Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Introducing Your Wedding Coach

I'm your personal wedding coach. Through a series of new articles, we'll lead you through the maze of wedding planning. No baloney, no hype, no unproven methods to lead you astray. Just sound advice from a wedding professional. And its all free!
The series will also be available on our web site www.weddingzillas.com.

We'll cover everything from announcing the wedding to what to do if the wedding is canceled. We'll start with a series on the dress. We'll be using some guest bloggers and we'll be interviewing some major wedding pros. Any wedding pros who would like to guest blog, please email me at weddingzilla@tootsieworld.com.

We welcome any topics you'd like to see addressed.

Trust only a professional for the most special day of your life. Don't believe everything you read on the net. There is a LOT of misinformation. This is the gospel truth! You'd pay thousands and thousands of dollars for what you will learn here. Hey, its free, stop in and feel free to comment and add your questions and topics you want to see discussed.

Please book mark us and check back often!

Your Wedding Coach: Time Frame To Order Your Wedding Dress

All good things take time. You'll need to plan a minimum of 6 months in advance to custom order a wedding dress. Each dress is like a snowflake, no two are exactly alike because of the hand work on each dress. Some dresses have to be ordered with the exact length because of the details on the skirt and that takes time.

The manufacturer needs time to make the dress, ship it and get it to the company. Most dresses take 16 to 20 weeks PLUS shipping time and then you need time for alterations. Sad fact of life, all dresses need some form of alterations.

A custom ordered dress is different from a custom dress. Custom ordered is ordered especially for you according to the company's size chart. A custom made dress is made to your exact measurements and will cost a lot more money. Regardless, it will still need some tweaking to fit properly. No dress EVER EVER EVER will fit you exactly without some form of alteration, and if you are the one in a kabillion exception, congratulations, you've beaten the odds.

The odds of the company having the dress you want in stock in your size and color are roughly the same as hitting Powerball. There is no getting around the time frame unless you want to pay a rush fee and that will only knock off a a couple of months.
The company charges you a rush fee to cut it especially for you. Rush is approximately an 8 week time frame, then you need to add shipping time and alterations. You will not only have to pay the company's rush fee, but the rush shipping costs to get the dress to you.

Not all companies do rush shipping and companies that do rush may not do rush on every dress. The companies also have the right to stop doing rush cuts during their busy times. Avoid disappointment, if the dress is "THE ONE", just order it and don't wait because you think you still have time.

The time of year also affects whether the company can do a rush cut. During Chinese New Year, the companies DO NOT do any rush cuts. Most wedding gowns are made in China. Its a fact of the bridal business whether anyone likes it or not. The intricate hand beading is done in China, you can't get it done in the USA unless you are willing to pay a small fortune.

This past week I had a customer who didn't want a dress made in China. She insisted that she knew that certain lines were NOT made in China. They are. She refused to believe me. Read the tags, lady! Because the line is based in Spain or Australia, the gowns still are manufactured in China. Eden dresses are made in Vietnam. Fact of life, there are few lines made in the USA. Vera Wang's is the only one that comes immediately to mind.

If you've had the "hallelujah moment" where the skies open and the angels announce that this is THE dress, then order it. Don't hesitate and keep shopping. Just do it. You'll save money, time and your sanity if you procrastinate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Quick Fix if Your Crinoline is Limp

Has your crinoline gone limp? Want to freshen it up and give it more body? Put it in the dryer on low heat and let it fluff. The dryer will fluff it up and restore some crispness to the crinoline. Don't leave it in the dryer for a long time or you will have to deal with the wrinkles on the top layer. I don't know how it works, but it does as long as you remember LOW HEAT.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Free Save the Date Postcards, Invitations & Tee Shirt

Here's a special deal for all you brides on a budget. Here is a way to get free save the date postcards and other freebies you can use for your wedding from Vista Print. I use Vista Print all the time and there is no catch. Free is free, you pay shipping. They allow you to order all the free stuff. This stuff is quality. I use it in my business. Every time I order, its like Christmas opening the box.

Click on the link below and go to postcards. These are high quality glossy cards and are professionally printed. You can upload your own photos or logo or use theirs. Use them for save the date cards. Not only is it a unique way to tell the world to save the date, the post card is less expensive to mail and will get noticed. AND ITS FREE!!
Free Deals of the Week

And you can get free invitations and notecards here:
FREE Invitations from VistaPrint.com.Click Here!

And don't forget your free tee shirt!! Here are some things you can print on it: Just Engaged, The Center Of Attention, Bride to Be, Bride, Bachelorette, you get the idea. Did I remind you it was free???

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Show Your Florist Some Love

I was completely mesmerized by a floral artist. The artist took a blank canvas and created an indoor garden. It was breathtaking. He wore a smock and brushed his canvas with asparagus fern and roses. He's step back with an artist eye and stroke and love his creations until his vision came to life. I was blown away. Rarely have I seen artistry like this up close. I've seen it in pictures. I've seen it at world class resorts. But I've never seen flowers come together like this at a fashion show.

I've done about a kabillion fashion shows and I've seen a lot of florists' work. I've seen a lot of wedding photos after the wedding. I've seen gorgeous flowers and a lot of really bad home made work. I've actually seem some that look like Aunt Hilda went to Wallyworld and cut apart cemetery decorations to make wedding bouquets. Anyway, I'm rambling...

Floral artist said that flowers are a luxury item. Hmmm..I'd never thought of that before. Flowers at a wedding are an absolute necessity, like baseball with hot dogs and beer. Flowers set the scene for the wedding. Others consider them an add on that can be drastically cut in the wedding budget.

FA (floral artist) said that anyone can afford to put a florist in their budget if they are honest with their florist. Flowers in season are less money than exotic blossoms that need to be flown in. He must have told me a dozen ways to have a fab flowers. Unfortunately I was so tired it didn't all sink in. Bottom line, he's a pro and you should trust your flowers to a pro. Lay out your budget and let them go to work on a proposal. If you aren't on the same page, its not your florist and you need to keep shopping. Show your florist some love. They deserve it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Bridal Fashion Show is Making Me Crazy!

