Alternatives to the Traditional Ring Bearer Pillow

Who says ring pillows are the only way to go?? There are many other unexpected options for couples who are seeking something different. Just check out some of these creative ideas:







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Iconic Bridal Styles

For those brides who are seeking inspiration from fashion icons of their time, look no further then these famous brides:


Jackie Kennedy’s 1953 wedding to the future president John F. Kennedy where the bride wore a gown created by designer Ann Lowe of New York City. This famous dress is now housed in the Kennedy Library of Boston.


Grace Kelly’s 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco where she wore a Helen Rose gown that featured 100 yards of silk net, 25 yards of silk taffeta, and century old lace.


Priscilla’s 1967 Vegas wedding to Elvis Presley where she wore a beaded white gown designed by the bride herself.


Lady Diana Spencer’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles wearing a gown made by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The dress was made of 6 different fabrics and had a 25 foot train.


Carolyn Bessette’s 1996 wedding to John Kennedy Jr she wore a silk crepe Narcisco Rodriguez gown valued at $40,000.

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Sneak Peak at Anthropologie's New Bridal Line!

[iframe 650px 400px] How exciting!  Debuting February 14th, BHLDN will feature  a collection of wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and party dresses, along with accessories, shoes and even lingerie.

Retail prices for the brand range from $1,000 to $4,000 for gowns, and $200 to $600 for event dresses.

Be sure to click here to visit the BHLDN website to sign up for email updates!

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Wedding Bustles 101

With a long history dating back to the 1800s bustles were originally worn by stylish women who wore a frame underneath their dress to support the back of their full skirts. Today brides bustle their dresses in order to lift the long trains of their gown off the floor (not to mention staying clean), making walking and dancing on the big day much easier!! Most bridal dresses don’t come with bustles and are instead added during the alteration process. There are many types of bustles:

  • Over Bustle (Ballroom)

Is the simplest and most inexpensive type of bustle. However this type of bustle is prone to breaking during the reception, so brides with long trains or particularly heavy gowns should take this into consideration.

  • Under Bustle (French or Victorian Bustle)

This type of bustle is very popular and great for brides who plan to be very active during their wedding. The under bustle is secured in place by tied ribbon.

  • Tufted Bustle

This type of bustle utilizes jeweled appliqués at the gathering spots in order to highlight the tufts on the skirt of the gown.

  • Pick up Bustle

This bustle is best for wedding dresses with shorter trains. There is only one pick up point selected and anchored much lower on the dress then on other bustles.

When deciding which bustle style to use for your wedding dress, keep in mind the fabric of your dress. If the fabric on your gown is delicate, like organza for example, make sure to choose a bustle style that reduces the weight on each bustle to avoid tearing. Also keep in mind your alterations budget, as bustles range in price depending on the type of bustle, length of train and fabric being used.

Image courtesy of

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Guest Post: Bridal Party Jewels

This post was written by one of our fabulous former clients, Ashley McCormick Travers.  Now Ashley works for Stella and Dot, and she was excited to share some of the latest looks with our readers. Brides are longing for that fun, creative statement to differentiate their wedding… Stella and Dot makes that happen.  As a First Coast Weddings client I was married to the cookie-cutter look and making sure my girls matched everything head to toe.   Fast forward three years and today I am in love with the mis-matched accessory look – changing up the jewelry and shoes amongst the bridal party.

As a Stella and Dot stylist I have TONS of fun styling brides, bridesmaids, flower girls, mothers of the bride and guests! And not only on the wedding day but showers, rehearsals and honeymoons too!  Our new vintage chic, on-trend looks for spring can quickly style the bridal party in affordable couture pieces they will surely work  with jeans, at the office or with a simple LBD.  Although so many brides’ wedding rings are white gold or platinum, everyone is wardrobing with gold baubles.  It’s the hottest look for 2011!

The Charlotte Charm necklace is under $50.  What I love most is the charms are removable, so I’ve seen each bridesmaid pick her favorite charm and each has a different look.  This also looks great layered with pearls and gold chains.

