is the Lanvin bow dress, which comes in a long version too!
1. Chloe; 2. Catherine Deane; 3. Lanvin; 4. Jason Wu ; 5. M Missoni

Monday, August 19, 2013

Real Wedding Inspiration- and the bride wore sparkles!

A Lovely New York City Museum Wedding

Can we talk about how elegant this wedding is?  Doesn't it feel like a missing scene from Breakfast at Tiffany?! This wedding proves that you do no have to wear a traditional white wedding dress to look both timeless and chic!

An Oscar de la Renta cocktail dress, art filled setting, and beautiful bride equals perfection!

On a snowy evening, Annie Dean wed Peter Zaitzeff at the Museum of the City of New York. Before the wedding, photos were taken of the couple at Grand Central Station. 

Read more about the couple and the wedding here

All images from and by Richard Jopson
Dress: Oscar de la Renta (similar here); Shoes: Jimmy Choo; Grooms Suit: Billy Reid; Hair: Gwynne Mims at Eva Scrivo; Makeup: Miguel Ramos from NARS
Flowers by Emily Thompson Flowers; Invitations by Mr. Boddington's Studio; Calligraphy by Queen Quills Calligraph; 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hello Lover

How lovely are these dresses?  

Wear them as a bridal dress, engagement party dress, rehearsal dinner dress, or maybe just to dinner.  The combination of the lace work, interesting cuts, and the lightness of the fabric make these dresses from the Australian brand Lover perfection.  I am in LOVE.  In fact I am dreaming of them in color for an upcoming wedding. 

All dresses from the Lover White Magic Collection

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Affordable Suits

I loathe an ill-fitting suit on a man.  Yesterday I had a discussion with a gentlemen friend of mine who believed he needed to shape up before he could ever don a suit again.  This notion had been brought on by the dreaded rental tux. In reviewing photos where he was a groomsman at a recent wedding he thought- “wow, I look terrible.” I would like to note that even a male model, with a body like Greek statue would look terrible in a rental tux.  Their ill fitting nature leads everyone to look either too thin, or too portly, or worst of all like you borrowed your father’s suit.  I cannot stress enough the difference that a properly tailored suit makes.  

Enter Suit Supply.  This affordable suit company is an excellent option for grooms, groomsmen, or really anyone in need of a suit. Started in the Netherlands, Suit Supply is a suit supper store. While it isn't going to be bespoke, the cuts and fabrics are top notch. Costs vary based on the quality of the fabric, but their tuxedo costs $469. Rental tuxes cost about $300- $500 with shoes, and can never be worn again.  For a little bit more grooms can look fabulous and have a suit they can wear again, and again, and again! Not to mention, shouldn't the groom look fabulous too?
Black Tuxedo; Black Suit

Dark Grey Blue Suit; Blue Suit

Light Grey Suit; Dark Grey Suit

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Decorating with Fruit

Last week, my parents threw a luncheon to celebrate my elopement months earlier.  My mother decorated many of the tables with clear glass bowls filled with cherries.  While I am a huge fan of beautiful flowers, I think fruit is just as lovely! In my book edibility is a big plus. Yum!

 Margherita Missoni Wedding
 Images from Martha Stewart
 Images from Martha Stewart

Sunday, July 21, 2013

zara bridal?

So I have a bit of a thing for Zara- I mean what isn't to love? The key to finding the good stuff is to visit often, as Zara is constantly changing their stock.  During one of my Saturday strolls I stumbled on this dress.  How adorable for a beach wedding, country wedding, or day time wedding.  Much like the blank canvas of a j.crew dress, there is so many ways you could take this dress. Add some sandals and a hair piece and you are wedding ready, oh and did a mention its only $119.00. Trés Bene!

Dress: Zara; Shoes: Loeffler Randal (on sale here); Hair Piece: Cecile Boccara 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gifts for the Bride (my idea of an engagement gift)

Can we just have a moment for these items.  I mean how adorable are these!??? I love buying gifts that are both special and useful. But cuteness sometimes wins!  What lady wouldn't treasure any of these goodies.  Because just imagine for a moment, how cute is that girl wearing tight jeans, baggy sweater, hair in bun when she whips out her "Mrs." passport cover in the airport.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just a lovely wedding

I like to constantly check the websites of my Chicago Wedding Trifecta: photographer (emilia-jane), florist (Pistil & Vine), and wedding hair stylist (your stylist AJ) for wedding inspiration.  These ladies are such creative artists and I love to look at their work.  Thanks to them- I stumbled upon this wedding and just had to share it. I really don't have much to say about this, but boy does it take my breath away. I know I am not one for a traditional wedding, but hmmm-this wedding sure looks lovely! Maybe it is because the bride and groom are beautiful, or maybe the photographs are amazing, or maybe its the details on the dresses-or maybe.... I don't know, but sigh isn't is something! Just a beautiful wedding!

Photographed by Stoffer Photography, click through for more AMAZING IMAGES including the reception!