I have to be up tomorrow at 6AM . I have to wear a formal and heels and pretend my feet don't hurt. I'm there to sell myself, my bridal shop, to meet brides, talk to them about their weddings and tell them about my services. And this is in addition to putting on the fashion show.

This has been the week from hell. Monday, my seamstress calls in with the stomach flu. Wednesday I'm up to bat. I'm too sick to give a damn.

All the plans fall apart on Thursday. I feel like hell, I just want to go home. We have the show blocked. The show promoter decides to send over 4 more models at closing time. I use the term model the same way I call Britney Spears a singer. This motley crew has to be related to the promoter. Two are size zeros who are 5 foot tall. One is 6 foot 2, looks like Elvira and has eyeliner like Amy Winehouse. Scary! The other is a total bitch who I will call TB.

TB has a total meltdown. She LITERALLY screams that she wants the dress Elvira is wearing. Elvira's dress is the only dress in the store long enough for her, its a done deal. TB is gorgeous, but she's a nut case. TB thinks Elvira looks better than her. I try to make peace, but TB literally throws herself on the floor and won't get up. And then it got ugly. OMG. This is such a fun job. Why me?

I picked a Tiffany blue scheme for our booth at the show. Friday, the promoter tells us our booth is three times the size we'd planned. It meant scrambling to every craft and fabric store within 50 miles to find more tiffany blue fabric. Couldn't find it anywhere. Tried to find curtains, sheets, fabric panels, nada, nothing, zilch.

And in between running around like an idiot, we have to haul 3 loads of dresses, mannequins, accessories, bras, slips, shoes, jewelry, veils to the hotel.

I had this grand vision of using the ostrich feathers on the heads of the mannequins to create "feather heads". I actually saw something similar at a couture show in New York and mentally made a note to steal the idea. The ostrich feathers I ordered came in late Friday and they weren't dyed. So, back to the craft store for floral spray.

I took my feathers outside in my yard and start spraying away. Its windy, and my left hand is tiffany blue. My white bichon thinks I'm playing and tries to join in the fun. She now has a blue head and one blue ear. Very chic! Gotta redo my nails, but not before I spill a huge box of beads on the floor. Had to be thousands of them. It was like those cartoons where they are running and getting nowhere. It was like walking on ice and I'm afraid little blue head will eat the beads. So now I have no beads for accents for my display, a blue hand, a blue headed dog, a mess to clean up and a hungry husband.

Today we realized the mannequins we brought to the hotel don't have the open neck blocks to make them "feather heads" so I decide to make feather arrangements for the booth. I'm not going to haul and undress mannequins again. I'm going to use the feathers if I have to dress and dance like a fan dancer.

My assistant and I went outside early today to spray the fabric tiffany blue. It works perfectly until the wind kicks up and my left hand is blue AGAIN.

The car is packed with everything for the booth, including my feathers. My hand isn't blue anymore. I'm ready to rock and roll. Lets get this show on the road, and start pouring the coffee. They're planning a cake dive. I've never seen one in person and I can't wait. A cake dig is then the brides dive into wedding cake for prizes. I'm sure its fun, but what a waste of cake! And I'm secretly ticked off that I can't join in.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Such a Cool Photo Book

I spend my precious time at home avoiding my next door neighbor. She is an annoying trouble making religious zealot but then I'm sugarcoating. She watches us all the time. Trust me, I'm not that interesting. Apparently her Bible doesn't have the commandment: Thou Shall Not Watch Thy Neighbor With Binoculars.

Coffee in hand, I'm sneaking out to the back yard to compose my thoughts. And I hear Roooooooooosssssssssssssse. Good lord, save me.

She has a book in her hand. I figure I'm in for a lot of eye rolling and teeth gritting. You know what? She surprised me. The book was a book of family photos that was a gift from her kids for her birthday. It wasn't just any book, it was a professionally done book that told a story in words and pictures. And it blew me away!

It is from Picaboo.com and it can be used for a wedding album, as a wedding guest book, a gift from the wedding party, the proposal, the wedding showers, the bachelorette party. It looks easy to do online and the price is amazingly affordable. I've seen the quality, its a STEAL and makes an impressive gift. Another idea: this would make a great gift for your bridesmaids as a thank you for being in the wedding. Its a gift she's always going to cherish.

I'm going to give away gift cards to my brides as a thank you gift. Its such a unique gift and it sure beats what we've been giving away.

Its also going to be my Christmas gift of choice to family members. I am tired of beating my head against the wall looking for the perfect gift and overspending. I'm ordering these books!

I've scored a great coupon for you: Two books for the price of one. 8.5x11 custom photo book. Buy 1 get 1 free with coupon code: 1PB1GF-CB Its almost like stealing!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Is Your Mom a Momzilla?

Are you a Momzilla? An out of control mother of the wedding?

A Momzilla is a mother of the bride or groom control freak who insists on supervising every aspect of the daughter or son's wedding. She actually is an out of control control freak who has spent years thinking about her son or daughter's wedding. She is making herself and everyone around her crazy. The wedding is the focus of her life. She lives, eats and breathes the wedding, and it's not her wedding. In her mind, its HER wedding, the wedding she's always dreamed of...hey, didn't you already have YOUR wedding, Mom?

To find out if you are a Momzilla, or if your mom is turning into one, take the test!

Is the wedding the focus of your life?

Do you speak of the wedding as "MY" wedding?

For the rest of the test and to see what's really going on, click here.

You'll also find ways to deal with your Momzilla, so get reading!

Your Strapless Wedding Dress CAN Stay Up

Robert Allen from Wedding Podcast Network commented that strapless dresses fitting properly seem to be a problem. Yes, it is a problem, but there are solutions.

A strapless gown CAN fit properly if you choose the right dress for our figure, a great seamstress and a secret tip.

When you shop for your wedding dress, look inside the bodice of the dress. Not all dresses are created equal. Some are so highly constructed that they have a bra built into the dress. Some have boning only on the sides of the dress. Fat chance it'll stay up.

