Bridal Stylist Tips for Gown Shopping

1. What is the theme of your wedding? You may already know your theme, or it may be a result of the style of dress you choose. I recommend trying on many different styles and eliminate ones that do not fit your venue or theme. You can still wear a glamorous dress for an outdoor wedding; just make sure it fits in your vision.
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2. Who are you bringing with you? This is important especially if you are easily swayed by other opinions. You want people who are going to be honest with you but who are not going to try to influence you to love a dress you don’t or not get one that you do. I have seen many brides walk away from a gown they love just because someone they are with talks them out of buying a gown they love.
3. Make sure you are clear about things you want or do not want in a gown, but also be open to new ideas. The most important thing is to make sure your stylist knows your budget. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that is way out of your price range. Talk to your stylist about what styles you have in mind so you have a place to start. Bringing pictures is a great idea so your stylist has an idea of what dresses to pull. One of the most important things to keep in mind is not to judge a dress until you try it on. It always looks different on a person than on the hanger. Be open to trying on different styles other than what you have in mind. I have had many brides find that their dream gown was one they did not even expect to like. A stylist has experience pulling the right style to fit the bride’s vision so be open to a few new ideas in style.
4. Trying on dresses can be stressful and tiring. Trying on gowns can be very tiring especially if the style you like tends to be one of the heavier ones. A
corset back also adds time to your appointment because it takes longer to lace up. Pace yourself and take breaks, drink water and even stop for a snack if you need one.
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Most of all just have fun! This is a really special time in your life; take the time to enjoy the process. 

WNY Fall Wedding: Blue and Yellow

Here are some pictures from my recent wedding that took place at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds.
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It was a really big transformation from an empty hall to the after which was beautiful especially with the candlelight and soft lighting.
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My oldest daughter put on chair covers and tied sashes for the 250 guests. She is not anxious to see any of those any time soon.
We hung lots of lanterns which really added to the overall ambiance and wedding feel in the space. I used some of the extra chair sashes to make a focal point behind the head table.
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Tent Weddings

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Outdoor weddings in tents can be some of the most beautiful but at the same time one of the most challenging weddings. It basically comes down to a choice about the style of wedding you want. If you want to rent all the flooring, fancy lights, flowers, caterers and tables and chairs you can expect to have it cost about as much as a hotel or venue reception.
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When choosing to have a tent wedding make sure you take into consideration the space. You need a field or yard big enough to accommodate the tent. They come in a variety of styles, but you will need a tent roughly 46 by 66 feet for 125 guests to have a formal sit down meal. Go into the space with a red string ( so you can see it in the grass) and measure out the size you think you will need. Then discuss with the rental company about what you can do with the available space. You can also tell them the number of guests you will be having and they can tell you what size space you will need. They can make a trip to the site to help you plan if needed. Tents usually are erected 2 to 3 days before the wedding as to give some time to set up and decorate.
Also don’t forget, that if you are having a dance floor, buffet tables, bar, band or DJ, they also need to have a space in the tent. The tent will be empty so don’t forget to take into consideration that you need to tables, chairs, lighting, flowers, linens ect. to have the wedding meet your style expectations.
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Being a Yard Sale Bride

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Being a Yard Sale Bride

Now that it is finally yard sale season, (yeah!!), it is a great time to look for décor.  Think outside of the box and look for things that are not normal “wedding decorations.”  They can even be repurposed as décor in your new home.

The Thrifty and Stylish Bride

If you are decorating your wedding on a budget, one of the best things to do is concentrate on key focal points such as the ceremony altar and reception tables.  Maximize what you have.  If you don’t have enough in the budget for linens on the tables, get a few for the cake table and the head table.  Add some candles for lighting and you have a great look without having to spend too much.

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Shop at Store Sales: This may seem obvious, but if you can shop for seasonal decorations when they go on sale, you can save money.  This does involve a lot of planning ahead.  You should have a plan in mind before you go shopping or you may end up with a lot of things that are nice, but don’t fit in with the look you are going for.

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Shop at Yard and Garage Sales : Yard and garage sales are great places to find décor for your wedding as well. Look beyond your typical wedding décor and search for household items.  Old chairs can be repainted for the sweetheart table.  Find cute dishes and containers for your candy bar.  This is another one of those times that you need to have a project and vision in mind so you don’t end up with things you won’t use.

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Shop at Consignment and Thrift Stores:  I have been a consignment and thrift store shopper for years. You can even find new items for a fraction of the cost it was new.  Look for a bridal consignment store in your area where they sell new and once worn gowns, veils, shoes, jewelry and accessories.

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Wedding Planning 101: DIY Projects

Not all DIY projects are created equal.   DIY can save you money, but they can also end up being more expensive.  My projects tend to be because I end up finding more than I need because there is so much fun stuff in the craft store!  Planning ahead is key.  Set a budget and make a list of the things you need.

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1. Start looking early. I find that doing things early not only cut stress in half, but I then you are able to shop around and find deals on all of the materials you need.

2. Pick materials that are inexpensive. If you have a decent size wedding, you are going to find that you are probably going to have to make more than a few centerpieces.  The cost of materials can add up quickly.   Your wedding is a great time to repurpose things you have lying around the house and make them beautiful again.  Plus it saves you a lot of money if you do.

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Wedding Planning 101: Finding your bridal style

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Before you start thinking about all the details that make up your wedding day,  you should determine your bridal style.  It can be as simple as incorporating your favorite color or having a theme as specific as The Great Gatsby.  One of the best ways to start is to gather inspiration.  You can take ideas from everything to a piece of wallpaper, paint chip or fabric pattern.  Once you start collecting things, you will probably see a theme or color pattern begin to emerge.  If you are stuck coming up with ideas, think about interests and hobbies you both have or places and experiences that were meaningful to you.

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Try not to fall victim to obvious design trends. “Being current is important, but looking timeless is even better. Don’t ruin your photos by getting too caught up in overly trendy ideas.” Don’t overdo it. “Focus on a mood or broad statements in the design, rather than an obvious theme or anything too specific. You can tell a story without making things obvious. Everything does not have to be perfect. “Remember you will never find an image of exactly what you want your wedding to look like.  Stop looking so hard and simply create your own: “Consider the images and ideas you might pull together as suggestions rather than literal picture of your own design plans.”

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