Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dessy's 2010 Bridesmaid eBook

The Dessy Group site has just released its Bridesmaid Collection flip book for 2010. Its got loads of beautiful dresses from designers such as Alfred Sung, Lela Rose, and more.

For brides-to-be (and bridesmaids as well) who are looking for great bridesmaid dress designs, take a look at Dessy's latest collection, which also includes wedding gowns and flower girl dresses, and get inspired.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Inspiration board - Christmas

December is a month of merriment. Here in the Philippines, it's also the month when so many weddings are held (compared to June). That's why I chose to make an inspiration board revolving around this theme.

I used the festive colors of red and green, as opposed to the winter-y white Christmas. I think its a very lively color combination, and when done right, it truly evokes a sense of cheer. Hope you like it.

1st row, from left: Sophia Style Burgundy Christmas Dress from SophiaStyle.com;Red Snowflake Ornament Place Card Holder from FavorIdeas.com; Janie Medley Flora Design Bridal Bouquet from JMFlora.com.

2nd row, from left: Frosty the Wedding Cake from ColettesCakes.com; Groom's Boutonniere with White Lily and Berries from EveryBloomingThing.cc; Fernanda Wedding Gown from PattisBridal.com; Maine Kissing Ball from WhitneyWreath.com.

3rd row, from left: Deck the Halls Centerpiece from ProFlowers.com; Christmas Holly Wedding Invitation from Invitations4Less.com; Red Marabou Shrug from AdvantageBridal.com; Tara #380 from JennyYoo.com.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Themed Weddings

Gone are the days when it's only the color motif that makes your wedding stand out. Theme weddings are now in vogue and are slowly being adopted by many couples today.

Themed weddings are mostly based on the couples' shared interests, personalities, and lifestyle. From one theme, the rest of the wedding essentials are coordinated to this idea: the dress, invitations, souvenirs, styling, etc.

For example, for a vintage-inspired wedding theme, you can use a vintage bridal car as transport. You can get dress design inspirations from the 50s. Brides using this wedding theme can wear birdcage veils as headpieces. For the reception, hire musicians who can play songs from the Big Band Era.

Summer-themed weddings can use flowers that are in season. Use sunflowers for your bouquet. If you're having a beach wedding, incorporate a sand ceremony and have everyone come in flip flops during the ceremony and reception by the shore.

If you choose to have a fairy tale wedding theme, it would be nice to coordinate your entourage's dresses with the theme. Your flowergirls will definitely look really cute as they saunter down the aisle wearing fairy wings. Use pastel colors or some greens and yellows as the motif. You can have a wedding dress with ballgown skirt ala-Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Find inspiration from those old fantasy and fairy tale movies.

Green weddings are so much in vogue nowadays, and you can have one, too. Give potted plants or plant seeds as giveaways. Use recycled products as decors and table centerpieces. You can even use recycled paper for your invitations. It's pretty and helps you save the environment at the same time.

If you or your partner comes from an Asian family and you want to celebrate the Asian culture, you can choose souvenirs that speak of the theme. Chopsticks with your names etched on them or parasols made of bamboo would be perfect giveaways. You can have your cake maker create pastries using details that revolves around your theme. Cherry blossoms or cake toppers with Japanese dolls are sure to be a hit among your guests.

If your interest lies in sport, then have a sports themed wedding. Use golf placecard holders on the reception tables. Bring in a mini sports bag or baseball caps as souvenirs. Votives shaped like yachts also spell of "sportsman."

If both of you love movies, then go for a Hollywood or movie-themed wedding. Shape your save-the-date cards into movie tickets, or your invitation into a movie clapper or film reel. Make a sort-of movie poster of you and your partner and play romantic movie theme songs during your reception. Or you can be your own star in your sci-fi-inspired union, like this couple in a "Star Wars" wedding.

You can also base your theme on the time of season you're having your wedding. For spring, you can incorporate blooms like roses, lilies, tulips, and the like. For the dresses, you can choose dresses with sleeves or wraps for your bridesmaids. Have fresh greens on the menu during the reception.

