Friday, January 29, 2016


How is customizing a wedding dress different than a custom made?  A custom wedding dress is made from scratch, that is, you and the designer working with a pattern and raw cuts of fabric to create it from the ground up.  Customizing a ready-made dress is different.  It involves remodeling and/or embellishing one already put together. It can be store bought, sewn or inherited as long as it’s fairly basic and free of mass adornment.  Customizing a wedding dress is one way of fusing your individual stamp so that design is all yours.  Take a very simple sheath or A-line, add a detachable train or overskirt and adorn it with embroidered ribbons and handmade florals.  Viola! You have a customized gown.  This isn't the only route to customizing.  You can go for a removable shrug that adds sleeves, a capelet that looks like part of the gown or a lightweight overdress you doff come reception time.  Believe me, your possibilities are endless here. Some brides opt for the most basic gown like I described then take it to the dressmaker or designer to get it personally customized.  
Above: A basic sheath in the image to the right is unadorned except for a wide sash added to the waist. Image on the left shows the same sheath with a detachable over skirt converting the dress into a ball gown. Next images have a detachable train with handmade flowers and leaves of ivy embellishing the sash.
Finding how to integrate all the design details you want isn’t all that difficult.  If you’re going through one of those decision dilemmas just log onto Etsy and shop for ideas.  Their designers have developed some of the most beautiful accessory and design attachments beyond anything you’ll ever run across in any salon or boutique.  On Etsy you’ll find boleros, shoulder swags, lace collars, detachable over skirts, blouses, garlands of flowers and just about
All Dresses and head chic by Amy-Jo Tatum
Photo 1 by Pixamage
Photo 2 by  Shona Nystrom of Studio 7teen //Photo 3 and 4 by Strotz Photography

Thursday, January 28, 2016


 Florals compliment simple evening gown silhouettes with that tropical feel, A-lines and ballgowns with a touch of the romantic.  There are three kinds of florals: Fresh, artificial and hand-rolled fabric flowers.  All are beautiful choices.  Fresh can be ordered through your florist possibly echoing some of those in your bouquet.  Artificial flowers are typically silk, some so well made they look like they were just picked out of the garden.  Hand-rolled flowers are made out of fabric like dupioni, organza or shantung, sometimes in the same fabric as your gown.  These have a real haute couture look and are usually attached to a barrette or spongy wire

 All dresses and head chic by Amy-Jo Tatum
Photos 1-2 by S-1 Studios
Photos 6-7 by Henley Photography

Monday, January 25, 2016


Over the years I've done some of my best work creating designs for tiny people, or to be more precise, flower girls.  Some are now married themselves which gives you an idea how long I've been at it!  Hopefully these images will give you inspiration on everything from dress to florals . . . .Either making the trek down the aisle or weaving in and out of festivities, kids add a bright and energetic tone to any wedding. In Europe, kids make up the wedding party almost entirely. Remember Lady Diana's wedding to Prince Charles in 1981? Her eldest attendant was a junior bridesmaid. The rest were taffeta-clad flower girls and pages dressed in the traditional costume of the English Court. Whatever theme or direction your wedding takes, children's fashion usually echoes that of the wedding party.  These images above and below are from my own wedding that sported a Scottish Highland theme
 Above: Not young enough to be a flower girl; not quite old enough to play bridesmaid, so how do you dress her? Actually junior bridesmaids have been gracing European weddings for centuries where the bridal party is made up primarily of children ranging in age from about four to sixteen. So how does a girl between 8 and 16 dress? By fourteen she can probably go with or a least echo the adult bridesmaids
 Above: Sierra was a flower girl at my wedding but served as a great model for the sample dresses I turned out once upon a time.  She just gave birth to her own baby who just happens to be my grand-nephew . . . .
Above: My client's daughter as flower girl--how cute is she?

All dresses by Amy-Jo Tatum
Photos 1-4 by Hope Stewart
Photos 5,6,7 by Bride Chic
Photos 8 and 9 by Amy Perl Photography

Friday, January 22, 2016


As you can see by these images, there's more than one way to sport a pill box hat on your wedding day.Today's post is for  all you fashionistas looking for a chi chi alternative or even addition to the veil.  Sophisticated bridal dressing like this gives you the opportunity really 'Vogue' it up and wear those gloves, carry a tiny satin clutch or sport that pill box hat with a wisp of veiling. Speaking of pill boxes, these  make a  great stand-in if you're looking to either charge up or change out the traditional veil.   A pill box comes in varied shades and textures from satin to fur.  Round and brimless, this hat is worn either centered, tilted or back on the head.  Though this style was introduced in the 1930s, Jackie Kennedy revived the look.   Generally the pill box looks best with suits and fitted sheath designs; super with most other silhouettes even bell shapes. 

