Friday, December 28, 2007
Attending a bridal show? You'll need a plan of attack
so you can see everything and get the most out of the
show. As much as you want to see all the vendors and
get ideas, the vendors want to meet YOU.
Bring a friend with you. It doesn't have to be your fiance,
it can be your mother or maid of honor. Your friend is your
extra pair of eyes and ears.
Bring along some pre printed address labels.
When you want additional information from a vendor
or to sign up for free prizes and giveaways, simply
put your sticker on the entry or sign in sheet. You'll
save a lot of time!
Bring along a tote bag with a notebook. The tote
will be an easy way to carry around all the literature and
flyers from the vendors. The notebook will be to jot down
ideas, take notes, write down appointments with vendors
and take down phone numbers.
Bring along a digital camera. Snap photos for ideas of
cakes, centerpieces and anything else that is notable.
Don't trust your memory, you'll see so much it will
get all jumbled in your brain.
Dress comfortably. Leave the coat in the car or at
a coat check. Wear comfortable walking shoes because
you will need to cover a lot of area and you'll be on your
Take time to talk to the vendors. Some vendors will
just "click" with you, others not so.
Every bridal show has show specials. This might be
discounts, free items with purchase and more. Make
note of the specials and book interviews if you
are interested in their product or service.
Don't be afraid to ask for references.
Don't be afraid to ask a vendor whose work you
like if they are having a show special.
Don't be pressured into any purchase at the show.
High pressure usually equals a big mistake.
Take a break. Have a bottled water, cup of coffee
or just sit and talk to your show partner and ask their
opinions and input on what you've seen.
I will be organized because an organized bride is
the driving force with a well orchestrated wedding.
I will buy or get a free wedding planner and keep
it up to date.
I realize that this wedding is just not all about me.
I will take into account my fiance's wishes and plans
because this wedding is HIS wedding, too.
I realize that a wedding is a blending of two families
so I will try and keep family harmony and my sense of
I will work within my budget. When I save money in one
category, I can roll the savings into another category to
get something I really want.
I will be reasonable in my plans. I don't need to outdo
my friends or relatives weddings. I won't make
demands that can't be met.
I will be nice to my fiance's family because I 'm joining
their family. I want to be welcomed with open arms.
My new mother in law can be my best friend or
worst enemy, the choice is mine. Regardless of how
I feel about her, I will respect her because if it weren't
for her, I wouldn't have my fiance.
I will take into consideration my bridesmaids financial
situation when I ask them to pay for their dress, shoes,
bridal shower, etc. I will choose the bridesmaid dress
with their body shapes and budget in mind.
I will not talk about my wedding 24/7. I will not live,
eat and breathe my wedding 24/7. Nor will I get
upset when my friends and fiance don't want to
hear about it on a daily basis.
I will not be a Bridezilla. I will not have temper
tantrums, blow ups and be a drama queen. To find
out if I'm turning into Bridezilla, I'll take the
I'll remember that its not about the wedding,
that its about the marriage. The wedding is just
a party, the marriage is real life. My life.
I will take well meaning wedding suggestions
without getting angry or taking it as criticism.
I will smile, tell them that I'll take it under
consideration and then forget about it.
I will remember that when I talk nonstop about
my wedding, that the person I'm talking to will
want to talk about their wedding. Paybacks
are fair play. If I don't want to hear about their
wedding, I won't talk about mine.
I know that making a guest list is a give and
take proposition and negotiations may be
necessary between families.
I will interview vendors and ask for references
before signing any contracts. I will not book
a vendor just because they are the cheapest.
I will check out their work before I sign anything.
I will not be pressured into buying anything I don't
want or need for my wedding. I will learn to just
say no firmly. High pressure sales tactics usually
mean I'm making a mistake. I'll take time to think,
if I need the product or service, I'll be back.
I will not yell, scream and threaten my vendors.
Any problems can be worked out in advance with
a phone call and polite conversation.
I will call my vendors to check on my wedding
progress before the wedding to make sure we
are on the same page. This goes back to being
When I get stressed out, I will take a wedding break.
I will take a walk, a bubble bath or play with my dog.
I will NOT call my fiance and cry. I will not melt down,
I will keep things in perspective. Tomorrow is another
I will not demand a huge bridal shower or a big
bachelorette party. I will be happy with whatever
I get. The shower is not my problem, nor should
I have anything to do with planning the shower.
Its a party for me, and the less I know, the better.
I won't put demands on myself that I can't
reasonably attain. I can't expect to lose 4 dress
sizes in 6 months without a lot of sacrifice and
stress. I will do what I need to do remembering
that a dress is just a size to zip and the size
is not plastered on the outside of my dress.
I will remember that the wedding will come to pass
and I'll remain standing. So I'll smile, laugh and
enjoy myself in the process. I'll maintain my sense
of humor no matter how hard I have to try!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Have you thought about using Ebay to save money
on your wedding? Its an open secret that a lot
of savy brides use to find unique wedding items
and save a lot of money doing it.
There are a lot of brick and mortar stores
selling on Ebay. Bridal salons, jewelers,
paper and invitation stores just to name a few.
My nephew bought his wife's
wedding rings on Ebay from a jeweler and saved
several thousand dollars! The rings are gorgeous,
he couldn't have afforded them if he walked into
I saw a $400 BRAND NEWParis tiara selling
A BRAND NEW$300 Malis Henderson veil selling
A $79 crinoline for $39.00!
New silk wedding shoes by Grace that retail
for $149, up for bid starting at $25.00!!
A Casablanca Wedding Dress that retails for
$1200 selling for $599, you special order it and
the seller is a full service bridal salon. That's
a $600 savings, people!
What about ordering Tee shirts for all
the members of the wedding party?
Custom designed favors?
And what about men's wedding bands? I've
seen titanium bands for $29.00. That's a
steal (steel...get it?)
