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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for September, 2010

Plus- Size Brides in the Spotlight
categories: bridal fashions, for your ceremony

No matter who you are, who you know, how tall or short, size 2 or size 16, glamorous or earthy, all brides should feel like beautiful goddesses on their wedding days.

In regards to the hunt for the perfect dress, we all have our issues (mine is that lovely non-flat tummy that I inherited from my mother’s family). No matter what, you want to glow. You want everyone to gasp quietly in awe upon their first glimpse of you walking down the aisle. You want your honey to know deep in his heart that he is marrying the most beautiful woman on the planet.

So how to achieve this if you hit the common speedbumps that many plus-size brides encounter while shopping for The Dress?  And what if you have a plus-size  bridesmaids? With New York Fashion Week finally embracing plus-size beauties and networks like TLC acknowledging the plus-size demographic more and more, plus-size brides have many options and are claiming their own spotlight.

And check out this brand new, hot off the presses release of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss” trailer…

Ann from Strut Bridal Salon, a bridal salon that caters to the plus-size bride, advises you to prequalify dress shops by asking the following questions:

  1. Do you carry this brand/style or something similar?  Be sure to be very specific. Some stores, for example, don’t carry mermaid dresses over a size 12. If that’s a style you want to try, be sure to ask if you will be able to put on that silhouette.
  2. Do you have samples to fit a bride size 22-26? Be sure to ask how many dresses they have in a size that will fit you, and then ask if they will zip (as opposed to having a gaping back or just being held against your body).
  3. Is there a day of the week that will be more relaxed for shopping?  Some brides are more comfortable with fewer other wedding parties around.
  4. Do you have a plus size or more mature consultant that can assist me? You may be more comfortable working with sales people that are curvy also.

Sara Mack from Destiny’s Bride , a Scottsdale Bridal Boutique, offers this advice:

1. Keep an open mind and try on different silhouettes- you can be surprised by what you will love. I  find a lot of plus-size brides will allow themselves to be confined to a particular shape to “hide” their shape when certain silhouettes, like the trumpet or modified A-line, show off a fuller shape and are incredibly flattering. 

This modified A-line gown by Jim Hjelm  is a perfect option for plus-size brides!

2. DON’T give up! It can be frustrating for any size bride when the sample doesn’t fit- but don’t get discouraged. Let your bridal consultant help you to see how the gown is supposed to fit by using pins or clips. When you find your dress, you’ll know- because you’ll love it even if the sample is in ivory when you want white or if it doesn’t quite zip up all the way in the back.

3. And a last tip: for fuller busted brides, definitely bring a long-line bra or bustier when you try on gowns. The bustier will give you more support and lift than the sample gowns can and it will give you a better idea of what your gown will look like with alterations.
Here are some more gorgeous gowns that are a great silhouette for plus-size brides:
(Kirstie Kelly for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings)
Alfred Angelo has designed a large selection of really beautiful plus-size gowns
In regards to plus-size bridesmaids, Twirl Boutique offers this advice:
1. Choose silhouettes that are forgiving, like a flowy, empire waist, chiffon or other light fabric.
 Flowy, empire, chiffon and light fabric from Jenny Yoo. See?
2. A wrap or jacket can always be added to a spaghetti strap or strapless neckline – this neckline is most often more covering for fuller bust sizes, where v-neck necklines can be very revealing in the cleavage area.  Another good neckline would be a boatneck, but this neckline can also make a fuller bust and fuller arms more obvious. 
This feminine frock by Jim Hjelm has all the bells and whistles that are perfect for any size bridesmaid: chiffon, cap sleeves, empire waist, not-too- revealing v-neck, A-line and the color! So pretty.
This Jim Hjelm dress is a beautifully scaled boatneck and of course in the perfect Fall/Winter Wedding color!
Keri from Twirl Boutique wants brides to know a few things to be aware of when shopping for plus-size bridesmaids dresses:
-Most designers charge an extra fee for sizes over 18
– Most bridal salons have very few store samples of plus sizes, so plus size bridesmaids have to use the boutique consultants’ expertise.
Brides and B-Maids, trust me, it’s not lost on me that the images I have shared with you are mostly NOT plus-size but I wanted to share some insider information with you and give you pictures for reference.
Now go on and be your most beautiful self on your day (and do not let the shopping challenges we ALL encounter discourage you)!  
Chatting Soon~Kelly
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Bridal Show Survival Tips!
categories: open houses, upcoming events

The day you go to a bridal show, especially if it’s your first, is a day full of excitement mixed with anxiety. It can be overwhelming to say the least. When I went with my mom before my wedding, we were giddy to have the chance to hunker down and get into full-on bridal mode. This was going to be classic mother-daughter bonding.

