Finding the perfect wedding dress

How saying no can ultimately help you say yes to the dress!

I’m a total people pleaser; I’ve always had a difficult time saying no, especially to those that I love. In the past, if I ever did have to say no, I was always ready with a valid reason why. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve learned that saying no isn’t always such a bad thing. I don’t have to be all things to all people, and saying no every now and then is totally fine; no excuses or reasons necessary. You know who could stand to be reminded of that? Brides! In our line of work, we’re typically all about saying yes to the dress, but we’re here to tell you that there are also times when it’s totally acceptable to say no. Here’s when:

If the dress is over your budget – This is a given. Sure, it’s all fun and games in the store, but when you get home and have to break the news to your fiancé and re-budget everything, things may not seem so amusing.

Speaking of finding your perfect dress - we have a Hayley Paige Fall 2015 trunk show coming up...so we'll just leave this here ;)

Speaking of finding your perfect dress – we have a Hayley Paige Fall 2015 trunk show coming up…so we’ll just leave these photos here ;)

If your friends/family love the dress more than you do – It can be easy to get caught up in the ohh’s and ahh’s from your audience, but try and focus on your feelings above all else. If you’re not having the same strong reaction they are, it’s probably not the dress for you.

Would be hard to say no to this beauty!

Would be hard to say no to this beauty!

If the dress is perfect, BUT… – There are tons of gowns out there, so you don’t have to settle. If you find yourself thinking “This would totally be my dress if thing a, b, or c was different” then it’s likely not your gown. Keep looking, you’ll find one that you won’t want to change a thing!

Can't see a thing we'd change about this stunning style!

Can’t see a thing we’d change about this stunning style!

No, just no – Sometimes we can’t pinpoint it, but something is just telling us “this isn’t right.” Like I said above, you don’t always need a reason. If the gown looks great and is in budget, but it just isn’t clicking with you, then say no. Listen to your gut!

We always remind our brides that it’s OK to not like/say no to a dress. After all, every no gets you a little bit closer to the one that makes you say “Yes!” :)

Wedding Dress Accessories

How to make sure your bling and bridal gown are a match made in heaven!

When it comes to wedding planning, one thing leads to the next. You make your guest list which leads to finding the venue that accommodates it. Then, once you book said venue you can plan your décor. Checking one thing off of your to-do always seems to just add another. Luckily, though, most of this to-do list is fun! For example, once you choose your wedding gown, you can then think about accessorizing it! With the exception of those that have an heirloom piece they definitely want to incorporate, most brides choose their gown before their shoes, jewelry, headpieces, etc. The reason being is that, let’s face it; the dress is the most important part so you find that first and then work everything else around it. To ensure that all of your bridal style items work together, keep the following in mind:
1) Your dress neckline determines what jewelry you should wear: The basic rule of thumb is that the more covered the neckline the simpler you want to go with your jewelry. A strapless dress is obviously the easiest; add pretty much whatever you want! On the other hand, if you choose a one shoulder or boat neck, for example, you probably want to skip the necklace and stick to earrings and/or a bracelet. The same goes for your dress’ fabric; busier fabrics pair best with simpler jewelry that won’t fight with it. If you’re unsure what’s best, we always have jewelry on hand here to try with the gowns that you like!
2) Consider the color of your gown when choosing metals: Bright white gowns often pair better with silver tones, while off-white/cream mixes well with gold. For the bride looking for something a little different, rose gold tends to go well with either!

Now this is a bride (ok, model) that did it right! She skipped the necklace with her high neckline and opted for a sparly headband instead. Plus, it's gold tone totally goes with the off-white lace. Perfection!

Now this is a bride (ok, model) that did it right! She skipped the necklace with her high neckline and opted for a sparly headband instead. Plus, its gold tone totally goes with the off-white lace. Perfection!

3) Remember the style of your gown: We’re not talking the fit here, but rather the dress’ aesthetic. If you choose a vintage gown, for example, you probably shouldn’t pair that with a trendy, chunky necklace. At the same time, a sculptured, architectural, and modern gown wouldn’t really mesh well with a classic pearl necklace. This can be a tricky one to navigate, so again, we’re always here to help with style choices!
4) Last, and certainly not least, stay true to your personal style: Don’t let those around you talk you into an accessory that doesn’t feel like “you.” After all, while the dress won’t be easy to re-wear, the accessories definitely can be! Keep that in mind as you shop.

