Bridesmaid: Can You Really Wear that Dress Again?

Let’s talk truthy about bridesmaid dresses. They’ve come a long way from bright pink and blue taffeta (complete with dyed shoes to match)! But even so, let’s be honest. Has anyone ever worn their bridesmaid dress again? I have – when the bride was sweet enough to let all her ‘maids choose their own frocks in a specific color. When that happens it’s easy to find a bridesmaids dress you can wear again because the dress you pick is just your style.

But should it happen that you are a bride who isn’t a fan of the idea of letting bridesmaids choose their own dresses, there are still things you can do when choosing bridesmaids dresses to increase the odds your girls will wear their frocks more than just the once.

bridesmaids dresses wear againImage: We Heart Photography

First of all, the styles of bridesmaid dresses have improved dramatically over the past few years. Today, we’re seeing a lot of A-line dresses which look great on all different body shapes and sizes.

blue bridesmaids dresses mismatchedImage: Andrew Mark Photography

The hottest styles right now are still mostly sleeveless. Also very popular are column style dresses, floor length, halter top or straps criss-crossing over the back and asymmetrical. But keep in mind that anything floor length or overtly formal will be harder to re-wear than cocktail length bridesmaids dresses. That said, there are always exceptions!

sparkling bridesmaids dressesImage: Erich McVey Photography

These days, designers are getting very creative when it comes to color and fabric. It’s not just pale pinks and blues anymore. Platinum is very in at the moment, as well as very vibrant colors that would be at home on stylish peacocks. And yet earth tones and natural colors never go out of style and are especially versatile when it comes to everyday wear.

tan and gold bridesmaids dresses

Accessories can really enhance the look of bridesmaid dresses – adding to the formality or funkiness. Statement necklaces add a bolder touch to relatively simlpe bridesmaid attire and look really stunning with all the sleeveless styles.

two piece bridesmaids dresses

Floral looks and patterned bridesmaids dresses are appearing at growing numbers of weddings. Maybe because they can be worn again or maybe because we’re all finally over plain Jane matching styles. But if you love matching bridesmaids dresses – and that’s okay – think about having your ‘maids wear striking shoes in different colors and styles.

floral bridesmaids dresses

The vintage aesthetic is also still trendy, especially with the more “retro” style dresses. Rhinestone barrettes and combs are lending a stylish touch to bridal parties wearing vintage styles. What makes these dresses so re-wearable is that their silhouette is more fun and less formal.

retro bridesmaids dressesImage: Briana Purser Photography

Happy shopping, ladies!coral bridesmaids dresses

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

 


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8 Bridal Veils for Every Bridal Style

Let’s get a hip hip hooray to celebrate the fact that veils are back in a big way. This time, they’re anything but traditional so if you’ve ever thought of bridal veils as stuffy and old fashioned, take another look. Sure, the bridal veil has a long and storied history. Some veils protected brides from evil spirits. Later on, they represented chastity and purity. Veils have been a status symbol for the rich and famous. And a fun retro accessory for the rest of us.

Most veils scream femininity, which makes sense because unlike shoes or jewelry, veils are pretty much just for us ladies. Maybe in all the excitement of shopping for your wedding dress, you’ve pushed thoughts of bridal veils aside. Once you have your gown on order, though, hair accessories and headpieces should be at the top of your pre-wedding shopping list. With that in mind, here are my veil pics for every bridal style:

bride cage veil vintage retro

An abbreviated cage veil with a side comb is a nod to 1960s brides, so if vintage glam translated into modern punk is your aesthetic this is for you. It’s light, see through to the extreme so you get all the fun of a veil without the headache or blurred vision.

flower cage veil retro bride

If something less funky is more your speed but you love the cage veil look, try a floral cage veil. It’s a little more femme but still plenty retro, and it’s just divine if you can’t get enough of the 1920s.

two layer veil no edging

Simple and elegant, a two-layer veil is all about the options. Wear it under your updo for a contemporary elegant look or go full traditional over the hair with a layer flipped over in front of your beautiful visage. Don’t worry – it’s still light enough and soft enough for dancing and all-day comfort.

