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Amy Kuschel Bridal

Girls, get ready for some Disco and Deco deliciousness!

As any “Project Runway” addict like myself knows, every fashion collection needs to have a cohesive theme. It’s not enough to just make pretty pieces (although that’s a great start); for a collection to really be, well, a collection, all of the items need to make sense together. The designers we have at Flair do an amazing job at that, and we’re constantly amazed at their creativity and strong sense of personal style. While no two collections are alike, at the same time they always possess that signature look that each designer has become known for. One collection that we really love this year is “Deco to Disco” by Amy Kuschel. Let’s face it, since “The Great Gatsby” all of us girls have had a bit of an obsession with fashion from the past, and Amy has tapped right into that! The great thing, though, is that she has also managed to make this collection look totally fresh and modern. With chic, minimal shapes, lush fabrics, and perfectly proportioned embellishments, all of the dresses in this collection are fun, flirty, and full of style! Check out a few of our faves below and then give us a ring to see them in person at our “Deco to Disco” designer event next weekend!

Oh hello, hottie Harlow!

Oh hello, hottie Harlow!

Hey Boston dress, we love you because of a) your name, duh b) your good looks and c) your charity! A portion of the proceeds of this gown goes towards an LGBT charity!

Hey Boston dress, we love you because of a) your name, duh b) your good looks and c) your charity! A portion of the proceeds of this gown goes towards an LGBT charity!

Garbo, you're gorgeous!!

Garbo, you’re gorgeous!!

Say hello to Harlem! Isn't she chic and sleek!

Say hello to Harlem! Isn’t she chic and sleek!

We think Daisy Buchanan would approve of and love the Charleston gown!

We think Daisy Buchanan would approve of and love the Charleston gown!

Hayley Paige Bridal

A Trend Report

On the heels of New York Fashion week, we have trends on the brain. Watching the collections walk the runway is basically like having someone say “Hint hint, this is what you should be wearing.” It’s perfect; you get to look at pretty clothes, spot celebrities in the front row, and stay on top of your fashion game all at the same time. The bridal world is no different; each collection gives brides a heads up on what is fresh and new in wedding wear. Seeing as how our Hayley Paige trunk show coincides with NYFW, we figured now was the perfect time for a HP trend report. Here’s what to look out for:

Florals – Hayley Paige is definitely known for her sparkle. I don’t think she has ever met bling she didn’t like, and you get to reap the benefit with her shining, stunning styles! In her latest collections, though, we’ve seen a major increase in another pretty detail – flowers! Whether it’s via embroidery, appliqués, or lace, florals have popped up more and more in her recent work, and we’re loving it!

Left: Enchanting Chantelle Right: Radiant Remmington

Left: Enchanting Chantelle Right: Radiant Remmington

Darker tones – Hayley’s got your back; she knows that white is not an easy color to wear, so she always fills her collections with plenty of hue options. Choices range from the still traditional ivory tones to the more modern blushes and blues. There’s truly something for everyone!

Oh pretty Nicoletta, we're obsessed with you!

Oh pretty Nicoletta, we’re obsessed with you!

See ya strapless – Straps have made a major comeback in the past few years, and Hayley Paige’s collections are no exception. I think a big part of what we love about strapless is the subtle sex appeal, so HP always makes sure to pop some va va voom in other areas of her strapped designs, in the form of illusion details, low backs, and more!

Left: Marvelous Mona Right: Beautiful Behati

Left: Marvelous Mona Right: Beautiful Behati

A-line – In recent years, it seems like brides have been into the extremes when it comes to silhouettes. We saw tons of fitted mermaids, and plenty of voluminous ballgowns, but less options in the middle. Thankfully, Hayley Paige knows that brides like options, and she has provided them with beautiful a-line styles that are the perfect mix of flowy and fitted.

Left: Elegant Ellie Right: Pretty Portia

Left: Elegant Ellie Right: Pretty Portia

Wedding Hair Accessories

Add some chic to your coiffure!

Welp, it has finally happened. Winter has arrived. We got off easy for awhile, but there’s no denying it now. As much as I tried to be annoyed, secretly I was happy to see the flakes fall this week. I probably won’t be singing the same tune after a few more weeks of this, but for now the snow just seems to have added some much needed sparkle to the world. It got me to thinking about something that adds sparkle to a bride’s world; her hair accessories! I love a good bridal headpiece. We’re used to wearing jewelry on a daily basis, but it’s not often that you get the excuse to adorn your tresses with some bling, too. So, make sure you do it right! Here’s how:
Marry your dress and headpiece – If your gown has bling, you’ll want to make sure the sparkle on your headpiece matches accordingly. If your dress has crystals with a gold tone/setting, for example, try to find the same for your hair accessory. Or, if your gown is heavier on the pearls, focus your headpiece search on those with pearls, too. If your gown is bling-free, that leaves the door wide open, though; do whatever you like!

We love that this gorge "Bramble" headband (by amazing designer Elizabeth Bower) works both over and under a veil!

We love that this gorge “Bramble” headband (by amazing designer Elizabeth Bower) works both over and under a veil!

Consider your hair – Not every headpiece works with every hair type. Heavier styles, for example, work best with thicker hair that can really hold them in place. On the other hand, if you have thin hair you might want to stick with more delicate pieces that won’t overpower your locks. If you’re considering adding some extensions, just make sure your stylist puts them in nice and tight, so that your headpiece doesn’t accidentally loosen them.

Elizabeth Bower's Cleo comb is such a modern style; a total wow coming down the aisle!

Elizabeth Bower’s Cleo comb is such a modern style; a total wow coming down the aisle!

Give it a thorough inspection – Your photographer is going to catch you from all angles, so be sure you like the placement/look of your headpiece from the front, back and sides. You don’t want to find out when you get your proofs that your accessory gave you a cone head look in all of your side shots! In the same breath, you also don’t want to find that it gets lost in some angles. After all, you worked hard to find your piece, so make sure you can properly show it off! Have your hairstylist try it in a few spots to see what you like best.

When in doubt, schedule a half-hour accessories appointment with Flair and we’re happy to help you find your perfect piece!

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 🙂

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!