What we weren’t expecting was to be paralyzed by too many choices. You know how it’s easer to make a decision about glassware when you only have 4 choices? And you know how you simply cannot make a decision if you have 20 types of linens to choose from? This is the bridal show effect. 

So why attend a Bridal Show? Because you will get to actually meet the vendors that you are looking for all in one place- huge time saver! And because there is nothing more fun than canoodling with other brides. This is a forum created  just for you where you can talk rings, dresses, flowers and invitations without anyone telling you that you are obsessed and need to get a life. You are with your people.

Here are a few tips to make sure you enjoy the bridal show you have been looking forward to:

1. Bring your own comfortable tote bag. You will be collecting massive amounts of information and you will want to have a bag that fits nicely over your shoulder. Here’s a cutie bag:

2. Wear Comfortable Shoes! You do not need to be nursing blisters and sore feet when you are making connections with the people who could very well be helping you create the wedding day of your dreams. And make sure your buddy (mom, best friend, fiance) is prepared for a long day. The last thing you want to be doing is managing a cranky show partner (bribing them with chocolate or Starbucks is not beneath you).

3. Expect deals and pressure. You will find that many vendors are offering show discounts. What you will also find is some vendors who want you to book on the spot for those discounts. You can certainly do this if you have done your research prior to the show and know who you are dealing with. However,  if you do not know the vendor and do not get a good vibe, or just don’t feel a good connection to him/her, take a pass. No good deal is worth potential drama down the road. You will find many talented and trustworthy vendors at these shows but you also need do your research. The deals are great if you already have your eye on a vendor or two. For more about “connecting” with potential coordinators, check out Victoria Canada Weddings and Events’  blog. For tips on how to choose a photographer, Melissa Jill has some stellar advice- click here.

4. Finally, set up a wedding email account. You are going to be getting a lot of emails from all of the vendors at the show, even if you did not contact them personally. They all get “The List”  which has your information on it and they are legally allowed to contact you. To avoid having your everyday email bombarded, use a free service like Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail to manage the influx.

Check out this video featuring Kim Horne of Arizona Bridal Source talking trends on ABC15:


For complete list of Arizona Bridal Shows, click here!

Chatting Soon~Kelly


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Wedding Cake Toppers
categories: cakes and sweets, reception ideas

Cake toppers range from completely boring to downright odd. When I see boring cake toppers, I think that the couple must have run out of time to find something more interesting and when I see the odd cake topper (please do not mistake odd for ugly), I assume there is a story behind it. It’s a couple’s inside joke on display. Right there on top of their cake. For all their guests to ponder.

With that being said, I thought I could share with you some of the fun, silly, adorable, and stylish cake toppers available to you. Most of these are found on Etsy so if you do not know about this genius site yet, shake hands and prepare to shop!

 The LOVE Sculpture is a familiar sight, but not quite like this! How fun to have your very own (custom color matched) LOVE sculpture.

 Work the “lovebird” angle. You can go stylish and a bit modern with something like this

Or a tad more subdued but still sweet with this pair:

If you are going to stick with me on this post, realize that we might share a chuckle. Agreed? This topper is not for everyone, that’s for sure, but I now admit to you that my brother (by blood) might get married all over again just so he could have Mr and Mrs Roboto on top of his cake. (To see what else I will admit to, click here)

There are some uber-crafty people out there. I am not one of them, but this is the kind of stuff they generously offer to the world: send in a picture of you and your love and they will create a spot on likeness . That’s taking “personalizing your wedding” to a whole new level.

Oh, the things you can do with paper (and many other tools, I am sure). I really really love this topper. It’s simple and elegant without being boring. Not to gush too much about RS but this reminds me of the paper projects created by Real Simple paper constructionist Matthew Sporzynski.

I love these little sweetie pie birds that are made from wire, cotton and dupioni silk.

And for the Grand Finale, I give you…PEACOCKS and LOBSTERS! People do get married at zoos you know. And animals need love too. And these reflect the pure joy of their creator which goes a long way. Can you tell I was delighted by these toppers? They just scream fun and I have to appreciate that.

 Let’s see, I promised: fun, silly, adorable and stylish. I think I completed today’s mission!