For autumn, you can use reds, oranges, and yellows as the color motif. Caramel apples would sure be a hit with guests, kids and adults alike. For the centerpiece, go for silk maple leaves with pumpkin-shaped votives.

Incorporate snowflake designs on your winter-themed wedding. Fur wraps and coats will look fashionable and, at the same time, will come in handy when the cold winter chill breezes in. Location is also vital: some venues would probably have winter or Christmas decorations put up, so you won't need to style it much as the venue already gives out the winter-y feel.

There are still a lot of wedding themes you can think of, just remember that it should fit your personalities and interests as a couple. Don't be afraid to explore on what you can do for your themed wedding.

Photo credit: Vintage Rolls Royce Park Ward Convertible from PremierCarriage.co.uk; Fairy wings from Fairy-Wings.com; Paper Parasols from Beau-Coup.com; Winter Wonder Ring Bearer Pillow from BridalPeople.com.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Colored wedding gowns

It's always been tradition that brides should wear white on their wedding day. Wearing white is a symbol of the bride's purity. And of course, it makes her stand out from the rest of the crowd.

But lately, some brides opt for bridal gowns that come in colors other than just pure white. Either the embellishments, like beadwork or sashes, are infused with the wedding's color motif, or the whole gown itself isn't white.

Wearing a colored wedding gown is a statement of the desire to be unique and contemporary. Though other people, especially the older ones in the family, may frown upon this, colored gowns are slowly making their way in the runway and in the aisles.

There are some things, though, that you should take note of when you're going for a colored wedding gown: first, it should complement your skin tone, and second, its design and shade should be different from your bridesmaids' or they could wear dresses with a complementary color. Otherwise, you'd just look like the others in your entourage.

Here's a board which showcases colored wedding gowns, all for your inspiration. Colored wedding gowns may not be for all, but for the more adventurous bride, you can take a shot at this.Top row, from left: Style M565 from JordanFashions.com; Purple Strapless Satin Wedding Gown from PerfectWeddingDressStore.com; Style VE8025 from VenusBridal.com; Style Y2940 from SophiaTolli.com; Suzanne from MaggieSottero.com.

Bottom row, from left: Style GR163 from DemetriosBride.com; Style 2037 from AlfredAngelo.com; Style CO72727 from ToiSpose.com; Carole - 7236 from AlyceDesigns.com; Zenia from PeterLangner.com.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Inspiration Board - Purple

My sister and her boyfriend are thinking of settling down. This I knew from the guy. They first thought of getting married this year, but with the recent turn of events, the preparations seemed to take so long. My guess is they're getting hitched next year (hopefully, they've been together for 10 years now).

She loves the color purple, and for her wedding she's thinking of mixing it with green or wine (my mom doesn't approve of purple, though -- it reminds her of Lent). So I came up with this inspiration board that has purple as the main color and green as accent. Enjoy!


First column, from top: Style 7014 Bridesmaid Dress from AlfredAngelo.com; Bouquet of purple tulips and green hydrangeas from TheKnot.com; Purple Rose Cufflinks by Robert Charles from KJBeckett.com; Mini Rosebunch Favor Pot from FavorStudio.com.


Second column, from top: Jordan Almonds from CandyWarehouse.com; Silver 'Sibak Tatah Leaves' Amethyst Bracelet from Overstock.com; Lombardia Colecciones Novia from LaSposa.com; Ladies Purple Satin Peeptoe Evening Shoes from FootwearStudio.co.uk; Bundled Flowers invitation from InvitationConsultants.com.


Third column, from top: Lilacs in May wedding cake from JacquesPastries.com; Purple Flowers and Candle reception centerpiece from ProjectWedding.com; Jessica Lynn Flower Girl Dress - Belle from EmeraldBridal.com.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bouquet and garter toss alternatives


One of the highlights of a wedding is the bouquet and garter toss during the reception. The tradition of throwing the wedding bouquet and the bride's garter stems from an age-old belief that the bride and anything she wore or touches were lucky. Thus, guests would get a piece, even tear a portion of the bride's dress, as a souvenir of good luck which they could take home.