The Sofia Pearl Bib is my all time fave and biggest selling statement necklace hands down!  Stunning on the big day and perfect with jeans and a tank.

Great gift ideas are the initial charms and birthstone briolette charms.  A friend of mine just did the Glint flower necklace (stud set above) and stud earrings for all her bridesmaids.  A pulled together look in sterling silver for under $80 per girl.

The mini-soiree necklace with matching bracelet is ideal for the Flower girl.

Contact Ashley, your personal stylist, and let her work with you to create the look you want for any occasion.  Want to style your life? Become a stylist. Shop at her eboutique:

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Pantone's Color Of The Year 2011

It's official - Pantone has released their 2011 Color of the Year:

Is anyone thinking of changing their wedding (or business) colors to add in this new choice?  2010's color of the year, Turquoise, will always be OUR color of the year!!

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Getting In Shape For Your Wedding


A lot of brides think they should lose a few pounds or tone up their muscles before their weddings.   While I'm all for adopting a healthy lifestyle, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about this task,


  • Start early. Don't wait until 2 weeks before the wedding to try to lose 20 pounds.
  • Set realistic goals.  If you are a size 20, chances are you won't be a size 2 in 6 months.
  • Consider meeting with a nutritionist and personal trainer.  These experts can help you determine proper diet and exercise routines based on your height, weight and body type.
  • Use the buddy system.  Find a friend (or all of your bridesmaids, perhaps?) to share your workout routine and diet plan with.  Or, look for a bridal boot camp to work out with other brides to be!
  • Reward yourself.  Sticking to your weight loss plan is great, but having fun is important too! Treat yourself to ice cream on date night, or skip the gym and go for a long walk with your fiance on the beach.


  • Buy a dress that is way too small.  Even if you are dedicated to losing weight, things happen.  It's always easier to take a dress in than to let one out!
  • Try a new diet every week.  Talk to a professional when you get started, and stick to a steady plan.
  • Not eat.  Fasting makes you more irritable, tired, and less able to deal with stress.
  • Eat too little.  Just like fasting, cutting your calorie count too much can be dangerous.  A bride in England even died of heart failure from eating a measly 530 calories for 11 weeks.  It's just not worth it!
  • Focus on the wedding day.  Make lifestyle changes so that you will be healthier all around!  Married couples tend to gain weight at a faster rate than their single peers.

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Brides Against Breast Cancer Gown Sale

The Brides Against Breast Cancer Nationwide Tour of Gowns is coming to Jacksonville! This unique opportunity allows brides-to-be a chance to find the gown of their dreams at a remarkable price, while helping to make wishes and memory-making events come true. Most gown prices range from $99 to $799, including hundreds of beautiful new name brand and designer gowns valued up to $8,000.  More than half the gowns presented during each event are NEW designer gowns that arrived directly from designers, manufacturers and bridal retailers.

You won't want to miss it!

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront 225 E Coastline Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202

VIP NIGHT Friday, July 23: 6 PM – 9 PM $45 per Bride and guest, $20 each additional guest In addition to getting first pick of the gowns, enjoy hors d'oeuvres, a mini-bridal show, and a wedding expert panel discussion Buy tickets in advance

GENERAL SALE Saturday, July 24: 10 AM – 8 PM Sunday, July 25: 10 AM – 6 PM Free Admission

(this is me, volunteering at the Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale in Orlando in 2009!)

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Looking Ahead - Color Forecast Winter 2011/2012!


One of the fun parts of my job is seeing what is ahead in colors, design and products.  Today I got to attend a webinar produced by Pantone, the people that determine what colors will be in fashions, home accents, and pretty much everywhere else. The webinar discussed eight unique color palettes, all of which are amazing.   Here's a peak at the Blue Sky palette:

With this palette, we'll see colors blending into each other, one-piece molded looks in womens fashions, and helix forms.  There will also be a mixture of textures or color shades to create contract.

