Archive for the ‘Ask Beth’ Category
Spring 2019 Bridal Fashion Week Trends
We just returned from New York Bridal Fashion Week and we are still swooning over the latest trends from the Spring 2019 collections. A bride’s wedding gown should not only be a reflection her wedding aesthetic, but it should reflect her personal style and who she is. With the current trends in bridal, there TRULY is a gown for every bride. The silhouettes, fabrications and necklines shown during Spring 2019 New York Bridal Fashion Week were diverse.
It is such an amazing time to be a bride! There are options for all body types, venues and personal styles. Below are the trends and some of our favorite gowns.
image: Dan Lecca
image: Dan Lecca
TWD owner, Beth Chapman’s Tips for Wedding Gown Shopping in Martha Stewart Weddings
Newly engaged?! Be sure to pick up the Ultimate Wedding Planner issue of Martha Stewart Wedding! TWD owner, Beth Chapman is featured in an article discussing tips for wedding gown shopping. Below is the article and Beth’s advice.
Shopping at a boutique: What type of person is best suited to shop at a boutique dress store?
I always recommend that brides shop for their wedding gown in the type of store where they shop for their everyday clothes. If you prefer a smaller, more intimate environment with specialized attention and specific and unique inventory, then a boutique is the right fit for you. If you are a department store shopper and prefer a large selection and one on one service is not important to you, than a larger bridal store might be your best bet.
What does a boutique dress store offer that other options don’t?
A boutique style dress shop is going to offer a more intimate experience for the bride. They will provide individualized attention and a smaller, more focused selection. Depending on the size of the boutique, you may be the only bride in the store while shopping.
How do you recommend brides-to-be prepare for their appointment?
Brides should visit the website of the bridal boutique to see if the selection of the designers that they carry matches the aesthetic that you are looking for and to ensure that the price point of the gowns works within your budget. Your should contact the boutique at least a week in advance in order to schedule an appointment. When you go for your appointment, you should have your Pinterest board or fashion inspiration available to show the sales associate. You should also inquire with the boutique if they offer shoes and undergarments to try on with the gowns. If not, you should bring your own. It is important that you have your wedding date and gown budget secured before beginning the shopping process. It is nearly impossible to select your gown if you don’t know the time of year when you will be getting married and can’t envision yourself in your wedding venue. You want to select a gown that reflects your personal style, but that also emulates the overall look and feel of where you will be getting married.
Can you provide a play-by-play of what to expect with a bridal consultation at a boutique?
Every boutique is slightly different. In my boutique, The White Dress by the shore, brides and their guests are offered drinks and welcomed into a private fitting room where they will have their appointment. They are provided a profile form to fill out so that the stylist can learn a little more about the details of the wedding and what the bride is looking for her in her gown. Their dedicated stylist will review the profile form with the bride and offer to take the bride through our collection or will pull gowns herself based on what the bride is looking for. During the hour and a half appointment, the stylist will assist the bride in trying on gowns and pairing them with accessories, helping her to narrow her selection to the one that works best with the her body type, venue and overall wedding aesthetic.
General tips for dress shopping: How far in advance of the wedding day do you recommend shopping?
I recommend that a bride begins to look for her gown 7-12 months in advance of the wedding. Gown shopping is generally the next step after the wedding venue is selected and the date is set. The gown will set the tone for all of your other wedding decisions. Most of your venues will inquire about what your gown looks like when you have your initial consultation with them. Brides often get nervous about committing too soon to a gown for fear that they will no longer love it when the wedding rolls around. I like to compare saying yes to the gown to saying yes to your fiancé. There might be other men out there are charming and good looking, but you don’t want to marry them! When you commit to your gown, it should be a gown that you would want to wear today, tomorrow and in 20 years!
What advice do you have on who to bring to your bridal consultation?
Bring a select group of people (no more than 3) that truly understand your personal style and your vision for your wedding. Too many opinions can be detrimental to the decision process. If you feel the need to share your gown selection with ALL of your bridesmaids, then have them attend one of your gown fittings, or bring them along when you select your veil or accessories. Selecting your gown is a very personal decision and you should share it with a select few whose opinions you cherish the most.
How do you recommend people come to bridal appointments? (Any tips on hair/makeup?)
It is important to take a little extra time getting ready when you set out to shop for your gown. It is nice to style your hair in a similar fashion to how you think you will wear it for your wedding. It is much easier to envision how you will look on your wedding day if you hair is styled and your make up looks great!
What questions should you ask about the dress during your appointment?