There are unique cake toppers, favors,
custom wedding candles and more things
than you can possibly imagine.
You have to check it out!
I ordered custom candle favors for my
niece's bridal shower. Not only were they
unique AND personalized, they were a
huge hit with the recipients. And guess
what? I paid so little for them I'm
actually embarrassed to tell you the cost.
What are you waiting for? Ebay your wedding!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The holidays are a huge time for engagements. If there is a
ring in your future, here's what you need to do to start the
Of course you're excited. You need to call everyone
and shout it from the rooftops. Do what you have to
do as far as announcing it, but put the brakes on
immediate wedding plans. Take a week or two for
the excitement to subside so you don't make any
planning mistakes. Don't immediately rush out and
sign contracts! Enjoy the moment!
You and your fiance need to set a date. Together.
One that mutually will fit into your life.
You need to agree on a place. Whether its a church,
a garden or a destination wedding, you need to discuss the
You need to define your wedding. Formal, informal,
reception hall, event center, backyard barbecue.
You need to set a budget and determine who
is paying for what part of the wedding.
Don't assume your parents are willing to foot the bill
for a fairytale extravaganza or that his parents are going
to host the rehearsal dinner, provide the liquor and pay
for the honeymoon. Talk to your parents individually to
see what, if any, financial help they are willing OR able to give.
Attend bridal shows. January and February are the
prime time for bridal shows. This will give you a chance to
do a face to face with all sorts of wedding vendors. Bridal shows
offer discounts for bookings either at the show or by making
an appointment after the show. You can compare florists,
DJ's, makeup artists and more. Look at the wedding dresses
in the show. Make appointments to interview
vendors. You SHOULD take the time after the show to
look at photographer's and florists' portfolios
BEFORE you sign any contracts. If its a caterer, make an
appointment for a tasting. Make an appointment to
try on wedding dresses.
Get references. Ask for names of previous customers.
Ask your friends who just got married if they would
recommend their vendors. Call the Better Business Bureau.
Realize that weddings take time to pull together.
While I am advocating NOT jumping into any contracts
or being pressured into a purchase, you also need to
order your wedding items or book your
vendors in a timely manner.
You'll need to order your wedding dress at least 6 months
in advance. Wedding dresses have a lot of hand beading
that takes time to produce. They are like snowflakes,
no two are exactly alike.
Many vendors are booked in more than a year in advance.
Don't expect everyone to be available for you in
an instant's notice.
Make a decision, cross it off your list and to
on to the next item at hand.
Once you've settled on a wedding item, stop shopping
and purchase it. Don't second guess yourself. Don't even
think about changing your mind. Your first impulse
is usually the correct one. If you are making a horrible
mistake, someone ,whether it be a family member or
your wedding vendor, will tell you its a mistake.
I would never let anyone walk out of my bridal shop
in an unflattering dress or blend horrible colors for the
bridesmaids. I'll tell you upfront that its wrong.
If a vendor is high pressuring you to buy, RUN!
There is a national wedding dress chain that is notorious for
high pressure sales. The sales consultants are
commission and under pressure to sell. Not a week goes by
where a bride doesn't come in and tell us of her regret for buying
her wedding dress under pressure. Don't knuckle under to
pressure by any vendor. If time is a constraint, they may be telling
you the truth. You can't magically produce a dress, but
if you have 6 or more months, don't cave to pressure.
Comments or questions? Fire away!
Friday, December 14, 2007
I just finished reading an article in Modern Bride about women who were
disappointed in their engagement rings. It was too big,
it was too small, it wasn't "me". Frankly, I've never seen a
diamond I didn't like, but that's just me, I've always been
distracted by shiny objects. (That's the reason I give for being
in the bridal dress biz, I get to be surrounded by shiny objects all day long!)
I had just spoken to a jeweler who said that brides don't want
anything under 2 carats for their MAIN stone. And they want
flawless stones. He said that smaller sized stones just don't sell.
I was shocked because in today's economy, how many men can afford a
stone that size? Do you really need to start your marriage in debt because
you just HAD to have a big ring?
I noticed that the rings I've been seeing on the fingers of the newly
engaged gals in the bridal salon are humongous. I've actually wondered
if they were real. Maybe they aren't?
So what should you do if you HATE your ring? You can send it to
me where it will be loved, cherished and enjoyed. ;)
Seriously, if you THINK a ring might be in your future,
how about giving him some guidance? Tell him what you want,
men aren't mind readers. He'd probably be happy for some starting
point. Show him pictures, the bridal magazines are wallpapered with
pictures of rings. Point out rings in the jewelry shop you like.
Or tell him point blank that you've always dreamed of shopping
together for your wedding ring. Then pick what you WANT and stop whining.
Or talk to his mother and tell HER what you want.
She may know what he's got in mind and you can tell her what
you'd like. Or have your mother talk to him.
Mom's do have some clout.
Some gals never get an engagement ring. When I got engaged,
we couldn't afford a diamond big enough to be seen by the
human eye. We did matching gold custom wedding bands and I was
happy. He surprised me when he could afford a diamond.
I got to choose what I wanted and it was smaller than what he
picked out for me. What was I thinking?
Other gals get small rings and cherish them. I've seen brides
gush over a quarter of a carat diamond with the gusto of a gal
who just got a rock from Cartier's.
Its all about your perception. I really want to say be happy for what
you've got. I really want to say to stop being greedy and trying
to out do your friends. I want to say that the ring isn't important,
its the thought behind the ring. But I'm not going to say it.
I'm going to say that if the ring is the most important part of the
wedding, you've got your priorities screwed up.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Do you realize how much time it takes to practice hairstyles without knowing how you are going to look with the finished product? You can upload your photo so you get the exact look you want without a lot of wasted time. Besides, this is fun!!
