Friday, March 29, 2013


In case any of you missed out on the At the Villa post a few weeks back, here are a few of my bouffant pieces shot by Joy Strotz for Ceremony Magazine last August.  FYI Ceremony is like the encyclopedia of wedding magazines, listing and showcasing all the finest vendors around.  You'll find loads of color and inspiration between the covers of this mag both in hard copy and on the digital version.  Below are the actual images of gowns that made it to the latest edition that's out now.  The top layout, It's All About The Bride is from the San Francisco Bay Area book and Photographic Memories from the LA one.  Can't begin to tell you how fun this shoot was and how many great folks we all met on location at the Villa Montalvo in Saratoga.  I want to do this all over again . . . .

Thursday, March 28, 2013


    I wanted to talk some about veils today.  This time of year my email box is full of so many questions about head wear in general but you guessed it--it's mostly about veils and topping off your look.  Most questions I get are about length and proportion so I'm going to start at the inception of veils.  Did you know wearing one dates back to ancient times?  The bridal veil has been a symbol of purity and mystery in many traditions.  From Biblical times onwards every era has put it’s own spin on “the veil” and how its worn.   Fourteenth century brides wore hoods of silk netting.  Victorians sported yards of delicate laces passed on to daughters and granddaughters. Brides of the 1960s popularized the pouf veil still stylish today.
   The good news is, there are no more rules about what length veil  goes with a particular style gown.  Whatever guidelines exist have more to do with following your proportions and sense of style.  So, veil lengths do vary from jazzy little net poufs to yards of tulle trailing the hemline. 

Short Veils
The shorter ‘fashionista' veil has gone uber-trendy the past few years. Why? When short veils returned to the bridal scene thanks to a few designers inspired by vintage they seemed out of the ordinary –very outside the traditional bridal box. Though we're seeing them all over the place now there's still  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- Above left and center: 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-Pictured above at the far right: 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 once considered informal, this is the choice of some chic, formal-gowned brides.
Long Veils
If I were to define the quintessential  bride, she'd definitely be donning a long veil on her wedding day.  To explain what’s considered long in veil chic, I’d start at the elbow and work all the way down to the twenty-five foot cathedral trail. Long veils convey a romantic mood by way of all that added gossamer sheer.

Elbow-Extends to the elbow or a couple inches below.

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  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.

Clockwise: Top photos-Finger tip veil/Bottom photos-Left Waltz length veil/Right Cathedral veil

Pouf-Pictured Above:Width of veil is gathered at the crown and can be attached to a headpiece.  Generally made out of tulle or English netting.

Dropped- Pictured Above Yes, actually dropped onto the head in a single layer of tulle or lace; often bordered with lace or ribbon.  A Mantilla like the one above is a type of dropped veil.


    Typically tulle is the most common fabric used though chiffon, silk gauze and different types of nettings are sometimes worn.  Remember Julie Andrew’s wedding in The Sound of Music?  Her veil was silk organza . . . a stunning choice.  Another stunning choice—my favorite—is silk gauze.  Though it’s not as transparent or springy as tulle, it has all the opposite characteristics: an opaqueness; it floats whenever you walk or the breeze blows.

 Veils by Amy-Jo Tatum Bride

   Photo Credits

Header photo by S1 Studio/Second Photo by Pixamage

Top three photos: clockwise-/Pouf veil photo by Dominic Colacchio Photography/Cage veil photo by Bill Smoot
Long veil photos by Pixamage

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I especially love weddings set in gorgeous and scenic places by the sea.  Edyta and Christian tied the knot last July in beautiful Porto Venere, Liguria in Italy.  Edyta is from Poland, Christian from La Spezia and now they share their life together in  London.  These ceremony pics inside Chiesa di San Pietro are some of the prettiest I've ever seen. Shot by wedding photographer Julian Kanz, there's a mix of medieval feel of the sanctuary and a happy spirit of the guests.   And of course I'm loving Edyta's allover lace gown.  It's truly stunning in the cut and volume of the skirt . . . .

