Thursday, August 17, 2017


Another Behind the Scenes gemmie I took with my phone from the recent Fashion through the Ages editorial shoot out at  Shell Dance Gardens in Pacifica.  This is the INNA Dress evocative of the early episodes of Downton Abbey.  A mix of Chantilly laces on silk chiffon and lined in crepe backed satin. Easy to wear and oh so feminine . . .

Monday, August 14, 2017


Just wanted to share one of my own pics from yesterday's shoot out at the lovely and scenic Shell Dance Orchid Gardens in Pacifica, California.  Devon looks absolutely lovely in The VALERIE Dress.  Makeup and hair by Zita Zalai.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Delivering a client's dress yesterday I bombarded her with directions on how to get her beloved home safe and sound, unwrinkled, clean and intact.  Albeit designing wedding dresses from the ground up has been my life’s work.  Keeping  those dresses white and spotless before the wedding has been as much a challenge as the design itself.  Once delivered though, the dress is all yours, to have and to hold in a real world rampant with dust, blood and household pets—all potential accidents just waiting to happen.

Getting your gown home safely is the first step.  You’re going to have to treat it with all the love and care of a newborn.  No, you won’t need an infant seat but just about any size back seat of a car will do.  In all probability once delivered your gown will be packed in plastic.  Hang it on the hook above the back door draped across the back seat.  Once home, remove the dress from the bag and make sure to put it on a padded hanger.  An alternative to the padded hanger is my hanging dress form below.  This is a display hanger I use in the studio to show off my designs.  They have another function: keeping your gown shaped and taking the stress off the shoulders or from whatever point your dress hangs. 

Next find a hook.  A chandelier would be great if you have one.  So would hooking it to an armoire or highboy.  Cover the floor below your gown with a clean sheet and let the train fall.  This will prevent wrinkles. Ideally the room you hang your gown in is low on traffic.
No spare room?  Okay, find an empty closet or one with enough room to accommodate the volume of your gown.  Actually, hanging your gown on a dress form that is dialed to match your own measurements would be optimal.  I know, I know, you don’t sew but if you can borrow one from a friend or if you find one cheap in a thrift store, grab it!  

Here’s another option for storing your dress especially if your wedding is more than three months off.  Lay your gown on a spare bed or sofa and spread it out.  This will ease stress caused from hanging. 

 Some suggestions about pressing.  If your gown is made out of tulle, don’t you dare press it!  Steam it instead.   The same goes for your veil; ironing scorches tulle. 
Pressing wrinkles out of your gown is done with a cool, dry iron over a piece of broadcloth or muslin, called a press mitt.  Forget worrying too much about wrinkling your gown going to and from the ceremony.  Just push the bulk of your skirt aside once you’re in the car. 

 Did you know Victorian brides have us beat when it comes to going green?  Tradition was, they not only wore their gown to exchange vows in, a bride of yesteryear was expected to wear her gown out and about.  That’s right, she wore it to the opera and dining at Delmonico’s for about a year till everyone knew her status.  In other words, a bride could revel in her bridaldom while putting some mileage on her gown.  I say, let’s reinvent this trend.  The gown in this post is certainly worthy f rewear.  Whether you’re preserving or consigning your gown after the wedding you’re going to need to find a cleaner that specializes in wedding gowns.  Expect common wear and tear after your wedding day to be dirt and grass stains along the hem and train, makeup stains inside the bodice, a torn seam, bustle hooks missing.  Oh, and the proverbial splash of red wine on the skirt. After cleaning your gown should be professionally pressed even if it will be stored away in a box.  Remember to ask it be packed in acid-free tissue in an acid-free box to prevent any staining.  Remove any dress shields or bra cups, otherwise they’ll fragment through the years, soiling arms and bodice.

Photographer: Nathan Larimer of Winter Tree Studios | | Bride’s Dress: Amy-Jo Tatum | Makeup Artist: Kat Louis Makeup Artist  Venue: Asti Winery

Friday, August 4, 2017


This bright and whimsical styled shoot was captured by Philly-based photographer, Jess Palatucci and a very talented group of wedding pros bringing the best they have to this amazing project.  Bright and bold, the elements brought together of black and white stripes with deep pinks, purples and mixed berries of the florals blend pure romanticism with a certain vitality.  Absolutely stunning work on the makeup and hair and oh la la! that dress!  Thank you Jess for capturing this incredible series of images . . . .