edged wedding veil bridal

Want something the tiniest bit more elaborate but still relatively simple? Take a cut-edge veil and add a pencil edge for a finished look. A pencil-edge wedding veil gives a little more definition to a bridal veil so it stands out that much more.

mantilla bridal veil

The mantilla bridal veil represents a nod to tradition but with a twist. This mantilla veil has amazing floral lace detailing that gradually becomes delicate beading for a modern take on a classic look.

pearl edge bridal veil beads

Love pearls? Then max out on them on your wedding day with a bridal veil that combines two layers of soft bridal tulle with gorgeous sewn-in seed pearls. This pearl bridal veil is the perfect veil for girly-girl brides who want their veils to stand out.

ribbon edge bridal veil

Ribbon edge bridal veils are the ultimate must-have accessories for modern brides! The thicker the ribbon, the more impact it will have. These veils look amazing with mod column gowns without a lot of embellishment.

cathedral length bridal veil

And we can’t forget the ultimate in classic chic, the cathedral veil. It’s long, luxurious, and FORMAL. While the rules for wearing the longest bridal veil have relaxed somewhat, keep your wedding venue in mind before choosing this type of veil.

What type of veil will YOU be wearing?

P.S. – This month only you can get 15% of all bridal veils with coupon code MYVEIL15! Happy shopping!


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Too, Too Demure: Victorio & Lucchino at Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015

If you’ve dreamed of getting married in something a little more modest but feared that your options would be few, you’re going to find this is a great year to be a bride!

Included in your frock choices you’ll find the 2015 wedding dress collection from Spain’s Victorio & Lucchino, which is called Amor, Amor – a more than appropriate because we love, love it! It’s definitely a pioneering collection in the bridal fashion world. It debuted at Barcelona Bridal Week with diaphanous and luxuriant wedding dresses with lots of covered shoulders and hardly a peek of decolletage.

The look is ultra feminine and just a little old fashioned, and Victorio & Lucchino’s 2015 collection definitely is on trend with its emphasis on the back! Stunning backlines reveal while otherwise modest lines conceal. Barcelona Bridal Week’s description said the collection is imbued with a message of love, and we couldn’t agree more. Nothing says romance like gauze, georgette, organza, Mikado silk, and soft tulle along with more than a few yards of lace!

Have a look:

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 1

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 2

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 3

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 4

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 5

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 6

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 7

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 8

What’s your favorite 2015 bridal collection?


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DIY Friendly Favors: Wedding Terrariums

Are wedding terrariums trendy? You bet. But even as this hipster bride must-have becomes ubiquitous, I still think it’s a wonderful idea. I mean, a wedding reception centerpiece your guests can take home? What is not to love? They can get a little expensive – even if you’re buying the tiniest ones – for a wedding with 100+ guests but there are ways to cut costs.

wedding terrariums 1

wedding terrariums 2

wedding terrariums 3

It’s not the most difficult DIY in the world once you get the knack for arranging terrariums at speed. There are even kits. And my guess is that even if you’re not the fastest terrarium arranger, there are much more stressful to-dos to check off of your wedding checklist. Arranging plants and flowers – some people do that to relax. Maybe this is one DIY that will actually lighten your load.

wedding terrariums 4

wedding terrariums 5

wedding terrariums 6

But wait, what is a wedding terrarium, anyway? Wikipedia says: A terrarium is a type of miniature ecosystem of plants. Not all plants require or are suited to the moist environment of closed terrariums. Tropical plant varieties, such as mosses, orchids, ferns and air plants, are generally kept within closed terrariums due to the conditions being similar to the humid and sheltered environment of the tropics. Open terrariums are better suited to dry plants such as succulents.

I say opt for succulents. They’re totes in and they’re just about the easiest plant to care for so you’re not saddling wedding guests with a new plant that requires an extra green thumb.


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Wedding Planning Questions: Can I wear a sleeveless gown for my fall or winter wedding?

We get SO many brides-to-be asking if they can wear sleeveless or strapless gowns for winter weddings or fall weddings. The weather, after all, doesn’t lend itself to baring arms unless you live somewhere down south. But that’s why bridal caps, bridal stoles, and bridal jackets were created! Sleeveless wedding dresses and strapless wedding dresses are still the norm, even with all manner of beautiful sleeved wedding gown options out there.

