Lisa Miller

The Truth About Wedding Gown Sizes

by Lisa Beth Miller Ok…so you have finally found your dream wedding gown. Your sales consultant at the bridal boutique is all ready to measure you and order the fabulous frock you have selected. You are expertly measured and ready to order. Everything seems to be going smoothly until she whips out the designer’s size chart and informs you which size should be ordered. Many brides are shocked to learn that the wedding gown size recommended is a bit larger than the size they would normally purchase when shopping at the mall. This humbling experience is very commonplace. As your official wedding diva, I am going to give you the real scoop on this scenario. Bridal designers are not using the same “vanity” size charts as your favorite department store and mall shop designers! Wedding gown designers are traditionalists in …

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I’m So Fancy: Figuring Out Wedding Formality

by Lisa Beth Miller Wedding invitations should always include a hint as to how formal the event will be. As a bride, groom, or guest, you need to actually understand this terminology in order to appropriately select what you and your guests will wear. Here are some helpful guidelines: Semiformal daytime- This level of formality indicates that men will wear suits, usually in a color such as charcoal or navy if the weather is cooler, or in shades of white or khaki if the weather is warm. Four-in-hand ties are also traditionally worn (this means long ties, not bow ties). Women would usually wear daytime-appropriate dresses or suits for a semiformal daytime wedding. Semiformal evening- At this type of wedding, men may wear dark suits or tuxedos with ties and vests. Women would wear cocktail style dresses. Everyone would look a bit more dressed up …

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What A Father Of The Bride Or Groom Should Wear To The Wedding

Photo by Sikora Photography

by Lisa Beth Miller This week, I was approached with a question that I thought was important enough to be addressed: What exactly should a dad wear to the wedding of his son or daughter? Seems simple enough to tell dads to dress up, but should they match the actual wedding party? No! Dads are not to be dressed exactly like the groomsmen, as they are not technically members of the wedding party. The key here is to dress dads in keeping with the appropriate level of formality for the event. So if the groomsmen are in black tuxedos with green accessories, dads should wear tuxedos, but not the same one and not with the exact same accessories as the groomsmen. The dads are also not required to match each other. So using the previous scenario (black tuxes and green vests and ties for the groomsmen), perhaps the …

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Material Girl: Becoming Familiar With Wedding Gown Fabrics

by Lisa Beth Miller Buying a wedding gown can be a very intimidating process. While it is often best to shop in a reputable bridal boutique that employs well-educated bridal consultants, sometimes a bride should do a little homework first! Before shopping, be sure that you have a clear vision about where and what time of year your wedding will be held. It is important that you have some concept of what fabric weight will be appropriate for your event. As you shop for your perfect gown, it is very likely that your sales consultant will be referring to some of the following fabrics: Any season Silk: The most common, cherished, and priciest wedding gown fabric, silk is a smooth and soft natural fiber. Satin: Very common in wedding gowns, satin is a densely woven silk with a lustrous sheen on one …

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How to Plan an Amazing Bridal Shower

by Lisa Beth Miller Bridal showers are a traditional and fun part of any bride’s wedding preparations. The typical shower involves a ladies’ luncheon and lots of shower gifts, but some hostesses are going the extra mile and come up with more creative and interesting ideas for their parties. Here are a few ideas to make things both fresh and fun. Go retro! Ok, maybe you like the typical formula for an old-school bridal shower. Go with it! Plan lots of fun games, serve retro cocktails (whiskey sours, anyone?), and serve classic appetizers like meatballs and mini-quiches. Looking for a place to purchase the perfect bridal shower games or favors? Check Etsy for some unique options! Go somewhere fun! Bridal showers do not have to be held in Mom’s living room! A restaurant or country club can offer a “mini-getaway” for the …

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Cheers! All About Wedding Toast Etiquette

by Lisa Beth Miller So, the wedding reception is going fabulously well. Your guests are relaxing, enjoying the food and drink, and admiring the style and décor of your event. Sounds like it is the appropriate time to propose a toast! The purpose of wedding toasts is twofold. The traditional toasts given by the best man and maid of honor (and sometimes others who wish to express their thoughts) are meant to pay tribute to the newly married couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness. These toasts should be brief, respectful, and only contain stories and references that everyone will understand and appreciate! Now is not the time for private jokes, inside stories, and reminiscing about the bride’s or groom’s wilder days! After the toasts from the attendants and guests, the groom and bride also traditionally take the floor. …

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What’s A Mother Of The Bride Or Groom To Wear?

