Selecting a Wedding Dress

wedding dressesThis year’s wedding gown colors are stronger and bolder than ever, and many brides are stepping away from the traditional white wedding gown to something a bit more daring.  There are some fabulous gowns on the racks, and you’ll want to start your wedding gown search with knowing how to select a wedding dress.  There’s much more to consider than just color and size- there’s location, body type, personality and so much more.  Take the following tips into consideration when selecting a wedding dress.


The location of your wedding will be a key element in selecting your wedding dress.  The date and time are important, as well as the style and color of your gown.  For instance, if you plan on an outdoor winter wedding, you won’t want a strapless short slip dress.  Your venue should also be considered, and the colors of the venue.  If you plan on a beach wedding, you won’t want a ball gown.  If your wedding gown is a color aside from white, cream or any other neutral color, be sure the colors of your venue compliment the gown.


Before you begin to shop in the bridal shops, begin to get wedding gown ideas through bridal magazines and online.  This will give you many ideas in styles that are suitable for the season.


Determine your budget for your wedding gown.  Generally, a wedding gown, with undergarments, accessories and veil costs about 10 to 15 percent of the wedding.


Begin your shopping early.  Your wedding dress will take about four months for the manufacturer to make the dress, so you should begin your shopping six to nine months prior to your wedding date.

Bring anything you plan on wearing with your gown- your grandmother’s pearl necklace, earrings, etc.  Also, bring one or two friends who will be honest with how you look in the gown and whose opinion you trust.

Allow yourself to try a selection of dresses- even the ones that don’t look like much on the rack (which can look fabulous on).  Don’t settle for a gown until you find one you love, are comfortable in, and the illuminates that radiant glow.

When shopping, focus on the fit, not the size.  Once you’ve found your dress, you will need to put down a deposit to purchase the dress.  Be sure to go over the contract with your bridal consultant.  All details should be listed- the date the gown will be ready, the estimated cost for alterations, any recourse you’ll have if the dress is damaged and the cancellation policy. Also, be sure the manufacturer’s name, style number, color, and size are listed and correct.

Selecting a Tuxedo

wedding tuxedoLong gone are the days when tuxedos were only available in one style. Today, there are an array of styles in traditional and trendy tuxedos, allowing grooms to express themselves more than ever before. Whether you are a traditional groom or a trendy groom, follow the guide below to help assist you when selecting a tuxedo.

Selecting a Tuxedo

1. Consider the style of your wedding and the bride’s gown and focus on a look that is appropriate for the setting. Consider colors and accessories, like a colored cummerbund and handkerchief and cuff links which not only polish your look, but express your personality. Also, consider the best style for your body type. Talk to the associate at the formal attire shop for suggestions. For example, short men look best in an in a single button jacket.

2. If going for a trendy look choose a four to six button jacket that covers most of your vest. Instead of a black tie, consider a decorative button cover. A wild pattern vest is also a trendy touch. For a really trendy look, add baggy pants.

3. For a traditional look, select a double or single-breasted black tuxedo jacket with a peak or notch lapel. Consider a vest in a lighter color, and a cummerbund that is white. Include side stripe pants and a black bow tie.

4. Choose a peak or notch lapel tuxedo coat and pair it with a high buttoned coat or bright patterned vest and traditional pants. Both can be quite sharp.

5. When you shop tuxedo rentals, try on several tuxedos, and have someone with you that will be honest with how it looks on you, and whose opinion you trust. You’ll also need to try on the shoes that are intended to go with the tuxedo. When you have the tuxedo on, hold your arms straight down. Your fingertips should be even with the bottom of the jacket. When your arms are resting at your side, one inch of the shirt cuff should be showing. Do not just stand in the mirror to determine how well the tuxedo looks and feels on you, also walk around to be sure the attire is comfortable and you move freely.

Tuxedos can be altered if needed. The staff at attire shops are trained in fit, and will help you determine which is the best style and fit for your body shape.

