Saturday, March 31, 2007

Frock Horrors

Kudos to Camilla Chafer over at Bridalwave for her Frock Horror section. I have been reading Bridalwave for a while now but had never had the time to read the entire thing. Oh my, it isn’t just the gown’s that are hysterical it is the descriptions that Camilla writes. Take a few minutes and laugh out loud. I will forgo my ususal suggestion that you pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea so you don’t risk spitting it all over your keyboard!.

What was it that made me finally take the time to read through the complete Frock Horrors? Maybe it was the evite I received this morning to the runway show and launch party for the new INAGURAL COLLECTION


Ah yes, what fun. An entire collection designed to look like the Disney Princesses; Belle, Arrielle, SnowWhite. Oh, why not?

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bridal Market Wrap-up

I’m finally home from market; tired but exhilarated. It always takes a few days to decompress and remember all the finer points and small details of the trip. To give you some idea of just what something like bridal market is really like I posted the two pictures above. Even the shoe designers ended up barefoot by the end of the show. Too Funny. Mary Lou from Grace Shoes was quick to let me know it was only because she wasn’t wearing her companies shoes! Now how’s that for brand loyalty? Even Fillipa Scott had shed her shoes opting for bare tootsie while she broke down her booth.

I’m going to take a few days off the Dish to work on my other site, Think Like a Bride. I have some exciting news about a forum coming to Think that I’ll put out as soon as all the links are in place.

Happy planning!

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Monday, March 26, 2007

What To Wear, What To Wear??

Today I intended to limit myself to gowns, but well we all should have know that wasn’t going to happen. There are just too many pretty things at market that just pop among the white.

First stop, Bel Aire Bridal. Their primary business is in veils and tiaras but you most likely know them for cake jewelry. I loved the tear drops for your tiers. Joyce was telling me that they are doing a lot more of the pieces in gold. You have to take a look at all the bouquet accents they have now- initials (of course), butterflies, pretty little jeweled dragonflys and crystal babys breath. Prettiest of all was the ‘cake tiara’, how much more fun that a few fresh flowers.

I found a stunning sheer, beaded shrug at Adrianna Papell. I photographed it in white but it was just as pretty in black. Great for Mom.

Planet Fashion had the cutest dresses for the bride that thinks outside the box. White with a black sheer lace overlay in a short, very fifties cut. Sylvia also had several brides maids dresses in white that would be perfect for that bride not caught up in the traditional wedding dress train of thought.

A bit more traditional were the beaded beauties from Stephen Yearick. What I loved in addition to the design and quality of the bead work was his choice of colors. Nothing harsh, just beautiful subtle hues. Even his reds were well done. Bravo Stephen, I loved them all!

I did look at the more traditional gowns but from a different perspective. I toured the show today with a new friend that not only designs but also acts a production manager at the factories. Leanne knows everything there is to know about bridal gown construction. I got quite an education on exactly what to look for to tell the difference between well done and not so well done; seemingly tiny little differences that can make a huge difference in the way a gown hangs and feels. As soon as I get done with market season I will share all I have learned.

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The Queen of Feathers

Every third corner at the mart has a display of evening purses; all very pretty all just the same. Then there is Leigh Ann Kline Handbags. The queen of feathers, Leigh Ann has some of the most unique, quirkiest handbags around. Because they are handmade the are a bit pricier that all the rest but amazing enough that I could see replacing your bridesmaid bouquet with one and letting it double as a ‘Thank You’ gift. I know I’d be doing back flips of appreciation.

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When Bloggers Meet

Ran back to the mart yesterday to get some better pictures and met Heather the Fashion & Beauty editor from the Knot. What a sweetheart. Heather was perusing the goods at Erica Koesler’s booth gathering things for a feature on bridal hairstyles. I can’t wait to see it!

It turns out that Heather also blogs for the Knot. We had so much to talk about. As soon as I get a chance I’ll add Heathers blog to the blogroll.

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Tiaras & Guestbooks

Just a couple of quick pics. The first one is the newest tiara from Tiger Lilly that I told you about yesterday, the one with the feathers.

