Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Tying It All Together

Dreams, time, energy and fittings have gone into selecting THE GOWN for your wedding day.  Nothing can compete with it.  What remains is to enhance its beauty by selecting the perfect accessories and gown enhancers.

You've gotten the call - your gown has arrived.  It is time to make sure that all of the items that will be worn that day are perfect as well.
  • *Undergarments - These are critical to insure that your gown fits beautifully.  Be sure to purchase the right bra, the right slip, and if your gown is a mermaid style, a trusty pair of Spanx.  Bring all items to the salon when you have your first fitting.  If something isn't right, you'll have time to replace it.
  • *Shoes - It doesn't matter what style you've chosen, just make sure you've worn them at home on carpeting to insure comfort and that they are with you at that first fitting of your gown.  You must wear them when the hem of your gown is being pinned.  Heel height determines hem length.  Once hemmed you can't change your mind.
  • *Veil or Headpiece - If you didn't make its selection when you chose your gown, now is the time.  Decide on length, style and gown compatibility.  Make sure it is comfortable by working with its placement.  Does it work with your plans for your wedding day hair style?
  • *Wrap - Rarely needed in warm weather, but essential in northern climates, the wrap you choose absolutely must compliment your gown.  Don't settle for a style that competes with the dress or looks like an afterthought.  If you can't find exactly what you want, ask the seamstress who is doing your fitting to help create the perfect accessory.
  • *Bustle - If your gown has a sweeping train that you will want bustled for the reception/dance, be sure to bring along a friend to your fitting.  She should take notes during the fitting about how to bustle your gown.  Some directions will be simple - two ribbons tied together, but some may be more complicated.  Waiting to have your bustle "installed" while the band plays on without you isn't good.  Have a few practice runs before the final pressing.
  • *Jewelry -Bring the pieces you are considering to that first fitting to make sure they still work.  IF the gown is heavily beaded, you may wish to consider little or no jewelry.  If the gown is plain and elegant - the minimalist look, you can consider impact jewelry.  Just make sure the jewelry chosen compliments the gown, not competes with it.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Looking Good

Most women would agree that there is something special about a man in a tux.  They just look good.
But they could look even better if they took time to insure that the tuxedos they wear - fit.  There are some tips for insuring that tuxedos (or for that matter any suit) fits properly.  Most menswear specialists would offer these guidelines.

*Buttons - For men's jackets on tuxedos or suits, the simplest rule is to follow the "always-sometimes-never" rule.  For all occasions, always button the top button, sometimes the middle button and never the bottom button.

*Sleeves - Most rental suits don't pay attention to sleeve length and that is a mistake.  Granted a rental suit won't fit like a tailored or custom fit jacket, but always pay attention to the sleeve length.  It always looks best if about 1/4 " of the shirt cuff peeks out below the sleeve when the arms are at his side and relaxed.  More than that or an "ocean" of cuff peeking out looks bad.

*Jackets - The best possible jacket length is when arms are relaxed at the man's side the bottom of the jacket hits about an inch above his knuckles.  The shoulder seam should hit exactly where his shoulder ends.  More than that and the jacket looks funny with the seam sliding down the arm.  Less than that and the man looks like his jacket is a size too small.

*Trousers - Hem length on trousers can be hotly debated and individual men have their own preferences, but what you want to avoid at your wedding are pants that are too short or too long.  The best rule of thumb is hem the pants so that there is a slight break (if any) and the hem should just touch the shoelaces.

If the men in your wedding party order their tuxes from a reputable dealer and give the shop plenty of time to get merchandise in, you have a better chance of having suits that fit well.  If the men get into the store early when the tuxes arrive, there is still time to make any size adjustments that may be required.

Friday, January 2, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Bridesmaids don’t have to Match

The days of 6 young women dressed identically, with matching shoes, matching hairdos, gloves, earrings and flowers preceding the bride down the aisle are disappearing.  Today's bridesmaids have the luxury of picking out their own best look (that might actually be worn again) in various lengths, color families, fabrics and styles.  As one bride put it, "It's too difficult to take a group of girls and put them all in the same color and style.  Everyone has her own personal style.  An eclectic mix looks more special."  (Lauren Conrad of Paper Crown Bridesmaids).

Here are some elegant options to consider.

  • ·         Pick two complimentary shades (peach and taupe, gold and bronze etc.) and let the bridesmaids pick the color scheme and gown style they wish.  You can specify length (knee or floor if you wish) and neckline (strapless or not) but the color choice is up to the bridesmaid.

  • ·         Are sparkles your thing?  Outfit your maids in gowns with bling - sequins, beads, studs can work for maids as long as the shine is uniform.

  • ·         Maybe your bridesmaids will  all wear street length dresses but the maid of honor is in floor length but all in the same color family.

  • ·         If you want them to look "together" select several different styles that you like in a color you want, but let your maids each pick the dress they want from your selection.

  • ·         Choose separates.  A number of bridesmaid manufacturers have created lines that offer skirts of varying length with 3-6 options for tops.  You pick the color and  let your maids pick their style combos.

  • ·         Pick a color and let maids choose the fabric and style.