Boning is the plastic "ribs" that are sewn into the bodice of the dress to give it shape and keep it up. If you buy a cheap, poorly constructed dress, you are out of luck. The shape has to be cut into the dress when its designed and constructed. The right bodice will give you the best uplift, a great bust line and slim your waistline. The wrong bodice will be droopy, hang and bulge in spots and slip down.

Also look for an inner elastic belt at the waistline of the dress. I call it a seatbelt. It pulls you in at the waist and keeps your dress in place. Win win situation. It used to be done only in couture dresses, now its seen in moderately priced dresses.

A good seamstress can take a well cut bodice and make it fit like a glove. It will involve putting in darts at the top of the bustline close to under the arms to make the dress fit flat across your chest. It will keep you from falling out. Depending on the dress construction and the bead work, it can be an inexpensive easy alteration to a more expensive alteration if boning and beads have to be removed and replaced. A good seamstress can do it and you should have it done. Not only will it fit better, you'll look better and be more comfortable.

And finally the secret: Dress tape, also known as fashion tape. Double sided dress tape either called Sticky Straps or Hollywood tape will adhere the dress to your skin to keep it in place. There is also something known as Top Stick which is a toupee tape. Hollywood has known about it for years. How do you think they keep those risque dresses in place without an accident? Check it out on Ebay.
Search fashion tape on Ebay! They have the largest selection I've been able to find. It works, I've used it and it doesn't hurt when you take it off.

My Big Fat Italian Wedding Family Traditions

My family judges a wedding by cookies. The more cookies, the better the wedding. And not just ANY cookies, they have to be homemade by everyone in the family. And God forbid, you bake chocolate chip cookies. They have to be either Italian cookies or pastries. If the table is long and so laden with cookies that its groaning from the weight, then it will get high marks with the family.

And the menu? Foggetabout it! Its etched in stone. You have to have salad with homegrown fresh tomatoes even if its in the middle of winter in the mid west. You have to have pasta, you have to have chicken, beef, and sausage with peppers. Maybe fish. You have to have potatoes, a rice dish, multiple vegetables and homemade bread and foccacia bread. And that's the basic menu.

According to my feisty and adorable 92 year old great aunt, its not how you decorate the table, its what you put on the plates. And if I offer any suggestions, she'll say to me "Shutta upa you. You don't know notting". I just love her.

The reception has to be a huge party and you have to include everyone from newborns to the 100 year old neighbor who saw you grow up. You have to have wine and you have to dance the tarantella and do the cake walk. It can't be just any cake, it has to be done in an Italian bakery and be soaked in rum, an Italian torte. The top has to have a bride and groom topper. Forget the DJ, you have to have a band. If the band includes an accordion player, its pure nirvana. You are expected to dance and toast the couple. I guess if you don't the marriage isn't sanctioned.

That's my family tradition. But lately, we've had some weddings that have raised rancor and eyebrows. My nephew got married on the beach. It was one of the best weddings I've ever attended, but alas, no cookies and no accordion player. My niece eloped to Napa Valley. Cousins did sit down dinners with exquisite centerpieces, no pasta, no cookies, no band. OMG. Who are THEY trying to impress?

Families hold their traditions dear. You can incorporate your family and the groom's family traditions into a modern wedding. Find a cherished tradition and put it in your wedding celebration. It can be as easy as adding a favorite food or playing a certain song at the reception. One bride hired a belly dancer for the reception as a tribute to her new husband's family and she was embraced into a family that had been cold to her.

A cookie table will placate anyone in my family. Just PLEASE nix the accordion player.

Bridal Shows and Wedding Expos

Everyone loves bridal shows. It gives the brides a chance to meet vendors on a face to face basis, find ideas and trends for their upcoming wedding and win some great prizes. As an exhibitor, I get to meet brides, promote my services and talk to them about their wedding. Since I am naturally inquisitive and I have a black belt in talking, that part comes naturally for me. The bridal show gives me a chance to pick up ideas from the brides , network with other vendors and to reconnect with some of my buddies in the biz. Its a win win situation for all of us.

Since I'm the one who provides the fashions, its up to me to set the tone of the fashion show. I have to wear a lot of hats: Planner, negotiator, peacemaker, public relations, dress hauler, booth set up and commentator.

We plan months in advance. We start with meetings with the show producer. We have to meet with the other vendors to brainstorm. The florist and tux shops need the colors of the dresses to coordinate the flowers and tuxedos. The DJ needs to know what music to play in the show. The jewelry store needs to see the styles of the dresses to coordinate their jewelry. All the vendors need to be included and get their face time and their say. Its a long process.

Once the plan is in place, we have to make it happen. We have to assemble props, literature and prizes. We have to factor in a lot of expense. It involves a lot of negotiations with the husbands to help haul dresses, build stuff for the booth and the part they all hate: carrying in the naked mannequins. For gosh sake, they are molded plastic, stop being embarrassed, they are not anatomically correct. Guess a man never outgrows the frat boy stage.

We have to hire models and fit the models into the dresses. Easier said than done. You are dealing with a lot of egos. Some of the dresses need alterations before we can send them down the runway and we'll need to clean them after the show. Seems no matter how many times we tell the models to wear clear deodorant and not to touch their face and then the dress, it happens. Oh, well, its a part of doing business.

Dresses need to be done in sets that make sense and allow time for the models to change into their next dress. Its planned out on a board full of post it notes by a team who go from pulling their hair out to moments of sheer brilliance. Its like putting together a house of cards. If one part doesn't fit properly, the entire thing falls apart. And if something goes wrong the day of the show, we have to have a plan B and be ready to punt. You'll never know.

Behind the scenes are frantic dress changes, dressers going crazy zipping, pinning, lacing and hanging, makeup artists and hairstylists freshening the. hair and makeup and generalized chaos. You'd never know it when the models hit the stage, they smile like the pros they are. You get a great show. Love or hate the dresses and the show, all the vendors put their heart into it and worked hard to entertain you.