Try it, its the best way to try lots of great hairstyles without sitting in a salon
for hours and hours. My favorite part is how you can change your haircolor or add highlights without actually doing it. I was surprised to see how much better I'd look with lighter highlights, so I went out and did it!! And you know what, it looks BETTER than I'd imagined.
Visit TheHairStyler.com Today!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Do you know the history of wedding traditions that we incorporate into our
wedding celebrations? What about wedding superstitions?
Here's one historical note that I didn't know about the wedding cake. Guests would bring cakes to the wedding celebration and they would be stacked. The bride and groom would attempt to kiss each other over the top of the cakes. If they kissed, it was considered good luck.
The Romans broke cakes over the head of the bride in order to make her fertile.
For an interesting read, Wedding Chaos has a three part series on wedding traditions and superstitions. They cover everything from the stag (bachelor party), hen (bachelorette party) to the tradition of dropping flower petals. Lots of interesting stuff!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I've met brides who never mention their fiance. Ever. This gal seems to be more into the IDEA of planning a wedding, having a wedding, being the center of attention and being the BRIDE than the reality of being married.
Marriage isn't glamorous. Its not always fun. Its not always romance and roses. Some days its kids puking in their beds and a sick whining spouse. Some days its routine and boring. Other days its fun and laughs. Its a foundation for your life and your family. Its making memories together. And it really is fun knowing your best friend is waiting for you at the end of the day.
You need to make plans for your marriage with the same zeal you use for planning your wedding. You have to have the same value system. You have to agree on finances and if and when you want to start a family. You should agree on religious beliefs before marriage. And if you have problems or disagreements in this area, then you need to have premarital counseling BEFORE you start planning a wedding. Divorce is NOT fun.
You don't have to agree on politics, sports teams, favorite tv shows or music. Its how you deal with your differences that makes all the difference in a happy marriage and a failed wedding.
And if ALL your emphasis is on the wedding and not the marriage, your priorities are
Saturday, November 17, 2007
If you have any two piece bridesmaids dresses, you've hit the mother lode. Pair the bridesmaid top with a cute black skirt, leather pants, evening pants or even jeans.
You can add a tailored jacket or cardigan and wear the bridesmaid top as a camisole.
You can hem the skirt to tea length or knee length and wear it with a holiday twin set, tuxedo jacket or sparkly beaded sweater.
If you have a full length dress, have it shortened to tea length or knee length. Add or subtract the spaghetti straps. You can even buy cute beaded bra straps to snap onto a strapless bra.
If the dress has a ribbon sash belt, take it off and replace it with a holiday belt in silver or a tailored belt.
Remove this ribbon STAT!! The ribbon makes it "bridesmaidy". A tailored belt or a sparkly belt will take it out of the realm of weddings. And forget these ugly shoes!
It the dress is poofy, cut out the crinoline and have it shortened and the excess fabric on the sides tapered in to a more manageable width.
If the dress is black, have it hemmed into a classic little black dress.
If your dress is black AND tea length, accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Think classic silver shoes, jewelry and a silver broach. You probably already have the basics in your closet. Or pair the black with red shoes and purse. Cute and stylish!
If your dress has long streamers in the back, have them removed.
Remove every bow on the dress, don't ask questions, just DO it! ;)
If it has a sweep train, have it cut off.
If the dress has a fuller skirt, you can have the dress cut into a short bubble skirt.
If the dress is ruffled and poofed, just trash it or sell it to a drag queen on Ebay.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The Cliff notes version:
Mother of the bride (MOB) brings in dress to be cleaned and preserved. I send it off. Dress comes back to me uncleaned. Some mumbo jumbo about the plant being unable to process it at this time. (Turns out they just sold the company).
I take the dress to a local cleaner who says all 5 locations are closing at the end of the month. I tell MOB the truth, promise it will ship tomorrow to a different plant. I pick up the dress. I can't move. Can't drive home, end up in the ER with a ruptured disc. Talk of surgery, lots of pain, can't sleep, can't walk. End up doing 6 weeks of rehab. I can't work, but I have an amazing staff who will carry on.
Amazing staff puts the dress in the closet in a solid colored bag and forgets about it. I find out the dress has been in the closet for 6 weeks, I'm not happy. MOB screams at me for 15 minutes. I apologize profusely. I refund her money. She's livid. Her last words to me were "You are going to pay." I feel lower than a snake's belly.
She'll berate me to everyone . Do I deserve it? Yes and No. Yes, because I am self employed and I'm responsible. Self employed people can't afford to get sick, take a day off, or a vacation. Everyone's mistake becomes MY mistake. No, because some things happened over which I had no control. But I'll take the rap because I should have remembered.
Moral of the story: There are two sides to every story. The one you'll hear blabbed all over town and the internet and the real story.
I call them fash-on, my fashion. And I'm happy they are just taking up space in my closet.
How novel, take the box and fashion a shoe. Its a two-fer for the creative! They are a little too "boxy" for me. ;)
Here's an example of what a guy can do with too much time on his hands, some superglue and a whole lot of wine corks. Bet he's still proud of this one!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
OK...you want a cheap wedding dress. Order it from Tar-jay and you will get a cheap wedding dress. You won't get style. You won't get quality. You'll get a dress.
Don't get me wrong, I shop Target. But I can't imagine ANYONE bragging to their friends that they bought their wedding dress at Target.
Back to the Cleveland news cast. They showed a silk cowl neck dress up close and I freaked..the dress had SNAGS in it. Since there are all qualities of silk, I'm guessing this wasn't the best quality because bridal silk doesn't snag all that easily. The dress was only lined to above the knee on the model, and you could see the lining through the dress! That, my friend, is major cost cutting!
The dresses were styles that are totally passe...as in outdated. The styles just don't sell anymore. And the cuts are unflattering. I know, I dress brides every day. One style has a scoop neck and a gathered tulle skirt at the waistline. That adds at least 20 pounds to the silhouette. Lord, who wants to look fatter on their wedding day?
