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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Your Headpiece: The Crowning Touch

Maybe you never wear headbands and a daytime tiara is out of the question, but chances are you’ll be wearing a bridal headpiece (brooch, band, or crown) on your big day. That’s because bridal headpieces and veils complement your dress and add another dimension of style to your wedding day.

You just feel different with something sparkly topping off your look – and why shouldn’t you? It’s a special day, so wear something special! Like…

*A barrette, brooch, or comb. This is typically secured into the back of an up-do. The Angela is one of my faves.

pearl bridal comb

*A bridal wreath. Typically a ring of flowers or beading, it encircles the head without necessarily being pinned into your hair.

*A bridal tiara. Think “princess”! And regal. And feminine. If you love playing dress up but want a subtle effect, try something like the Petite Pearl.

pearl bridal headband

*Hair pins. For just a touch of sparkle in your bridal updo, I love our Fresh Water hairpins.

pearl hair pins bridal

*A hat. Definitely different, but decorated elegantly, it can be in any number of shapes and sizes. Perfect for the modern bride.

* A bridal headband. Secured behind your ears and resting at the top of your head, it’s a lot of elegance in a lightweight package. Asymmetrical styles are my fave.

pearl bridal tiara

*The classic wedding veil. From Flyaway to fingertip to sweep veils and beyond, nothing says bride quite like a gorgeous veil.

bridal veil styles - bride veil help

Which isn’t to say that among all this loveliness, a bride-to-be can’t choose to go bareheaded. I actually did it myself, after buying more than a few tiaras and combs. Going without felt natural for me. But if you’re like most brides you can’t wait to don a bridal veil or your tiara or a headband dripping with pearls.

 


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The Most Wonderful Backless Wedding Dress Inspiration

Married in white doesn’t necessarily mean demure, as the millions of brides donning sultry backless wedding dresses have proved. The trend can translate into anything from a hint of skin to a dip that encroaches upon derriere territory. As for me, I can’t get enough. Maybe it’s that between the wedding ceremony and the first dance, you see so much of the bride’s back. Maybe it’s the dichotomy between the sexy silhouette of backless and the traditional purity of the wedding gown. Party in the back, business in the front? Here’s a whole lot of party in the back to inspire you as you shop for wedding dresses – some made to highlight your bridal jewelry and others made to make every inch of skin stand out. Bare a little or bare a lot, these dresses prove backless is here to stay!

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inbal dror

Jim Hjelm

julie vino

liz martinez bridal

Watters

yaki ravid

How bare do you dare to go?


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Modern Wedding Cake Inspiration That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

With all the options there are now, choosing a wedding cake can be almost as fraught with indecision as choosing bridesmaids dresses! The right wedding cake designer can create almost everything under the sun, from cakes that look like anything you can imagine to traditional wedding cakes with a twist. Currently hot is the modern wedding cake – which means different things to different people. In general, though, if you’re browsing around Pinterest for modern wedding cakes you’re going to see plenty of sharp angles, solid colors, geometric shapes, thick lines, and contemporary color choices. The designs on modern wedding cakes tend to look more like art than aliment, though one hopes the flavors inside are just as delicious as the exteriors are gorgeous. Here are some examples of what I think of when I’m thinking of modern wedding cakes:

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Remember to meet with your wedding cake designer well in advance of the wedding to talk about what kind of cake you’re looking for. It helps to bring pictures, so queue up your wedding cake inspiration board on your phone or tablet before the meeting!

Have a sweet week!

 


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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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Wedding Cake Toppers We Love

For brides-to-be in the market for a wedding cake topper that’s a little different we are all about the letters! In a world where anything from Matchbox cars to pinecones can become wedding cake toppers, it’s nice to find something that’s both cool and traditional. Enter the monogram, the love note, the wedding date and so on.
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We’re seen this called an easy DIY but frankly, we’re not that handy. But Etsy is your bestie when it comes to this type of wedding cake topper.
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Personalize it? Oh yes. Love the Mr. and Mrs. (or the Mrs. and Mrs. or Mr. and Mr., natch) because it really sums up the wedding. Provided, of course, you’re planning to share a name.
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Not sharing a name? Mr. and Mrs. or the aforementioned variants will suffice. Our favorite thing about this cake topper is how cute it would look on a mantle post-wedding.
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Hint hint, our French Script wedding cake toppers let you spell it out yourself!
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Add your wedding date to your cake topper for an even more personal feel.
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Letters plus a little something extra – putting a bird on it, in this case. We’re loving the rustic feel in a polished topper that would look great in a garden later on.
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How sweet is this? A sweet sentiment on a sweet treat.
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Serious sparkle rocks with any message – Mr. and Mrs. or a monogram or a love note to each other. Let your cake topper speak your heart!


