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Elizabeth’s Diary

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Posted March 16, 2018

As a bride, everyone knows you need time to shop and order your dress, but how much time is really necessary?  Also, what about your girls and mothers? Unless you have been a bride before these timelines can be confusing, and also can lead to some expensive rush fees if you don’t meet deadlines. Here are some helpful tips to break it all down and help save you stress, time, & money!

Bridal gowns are made to order, which means that designers don’t start production on your gown until you place the order! For the blushing bride, you want to make sure you order your gown 6-8 months BEFORE you need to start alterations.  We suggest you start your alterations with 2 -3 months buffer time before your wedding to make sure you have time to schedule and complete them without stress. Most seamstresses charge rush fees to do alterations in less than 8 weeks before the wedding.  This is such an avoidable (and pricey!) charge for most people. Of course you can pay to have a dress rushed, but the rush charge gets incrementally more expensive week by week so this can really add on to the price of the dress! On average, most brides order their dress between 10-12 months before the wedding to make sure they avoid rush charges on both delivery & alterations.

Brides should be rounding up their girls and picking styles and colors of bridesmaid dresses 7-8 months before the wedding! Bridesmaids have a little more leeway, but should strive to actually order their dresses 6 months ahead of the wedding.  It takes about 5 months for the dress to come in so you want to make sure you leave the last month to complete alterations.  If you have a particularly large bridal party you should encourage all of your girls to order at that 6 month mark so you can make sure the order is within the same dye lot and everyone’s dress will be the same.  It sometimes takes a while to track everyone down and have them measured so leaving enough time is crucial!

Though moms tend to think of themselves last, they need to leave ample time to order and alter their dress. Mother of and evening gowns, like bridal gowns, are made to order and need about 5 months to come in.  Coordinating these special order garments with the bride and bridal party can sometimes take a little more TLC, as mothers want to make sure the wedding colors and bridesmaid colors don’t clash with their gown.  Most of the designer made to order gowns come in different fabrics and colors, ensuring the perfect palate in your photos!

Giving yourself enough time really helps eliminate stress and the extra fees associated with rushing through the process.  You don’t need the added worry during this important and happy time in your life!

 

Posted February 28, 2018

You found the perfect partner, had an amazing proposal, celebrated with champagne, and now it’s time to dress shop! While it may seem overwhelming, here are some helpful tips to make the process not only special, but fun!

First, you will want to make sure you have a date and venue secured. This is so helpful in forming your ideas about what kind of gown you may want. It also helps your bridal consultant visualize what type of wedding you are having, which can ultimately help them guide you to the right dress! Second, you want to give yourself enough time! Most dresses are made to order and take anywhere from 6-8 months to come in. You should start shopping 10 months to 1 year ahead of your wedding to ensure you have enough time for the dress to arrive and to start your alterations. Designers can accommodate tighter deadlines but usually charge a rush fee, so it’s best to play it safe and leave enough time!

Next, your consultant should work closely with you, asking tons of questions about your ceremony, reception, vibe, and budget. Being open and honest with your consultant is super important so they can narrow gowns down and find the perfect one for you! There are dresses at every price point, so feel confident that you can find your dream dress within the budget you have set aside. Also remember to leave room in the budget for alterations when the dress comes in. If this is a concern, make sure your consultant knows before getting started so they can work that into the bigger picture.

Now it’s time to shop! Bringing tons of your best girlfriends may sound like a blast, but it can sometimes lead to confusing the bride with many varied opinions. You should bring a couple people closest to you that know your style and whose opinions you value. A bridal gown is the most self expressive garment anyone will ever purchase – make sure it truly reflects your own personal style! Remember to come with any photos of dresses you are loving, favorites you have previously tried on to show your consultant, and an an open mind! Feel free to wear any undergarments that you feel comfortable in, the most common being shapewear and a strapless bra.

Once you start trying dresses, relax and have fun with it! Trust that your consultant has your best interest at heart. Be open to trying things on and give honest feedback to the consultant so they can cater the appointment to what you love, or switch it up if you aren’t loving what you thought you would! When you get the feeling that you never want to take a dress off, you know you have found “the one”! It is very common that a bride finds her dress at her first appointment so come prepared to say “Yes” to the dress! Trust your gut, have a quick cry, and then pop the champagne to celebrate!

Posted January 19, 2017

Patty Gibbons from Little Black Dress Paperie fills us in on everything wedding invitations!