Isaac, I know you can do better. This collection sucks.
Monday, November 12, 2007
You should include the following:
Needle and thread in the color of your wedding dress.
Nail file and nail clippers
Flesh colored bandaids
Nail polish the same color as you are wearing.
A compact with powder to keep the shine off your face in the pictures.
A lipstick and lip balm or gloss
Facial blotters (they blot up excess oils on the skin without disturbing your makeup.)
Hairpins if your hair is in an updo
Small bottle of club soda for stain removal and a white washcloth to use to blot the stain
Pack it all up in a tote bag and keep it nearby the day of the wedding. If you are prepared, you'll avoid any major disasters. Have a happy wedding day!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Casablanca Bridal is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a HUGE sweepstakes. Casablanca is my all time favorite bridal manufacturer. In my professional opinion, there is no finer gown in their price range. They do all sorts of custom work, I've never had ONE defective dress from them and the quality is worth triple the price. End of praise!
So back to the excitement. They are giving away a 2008 Mercedes Benz ML 350 as the grand prize. I could picture myself driving around in that baby, but I'm not eligible. Ding dang, y'all.
The first prize is a $20,000 dream honeymoon package. I don't know the destination, but for 20 grand, I guarantee you will be living large. Fiji maybe? Now THIS is what I really want for a second honeymoon.
There are 3 second prizes. Its a 52" Sony Bravia LCD flat screen TV. That is sure to send your groom into nirvana. You might have to hide the remote. ;)
There are 5 third prizes: a $1,000 Visa gift card. Is this not what you REALLY NEED? Buy what you want or spend it having fun. Its found money!
This is the best best best sweepstakes that I've ever seen in the bridal industry EVAH!
To enter, go to your nearest Casablanca retailer or check out the info on their web site for alternate ways to enter. Casablanca Sweepstakes click here. For a great deal on a Casablanca wedding dress, Click here!
To enter, go to your nearest Casablanca retailer or check out the info on their web site for alternate ways to enter. Casablanca Sweepstakes click here.
For a great deal on a Casablanca wedding dress, Click here!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Beach brides say "I just want to get married on a beach." But what beach and how to choose?
Do you as a couple have a favorite beach? Maybe a beach where you went as a child in the summer? Or maybe you got engaged on the beach in the moonlight. Or you both discovered an amazing beach while on a cruise to the Caribbean or Mexico. Or maybe you saw a beach on the Travel Channel that looked like paradise.
Discuss it as a couple when picking your beach wedding site. Research it on the internet. Discuss it with a travel agent. Ask friends who are beach addicts. Before you know it, you'll have your location.
Check with the local beach chamber of commerce before you pick the date to make sure its not bike week or some other large people gathering at the beach. Not only will the extra commotion distract from your wedding, but the prices will be higher because of the increased demand for hotel rooms and condos.
Make sure your location is within easy travel for everyone. A beach should be accessible to a nearby airport for guests and family members who are traveling to your wedding.
I've seen the trend from the big 400 guest ballroom wedding blowout turn into personal, smaller more intimate weddings. At least 1 out of 4 weddings that come through the bridal salon are destination weddings. Some are Las Vegas weddings, some are beach weddings, a few are on a cruise ship.
Why is this you ask?
A lot of the couples are in their 30's and have lived together for awhile. They don't want the big fairytale wedding. They want something more personal, yet meaningful.
For many of the couples , this is a second wedding. They've had the blowout, they want a wedding that is light years away from the first wedding. They want a wedding and none of the fuss.
Other couples feel that it is more cost effective (cheaper) to have a destination wedding. They can have the wedding and the honeymoon in one location. They get the honeymoon of their dreams AND a romantic wedding.
For other couples, the beach or destination wedding has always been the dream. A wedding at sunrise in Hawaii, a sunset wedding in the Caribbean, a Las Vegas wedding near the Bellagio fountains, or an Elvis wedding at Graceland Chapel.
Other couples have family problems. Blended families, too many stepmothers, too much conflict. Its a lot easier for them to avoid the issue and have a wedding away from home. The focus is on THEM, not the family squabbles.
If you need help planning a destination wedding, check out this free destination planning guide.
Dream Honeymoons; Destination Weddings!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Bet you didn't know that there is a BEST time to buy your wedding dress and save a lot of cash. During the doldrum months of November and December, any full service bridal shop will welcome your business with open arms. The reason? All brides are in holiday mode and there is little happening in the bridal salon. Sales are down and new stock merchandise is arriving by the truckload and they have to pay for it. They need to clear out the racks to make room for the new merchandise. Bottom line, they will be willing to deal and you win.
Shop during the day during the week in November or December. Not only will you get their full attention, you won't have to wait for dressing room time.
Nicely ask if there is a discount if you buy the sample dress. All they can say is no.
Nicely ask if there are any specials available to you. All they can say is no.
Nicely ask if there is anything they can do for you if you are willing to buy today. BUY TODAY is the key. Don't expect them to keep the offer on the table while you comb the world looking for a better deal. You need to be in the buying mode if you ask.
You may be pleasantly surprised at the discounts or the specials they will offer you. The bridal salons need to pay the rent, utilities, insurance and payroll during the slow times PLUS pay for all the new merchandise that is arriving. Bridal salons are willing to negotiate. (This won't work at corporate big box stores. )
Ask nicely, be nice and smile. The nicer you are, the farther you'll get. If you are demanding, you will get nowhere. If you are a genuinely nice person, who knows what you can save?
Friday, November 2, 2007
I'd give anything to talk to the mother of the groom. Bet she is tormented by this dress to this day. Its sort of a modified belly dancer costume. I can truthfully say, I've never seen anything like this, nor do I know anyone who would ever wear this on their wedding day. Who ever made this costume did an amazing job. Gutsy!