It’s a ton to absorb, so if you’re in need of some guidance, Flair is always here to help! We book half hour accessories appointments most days, and also have stylists standing by to chat at our online shop, Frills, that is chock full of beautiful, budget friendly baubles! Happy shopping :)

Custom Wedding Dresses

Made easy with Bluethread Bridal!

Those wedding dress shopping shows are a total guilty pleasure of mine. My friends and family are always shocked that I can work at Flair and then go home and basically watch my job on TV in my free time. The reason I can do it is because I feel like they’re two totally different worlds. Flair, thankfully, is pretty much drama free, and let’s face it, that’s the main reason we watch reality TV. One true thing that I do take away, and that all brides watching should take away from those shows, is that wedding dress shopping is HARD. As fun as it is, there is a ton of pressure to find just the right dress. One way to ensure that you get the perfect one is to be a part of the process, and custom design it yourself! Sounds difficult, and expensive, right? Wrong! Thankfully for all of the brides out there, there’s Bluethread Bridal; an affordable, custom gown designer. Ahead of our Bluethread trunk show this weekend, we wanted to use this blog to explain the process and let you know how easy it can be to design your dream dress! Here’s the 411:

If you prefer a ready made creation, Bluethread has plenty of those too. Isn't style S1001 a dream?!

If you prefer a ready made creation, Bluethread has plenty of those too. Isn’t style S1001 a dream?!

Step 1 – Head to their Design my Dress page to get started. There, you can play around with different fabrics, top styles, skirt silhouettes, sashes, beading, and more! As you select an option, you can see it reflected on their handy dandy bride form. Afterwards…
Step 2 – Once you find the design you love, it’s time to measure and order! That’s where Bluethread retailers like Flair come in. We’re happy to go over your design with you, help you try on similar silhouettes to be sure of your choice, and measure you in house. Then, when you’re completely happy and stress free, we can help you place your order. Then…
Step 3 – After your order is placed, Bluethread begins working on your mid-term fitting corset. It’s a corset made to your exact measurements, so that you can try it on before the dress is completed and ensure that the fit is comfortable and flattering. Once approved, your dress will be put into production. With their fitting corset and extensive quality control process, you end up with a perfectly fitted, perfectly styled couture creation!

Style S1004 is the epitome of a dreamy, classic ballgown!

Style S1004 is the epitome of a dreamy, classic ballgown!

Yup – it’s that easy to get an amazing fit and custom look! If you’re a little nervous about it, though, Bluethread also has tons of ready-made beauties to choose from (some of which we’ve sprinkled through this blog). Give us a ring with any questions or to set up an appointment to get started for yourself! See you soon, Bluethread brides :)

Fitness Tips for Brides

Be your best self by the big day!

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that no two brides are alike. Even those that purchase the same gown accessorize it to their taste and make it totally unique and their own. If we did have to pick one commonality among brides, though, it would probably be that all of them have some sort of fitness plan. Whether it’s major weight loss or just striving for more toned arms (aren’t we all!), we have a feeling that pretty much every 2016 bride has fitness on the brain in the new year. So, we decided to pull together some tips to make even the most frazzled bride’s fitness routine fun and easy:

This fun and quick 15 minute workout is perfect for the busy bride!

This fun and quick 15 minute workout is perfect for the busy bride!