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There are a lot of tasks in planning your wedding that can seem a little daunting to tackle and wedding invitations can certainly be one of those tasks. Just like the entire wedding planning process, choosing your wedding invitations is much easier when you break down each component. Organization is key, and makes choosing wedding invitations fun and exciting and ensures your invitations will be outstanding!:

    It’s so important to establish your style and vision for the wedding before scheduling a consultation with your stationer. Many brides create a Pinterest Board of wedding ideas they like, including invitations that “speak” to them. They also look to wedding websites like The Knot and Wedding Wire to provide inspiration, as well as wedding invitation web sites.

    Once you determine whether your wedding will be rustic, modern, traditional, or something else, it’s time to meet with the stationer of your choice. The consultation with your stationer is informative and very important. She will give you advice, share ideas and show samples chosen by other brides that help capture your vision with an invitation design you’ll love.

    Now for the proofs! Be prompt in responding to the stationer’s questions and approving proofs, but be thorough in your review. Depending on your choices, you may need to approve multiple proofs. Be diligent, and double-check all spelling, addresses, and numbers. Your designer will check everything as well, but signing off is your responsibility, and final. Extra caution will avoid errors and expensive re-do’s and ensure your invitations are done once, and perfect!

 

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Posted November 3, 2016

Another amazing bridal market has ended and we’re reflecting on all of the gorgeous gowns we saw over our four days in NYC! One of the most elegant bridal markets yet, this season, we saw bolder bridal trends making appearances in almost every designer collection.

Deep/Plunging Necklines

Without a doubt, deep, plunging necklines were the standout trend of the season. While we’ve seen this sexier trend over the last few bridal markets with designer such as Mira Zwillinger and Reem Acra, this season we saw the trend in almost every bridal designer’s collection. With brides becoming increasingly bolder in their bridal style, designers are creating gorgeous gowns for the bride who wants a fashion-forward, sexy and sophisticated look.

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High-Low Hemlines

Made popular in recent seasons by designers including Anne Barge, high-low bridal gowns are the highlight of many collections this season. For brides looking for that “something different,” this chic and innovative hemline is perfection!

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Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits continue to trend in bridal fashion this season. As brides continue to look for more bridal style options, designers are creating beautiful jumpsuits for daytime ceremonies, reception changes and all of the events that lead up to the big day!

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Off-the-Shoulder

The epitome of romance, bridal designers are listening to what today’s bride is looking for and creating lovely gowns with the very popular off-the-shoulder necklines. This chic neckline offers a sophisticated, subtle sexiness that is sought after by so many brides!

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Stay tuned as we await the arrival of many of these stunning gowns!

Posted May 4, 2016

With Spring 2017 bridal market behind us, bridal salons around the country, even the world, are looking back at the trends they saw on many leading bridal designers runways deciding what will work for their brides in the coming year. Four trends that captured our attention this year: color, sexy necklines, menswear and 3-D appliques.

 

Colored Gowns

Using Pantone’s Color of the Year rose quartz and serenity, many designer’s including our very own Mira Zwillinger and Sareh Nouri featured gowns in gorgeous shades of rose and gray. A trend perfect for the bride looking to leave the white gown behind and embrace the muted colors brides are now looking for to add a uniqueness to their wedding day look.

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(Spring 2017 Gown by Mira Zwillinger)

Sexy Necklines

Bridal designers are taking their creativity to a new level, creating breath-taking gowns with subtly sexy necklines. The deep V neckline of 2015 has been perfected, with almost every bridal designer showing at fashion week offering a version of it. Once traditionally conservative designers are now embracing the trend and offering ways for brides to wear these gowns off the runway and in ways that make them feel both beautiful and feminine.

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(Spring 2017 Gown by Anne Barge)

 

Menswear

While menswear is not new to the bridal scene (think Celine Dion’s white backwards tuxedo look at the 1999 Oscars), it has a new, fresh take from designers like Oscar de la Renta and Lela Rose. Created with more femininity in mind, these designers nailed this effortless look for any bride – walking down the aisle or at pre/post wedding events!

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(Spring 2017 Outfit by Lela Rose)

3-D Appliques

A carry-over from 2016, 3-D appliques are back this season and better than before. With several designers featuring intricate floral and modern appliques, brides are falling in love with these gowns that provide a truly unique look.

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(Spring 2017 Gown by Sareh Nouri)

 

Posted August 27, 2015

Ever dream of getting married on a gorgeous exotic island? Well…that’s exactly what Dana and Karen did! This amazing couple planned a beautiful destination wedding at the St. Regis Bora Bora and their day was everything a wedding should be – filled with love and of course, gorgeous gowns!

