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Fashion Forward

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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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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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 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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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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The Shape of You: Knowing Your Wedding Gown Silhouettes

By Lisa Beth Miller So, you are engaged and ready to shop for the perfect wedding gown. You arrive at your very first appointment at a bridal boutique, and the consultant suggests that you try on all six of the classic wedding gown silhouettes. I know…you are thinking “Ugh. I already know what I want! Look, I have a huge pile of pictures of my favorite dresses!” Your best bet in this situation is to trust your bridal consultant! She knows exactly what she is talking about and will show you options that may not have occurred to you. Since most women do NOT try on formal wedding gowns throughout their lives, most do not actually know what gowns will work with their body type. As you look through your huge pile of pictures of gowns that appeal to you, …

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Wedding Gown Shopping 101

by Lisa Beth Miller Guess what, engaged fashionistas? A year before your wedding is the best time to start shopping for your gown. It takes about six to nine months for a wedding gown to arrive once ordered, plus you need to allow ample time for alterations! Quality designer wedding gowns are not shipped from a warehouse, they are cut by the designer upon receiving the bride’s order. With this in mind, a smart bride will plan her wedding gown shopping well in advance. When you arrive to your first bridal gown shopping appointment, be open-minded and don’t be afraid to try on different styles! If you feel overwhelmed by your choices, ask for help in selecting a variety of styles. This will help you to limit your choices (for example, you may discover that a ball gown makes you …

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