So, what’s the short answer to the question of sleeveless in cold weather?

Absolutely! Today’s most popular wedding gown styles include strapless and sleeveless gowns that you can wear year round if you bundle up.

With the help of some easy to wear bridal accessories, you can stay warm for your outdoor travels, events, or photo ops without sacrificing that traditional wedding day look. You can add a satin or faux fur wrap, bolero jacket, or glamorous long gloves. We love this amazing silk bridal jacket from Amada Wakeley:

winter wedding accessories - winter wedding coat - bridal coat

The best part? Cold weather bridal accessories can add additional drama to your wedding photos. First, it’s jacket on and then jacket off… or jacket blowing in a chilly wind. Or think of a gorgeous fur or faux fur stole dripping from your bare shoulders. Sounds beautiful, no? And warm, too! We don’t want our brides to freeze their buns off no matter what the weather.

 


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The Meaningful Bridal Bouquet

The language of flowers sounds romantic, but the original Victorian glossary of flower meanings is actually much more complex. It was originally created, so the story goes, to make courtship a little easier in a time when letting your feelings show was all but verboten. Now it remains a little quirk of history – an oddity you can draw inspiration from or not when you’re thinking about your bridal bouquet, reception flowers, bouquet jewelry, etc.

pink orchid bridal bouquet

Creating a meaningful bridal bouquet isn’t easy, though. It turns out that those Victorians were sometimes a dreary bunch. I guess if you’re using flowers to communicate clandestinely with potential partners, you’re eventually going to be using them to facilitate your secret breakups. Consider an arrangement of bright daffodils and daisies wrapped in delicate fern leaves – you might give this to a crush whose innocence you value. On the other hand, a bouquet containing pretty asphodel speaks only to the giver’s regrets.

Lilacs? Mean love. Lavender? Can mean distrust. Yellow carnations communicate rejection and disdain, whereas striped carnations are a straight up “no”.

Though it’s fun to scroll through lists of flower meanings, I don’t recommend using the Victorian language of flowers to create your bridal bouquet. First, it’s highly unlikely that none of your wedding guests will know what your floral choices mean – or give a fig about them if they do. And second, cobbling together a bouquet of symbolic blooms probably won’t result in the bridal bouquet of your dreams. Better to turn a blind eye to this antiquated code so you and your floral designer can create something beautiful, seasonally appropriate, and just right for your ceremony.

What’s your bridal bouquet’s inadvertent meaning?


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Glam Up with a Floral Brooch

Remember the Carrie Bradshaw flower corsage? My homegirl could put a flower on anything and still look amazing. Observe:

wedding-jewelry-003-bridesmaid-dresses

BUT just because she made a giant bloom seem femme and flirty – versus, oh, ridiculous – doesn’t mean I’d recommend pinning a mega bloom to your wedding dress. The spring 2014 wedding dresses hitting the runways took the flower corsage model and morphed it into something the rest of us can pull off, thank goodness. However, what happens when you adore the flora, but don’t actually get teary eyed when you look at the gown attached to it?

Here’s what happens… you find that perfect wedding dress that gives you goose bumps and then you buy the perfect glam crystal floral brooch to pin to your, well, whatever. Shoulder. Décolletage. Sash. If you have a willing helper, you can even pin a floral brooch to the point where your bodice meets your skirt to add visual interest to the part of your dress your guests will be looking at during the reception. AKA your back.

I know what you’re probably thinking. Floral brooches are for the springtime bride, right? Yes, they are, and also for the wintertime bride who wants to incorporate some warm-weather touches into her look. Maybe for the anytime bride. I would never suggest you not rock something floral just because a chill wind is blowing. After all, weather doesn’t stop brides and bridesmaids walking the aisle in December.

Just don’t forget to choose a bridal brooch that coordinates with your other wedding accessories!

 


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Illusion Necklines: No Necklace Necessary

Shopping for a wedding jewelry set? Are you sure? Sometimes separates are de rigueur and sometimes they’re absolutely, positively necessary. I nearly keeled over delightfully dead when I saw all those illusion necklines walking down the most recent bridal runway models.