I love to see the brides when they find something that fills the niche in their wedding. They get so excited and their mothers can't stop thanking you for helping them out. Sometimes its nothing more than reassurance. Sometimes its free advice. Sometimes its helping them find the elusive puzzle piece.

I love to see the looks on the faces of the brides when they win a prize. It makes all the work worthwhile. Next week I get to see my first cake dig, where brides dig into the cake for prizes hidden on poker chips. Seems like a really big waste of cake to me! ;) I promise to post pictures. Its going to be so much fun!

Wedding Podcast Network Finds Weddingzilla

The Wedding Podcast Network mentioned Weddingzilla in their broadcast! Wow! It totally blew me away that such a well respected wedding authority found little old me and recognized our wedding blog in the same breath as some major heavy hitters and illustrious wedding professionals. Thank you, WPN! We are so honored!

Weddingzilla's blog was mentioned in the same podcast as Darcy Miller's The Bride's Guide , the blog on Martha Stewart Weddings.

Sharon Naylor's I Village blog, Planning in Peace.

Anne Chertoff's I Village blog, From I Will to I Do, wedding ideas and planning advice.

Erica Sapio's Jersey Weddings Blog

Amanda & Lyndsi's Social Design blog

The podcast also talks to Marcy Blum, celebrity wedding planner. She says what I've been saying for years " The gown sets the tone for the wedding." Why do you think you shop for the gown first? ;)

Badgley Mischka talks wedding gowns and accessories. I love love their designs, they seem to understand women. They are debuting a wedding accessory line including wedding rings on the heels of the shoes. How cool is that? Terri Hatcher is their new model, I've seen some of the ads, she looks amazing and so do their products.

The podcast also highlights a reason I started my blog. To dispel a lot of wedding misinformation on the internet. I see so much misinformation given as fact on the internet that it makes me crazy. I want you to know the facts. Lets face it, after 30 years in the wedding business, I should know something about weddings! ;) Brides don't need to be steered in the wrong direction to make costly expensive mistakes.

Listen to the podcast here and make sure you check out their website.

Wedding Podcast Network
is the First and Best Place on the Web to Listen to Advice on Wedding Planning For Today’s iPod Generation!

“We wanted to establish an authoritative resource for brides and grooms that are planning their wedding, but realize they have busy lives, whether they are commuting to work, working out at the gym or running errands,”
said Robert Allen, WPN co-founder and executive producer.

“Wedding Podcast Network is like listening to wedding talk radio on-demand on your iPod or computer.”“With the median age of today’s bride just 27, podcasting is the ideal format to disseminate valuable and entertaining wedding planning information to today’s technology-savvy couple. In addition, WPN’s audio format allows listeners to gain a new perspective on traditional wedding magazine content, something that can only be appreciated by listening firsthand to what a wedding professional or newlywed has to say. WPN visitors can also access original wedding music selections, something not possible in traditional bridal media,” Allen said.

WPN is one authority that won't steer you wrong, listen and learn from the top wedding experts. Count me in as a fan.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This Week's Head Smacker!

Hang in there, I have a point!

"Beth" walked into the bridal salon today. I recognized her, she'd been in a lot of times trying on wedding dresses. Beth was crying. She's purchased her wedding dress off the rack at a big box bridal store on sale. She begged me to help her, said she was having problems with getting her wedding dress altered. No one would touch the dress, and price quotes if she did were running over $750.00.

Always up to a challenge and feeling sorry for her, I said I'd help if I could. What is the problem with the dress?

Beth: (sobbing) "Its too big for me".

Me: "Let me see the dress. OMG, this is a size 12. You are what? A size one?"

Beth: "No, I'm a size zero."

Me: " I am not sure it can be done, that's a full 6 dress sizes. The neckline is too big and its already cut and can't be made smaller. The bodice has darts that are cut and in the wrong spot for you and the armholes are too big. I don't think it can be done without putting a new top on the dress." (Hello...out there....do you hear me Beth?)

Beth: "I want the trail cut off and the lace rounded like it is on the trail. (the train of the dress) I don't want it bubbled up in the back. (She means bustled, I'm translating because I speak bride).

Me: " Beth, it can't be done by just cutting off the train. Your dress has a carriage back that is edged in lace and it can't be put back on because of the way its cut. You'd have to take the dress apart at the top and the side seams and reset the zipper. Its major to do it from the top. "

Beth: "But that's what I want. I spent $250 for this dress 'cause I don't want to spend a lot on a dress that I am only wearing one time. But now I want to wear it again."

*Me...eyes rolling....thinking...where in God's name are you going to wear THIS formal wedding dress again? A Halloween party?*

She says church or another wedding.

*ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? You'd go to church or someone else's wedding wearing a formal wedding dress? Were you hit in the head or are you THAT stupid?*

Me...drawing diagrams, talking about dress construction, talking to the wall. So I come out and ask her...."Beth, why would you buy a dress that is too big, needs cleaned and has a train if you don't want a train?"

Beth: "Because it was in my price range. "

I told her something she didn't want to hear as nicely as I could, but I wanted to scream at her:

You were sold a bill of goods by a really good COMMISSIONED salesperson who didn't give a damn about you. You spent $250 and your alterations are going to cost you triple that amount and its going to look like crap. That's a thousand dollars. Add another $100 for cleaning. Your bargain is a really expensive bargain. You could have ordered a brand new pristine dress that fits you and needs only minor alterations for half that amount. Or you could have bought an informal wedding dress without a train in your size for the amount you paid for your too big, dirty dress. Of course, I didn't say what I though,but I wanted to! When she walked out the door, I did the old head smack and muttered wtf a few times.

I know she'll schlep the dress to a dozen more places until she finds someone who will rig her dress together. She'll either wear it and tell everyone her wedding was ruined by that seamstress, or she'll buy another dress at the last minute and tell everyone costs and stress ruined her wedding. She'll blame everyone but herself.

My point:

  • Don't be talked into anything when you are shopping for your wedding dress. If it doesn't feel right, don't buy it. Don't be high pressured.

