Saturday, June 30, 2012

Four Wedding Favors Your Guests Will LOVE! (...And Actually Use)

As wedding planners, we have mixed feelings about favors. They can sometimes be costly and use up too much of your budget or be more time-consuming than they are worth. We would hate for a bride, her planners, or family and friends, to work so hard on something only to have guests leave it at the reception or take it home and throw it away. Choose a favor that reflects yourself and your fiance but make it something your guests will appreciate as well. Elaborate packaging with layers of tissue paper and cellophane is not necessary. The key is to keep it small and keep it simple.

1. Edibles
Edibles are a great choice for a favor because everyone likes eating! Depending on your budget, you can go small with candies or more elaborate with a cake or desert To-Go style. Personalizing these treats with your initials or wedding date can be done but it is not necessary if you want to skip that step.


2. Plants
What's a better way to symbolize your growth and union to the one you love than with a plant favor! You'd be surpirsed how many people love these quirky and fun little gifts. There are so many ways to utilize plants as a gift through ideas such as; seed papers, potted ferns, flower pieces, and so many more. This sort of favor is wonderful for outside or spring weddings to lighten up an already bright celebration.

3. Local Flare

Are you getting married somewhere with a unique theme like an orchard or a vineyard? What about a town known for delicious barbecue, the best jams, or one-of-a-kind maple syrup? Guests will love to take home a piece of the local flavor, whether they are visiting just for the wedding or even if they live down the road. Local flare can include apples, wine, honeys, jams, spices, barbecue and other sauces, or just about anything else that is popular in the town where you are married. It will be a nice opportunity for your guests to look back on all the fun they had at your wedding as they pour that Vermont Maple Syrup on their pancakes, or use that secret barbecue rub at their next backyard cookout.                                                  

4. Beverages To Go

Treat your thirty guest to a tempting beverage. Guests love free drinks of all kinds from; soda to lemonade, to beer and wine. Whether you choice a personalized pop drink or an elegant bottle of your favorite wine, your guests will be merry in the memory of your day and this fun favor.

Bonus: Iced soda or lemonade will keep your family and friends happy and cool for an outdoor wedding.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fact or Fiction? : Debunking Wedding Dress Shopping Rumors

Shopping for wedding gowns should be a fun and memorable experience! However, many brides experience some anxiety about wedding gown shopping whether because they don't know what to expect or because they are expecting something that doesn't sound like fun. The main thing to keep in mind is that you are shopping for a beautiful dress that will showcase your own beauty on your wedding day. It should be an exciting and stress-free experience! One way to alleviate stress is to know what to expect so here are some rumors we have heard about wedding gown shopping and the truth behind them.

Rumor: "I need to bring a complicated one-piece undergarment to try on wedding gowns."

Fact: You do not need to bring any special undergarments for wedding gown shopping. You will probably not be wearing a bra to try on dresses since you will  not need to wear one with most wedding dresses. Build in corsets, boning, bust cups, and back support straps will give you more support than any bra! The only time it is advised that you bring undergarments such as spanx or a strapless bra is if you are coming in for an alterations fitting and you are planning on wearing those same undergarments on your wedding day.

Rumor: "I need to start shopping for a wedding gown at least six months prior to my wedding date."

Fact: Many bridal boutiques carry samples rather than gowns you can purchase off-the-rack. This is so that more styles can be showcased in the store, rather than carrying fewer dresses in several sizes. This also ensures that YOU will be the only one who ever tries on your dress. It will not be made until you order it so when it comes in, it is truly YOUR dress.  The gowns generally take a MINIMUM of 4 to 6 months in production. Once you add in shippng and alterations time, you may have close to another month. It is advisable to give yourself more time than you need when ordering a dress so that you have plenty of time for the dress to come in and get any alterations you may need.

*If you are getting bridal portraits taken, you will probably need to order your dress even further in advance so that you can have your dress in and altered before the portrait date.*

Rumor: "The more friends and family I  bring shopping with me, the better! More opinions will help me make a decision."

Fact: Many brides love to bring in friends or family when dress shopping, especially for the first time. They can offer support and opinions and shopping for your wedding dress can be a very fun and special event to share with your loved ones. However, it is best to limit your guests to a few very close family members or friends. Anyone who has seen a wedding reality show on television knows that sometimes bringing more family and friends can mean bringing more stress! Since most brides will need more than one trip to the bridal boutique before they say "yes", some brides find it helpful to make a shopping trip solo or with just one family member or friend in tow. This way you can a little peace and quiet to think about the dresses you are trying on. When you find one you love, you can always bring your mom or sister or best friend in to see the dress before you place your order. When it comes down to it, you know your family and friends well so you can make the call on who will be a good shopping buddy. You just want to be sure the dress you choose is the one YOU love, not the one that was your family's favorite but you weren't crazy about. After all, this is YOUR dress for YOUR big day.