WTF is this all about? Is she a mermaid? Does she think she's Ariel? Why wear the jacket when your mid section is bare? Bet her church has a shoulders must be covered rule, but everything else is OK.
Cowboy dominatrix? She forgot the sides of her dress. They probably used them to make those gawd awful gloves. Please God, tell me this is not real.
They love Hello Kitty in Japan. Can you imagine walking down the aisle in this pink kitty confection? Wonder what the groom wore? A lion tamer outfit? A Scooby Doo costume?
Talk about being a fanatical fan. I've never seen a line of a wedding dresses from a sports team. Nor have I ever known anyone who actually WANTED one, but she sure looks happy. Think the top is a modified game jersey? Note to Britney, NO, do NOT copy this for your next wedding.
No, this isn't Debbie Gibson from the '80's pop genre. Looks like her dress is leather. I can't imagine lacing this up. It looks like she sort of gave up and tied the lacing in a knot. What a getup for a blushing bride.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The series will also be available on our web site www.weddingzillas.com.
We'll cover everything from announcing the wedding to what to do if the wedding is canceled. We'll start with a series on the dress. We'll be using some guest bloggers and we'll be interviewing some major wedding pros. Any wedding pros who would like to guest blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome any topics you'd like to see addressed.
Trust only a professional for the most special day of your life. Don't believe everything you read on the net. There is a LOT of misinformation. This is the gospel truth! You'd pay thousands and thousands of dollars for what you will learn here. Hey, its free, stop in and feel free to comment and add your questions and topics you want to see discussed.
Please book mark us and check back often!
The manufacturer needs time to make the dress, ship it and get it to the company. Most dresses take 16 to 20 weeks PLUS shipping time and then you need time for alterations. Sad fact of life, all dresses need some form of alterations.
A custom ordered dress is different from a custom dress. Custom ordered is ordered especially for you according to the company's size chart. A custom made dress is made to your exact measurements and will cost a lot more money. Regardless, it will still need some tweaking to fit properly. No dress EVER EVER EVER will fit you exactly without some form of alteration, and if you are the one in a kabillion exception, congratulations, you've beaten the odds.
The odds of the company having the dress you want in stock in your size and color are roughly the same as hitting Powerball. There is no getting around the time frame unless you want to pay a rush fee and that will only knock off a a couple of months. The company charges you a rush fee to cut it especially for you. Rush is approximately an 8 week time frame, then you need to add shipping time and alterations. You will not only have to pay the company's rush fee, but the rush shipping costs to get the dress to you.
The time of year also affects whether the company can do a rush cut. During Chinese New Year, the companies DO NOT do any rush cuts. Most wedding gowns are made in China. Its a fact of the bridal business whether anyone likes it or not. The intricate hand beading is done in China, you can't get it done in the USA unless you are willing to pay a small fortune.
Not all companies do rush shipping and companies that do rush may not do rush on every dress. The companies also have the right to stop doing rush cuts during their busy times. Avoid disappointment, if the dress is "THE ONE", just order it and don't wait because you think you still have time.
This past week I had a customer who didn't want a dress made in China. She insisted that she knew that certain lines were NOT made in China. They are. She refused to believe me. Read the tags, lady! Because the line is based in Spain or Australia, the gowns still are manufactured in China. Eden dresses are made in Vietnam. Fact of life, there are few lines made in the USA. Vera Wang's is the only one that comes immediately to mind.
If you've had the "hallelujah moment" where the skies open and the angels announce that this is THE dress, then order it. Don't hesitate and keep shopping. Just do it. You'll save money, time and your sanity if you procrastinate.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
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Sunday, October 21, 2007
I was completely mesmerized by a floral artist. The artist took a blank canvas and created an indoor garden. It was breathtaking. He wore a smock and brushed his canvas with asparagus fern and roses. He's step back with an artist eye and stroke and love his creations until his vision came to life. I was blown away. Rarely have I seen artistry like this up close. I've seen it in pictures. I've seen it at world class resorts. But I've never seen flowers come together like this at a fashion show.
I've done about a kabillion fashion shows and I've seen a lot of florists' work. I've seen a lot of wedding photos after the wedding. I've seen gorgeous flowers and a lot of really bad home made work. I've actually seem some that look like Aunt Hilda went to Wallyworld and cut apart cemetery decorations to make wedding bouquets. Anyway, I'm rambling...
Floral artist said that flowers are a luxury item. Hmmm..I'd never thought of that before. Flowers at a wedding are an absolute necessity, like baseball with hot dogs and beer. Flowers set the scene for the wedding. Others consider them an add on that can be drastically cut in the wedding budget.
FA (floral artist) said that anyone can afford to put a florist in their budget if they are honest with their florist. Flowers in season are less money than exotic blossoms that need to be flown in. He must have told me a dozen ways to have a fab flowers. Unfortunately I was so tired it didn't all sink in. Bottom line, he's a pro and you should trust your flowers to a pro. Lay out your budget and let them go to work on a proposal. If you aren't on the same page, its not your florist and you need to keep shopping. Show your florist some love. They deserve it.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
This has been the week from hell. Monday, my seamstress calls in with the stomach flu. Wednesday I'm up to bat. I'm too sick to give a damn.
All the plans fall apart on Thursday. I feel like hell, I just want to go home. We have the show blocked. The show promoter decides to send over 4 more models at closing time. I use the term model the same way I call Britney Spears a singer. This motley crew has to be related to the promoter. Two are size zeros who are 5 foot tall. One is 6 foot 2, looks like Elvira and has eyeliner like Amy Winehouse. Scary! The other is a total bitch who I will call TB.
TB has a total meltdown. She LITERALLY screams that she wants the dress Elvira is wearing. Elvira's dress is the only dress in the store long enough for her, its a done deal. TB is gorgeous, but she's a nut case. TB thinks Elvira looks better than her. I try to make peace, but TB literally throws herself on the floor and won't get up. And then it got ugly. OMG. This is such a fun job. Why me?
