Wednesday, September 30, 2015


That chill is definitely in the air telling us the seasons are a' changin.  Today we're focusing on all those Fall and Winter fabrics to keep brides toasty warm through the chilly months ahead.   Medium to heavier weights can be absolutely luxe and gorgeous especially ones with patterns and sheen so perfect for evening and the low light of shorter days . . . . 

Brocade-Heavyweight fabric used in structured silhouettes. The elaborate patterns of this fabric are created by mixing muted and glossy yarns in matching (sometimes contrasting) colors. Most bridal gowns made out of brocade have a surface design of florals though I once saw a gown with some interesting geometric patterns. Brocade molds perfectly in sheath and A-line silhouettes. A fall/winter fabric, brocade is an excellent option for bridal suits.

 Duchesse Satin-Medium weight satin with a glossy finish. A staple of traditional bridal wear, it has versatility whereas it works for strait as well as full silhouettes as in the dress above.

Taffeta- Stiff, crisp, lightweight cross-rib weave. Taffeta can have either a slight luster or muted finish like the dress above. It can be shaped, adding volume without bulk and weight, making it an ideal choice for A-lines and ball gowns. Nice in a sheath silhouette providing it has some kind train preferably of the same fabric with some degree of fullness.

Suede--Getting married in sub-zero weather? Covering your gown with a cape is ideal—they’re roomy and they won’t squish your dress. The cape here is white suede (type of leather) with marabou and faux fur trim added to a cathedral train. The hat and muff are made of faux Moulton lamb./Photo by Rob Martel

Velvet- Heavy-weight, napped fabric. Perfect for the winter bridal suit. Light weight velvets are ideal for spring and summer weddings.  This cut velvet chiffon dress drapes beautifully to the body

Wool-Ordinarily when we think wool, we conjure images of coats and suits. Wool crepe and jersey (above) drape beautifully though and are excellent choices for the gown or dress with a more modern feel. The wool dress is an excellent choice if you’re considering re-wearing after the wedding. Optimal for wedding suits and contemporary brides, wool offers a certain sophisticated chic. Wool is great for winter weddings especially if you don’t want that luxurious fabric finish that most silks proffer. 

Photos 1-3 by Bride Chic
Photo 3 and 4 by Rob Martel
Photo 4 by Penny Climer

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Just wanted to share a dress that came out last year in The Forever Boho Collection and has been the star of every trunk show since. This little gem called,  COSETTE would be perfect here in California where the weather is mild year round.  This silhouette is a silk chiffon empire cut evening gown with butterfly style sleeves trimmed in Chantilly lace. The chapel  train and hemline are bordered in lace as well. Because it's lined in silk charmeuse, it feels like heaven to wear, you'll never want to take it off.  I think the best touch on this design is the long row of buttons down the center back of the gown. A satin tie belt adorns the front of gown.
 Photos 1,2,3 and 7 by Carlene Imagery//// Make up and Hair: Alicia Desmarais Flores

Monday, September 28, 2015


The shorter ‘fashionista' veil has gone trendy the past few years. Why? Short veils seemed out of the ordinary –very outside the traditional bridal box till a few vintage designers brought them back. You have to admit, there's something chic, even edgy about a bride sporting one. As early as the 1990s, Vera Wang paired up short, pouf veils with very formal gowns. Whether she wanted to show off the extraordinary back details of her gowns or usher in a new look, I don’t know; I only know the juxtaposition this duo created worked.
Brides say the best thing about wearing a shorter veil is, not having to do any adjusting in that switch from the solemnity of ceremony to big time partying hearty. Short veils are easy to maneuver around in and stay put whether you’re exchanging vowels, cutting cake or dancing,

Bird Cage or Net Pouf-Left: These have gone trendy the past few years thanks to vintage designers.Made of either netting or tulle, this veil falls above the shoulder line.  Since it’s a shorter style, it tends to look structured, more hybrid of headpiece and veil.  Great for fashionistas.   
Blusher or Flyaway A fly away is typically attached to the back while the blusher is a short veil worn over the face during the ceremony.  Can also be worn shoulder length in layers.  Although considered informal, this is the choice of some chic, formal-gowned brides.