1) Write it down – Jot down your fitness goals/routine somewhere you look often. Keeping them in the forefront of your mind and out in the open will likely help you to stick to them. It will also help you evaluate your plans. If they take up a whole page, you’re probably trying to tackle too much. Start with the attainable; you can always add more later!
2) Grab a partner – Whether it’s your Mom, fiancé, or bridesmaid, there are a ton of other people who are probably also looking to get in shape for the big day. Plan to work out together, to motivate and keep each other on track. Plus, it’s just more fun when you’re not going it alone!
3) Stay hydrated – There are endless benefits to those eight daily glasses of H2O. They help to boost your metabolism, keep your energy up for your work outs, and brighten your skin, to name a few. So no matter what your fitness goals, this step should be a must for ALL brides!
4) Reward yourself – Most people who establish a fitness routine do really well in the beginning when it’s fresh, new, and dare we say, fun. Cut to a month or so later, though, and it gets harder and harder to stay faithful to your plan. If you fall into that category, we have one thing to say to you: a little bribe never hurt anyone! Commit to working out 4 days next week, for example, and treat yourself to a manicure if you stick to it. Lose those 10 pesky pounds and get that rehearsal dress you’ve been coveting. Decide what motivates you and use it to your advantage!

Tell us – do you have any tips for staying on the fitness straight and narrow? We’d love to hear them!

Wedding Stationery and Inspiration Boards

Plan your wedding in style, and stress free!

With the holidays now over and a new year begun, have your social media feeds been taken over by bling and bent knees? The holiday season brings about more proposals than any other time of year, so we have a feeling you’ve seen your fair share. With all of those new brides and grooms-to-be out there, we figured now was the perfect time to chat about one of our favorite resources for engaged couples – the inspiration board! One of the toughest things about wedding planning is making decisions on various items and not really knowing until the big day if they actually go together. Putting them side by side on an inspiration board is an easy, and free, way to get a sense of how your choices will meld on your wedding day. Plus, they are a great visual to provide your vendors with; giving them a good sense of your preferences. One of our designers, The Dessy Collection, has a super user-friendly inspiration board builder for anyone who wants to get started. That’s where we built ours, with the phenomenal Paperless Post as our muse.

Paperless Post is a must for engaged couples. They have tons of style options at prices to accommodate any and every budget. Plus, their site is so well organized and easy to navigate; a major plus for couples overwhelmed by the seemingly endless number of choices out there. Check out a couple of our favorite stationery designs in the inspiration boards below:

save the date
The “Love Struck” save the date card (top left corner) caught our eye for several reasons. It has visual appeal, but isn’t too busy, and we’re OBSESSED with arrows as a wedding theme. Maybe it’s the cupid connection, but for some reason the arrow, when done right, strikes us as a totally modern and chic symbol of romance. We also love the colors. The periwinkle shade is totally on trend (think the new Pantone color of the year “Serenity”), and we’re always a sucker for gold. We popped in a little bit of that gorgeous, rich shade of deep raspberry as another accent, to make this palette lean more “romantic wedding” than baby shower. Speaking of which, though, this card set would also totally work for a shower (baby or wedding)!

wedding invite
The “Marbelized” wedding invitation drew us in immediately. It totally hits on what we think will be a big trend in the coming years – using natural elements for your wedding décor. Whether it’s marble, agate, or reclaimed wood, these “green” elements are perfect for a contemporary barn wedding, or even a city fete looking to add a pop of nature to their big day. And those classic, stunning shades of blush, black, grey, gold, and lilac? Tres chic!

For all of the newly engaged couples out there, head on over to Dessy’s website to create your own inspiration boards, and be sure to hit up Paperless Post early in your planning process. After all, the save the date and invitation are the first hint of your wedding style your guests will see, so be sure to mail them off in style!

2016 Bridal Trends

Ring in the new year in style!

The end of December is all about reflecting on the past year. You can’t turn on the radio without hearing a countdown of the top songs of 2015, for example, while all of the news channels are reminiscing about the year’s biggest headlines. We’re all for it, let’s just not recall those resolutions we made back in January. Forget about those, instead let’s shift our focus to the future! We’re ready for a new year, and definitely pumped for some new bridal styles! Here are some trends we think will be huge in 2016:
Feathers: Every year, brides get bolder and bolder with their style, and in 2016 that might just come in the form of feathers. Romantic, soft, and flowy, feathers have just what you need to create a modern yet not too outside of the box bridal look. Aria’s Veronica dress is a perfect way to dip your toe into the feather pond. It makes a great reception dress, so you can take part in the feather trend while still wearing a more traditional look for your ceremony.

