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Ask the Experts

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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The Hottest Wedding Dress Boutiques in Northern Virginia

Saying ‘Yes to the Dress’ is the highlight of wedding planning for most brides. It also sets the mood for the entire wedding after you have selected your venue! Here is are the best bridal boutiques and dress shops in Northern Virginia. Amy’s Bridal Boutique “Why should I consider Amy’s Bridal?” you may ask. Well, for starters, it’s been a staple in the community since August 2008 and has developed into a one-stop boutique for all your wedding needs. Amy Domenech, the owner, has thought of everything and eliminated a lot of unnecessary steps in the process. Amy’s Bridal Boutique has the resources and capabilities to take care of you, the groom and the bridal party. “My boutique has all sorts of things to offer,” Amy says. “I love many aspects of weddings and we are ever changing. Wedding gowns are my specialty. However, we also offer bridesmaids dresses, tuxedo rentals, gown preservation, accessories, …

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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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Why Shopping at a Bridal Boutique is Best

by Lisa Beth Miller I recently read a wedding blog that advised brides to avoid shopping in bridal boutiques if being semi-clothed in front of a stranger sounds stressful. The writer noted that it is way less mortifying to buy online or shop at the “warehouse” stores that just leave you alone to put on the gowns you wish to try. I could not disagree more! Allow me to explain. When a bride shops at a bridal boutique, she isn’t just shopping! She is consulting with a trained professional who understands what looks good on each different body type. The boutique experience goes something like this: You chat with a trained consultant about your wedding vision. You explain what the ceremony and reception will look like and what look and vibe you hope to exude. The trained consultant listens carefully, but also observes your personal style and body shape. …

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Capturing the Story

By Marianne Weaver The music stops. Guests go home. The tux is returned, and the dress preserved. Months – maybe years – of planning become merely a memory. Most photographers shoot the day’s highlights, but a special few capture the emotions of the day, those images that transport the couple back to their wedding day. “There are several images that take me back to the exact moment they were taken,” recalled Caitlin Clapp of Manassas, who was married April 6, 2018, at Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket, Virginia. “From the photos of my bridesmaids and me singing and joking around while getting all dolled up; to the ending of the night where we had the whole dance floor rocking out to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, you can practically feel the energy and hear the music just from looking at those …

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Designing Custom Honeymoons and Destination Weddings

By Helena Tavares Kennedy Many brides enjoy planning their wedding, but may leave the honeymoon planning to their future husband, or hire an expert in travel to help plan the perfect getaway after the wedding. Some brides and grooms plan a destination wedding – getting married at their honeymoon location. Divine Destination Weddings & Honeymoons takes care of all of that for brides and grooms, giving them the opportunity to truly relax during their special time. Divine has 13 agents that work from all across the U.S. so no matter where you live, you will find a travel expert in your area to help you plan your honeymoon near you or to some exotic paradise on the other side of the world. They work with some of the travel industry’s leading suppliers and are associated with the luxury travel consortia …

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911: Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit

by Lisa Beth Miller Regardless of the meticulous planning that goes into a wedding day, minor mishaps can sometimes pop up. Creating an emergency kit for your wedding day can help you to tackle those pesky issues. A bride can create her own kit or delegate the task to her mother or maid of honor. Here are a few ideas for items to include! Tuck them into a pretty bag.   Sewing Kit: just in case of minor tears or popped buttons! Nail File Lotion Oil Absorbing Sheets: to keep makeup fresh Sunscreen: especially for outdoor pictures! Tide to Go Pen Tampons Dental Floss First Aid Kit Mints Benadryl : in case of unexpected allergic reactions. Bobby Pins Granola Bars: so many brides forget to eat. Mouth Wash Clear Nail Polish : Can be used to fix chipped nails, runs …

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Wedding Dress Codes: Letting Your Guests Know What to Wear

by Lisa Beth Miller When planning an event as important as your wedding, it is so important to be clear with your guests about what they should wear. Your event should capture your vision, and this must be communicated to your friends and family from the start. Black tie is usually meant for formal evening weddings. This means that you expect the gentlemen to wear tuxedos and ladies to don a cocktail dress or long gown. A formal wedding means that men do not have to wear tuxes, but they could choose this option. A dark-colored suit and tie would also be acceptable, though. For a formal wedding, ladies should wear a long gown, a cocktail-length formal dress, or a nice suit. If you are having a beach formal wedding, it means your event will be outdoors, literally on the …

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