I picked a Tiffany blue scheme for our booth at the show. Friday, the promoter tells us our booth is three times the size we'd planned. It meant scrambling to every craft and fabric store within 50 miles to find more tiffany blue fabric. Couldn't find it anywhere. Tried to find curtains, sheets, fabric panels, nada, nothing, zilch.
And in between running around like an idiot, we have to haul 3 loads of dresses, mannequins, accessories, bras, slips, shoes, jewelry, veils to the hotel.
I had this grand vision of using the ostrich feathers on the heads of the mannequins to create "feather heads". I actually saw something similar at a couture show in New York and mentally made a note to steal the idea. The ostrich feathers I ordered came in late Friday and they weren't dyed. So, back to the craft store for floral spray.
I took my feathers outside in my yard and start spraying away. Its windy, and my left hand is tiffany blue. My white bichon thinks I'm playing and tries to join in the fun. She now has a blue head and one blue ear. Very chic! Gotta redo my nails, but not before I spill a huge box of beads on the floor. Had to be thousands of them. It was like those cartoons where they are running and getting nowhere. It was like walking on ice and I'm afraid little blue head will eat the beads. So now I have no beads for accents for my display, a blue hand, a blue headed dog, a mess to clean up and a hungry husband.
Today we realized the mannequins we brought to the hotel don't have the open neck blocks to make them "feather heads" so I decide to make feather arrangements for the booth. I'm not going to haul and undress mannequins again. I'm going to use the feathers if I have to dress and dance like a fan dancer.
My assistant and I went outside early today to spray the fabric tiffany blue. It works perfectly until the wind kicks up and my left hand is blue AGAIN.
The car is packed with everything for the booth, including my feathers. My hand isn't blue anymore. I'm ready to rock and roll. Lets get this show on the road, and start pouring the coffee. They're planning a cake dive. I've never seen one in person and I can't wait. A cake dig is then the brides dive into wedding cake for prizes. I'm sure its fun, but what a waste of cake! And I'm secretly ticked off that I can't join in.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Coffee in hand, I'm sneaking out to the back yard to compose my thoughts. And I hear Roooooooooosssssssssssssse. Good lord, save me.
She has a book in her hand. I figure I'm in for a lot of eye rolling and teeth gritting. You know what? She surprised me. The book was a book of family photos that was a gift from her kids for her birthday. It wasn't just any book, it was a professionally done book that told a story in words and pictures. And it blew me away!
It is from Picaboo.com and it can be used for a wedding album, as a wedding guest book, a gift from the wedding party, the proposal, the wedding showers, the bachelorette party. It looks easy to do online and the price is amazingly affordable. I've seen the quality, its a STEAL and makes an impressive gift. Another idea: this would make a great gift for your bridesmaids as a thank you for being in the wedding. Its a gift she's always going to cherish.
I'm going to give away gift cards to my brides as a thank you gift. Its such a unique gift and it sure beats what we've been giving away.
Its also going to be my Christmas gift of choice to family members. I am tired of beating my head against the wall looking for the perfect gift and overspending. I'm ordering these books!
I've scored a great coupon for you: Two books for the price of one. 8.5x11 custom photo book. Buy 1 get 1 free with coupon code: 1PB1GF-CB Its almost like stealing!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Are you a Momzilla? An out of control mother of the wedding?
A Momzilla is a mother of the bride or groom control freak who insists on supervising every aspect of the daughter or son's wedding. She actually is an out of control control freak who has spent years thinking about her son or daughter's wedding. She is making herself and everyone around her crazy. The wedding is the focus of her life. She lives, eats and breathes the wedding, and it's not her wedding. In her mind, its HER wedding, the wedding she's always dreamed of...hey, didn't you already have YOUR wedding, Mom?
To find out if you are a Momzilla, or if your mom is turning into one, take the test!Is the wedding the focus of your life?
Do you speak of the wedding as "MY" wedding?
For the rest of the test and to see what's really going on, click here.
You'll also find ways to deal with your Momzilla, so get reading!
A strapless gown CAN fit properly if you choose the right dress for our figure, a great seamstress and a secret tip.
When you shop for your wedding dress, look inside the bodice of the dress. Not all dresses are created equal. Some are so highly constructed that they have a bra built into the dress. Some have boning only on the sides of the dress. Fat chance it'll stay up.
Boning is the plastic "ribs" that are sewn into the bodice of the dress to give it shape and keep it up. If you buy a cheap, poorly constructed dress, you are out of luck. The shape has to be cut into the dress when its designed and constructed. The right bodice will give you the best uplift, a great bust line and slim your waistline. The wrong bodice will be droopy, hang and bulge in spots and slip down.
Also look for an inner elastic belt at the waistline of the dress. I call it a seatbelt. It pulls you in at the waist and keeps your dress in place. Win win situation. It used to be done only in couture dresses, now its seen in moderately priced dresses.
A good seamstress can take a well cut bodice and make it fit like a glove. It will involve putting in darts at the top of the bustline close to under the arms to make the dress fit flat across your chest. It will keep you from falling out. Depending on the dress construction and the bead work, it can be an inexpensive easy alteration to a more expensive alteration if boning and beads have to be removed and replaced. A good seamstress can do it and you should have it done. Not only will it fit better, you'll look better and be more comfortable.
And finally the secret: Dress tape, also known as fashion tape. Double sided dress tape either called Sticky Straps or Hollywood tape will adhere the dress to your skin to keep it in place. There is also something known as Top Stick which is a toupee tape. Hollywood has known about it for years. How do you think they keep those risque dresses in place without an accident? Check it out on Ebay.
Search fashion tape on Ebay! They have the largest selection I've been able to find. It works, I've used it and it doesn't hurt when you take it off.