by Lisa Beth Miller Nowadays, the role of the mother of the bride is changing. She is a fashionable woman who not only wants to express her personal style at her daughter’s wedding, she wants to make a fashion statement, feel comfortable, and shine like the star that she is on this special day. Mothers (of the bride OR groom) are cherished guests of honor and often hosts of a wedding. They are NOT required to wear dresses to match or coordinate exactly with the bridesmaids! They should also never be pressured to wear beige or to “blend into the background.” Mothers deserve to look their absolute best on this very important day. Here are a few guidelines for dress shopping for mothers: The mother of the bride no longer has to wear a gown that sweeps the ground. Now, more than ever before, the mother of the bride is …

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Forever Your Girl: Dressing Your Fabulous Flower Girl

by Lisa Beth Miller The adorable little flower girl! Who could possibly be cuter? This special little girl plays an important role in the wedding day and deserves to be dressed like the princess that she really is! How does the bride go about deciding how to dress the flower girl? Well, there are two schools of thought on this issue. One trend suggests that the flower girl should be dressed in a child-sized (and child appropriate) version of the bridesmaids’ dress. The bride can either ask if the bridesmaid dress designer also makes a child’s version, or simply obtain color swatches of the bridesmaids’ dress and shop with a designer who makes children’s dresses exclusively. The second possibility is to take the approach of dressing the flower girl as a mini-bride, in a white or ivory dress that coordinates more …

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Baby One More Time: Creating a Christening Gown From a Wedding Gown Train

by Lisa Beth Miller Arielle and Daniel Hedrick’s 2017 wedding was a memorable and meaningful day for all, even their beautiful future daughter! Plans for the wedding began with dress shopping. Like most brides, Arielle had a checklist of essential qualities she needed for her chosen wedding attire. “I definitely wanted a dress that had a long train. I knew I wanted to use my wedding dress for what I hoped would be my future daughter’s baptism dress,” Arielle explained. Arielle’s dress dreams came true when she found her gown at Amy’s Bridal Boutique in downtown Manassas. There, she discovered a beautifully unique Justin Alexander gown. The dress featured a sweetheart neckline, layers of tulle and lace, an A-line silhouette, and of course, a dramatic train! “My train was cathedral length.  The buttons started in the middle of the back …

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Wedding Stationery: A Guest’s First Glimpse Into Your Wedding Vision

by Lisa Beth Miller Wedding stationery may seem like a minor wedding detail, but it is actually an important part of your overall event concept. Wedding stationery is a couple’s first opportunity to delve into the “personal branding” of their big day. Sounds overly serious and corporate? It isn’t. Personal branding just means that the engaged couple is closely planning the overall look and concept of their wedding day, and that they are making sure that every aspect of the day is appropriate and recognizable. Generally speaking, the “save the date” cards are a wedding guest’s first glimpse into the style and personal branding of the engaged couple. These are traditionally sent out very early (well before the invitations), making it critical for the bride and groom to develop their personal branding well in advance. For example, if a bride and groom are planning …

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Wedding Tuxedos 101: Dressing Your Men For The Big Day

by Lisa Beth Miller Once you have picked your wedding colors and the groomsmen for your wedding party, it is time to select tuxedos. Finding tuxedos for your wedding party is an easy item to check off your to-do list, and gives your groom a pivotal role in the wedding planning process. Most tuxedo shops work with out of town wedding members; don’t let that be an excuse for tardy measurements. Here’s a crash course in Tuxedos 101 to ensure you pick the right look for your wedding party. For starters, have all of your men measured as soon as you pick out the tuxedos (the ring bearer should wait until one month out to ensure his growing body fits his tuxedo). Lesson 1: Tuxedo Jackets When selecting a tuxedo jacket pay close attention to the number of buttons and the lapel. Basic styles will have between one and three buttons. Two-button styles are most common, …

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Tips For Selecting Wedding Gown Colors

by Lisa Beth Miller At one time, traditional, stark white was the only real color option for brides. At this point, brides opt for the color that is most flattering to their skin tone, hair color, and eye color. Although designers name their wedding gown colors differently, there are four basic color options for the traditional bride. Here are some general guidelines on these color families: White: Stark white is a tricky shade to pull off, though it can be extremely flattering to women with cool undertones. (This describes you if you tend to look better in silver than in gold, and if colors like hot pink, blue, and purple flatter you.) If you have very pale skin or yellow undertones, stay away from stark white, and know that stark white fabric with a sheen to it looks even starker! …

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