2015 Bridal Makeup Trends…Fresh from the Runway !

    Yes these lovely, fresh looks have come directly from the 2015 Bridal runways in New York & Europe.    Soft Pinks, Berries, True Reds and Luscious Clarets took center stage on the models faces as well as beautifully prominent eyebrows. So Audrey Hepburn !  And eyes are so clean and soft.
The designers looks featured here are Reem Acra, Alberta Feretti, Jenny Packham,
 Anne Barge and Romona Keveva.




Fall 2014 & Spring 2015 Bridal Gown Trends

        The Fall of 2014 and Spring 2015 are incredibly elegant and exquisite for Brides.

Extraordinary detailed backs with sheer panels & lace, Draped backs reminiscent of 1940s’ gowns, jeweled necklines, pearled embroidery and more. Another deja vu are scooped 50s’ necklines ..so classic! Oh and two more fashion details: long feminine lace sleeves and large graceful bows a la Yves St. Laurent.                                                                            

Gown by Reem Acra

2014 Wedding Trends / Cascade Bouquets

  Kate Middleton’s bridal bouquet is to your left.  It is my favorite of all the cascading bridal bouquets that I have seen. Not because it was the Duchess’s but for being so unstructured & floaty.                                                                                           These cascade bouquets echo the elegant 1950s’ vibe of today’s gowns ( Very Audrey Hepburn / Givency) though many of the modern bouquets are less perfectly shaped than in the 50s & early 60s.
        Below are a few examples of the cascade and if you want to be doubly trendy go for the violet one, which is the color of  the year !  

#2014 bridal bouquets  #2014 wedding trends





Pantone Color of the Year

Wedding Planning Guide / Week of the Wedding

        OK… if you are stressed out, that’s normal.
Several times a day just stop, think about the joyous day you are preparing for and take LOTS of deep breaths.
1) Do more delegating. Make a list of wedding day tasks and choose friends or Bridesmaids or Groomsmen to help. For example: Who will carry your things and who will be in charge of gifts.            2) Two days before have a manicure & pedicure and if you have time, a massage. This can go a long way in relieving stress.                                              3) Pick up your dress or if it is being delivered, confirm the day and time.                                                                                                                              4) Call your vendors & confirm timing      5) If you have not already done so, email the timeline to everyone       in your bridal party. 6) If there are vendors who have not been paid yet, write the checks and put them in envelopes with  their tips. Please allow me to say something VERY important about tipping. Tips should be in cash. Self employed people need tips just as much as anyone else. They are a reward for fine service and should be 15 to 20%.                                                                                                                                      5) Break in your shoes ! Wearing them around the house is fine but to make them slip-proof get some coarse sandpaper and rough up the bottoms. Do this with gloves on.          

  6) Early in the week email your final guest list to your venue and caterer.
  7)  More delegation : Have friends or parents take welcome baskets to the guests’ hotel. The hotel will help distribute them.
8) Pack for your Honeymoon and have a
    fabulous time !!!


Wedding Planning Guide / One Month Out

Here’s a perfect task that your Maid of Honor can do for you:
1) Check off on the guest list those who have responded with a YES. Then immediately
phone those who have not responded. When you have a firm number email the venue. They will be very appreciative.
2) Have ( fingers crossed) your last fitting !
3) Do your seating chart. You can download the one of your choice from Google Images like the one below.

4) If you are having limousines or a trolley
for your wedding party contact the company & make sure they know all the destinations and the correct timetable.
5) Another job for a bridesmaid or Mom:
Mail the rehearsal dinner invitations.
6) Go through your vendor list & send out as many final payments as possible.
7) If you desire a facial have one at least one month before. It is best to go to an esthetician you have visited before. You don’t want to have any sort of allergic reactions.
8) Make an appointment if necessary for 2 weeks before the wedding day for a haircut and color.

Wedding Planning Guide / 2 Months Out

Hello ! I know, I’ve been away  for a while. Let’s start with your photographer.
1) Plan a meeting with him or her at your venue or any of the other places where you would like your lovely photos taken.
2) Meet with your deejay or band.
Make sure they know what sort of music you love (or dislike) and give them a list of specific songs that are absolutely must haves.
3) Your Invitations should be sent now and the RSVPs need to be back to you three to four weeks afterwards.
4) I think it is a great idea to get your license 7 weeks before your wedding day. They expire at 60 days and it will  be one less thing to do as your special day draws closer.
5) DELEGATE ! There are so many things to think of and do. Choose one or two people to help with a few things that you can let go of. You can’t do everything especially if you work. Friends & Parents love to help.
I have seen that many times !