 Header Photo by Pixamage
Photo 2 by Dominic Colacchio Photography
Photo 3 by Henley Photography
Photo 4 by Bride Chic
All dresses and head chic by Amy-Jo Tatum

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


What, I ask you could be more beautiful than a bustle on a wedding dress?  Bustling is the gathering and tacking up of the train so that the bride can move around freely post ceremony. Once a gown is bustled it goes through a kind of metamorphosis as does the bride in it. There are two kinds of bustling techniques: overbustles and underbustles (French). Usually, bustling is secured with hooks and/or ribbons (narrow strips of grosgrain). Over bustling is the easiest and consists of picking up and tacking the skirt to the waist for chapel and cathedral lengths; or behind the knee for sweeps. Underbustling goes the other way—down and under, fastening to points on the under slip. Longer trains can take a combination of both over and under bustling all at once and the results can be stunning. Additional or custom bustling is done after the bodice fitting is completed. How many (more) bustle points you chose is up to you and the estimation of your alterations person.
Keep in mind not every dress bustles well. Examples include ball gowns with skirts in lightweight layers like tulle or organza. The amount of layered skirts present problems. The bustling is done layer by layer which is time consuming and expensive, and you’d have to absolutely love the result to go through all that hassle. Also some gowns with sweep trains, godets or fishtails don’t bustle well.
Overall, most dresses do bustle beautifully and are a joy to wear. A bustled train remains one of the most elegant and romantic elements of the wedding gown .

Top Photo by Nathan Larimer of Winter Tree Studios//Photo 2: Strotz Photography//Photo 3 by Lirette Photography

Monday, September 21, 2015


 Just as the leaves here are starting to turn I thought a bit of Fall inspiration would be just the thing to kick off Monday right and proper. We ran this post awhile back as An Autumn Castle Shoot in Ireland.  The rustic Autumn tones fused with the Boho theme are an incredible mix.  Add a horse its kudos to shooter Jenna Clark of Creatrix Photography--a great muse to all of us . . . 
Photographer:  Creatrix Photography//Reception Venue: Barberstown Castle//Floral Designer:Little Daisy Flowers//Lighting: Candle Light Weddings//Event Planner: Elegant Events by Collette//Makeup Artist:marronsbeautyclinic//Dresses by Kathy de Stafford//,Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Bouquet by The Flower Divas//Photo by Strotz Photography

Okay so this is mostly a how-about-it and how-to match a bouquet with your dress post.  On the other hand it's about all those other ways to incorporate  flowers into your theme as well.  Think head wreaths, boutonnieres, center pieces and of course, finally, that most symbolic touch, your bouquet.   I think certain flowers have a particular significance for each of us. Finding an inspiration point and blending that idea with your dress is just the beginning of working one or a few colors into an overall theme. Size and proportion are something else to consider. Some of us like the idea of carrying a huge burst of three to four different kinds of flowers in an arrangement while someone else goes for the simplicity of a small nosegay.   Since flowers are a seasonal thing--tulips in spring, mums in the fall, your dress is probably going to reflect that too.  


Photographer Diana Maire and event planner Holly Sanneman captured spring at it's finest here using pink and yellow roses and lemon blossoms from table decor to the bright burst of bouquet

Though Baby's Breath is widely known as a year round  filler of bouquets, by itself it's stunning and makes a truly beautiful bouquet.  Aka Gypsophilia, personally I associate Baby's Breath with summer--something about A Midsummer Night's Dream and all those wood nymphs running around with sprays of it in their hair.This bouquet by Victoria Marshall of Victoria's Floral and Event Design is wrapped up in white tulle.  Tablescape via Tumblr 