What Every Bridesmaid Should Know

Charlotte Bridesmaid dressesThere’s much more to being a bridesmaid than standing at the Alter. With being a bridesmaid comes responsibility and duties, and it is important that you know your role to ensure you support the bride and help make her wedding day dreams come true.

What Every Bridesmaid Should Know


Normally, the bride will choose a day that is convenient for all the bridesmaids to shop. Be sure you set the date aside and even if you have an off day, make it one of spirit.


It is important you know what the bride expects when it comes to hairstyle. Many brides choose to have the bridesmaid in uniform style. Always practice your hairstyle well in advance.


Shoes are an important accessory to your dress, and you’ll want to allow yourself plenty of time to shop for shoes that are appropriate and comfortable. The shoes are an accessory that the bride may or may not want uniform. Either way, you can schedule a day with the bride and other bridesmaids to shop for shoes and enjoy a nice lunch, shopping for and celebrating the big event.

Your Role

The role of a bridesmaid is to lessen the stress of the bride. Aside from asking the bride what help she needs, help her not worry in any way you can. Get to know the vendors, have a schedule of events, know the members of the family, and so on. You’ll find that throughout the wedding day, there will be numerous questions asked from different sources, and being able to help when they arise, will help the bride. Also, if there is a flower girl in the wedding, play the role of the “big” sister. Be her support when at the Alter, at the reception, and so on. Little ones often have a tendency to have a hard time standing still for any length of time, just as they do sitting. Knowing she has a big sister with her will help her to ease her fears, and to relax.


Get the details- where you need to be and what time, the church procession / line up and so on.

Being a bridesmaid is a special honor, and one that creates a tremendous amount of memories shared. The bride will have expectations for her big day. One way to ensure you are aware of what she expects from you as a bridesmaid, is to ask her out for coffee to discuss your role.

10 Tips for Wedding Planning

charlotte wedding planningImages and plans of your big day begin the moment your groom to be asks you to marry him. The time is a magical time, and one that takes plenty of planning. Use the following 10 tips to help make your wedding planning process easier.

10 Tips for Wedding Planning

1. Allow yourself plenty of time. Dream weddings don’t happen overnight, planning begins 10 to 12 months prior to your wedding date. Allow yourself plenty of time to research vendors, make decisions, and think! Thinking is essential as you don’t want to feel pressured or rushed. You’ll also need plenty of time to shop for venues.

2. Stay organized. Organization is the key to help keep planning under control and things on schedule. Get an organizer and keep all details, receipts and contracts neatly organized in the planner.

3. Set a realistic budget. One of the first steps in wedding planning is to set your budget. Setting your budget early will help ease financial worries.

4. Make decisions. With decisions, there will be compromises. Discuss all details with your finance. Shop vendors- florists, bands, caters, and so on. Book your officiant and ceremony and reception venues early.

5. Enroll in yoga or an exercise class. Wedding planning is stressful, and one way to ease the stress is to enroll in a weekly yoga or exercise class.

6. Don’t let your wedding plans consume all your time. There will be many details you’ll have to attend to. Don’t allow the wedding to take all your time. Allow yourself a weekend escape every now and then. It is health for both you and your groom to be to get away from the wedding planning at times.

7. Pamper yourself. There is stress involved in wedding planning, and it will be necessary to pamper yourself throughout the course of your planning. Be sure to eat right, get plenty of rest, and exercise. Visiting the spa on occasion is also a way to help rejuvenate your mind, body and soul and to lift your spirits, all of which will keep your energy strong and vibrant.

8. Make your wedding what you want it to be. Each person will want to get their two cents in. While it is nice that they care, it can be overwhelming. Don’t feel obligated to follow someone else’s advice. Do what will make your dreams come true.

9. Ask for help. Weddings are a lot of work, do not be afraid to ask for help.

10. Include your finance. Many brides don’t consider the opinion of their finance when it comes to details of the wedding. Always make him a part of the wedding decisions, as well.

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