  • ·         Don't forget prints.  Once a color group has been chosen, consider putting the maids in prints and the MOH in solid color - or reverse it MOH in print and maids in solids.

Individual tastes and preferences can be considered when choosing attendant gowns.  Just look for a uniting factor - color, length, fabric or silhouette - so the result isn't haphazard.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Who is Walking You Down the Aisle?

While tradition says that the bride is escorted down the aisle by her father who then "gives" her in marriage to the groom, today's brides have many options.

And while the bride's escort is not considered an attendant, this person is a very important part of the ceremony and clearly a part of the bride's life.  The person chosen could be a father, a step father, a brother, an uncle or even a mother, aunt, sister, cousin or friend.  Whatever role that person plays in the bride's life, this function in her wedding is very important and walking with the bride down the aisle on the way to her new life deserves remembrance.

Many jewelers are creating a special lapel pin or brooch for presentation to that special someone.  It shouldn't be elaborate or showy, but it should be tastefully done perhaps with a monogram and date or with a symbol of the wedding - bells, doves, a flower or the bride's initials - there a many options.  The purpose is to say thank you and give that person a keepsake that speaks to the importance of what that person has meant in the bride's life.  It can be given at the rehearsal dinner if attendant gifts are being given then, or saved for a few moments before the processional begins.  As they are lining up, the bride pins this memento to her escorts lapel or gown with a special hug and heartfelt thank you.

Friday, December 19, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - What About Attendant Gifts?

What is traditional?  Jewelry the female attendants will wear in the wedding and engraved money clips for the groomsmen are the usual fare.  But what about bridesmaids who have chosen different style gowns in the fabric and color the bride has chosen?  While one strapless version can handle the necklace, maybe the jewel necked version can't.  Brides may choose to give the wedding jewelry as a gift to their attendants because they want the symmetry of everyone the same, but brides may give more thought to a gift that is more personal and says thank you for being in my wedding and an important part of my life.

We are seeing more brides - and grooms too - putting real thought into their attendant gifts.  And we are seeing more individual gifts that reflect that person's tastes and preferences rather than a one size fits all gift.  Granted, giving individualized gifts takes more time and thought, but can reflect a deeper appreciation for that person's role in your life and your wedding.

A cookbook or monogrammed measuring cup for someone who likes to cook, a novel by a favorite author for a passionate reader, two tickets to a movie theater with a gift card for dinner or drinks at a favorite hangout, a clutch handbag for the" fashionista", electronic gear for the gizmo fanatic or a special bottle of wine for the aficionado are all options to consider.

Wedding party gifts don't have to be "wedding" focused, nor is there such a thing as a "standard" gift that is expected.  These are treasures you have found to say thank you to people who matter to you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - Ringing News

For many if not most brides, a diamond engagement ring with matching wedding band is the ultimate.  But with all of the options available to today's bride, more and more creativity is being seen.

Many jewelers are able and willing to create one-of-a-kind designs for their bridal customers who want their matching bands to be uniquely theirs.

 Some jewelers are creating specialty rings that combine birthstones and diamonds and others are specialists in creating new designs from heirloom or vintage pieces.  For some modern brides their "something old" may well be the diamonds or other precious stones that have come down from family members.  Combining stones from both mothers' wedding bands for the new bride is a powerful symbol of family unity.

Some couples are looking at ceramic rings.  Many modern jewelry designers have created stunning designs in ceramic that are shatter and scratch resistant, lightweight and functional. 

Of course, there is a vast market for the traditional simple band of silver, gold or platinum chosen to offset the drama of a gorgeous diamond engagement ring.

Whatever the couple chooses, there has never been a wider selection or more creative options available.

Monday, November 24, 2014

WEDDING NOTES™ - How Many Attendants Should I have?

Like many aspects of wedding planning, there were once rather rigid guidelines that ruled the how and the who of weddings.  Some experts used a formula that said there should be a bridesmaid and usher for every 45-50 guests.  Fortunately, that has long been abandoned.

Bridesmaid numbers depend on who is close to the bride and who she wants to stand up for her.  Likewise the groom is freer to select who and how many of his friends to include.  But when selecting attendants, remember an important guideline - how many can you afford to have?  Every attendant is entitled to bring a guest so realize that every one you have means two for the reception per plate charge.

Once you've decided on a number, the bride and the groom should prepare a priority list of attendants.

You'll need to consider each other's families in creating the selection list.  A bride may wish to include the top tier of her sorority sisters leaving no room for the groom's sisters or the groom may wish to have a group of fraternity brothers plus his own brothers.  Once a number of attendants is agreed upon, something has to give.

What happens if the bride has eight friends she can't live without in her wedding party, but the groom - an only child has only 4 close buds?  If your budget can handle the expense, there are always ways to handle an unbalanced wedding party.  For the processional, one groomsman can escort two bridesmaids - one on each arm.  Or if symmetry is important, forget about male/female and just go by the numbers.  You have 12 attendants total and there will be 6 on each side of the bride and groom - 2 guys and 4 girls on each side.  This works especially well in wedding photos.  The result is balanced with color and diversity on each side of the bridal couple. 

It is your wedding day and common sense and good manners should take precedence over the "rules".