Wedding Dress-Madonna
Church-St. Peters Church Portovenere Italy
Florist-Il Giardino di Andrea




Tuesday, March 26, 2013


 There's been a focus on inventive hairstyling the last couple years whether you decide to ditch the veil or not.  Once you've chosen your gown, your head is the next most crucial detail to dressing the part. Because not every bride feels right doing the veil thing, some are going for smaller headpieces, even hats.  For those of you wanting to skip the cake top template of hairstyles all together and try something innovative, we look to hairdresser Kathie Rothkop of Salon Glam in Novato, California.  Creating hair art for years,  I asked her about her take on bridal hair.  Here's what she said: "I get inspired first by the style of the gown, second, the type of woman wearing the gown and the time of year of the wedding.
"I put women in 4 categories. Sporty, classic,romantic and edgy. A sporty woman would want hair very simple, probably short and tailored.  Her gown would be clean-lined. Classic would be very traditional, maybe a french twist, no ornamentation. Grace Kelly was a classic beauty. Romantic is my favorite. Lots of bling, flowers, height, softness and curls. Goldie Hawn and Catherine Zeta Jones are good examples of this. Edgy is non traditional, Lady GaGa really is this look."

Left: Behind the scenes, Kathy works on Jen's Liz-inspired braid/Right: Liz and Dick on their wedding day.  

The above image of a long braid dappled in Stephanotis was inspired by the braid with hyacinths Elizabeth Taylor wore when she married Richard Burton in 1964.  
Out of the pages of 1960s Vogue, this wired, white ribbon weaves in and out of Lauren's bun forming ringlets.  A great match for most any gown--even short and mini styles.

Go wild with Spring flowers in bloom.  This loose upsweep accented with fresh Star Royal Magnolias would be the perfect compliment of any destination wedding.
Birds of a feather . . . . Dare to go avian with the whole bird, including feathers.  The hair is long and loose with tiny braids interwoven at the crown . . .Stunning with sheath and evening gown styles.
Got long locks?  Flaunt it all with half up and half down hair.  The bun is sprinkled with white Stephanotis.


Photography: Stuart Lirette 
                 John Truong
Hair: Kathie Rothkop of Salon Glam
Makeup: Julianne Chai
Models: Jennifer Lam and Lauren Purcell

Friday, March 22, 2013


Over on One Wed Blog talking all about the return of Designer Melissa Sweet to the big, wide, world of bridal fashion.  These days you have to check out David's Bridal to see her collection--romantic and contemporary pieces with yards of lace and miles of skirts . . . . .READ MORE . . . .

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Wool? For spring?  Come off it I'm hearing you say.  That's because ordinarily when we think wool, we think of coats and suits.  Did you know wool comes in crepe and jersey?  What's more these weaves 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 still perfect for winter weddings especially if you don't want that luxurious fabric finish that most silks proffer.
Crepe-Like silk crepe, wool crepe drapes closely to the body but has more body.  Great look for evening gowns, bridal suits and more structured silhouettes.
Jersey-Like silk jersey, this knit clings to the body.

Dress by Amy-Jo Tatum

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I think you'll agree, one of the chicest ways of pulling yourself together on your wedding day is through exquisite jewelry.  Once restricted to pearl necklaces and earrings, brides have so many more options these days I can't count them (although a great set of pearls is always in vogue).  These two collections by Denise Hazelton and Miriam Haskell highlight vintage jewelry at it's finest.  The biggee plus here is all of it goes great with wedding fashion.  I adored these pieces and was tickled when Studiolo joined in on this project to have them photographed with my gowns for the Art Meets Fashion shoot.  Which is your fave here . . .? 


Photography by JohnT Photography
                         Lirette Photography
Jewelry by Studiolo
Gowns and Headpieces by Amy-Jo Tatum
Makeup by Julianne Chai
Hair by Justina Downs
Models: Lauren Purcell and Brandi Howell