My family judges a wedding by cookies. The more cookies, the better the wedding. And not just ANY cookies, they have to be homemade by everyone in the family. And God forbid, you bake chocolate chip cookies. They have to be either Italian cookies or pastries. If the table is long and so laden with cookies that its groaning from the weight, then it will get high marks with the family.
And the menu? Foggetabout it! Its etched in stone. You have to have salad with homegrown fresh tomatoes even if its in the middle of winter in the mid west. You have to have pasta, you have to have chicken, beef, and sausage with peppers. Maybe fish. You have to have potatoes, a rice dish, multiple vegetables and homemade bread and foccacia bread. And that's the basic menu.
According to my feisty and adorable 92 year old great aunt, its not how you decorate the table, its what you put on the plates. And if I offer any suggestions, she'll say to me "Shutta upa you. You don't know notting". I just love her.
The reception has to be a huge party and you have to include everyone from newborns to the 100 year old neighbor who saw you grow up. You have to have wine and you have to dance the tarantella and do the cake walk. It can't be just any cake, it has to be done in an Italian bakery and be soaked in rum, an Italian torte. The top has to have a bride and groom topper. Forget the DJ, you have to have a band. If the band includes an accordion player, its pure nirvana. You are expected to dance and toast the couple. I guess if you don't the marriage isn't sanctioned.
That's my family tradition. But lately, we've had some weddings that have raised rancor and eyebrows. My nephew got married on the beach. It was one of the best weddings I've ever attended, but alas, no cookies and no accordion player. My niece eloped to Napa Valley. Cousins did sit down dinners with exquisite centerpieces, no pasta, no cookies, no band. OMG. Who are THEY trying to impress?
Families hold their traditions dear. You can incorporate your family and the groom's family traditions into a modern wedding. Find a cherished tradition and put it in your wedding celebration. It can be as easy as adding a favorite food or playing a certain song at the reception. One bride hired a belly dancer for the reception as a tribute to her new husband's family and she was embraced into a family that had been cold to her.
A cookie table will placate anyone in my family. Just PLEASE nix the accordion player.
Since I'm the one who provides the fashions, its up to me to set the tone of the fashion show. I have to wear a lot of hats: Planner, negotiator, peacemaker, public relations, dress hauler, booth set up and commentator.
We plan months in advance. We start with meetings with the show producer. We have to meet with the other vendors to brainstorm. The florist and tux shops need the colors of the dresses to coordinate the flowers and tuxedos. The DJ needs to know what music to play in the show. The jewelry store needs to see the styles of the dresses to coordinate their jewelry. All the vendors need to be included and get their face time and their say. Its a long process.
Once the plan is in place, we have to make it happen. We have to assemble props, literature and prizes. We have to factor in a lot of expense. It involves a lot of negotiations with the husbands to help haul dresses, build stuff for the booth and the part they all hate: carrying in the naked mannequins. For gosh sake, they are molded plastic, stop being embarrassed, they are not anatomically correct. Guess a man never outgrows the frat boy stage.
We have to hire models and fit the models into the dresses. Easier said than done. You are dealing with a lot of egos. Some of the dresses need alterations before we can send them down the runway and we'll need to clean them after the show. Seems no matter how many times we tell the models to wear clear deodorant and not to touch their face and then the dress, it happens. Oh, well, its a part of doing business.
Dresses need to be done in sets that make sense and allow time for the models to change into their next dress. Its planned out on a board full of post it notes by a team who go from pulling their hair out to moments of sheer brilliance. Its like putting together a house of cards. If one part doesn't fit properly, the entire thing falls apart. And if something goes wrong the day of the show, we have to have a plan B and be ready to punt. You'll never know.
Behind the scenes are frantic dress changes, dressers going crazy zipping, pinning, lacing and hanging, makeup artists and hairstylists freshening the. hair and makeup and generalized chaos. You'd never know it when the models hit the stage, they smile like the pros they are. You get a great show. Love or hate the dresses and the show, all the vendors put their heart into it and worked hard to entertain you.
I love to see the brides when they find something that fills the niche in their wedding. They get so excited and their mothers can't stop thanking you for helping them out. Sometimes its nothing more than reassurance. Sometimes its free advice. Sometimes its helping them find the elusive puzzle piece.
I love to see the looks on the faces of the brides when they win a prize. It makes all the work worthwhile. Next week I get to see my first cake dig, where brides dig into the cake for prizes hidden on poker chips. Seems like a really big waste of cake to me! ;) I promise to post pictures. Its going to be so much fun!
The Wedding Podcast Network mentioned Weddingzilla in their broadcast! Wow! It totally blew me away that such a well respected wedding authority found little old me and recognized our wedding blog in the same breath as some major heavy hitters and illustrious wedding professionals. Thank you, WPN! We are so honored!
Weddingzilla's blog was mentioned in the same podcast as Darcy Miller's The Bride's Guide , the blog on Martha Stewart Weddings.
Sharon Naylor's I Village blog, Planning in Peace.
Anne Chertoff's I Village blog, From I Will to I Do, wedding ideas and planning advice.
Erica Sapio's Jersey Weddings Blog
Amanda & Lyndsi's Social Design blog
The podcast also talks to Marcy Blum, celebrity wedding planner. She says what I've been saying for years " The gown sets the tone for the wedding." Why do you think you shop for the gown first? ;)
The podcast also highlights a reason I started my blog. To dispel a lot of wedding misinformation on the internet. I see so much misinformation given as fact on the internet that it makes me crazy. I want you to know the facts. Lets face it, after 30 years in the wedding business, I should know something about weddings! ;) Brides don't need to be steered in the wrong direction to make costly expensive mistakes.
Listen to the podcast here and make sure you check out their website.
Wedding Podcast Network is the First and Best Place on the Web to Listen to Advice on Wedding Planning For Today’s iPod Generation!