veronica by aria
Embroidered Illusion detail: By now, we’ve all become familiar with illusion necklines. They’re a great way to have the support of a strapped top but the look of a strapless. Now it was time for designers to take this look one step further, and one way they’re doing so is by adding embellishments to their illusion styles. It gives an almost 3D look that is super fresh, modern and unique! The Elodie gown from Willowby by Watters makes this trend look good!

elodie willowby by watters
Keyhole tops: I don’t know about you but I loved me a keyhole top back in junior high. It was an easy compromise for me and my mom; mostly covered but with a little hint of skin! The same principles work for a bride. Most don’t want to show too much skin in front of their families, but still want to show a little for their future spouse 😉 Hayley Paige’s Zahira dress is a totally modern take on this “best of both worlds” look!

HP Zahira
Lingerie inspired looks: This is a whole new way to bring the sex appeal on your big day! Lingerie inspired slip dresses were huge on the recent bridal runways, and why not?? They are the perfect mix of comfortable, lightweight, and sexy. You’ve been forewarned, though; these clingy beauties will almost definitely require a Spanx underneath. If you’re not into this particular look but still want to pop in a little lingerie to your style, opt for the already popular corset top!

Left: Amy Kuschel's Ginger gown Right: Jenny Yoo's Celine gown with applique

Left: Amy Kuschel’s Ginger gown Right: Jenny Yoo’s Celine gown with applique

Tiered skirts: Gone are the days of the single layer skirt! Popping in a few tiers is an easy way to add volume, interest, and drama to your look. Depending on the fabric, it doesn’t add a ton of weight, either. Whether you add one tier or a bunch, you’re sure to have a current, gorgeous look. Need proof? Tara Keely style 2609 is a tiered dream!

tara-keely-2609_x3

See you in 2016, Boston brides and bridesmaids :)

Holiday Sales

Use them to your wedding planning advantage!

We love the holiday season! It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with loved ones and reflect on a fabulous year. Holiday parties, sugar cookies, and some new year’s champagne; those things are just the icing on an already delicious cake. While the non-tangible things are the true reason for the season, we’ve got to admit that the shopping this time of year is pretty killer too. I, for one, shy away from Black Friday, but you better believe I’ll be on my laptop trying to score some amazing post-holiday deals. How about you? If you’re planning a wedding, trust us, you don’t want to sleep on these savings. Here are some items that typically go on sale after the holidays that are perfect for brides and grooms to scoop up and save big:

Lights – Twinkle lights are a wedding staple! Whether you need them for your ceremony, reception, or shower (we’re looking at you, bridesmaids!), the weeks after Christmas are the perfect time to snag them at huge discounts! String lights aren’t the only ones you can save on, either. Typically, candles (LED or traditional) will also go on sale once the holiday party season has passed. Be sure to keep an eye on candle accessories (i.e. lanterns, candlesticks, matches, etc.), too.

Whether as decor or even just a photo backdrop, twinkle lights are sure to add some sparkle to your day! Photo credit to Cory Ryan Photography via Style Me Pretty

Whether as decor or even just a photo backdrop, twinkle lights are sure to add some sparkle to your day! Photo credit to Cory Ryan Photography via Style Me Pretty

Holiday colored décor – If your wedding color scheme happens to overlap with the classic holiday colors (think silver, white, gold, red and green), you can find some amazing deals on décor post-holiday season. You’d be surprised how un-Christmasy (is that a word?) most of those holiday decorations look when they’re placed in a new setting and used in a new way. Gold pinecones, red votives, even pre-lit topiaries are totally wedding ready!

Gold pinecones and red berries - totally wedding appropriate without screaming "Christmas!" Find these at save-on-crafts.com

Gold pinecones and red berries – totally wedding appropriate without screaming “Christmas!” Find these at save-on-crafts.com

Formal wear – Most clothing will go on sale after the holidays, so consider getting special pieces for your wedding then. Whether it be your shower dress, a fun look for the bachelorette, or even your guy’s suit, you should be able to save big! Also consider looking into your flowergirl/ring bearer’s attire now, just be sure to size up in case of a growth spurt! One thing to remember, though, is to be aware of the fabrics you’re purchasing. Winter fabrics are probably not your best bet for summer events, but you may be able to get away with them in the Spring and Fall.
Alcohol – If you’re one of the lucky ones who can bring in their own libations to the wedding venue (a big savings to begin with), consider purchasing after the holidays. Stores typically stock up prior to the holiday party season, and should discount after the rush to get rid of their overflow. Even if your wedding isn’t for another 9 months, most alcoholic beverages will keep for a long time unopened.