Oh, and here’s an Etsy video to get you even more excited!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Jenny Yoo Bridal Collection
categories: bridal fashions, floral inspiration, for your ceremony

There is so much to adore about Jenny Yoo and her designs- she consistently creates elegant and current fashions while achieving quality and style. Bridesmaids love wearing her dresses and brides love that she offers so many beautiful choices.

 Bridesmaid Heaven courtesy of Twirl Boutique!

The latest Jenny Yoo designs are scrumptious!

No doubt, these dresses are classically pretty but the kicker is that they are 100% silk and  priced at $645-$1195.  As Keri from Twirl says, that is crazy affordable! Want to change for the reception? These are the perfect reception dress option.

Headed to the beach for your big day? This will work!  

You will undoubtedly have your wow moment with the Jenny Yoo dresses- head on over to Twirl and trust Jenni and Keri’s team of experts to guide you in the right direction.  Happy oohing and ahhing! 

Much thanks to those who contributed:

Dresses: Twirl Scottsdale

Photographer: Trevor Dayley

Flowers: How Appropriate 

Veils: Janet Kirkman

Chatting Soon~Kelly

More of Jenny Yoo’s Bridal Collection (see even more here):


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The Colors of the Season
categories: floral inspiration, for your ceremony, from the consultants, photography, reception ideas

I have total gorgeousness for you today. The kind that inspires me to be more creative, use more color (my b/f says I have too much brown in my life) and make sure there is a photographer around to document it all! For more on the must-have colors for Fall events, click here!

LOOK at these stunning flowers! 

Tamara of Petal Pusher explains how these lovely arrangements came to be:

I have worked with Ashley Gain, owner of Ashley Gain Weddings & Events, on previous weddings and photo shoots and was thrilled to receive the opportunity to create floral pieces for her celebration showcase held at the Arcadia House in Scottsdale. To complement the orange tones of the Arcadia House, Ashley wanted to pull in shades of pink from soft to hot with touches of mango and antique gold .




 The details were thoughtfully designed by Ashley and included fuchsia satin linen with gold beaded chargers, pink lace adorned votives, gifts for the guests at each place setting…And of course the flowers to complete the look with hot pink hydrangea, geraldine roses, gypsy roses and fuschia stock. Arrangements were set on antique gold candlesticks.

I am totally inspired to bring some of these colors into my next party, how about you?

Chatting Soon~Kelly

Thank you Tamara of Petal Pusher for sharing with us!

Photos courtesy of Courtney Sargent

Event Design: Ashley Gain Events

Location: Arcadia Room

Cake Designer: Designer Cakes by April

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NACE Competition- Cakes!
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, photography, reception ideas

This summer, the Valley’s event vendors gathered at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas to compete at the 4th Annual Event Elements – Table Top Decor & Confectionary Creations Competition and Fundraiser. This year’s proceeds went to Crews’n Healthmobile.  I always look forward to this competiton because it brings out the best in everybody. There’s creating, competing and do-gooding all at the same time.

Sergio of Sergio Photographer was on-site to document the beautiful cake and tablescapes that were created for the event. I think you will be inspired by some of the lovely decor ideas presented and you may even drool a bit when you see the cakes- YUM!

First Place in the Cake Competition AND Best In Show Winner was Tammie Coe’s “Crazy in Love” Cake. If you know anything about Tammie Coe, you know that her cakes are simultaneously gorgeous and delicious. She’s a perfectionist and I adore everything she creates. Oh and if you are headed to a party  and need a  hostess gift, stop by Le Grande Orange on 40th St. and Campbell and pick up a dozen of  her sugar cookies. They are super pretty and incredibly tasty!


Honeymoon Sweets earned 2nd place with their “Marc Anthony and Cleopatra” Cake. Very statuesque!

And 3rd Place was titled “Chocolat” by the Four Seasons Resort. I believe this was inspired by the very sexy movie Chocolat (Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp). I love the intricate mosaic work:

“Lady and the Tramp” by Kick Ass Cakes:

“Taj Mahal” by JW Marriott Desert Ridge–  fantastic book (fiction) about the Taj Mahal: Beneath a Marble Sky. This will solidify the love/Taj Mahal connection for you.

“Mae and Clay Cowgill” by Nicole Cowgill:

La Dolce Pesca  presented “A Groovy Kind of Love”. So whimsical!

This year’s theme was “Love Stories- All You Need is Love” and I am certain my love for cake has been affirmed!

Thanks again to the pro who captured it all- Sergio Photographer.

Chatting soon~Kelly.

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