In these modern times, it is believed that whoever catches the bouquet and garter would be the next to marry. But nowadays, couples want a newer and fresher version of the bouquet and garter than just tossing it to guests. Here are some ideas you can do as an alternative take on this tradition:

1. A cousin of mine did this: instead of a tied bouquet, she had 11 roses on hand. She invited 12 of her single friends in front and tossed the flowers to them. The one who didn't get a rose is the lucky girl.

2. A friend of mine tied ribbons on the stems of the gathered flowers, one of them of a different color. Whoever gets to pull the different colored flower gets the bouquet.

3. Have the bride blindfolded and let the single ladies gather around her in a circle. As the music plays, the bride turns clockwise while the ladies turn counterclockwise. When the music stops, the bride hands the bouquet to the girl directly in front of her.

4. For the garter, have the guys gather around. When the music starts, the garter is passed among the boys. Whoever gets the garter when the music stops is the lucky guy.

5. For our wedding, we had the garter game first. The lucky guy sits on a chair while the girls surround him. It's like the Musical Chairs game, except that there's only one chair and the girls have to sit on his lap when the music starts. Whoever gets to sit on the guy's lap when the music stops is eliminated. The game goes on until there's only one lady left. The last girl left standing gets the bouquet.

6. For a little bit of fun, have the groom blindfolded. Let other women (bridesmaids, female friends, aunts, and even grandmas) join the bride in showing their legs. The groom has to guess which leg is the bride's before he can take off the garter.

7. If you have more married friends or guests than single ones, you can call on the married ladies on the floor. You can start by asking who has been married for X number of years and start eliminating them from the fewest to the most number of years she has been married, until there is one lady left, the one who's married the longest. She gets the bouquet.

8. Instead of throwing the bouquet away, you can give the bouquet to the woman closest to you -- your mom, sister, or best friend. Sort of like a dedication bouquet.

9. In lieu of a garter toss, you can have a dose of entertainment as you watch the guys vie for the garter by way of a Limbo Rock. My cousin did this during his wedding. Whoever gets to win gets the garter.

Some couples opt to remove this tradition from the reception program. But if you want a spark of enjoyment, you can just tweak this tradition to give your wedding reception a little spice.

Photo credit: The Bride's Things by gbosworth from sxc.hu.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Philippines' Wedding of the Year: Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez

It was the biggest news yesterday here in Manila: Senator Mar Roxas tying the knot with broadcaster Korina Sanchez.

Touted as the wedding of the year, primarily because of these two big personalities in politics and media, respectively, their wedding had a Filipiniana theme with white and ecru as the color motif. The ceremony, held in the colossal Sto. Domingo Church, was said in Tagalog.

I would say Korina Sanchez looked radiant in her Pepito Albert Filipiniana-inspired wedding gown made of pina fabric. It had a serpentina silhouette and off-shoulder neckline. The gown's main highlight, in my opinion, was the five-meter long cathedral train.

Some guests may describe the event as "simple" because they did away with the planned reception at Araneta Coliseum (they donated the amount set for the reception -- a whopping Php 2.2 million or almost US$ 47,000 -- to foundations helping typhoon victims) and the utilization of white blooms for the bouquets and venue styling, but it was all in all laden with pure elegance -- and, well, a bit of showbiz and politics, what with the who's who in attendance.

I would have wished they had a more private wedding, but they're public figures and they owe their earned fame to the Filipinos, so I guess having a very public (yes, the masang Pilipino were allowed to witness it in church) was just right.

Congratulations and best wishes to the new couple!

(Post-script: how I love the vintage top-down Mercedes Benz they rode to Bahay na Puti...)

Photo credit: Inquirer.net.

Create your own inspiration board with Dessy's Pantone Wedding

Want to create your own inspiration board? Thinking of great color combinations you could use for your wedding? The Dessy Group has teamed up with Pantone to build the Pantone Wedding, a site where you can choose from Dessy's dresses and accessories according to your favorite colors.

I tried out the site, and it's pretty easy. All you have to do is create an account and you're ready to go!

Before creating your inspiration board, you must choose the color combinations you like from the swatches on the top right. After picking your colors, an array of dresses and accessories will show on the right side. Just click and drag the ones you like on the board. You can also write a note on it. It's that simple.

