Thursday, March 28, 2013

Top 12 Short Hairstyles for Sweet Bridal

Long locks always make for romantic wedding dos to be envious of; but these 12 looks are stunning and modern. The key to any great wedding hairstyle? A good haircut and a beautiful hairpiece.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

10 Things No One Tells You About Gown Shopping

1. Undergarments can drastically change the look of a dress.
You already know that wearing a strapless bra or a regular one with clear straps is non-negotiable. Even so, I’d recommend getting your measurements taken before you start this process, especially if you've lost weight recently, like I did. When I tried on the winning dress for the very first time, my bust The culprit: Undergarments one cup size too small and three inches too big around the waist. Armed with my correct size, I slipped on the dress again—it's amazing what a difference a few inches can make.

2. Wear just enough makeup to feel pretty—don't go overboard.
Being surrounded by a billowing sea of white fabric makes you hyper-aware of your appearance. Under-eye circles that were barely noticeable before look stark. Pale pink lipstick is drowned out by fluorescent lighting. You don't have to get dolled up for your consultant; apply just enough so that you feel presentable. But whatever you do, DON'T apply self-tanner in the days leading up to your appointment, in order to avoid damaging any of the dresses. Also wear your hair the way you've planned it for the wedding.

3. Consultants can't stand when you "yes" them to death.
They can't assist you properly if you don't tell them how you really feel. "It's beautiful," I murmured, after stepping into each dress or pulling it over my head. Unaware that I was saying this for Each And Every Gown, Andrea eventually called me out on it: "I'm not the designer; you won't hurt my feelings, you know." Ten "nos" (including the Lazaro style pictured above) helped me get to my final "yes." Also consultants rarely outright told me to take something off, so when they did, I knew they were being truthful. If they use the words "we can do better," you'll know.

4. Do "the aisle test" to make sure the gown looks good from every angle.
Before making my final decision, Andrea helped me into the top contender one last time, veil and all, and had me walk around the periphery of the store to meet my dad at the front entrance. Walking towards him and seeing his stunned reaction solidified how much I loved the dress. Go ahead, sit, shimmy, and even twirl in the gowns while trying them on—if it's the right one, you should feel as if you never want to take it off.

5. Trying on wedding gowns is physically (and emotionally) draining.
Wedding gowns are so heavy that getting in and out of them is a workout in itself; I'd find myself ravenous (and in need of a good nap) afterwards! Up until that point, I had made major planning decisions (venue, photographer, DJ), but when I saw how I looked in my dress, it was as if all that was just a fuzzy dream that suddenly became crystal-clear when I woke up. Not the weepy type, I was mortified when tears streamed down my cheeks. On the other hand, a bride-to-be friend of mine who sniffles at commercials was mystified by how detached she was to the gown she bought. That's the beauty of wedding planning—no two brides will ever have the same exact experience.

6. Make Mom love you forever by trying on a dress she recommends, even if you hate it.
If Mom has been looking forward to this moment ever since you played dress-up as a little girl, oblige her just this one time and try on one of her recommendations. It's a win-win: Either she'll see that you were right about lace looking all kinds of wrong on you, or you may shock yourself by purchasing one of her picks, like I did.

7. Ask if there are any discounts they can offer you.
Some salons offer discounts if you purchase bridesmaid or mother of the bride/groom dresses there as well. At trunk shows, which feature an entire collection from a specific designer, brides can get a percentage off (usually 10-15), for buying a gown that same day. If you're serious about a dress and can't make the show, try it on beforehand and see if they'll grant it to you at the lower price anyway.

8. You’ll have to sign on the dotted line for even the smallest details.
In order to buy a dress, you'll have to commit to a certain size ahead of time, and they're teeny-tiny compared to regular clothing sizes (a bridal size 6 is equivalent to a size 2 in "normal" clothes). I expected that, but I was surprised to learn I'd have to sign off on the length of the heels I'm wearing on the day of the wedding (this would affect my alterations). If you're planning on customizing your gown by adding sleeves, embellishments, or dropping/raising the waist, be prepared to answer very specific questions about that as well.

9. Repeat after me: You are not a failure if you have to try on more than 10 gowns before finding The Gown.
Shopping can be a scene out of a romantic comedy: The excitement in the bridal salon is palpable, you're swilling champagne, everyone coos over how stunning you are, and you wish you could bottle how giddy you feel. What movies don't show you is how despondent it can feel if it takes four, or five, or six visits before you find anything that even remotely feels like you. Everyone from my doctor to my neighbors got a kick when "the bridal editor couldn't even find a dress."