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11 Things No One Tells You About Shopping for a Bridesmaids Dress

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1. Research before you shop! Don’t even browse. Instead, ask yourself what color, fabric, length, and silhouette you are picturing on your bridesmaids. Once you have a few ideas in your head, then you can start shopping for bridesmaids dresses.

2. Schedule your shopping trip well in advance. Getting all of your bridesmaids together can be a nightmare because of work, kids, hobbies, and distance. Use a survey app to find a time that works for everyone. That way everyone be there.

3. Or choose a chain or online store. Chances are if you’re not getting married straight out of college that some of your bridesmaids live out of town or out of state. Your ‘maids won’t all get the same dye lot if they’re wearing matching dresses but they will be able to get the same dress.

4. Shop with shapewear and shoes. Undies and footwear can make such a difference – not only to how a dress looks but also how it feels (especially when it’s body hugging or floor length). Make sure everyone comes equipped.

5. Be up front about your wants. Let your bridesmaids know in advance how much input you want. Are you going to shop around and want lots of suggestions or is the point of your outing to see everyone in the dress you’re 99.9% sure you’re going to pick?

6. Ask about discounts. Be brave! First question, does the price tag include tax and any shipping or alteration costs? If everyone is buying together that day, can you get a break on alterations? Bulk discount if you’re having a ton of bridesmaids? It never hurts to ask!

7. Bring cover ups. There may not be enough fitting rooms for all your ‘maids – without a robe or some other cover up, they’ll have to get redressed between try-ons. It’s a lot easier to throw on a robe between bridesmaids dresses.

8. Ask for suggestions. The staff has a lot of experiencing helping steer brides-to-be toward the perfect dresses, so use it. Tell them your ideas about color, fabric, length, and silhouette – and whether you want all your bridesmaids to match – and let them bring you some options.

9. Listen to your ‘maids. You want them to be comfortable on your wedding day, right? So if one of your bridesmaids hates her arms or is terrified to go strapless, but a kind bride and take their preferences into account.

10. Eat after. Brunch then bridesmaids dress shopping? Reverse that. No one feels or looks their best at a dress fitting after mimosas and a visit to the waffle bar.

11. Don’t hesitate to pick backups. No, not backup bridesmaids! Backup dresses. The turnaround time on bridesmaids dress orders can be insane and mix ups happen. Planning a wedding – and being a bridesmaid – is a lot less stressful when you don’t leave things to chance.

christa terry for usabride.com

 

 

 

 


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How to Accessorize a Simple Wedding Dress

jewelry for simple wedding dress

Accessorizing a simple wedding dress with bridal jewelry and a headpiece should be easy! But the fact is, it can be surprisingly difficult! That’s because more ornate wedding gowns have their own embellishments that serve as a guide. For instance, a wedding dress with pearls ought to be paired with pearl wedding jewelry. A dress splashed with rhinestones calls for the same. But a simple wedding dress? Has nothing to guide you as you shop for your bridal jewelry and headpiece.

But bridal accessories can make or break a wedding day look. And that’s also part of the problems brides-to-be face when accessorizing a simple wedding dress. Accessories like jewelry and tiaras should not overpower the dress. Overdoing it is way too easy in a plain sheath or something similar. With a simple wedding dress, accessories should be a focal point but not out of control. Here are my 5 top tips for picking the perfect accessories to complement a simple wedding dress:

1. Choose a statement piece.  This is your chance to wear something big, fun, and glamorous like our Elegant dangle earrings or our Crystal Fascination set. A pop of color may be big right now, but with a very simple wedding dress color can steal the show and make your overall look feel less formal.

2. Simple dress, simple veil. It’s a rule of thumb that’s made to be broken, but it’s also one I stand by. A very basic veil with no beading or edging harmonizes with an unembellished gownand let’s accessories rule.

3. Don’t over accessorize! A huge necklace paired with huge earrings and a big bracelet plus an over the top updo will make your simply elegant gown look positively plain. Let your statement piece guide your other choices.