You should understand the lead time of the designer so that you can ensure that you have enough time to order the gown without any rush fees. You should also ask if any customizations can be made to the gown. Often brides want to add buttons, change a neckline or add a strap. Ask if that is something that can be done by the designer or if it should be done during the alternations process. Note that customizations almost always incur a fee. You should inquire with the boutique if they perform in-house alterations and understand the days and times that these are offered. Be aware that alterations are almost NEVER included in the price of the dress, so be sure to include room in your budget for alterations. If they do not perform in- house alterations, ask about their referral list.
Any other tips to share?
Enjoy the shopping process. In this day in age of online shopping, having the experience of shopping in a bridal boutique with a dedicated, knowledgeable associate is a luxury. This experience is nostalgic.. It is something that your mother and your grandmother experienced and now it is your turn! Don’t be drawn to online retailers who sell wedding gowns on the internet. No bride should have their wedding gown delivered the same way that their groceries are. Let yourself be pampered and enjoy the intimate, memorable experience that a bridal boutique has to offer to you!
I am often asked about what I recommend to pair with our tulle skirts. Below are some of my favorite looks from a photo shoot that I styled when we launched our new skirt collection, followed by some new arrivals that I am currently loving! *PS- for a limited time, we are offering 10% off all in stock tulle skirts!
Photography: Carla Ten Eyck | Styling: Beth Chapman | Makeup: Jennie Fresa | Hair: Amy, Catie & Amy
The key to the perfect top to pair with a tulle skirt is simplicity. Clean and classic is best. The skirt is very full, so it is best to go with a top that is tailored and fitted. I always love a classic white shirt with a skirt. It is such a classic look. For me, Ann Taylor is my go-to for the perfect shirt (of course, I am a little biased based on my long history with this fabulous company.)
Ann Taylor ‘Perfect Shirt’, $69.50
Our brides are currently loving long sleeve lace and so are we! This lace body suit from Revolve Clothing is a clean and sophisticated look and it is guaranteed to lay beautifully under the skirt thanks to it’s bodysuit construction.
Cashmere is a wardrobe staple! I adore this classic short sleeve cashmere tee shirt from J.Crew. It is a season-less look to compliment the flirty skirt!
J.Crew Collection ‘Cashmere Short-Sleeve T-Shirt’, $119.99
Who doesn’t love a little sparkle? If you are looking to take your tulle skirt up a notch, pair it with this sequined tee from Nordstrom.
Adrianna Papell ‘Sequin Mesh Top’, $145
If you are looking for a truly fashionable look, I am loving this sequined polka dot (because I can’t resist anything polka dotted) tee also from Nordstrom. Take note that this is definitely a flirty look and I think would look even better with the tee altered to be slightly cropped!
Eliza J Sequin Polka Dot Popover Top, $108
Now go put on your party skirt girls!
Image: Jeremie Barlow Photography
Over the next several months, we will be hosting a variety of trunk shows! Lately, we have been receiving a lot of questions about what a trunk show actually is. Fortunately, owner Beth Chapman has the answer! Scroll below to read her article “Tackling Trunk Shows,” which has been featured on numerous blogs and in various publications.
Trunk shows can provide the perfect opportunity for a bride to find the gown of her dreams. But what is a trunk show, and what are the benefits for the bride to be?
Beth Chapman, owner of The White Dress by the shore, provides this explanation: “A trunk show is an event hosted by a bridal boutique where a broader representation of a designer’s collection is sent to the store.” According to Chapman, “There is often a representative from the company present or in some instances the designer themselves attend the event. There is almost always some type of discount or special incentive that is provided during the course of the trunk show if a purchase is made at the event.”
Store owners are generally not able to purchase a designer’s entire collection. A trunk show allows an extended version of the collection to be sent to the store, and often times, designers will send new styles to the event that are not yet available in stores. One of the primary benefits for a bride is that she is able to work directly with the designer or company representative to learn about the intricacies of the line and make custom changes to create her own, one-of-a-kind gown.”
The designer benefits from the trunk show as well. They are able to watch brides try on their gowns and listen to their comments. It is an excellent opportunity for them to get direct feedback from brides that they can apply to future collections.
Chapman notes, “Trunk shows are not recommended for a first-time shopping experience. In order for a bride to fully benefit from a trunk show, they should come into it knowing the types of silhouette that they are looking for. Having this knowledge will allow them to receive the benefit of a possible discount and the opportunity to work with the designer to customize their gown.”