  • When you are considering buying an off the rack dress....ask the in store seamstress to look at the dress and give you an estimate of your alterations costs. Every dress needs some form of alterations UNLESS you fit the size chart exactly and are 5 foot 9. The odds of that are slim and none. You have to factor the cost of alterations and add it to the cost of the dress.

  • Add all the extras such as cleaning into your bargain dress. I personally would not buy a dirty dress, no matter how cheap the price. Not only is it a hygiene issue, but cleaning and pressing is expensive.
  • If the decide to buy a dress off the rack, don't buy it because its a bargain you can make over. Buy it because you love it. Buy it because it makes you look fabulous and FEEL fabulous. Don't buy it just because its cheap, you'll so regret it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm Speechless! You HAVE to see these weding pics

My friends in the wedding industry love to share wedding photos.
These just came across my desk.

I'm speechless. Look for yourself.

Nothing like posing in front of a garage.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ready To Wear Trends Translate to Wedding Fashions

The hottest fashion trends in ready to wear always show up in bridal and wedding fashions. Look for the todays fashion trends to hit the wedding '08 fashions.

The biggest trend for fall '07 is sparkle and shine. What, you say? Haven't wedding dresses always been sparkly and shiny? The answer is yes and no. There have always been wedding and bridesmaid dresses that have had no sparkle and shine. And in the 80's, sparkle and shine exploded all over dresses, veils and headpieces. Ah, the excesses of the 80's with their huge puffy sleeves, may then never return!

Today's bridal fashions have sparkle in the details: Austrian and Swarovski crystals, tiny delicate beads on the dresses and the veils. Metalic sparkles on the shoes. We are seeing wedding shoes that aren't just dyed satin, you know, the ones that gather dust in the closet and you've never worn again.

These shoes have both sparkle and shine and are from Coloriffics. They can be worn again, which is a big plus! And they are being worn from everyone from the bride, maids, moms and wedding guests.

Bridesmaids dresses are embellished with beads and crystals, in small, delicate details. Big sparkly broaches accent the waistlines of simply cut dresses. They are pinned on so you can wear it on your everyday clothing. Coming back is iridescent taffeta fabric which has the shine! Ditto for sexy, slinky charmeuse fabrics.

Accessories for the wedding party include crystal necklaces, earrings, bracelets and small beaded evening purses. There's the sparkle!

Why I Started a Wedding Blog

I started this wedding blog for you, the bride. There is so much misinformation on the Internet by supposed experts that it engages me. It seems anyone can call themselves a wedding expert because they got married. If that were true, there are people who have multiple marriages that are beyond expert status. The unsuspecting bride takes their word as gospel. The net makes it easy for a person to make up a persona. They are anonymous.

I look at the wedding boards where brides post and can't believe some information that is posted. Brides crow about buying a couture name brand gown directly from China for less than the cost of the fabric that it would take to fashion the dress. You aren't getting the couture dress you saw in the magazines or the bridal salon. Check back later to see the bride crying because she bought something that is unwearable. I know, I've seen the original and the dress from China. See my post about buying your dress directly from China.

I'm not trying to sell you a dress, I'm trying to prevent you from making an expensive mistake . I've dealt with the brides who've made the exact same mistake! They are stressed and have to buy another dress at the last minute. Their bargain caused them to spend WAY more money than they planned.

I see brides expressing their opinions as facts. Its their opinion, not a fact. So they love a certain line of invitations, bridesmaid dresses, etc. Its their opinion. The line of products may be excellent. Their experiences may be excellent. Take the information for what its worth.

This blog will tell it like it is. Whether you agree or not, its based on fact and experience. I don't know everything there is about weddings. I learn something new everyday. There's always something new to learn, a new idea, a new trend, a new twist. I do my best to keep up and keep learning.

Here is my bio:
  • I've owned a full service bridal salon for over 30 years.
  • I designed a line of bridal veils that were nationally distributed and now do only custom work through my bridal salon.
  • I've been a wedding planner for 25 plus years.
  • I am an expert at destination weddings and destination wedding plannings. See my web site Beachbride2be.
  • I've written and published wedding articles and been quoted in Vows magazine, the magazine for wedding professionals.
  • I've organized and promoted many local bridal shows and held seminars for the brides about wedding planning.
  • My mother designed clothing in New York and she taught me pattern drafting, dress construction, fabrics and fabric draping and dress alterations. I could copy a dress from a picture, but you can't afford me. ;)
I intend to give you the facts, just the facts and nothing but the facts.

Have a happy wedding!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wedding Blog Roundup

There are a lot of wedding blogs, these blogs caught our interest this week. We thought you might like see what caught our attention!

From Always A Bridesmaid, "I was involved with the groom."
Score one for the bride, zero for the friend. Yikes!

From Bridezilla.com Bridezilla Loves Free Money, Wedding Contests Round Up
Who doesn't love free? Enter and win!

From Laptop Bride, The Fake Wedding Cake Less calories maybe?

From OffBeat Bride Best Picture EVAH! Hey, I kind of like her spirit of independence!

From Decidedly Uncomplicated, Not Just for Flower girls, Pomander floral bouquets. Its about time!

From Our Wedding Plus, The Impact of Chairs on your Event. The pictures are amazing, lots of great ideas you can use for your wedding.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Celebrity Weddings, I'm Obsessed

I admit it, I am obsessed with celebrity weddings. I want to see all the pictures. I want to know who made the dress. I want to see what the attendants are wearing. I want to drool over the men in tuxedos. I HAVE to see the flowers, read the wedding menu, see the cake and hear about the music.

I don't know what fascinates me about celeb weddings. I don't know if its the opulence. I don't know if it comes from the money is no object so I can do everything that I want mindset. I don't know if its maybe an in your face sort of thing: I am a celebrity, therefore, I will produce my wedding with the same gusto that the producer does in one of my movies.

I don't know what piques my interest, I just know that I have to see it. And its not just me, there are a lot of you out there! You know who you are. Its going to be discussed by my brides, they'll dissect the bride's hairdo, talk about her wedding ring and the shoes she wore. I will admit that I'll drive home and run into the house just to see Entertainment Tonight so I can see the photos. I need to get a life.