If you're done with your inspiration board, you can easily save it in your account for future viewing. And if you like to share it with others, perhaps with the members of your entourage, you have the option to post it in your blog or email the board's link.

What I like about this wedding tool is that, first of all, it's free and it instantly gives you a preview of how your entourage will look like wearing those dresses in the color motif you want. It's also easy to use, because you can easily create an inspiration board by just clicking and dragging. You can also adjust the size of the items so they could fit on the board. And if you want to remove a picture, you just have to press delete.

The downside, though, is the limitations in terms of the selections. It features mostly bridesmaid dresses, a few flowergirl dresses, and fewer accessories. I hope Dessy would feature more of their collections here, which will also include wedding dresses and a lot more accessories for men and women.

Here's a sample inspiration board I made using Pantone Weddings:


Overall, this wedding tool is fun and easy to use. The Pantone Weddings is very helpful, especially if you need to visualize how your colors will blend. Try it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Planning a Wedding on a Tight Budget

In these times when money is hard to come by, couples have to be extra careful when planning their wedding. I remember reading brides-to-be saying that their budget for the wedding day alone costs around US$20,000 -- and that does not include those they have to spend for after the wedding, like apartment rentals and other stuff. To be honest, you can really do a lot with that big an amount, but are you willing to spend that much just for one day?

Me and my husband, we didn't have that much money, so we crammed all the wedding stuff in a very small budget: about US$4,000. Besides, we didn't want to end up in debt. And believe it or not, we managed to fit everything in that amount. Suppliers for church, venue, food, dresses, photography -- all of it. And even after our wedding, guests raved at how much they enjoyed that day.

Here's what we did:

1. Chose a place where the church and reception place were near each other. Actually, we found a church with a multi-purpose hall that they also rent out as a reception venue. We saved costs for that, and also for the guests' transportation.

2. Chose a ceremony and reception venue within the city, where more than 70% of our relatives and friends were located. Again, saves on transportation and lodging costs.

3. Prioritized what we needed versus what we wanted. Having a tight budget doesn't mean going cheap -- it's all about designating the budget, how to partition the amount at hand. Our main priority was food because, as they say, guests will forget almost everything about the wedding -- except how the food tasted. Half of our budget went to the catering, the rest were divided into photography, the dresses, flowers, and others.

4. Chose cost-effective suppliers. Our caterer, for one, already offered a free cake, bridal car, and guest table arrangements in their package. I also found a dressmaker who could do the bridal and entourage dresses all together. Many suppliers have packaged offerings ready, but of course, we were careful enough to choose which of them would be affordable but still give the highest quality of service.

5. Did DIY's. Invitations, souvenirs, misalettes -- all labors of love. It also helps to have a creative partner and very eager family members and friends to help out.

6. Asked friends to lend their talents. Our wedding had friends as back-up photographers and reception program hosts. My brother also played the piano during the ceremony.

7. Limited the number of guests. More guests meant more plates for the meal. Caterers (at least here in the Philippines) charge per plate, so limiting our guests to 160 saved us some money. Also, we invited only immediate family members, first-degree relatives, and the closest friends we've had individually and as a couple. We did not invite those we didn't know.

8. Always looked at the budget list. Since I was in charge of handling the budget, I kept a close look at what we have spent and what we still need to get for the wedding. To make sure we didn't go overboard with the budget, we saved more than the expected amount to make room for extra expenses.

When you have a tight budget, it doesn't mean you'll end up with a wedding disaster. Research and keeping within the budget is the key. That's what we did, and I'm proud to say our wedding was a success -- a very beautiful day we'd want to remember always.

Your special day could be wonderful, too, even with a small budget. Take note of these few tips and you'll truly have a fun and worry-free wedding.

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Photo credit: Kiss by Atroszko from sxc.hu.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dress ideas for guests from Looklet.com

I found this very interesting site called Looklet.com. It's a site where you feel you're playing dress-up with a virtual Barbie. Though it doesn't have real wedding dresses in its selections, it's a nice site to find inspiration for what to wear if you're invited to a wedding.

