Friday, September 30, 2011

Ask the Expert!: Bridal FAQs

Check out these answers to frequently asked wedding dress and alteration questions answered by our very own expert... Laura!

1. When should I get my dress altered?

About two months prior to your wedding date is best. This period of time is perfect for 2-3 fittings, and at this point weight fluctuation is minimal so the bride avoids a re-alteration.

2. Should I leave my dress in the dress bag or let it breathe?

It is best to leave the dress in its bag in a dark room until a few days before the wedding. After your final fitting, when the dress has been pressed, it should be hung up outside of the bag so it doesn't wrinkle and crease.

3. Should I order a size bigger than my normal dress size?

No. Every size chart runs differently. It is best to purchase based on your measurements. If there are inconsistencies, you should generally choose the dress that fits your largest measurement. However, this depends somewhat on the style of gown. An a-line dress for instance, is more forgiving in the hips. Therefore if your hip measurement doesn't exactly correspond, the dress will likely still fit if the other measurements are true to size.

Friday, September 16, 2011

An Outdoor Wedding Survival Guide

"[The] original hippie children...

did things the flower children were doing later- outdoor weddings."

-Vivian Mathers

The outdoor weddings of today have come along way from the hippie nuptials of the 70's that bring to mind the flowing peasant dresses and daisy-chain crowns of yesteryear. But whether your wedding is a simple backyard affair, or an elaborate garden gala, here are some tips to consider when planning your own outdoor event!

1. RESEARCH- A seemingly obvious point to consider is the date and time of your event. The perfect outdoor wedding is dependent on the weather. And while the luxury of perfect weather cannot be planned, it is a good idea to consult a farmer's almanac or a similar record of average temperatures and rainfall while you are planning. Often, these resources are more reliable than your own memory of the season, and can also bring a little peace of mind. Time of day is also a consideration, especially if your venue has little shade. Be sure to visit your location at the time you plan to hold your ceremony to observe the direction and brightness of the sun.

2. BACKUP PLAN- When all your research proves to be in vain, you will need a backup plan. Whether you have a tent rental on hold in preparation for rain, or budget to purchase some last minute outdoor heaters in case of sudden cold, a backup plan will allow you (and those close to you) to relax... if even just a little. :)

3. CONSIDER YOUR GUESTS- It's your day, but comfortable guests are central to a memorable and enjoyable wedding celebration. A great way to make sure your guests comfortable at your outdoor celebration is with your wedding favors. Favors such as personalized bottled water, or paper fans are perfect for a warm-weather wedding, while providing inexpensive shawls or throws for cooler weather is also thoughtful. Another consideration for warmer weather is making sure there are readily-available drinks, and opportunities for your guests to sit before, during, and after the ceremony.

4. BREATHE EASY- While all these preparation can certainly help to make an outdoor wedding go more smoothly, there are some things that cannot be planned... even by the most determined bride-to-be. The magic of the perfect outdoor wedding comes with certain unavoidable risks. Plan to the best of your ability, and then breathe. It will make the wedding planning process, and ultimately the wedding itself far more enjoyable.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Different Kind of Bridal Bouquet

In ancient Rome, brides carried bunches of herbs in lieu of flowers to symbolize fidelity and to scare off evil spirits. While this superstitious function has been abandoned, herbs are making a comeback as a vintage-feeling, aromatic companion to the bridal bouquet. Herbs, like flowers carry special meanings. Some wedding-appropriate herbs include lavender (best wishes), rosemary (remembrance, true love), and marjoram (joyful living). Check out these ideas to incorporate this ancient bridal tradition into your own big day.

Image 1: A lavender bouquet,
Image 2: A bouquet of thyme, rosemary, and sage mixed with hyacinth and lily of the valley,
Image 3: A bouquet of mixed herbs and mums,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ideas We Love: Boutonnieres With Flair

Check out these interesting takes on the age-old boutonniere tradition! With materials ranging from fabric and buttons to feathers and cacti, these arrangements show that a boutonniere doesn't have to just be a simple space filler, but can be a unique expression of a couple's personality, and the theme of their wedding.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

3 Tips For Your Best Wedding Photos

1. It may seem obvious... but scheduling a consultation with your photographer prior to your wedding allows them to get to know you, and get a sense of the style of photography you like. This can also be a great time to review the photographer's past work, and share photos of yourself that you like and dislike so the photographer can begin planning which angles would be best to shoot from. An engagement session can also be a great trial run.

2. Ask your photographer to take photos of the location, food, and decor. After spending months carefully planning these details, it is all-too-easy for a bride to miss the execution of these little things in the flurry of the wedding and reception. Having the details on film not only gives a better sense of the event as a whole, but will remind you of these aspects down the road.