Tell us – will you be shopping for your wedding this holiday season? If so, let us know what you snag :)

Bridesmaids’ Etiquette

Do’s and Don’ts to ensure you’re an A+ bridesmaid!

Anyone who has planned a wedding can tell you that there are a ton of do’s and don’ts for the engaged couple. Even though the wedding is all about them, that doesn’t mean the rest of us are rule free. There’s etiquette for the guests, parents, vendors; the list goes on and on! Today, we’re going to focus on the other ladies up at the altar, though; the bridal party! If you’re a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding, here are some guidelines that you should keep in mind:
Do: Listen to the bride talk about her wedding – When you break it down, really the only bridesmaid’s duty that matters is to provide moral support to the bride. That’s why you’re there! So, even if it may seem like she can go on, and on and on, it’s your job to listen. If you feel like it’s getting to be a bit much, though, there are nice ways that you can limit her talk time. Suggest that you schedule a weekly chat session, for example, at the same day/time every week. That way you can focus 100% on her at that time, and avoid sneak attack calls when you’re busy and not ready/expecting them.
Don’t: Involve the bride in any bridesmaids’ drama. It’s inevitable; no matter how tight your group is, there will be atleast one or two small “problems” during the planning process. Even if you and the bride typically tell each other everything, this is the time to bite your tongue. She probably has a million other things to worry about, so keep this one to yourself. Unless you foresee this issue truly affecting her big day, she really doesn’t need to know.

There's a whole book dedicated to bridesmaids who have sucked it up and wore what their bride wanted - so you definitely can too! Photo courtesy of Amazon

There’s a whole book dedicated to bridesmaids who have sucked it up and wore what their bride wanted – so you definitely can too! Photo courtesy of Amazon

Do: Look how she wants you to look. When you agree to be in the bridal party you’re also agreeing to give up control of your style, atleast for a day. That means you have to rock the dress she likes, the jewelry she chooses, and the hair/makeup she prefers. That’s right; even if you don’t like it. Now, if she says “Do what you want!” then go for it! Otherwise, wait for her cues and don’t make a fuss.
Don’t: Get drunk. There are a ton of fun events during the wedding planning process, but as a bridesmaid it’s your job to ensure that the bride and other guests have a good time. Unfortunately, your good time comes second. That’s not to say that you have to be stone cold sober, but you can’t get so tipsy that you forget to write down gifts at the shower or get everyone into the taxis and to dinner on time at the bachelorette. Basically, use your best judgment!

Seasoned bridesmaids out there, do you have any other tips for any newbies? Let us know!

Periscope

Broadcast Your Wedding Near and Far!

Engaged couples today often strive for the perfect balance of modern and traditional at their weddings. We see it everyday at Flair; a bride who is looking for the latest bridal gown style, for example, but who wants to pair it with her grandmother’s vintage veil. Or maybe you’re opting to say the tried and true, time-honored vows, but in a modern, chic venue. Or perhaps you’re adding a surprise hip hop routine at the end of your father daughter dance. You get the idea; if you think about it, “modern meets traditional” is probably one of the most common wedding themes out there! If you’re looking to add a dose of modern to your big day, there’s a new app growing in popularity that can easily bring your wedding into the 21st century. It’s called Periscope, and basically it’s an easy way to live broadcast, well, anything. Set up a phone or tablet at the ceremony, enlist someone to press record, and just like that those who are unable to attend can see, and hear, you say your vows. It’s that simple (and free!) to incorporate your guests near and far! Seems great, right? We agree, but there are a few things you should know before you dive in:

socialmedia

~ The Periscope app is free, but it connects to Twitter so you’ll need to create an account there before you can get started.