4. Headbands, headbands, headbands! Specifically ribbon headbands – as long as the whites match ribbon headbands look amazing when paired with simple wedding dresses. Not a fan of ribbon? Choose something small.

5. Be bold! This is your chance to show off and a simple wedding dress makes a great canvas for things like our Divina headpiece. Unusual? Yes, but breathtaking on almost ever bride.

 


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10 Outrageous Must-See Wedding Dresses

Wedding dresses – they’re usually sophisticated and full of grace but sometimes they can be downright weird. We found these while poking around on Pinterest and just had to share!

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This is actually a beautiful wedding dress that could be accessorized lots of ways (though the model is going sans bridal jewelry) and yet we get the impression that the full frontal view must be a little kooky.

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Doesn’t this dress scream ice queen Elsa on her wedding day? Which is perfect since the model’s expression is equally frosty.

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We like lace cutouts. We even like big cutouts on wedding dresses! But this strikes us as a bit much.

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As does this. Does it make us too, too modest if we think that sheer should not extend below the crack line?

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There is just a lot going on here. A sort of tripe-esque pattern at the hips. A hi-lo skirt with a ton of flounce. Fluff at the decolletage. And those monster platforms…

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Now with this outrageous wedding gown we’re not entirely sure, but we think that might actually be a bubble wrap skirt. If it’s not, it would still make great packing material!

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We heard you like roses so…outrageous wedding dresses 8

Ursula, is that you? (Laugh though we might, we think we’d have a divine time at the wedding planned by the bride who’d choose this gown!)

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Yes, the 1980s came back into vogue. That doesn’t mean you have to combine the worst of the decade into one bridal pantsuit complete with train.

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We have this one earmarked for the ghost who wants to look her best on her wedding day. Though we love a full veil, this is a little much.

What’s the most outrageous wedding dress you’ve ever come across?

 

 


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Perfect Petals: A Wedding Flowers Primer

Weddings and flowers go together like love and marriage, chocolate and peanut butter, and all those other cultural icons that get grouped together in the collective consciousness. The association is so ingrained in the minds of most brides- and grooms-to-be that few ever ask themselves what the alternatives are. You can absolutely plan a wedding that involves no fresh flowers whatsoever, but few people end up going that route. It’s hard not to like wedding flowers!

wildflowers diy wedding flowers

Flowers are attractive because they have to be—fruits, honey, and the next generation of blooms are all products of floral sex appeal. The fact that they smell good doesn’t exactly hurt, either. Humankind figured out the relationship between flowers and fertility pretty early on, and it wasn’t long before blooms came to be associated with bountiful marriages.

Herbs and florals have found their way into rites of all kinds ever since the first human being had the wherewithal to take notice of nature’s beauty, which means that flora has been a customary part of nuptial celebrations for thousands of years.

feminine bridal bouquet

The very first wedding flowers were more than likely bundles of strong smelling greenstuffs meant to ward off those ever-present evil spirits. In ancient Greece, brides wore crown wreaths made of flowers symbolizing love and fidelity, and herbal garlands were hung to commemorate the union being formed.

Nowadays, very few brides-to-be consider walking down the aisle with a string of garlic in one hand and a bunch of sage in the other, yet the tradition lives on in the form of the bridal bouquet, the boutonnière, pew ends, and centerpieces. Flowers pop up in other places, too.

wedding flowers - babys breath

Brides and grooms who love their moms and grandmas give these honored guests corsages to wear during the ceremony and reception to distinguish them from other guests. Some brides incorporate real or faux blooms into their wedding day hairstyles instead of wedding hair combs or tiaras, though this works best on those lucky ladies who are not prone to picking at their updos. Edible petals like those mentioned in chapter twelve appear on classically elegant cakes, and fresh flowers can even take center stage in ceremony and reception décor.

Whether you lust after lavish bridal bouquets of brilliant red roses or modern earth-tone centerpieces embellished with lots of greenery will have a lot to do with what kind of wedding you’re planning. That said, you’ll want to wait until you know what you and your wedding party will be wearing before choosing wedding flowers—or choosing to forgo them. Bouquets and boutonnières spend a lot of time against a backdrop of dresses and suits so they need to be somewhat complimentary.

reception wedding flowers

Color theory web sites can help you nail down a wedding flower color scheme that isn’t too matchy-matchy. If the bridesmaid dresses are a lovely shade of periwinkle, the periwinkles you love so much are going to get lost in your photographs.


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