3. Make sure to take candid shots... not just of you and the bridal party, but also of your guests. While formal photographs of the wedding are certainly a large part of a photography package, photos of you and your guests in candid celebration allows you to remember these moments and who was apart of them, more than posed photos alone.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wedding Whites: Colors Decoded

"It's a nice day to start again. It's a nice day for a white wedding."
-Billy Idol

Every bride is faced with a decision. From the dress... to the shoes... to the tablecloths... we must select the color. But even a decision as seemingly simple as a "white dress" is not always so simple when considering the face that the bridal industry at-large is fluent in so many varying shades of white. So, in an effort to de-mystify...

Pure White: A very bright white. While pure white is thought to be a traditional choice, it is important to note that pure white is likely to provide a harsh and stark contrast to many skin tones, excepting those with very dark skin, on whom the color can be quite flattering.

Off-White: Off-white is traditionally a white with a tinge of gray or yellow to create a slightly less harsh color. Off-whites are likely to flatter yellow, olive, or dark skin tones.

Ivory: Ivory is a white with a touch of yellow. Shades of ivory are fairly universally-flattering, but especially complement those with fair skin tones.

Champagne: A darker white than any previously listed, with a yellow or pink hue. Champagne colors have a classic "aged" look, and are flattering to many skin tones. Those with redder complexions, however, should be careful not to choose a champagne that is too pink in hue.

Cream: Also a darker white, with a brownish or yellow hue. Creamy shades are very flattering to those with pink or red complexions.

Image: GettyOne

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Signature Cocktail

These days many couples are foregoing the open bar in favor of a signature cocktail to be passed before the reception meal. Hand selecting a cocktail as a couple is not only a fun retreat from pre-wedding jitters and planning stress, but can add a personal touch to the before-dinner mingling. Try this Real Simple favorite... a modernized combination of a the retro class of a mojito and the exotic spice of a margarita that is as universally appealing as... Lucy and Desi for instance.

Lucy and Desi
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces tequila
5 slices cucumber
1 ounce agave syrup
1 ounce sour mix
1 ounce lemon lime soda or sparkling wine

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint, tequila, and cucumber. Shake with the agave syrup, sour mix, and ice. Pour into a glass and add soda. Mint and a cucumber slice makes an attractive garnish!


Monday, June 13, 2011

In Bloom: 4 Summer Flowers For Your Bouquet!

"Go easy on the bouquet.

Bouquets that are too large or too loud will detract from the dress."

-Vera Wang

Every well-researched bride-to-be knows that the trick to saving money on the bridal bouquet is selecting flowers that are in-season. While this can include flowers with year-round availability such as roses, less traditional flowers that naturally complement the season can also make for an eye-catching bridal bouquet. For brides craving a summer wedding, here are some beautiful 'late-bloomers:'

1. Sunflower: Sunflowers reach their peak in the summer months, and only a few are required to create a wonderfully full, yet simple bouquet. Sunflowers symbolize loyalty.

2. Zinnia: Zinnias are an inexpensive flower available in a variety of beautifully bright colors. Zinnias symbolize friendship.

3. Dahlia: With their spice-like fragrance and Aztec origins, the dahlia adds a flair of the exotic at little cost. Dahlias symbolize gratitude.

4. Hydrangea: Hydrangeas are another flower where just a few can create a full and well-shaped bouquet. Hydrangeas are available in the popular bright green and blue colors as well as white, pink, and purple. Hydrangeas symbolize devotion.

Images:, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Hanjel Lianeras Photography, Halo Photographic, Troy House

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I am beyond excited to share my best friend's gorgeous, gorgeous wedding!

My best friend since childhood got married a few weeks ago. I was fortunate to not only be her maid of honor but I also got to make several custom gowns for her and the bridal party. The whole tropical, laid back vibe of the wedding was so Nicole. She is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and is one of the kindest girl’s I know.

Nicole words cannot express how happy I am for you. It was a beautiful ceremony and a fantastic day for all who were there. I love you so much!

Nicole modeling off the jewelry I got her from my chic boutique!

The bride and groom

Matt and the boys

Loved this cake

I'm actually excited about wearing this dress again!