I remember being glued to the television watching Prince Charles marry Diana. The pomp and circumstances kept us talking for weeks. then there was Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla. (Why do the British call her Camiller?) We were transfixed by the hats. We just don't see hats like that here.

There are weddings that cause us to smack our heads: Star Jones Reynold's wedding excess; Tom Cruise marrying Katie Holmes, a Catholic girl from Ohio in a Scientology wedding in a castle in Italy; Britany Spears and anyone; Pam Anderson and Kid Rock and today's bride, Pam Anderson and Rick Salomon.

We really want to wish them happily ever after. We want them to live happily ever after. But lets face it, do we believe it? Or do we really care?

But I just know that tomorrow, someone will ask me for a dress like Kate Walsh wore or a dress that looks like Cinderella's dress when she married Prince Charming. And I'll laugh and hit the dress racks. I'm with one of my own.

Casablanca Bridal Gowns

Casablanca Bridals

An unbiased review from someone who just loves this company! Ok, I admit, I AM biased. I've sold wedding dresses for 30 years and rarely does a company come on the scene that produces wedding dresses that causes me to get excited and rave about the company. Great companies with great customer service, a superior product at an affordable price are rare in this business. Casablanca has managed to do all that and more.

Casablanca's designers have taken the time to figure out what women really want in a wedding dress. Brides want a good fit. They want to look and feel like a princess or a sophisticated woman on their wedding day. They want exquisite fabrics, laces, embroidery and real hand sewn crystals and beadwork. Casablanca delivers on all of the above.

Casablanca is known for their delicate embroidery and details. Their embellishments are not garrish, they are tasteful and feminine. Casablanca is known for cutting a great fitting dress. Not only will this company make the dress in regular or petite length, they'll do custom work as well. You need the gown shorter or longer? No problem. You want to add straps? How wide, beaded or plain? You want to add sleeves? Do you want satin, sheer, embroidery, lace, beading, long, short, cap, three quarter length? You love the dress but want the neckline higher? Lower? Want it sweetheart instead of rounded? The back lowered? No problem. They'll do it. They'll cut the dress to your exact measurements, and if you don't gain or lose an ounce, the dress will fit you exactly without any alterations. And, they include an inner bustle FREE in the train of the dress. That saves you $$$$, you don't need to pay a seamstress to bustle your dress for the reception.

I've NEVER received a problem dress from this company. I've never had a dress not match the measurements we've submitted. I've never had a dress with a spot or a stain. I can't say this about any other line of wedding dresses.

If you are shopping for your wedding dress, you owe it to yourself to try on Casablanca's wedding dresses. For the money you'll spend at a big box discount store, you can have a genuine Casablanca that will blow every other dress in its price range out of the water. It will fit better, look better and the quality will be light years ahead of what you see in this price range. Prices range from $599 and up. Your friends will think your've paid triple the amount!

Pamela Anderson star of the Tommy Lee Honeymoon Tape Weds Rick Salomon Star of the Paris Hilton Tape in Las Vegas

Pamela Anderson, blonde bombshell and aging starlet, star of the Tommy Lee honeymoon tape, wed Rick Salomon, star of the Paris Hilton tape last night in Las Vegas.

Is this Hollyweird at its strangest or what?
According to US Magazine, the wedding, with about 60 guests, took place after Anderson's performance at her show "Han's Klock's The Beauty Of Magic" at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

"Anderson wore a white Valentino mini-skirt; Solomon wore a black tux with a black beenie," it said.

People Magazine reported that the marriage took place between her shows at the Mirage hotel in front of family and friends and her two sons with Tommy Lee. They reported she wore a denim Valentino dress.

Pam's web site, under the heading "The Adventures of Scum and Pam have begun," Pam said: "Rick and I are truly grateful. We are toasting the casino right after we get married after my show."

Pam, what's with the name Scum? And when will the video of the wedding night be hitting the stores? And please, guys, no beanies at YOUR wedding.

Pamela Anderson weds Rick Solomon, click here for details.

For the story from People, click here.

TMZ has the report online, showing Pam in a white dress, but it doesn't say if it is THE wedding dress.

From Yahoo news, click here.

From MSNBC, click here.

Fox entertainment report.

Wall Mart Wedding: Attention Shoppers: Wedding in Aisle 5

My reaction: OMG...are you serious?

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) - Attention Wal-Mart shoppers, wedding in
lawn and garden. Employees Chet Eldridge and Danna Hornback tied
the knot Thursday amid the retailer's flowers, shrubs and lawn chairs.
Eldridge, 51, an automotive manager, and Hornback, 45, an arts and
crafts associate, met during the store's employee orientation. She agreed
to their first date in the furniture section. After the couple became engaged,
a manager suggested they exchange vows at the store.
"We met here; he asked me out here. Why not?" Hornback said.
The only unexpected turn occurred when the familiar
"Attention Wal-Mart shoppers" announcement over the public
address system broke into the ceremony.
After the couple was pronounced husband and wife, the cheers
could be heard in customer service on the other side of the store.
Springfield is about 40 miles west of Columbus.
Information from: Springfield News-Sun, http://www.springfieldnewssun.com

Pam Anderson plans quickie Las Vegas wedding TONIGHT, October 6

Stop the presses...Pam Anderson is planning on marrying Rick Solomon (of the notorious Paris Hilton sex tape and ex-husband / annulled husband of Shannon Doherty) tonight. She is planning on tying the knot TONIGHT in between shows of her show "Hans Klok's The Beauty of Magic" at Planet Hollywood. According to Associated Press reports, she's planning on announcing the wedding at the late show and then inviting the audience to toast the couple at a casino bar.

Read the entire story here.

I hope Elvis is officiating.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Create A Custom Wedding Website

Brides...this is pure genius. Do you have any idea how much time and stress this site will save you? The online RSVP's alone will keep you from pulling out your hair and spending time on the phone tracking your guests. This is a time saver. Check it out! And just think of how much money you'll save on postage.

Don't we all love all the new online time savers and organizers?

