Monday, October 20, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Wedding Day Accessories

The wedding gown is clearly the star of the day.  You spent a good deal of time choosing it and can't wait to wear it on your big day.  How you accessorize that gown is important to consider.  Your bridal consultant will have helped you select the proper undergarments, the best shoes and the right veil or headpieces to complete the look, but there are other areas to consider.

  • Jewelry is important but unless you are wearing "the family jewels", don't be tempted to over accessorize the gown with what one consultant has called "glaring distractions that draw unwanted attention”.  Jewelry worn on your wedding day should be simple and delicate.  The best advice is not to be upstaged by your own jewelry.  If you have a piece of heirloom jewelry wear it and let it be your "something old".

  • Gloves for the wedding party are staging a comeback and are being worn in more and more weddings.  Fortunately, there are many choices available.  The formality of the wedding gown and the time of day of the event have governed the length of the glove.  Wrist length gloves and usually worn in the morning or afternoon events while elbow length gloves usually are chosen for evening weddings.  Over the elbow style have traditionally been worn only at ultra formal events.  But today's bride really only has one key guideline to consider.  As long as the top of the glove doesn't overlap the sleeve of the gown, it's ok.  Today's strapless bridal gowns frequently are accessorized with over the elbow length gloves.

    In addition to various lengths, brides can choose from fingerless gloves or pre-slit gloves which make the ring ceremony much easier to manage.

  • Glasses can present a problem for some brides and grooms who wear them on a daily basis.  Photographers sometimes ask them to remove the glasses for photos to eliminate glare.  If one also has contacts and wears them regularly, there is no problem.  Wear contacts for the wedding.  But don't just buy contacts for the ceremony if one is not used to them.  Instead, consider your glasses as part of your wedding day look.  Perhaps considering "wedding day" glasses can be part of your wedding trousseau and a gently rounded frame with very thin ear pieces will help the veil and headpieces fit more securely.  Consider antiglare lenses.  If you wear glasses every day, you want to look like yourself in your wedding photos.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - The Label in Your Wedding Gown

In an effort to make sure that brides get what they pay for when they buy their wedding gown, the Federal Trade Commission has established guidelines that federal law requires on wearing apparel.

Jodie Bernstein, Director of FTC"s Bureau of Consumer Protection has said that the "emergence of discount ordering services - either through toll-free telephone numbers or the Internet - has spurred some retailers to remove disclosure labels from their gowns.  It is not against the law to remove manufacturers' labels and replace them with a store's own labels, but it is illegal to sell or show a gown that doesn’t have the required information at all."  The required information must be on every garment offered for sale, including wedding gowns.

This is what is mandated:

  • *The identity of the manufacturer, distributor or retailer, either by name or by registered identification number (RN).

  • *The garment's fiber content.

  • *Federal law requires that clothes carry a label that identifies the country of origin.

  • *All garments must carry permanently affixed care labels telling consumers how to clean and care for them.

Well established bridal salons stand behind the gowns they carry and meet all FTC requirements.  Full service stores stand behind all of the merchandise they carry and display with pride.

For copies of this policy go to the FTC web site at http://www.ftc.gov and request copies of "Wedding Gown Labels:Unveiling the Requirements"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Fit for the Groom

Make sure that the groom and his wedding party are sized and fit for their formal wear by someone who knows the correct look.  Most formal wear experts will tell you that tuxedos fit somewhat differently than the jackets and trousers men wear on a daily basis.
  • *Tuxedo pants tend to fit looser than the pants men wear daily.  That fact makes most men think the trousers are too big and they lobby for a smaller size.  But tux pants have a looser fit on purpose.  It keeps the pleats flat and the pockets from bulging open.  They don't fit like everyday jeans!
  • *Tuxedo shirts should fit well at the neck - no gaping and no restrictive tightness.  A perfect fit lays comfortably at the neck.  The shirtsleeves should edge just past the wrist and no more than one inch of cuff should show beneath the sleeve of the jacket.
  • *Pant legs should rest gently across the top of the shoes.  Too frequently, tux pants are not properly hemmed and either touch the floor in the back or display too much sock.
  • *A properly fitted jacket will not show strain at the seams nor will there be pulling across the shoulders.  The jacket will button comfortably without gaping.
  • * The cummerbund should fit comfortably at the waistline and should not slip or slide out of place.
  • *If there is a vest as part of the package, it should button or close comfortably around the shirt without puckering the shirt of sagging front or back.
Alerting the groom/groomsmen to these fit variations before the wedding party is fitted, will help insure that they look their best on your big day.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Degree of Formality

One of the most important early decisions you can make is how formal you want your wedding to be.  That degree of formality will drive many of your wedding day choices and the information you share with guests.  Here are the traditional explanations of dress for the various levels of formality.