If there is a particular designer that you are interested in, a trunk show will allow you to see the full breadth of the designer’s line and allow you to purchase one of their gowns while receiving a discount or special offer. But, be sure to book an appointment early. These exclusive events book up quickly!
Check out our Events page to view the upcoming trunk shows! If you are interested in attending one, give us a ring at 860.669.4596 to schedule your appointment!
One of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding is selecting your dress! Before you begin shopping, here are some tips for preparing the budget for your wedding gown.
1. Set your overall budget
Before you determine how much you plan to spend on your wedding gown, you should sit with your fiancé and set your overall wedding budget. According to Conde Nast research, generally, your wedding gown, accessories and day of wedding beauty should represent approximately 10% of your overall wedding budget. This of course can vary, depending on how important your wedding gown is to you. For some brides, the gown is not the most important detail. Others recognize that their gown is the focal point of the day and it is the most critical element of their wedding.
2. Select your venue
The look of your wedding gown helps to set the tone for your entire wedding. It is difficult to determine what type of gown you are searching for until you select your wedding venue. After your venue has been chosen, you can begin to search (and budget) for a gown that embodies the essence of your wedding location.
3. Do your research
Often brides don’t know where to begin when setting a budget for their gown, as they don’t understand how much wedding gowns cost. Visit websites like theknot.com and brides.com , find designers that you like and research their price range. Also, don’t be shy to chat with your recently married girlfriends about what they spent on their gown.
Before shopping, be sure to research the stores that you will be visiting to ensure that the price range of the gowns that they carry fall within your designated budget.
4. Identify what is important to you
When determining what you are looking for in a gown, identify the gown qualities that are important to you. Is it necessary for your gown to be silk? Are you interested in a lace gown? Are you attracted to gowns with beading? Is it important to you that your gown is manufactured in the United States? If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep in mind that these factors will increase the price of your gown.
Generally speaking, if you are looking for a lace gown that is manufactured in the United States, you should budget a minimum of $2500 for your wedding gown.
5. Don’t forget the extras!
When budgeting, don’t forget to include additional items like your undergarments, alterations, veil, shoes and accessories. When factoring in the price of alterations, don’t underestimate this very important process and what it costs. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for! Good quality alterations that are done within a bridal boutique will generally cost you a minimum of $500. You may pay less by going directly to a seamstress; however, be sure that you have thoroughly researched the individual and ideally, have seen the quality of their work.
After all of your research has been done and your budget is set, take a deep breath and enjoy the shopping process!
One of the best ways to avoid fashion emergencies on your wedding day is to hire a Bridal Dresser. A Bridal Dresser is essentially an insurance policy against fashion related crises! She will come equipped with her own ’emergency kit’. If you cannot hire a Bridal Dresser, stylist and TWD owner, Beth Chapman has put together a list of fashion, health & beauty, and emergency essentials for your big day.
We adore lace wedding dresses. Brides don’t realize that are all different types of lace and each one has unique attributes that can change the aesthetic of your wedding dress. Owner, Beth Chapman defines the differences below and answers the question, “what are the different types of lace”?
Q: “After doing a ton of wedding dress research online I have found I love lace – I’ll see you at the Lace Event! But with that said, I feel a bit confused by all the different types of lace out there. How many lace options are there and how can I tell the difference?”
A: Megan, great question! With the ever increasing amount of options and our Lace Event fast approaching we are sure you aren’t the only bride out there with this question! Below we have broken down each type of lace with a short description for each. Of course there are many different variations but these are the basic categories:
Chantilly lace is a handmade bobbin lace named after the city of Chantilly, France, in a tradition dating from the 17th century. Chantilly lace is known for its flat, outlined pattern, and abundant detail. Brides who are looking for a soft, romantic lace pattern will love Chantilly.
Alençon lace or point d’Alençon is a needle lace that originated in Alençon, France. It is sometimes called the “Queen of lace.” There is a raised cording throughout the pattern of the lace, and the cording follows the lace pattern underneath. Some but not all of the edges of the lace have “eyelashes”. Brides who truly want a traditional lace gown should look for Alençon !
Guipure lace (also called Venetian lace) is a firm, stiff lace with no net background. The pattern is made by a series of closely packed embroidery stitches and works well for the bride who LOVES texture.
Cotton Lace has a soft, less formal feel than more traditional lace styles. Perfect for a spring soiree or wedding on the water.
Laser Cut Lace
Laser Cut Lace is a unique and modern take on the traditional fabrication. It is perfect for a bride who loves the tradition of lace but has a more modern style!
Point d’Esprit Lace
Point d’esprit lace is