Keeping your friends, family and wedding party in the
loop of your upcoming wedding can be very time
consuming and burdensome.
But not anymore. Having your own Personal
Wedding Website will take care of all that, plus much more.
Having a professional wedding site is a great
way to share all the news and events on your
upcoming wedding. You can post the
date, location, time and directions to your Stag,
Shower, Rehearsal and other events.
You can post your Registry and add items to a
personal Wish List, list local attractions for friends
and family that are visiting and collect best wishes
with your Guest Book.

Getting the word out about your site is as easy as
including your web address on your invitations.
We have seen many invitations with "For more
information, and directions,
please visit www.your-wedding.com."
This way, everyone invited to your wedding,
including those who can't make it, can go to your wedding
website to get up to date information. You can edit any of
the information on your site, even the style, to keep it
updated and reflect any changes you have made. Another great
benefit of a web address is the ability to put it on
wedding favors, wedding bulletins or for posting at
the reception. This way people will come back to see your
wonderful wedding day photos.

Keeping track of those coming to your wedding has never
been easier either. Offering online RSVP is one of the
most popular features of a wedding website.
It saves you time and money, no extra envelopes or
stamps required, and long waits for getting back the
RSVP's in the mail. Just put a simple link to your site
in the invitation and your friends can RSVP at your website
and you will be sent a message right away. Your site will
also keep the RSVP's in memory so you can manage your list
and know who you didn't hear back from yet.

The above features, along with many more, will really make
planning a wedding, and sharing it with friends and family
around the world, a pleasurable experience.
A Personal Wedding Website, let everyone
share the joy of your big day.

Article Courtesy of ewedding.com

Create a custom wedding webpage!

Wedding Shoes From London, Pink!

There is a new line of wedding shoes just landing in the US from the fashionistas in London. The shoes are Pink by Paradox.

Paradox is also the same company that produces the pricey couture wedding shoe line, Benjamin Adams. Pink has all the pizzaz of the couture line, without the price. It has the details, it has the style.

The shoes are available in white or ivory satin in most styles. They can also be custom dyed. The shoes size in European sizing, so you have to convert your size as in most fine European shoes.

They are so new to the US, they are just becoming available. They are a hot- hot-hot line in the UK.

Pink also is producing some sweet children's shoes. The first picture below is a big girl look for little girls the other is all irridiscent sequins for the little princess. These are some of the cutest girls shoes to ever hit the market! They are so sweet!

Bridesmaids Dresses in 54 Colors!

Forever Yours Bridals, Expressions Bridesmaids , sent out their new color charts and their dresses are now available in 54 different colors! 54 DIFFERENT COLORS! I'm totally blown away by the color choices. Most manufacturers offer a fraction of colors, they offer all the colors in all their fabrics:, satin, charmeuse, chiffon and bobinette fabrics. They are also doing taffeta in 25 colors. If you are looking for that special color and you can't find it, check out Forever Yours Expressions Bridesmaids.

If you want to match a Tiffany blue, their aqua is the match. We've even matched the color chart to a Tiffany bag, its exact!

Expressions Bridesmaids come in a large range of sizes from size 0 to size 30 and they are sized generously. They also have nice sized seams for alterations. Most bridesmaid companies size their gowns smaller than normal sized dresses. These run true to size or larger than normal size.

And, here is the best part: every dress has a matching flower girl AND junior maid dress! Now you won't have to shop in a tri state area and spend weeks on the net looking for a dress for the grooms 12 year old sister. She'll look like everyone else! Woo Hoo! Junior maid dresses for that tween age are nearly impossible to find. Not only does FY do the junior maid, they are age appropriate. Not too old, not babyish. Just right. Junior maids want to be one of the girls and FY pulled it off with style.

All of their strapless dresses come with detachable spaghetti straps that hook on in adjustable loops inside the dress. All their dresses come with a matching handbag, a drawstring bag that matches the dress. Its the perfect place to stash your cell phone, lipstick, tissues and mints.

The prices are very affordable. Expect to spend somewhere around $150, give or take a few dollars. They do some nice Levkoff knockoffs. If you don't want to spend the money for a Levkoff, or Levkoff has the style but not the color, check out Forever Yours.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Very Cool Wedding Gift, An Affordable Canvas Painting!

Today a bride showed me one of her wedding gifts and it blew me away.
It was an engagement picture of the couple that had been put on canvas and brush stroked to look like an oil painting. She was beyond thrilled, it took an ordinary photo and made it into a treasured heirloom.

What a great and memorable gift. Will you remember who gave you the Cusinart 20 years from now? I bet you'll never forget who gave you your "painting".

The company is Canvas on Demand and here is their link: Wedding and Anniversary Showcase The process looks really simple. An idea would be for the wedding party to get together and go in on the cost painting as a group gift. It would be affordable for a group and less expensive than if you all bought individual gifts. And it will be the HIT of the couple's wedding gifts.

I was surprised that the prices were affordable. The finished product that I saw looked a LOT more expensive than the prices on the site. In fact, I'm going to order one myself of my husband and myself renewing our vows with Elvis in Las Vegas. ;)

I snagged a coupon from them : $20 OFF $200 order at Canvas On Demand - Use Code LS226 at checkout

Canvas on Demand LLC

Martha Stewart and The Today Show Wedding

I'm up an hour earlier than usual to watch the Today Show wedding. I only get up early for weddings and trips to Las Vegas. If Martha throws a wedding, you KNOW its going to be light years ahead of anything you can afford and breathtaking. And everyone is going to be talking about it.

Martha is dressed in a pretty green silk jacket and believe it or not, she's snapping pictures on her digital camera. Go Martha!

The groomsmen look totally handsome in their gray Michael Kors suits. Gray is a hot color and them men look amazing. The suits have texture, on camera it almost looks like a fine tweed. The men look totally HOT!

The bridesmaids are wearing a coral Watters and Watters tea length dress in an irridiscent taffeta. I am totally impressed, the alterations on the dresses are top notch. The tops all fit perfectly, the hemlines are even and the dress doesn't pull anywhere in the waist area. Perfection! Bad alterations drive me nuts. You won't notice, but I sure do! Love the silver Stewart Weitzman shoes on the maids, they take the look up a level AND they can be worn again and again.