To love, laughter and happly everafter...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Fascinating" Headpieces

The term “fascinator” was once used to describe a lacy or crocheted shawl-like headpiece worn during particularly formal occasions during previous centuries. In modern fashion, the term has taken on a more whimsical and fashion-forward connotation, most recently in the attire of the wedding guests of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Unlike their stuffy predecessors, modern fascinators are known for their style, playfulness, and unique personality. In fact, while the use of these beautiful and interesting headpieces maintains a certain formality, they are increasingly used as a modern option for brides in pursuit of a less-traditional look, or with a flair for vintage style. Birdcage veils are one example of “fascinator-esque” pieces that bring the whimsy of fascinator fashion to a bridal ensemble, while still retaining a romantic veiled look. In complete departure from the veil, a floral or feathered detail could also serve as a fascinator. In either case, the customization of the elements in a non-traditional bridal headpiece allows for a uniquely personal look that can be as formal, classic, playful, or nostalgic as the bride herself. Observe, for example, this floral detail made for bride Jill, that combined lace from her dress with a piece of her mother’s wedding veil to make a unique and beautiful piece that perfectly combines past with present, and tradition with contemporary style.

Birdcage veil photo:, Oakley Photography

Saturday, May 14, 2011


"I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature; lace always evokes for me those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of trees embroider across the sky, and I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin."

Coco Chanel

A few weeks have passed since the royal wedding, but bridal fashion is still abuzz with talk of Kate’s gown, and comparisons to style icon Grace Kelly. The lace, perhaps the most surprising element considering Kate’s penchant for simplicity, has also become a re-popularized trend in bridal gowns. Departing from its over-worked stereotype, Kate demonstrated that an all-lace gown can be stylish, classic, simple, and even as fashion icon Tim Gunn states, “sexy.” Here are some tips for shopping for your own lace dress:

1. Decide how much lace you would like. An all-lace dress is beautiful, but a dress with lace accents can also echo classic style, and is more affordable for the budget-conscious.

2. Sometimes lace details can be added to simpler gowns. If you’re in love with a certain silhouette, keep in mind that there are still embellishment options if you wish to jump on the lace bandwagon.

3. If you’re in doubt as to whether lace is “modern enough” for you, try gowns with a more modern neckline… adding a contemporary edge to the classic look. This is perhaps one of the most raved about elements of Kate’s dress.


Friday, April 29, 2011


Dress by Sarah Burton
Photo: US Magazine, Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Time is Now-KSU Fashion Show 2011

The Kent State fashion show presented a wide variety of interesting inspirations and genres this year, debuting senior work as well as individual pieces created by underclassmen. Check out former intern Kelsey's McClellan's senior collection!

"My collection is inspired by organic architecture. Whereas a building complements its environment, clothing too should augment our natural shape. The resulting form is fluid and supple, like the body. My design reflects the liberation of the bridal genre from some of its formality and structure, and instead encourages celebration through simplicity, comfort, and the use of sustainable materials."

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Shoe Love is True Love!"

Marilyn Monroe, a famous fan of the peep toe heel, once said "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world!" The peep toe heel has long been regarded as a fashion-forward mix between an open and closed toe bridal shoe. With a reference to vintage styling, the peep toe adds a flair of old hollywood glamour to any wedding look. To update this style for your event, try incorporating floral or gemstone details to this classic shoe silhouette to create a fashionable, yet distinctly bridal look. Check out these peep toes by the Grace Footwear line carried by A Bride's Design!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Wedding Reception

I am delighted to say that our first ever "The Wedding Reception" bridal show at Avon Oaks Country Club was a success. Thanks to my fabulous models who rocked the gowns and all the very talented vendors who helped make our show incredible. My favorite part was test tasting the cupcakes from About the Cake. My taste buds were held powerless against exceptional selection... I just had to eat two!!! Everything was beautiful at the show and can’t wait to do it again!Thanks to "The Wedding Reception" Participating Vendors: A Bride's Design, A Touch of Italy Bed & Breakfast, About the Cake, Ahern Catering, Amy Nixon Events, Avon Oaks Country Club, Becky's Photography, Big Sky Travel Cecilia Ilg McKay, Harpist, Catherine's Chocolates, Event Source Isagenix, Jia Li Salon & Spa, Mary Kay, Shutterbooth, Silpada Designs, Streetplayers DJ Company & Emcee Service Trio Creative, Weddings in Cleveland, Willow House

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wedding Cakes For Spring

"My dad thought all wedding cakes should be white. Times have changed."
-Frances Wollenzien

We hope you find inspiration in these wonderfully striking wedding cakes... all of which are interesting twists on classic wedding motifs, but with a distinctly spring feel! From flora to fauna, consider these innovative ways to individualize your cake by departing from the ordinary and traditional in favor of the beautifully unique!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

3 Bridesmaid Dress Trends For Spring!

Dresses for breakfasts, and dinners, and balls;
Dresses to sit in, and stand in, and walk in;
Dresses to dance in, and flirt in, and talk in;
Dresses in which to do nothing at all;
Dresses for Winter,
Spring, Summer, and Fall.
~William Allen Butler, "Nothing to Wear"

This just in: A runway report from the Spring 2011 bridesmaids lines!
(Be sure to keep these ideas in mind when planning your warm weather wedding!)