10. Do it once, do it fabulous.
Andrea repeated this mantra to me throughout my appointment, and it's stuck in my head ever since. You're (hopefully) only going to shop for a wedding gown once in your life—drown out everyone else's opinion and you'll hear a silent little voice tell you which one you should choose. Then, when you pick it, lie to everyone except a handful of people you can trust not to spill the secret. For any of my guests who are reading this, I'll be wearing a lace, A-line Jim Hjelm dress.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Choose Your Right Bridal Veil

A bridal veil represents tradition, with its origins dating back to Ancient Rome. Throughout the centuries, it has represented a symbolic view of the virgin bride and was used to celebrate her purity, chastity and modesty; it also kept the bride concealed until her arranged marriage was complete.

Plenty of mystical superstition surrounding the veil has existed as well; in medieval times it was believed that a veil protected the unmarried woman from evil spirits and the dreaded "evil eye."

History aside, we love the amazing transformative qualities a veil imparts on its wearer. Thousands of years later, this simple piece of tulle still possesses the magical power to turn a woman in a white dress into the ideal bride-to-be.

But, how many varieties does a veil come in and how's a girl to know what's right for her? Well, read on:

Birdcage: A short, cute chin-length veil.
Blusher: A sheer, short veil worn over the face, which is lifted up during the ceremony.
Cathedral: A very long, formal veil that extends two feet or more on the floor.
Chapel: A long veil that extends beyond the gown, one to two feet.
Fingertip: A veil that reaches to the bride's fingertips.
Flyaway: A layered, poufy shoulder-length veil.
Mantilla: A dramatic round veil that is usually made of lace and worn without a headpiece.

Waltz or Ballerina: A veil that extends to just below the knee.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Find the Right Gown and Accessories on Your Big Day

Let your venue set the tone for your big-day look.

Chapel Wedding

A magestic ballgown will look apropos amidst the grandeur of a formal wedding. Diamonds, pearls and a veil are ideal for the classic bride.

Garden Fête

For a dress befitting your lush outdoor setting, look for gowns with floral laces and chic rosettes. Play up a blooming local with nature-inspired accents.

Beach Wedding
A lightweight silk georgette Grecian-style gown will move gracefully on a breezy beach. And goddess-inspired accessories will look divine on the sun-drenched sand

Country Club
For a look of modern refinement, opt for a sleek gown with a crisp, narrow silhouette. Dainty, classic accessories will look chic in semi-formal indoor/outdoor settings.

City Hall
A shorter dress paired with dramatic heels is perfect for an intimate, informal setting. For a chic downtown look, opt for easy, modern shapes.

Deco Hotel

Up the glamour quotient at an evening affair with a sparkly, form-fitting gown. Channel hollywood charm with vintage-inspired jewels.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to Wear Under Your Bridal Gown

One of the most puzzling aspects of the wedding attire puzzle can be what undergarment to wear with your gorgeous gown. You want something comfortable but pretty, hidden but flattering. There are a dozens of options for bridal lingerie — the trick is finding a great bra that will complement your dress and your body type. Here, we've come up with a few wonderful, affordable options.

For a Backless Dress
A strapless, backless adhesive bra is a must. We love the Nu Bra. Because these bras are completely backless, they are not ideal for large-chested women, given their lack of support. But, when comparing all the backless, strapless bras out there, the Nu Bra is our favorite.

For a Slinky Sheath

bra for slinky sheath bridal dress
The bra combines comfort with invisibility, making it the perfect bra to wear underneath a more lightweight, body-hugging sheath. Because of its plunging neckline, this bra does not provide complete coverage and is better suited for smaller chested women.

For a Plunging Neckline
The bra peeking out of the low-cut shirt is not a look you want to experiment with on your wedding day. Lucky for you, these low-cut bras are perfect for gowns with plunging or halter necklines, while still providing some lift and shape. For a plunging neck with a regular back. And if your plunging neckline dress is also backless, you'll need the plunge strapless bra.

For a Strapless Dress (Small Chest)
The bra underwire bra is comfortable, supportive, and offers plenty of padding to enhance your assets -— we absolutely love it. The cups are seamless but offer pretty lace detailing around the straps, making it an ideal choice for strapless gowns that don't have low necklines.

For a Strapless Dress (Large Chest)
For larger-chested women, the convertible bra provides great coverage and support. Wear it all night long without having to worry about it falling down or becoming uncomfortable.

You might also want to consider wearing a bodysuit, corset, or bustier underneath your wedding dress, especially if you want to accentuate your waist. We recommend these three:

Shapewear for a Strapless Dress
Shapewear for a Plunging Neckline
Shapewear That's Also Pretty