~ Only those with a Periscope app themselves will be able to view your broadcast, so if there is anyone in particular that you want to be able to follow along, make sure they’re set up with Periscope (and Twitter) in advance.

~ Talk with your fiance in advance and decide if you want to make your broadcast public or private. If you’re OK with anyone (and we mean literally anyone) seeing your big day, go public! If you prefer to leave it to just your friends and family, there are tips here on starting your first broadcast, including how to make it private. Private broadcasts, though, are only available to those who follow you, so many sure anyone who will be watching has requested and been approved to follow you prior to the big day.

~ To avoid your watchers getting seasick, you may want to invest in a tripod for your device to keep it steady. That way, you also don’t need to enlist anyone to hold onto your device for an extended period of time. During your rehearsal, find the ideal spot for the camera to be placed, and choose someone responsible to set it up there on the wedding day. And don’t forget your charger! If you want to film for awhile, you’ll definitely need it!

Periscope can be useful before your wedding too! For example, if anyone can’t make it to your dress shopping, bring it to Flair :)

Alternative Wedding Centerpieces

Make your tables the talk of the town!

Something monumental happened this past week. No, we’re not talking about Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, or the Patriots losing their undefeated record (yuck)…Mary Kate Olsen got married! Yes, one half of “Michelle Tanner” is now a wife. If that doesn’t make you feel old, then I don’t know what will! I’ll be honest, the Olsen twins have never been fashion icons for me personally, so while I wasn’t scrambling to get a peek at her dress, I did have an urge to find out as much about her wedding as possible. Mary Kate is the perfect mix of eccentric, cool, and modern, so I just knew she’d do something unique. The thing that I read about her wedding that stuck out the most? Apparently she and her new husband decorated with cigarettes. We’re not kidding; cigarettes in lieu of centerpieces. While I haven’t seen photographic proof yet, I’m sure we’re not talking about limp, sad packs sitting around, but more like Waterford crystal filled with thin cigarettes and maybe even those long, vintage holders. As chic as I’m sure they made it, this idea still gave me pause. What do you think? Either way, it got me to thinking about ways to decorate a wedding besides the classic flowers (which we’re not knocking, we love ‘em). Here are some fab ideas we found:

Antiques – For a unique, vintage look, consider mixed antiques in the center of your tables. Think crystal salt and pepper shakers, mismatched china, even a clock. The sky’s the limit! Warning: this will take some time and/or money, but it can also be looked at as an investment. Sure, you can hire a decorator to gather pieces for you, but if you take the time to go antique hunting on your own and collect items over time, you get the keep the beauties after the big day! Better yet, talk to your relatives about donating some of their pieces to the cause. They’re sure to be touched, and it gives your décor a personal (and cost effective) touch!

A clock, bottle stopper, salt and pepper shakers and an hourglass; who knew these seemingly random items could make such a gorge centerpiece! Photo credit to Canvas and Canopy Designs courtesy of Bridal Guide

A clock, bottle stopper, salt and pepper shakers and an hourglass; who knew these seemingly random items could make such a gorge centerpiece! Photo credit to Canvas and Canopy Designs courtesy of Bridal Guide

Books – Carrie Bradshaw chose the library for her wedding to Big, so that their love story could start where all the classic love stories were held. While their “big” day didn’t go as planned, it is a nice thought! “Carrie” that over to your own wedding by making love stories your centerpieces! Take some books from your own home, ask those closest to you to donate their favorite love story, and give your library card a workout. Now that’s the definition of easy, affordable, and unique décor!

Add a little lace and burlap and these books are wedding ready! Photo credit to Shelley Coar Photography courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess' blog

Add a little lace and burlap and these books are wedding ready! Photo credit to Shelley Coar Photography courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess’ blog

Edible Arrangements – If you still want to get that natural look and feel but want to do something different than flowers, why not herbs? They give a pop of color just like flowers do, and most even give the room a great smell like flowers do. If you want to add more color than just green, though, fruit is another great option. Now, just make sure that dinner is served on time so that your guests don’t have to resort to eating your décor!

A clean, chic centerpiece that looks good enough to eat! Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

A clean, chic centerpiece that looks good enough to eat! Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

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