Archive for the ‘Ask The Experts’ Category
Several weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking at Toss The Bouquet, a conference for the luxury wedding professionals of Chicago. The event was organized by my friend, Beth Bernstein, event director and founder of SQN Events. Beth and I met several years ago at the Engage Luxury Wedding Summit and bonded instantly over our mutual love of fashion and the wedding industry!
Beth created this conference to take a ‘taste’ of what we had experienced at Engage to the incredible vendors in Chicago. Her mission was to “Educate. Exchange. Elevate.” She was able to achieve that, and then some. In opening the conference she said, “Each person you will hear from today will give you nuggets of information that CAN change your business. I promise you. It has happened to me when I have heard some of them speak before. They are the best of the best, and yes, while many of them are getting paid to be here, they are also here because they are “honorary” Chicagoans. They want you to learn. They want to educate you, they want us to exchange ideas, and they want you to elevate your business.”
In speaking about her fellow Chicagoians, she said, “That’s what I love about Chicago. We’re open. We’re honest. We’re approachable. And we care.” I could not agree more!! I adore the “Windy City” and the people in it! I had the honor of meeting and bonding with several Chicago natives though Engage- the incredibly talented photographer, Kevin Weinstein, Andrea Liss, founder of Hannah Handmade, the most divine resource for custom invitations and accessories, event planners extraordinaire, Cindy Shanholtz and Hope Weiss, and my all – time favorite fashionista and jack-of-all-trades, Elan Villamor. I also made countless new friends and business contacts through this amazing experience (in fact, far too many to list)!
Below is a graphic of the incredibly talented speakers that I had the honor of being included amongst. I spoke about the current trends in bridal- you can see the trends on my blog post, here.
My co-authors of The White Dress in Color and I also had a panel discussion about the art of collaboration and how our book came to fruition.
Scroll down to see the beautiful faces and beautiful decor that made up this fabulous conference. I was honored to be surrounded by such talent- not only in the speakers, but in the amazing attendees!
I can’t wait for my next visit to Chicago-land!
graphic courtesy of Calder Clark
Wendy Wahl of Chic Productions discussing ‘creating your sweet spot’
Rocking my Aquinnah necklace and discussing what’s hot in bridal fashion
My smart, fabulous friend, Bernadette Coveney Smith of 14 stories, educating us all on how gay marriages are changing the face of our industry and how we can embrace it!
The sassy southern wedding planner/designer, Calder Clark helping to make the distinction between what it means to be a planner vs a designer.
Truly one of the smartest people I know, Liene Stevens, helping us understand how to market to millennials and how to stay relevant in the digital age. If you don’t follow her blog, Think Splendid, you must!
A new friend, LA based, Debbie Geller of Debbie Geller Events, discussing her secret to success. One thing that she said that completely resonated with me, and frankly blew me away (second only to seeing her work), was ” Many of you may not know who I am…and I am glad, because many of my clients wouldn’t hire me if you did.”
Two incredibly talented women that I had the pleasure of meeting at Engage 12, The Breakers, Andrea Liss of Hannah Handmade and Cindy Shanholtz. These two women are two of my biggest supporters and I am so grateful for them!
The Brain Behind the Operation – Beth Bernstein (SQN Events)
Venue- W City Center
Event Production- Art of Imagination
Photography- Carasco Photography
Paper- Courtney Callahan
Flowers- Hello Darling
Linens – Private Label Linens
In anticipation of our upcoming Hayley Paige Trunk Show, December 12th through 14th, we are excited to share this video with you! You may often wonder what the designer of your gown is like and we love how this short video captures Hayley Paige’s inspiration, ethos and personality. If we weren’t head-over-heels in love with Hayley’s gorgeous gowns already, this designer’s passion and personality has sent us over the edge!
Take a peek and then ring us to book your appointment during this exclusive event to receive a $100 discount off of your Hayley Paige gown. 860.669.4596
A little over a year ago, Super Storm Sandy struck the East Coast and literally struck my home! For years, my husband and I had discussed redecorating our bedroom, but other house projects always took precedence. Because after all, why make your bedroom pretty when no one really sees it?! Well, ”Sandy” decided to force our hand in the re-decorating decision!
