Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Love wide brimmed hats?  I adored designing each and every one you see here.  Did you know the picture hat is the most classic for daytime formals and that definitely includes a wedding?    Typically constructed out of straw or horsehair, these elegant hats are sometimes swathed in netting and organza.  Picture hats can be so much fun too--they conjure up images of croquet parties at Jay Gatsby’s and all those 1930s movies situated in garden party chic.   Whatever look you want to create with this style, here are a few things to consider when wearing it.  Go ahead and put on your picture hat for the ceremony.  Just do yourself a favor at the reception and take it off when you’re receiving guests.  Unless your hat is made out of that bendy sort of horsehair with lots of give, when you reach out to hug and kiss people the hat will either fall off or scrape someone.  Picture hats go great with most silhouettes, especially ball gowns.  The wide brim balances the volume in the skirt. 

 All hats and bridalwear by Amy-Jo Tatum

Top Photo: The Tulle Covered Picture Hat//Photo by Stephanie Williams Photography
Photo 2: The Silk Rose Picture Hat//Photo by Ron Greystar Pictures
Photo 3:The White Sizal Picture Hat
Photo 4: The Daisy Picture Hat

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Yes, we are seeing the return of  cotton lace lately in a big time fashion.   It comes in the form of knits and cottons, definitely a new spin to traditionally woven laces. For the eco-conscious bride, most of these gemmies could easily be reworn post-wedding.

Photos by Jim Vetter Photography//Bridal Wear by Amy-Jo Tatum

Monday, July 21, 2014


This absolutely jaw-dropping series of images really got me first glance.  I love it when I see this much work and imagination go into bringing a shoot like this to fruition.  Along with a group of hand-picked wedding pros we have Utah-based photographer, Pepper Nix to thank for capturing all this inspiration from the dresses to unique table decor. 

From the Designer:I knew we were going to be shooting outside in the mountains surrounded by thousands of gold trees. I wanted to bring in some sort of element that would allow me to utilize the natural gold color palette of the aspen trees so I decided to work with reflective surfaces for my table tops. I selected a mirrored dining table and paired it with a matching sofa table from ZGallerie.
In addition, I selected a secondary color pallet inspired by a simple fig to offset the richness of the gold hues. The textures of this shoot are rich with nature-inspired elements that complimented the intricate patterns and textures of the place mats and flatware at each place setting of this regal dining table.
The paper suite stole my heart! Moira Design Studio produced a custom-made water-color per my request and I just can’t get over the beautiful gold calligraphy of the menus, name tags, and more. I wanted simple yet elegant and I am thrilled with how these delicate paper pieces tied in the overall theme of this shoot. Beautifully done, Moira Design Studio!
I couldn’t decide on just one cake for this shoot so my cake designer, Cake-A-Licious indulged me with three, individual cakes. Each a work of art. From the simplicity of the naked cake adorned with figs, to the sugar spun cake and an amazing metallic gold and white cake, who wouldn’t want to dive in and have a feast of yummy, sugary goodness?!
There’s a wide variety of texture throughout the fashion elements of this shoot also. The rich pattern on the brides dress works nicely with the soft and flowing chiffon of the maids. Each bouquet is bursting with various textures of blooms and berries that add to the richness of the season and compliments what the girls are wearing.
Photographer:  Pepper Nix Photography//Dresses: Amsale & Ivy & Aster from Lily & Iris and Alta MODA Bridal///Floral Designer: Blooms and Blossoms//Caterer:Brown Brothers Catering//Bakery: Cake-A-Licious//Makeup Artist: Kristen Packard Makeup Artist///Cinema and Video:Chris McClain Productions//Event Designer: Michelle Leo Events//Prop or Furniture Rentals: ZGallerie//Venue: Camp Cloud Rim//Prop or Furniture Rentals: ZGallerieVintage couches and chairs by Big Day Vintage Rental//Stationery: Moira Design Studio//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Anticipating what Kate Middleton aka the Duchess of Cambridge would wear on her wedding day evoked a Christmas morning type anticipation of not only the bridal but fashion world when she married Prince William. Add to that Kate has the clean and regal look of a socialite akin to Grace Kelly that would make any British designer anxious and honored to get the commission.  I thought it might be fun to look back through the eras and see who was who when as far as designing the gowns goes.


 Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten of Greece and Denmark in 1947. The couple has survived half a century of Cold War, a radically changing London in the swinging sixties, and a few very testy years concerning the state of the monarchy. Still, they are solid and have had one of the longest marriages in history. On the Queen and Duke’s 60th wedding anniversary, an exhibition ran from November 2007 to September 2008 at Buckingham Palace commemorating that day when post-war England rejoiced in a very royal wedding celebration —just the shot of magic dust the country needed.
Making their first appearances since 1947 are the royal bridal ensembles. Elizabeth’s gown (above) and the portrait-collared bridesmaid’ gown in the below photo were designed by Norman Hartnell, a brilliant designer who had been Dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mum) since 1938. Part of his claim to fame was taking commissions on wedding gowns for European society in the 1930s-40s era. Known for his intricate bead work adorning miles of tulle and satin, with the commission of Elizabeth’s gown, he used an ivory duchesse satin ornamented with thousands of crystals and 10,000 tiny pearls imported from America. He said the elaborately embroidered star designs on the 13-foot train were the inspiration of Botticelli’s Primavera, signifying revival and hope after so many years of war and austerity. The tiara pictured below is ‘something borrowed’; Elizabeth wore this priceless jewelled diadem which was especially made for her grandmother Queen Mary.

Bead work and applique on Elizabeth's gown and train. An army of seamstresses worked almost round the clock for eight weeks to complete these gowns.

One of the eight bridesmaid gowns. The detailed embroidery on the tulle reminds me of something you'd find in Claire Pettibone's collection.
Queen Mary's Tiara

It is interesting that in an age when closed-toe pumps were standard for formal weddings, Elizabeth went with these little fashionista satin platform sandals with silver buckles and peekaboo toes.
A last note about Elizabeth’s gown: If it weren’t for a savvy restoration team (Keeper of the Robes), her magnificent silk dress would have deteriorated years back. The weight of the bead work over time has weakened the fabric to such a point, in order for it to hang properly, a cotton underskirt had to be constructed to keep the skirt and bodice in one piece.

Hartnell again but this time around his assignment was a bit different. Princess Margaret, who married celeb photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones was something of a fashion plate despite her tiny stature.  Thus she was not a crown princess who had to stick to such strict protocol so the creative process in designing her gown could be opened up a bit. Margaret didn't want any fussy details like crystals, lace or embroidery on the dress.  She believed because of her diminutive height that lavish details might over power her look.  Instead she chose the most beautiful silk organza she could find worn over an underbodice.  The bling went on her head in the form of the famous Poltimore tiara. Comissioned in 1870 for Lady Poltimore, it was bought at auction, especially for Margaret.  Her hair was coiffed sixties style adding a ton of height and paired up with this tiara did indeed add stature. 

I look at these pictures and remember with a certain sentimentality the day Anne's engagement was announced.  Then as now, I'm reminded what a beauty she was, miles ahead of her time.  While her wedding dress was pretty standard while ho-hum for 1973, on video at the Westminster Abby Wedding, the satin moves beautifully and the detail is magnificent.  Below is the engagement photo with finace Captain Mark Phillips.  Check out the dress in embossed organza . . . a real tour de force of design and to me, timeless.   The portrait below is circa the early 70s with a headband I know any one of us would wear today.