*White tieis the most formal.  For man, that means a black tailcoat with matching full-dress trousers, a white waistcoat, a white shirt with a stiff wing collar worn with a white bow tie, white button-on suspenders and pearl shirt studs.  For women it means a full length gown, fine jewelry, elegant shoes, styled hair and well done make up.  Know that if you choose this level of style for your wedding, most guests will have to incur the expense of renting formalwear.  It should be stated on the invitation.

*Black tie means you expect a formal elegant dress on guests.  Men should wear a black dinner jacket with matching trousers without cuffs, a black cummerbund or waistcoat, a white shirt with a black bow tie.  For women it means an elegant gown - either cocktail or calf length for a daytime wedding or full length for an evening wedding.  If you expect this level of formality, be sure to state it on the invitation.

*Other designations - Semi formal, Cocktail, Informal, Dressy Casual or Casual are the usual other choices and in many areas leave guests unsure at to what it means.

"Semi formal dress means that men may wear dark suits and ties with dress shoes and women may choose either cocktail or full length dresses with tasteful jewelry, evening shoes and handbags.

Cocktail means dress or business suits with ties for men, and a cocktail length dress for women.

Informal means that men may wear a suit or a sport coat, with or without a tie, and women can wear any nice, shorter length dress with appropriate accessories.

Dressy casual is one of those terms that is hard to pin down, but most folks agree that it mean a sport coat with contrasting slacks for men and a nice dress or pantsuit for women.

Casual means a shirt and slacks for men, and a skirt or pants with a blouse or casual dress for women.

Monday, September 29, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Plugged In or Not?

This era of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and hashtags, some additional social "rules" are being developed.  And it is a wise couple that addresses the issues raised by social media before their wedding so that guests know their preferences in advance.  It should not be stated on the formal wedding invitations.  There is no line for "please unplug".  However, it can be stated on the couple's wedding web page, printed on the programs, by a printed reminder posted at the guest book or even a part of an admonition from the celebrant at the ceremony.

As one wedding planner has said, "It's obviously not going to go away ---it's about managing it."  "There are some large issues like when a friend share's a photo of the bride's dress when they are out shopping that are not appropriate.  You always have the person who overshares."  It is understandable that couples want to be able to control the images that go out there for their wedding.

Here are some hints from experienced wedding planners about how to manage social media etiquette.


  • ·         Guests should refrain from taking photos during the ceremony.  That has been a long standing rule and is not unique to this electronic age.  The problem for today is the number of cameras in the room.  At one time there were maybe 3 or 4 in addition to the professional photographer hired to capture those once in a lifetime opportunities.  Now every guest with a phone has a camera.  Spread the message widely. 

  • ·         Guests should be sensitive to the photos they do post.  Photos should show the bride and groom in the best light.  Save those candid shots of the bride or groom for the couple alone.

  • ·         The bride and groom should both unplug for the day.  Focusing on the events of the big day rather than checking messages or snapping photos should be the guiding theme.  They should both agree on the social media stance.  Guests should unplug during the ceremony.

  • ·         It is an absolute no-no to show photos of the bride's gown before the wedding day.  Even if a bridesmaid took photos in the fitting room while shopping with the bride, IT DOES NOT GO PUBLIC.  Do not post!!!!

  • ·         Do not post anything about the wedding without clearing it with the couple first.  Honor the couple's privacy.  It is common courtesy.