It's so exciting to read about these forecasts and then months (or years!) from now see these colors in the stores.

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Spotlight: Bella Bridesmaid Discount!


We got some great news from our friend Ashley at Bella Bridesmaid in Jacksonville!  She is offering a 5% discount on dresses if you mention our name - what a sweetie! Ashley is also really excited about some of the new styles coming in.  Here's what she had to say:

"Priscilla of Boston has come out with a classic collection and their short satin dresses are $160.00 and their long is $180.00.  Their quality of dresses are absolutely great and girls love them as cocktail dresses!  Plus, girls are mixing it up and letting girls pick their dresses, but keeping it with the same designer and fabric.  Priscilla of Boston has many styles to pick from and allows girls to do just that!

Also, Cynthia Rowley has started a bridesmaid collection, and her prices are too around $165.00 to $200.00, depending on style."

Check out some of these faves:

Cynthia Rowley Style 8005

Lela Rose LR 118 from The Dessy Group

Cynthia Rowley Style 8000

Ashley also said that one-shoulder looks continue to be hot!  Be sure to visit Bella Bridesmaid in San Marco for all the latest looks.  Call 904.374.0351 to schedule an appointment.

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Tuesday Tips: Trunk Shows

If you are in the market for a wedding gown, you may have seen invitations to trunk shows.  And you may be wondering, what is a trunk show, and should I go to one?

A trunk show is typically one or two days, where the designer or their representative travels to a bridal salon to showcase their new line.  Most salons have limited space for display and may not be able to have an entire line on hand - this gives you a chance to see more variety from a designer.

  • Make an appointment! Time slots usually fill up fast.
  • Talk to the designer or their rep about changes you'd like made to the dress - they should be able to easily tell you what will work and what won't.
  • Ask about discounts.  There may be special incentives for ordering at the trunk show, or you might get those little changes (adding length, changing the neckline, etc.) thrown in for free.

Our friends at Sharon Batten are having a Ramona Keveza trunk show this weekend.  Call the shop at (904) 285-4544 for more details.

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Fall 2010 Color Trends!


It's one of my favorite times of year again! Time for Pantone's Fall Color Report. Pantone is THE source for everything related to color.  Twice a year, they publish their color reports for the next season.  Here's a peak at the colors that will be in all the stores this fall:

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A Dress With Real Spark(le)

Check out the GalaxyDress!  According to the YouTube description:

"The Galaxy Dress is the center piece of the 'Fast Forward: Inventing the Future' exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The museum is celebrating its 75 years and has commissioned the GalaxyDress for their permanent collection.

The GalaxyDress provides a spectacular and mesmerizing effect being embroidered with 24,000 color LEDs, it is the largest wearable display in the world. Constructed using the smallest full-color LEDs that are flat like paper and measuring only 2 by 2 mm."

How is that for adding some spark and sparkle to your wedding? In addition to the 24,000 LEDs, the dress features 4,000 Swarovski crystals, and enough iPod batteries to keep everything glowing for about an hour.

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Pantone + Dessy = Fun!


New York Fashion Week always makes me happy.  No, I don't have the joy of actually attending, although maybe someday! {Fingers crossed!} Fashion Week means it's time for the next Pantone Color Report to make its debut.  And OH, how I love some of these colors!

pantone 2010 spring colors

Although it's not too obvious since our website/blog re-design, our corporate color is turquoise.  And there it is, at the top of the list for 2010 Spring Colors - Pantone 15-5519.  My heart skipped a beat!

And who can help but love a color called Tomato Puree?!  And Pink Champagne - my fave!

But even beyond the greatness of the Spring Color Report is the fun of a whole new concept from Pantone and The Dessy Group. Pantone Wedding is a way to create inspiration boards to share and order color swatches to go with them! So much fun to play with.

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Adorn Jewelry In The News


You may have heard about Adorn fine jewelry rental recently on The CBS Early Show, or read about them in USA Today.  If you haven't, here's the deal. You get to wear lots of expensive jewelry on your wedding day, without breaking your budget.