At Looklet.com, you can mix and match looks. It has tops, bottoms, dresses, bags, accessories and more. You can create casual, corporate or formal looks. I tried making some looks and found myself addicted to it. :D

The only issue I have are the limitations in terms of the colors of the clothes and the choices for shoes and accessories. But otherwise, Looklet.com is a fun website.

Here are two of my creations which I would say can be worn by guests of weddings or special occasions:


If you want to save your creations, you can simply register at Looklet.com. It's free, so there aren't much hassles.

I'm telling you, it's a great site, especially if you want to satisfy the fashionista in you. Go get addicted to it like I am!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Choosing a plus size wedding dress

One of the issues brides face during the preparations is choosing the wedding dress. I, for one, had a hard time picking the design that suits me from all the pictures I found on the Internet. Why? Because most dresses I saw were worn by those slim, sexy models. And I'm definitely not sexy.

Let's face it, not all brides-to-be don't have that slender, hour-glass figure. Some, like me, fall into the "voluptuous" category. But as I went on looking for "the dress," I realized that finding a wedding gown that looks good on a plus size woman is not so hard at all. There are guidelines that can help you pick the right wedding dress for your full figure.

From left to right: Eveline Pleated Wedding Gown from Igigi.com, Style W207 from AllureBridals.com, Style 1846W from AlfredAngelo.com, Vintage-inspired Scalloped Lace Wedding Dress from Kiyonna.com.
For one, stay away from body-hugging silhouettes, like the trumpet or mermaid. A-line skirts are a good option and flatters most full figures. Another tip is to go for V-necklines and put the focus on your face and upper body.

Some plus size women may be too shy to show off their arms, so the best choice is to wear an off-the-shoulder dress or one with sleeves. They can help make your arms look slimmer.

The choice of fabric is also important. Make sure that you pick one that hugs your body right and not too tight that it shows unwanted flabs. And remember to have your gown altered to your size. Your wedding gown should not only be comfortable, it should also highlight your best assets and the right curves.

Many stores already offer plus size wedding dresses. Try on the designs that you think would flatter your figure and make you look and feel beautiful on your big day.

There may be many other tips out there in choosing a plus size wedding dress, but what's important is that you love the body you're in. Appreciating your figure is essential in making the right decision on what to wear for your wedding.

Monday, August 31, 2009

On planning a destination wedding

First off, my apologies for not posting stuff for some time. I gave birth towards the end of June and had to take care of the baby while enjoying the maternity leave.

Many thanks for those who continue to stop by. Will be writing more, promise. :D

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My cousin just celebrated her big day here in the Philippines. She and her now hubby are based in the US but decided to hold the wedding in Bohol, the province where both their parents were born, as a salute to their heritage. Theirs was a church wedding followed by a sand ceremony and dinner reception by the beach.

During their planning, I noticed some things that I thought I'd share when you're opting for a destination wedding. I hope these tips may be of help, however few.

1. Get a wedding planner/coordinator. For couples planning a beach or destination wedding, I think this is a must especially when the place you'd want to get married is far away from where you are presently staying. It also helps if the wedding planner you're targeting is based where you want to hold your big day or knows it very well. At least he or she could give you the pros and cons of holding your wedding there, and know rules and conditions of the venue where the wedding will take place.

2. Hire suppliers which are based on the place you'll get married. My cousin hired a photographer, an event stylist, and hair and make-up artist, aside from the wedding coordinator, which are based here in the Philippines. Of course you can also choose suppliers from your place, but be ready for additional costs for their transportation.

3. If you have a friend or relative living or visiting your desired venue, ask them if they could do an ocular inspection for you. You can also do it yourself, but if you feel like you wouldn't have the time because you're in the middle of the preps, do so. It will help you save time and money, plus you'll get valuable inputs from people you really trust.

4. Have a contingency plan. Most destination weddings are held outdoors, but what if the weather turns bad? It will be helpful if the venue provides an alternative, and if your planner coordinates with them for a Plan B. Just in case.

5. Provide accommodation for your important guests. Most of them may be coming from your place, too, so better look for somewhere to stay for a night or two. You don't need to give every guest accommodation, maybe just family and friends included in the entourage. For your other guests, you can give them options, but make it clear to them who's going to shoulder the cost.