  • ·         Unless you are a professional photographer hired by the couple, do not post video content on YouTube or other social media outlet.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Five Mistakes Brides Make When Shopping For Their Wedding Gown

1.  Bringing an Entourage -  It's hard to know if the reality TV shows have influenced the bride and convinced her that she needs to have a dozen opinions about her wedding gown before she can make a choice.  If it isn't the TV shows then there must be something in the water.  It is not a good idea to show up with a crowd.  It is stressful for the bride and adds very little to the efficiency of the day.  Most consultants will caution the bride to bring at most - her best friend, her mother and maybe one other person whose opinion she values.  Unless the bride to be has promised grandma that she can have the final word on the bride's gown in return for paying for it, try to keep the crowd down.  For practical matters, many bridal shops are simply not equipped to deal with 8- 10 extra people with each bridal party.  Do yourself a favor and take only those few persons whose opinion you value.

2.  Shopping too Early - We know that brides are excited to begin the search for THE GOWN, but more than 12 months in advance is seen as a hindrance rather than a blessing.  Styles can (and will) change, your tastes may change, your plans may change.  Before the great gown search begins, you should have a good handle on your wedding budget, the venues for the ceremony and reception and the kind of wedding you have in mind.  Certainly buy the wedding magazines, start thinking about your wedding themes and potential sites, but until things are locked down and you know how much you can spend and the sites you've chosen, it is better to wait.

3.  Trying on too many gowns - We all know brides who have found their gown after trying on only a couple of styles, but out of fear that they will miss some other gown if they don't shop around and try on dozens of gowns, they keep going from store to store.  Some brides brag that they have tried on dozens of dresses.  Others claim that it is fun to try on dozens at an equal number of wedding salons.  But most experienced consultants suggest that trying on more than 7 or 10 tops, is a waste of time because gowns become "a sea of white" and the bride emerges confused not delighted.

4.  Demanding the wrong size- Wedding gowns can run 1 to 2 sizes smaller than RTW.  Don't get hung up on a specific size.  Sizes can vary from designer to designer.  Listen to the consultant who is assisting in the fitting room and remember that alterations are always easier when a gown has to be taken in rather than let out.

5.  Being swayed by deep discount - Everyone likes a bargain and if the dress you love and must have is on sale, then good for you.  But to buy your wedding gown solely because "it is such a fabulous deal" isn't the best idea.  We always caution a bride against buying a dress she doesn't love just because it is on sale.

To insure that you shop for the best with the best, plan to shop for and purchase your gown at a full service bridal salon where the selection and service will make this once in a lifetime event  a truly memorable one.  Shop at a store that has been selected for membership in National Bridal Service.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Top Wedding Gown Trends for 2014

While there are classic gown silhouettes and fabrics that continue to be popular with brides, every season focuses on some new looks that have appeared on designer runways.  Your full service bridal salon is the place to find the best of the classics as well as those looks that are new and gaining popularity.

·         Vintage looks that reflect the styles on the PBS hit Downton Abbey.  This is reflected in long, flowing gowns with hand sewn beading and sparkle.  Also part of this resurgence are ball gowns with massive skirts, lots of petticoat linings, tiers of ruffles and fabric.  If your wedding is to be held in a manor house or other historic venue, this is the look for you.

·         Fit and Flare is a silhouette that shows off body curves.  It is fitted from the bodice, over the waist and hips and somewhere about the knees, the gown flares out to flatter your silhouette and provide movement when you walk.  

·         Lace continues to grow in importance for a significant slice of the bridal market.  When the fabric is intricate as is lace, the style of gown tends to be more classic letting the fabric star.
There tends to be less bling and fewer tiers of skirts on lace gowns, so that the fabric itself is the star.  If your look is classic but romantic, consider lace.

·         Focus on the back is huge this season.  Open, plunging backs either bare or covered with sheer fabric and lots of beading and sparkle are spectacular.  This look is a good compromise for the bride who would like to show some skin but is tired of the strapless look.

·         Sleeves are making a return after years of strapless gowns.  3/4 length are the most popular.
      We can thank Kate Middleton for reclaiming sleeves on wedding gowns.

·         Color shows up on gowns for this season.  While in many areas, white gowns are in the majority, some gorgeous soft colors in the creamy ivory family flatter many brides.  Others are opting for some pale pink as the dominant color or hinted at in the trim.  Gold is being used as an accent color on wedding gowns.  It is showing up in rich embroidery and in beaded belts.

·         With gowns so detailed, wedding jewelry should be far less showy.  The dress is likely to sparkle so jewelry shouldn't.