Wedding Planning Guide / Three Months Out

More wonderful decisions !  It’s time to see your florist and finalize your choices for in season flowers.
Remember that you  may  want extra for your hair, your maids’ hair or your cake. Take your time choosing. Flowers put the finishing touch on your wedding day.
2) Shop for your lingerie, both day & evening.Of  course nationally Victoria’s Secret is great but if you are in the Chicago area Underthings on Webster has a divine selection.
3) Ask the people you most most care about to speak at the reception. Give them plenty of time to plan their remarks.
4)  Three months before is a good time to go over the details of your menu with your caterer or the venue’s chef. You may guests who are vegetarians, so remember to inform the caterer of this. Take your time and go over all details such as per person price and what that includes.
5)  After you have finalized the order of your ceremony & reception, touch base with all of your vendors.
     Send them an event schedule. If some of your bridal party have changed their minds about hair and
     makeup or if an Aunt decides to have her hair done by your hairdresser, inform your beauty team so that
     changes can be made in the timeline.
6)  Menu Cards… If you do not care to spend the money to have these printed they can easily be done on your computer. There are many templates available online.

Wedding Planning Guide / Four Months Out

How exciting…Time to talk about your wedding cake ! I LOVE this one. So if you are doing this on  your own
(WITHOUT A PLANNER)   choose 3 bakers first. That way you won’t be overwhelmed. Remember if your budget is somewhat limited think simple & elegant. Wait until you have attended all your tastings before you commit to one. You won’t believe how many flavors there are !

2) Choose your rehearsal dinner venue and book it. This dinner can be as casual or elegant as you wish. I have noticed that lots of couples are going for the more casual to take the stress off their budgets.
3)  Dress fittings:  Make sure that you have chosen your shoes prior to the first fitting so that you can bring them with you. Bridal shops are great places to look for accessories But I have an even better resource for you ! For the most exquisite Bridal jewelry, hair accessories, veils & sashes check out Bella Bleu Bridal  All of their pieces are very well made and absolutely gorgeous.  So back to fittings…definitely start them at 4 to 5 months prior to the wedding so you will have your dress at least 2 weeks before your wedding.

4) Check with your stationer to see a sample of your invitations. Make sure they are exactly the way you want them. This is your last chance to make changes.  
5) Choose your music for the ceremony, your presention at the reception, your first dance & of course music for your guests to dance to. Make it very clear what you like & what you do not want.
6)  If you have not already done so choose & purchase your rings.
      You will need time to order them if they are custom made and for perfect sizing.

Wedding Planning Guide / Six Months Out

  Happy Spring Brides to Be !  Six months out you definitely should have a meeting with your maids about:
1) Their Dresses !  Here’s why you should have a meeting…Presumably you have a color in mind and your maids will go along with your choice. But everyone has some insecurity about their bodies & what they look good in.
So sit down with them and show them your ideas about color & style. If you are flexible, a great trend that I have seen a lot is having one color in various styles. That way everyone can be happy ! Ann Taylor is definitely just one store where you can accomplish this.

2) Shop for & purchase invitations. If you have the budget for a calligrapher, hire one immediately.
    If you are in Chicago & are looking for custom designed invitations or save the date cards Lidia Varesco
of  LVS Design is a great source.

3) Sit down with your fiance`and plan your honeymoon. Here are all the important items to take care of besides your destination.
a) Budget – That’s huge and controls your Hotel choice, Travel agent ? and Flights.
b) Book your flights EARLY… about 10 months before your wedding.
c) Look for hotels & book one. The earlier the better, so you can get the one you really want.
d.) Travel Insurance
e) Passports, Visas (if necessary) & vaccinations if you are going somewhere exotic.

4) Send save the date cards.

5) Meet with your officiant and discuss with him or her how you would like the ceremony.
     If you are having a destination wedding ask the hotel for a referral.
6) Jot down all the wedding day events ( with your Mom or friend or planner) & organize them
into a timeline. This is the perfect time to check in with your makeup and hair team & organize a timeline with them.

Next time, Four months out. Rehearsal dinner, Wedding Cake
your accessories & more !

Wedding Planning Guide / 9 Months Out continued

Hello Brides to Be !  I think that for most women the next section is the most thrilling part of this process. By now you have pulled photos of gowns & found  where your favorites are carried. Please give yourself time for the shopping. You may discover dresses that were not in magazines & if time is on your side you can try on several and have a wonderful time at the bridal salon. Nine months is a good time to find a dress so that you can have at least 3 fittings.

2) Entertainment    Whether you desire live music or a great DJ recommendations are the way to go. Of course if you have been to weddings & events where you loved the music, interview those first. When you find your favorite book them immediately.

3) Catering    Some venues offer their own caterers of course but if they do not, consider your reception time of day & the type of cuisine you are looking for. Again if you had great food at an event you attended start there first. They will do a tasting for you. When you’re sure hire them !

4) Out of Town Guests     If people are attending from out of town book rooms for them. Many hotels will discount (especially in this economy) for a block of several rooms.

5) Bridal Registry    It’s a good idea to choose a few places to register. Yes it takes time but giving guests a choice is a wonderful & thoughtful idea, especially if you know that some guests may be on a budget.

6) Free Wedding Website     Many Bridal Websites offer couples a personal page to list their date, venue, photos, guests’ hotel etc. One great site for this service is Wedding Wire  
They also have lots of fabulous resources & ideas.
After you establish your site send your guests the link.

        Next blog:  Six months out: Bridesmaids dresses,
invitations & more!