The rest are some pretty things I found at Aalexis. I always follow Lisa’s thing as a guidepost to trends. The beaded lily isn’t new but as really taken off lately. In my book, that says something.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bling Day at the National Bridal Market

National Bridal Market Fall 2007 Collection

Well I said I would be on the look out for the new and imaginative and boy did I ever find it! I was ohhing and ahhing over the latest gorgeous things at Tiger Lilly when I spied Zbra. Finally an answer to the age old dilemma of exposed bra straps: just replace them with pearls or jewels! This is the first season that the lovely Orit Eckstein has brought her line to market and I thought it was outstanding. Freshwater pearls in every color imaginable that hook on in place of your bra straps. They even come in a halter style and the hook in back is sterling silver. You can also have them custom made to m

atch your gown or your maid’s gown to use on strapless dresses. Cool. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before! My only concern is their comfort and wear-ability but never fear Orit has promised to send me a set to try and I will let you know.

Back to Tiger Lilly. As always her things are beautiful. Just like any true designer her favorite piece is the last one she designed: a fabulous little tiara with feathers reminiscent of the 1920’s. The newest collection is light and airy and of course, all the tiaras and be transformed into necklaces after the big day.

Another new jewelry designer with some beautiful pieces is Susan G. Allen. Lovely one of a kind pieces in wonderful colors using freshwater pearls and semi-precious stones. Each of her pieces is one of a kind but she prefers to do custom work.

Bling for your Tootsies!

You may not know this but your Wedding Diva has a serious thing for shoes and today my head was spinning. First off to the Coloriffics booth to see their Sizzle collection, yummy! Silvers and golds and bronze with crystals and rhinestones and big chunky colors stones. Earle Kelly, national sales manager, told me that the Colorific line is available only through authorized bridal and social occasion boutiques. So if you need some bling for your tootsies,that is where you have to head.

Diane Lynn Lane was kind enough to show off the beautiful line she designs for Special Occasion by Saugus Shoes. All the sparkle comes from Swarovski and the soles are Italian sueaded leather so you won’t have to worry about slipping down the aisle. Diane also had the cutest collection of wedge heeled jeweled thong sandal in a rainbow of colors, Reflections. Perfect for your bridesmaids. On of my favorite shoes of Diane’s was a lace up back pump. It is dyable, the ribbon in back can be removed and replaced with say a heavy satin on long enough to be an ankle wrap. Tres sexy! And so versatile.

Today wasn’t just about bling. Weddingish had some of the cutest tanks and tees for everyone in the wedding party. Tiny little baby tees that say “In charge of petals” for your flower girl that comes in a cute little container with a sugar cookie that says “Will you be my flower girl?”

Last but not least, Girl Extra Ordinaire remembered everybody favorite, your puppy, in their collection. Ring bearer tee and collars for man’s best friend.
Courtney let me know that this collection is just launching today and isn’t even on their website yet. So be patient.

Well its back to the mart for me. Tomorrow I’ll have more on the gowns.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Wedding Dish Goes To The Bridal Market

I’m taking the Dish on the road again. First I’m going to National Bridal Market in Chicago. I love this event. This is when the designers and manufacturers do their launch for the Fall 07. High on my “To Do” list is the launch of the Sophia Tolli range. The preview pictures I have seen are stunning. I will have as much information for you as I can get. Sadly, since I’m ‘new media’ and don’t carry a press pass from one of the heavy hitter print mags some of the big designers can be a little stingy about letting me photograph. Sigh.

Next up will be tracking the trends in jewelry and accessories. Friend of the Wedding Dish, Amanda Jaron still has her hands full following the recent launch of her sterling silver line on HSN so she won’t be there. I do plan on connecting with both Tiger Lilly and Haute Bride. Their designs are always cutting edge.