During the storm, an 80 foot oak tree fell on our house, landing on one of the dormers and collapsing it into our bedroom. The tree was so tall that it covered the entire width of my house! We had a guardian angel watching over us that day for so many reasons – 1) The fact that the tree fell on the dormer, a reinforced structure, was a blessing. The dormer ‘broke the fall’ of the tree and prevented it from falling through to the first floor of our home. 2) One of the branches from the tree impaled the gabled roof in the front of the house, also helping to slow the tree’s momentum. 3) I had JUST been in the bedroom moments before and had left because the wind was getting intense and I had a terrible feeling that something was going to happen. 4) Because I came downstairs, my husband got up from our dining room table where he was working, which was directly below where the tree fell.
After a very stressful few days of cranes, chainsaws and trucks, the tree was removed from our house. The holes were boarded and tarped, and an insurance adjuster (who drove all the way from Texas in that crazy snow storm we had a few days later) came out and gave us a quote for the damage. It was then that we began to think about how we wanted to transform the bedroom. My first call was to my friends Sara and Melissa at Hartley and Hill Designs. Sara and I have been friends for years and she understands my taste level perfectly. Sara created a rendering of a design for the room and it was PERFECTION! I did not want to change a thing! I am honored to have revealed the finished product on Style Me Pretty Living. (click the link to see their post and a full gallery of images)
As terrible as the entire experience was for myself and my family, it taught me so many things. Firstly, we were so thankful that the damaged that we experienced was minimal compared to what so many others experienced. We had a hole in our house, but we still had a house! There were so many that did not! Secondly, I learned that your bedroom should be your sanctuary. It should not matter that no one spends time in your room but you and your family. Your bedroom should be beautiful and filled with the things that bring you comfort and joy! I wake up every morning now and look around and can’t believe that I am so lucky to be in such a beautiful space, surrounded by pictures of my husband and children.
I can’t thank Sara and Melissa enough for transforming my room and for creating an environment that is so beautiful that when I look at it, I don’t think about the damage that was done, but instead about the beauty that was created!
And a big smooch to my girl, Carla Ten Eyck for capturing all of the beauty of this project!
*necklace from Aquinnah Jewelry
We are very much looking forward to this Thursday’s Event! This month during our monthly, Baubles Veils and Cocktails, we are featuring a trunk show from local designer, Aquinnah Jewelry! Owner and designer, Kelley Solomon, will be on hand to create and customize your look, so be sure to book your hour long appointment as soon as possible! In anticipation, we asked Kelley a few questions in regards to her history and inspiration. Kelley knows what brides, mothers and maids are looking for, as her background includes many years working at The White Dress by the shore as a bridal stylist. Read below and then book your hour long appointment on Thursday, November 14th between 5 and 8 PM to work with this incredible talent and receive 10% off your accessories order!
1. How did you get started designing?
I started designing jewerly when I was around 10 years old. My mom would take my sister and I to a fabulous bead shop on Martha’s Vineyard. It carried beads and findings from all around the world. Instead of going to the beach most days I would spend hours designing pieces for my friends and family.
2. Where do your jewelry ideas come from?
When I find new vintage components, chains and beads I am inspired by their shape, design or era they came from. I love art deco and the combination of old and new together.
I get a lot of inspiration from art history as well. I love flipping through all my art history books from college and my many coffee table books I have collected throughout the years.
And, of course fashion of the past and present inspires me everyday. I studied fashion, photography and studio art in college.
3. What are your favorite pieces to wear?
When I’m going to a special event I love wearing my bigger statement necklaces. But, everyday I wear one of my lockets or one of my many simple vintage pendants in gold. And, I like to stack a few of my chain bracelets with one of my bracelets with a splash of color or bling.
4. Whats your design process?
Every few months I will shop for new, unique, vintage pieces to use in my designs. Designing begins right after I receive all of my little treasures back from my plater. When I purchase new pieces they are raw. Usually, very tarnished or just a raw brass, copper or metal so when they are plated they have a re-birth of brilliance. It really gets me so excited to see their transformation every time. I then lay every piece out, in its spectacular gold or silver plated glory. Every little trinket inspires my designs. The shape and style of each piece leads me down different design paths. I will often re-design necklaces, bracelets, and earrings several times before I add them to my collection. I then post some of my favorites on Facebook and/or Instagram and love to read all the feedback and criticism.