I love the rustic color palettes of Fall---Libby is carrying a bouquet of Japanese Maple and yellow Roses--the perfect compliment to Autumn..  Photos by Pixamage
Winter weddings are especially fun if they're full of the holidays even if the actual wedding date is post December 25. Winter florals and accents like pine cones and naked branches add drama mixed with flowers and greenery.  Red roses, pine an ivy make a festive bouquet to match the formality of luxe taffeta.Photos by Rob Martel

 1930s-- Like  fashion and furnishings, bouquets and floral decor of the 1930s went streamlined.  Calla Lillies were big as were the Star Lillies shown in the images below.  Photo by Jim Vetter Photography//Florals by  Floral Ornaments
 SEASON 1 DOWNTON ABBEY --The first and second seasons of Downton Abbey harked back to a time of English country gardens and afternoon teas.  Think pre-WW1--upswept hair in waves and tea gowns in intricately woven patterns of lace.  Here, Roses and Gladiolas make beautiful bouquets mixed with Privet leaves. Photos by Jim Vetter Photography

 THE CITY BRIDE--Natalie and Dave  spent their fifth wedding anniversary in this improvised trek through San Francisco city landmarks as bride and groom again.  Once we added photographer, Dominic Colacchio into the mix, the element of surprise began big time. We started our adventure atop the Crocker Galleria Roof Terrace and continued downstairs through the Galleria where the Farmer's Market was in full swing. The stunning bouquet of yellow roses and privet leaves were bought and made up on the spot at a little kiosk called, Abigail's Flowers. 

JUXTAPOSE: The ideas is, complete opposites attract and make great harmony.  An authentic vintage lace dress is paired up with a wild flower bouquet of leaves of grass mixed with wild oats. Photo and florals by Taralynn Lawton Photography
FOREVER BOHO--These bouquets and head wreath by Cindy Sheridan say spring all over.  Floral halos adorned with spring posies are the perfect Boho touch. Photos by Antonio Crutchly Photography via SMP

All Gowns and head chic by Amy-Jo Tatum

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I want to introduce a new gem from the Forever Boho Collection. Meet Shayla.  Inspiration for this dress came from envisioning a wide neckline baring a beautiful decolletage.  Also running around in my head was a whisper of lace underneath a semi-full skirt of tulle fanning out in a generous train.  Created in Chantilly lace and blush tulle, the Shayla Dress was designed for the bride zeroing in on a hopelessly romantic look sans all the volume and petticoats.  We shot Shayla amid the foliage and orchids at the beautiful conservatories of Shelldance Nursery in Pacifica, California.  It was a perfect venue for these down to earth pieces--the organic fused beautifully with the goddess element of the Forever Boho pieces.
 Dress by Amy-Jo Tatum//Makeup by Prettyologie//Hair by Pins and Curls

Monday, September 14, 2015


Coming out of summer and into fall I thought talking all about necklines today would be apropos. Did you know the neckline frames your face and is probably the feature you’ll most concentrate on when choosing your dress? It’s the part of your dress that gives your face some wow! Because there are almost as many necklines as sleeve variations, think of mixing both components as an opportunity to really create that one-of-a-kind creation. Front and back bodices though aren’t always identical. For instance, the front could have a straight across neckline, and back a deep V; whereas another gown could have a scoop in front as well as back. Below are just a handful of varied styles you might find inspiring . . . .
  Clockwise:Scoop-Low rounded neckline///Turtleneck-Once a classic, the high neck or turtleneck can be a plain band of dress fabric or lace. Especially popular in the Edwardian gown craze of the 70s when cotton ‘granny gowns’ reappeared///Asymmetrical-Neckline falls diagonally-one side strapless the other either with sleeve or sleeveless///Square-One of my personal favorites, conveying a real open look, square necks look great on long and A-line silhouettes///Sweetheart-Plunges into an open heart shape///Halter-Straps either wrap around the neck or neckline is high with deep armholes.

All dresses and head chic by Amy-Jo Tatum