As always I’ll be on the look out for anything new and interesting on the bridal front. Of course I will be blogging from the road so be sure and add Wedding Dish to you blog reader. I just love market season!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Latest Dish From The British Bridal Market

It’s that time of year again. Designers and buyers are flocking to Bridal Markets around the world. Susi Rogol, my dear friend and the editor of Bridal Buyer Magazine just sent me all the Dish from the British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate. Here is some of what she had to say:

There was a lot of more of the same , but Allure had some goodies and, of course, Ian Stuart dazzled. His collection showed a bit of a deparature – lots of slinky gowns but with piles of style and the sort of detail that got him the Best British Designer Awards again this year. (Oh how I wish he had better exposure over here. Love him, love his gowns)

Lots of ivory and cream – piles of lace, and thank heavens finally, suggestions of shoulder cover – from fine straps to princess necklines and beautiful tiny shrugs and jackets. Jason Jennings was picked up by Kleinfelds, which is great news for him. Some seriously good accessories – tiaras getting bigger and bigger and very pointy shoes.”

So there you have the latest dish direct from the UK Markets. The other buzz that was running around Harrogate was the launch of the Sophia Tolli line from Mon Cheri Brides. For those of you that don’t know Sophia is the designer that was the head of the Maggie Sottero design team for years. Late last year she moved to Mon Cheri to design her own line. MC has played it very close to the vest and Harrogate was the first full showing of the line. It launches in the States this weekend at National Bridal Market in Chicago. Of course yours truly will be front row for that one. Until then MC has posted a sneak peek to wet the appetite. Don’t look for the Sophia Tolli line to be in all the magazines and all over the internet. My understanding is that it will be a salon exclusive line.

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What Color is My Wedding?

Are you struggling to pick the perfect palette for your wedding? It seems that brides either can not decide on a color scheme or picked one several years ago because they saw a wedding in those colors and they loved it. The first group is thinking too hard and the second is not reflecting their uniqueness.

Most brides tend to go to the bridal magazine or bridal websites and forums to find ideas for a color palette. How about a better idea, go to your closet.

1. They are colors you love or you wouldn’t have bought them.

2. They are colors currently in style or you couldn’t have bought them.

3. They are most likely colors that flatter your skin tone. Hey, you do want to make sure YOU look great that day, right?

4. If you pick an outfit not a single item you have already done the work of “What color goes with this”

5. If you pick an outfit that corresponds to the season in which you are getting married you already know the colors work with it.

Don’t let some designer from a magazine or the designers that make bridesmaids gowns determine the color of your wedding. You are a heck of a lot smarter than you think you are. You have been picking color palettes for as long as you could shop. If you are like most of us, you have invested countless hours honing that skill in the malls and boutiques of life. Use it.

One more thing Just because a certain style is always shown in a certain palette doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. I designed an urban tablescape recently using the cliché black cloth, red table runner and napkins on square tables, white square china, single stems of white orchids, black river rocks…oh you know the look. Anyway, as I stood there admiring my handy work I suddenly saw it in other colors. How marvelous it would have looked in a medium moss green and pale khaki. Wow. Your style and your color palette are not necessarily joined at the hip. Even the classic Zen/urban look can be tweaked to fit your personality and venue.

Have fun with your wedding. There really aren’t any wedding police that come bug you if you don’t follow traditions and current fads. OK well maybe that one pain in the ass aunt. Just smile serenely and tell her that you are certain that her idea will be lovely at her next wedding and you can’t wait to see it. Then laugh like hell after she leaves!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What A Million Bucks Will Get You

Ok, you have heard me rail against the over the top excess of some weddings before, but this one takes the cake. Just what does a million dollar wedding look like? I found one for you to peek at.

Oprah Winfrey ran a ‘wedding of a lifetime’ contest, hired Colin Cowie, coughed up a fat million and picked the happy couple. Want to see it?? Look here.

There is a three page write up in Cowie’s own hyper elegant words and a fabulous slide show of the three day event.

Be sure not to miss the description of the brides attire or a peek at the menu. Don’t miss Cowie’s plug for his Holiday Collection at WalMart. (why does that strike me as hysterically funny?) And for all you dear readers struggling to afford the bouquet of you dreams, don’t miss the 5000 roses flown in from South America.