Both brides looked stunning in their Pronovias ballgowns – Dana choosing a beautiful tulle and feathered gown, while Karen chose an elegant beaded ballgown. Both brides chose dresses that were a true reflection of their wedding day vision and gowns they really loved!

With a picturesque back drop, the couple was married in a romantic ceremony over the gorgeous tropical water. More images from Dana & Karen’s big day below, as well as wedding planning advice from the brides! The entire gorgeous day was captured by Helene Havard Photography!

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Posted August 13, 2015

We met Lis even before she had a wedding date or venue set, but she had the clearest picture of what her day would look like. Fast forward a month and she was back, with a wedding date and a venue which was exactly what she described! What she forgot to mention was it was going to be the most gorgeous outdoor wedding we’ve ever seen!

Lis chose the perfect Junko Yoshioka gown to compliment her tented wedding and the natural setting at the Willowwood Arboretum in Far Hills, NJ. She was absolutely stunning from head to toe, choosing a beautiful A-line with a delicate textured overlay. If you’re looking for vintage wedding inspiration – look no further! Lis & Doug took natural/vintage to the next level – Sperry tent, a gorgeous color palette of cream and pinks and sweet details throughout!

The beautiful day was captured by Carolina Rivera at CWR Photography.

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Posted May 13, 2015

Do you believe in fate? Well, we do…and this bride is exactly the reason why! After a few discouraging bridal salon experiences, Sarah decided to move on to bridesmaids dresses. That’s why she walked into Elizabeth Johns, but she walked out with a wedding gown and a new perspective!

Sarah and her husband Thomas were married in January in a gorgeous winter wedding at the Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, VT! Complete with views of the slopes, lots of snow, and tons of personal details – the entire day was beautiful from start to finish! Sarah looked absolutely amazing in her Pronovias gown with a custom monogram veil from Elizabeth Johns! Her bridesmaids wore sophisticated, black Noir by Lazaro floor-length gowns – each a little different to highlight her bridesmaids personality and style!

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Posted April 9, 2015

Ever wonder what a bridal consultant wears on their wedding day? Take a look at some of our very own Elizabeth Johns employees on their wedding day and what they think about their wedding gown choices today!

Melinda, Salon Owner: I remember feeling so beautiful on my wedding day, and so excited!  Even though my dress today looks like it belongs in a wedding taking place 25 years ago, I still think it’s a beautiful ball gown!

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Marina, Ardmore Bridal Consultant: “Buy the dress that makes you feel most like yourself. Because that’s who he fell in love with.” My favorite part of my dress was the fact that I could twirl in it all night and when my husband saw me walking down the aisle, he started bawling and I started laughing! The whole day just felt like a dream and was the most fun day of my life!

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Whitney, Ardmore Bridal Consultant: When I got engaged, I was designing wedding gowns in New York City and chose a gown that was  created for the runway. My mom and grandmother came to visit and after trying on multiple gowns, I walked out in this gown and they didn’t say a word, but I saw it on their faces. My mom finally said, “Oh it is just stunning and no one would expect it.”

That was really important to me. I wanted to wear something a little different, new and exciting that people hadn’t seen before. One of the most special things about my wedding was that I had a hand in making my wedding gown from design to construction. The experience of having a couture gown created just for me was something I will never forget and after 5 years, I still look back knowing I could not have made a better choice.

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Dana, Ardmore Salon Manager: My June wedding was in held at Dreams Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. We were lucky enough to spend a week at the resort surrounded by family and friends. Every moment of the wedding day felt so perfect – from the warm tropical breeze to all the wedding guests and bridal party jumping in the pool after the reception. I never felt so beautiful as I did on that day. My dress was a beaded lace, modified A-line and everything I could have ever dreamed of for my wedding.

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Erica, Ardmore Bridal Consultant: What I loved most about my gown was the pattern and texture as well as the way it shimmered as I walked!  One of my favorite moments was when my father surprised everyone at the wedding by having the Mummers Quaker City String Band show up at the reception and they made my husband get down on one knee and serenade me with “It Had To Be You”.  It was the sweetest thing!

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Caitlin, Director – Marketing & Communications: While planning a tented wedding on a pier in Hoboken, NJ was not at all easy, wedding dress shopping was! After trying on just a few dresses, I found “the one!” Just like that, I put on this beaded, lace beauty and fell in love – mom approved, of course! Add a chapel length veil, vintage accessories and my look was complete!

My wedding day was pure magic and I’ve never felt as beautiful and confident as I did on that day – a feeling I will never forget!

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