5. How is designing for brides different from designing for every day?
I really do enjoy designing for both brides and everyday, more causal fashion. But, when designing a piece for a bride there is just something so special about it. Especially, because I really get to know, and become good friends with, the brides I consult with. I feel so lucky. I always think…this piece of jewelry will most likely be past down in her family, will be photographed and seen in her wedding pictures forever. I always want to give them everything they dream of and more, because thats what every bride deserves on her wedding day. I feel like I am a part of their wedding day even though I am not present. This makes me so honored and happy to be a designer and to have had the opportunity to connect to new, wonderful people.
We hope to see you at our ‘Baubles, Veils and Cocktails’ Event this Thursday from 5-8 PM!
As Seen On: Beth Chapman, owner of the White Dress by the shore, talks Fall 2014 bridal trends on MassAppeal
On Monday, The White Dress by the shore owner, Beth Chapman appeared live on News 22′s MassAppeal speaking about the latest trends straight from the Fall 2014 New York bridal market runways. Makeup artist d.d. Nickel also joined the conversation adding how brides can incorporate these trends into their bridal day beauty! Watch the segment below!
Of course many factors come into play when finding the dress of your dreams- your venue, your vision and your personal style, to name a few. But perhaps the most important factor of all is that you feel great in your gown. Your wedding dress should highlight your best assets while minimizing the areas you aren’t so fond of! The right silhouette is key so that you may feel beautiful and confident on your wedding day.
We have selected gowns from our collection that we feel best flatter each body type- take a peek and then give us a ring so that we may help you in finding the right wedding gown for your body type- 860.669.4596
If you have are less endowed, you can always add a bit of volume in your bust with rouching, a sweet heart neckline, or with a cowl cut like this gown by David Fielden. A small bust means you can get away with a sheer or very low back (no need for a proper long-line style bra). We love this gown because it is sexy, without the need for cleavage. Wish a small bust, stay away from a straight-across neckline as it can make your bust appear smaller!
If you have a full bust and your top half makes you a bit self conscious, you can show off the ‘girls’ in a more demure way with a softer neckline like that of ‘Marena’ by Modern Trousseau. The security of straps allows for a “worry-free” wedding day and the fuller skirt creates the effect of balance between the top and bottom halves of the body. Avoid gowns that are backless if you are larger than a C cup, as it is difficult to support a full cup size without a proper bra.
If you would describe yourself as a-little-less-than-curvy or ‘athletic’, then a gown like this is for you! ’Dove’ by Modern Trousseau offers structure and creates curves in all the right places. The combination of thoughtfully placed lace, a fit to flare silhouette, and corset detailing, draw the eye down an athletic frame and pull in your waist. If this style isn’t for you, consider adding a sash to any gown- and voila, instant waistline! Stay away from dresses with a sheath-like shape or empire waist.
With a fuller hip, look for a gown that highlights your waist! A modified A-line style like Amsale’s ‘Paige’ is great for masking a larger bottom half without overwhelming the rest of your body. The gown is fitted through the waist and then delicately skims the hip- enhancing your shape without adding any extra volume as a fuller ball gown may do (which can sometimes amplify this insecurity). Steer clear of ultra-mermaid styles and large ball gowns.
If you are petite, then finding a wedding gown can be harder than it seems! Samples are made to fit a taller frame and it can be difficult to get a good idea of how they will look on you once altered. Be sure to bring heels to your appointment (even if you don’t plan on wearing them on your big day) to give yourself a better idea of how the dress will look once it is in proportion. For petite girls, as with all shapes and sizes, it is important to trust in your seamstress and your stylist. It can be difficult to envision the finished product when trying on samples, so listen to their recommendations. For a smaller frame, we will often recommend a gown like Augusta Jones’ ‘Jayma’. Its sweet heart neckline elongates your top half and the clean lines create length within the body. Avoid gowns with horizontal seams or too much ‘poof’, as they can divide and overwhelm your shape.