“We wanted to establish an authoritative resource for brides and grooms that are planning their wedding, but realize they have busy lives, whether they are commuting to work, working out at the gym or running errands,”
said Robert Allen, WPN co-founder and executive producer.
“Wedding Podcast Network is like listening to wedding talk radio on-demand on your iPod or computer.”“With the median age of today’s bride just 27, podcasting is the ideal format to disseminate valuable and entertaining wedding planning information to today’s technology-savvy couple. In addition, WPN’s audio format allows listeners to gain a new perspective on traditional wedding magazine content, something that can only be appreciated by listening firsthand to what a wedding professional or newlywed has to say. WPN visitors can also access original wedding music selections, something not possible in traditional bridal media,” Allen said.
WPN is one authority that won't steer you wrong, listen and learn from the top wedding experts. Count me in as a fan.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
"Beth" walked into the bridal salon today. I recognized her, she'd been in a lot of times trying on wedding dresses. Beth was crying. She's purchased her wedding dress off the rack at a big box bridal store on sale. She begged me to help her, said she was having problems with getting her wedding dress altered. No one would touch the dress, and price quotes if she did were running over $750.00.
Always up to a challenge and feeling sorry for her, I said I'd help if I could. What is the problem with the dress?
Beth: (sobbing) "Its too big for me".
Me: "Let me see the dress. OMG, this is a size 12. You are what? A size one?"
Beth: "No, I'm a size zero."
Me: " I am not sure it can be done, that's a full 6 dress sizes. The neckline is too big and its already cut and can't be made smaller. The bodice has darts that are cut and in the wrong spot for you and the armholes are too big. I don't think it can be done without putting a new top on the dress." (Hello...out there....do you hear me Beth?)
Beth: "I want the trail cut off and the lace rounded like it is on the trail. (the train of the dress) I don't want it bubbled up in the back. (She means bustled, I'm translating because I speak bride).
Me: " Beth, it can't be done by just cutting off the train. Your dress has a carriage back that is edged in lace and it can't be put back on because of the way its cut. You'd have to take the dress apart at the top and the side seams and reset the zipper. Its major to do it from the top. "
Beth: "But that's what I want. I spent $250 for this dress 'cause I don't want to spend a lot on a dress that I am only wearing one time. But now I want to wear it again."
*Me...eyes rolling....thinking...where in God's name are you going to wear THIS formal wedding dress again? A Halloween party?*
She says church or another wedding.
*ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? You'd go to church or someone else's wedding wearing a formal wedding dress? Were you hit in the head or are you THAT stupid?*
Me...drawing diagrams, talking about dress construction, talking to the wall. So I come out and ask her...."Beth, why would you buy a dress that is too big, needs cleaned and has a train if you don't want a train?"
Beth: "Because it was in my price range. "
I told her something she didn't want to hear as nicely as I could, but I wanted to scream at her:
You were sold a bill of goods by a really good COMMISSIONED salesperson who didn't give a damn about you. You spent $250 and your alterations are going to cost you triple that amount and its going to look like crap. That's a thousand dollars. Add another $100 for cleaning. Your bargain is a really expensive bargain. You could have ordered a brand new pristine dress that fits you and needs only minor alterations for half that amount. Or you could have bought an informal wedding dress without a train in your size for the amount you paid for your too big, dirty dress. Of course, I didn't say what I though,but I wanted to! When she walked out the door, I did the old head smack and muttered wtf a few times.
I know she'll schlep the dress to a dozen more places until she finds someone who will rig her dress together. She'll either wear it and tell everyone her wedding was ruined by that seamstress, or she'll buy another dress at the last minute and tell everyone costs and stress ruined her wedding. She'll blame everyone but herself.
- Don't be talked into anything when you are shopping for your wedding dress. If it doesn't feel right, don't buy it. Don't be high pressured.
- When you are considering buying an off the rack dress....ask the in store seamstress to look at the dress and give you an estimate of your alterations costs. Every dress needs some form of alterations UNLESS you fit the size chart exactly and are 5 foot 9. The odds of that are slim and none. You have to factor the cost of alterations and add it to the cost of the dress.
- Add all the extras such as cleaning into your bargain dress. I personally would not buy a dirty dress, no matter how cheap the price. Not only is it a hygiene issue, but cleaning and pressing is expensive.
- If the decide to buy a dress off the rack, don't buy it because its a bargain you can make over. Buy it because you love it. Buy it because it makes you look fabulous and FEEL fabulous. Don't buy it just because its cheap, you'll so regret it.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
These just came across my desk.
I'm speechless. Look for yourself.
Nothing like posing in front of a garage.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
The biggest trend for fall '07 is sparkle and shine. What, you say? Haven't wedding dresses always been sparkly and shiny? The answer is yes and no. There have always been wedding and bridesmaid dresses that have had no sparkle and shine. And in the 80's, sparkle and shine exploded all over dresses, veils and headpieces. Ah, the excesses of the 80's with their huge puffy sleeves, may then never return!
Today's bridal fashions have sparkle in the details: Austrian and Swarovski crystals, tiny delicate beads on the dresses and the veils. Metalic sparkles on the shoes. We are seeing wedding shoes that aren't just dyed satin, you know, the ones that gather dust in the closet and you've never worn again.
These shoes have both sparkle and shine and are from Coloriffics. They can be worn again, which is a big plus! And they are being worn from everyone from the bride, maids, moms and wedding guests.
Bridesmaids dresses are embellished with beads and crystals, in small, delicate details. Big sparkly broaches accent the waistlines of simply cut dresses. They are pinned on so you can wear it on your everyday clothing. Coming back is iridescent taffeta fabric which has the shine! Ditto for sexy, slinky charmeuse fabrics.
Accessories for the wedding party include crystal necklaces, earrings, bracelets and small beaded evening purses. There's the sparkle!