Photographer:  Jess Palatucci Photography//Floral Designer: Bloom flower co.//Cinema and Video: From Here I Stand//Calligrapher: Golden Hour Paper//Equipment Rentals:Party Rental Ltd//Invitation Designer: Pretty Ink Press,LLC //
Cake: Snacky French Cakes//Dress and Tux: Darianna Bridal///Hair and Makeup: Anna Sky Beauty///Event Planning Design: Hanna Bee Events//Jewelry: Marnie Lewis Jewelry//Venue: Meyers Farm Bakery

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


                                                   Photo by  Aurora O'Brien           
Wool? For summer? You gotta be kidding I'm hearing you say. Ordinarily when we think wool, we think of coats and suits. Did you know wool comes in crepe and jersey (see above)? What's more they drape beautifully 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.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


. . . . So my mother used to tell me that at least once a day, and yes, she thought a bit of meringue showing beneath the hem was gauche.  If only she could see the dresses I design now; many are thought out to intentionally have a bit of lace or crinoline showing.  I'd say this look is borrowed from 19th Century Can Can dancers and/or 21st Century brides finding a little slip sexy.  I've found though, this tends to be a look brides particularly zone in on or totally wipe off their radar screen.  How about you?  A little slip peeking out of that silk hem or not . . . .?

 Gowns by Amy-Jo Tatum
Photo Credits
Header Photo by S1 Studio
Photo 2 by Smoot Photo
Photo 3 by by Bride Chic 2011

Monday, July 31, 2017


Okay, so . . . is there really a difference between a wedding gown and a wedding dress? I mean you hear designers and savvy merchandisers referring to what you wear on your big day as either gown or dress. So which is it? Defined, gowns are anything to the floor and definitely ones with trains and/or extensions are considered super gown-worthy. For me the gown at its quintessential best is 'Harlowesque' lean-lined and clingy, something Hollywood designers borrowed for evening wear from sexy nightgowns back in the 1930s (hence comes the gown). The dress on the other hand can be any silhouette--even a ballgown--as long as it's ankle length or above. A good example of ballgown silhouette as dress is in the second image. BTW my favorite length and silhouette for bridal wear right now is Ballerina, just above the ankles and very full . . .

John  T Photo Dress and gown by Amy-Jo Tatum

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Long veils convey a romantic mood via all that added gossamer sheer.  . . . . .Women who  go traditional sporting the full regalia of a classic bride typically love those long, flowing veils. What constitutes a long veil? I’d start at the ‘finger tip’ length and work all the way down to the twenty-five foot cathedral.  Wearing a veil dates back to ancient times and most cultures. The bridal veil in particular has been a symbol of purity as well as mystery in many traditions. Since Biblical times every era it seems has innovated the veil and how it’s worn. Victorians donned yards of handmade laces they passed on to daughters and granddaughters; 1960s brides popularized the pouf veil still stylish today.
Long Veil Lengths
Fingertip-Most popular length; can be worn by nearly every figure type with most silhouettes.
           Waltz-Falls anywhere between knee and ankle.
          Chapel-Considered formal. Extends about a two feet beyond the hemline.
          Cathedral-Most formal. Extends three feet or more beyond the hem.
          Double Tier-Two layers, typically the shorter one a blusher but not always.   
Photographer: Pearl Hsieh Photography, LLC | Dresses: Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture
Makeup Artist: Bun Bun Bridal Lab 

Monday, July 24, 2017


For the bride to be who wants to go Boho on her wedding day, check out the LILA Dress In a word, it's beautiful! Easy to wear, the focal point is an asymmetrical neckline in white shirred tulle over a Chantilly lace appliqued bodice.  A full gathered skirt in tulle with a lace border falls into a chapel train. Shantung and silk habotai underskirts are what make this dress light as air.  Covered shantung buttons all the way down the back of the bodice. Handmade silk roses decorate the shoulder. 

Photographer: Shona Nystrom ofStudio 7teen
Hair and Make up: Katy Marshall 
Madrona Manor Inn and Restaurant, Healdsburg, California