On one hand, there’s nothing like finding the perfect bridal necklace to chase the pre-wedding blues away. On the other, I adore how a single flirty piece of sheer fabric can take a wedding gown from ordinary to extraordinary. I mean very few gown details can make the kind of impact that a barely there neckline can – whether it’s spectacularly embellished or simply sheer.

High drama, in either variation.

Now of course, choosing a gown with an illusion neckline does make for some interesting wedding jewelry shopping. Obviously, I hope, no necklace is necessary. If it isn’t obviously a no-no in your book, then let me just say that you should never, ever layer a necklace over an illusion neckline. If you’re desperate for the look of a bridal necklace, there are scads of illusion necklines with necklace-like adornments that are to die for.

As for the wedding jewelry you ought to be shopping for, your neckline will be your guide. Illusion necklines with gorgeous beadwork or floral embroidery should be treated as focal points in and of themselves. The same rules apply as with any style of wedding dress… your accessories should be in harmony with your gown’s embellishments.

I recommend thinking in terms of opposition. A plain illusion neckline calls for very striking wedding jewelry, while an opulent neckline is like jewelry unto itself. Stick with simple pieces in that case and let your neckline (or your bridesmaids’ necklines) do the talking.

How much do you love these gowns?


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A Little Bit of Engagement Ring History

If you think about it, the most important piece of wedding jewelry you’ll wear probably won’t be one you choose yourself. We’re talking about your engagement ring! We know that not every bride will wear – or even have – an engagement ring, but in most circles it’s still a must-have.

But why a ring, anyway?

When you go back far enough in history, brides wore wedding rings as part of their bridal jewlery and beyond but only on and after the wedding day. Historians think that the Romans were the first culture to practice giving a ring to signal one’s intention to marry, but their custom didn’t catch worldwide on until much later. The Ancient Greeks had their own version of the engagement ring, but the giving of these rings wasn’t necessarily linked to betrothal.

It was only in medieval times, in 1215 if you want to get specific, that engagement rings became a part of the lasting lexicon of matrimony. That was the year that Pope Innocent III declared a mandatory waiting period between a couple’s engagement and the wedding ceremony. And there was nothing like a ring to show that a bride-to-be was off the market. Not that you or I would recognize these rings as engagement rings by design.

If you’re wondering when ‘modern’ engagement rings hit the scene, you’d have to jump forward to the 1400s – and then visit a wealthy family with a wedding in the near future because the practice was typically limited to high society. It’s in this century that you’d start to see engagement rings with precious gems like emeralds, sapphires, or diamonds.

Today, engagement rings are still a traditional part of the betrothal process, but the common diamond solitaire isn’t the mainstay it once was. Sapphire engagement rings, the perfect complement to blue wedding jewelry, have been popular ever since Princess Diana’s day and are modish again thanks to the divine Kate M. Semi-precious stones and lab gems like moissanite give buyers more bang for their bucks. And some couples are replacing rings with necklaces, watches, and other alternatives!

What’s YOUR engagement ring history? Did you help shop for your own or was it a surprise? Are you even wearing an engagement ring?


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Vintage Wedding Accessories: A Blast from the Past

Deciding on a vintage bridal look – or a full-on vintage wedding theme – doesn’t mean you need to go digging in grandma’s jewelry box in the hopes that she saved *her* grandmother’s heirlooms. Vintage wedding accessories these days, more often than not, are reproduction vintage accessories rather than originals. In some cases, vintage jewelry and other accessories have gotten an update that makes them just a bit more fashion forward and a bit easier to pair with today’s wedding dresses.

Why is vintage back with a vengeance? Why not! The classic bridal jewelry and accessories of gram’s day had a lot to offer, from serious sparkle to elegance to the kind of charm it’s hard to find in some modern wedding accessories.

And yes, we’re bringing this up because we have some lovely vintage style wedding accessories that harmonize beautiful with retro wedding dresses or even modern gowns. Like this pearl and crystal bridal headband that wouldn’t be out of place on a bride in the 30s or the silver bridal jewelry set that looks like it could have come straight out of the 1920s. Of course, as always, our gushing recommendations come with the caveat that if you aren’t a fan of vintage style wedding jewelry, feel free to go as mod as you want to! For every retro-loving bride-to-be there are plenty who’d rather stay as far from grandma’s closet as possible.

Happy accessory shopping!


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