For years everyone waited to see what lucky girl Charles would make his bride. There was as much expectation around who would design her gown and what it would look like as today's fascination with Kate.  Diana's 1981 storybook gown changed the look of bridal wear overnight. Until that magical day in July, we saw her emerge from her golden carriage, the industry was plagued with repros of 1970s funk.  Diana with the help of David and Elizabeth Emanuel, at the time, virtual design unknowns outside West End London, made the funky high-collared satin bridal gemmies of the time suddenly go away. Bridal designers worldwide began to innovate and begin the real evolution of bridal as fashion.
While her dress by today's standards may look like a critical case of uber-pouf, in 1981 it was the real-life fairy tale dress the design industry needed in order to move forward


Designer Lindka Cierach created Sarah Ferguson's wedding gown when she married Prince Andrew in 1986.  Made of ivory taffeta, the gown was embroidered throughout with thistles (celebrating her Scottish heritage) and her family's coat of arms.  Sarah had an interesting set of headpiece variations. She wore a wreath of flowers on her head as she processed down the aisle of Westminster Abbey. Once she emerged from the registry after signing the marriage certificate, she changed into a tiara (a gift from her new mother in-law) for the recessional. Sarah went to the altar as a young lady and emerged on her husband's arm a married woman.


We remember her best as Lady Diana Spencer's eldest bridesmaid. Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones was a teenager back then. July 14, 1994, Princess Margaret's only daughter married actor Daniel Chatto. Not your typical royal event, a scant 200 guests graced the invite list to St. Stephen Walbrook, the relatively small 17th-century church, a stone's throw from St. Paul's (where Charles and Diana wed). If you can believe it, there were no TV cameras and Sarah didn't show up in the family's gold coach.source

While there was no family heirloom tiara holding the bride's veil in place, Sarah did sport a circle of honeysuckle and looked timeless in her custom-designed Jasper Conran. Conran's simple confection was a white draped georgette with a ruched bodice reminiscent of the 1940s, especially in the bodice. To date, Conran's designs for Sarah Armstrong and her maids remain some the best and most inspiring work in bridal fashion.

June 19, 1999, HRH Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in Saint George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The ceremony was small and low key at least compared to most royal weddings. Sophie's ensemble was fresh and original while at the same time elegant and perfect for royal nuptials. British designer Samantha Shaw created the coat and dress ensemble of ivory silk organza and silk crepe.  It was covered in crystals and pearl beadwork around the neck, sleeves, and train. A cathedral veil of silk tulle was also dappled in beadwork and attached to a tiara. Sophie wore a pair of matching silk shoes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Don't you just love, love, love the way tulle is stretched over this bodice in Chantilly lace?  This is called shirring and shirred beauty is what I'm talking about over on One Wed Blog  today.  Shirring FYI is that look of gathering or pleating going either vertically or horizontally on a bodice or skirt, giving it some real haute couture.  READ MORE . . . . .

Monday, July 14, 2014


Happy Monday! Today's ultra swoon is brought to you by Texas based photographer, Julie Paisley.  I was over the moon crazy about these images when I came across them first glance. Taken against the backdrop of the Texas Hill Country, Julie proves herself a master of light and composition making her work here truly original.  Here's what she had to say about creating this amazing shoot, "I teach workshops and these shoots were set up for my workshop girls.  I gave over the styling to Kari and she pulled her inspiration from the dresses.  Claire Pettibone and Rue De Seine both have a romantic, vintage feel to their style and we wanted our models to have the same.  The florist, hair and make up artist all worked together for the final results.  Add in some beautiful sun from the Texas Hill Country and it was just perfect. . . ."
Photographer:  Julie Paisley Photography//Equipment Rentals: Bee Lavish//Makeup Artist: FireMakeup Artistry//Event Designer: Bee Lavish//Hair Stylist: Fire Make up Artistry by Jessi Pagel//Floral Designer: Malleret Designs//Event Designer: Pink Parasol Designs and Coordinating//Event Venue:SAGE HILL INN ABOVE ONION CREEK//Dress Store: Unbridaled// Dress Designers: Claire Pettibone and Rue de Seine//Jewelry:Viva Revival//Submitted via Two Bright Lights