It's that simple.

You go to the Adorn website, search through their online catalog for just the right pieces to compliment your look, and place your order.  Your jewelry arrives two business days before the wedding, and comes with return packaging to send it back.  Best of all, our friends get 25% off! Just use promo code SNAA016 at checkout!!

adorn flyer

View the Full-Size Adorn Promo Flyer

Remember, use promo code SNAA016 to receive 25% OFF!!

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Couture Gown Trunk Show


Essense of Australia is launching their new couture line, Martina Liana and Love, A Bridal Boutique in Jacksonville Beach is hosting an exclusive presentation of the new Couture Bridal Line!  The trunk show will be held September 4-5, 2009.  Contact Love, A Bridal Boutique at (904) 242-9800 for reservations. I could describe some the gowns’ amazing details, but think I will just share a few of my favorites (be forewarned, few things make me as happy as sparkles and lace).  These gowns are from Martina Liana’s 2009 collection…imagine what 2010 is going to bring!

Dress 203

Dress 204

Dress 234

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Hot or not?


What bride doesn't want to have great hair for their hairstylist to brag about on their wedding day? Even though you may not be doing your hair on your big day, it's still nice for the stylist to have an easy-to-work with mane that isn't overdried or full of breakage. There are tons of hair care products that claim to reduce the wear and tear that daily conditions put on your hair. While some of those may actually live up to what they say, you are really in control of the majority of damage that your tresses undergo. You ask, "How is that?" Well, my friend, it all comes down to heat exposure. If you are the kind of gal that takes a hot shower every day, followed by blow drying and straightening and/or rolling, chances are you're hair could stand a break.

You may think you have no other options, but you would be surprised to learn there are actually many alternatives if you get creative. Instead of a hot shower, maybe try warm water. From personal experience, I have found that when I rinse my hair with cool water, after about a week, I had fewer dead ends. Next in the process, you could attempt using the cool setting for drying your hair, just be careful with letting the ends of your hair beat in the wind, as this is also very rough on your locks. When it comes to straighteners and rollers, there really is no easy way around it. If you want straight-as-a-board hair, or you just love having that Barbie bounce, you've got to do what you've got to do. I would suggest testing out a few new styles. I have recently discovered that a side braid is very stylish and doable, but I don't have to actually do anything to my hair before braiding it. Another personal favorite of mine is having tousled hair. Some may be afraid of not being able to pull it off, but if you don't try it, you'll never know!

So, don't forget... you have the power! When in doubt about styling or tips, don't be afraid to search the internet. Fifty percent of the world is made up of women. The chances that some of those women are wondering the same things as you are highly possible!

(photo from

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A Few Extra Steps

One of the most important pieces to a bride's outfit on her wedding day is her shoes. While it is common for a bride to wear a pair of shoes she already has, many brides purchase a new pair of shoes for this special occasion. At the end of her wedding day, the last thing any bride would want is a blister. Unfortunately, new shoes are the epitome of such a situation. On the bright side, there are a few ways this unwelcome occurrence can be avoided!

Before purchasing, make sure the shoes you are interested in fit properly. Blisters usually occur because a shoe is too tight or too loose. If a shoe store does not offer the size you need for the shoe you love, ask them if they can check other stores for you. If this does not work, check the internet. Considering that another culprit of blisters is sweating, ensure that your shoe has plenty of breathing room for your foot. These are very important factors to keep in mind before you buy your wedding day shoes.

After making the purchase, wear your new pair around the house for a few hours. This way, you will not only break them in, but you can also make sure they don't blister in places like your heel, or pinky toe. If they do blister, you have two options. You can either exchange that pair for a different one, or arrange to wear Band-Aids in the proper places on your wedding day.

If you plan correctly, blisters and unpleasant foot pains can be easily avoided simply by taking a few extra steps before your wedding.

(photo courtesy of La Dolce Vita Studio, from Michelle and Jamaal's April wedding)

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