1. Chiffon- This season designers favored light and sheer fabrics such as chiffon as opposed to heavier satins. This material, while bringing an element of almost fairy-esque fantasy to your bridesmaids' wardrobes, is also perfectly comfortable and breathable for the warmer Spring weather!

2. Neutrals and Darker Colors- Pastels were noticeably absent from the Spring runway. Instead, designers chose to highlight neutral colors such as beige and tan, as well as navy blue and darker greens and magentas.

3. Playing with Length- Across the board, the runway shied away from mid-length dresses in favor of either the short and flouncy babydoll silhouette, or a long, full skirt.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Something New, Something Old

One-Of-A-Kind, Creating Something New with Something Old

Our newest project has been the creation of one-of-a-kind bridal headpieces. We thought this would be a creative way to incorporate pieces that are special and vintage and put them with newer, trendy pieces to create a piece that is truly one of a kind and meaningful to wear on your wedding day. We have used pieces of the mother of the bride’s veil and lace from her wedding gown to create a piece with “something new and something old” that the bride will always be able to cherish and remember wearing on her special day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day Redux!

"A cold hand, but a warm heart."- V.S. Lean

It's finally warming up here in Northeast Ohio, but to further banish the winter blues, we invite you to share your heartwarming Valentine's Day stories with us! Proposals? Meals? Surprises? Let us know how you and your loved one celebrated!

Image: Courtesy of, Photographer: Tina Phillips

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Four Honeymoon "Hot Spots!"

With the weather so cold, we thought that a few warm weather honeymoon destinations might be the perfect distraction from the ice and snow! Plus, with these close-to-home destinations, you can avoid the hassle and complications associated with international travel, and instead enjoy a relaxing, yet still exotic honeymoon.

Napa/Sonoma Valley, California: The warm weather, rolling hills, and some of the best wineries in the country make this a scenic and unique honeymoon destination. Plus, romantic stateside locations are a great way to save money while still getting away.

The Florida Keys: The Florida Keys boast all the sites and experiences of a romantic island getaway, minus the passport requirement. In addition to beautiful beaches and scuba diving, The Keys also give their visitors an opportunity to swim with the dolphins.

Maui, Hawaii: Maui has long been of the country’s most popular honeymoon destinations! From luaus, to outdoor activities, to island-style pampering, Hawaii offers a variety of unique experiences surrounded by unrivaled scenery.

Puerto Rico: If you’re craving a Caribbean honeymoon that’s a little closer to home, try the island of Puerto Rico, which offers warmth, and off-season vacation prices in the winter! In addition to island amenities, Puerto Rico is also rich in historical interest, and quaint, ocean-side attractions.

Image: Courtesy of, Photographer: Dynamite Imagery

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cheers to eight years!

I’m so excited to announce that we are celebrating eight years in business! For the past eight years we have had the pleasure of assisting thousands of brides finding their perfect gown! To celebrate this great achievement we are passing the gifts along to you! For the month of February you will receive $80 dollars off your Bridal Gown! We look forward to celebrating together and helping you find your perfect dress!

Photo By: Becky's Photography www.beckysphotography

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year of Color!

The wonderful world of color forecasting brings us these shades for 2011! Whether selecting your wedding palette, your prom dress, or your spring wardrobe, these colors are sure to be current!

1. Honeysuckle- This "just right" shade in between fuschia and coral has been chosen as Pantone's "Color of 2011!" We have chosen to feature these cute cake toppers from LittleVale in this pretty pink.

2. Beeswax- This warm yellow is bright and cheery, as is this vintage-style bouquet from sugarpinkboutique! Be sure to also look at non-traditional wedding flowers such as gerber daisies that come in shades of yellow.

3. Blue Curacao- This bright aqua color echoes a relaxed Caribbean vibe. The unique butterfly arrangement atop this wedding cake adds color and whimsy to the simple white tiers.

4. Regatta- This rich and flattering blue is perfect for bridesmaid dresses, your floral arrangements, or your decor. Paper lanterns or these puffs from PartyPoms are a fun and simple way to brighten up your banquet hall, and incorporate your wedding color palette from floor to ceiling.

5. Russet- A rich chocolate color can be just as sweet as your chocolate cake or confections! Dark brown is a beautiful neutral addition to your color palette, and works well for any time of year. These wool shoe clips from finkshop can be attached to almost any shoe, and are a cute way to bring color and character to your toes!

6. Silver Cloud- These koi invitations from dearemma show off this classic metallic with stylish graphics and a formal, yet readable, script font.

For more up-to-date colors visit