The bride's mom is wearing a gold silk full length suit, the grooms' mom is in a soft feminine pink ribbon jacket and chiffon skirt. Both mom's look amazing!

The bridal couple, Cody and Jessica, are so cute, they look like Barbie and Ken. She is resplendent in her Reem Acra ballgown. But horrors, she's NOT wearing a tiara, just a veil. Please don't let this be a sign, we all love tiaras and will use any excuse to wear one. A princess bride DESERVES a tiara! She's wearing cluster diamond earrings and no necklace. It totally works. She's gorgeous.

The flower girls look like they are wearing dresses by US Angels.

The couple exchanged vows under an open canopy of roses, lots and lots of coral toned roses done in bouquets. I can write pages on the clothing, on the flowers, all I can say is WOW. Martha sure knows what's she's doing. There is draped greenery outlining the wedding area. The floral setting must have taken hours to set up and I'm sure Martha tended to every detail. Amazing!

The bridesmaids carried hand tied bouquets of creamy and coral toned roses. The coral dresses were the perfect backdrop to showcase the bouquets. All the maids looked beautiful.

The reception is going to be at Tiffany & Co. , breakfast at Tiffany's? They flashed on the store, it looked like a fantasy setting. Clear lucite chairs, tall conical centerpieces, pure Martha & Co. This is the first time Tiffany's has ever allowed a wedding reception in their store. I wonder if anyone has ever THOUGHT of having their reception in Tiffany's. I've wanted to crawl in their display cases and roll around on the jewels, but I've never thought of having a wedding in a jewelry store, even though it is Tiffany's.

The reception preview shows champagne glasses with a Tiffany blue rim. You can do the same thing by dipping your champagne glass into blue sugar.

The send off to Tiffany's....a yellow cab driven by Scott Baio. Swear to God!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wedding Day Beauty Starts Months in Advance

Wedding day beauty starts months before the actual wedding day. Its working on your skin so its fresh, free of breakouts and wedding day picture perfect. Its conditioning and working with your hair so it looks healthy and shiny. Its drinking a lot of water so you stay hydrated and your skin stays plumped. We all know what we need to do to be healthy, it needs to be done in advance so the cumulative effect comes together on your wedding day.

Please don't fake tan yourself into a flat dull tan with raccoon eyes. Too much sun, real or fake and bake will line your skin. Use a good sunscreen and moisturize your skin. A too dark tan will NOT look natural in your wedding photos. I've actually had brides who fake and baked and had white lines in their forehead from squinting in the sun. Instead of a fake and bake or blistering yourself in the sun, have a spray tan done a day or two before the wedding. It will look a lot more natural and you won't subject your skin to harm.

If you are going to have a facial or a peel, do it in advance to make sure your face doesn't blotch or have a reaction to the process. Then you can repeat it closer to the wedding.

Try any new makeup products in advance in case you have any allergic reactions to the product. Try it before you buy it. Or if you are going to have your makeup done professionally, have a trial several weeks before the wedding.

Please Don't Make Your Own Wedding Veil...

...and here's my reasons why......

Unless you are a professional, this is not an arts and crafts project. This is your wedding veil, the crowning topper to your wedding dress.

So you bought a pattern and some tulle and it looks easy...but I've seen some really screwed up crooked concoctions because its NOT as easy as it looks. Its hard to get it gathered and sewn onto a comb evenly. Trust me on this one. You'll have flat spots and bunches and it will look really bad. Its really difficult and tedious work to sew on beads and a hot glue gun will burn through the tulle or glue the tulle to your work surface. You can't embroider on tulle with an ordinary sewing machine, it will get stuck in the feed of the machine and tear it. And how do I know this? Because I've done all of the above at one time or the other. I had a line of bridal veils that I sold nationally. I've done a lot of custom veils and I've got all the right tools and the experience and its very difficult and tedious work.

The tulle you buy in the fabric or craft store is not the same quality as you would get in a purchased veil. The fabric store tulle is heavier, has wider holes in the tulle and it is stiffer. It may not be wide enough and give you the fullness you need for your veil. You can't seam tulle. The stiffer tulle doesn't fall, drape or hang properly. It sticks out where it shouldn't.

You wouldn't buy an expensive pair of Italian shoes and then wear a dress you made in a sewing class to a formal affair. Its the same thing as wearing your wedding dress with a homemade veil. It just doesn't work.

If you need to save money on your veil, there are bargains on great veils. Every bridal salon has marked down veils. Ebay has a lot of deals. And you can always borrow one from a friend of family member.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wedding Veil or No Wedding Veil?

Should you wear a wedding veil with your wedding dress? Hello, you ARE a bride and you need to wear something on your head to balance off the wedding dress. A wedding dress looks unfinished without something on your head. You don't HAVE to wear the blusher over your face. A wedding veil finishes off the dress and your look. It frames your face and can actually make your face look thinner and trimmer in the photographs.

Look at the pictures above. The veil finishes your dress and your look. You look put together and the veil balances off the length of the train. It gives a more vertical look that elongates and thins.

Veils are very lightweight and are comfortable to wear once they are properly attached to your hair. Some brides choose to remove their veil at the reception after all the pictures have been taken. Most brides will wear a tiara and keep the tiara in their hair all night long. They simply remove the veil and dance all night long.

The wedding veil finishes off your bridal ensemble. There are veils with beaded edges, Swarovski crystals and delicate embroidery. Others have thin satin ribbon edge, cording or a cut or rolled edge. The bridal netting be a matte finish or a shimmer illusion called sparkle net. Your wedding veil can be the perfect topper to take a wedding dress from ordinary to breathtaking. The right veil makes you,the bride, just pop in your wedding pictures and look fresh and radiant.

The prettiest veil picture I've ever seen happened to be my niece on her wedding day. She was photographed in a flower strewn meadow. The wind caught her veil billowing in the breeze and the photographer snapped the picture at that exact moment. The picture is breathtaking and won many awards.

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