If your arms are your insecurity (aren’t they almost everybody’s?!) then a bolero, sleeve, or bridal cover up may be for you! If you are looking for a seamless addition to conceal your arms, we can order extra fabric from your dress designer to create a custom sleeve or strap. If that option doesn’t work for you then we have a variety of boleros and cover ups that make the perfect addition to any gown. But do be aware, sometimes when we are concerned with our less-than-perfect-arms our first tendency is to cover them up, yet that may not work for every body. In some cases, a sleeve or strap can just add attention to your least favorite part. Explore some strapless options as you may find that it looks (and feels) better than you expected. If you do opt for a sleeve, we recommend one that hits a bit lower on the arm if you are looking to draw attention away; the ‘Addison’ top from Jenny Yoo does just this! Want to see more of our favorite coverage options? Click here.
If you have broad shoulders, look for a gown that draws attention inward. This can be done using a sash with a central focus (like a brooch or feather) or with straps that bring the eye towards the center of the body. A V-neck gown such as ‘Osmonde’ from Anne Barge helps to balance a broad upper half. Steer clear of off the shoulder styles.
Our recommendations are simply a guideline as we understand that all brides are unique. It is our ultimate goal to make sure each bride feels comfortable, happy and beautiful, so be sure to book an appointment with one of our talented stylists so that they may help you feel your ultimate best on your big day. All of the gowns above are currently available to try on in the boutique, so if you are curious on how they might look on you, give us a ring at 860.669.4596!
We love Autumn for so many reasons- apple picking, changing over our closets, and the foliage to name a few. We also love it because we receive new stock arrivals almost everyday at the boutique! We ‘fall in love’ with the season’s up-coming trends every time we open a box!
Today we thought we would highlight some of our favorite new arrivals to our bridesmaid atelier, Chic by the Shore! Holly, our bridesmaid coordinator, walks us through the seasons hottest shapes, colors and trends- designer by designer!
I am a huge fan of the neutral bridal party. Mix & match tones and silhouettes of different neutral colors for a cohesive, yet modern take on the bridal party ensemble. Pair these lighter hued Jenny Yoo Social dresses with glam accessories for a sophisticated look that I just adore!
Shown in order from left to right: Hudson (in Sandstone Metallic Swirl Lace), Kiera (in Champagne Luxe Chiffon), Lulu (in Blush Silk Rayon Twill), Harlow (in Sandstone Metallic Swirl Lace), Coco (in Metallic Dot Jacquard)
Jenny Yoo’ is one of my favorite designers, as she offers “Sister Styles”. These are complimentary silhouettes that can be done in the same fabric and in the same color. Or, (my fave) in various hues of the same color. One of my favorite combinations is the Parker, Hadley and Cadie styles in the always-affordable Luxe Shantung fabrication. I love them in neutral hues like ‘Silver’, ‘Tawny’ and ‘Ballet Slipper.
I can’t get enough of the shantung BRIGHTS Coren Moore is offering this season. This Connecticut-based designer has never been one to shy away from structured silhouettes and preppy style and the new palate provides that ‘pop’ of color fit for any New England affair. Pair ‘Persimmon’ ,’Petunia’ and ‘Mango’ in the dresses below for one bright and bubbly bridal party, accessorize with neutral shoes and accessories to create a polished look.
I just adore Amsale’s brand new arrivals- the varied strap options make it easy for any maid to make a statement while still looking in sync with the rest of the party!
Our new LACE Amsale bridesmaid styles are beginning to arrive! I am enthralled with the idea of bridesmaids in lace, as it adds just a bit of texture into the mix. The color palate Amsale offers their lace in is also to-die-for. So much to choose from- but I am especially loving black over nude for a formal affair!
I am so excited about these new arrivals in the seasons most requested palate, jewel tones. Donna Morgan is has an ultra-speedy lead time, which means your bridesmaid dresses could arrive at the boutique only 2 months after ordering. This delivery schedule enables you to pick your palate closer to the wedding! If you are a fall or winter bride still on the hunt for maids gowns in a deeper palate, Donna Morgan’s long chiffon dresses are your perfect match! Pair these styles with a statement necklace, chandelier earrings, or fur stole to make this look perfect for the cooler months ahead.
What is your favorite trend in bridesmaid dresses?
Ring us to book your bridesmaid appointment today! To make your bridesmaid shopping experience extra-indulgent ask us about our fabulous service, the ‘bridesmaid soiree’. 860.669.4596