Pill Box hats by Amy-Jo Tatum
Header Photos by Henley Photography
Photos 3 and 4 by Rob Martel

Thursday, January 21, 2016


The name of today's styled shoot Where The Wild Things Are, is a medley of earthy imagination captured by Elizabeth Cryan of Elizabeth Cryan Photography,  Inspired by the children's picture book by Maurice Sendak and paired up with the gorgeous backdrop of Colorado landscape, here's what Liz had to say about putting together this amazing shoot: "Each season we discover unique clients that enjoy expressing themselves through their wedding day. As wedding professionals we often dream of how we would describe ourselves in a unique way to show future clients that we can work with them to get outside the typical wedding box. We love taking something seemingly so ordinary and turning it into an extraordinary experience. This is where our idea for a Where the Wild Things Are photo  shoot began. We wanted to take a childhood story we all know and love and find a way to turn it into a love story. One you could center your wedding on, pulling out layers of details that make the touching words and details of the book carry throughout. We wanted to incorporate many of these scenes from the book, as well as pull in lines from the story to tuck into each scene. From Max’s bedroom growing into the world all around him, to him sailing to some far off land to find his wild thing. Max is made king and makes his wild thing his queen. Their entire day is spent in the wilderness, embracing the beautiful scenery around them. Layering in details of leathers and fur, hinting that the wild things are close by. From the wild picked florals to the hair and bark and feather details in our cake. We carried the beautiful and playful details throughout this wedding. Ending our day of extraordinary adventure with a wild rumpus. And as Max and his bride awake to find they have returned home, they realized they were where someone loved them the most."

  Photographer:  Elizabeth Cryan Photography//Dress Designer:D'Lola Couture//Cinema and Video: 4th Kind Entertainment//Invitation Designer: Anthologie Press//Jewelry: Ashley Schenkein Jewelry Design//Floral Designer: Bella Calla//Apparel:Brackish Bowties //Model:Garrett Kidd//Cake Designer: Kelley Kakes//Event Planner: MAG Events//Model:Olivia Ritchie//Veils and headpieces: Opam inc//Other: Patina Preferred: A Vintage Rental Boutique//Reception Venue: Piney River Ranch LLC//Makeup Artist: the parlour//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Wisps of net, shots of tulle and all those fascinating little fascinators are just a few of your options for outside the box head chic on your wedding day.  Neither hats nor veils but maybe a little of both, I designed these for brides who want some sort of pouf or veiling while embracing her inner haute chic . . .

All veils by Amy-Jo Tatum

Friday, January 15, 2016


When Christian Dior revolutionized fashion in 1947 with his “New Look” it was with cinched waists atop skirts flowing in yards of fabric over layers of crinoline. It marked a turning point in Twentieth-Century fashion—the hourglass, the most defined female silhouette, was back.It wasn't until around 1950 that this look we associate with the Mid-Century really took form (strapless bodice with sweetheart neckline and yards of tulle skirt).

There was in the 50s an unwritten code for dressing as a bride: Arms were preferably covered, backs and decolletage could be seen only through sheer laces, nets, and organzas. The length of your gown dictated the formality of the wedding or lack thereof. To the floor meant you went formal; above the ankles was considered cocktail length or semi-formal.
Today we see reproductions of 1950’s bridal chic everywhere but updated. Gone are the restrictions! Those repros by designers are created mostly off evening gowns, prom and cocktail dresses in white, ivory, blush or pastel. Chances are an evening gown of the era has most of the elements you're really looking for in your 2016 wedding dress, as opposed to the actual wedding gowns of the day.


 *Whether you're going with authentic vintage or reproducing a look, the hourglass silhouette works beautifully (See photos directly above).  The Aline and sheath style pictured below also reflect the era.  

*Try to keep your hair as classic as possible via chignons, buns, etc. Hairstyling in the 1950s was the dark ages of coiffure as far as I'm concerned and you don't see too many folks trying to bring these hairdos back  Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn sported classic tresses as opposed to the hair chic of the day and look where it got them!.

*Cage veils have gone fashion viral the past couple years. Did you know these wisps of nose veil or netting covering the eyes weren't called cages back then, simply net? Topped off with some sort of hair ornament or floral, they were mostly worn for city hall weddings or elopements. Today you can marry in a cage anywhere.

*The pillbox hat on the bride below  is classic late 50's and would be perfect.
 *Adding gloves really makes for a great fifties look. Long opera length says formal--short ones proffer a more dainty and ladylike daytime look.

Headwear and Dresses by Amy-Jo Tatum

Photo 1: Jim Vetter Photography//The TATYANA Dress 
Photo 3: The COLEEN Dress 
Photo 4:  Strotz Photography///The ANDROMEDA Dress 
Photo 5:  Strotz Photography/The Pillbox Hat by Amy-Jo Tatum
Photo 6: The Tulle Picture Hat by Amy-Jo Tatum//Stephanie Williams Photography
Photo 7: Fascinator by Batcakes Couture//Stephanie Williams Photography
Photo 8: The GEORGETTE Dress by Amy-Jo Tatum