Rumor: "All designers use the same dress sizes."

Fact: All designers in fashion have different classifications for sizes. This is especially true in bridal. Bridal sizes, in general, are very different from read-to-wear sizes in that they run quite small. For example, if you wear a dress from a department store that is a size 6, you would need a size 8 or even a size 10 in a wedding gown. In addition to wedding dresses running small, each designer has a different size chart that they use for their gowns. So, just because you tried on a dress sample from a particular designer in a size 10 that fit you perfectly, that does not mean you will be a size 10 for all wedding gown lines. The measurements usually included on a size chart are bust, waist, hips, and sometimes hollow to hem, which is a length measurement. When you order a wedding gown, a bridal consultant will take these measurements on you and compare them to the specific designer's size chart to determine the best match for size.

Rumor: " It's ok to order a dress that is 2 sizes too small...I'm going to lose weight before my wedding!"

Fact: This is a tricky one! Many brides do lose weight before their wedding but keep in mind that it is always easier for a seamstress to take in a dress that is too large than to let out a dress that is too small. It is difficult to gauge how much weight will be lost in the time before your dress comes in. Also, losing weight does not always mean a change in all of your measurements. The safest option is to order a gown in the size that matches your current measurements. If you are very adamant about a smaller dress size, the best thing to do is hold off on ordering as long as possible as you lose the weight and get re-measured right before ordering to ensure accurate measurements. Just remember, you still need to leave yourself about 6 months in between your ordering date and your wear date for the dress.

Rumor: " I know I want a mermaid style dress so I don't need to try on any other styles."

Fact: Most brides are surprised by what style of gown looks the best on their body. Mermaid might be the exact style that you are looking for however it is best to try on a variety of styles and designs in order to end up with the best dress success. So when you are shopping around for a gown, EXPLORE! Be open-minded and try on that ballgown that you never thought would be "the one". It might surprise you. I cannot tell you how many brides I have had who come in and say they want a simple dress with no "bling" or beading or sparkles but end up falling in love with a very "bling-y"  and sparkly dress. When a bride focuses on one specific style or design and limits herself to only trying on that style, she may be missing out on the best dress for them.  That is why it is suggested to look at the different styles and even get some suggestions from the boutiques' consultants. After all, you never know until you try it on.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Wedding Gown Shape Will Look Best on YOUR Body?

Working in a bridal shop, I often hear brides say things like "I want to hide my big hips (or butt, or waistline, bustline, etc)" or "I want to show off my waistline (or hips, butt, bustline, etc.)". For that reason, we have compiled a list of body types and tips for dresses to flatter. Regardless of your body type and what you are wanting to hide or showcase, there is a dress that will suit your body and you will love!


Apple Shaped

If you have a large frame  with a full  bottom and hips as well as a fuller torso with little waist definition then you would be considered  an apple shape. Styles that create and elongated sillouette with high waistlines and skirts that flow away from the body will be best for you.

Tip: A corset back will help create a tighter bodice with a proportioned sillouette.

Hourglass Shaped

Those with an hourglass figure have shoulders and hips about the same width with a well-defined waist in the middle. Since you have such a well proportioned body, take advantage of it when choosing your wedding gown! Styles that show off your defined waistline and curvy figure are the way to go. Choose an embellished gown that hugs your close to your waist and accentuates your shape.

Inverted Triangle Shaped

Triangle shaped women have broader shoulders with narrower hips. It may feel like instinct to try and cover your shoulders but don't! This will make them appear wider than they actually are. Instead, show them off. The eyes of those seeing you in your gown will be drawn inward, making your waist look more narrow. As for the skirt, go for texture and fullness to help balance out your upper half.

Rectangle Shaped

Those with shoulders and waist of a similar width but with no much definition in the waistline are considered to be rectangle shaped. If this sounds like you, try adding the illusion of curves to your body with your wedding gown style. Ruching and detailing in the bodice will help achieve a curvier look.

Tip: Try a beaded belt or sash around the natural waistline to really play up your figure.

Pear Shaped

Pear shaped women have fuller hips, thighs, and bottom but a slim upper half. You will want to accentuate your top half with a tight fitting bodice that loosely flows into the skirt. You can also choose some type of sleeve or detailing at the shoulder to balance out the top with the skirt.

Small Bust Shaped

A small bust is considered anything below an "A" cup size. To create the illusion of a fuller bust line, choose a rouched or embellished bodice. A fitted bodice with a fuller skirt will also add to the shape of your body.

Large Bust Shaped

A large bust is considered anything above a "C" cup. Larger busted women women may want to de-emphasize their bust to balance out the the body shape. If this sounds like you, try styles with a more open neckline that will draw the attention upward toward your face and hair instead of toward the bustline itself. This includes square necklines, v-neck styles, and off-the-shoulder looks.

*All dresses pictured are from Impression Bridal.