According to the description there were 130 guests. That breaks down to $7692.30 per person. Try to explain that one to your parents or fiancé or your own common sense.

Is it just me or is it time to stop the insanity?

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Finding Inspiration II

A few months back I wrote about my friend Carol Hodge at Visual Elements. A trip through her inventory is always full of inspiration for design ideas. My only lament at the time was that her website wasn’t ‘all that’ and I couldn’t just go there to be inspired. Well her new site is up and all I can say is “You go girl”. It is a wonderful place to spark those creative juices. Thank you, thank you.

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DIY Wedding Projects

True confessions. My name is Christine and I am addicted to crafting. With that little disclaimer out of the way it’s time to tackle the subject of DIY and wedding.

It is so easy for crafty brides to get caught up in the “I can do that myself” mind set. You see all these beautiful things (and their price tags) and the ideas start multiplying in you head like rabbits on Viagra. Stop! Wait! Don’t be that bride! Before you know it you are spending half your wedding budget at the craft store and turning your bridesmaids into indentured servants to get it all completed on time.

I understand the lure, the sirens song of making it yourself for an event this important to you. I also understand the financial realities of most brides. What we are at times blinded to is the true cost of the projects you take on.

The first thing most DIY brides consider doing is invitations. If you are only looking at it from a $$ point of view DIY may not be your best option. There are some unbelievable inexpensive invitations out there and many dealers that discount up to 50% off book price. No, these aren’t the most gorgeous, amazing invitations out there but they are cheap. Now if you want gorgeous and amazing DIY may be the way to go. If you have the time and skills you can DIY them but they will still end up costing you much more than cheap and basic. In the end you will have a very high end result with a high to moderate price tag and the satisfaction of having created it yourself.

One thing you must look at as you start getting the DIY bug isn’t how long it will take you to make an invitation but how long it will take you to make 200 invitations. You may end up cursing every little fold by the end of the project. And that is if you only took on one DIY. Suppose you also decided that place cards and favors to match your fabulous invitations were in order. Now you just added a few hundred more times of doing the same repetitive thing over and over and over and over….Are we still having fun?

Like I said, I’m a crafter and I’m sure I would not be able to resist the lure.

I say go for it, but in a very limited way. Pick one or at most two wonderful projects that won’t eat your life or your wallet and have a ball. Here is a really cool one I ran across on Something Old, Something New that I am DYIng to try. Happy crafting!

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Bride vs Salon

Boy did I have an interesting time on the forums today. On a brides forum I jumped into a thread started by a girl that was told she could only try on three gowns because she wasn’t getting married until 2008. What?? Then I went to a forum for bridal salon owners. They were discussing why brides don’t understand that they have to limit the number of gowns a bride can try on at one time (it ranged from five to ten gowns depending on the salon) What?

Ok here is the deal. First salon, bad attitude. There are some wonderful salons out there and a bride really does need the help of a well trained compassionate bridal consultant to find the right gown in the right budget. The bad, crappy salons are ruining the reputation of all the rest. One of the things I tell brides is to visit the salons to have a look see before they make an appointment. Get a feel for their customer service; watch them with the other brides in there. A good salon will have outstanding customer service. A bad salon will have a chip on its shoulder. Vote for good service with your checkbook. If a salon is treating you badly, walk out the door.

Some salons have a horrible problem with brides coming in to try on gowns just so they can order them on the internet. That is part of the reason for the attitude. It is expensive for the salon in terms of both labor cost and wear and tear on their samples. The brides that do that are ruining it for the rest of the brides. That $200 or so dollars they save just isn't worth what is lost in good service and the little extras that go along with it.

Now, the other discussion. That is very simple to explain. It’s supply and demand. If you have five consultants and five dressing rooms and ten brides want to try on gowns you have to do something. It isn’t that they don’t want you to try on more gowns, they just want you to let other brides try some on too. The secret here is to make an appointment on a slow day. After the first four or five gowns, let the consultant bring you a few more that fit the criteria that the first few established. After four or five gowns a trained consultant will know all they need to know about your shape and your taste, let them do their job. That is why you are in a good salon in the first place. No?

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