These are just a few helpful tips for those planning a destination wedding. And as I'd always say, research is very crucial in every wedding. Just keep these things in mind so you can create your own beautiful wedding.

Photo credit: Altar caribe by cop1t4 from sxc.hu.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The June bride

People said that getting married in June -- or becoming a June bride -- was believed to be lucky by many, that's why June is a month booked with so many weddings.

Well, I didn't get married in June (we were supposed to, before hubby reached his 30th birthday, but due to some circumstances, it was moved to August), but why do many couples choose June as a month to wed?

AisleDash.com shares that this belief began with the Romans, wherein the month is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of relationships. And because she reigns over women and marriage, it was said that brides getting married during her month, which is June, will enjoy a happy married life.

SuperWeddings.com brings another light into the myth or tradition. June was a popular month to get married because during the 1400-1500, people can take a bath once in a year -- which was during May. By June, people were smelling fresh, which was a good time to hold celebrations such as weddings. Now isn't that odd?

I guess June is also a good choice since by this month, it's summer in some countries. Well, not here in the Philippines, though...

So, are you a June bride?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wedding projects you could do yourself

When my husband and I were in the thick of the wedding preparations, one thing that we always kept in mind was meeting the set budget. Unfortunately, with a limited budget, we couldn't splurge for some things like grand invites and funky souvenirs. So we thought of saving some money by doing some wedding DIY projects.

If you come to think about it, there are many wedding items you can actually do on your own. It just takes some time, patience and creativity to make it happen. On our end, we chose to create a few things using materials that are readily available in the market and would cost less than if we had it done in a shop, such as our wedding invitations and favors. We just needed some paper and a trusty printer and voila! Done!

If you have a graphics program installed in your computer, a printer and some nice paper or cardboard, you can also create save the dates, programs, table numbers and thank you cards by yourself. If you're into crafts, you can create simple table centerpieces or even the pillow for your rings. You can even hand tie your own flowers or embellish your own unity candle.

How each project will cost depends on the materials you will use. As a tip, drop by thrift stores or look for shops that sell the raw materials for wholesale price. When you have all the stuff you need, channel your creative energies on assembling and creating your DIY piece.

There are lots of wedding things which can be your DIY projects. Not only does it save you on costs, it also gives your wedding that unique, personal touch. Just remember to allot ample time for each project, preferably months before your wedding day (just so it won't be stressful for you), and ask help from talented family and friends as well.

Photo credit: Tools by konarska and Flowers in water 2 by stachoo, both from sxc.hu.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wedding gowns: Get inspiration from the Carolina Herrera Bride Barbie Doll

Last Saturday, when my hubby and I went to the mall, I saw this Barbie exhibit celebrating her 50th year in the industry. There was a display of really beautiful Barbie dolls, but this one really caught my attention:

Carolina Herrera Bride Barbie Doll
(Image from Amazon.com)

I was (almost) literally drooling on this Barbie doll. Among the Barbie brides displayed there (including the ones from Monique Lhuillier and Reem Acra which had an awesome bustled skirt), the Carolina Herrera was my favorite. And why not, the lace details and criss-cross ribbons on its bodice was a winner. If I were as sexy as Barbie, this would have been my dream wedding gown. Actually, the overall wedding look, including her hairstyle and make-up, was so elegant.

It's interesting how Barbie can give you lots of fashion inspiration, even for a wedding dress. My only gripe is that I don't think I have a chance to own this Barbie doll, since it's really expensive here. Tsk.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Operation Dream Dress by Brides.com

Brides.com features the semi-finalists of the Operation Dream Dress participated by newbie designers and fashionistas from the US. 20 entries are currently under selection, all of which have undergone much deliberation from the site owners. Visitors can choose which one they would like to win on the 26th of the month.

I would've liked to vote, but the entries is only open to US residents (and I'm here in Manila, tsk!). But if I were able to vote, I'd pick any of these three:

1. Entry #1 from Jennifer Allen. I like the one-shoulder styles that's so in rage nowadays. It's got flower appliques on the bodice, shoulder strap and the train, which I think looks like a garden of pink and lilac blossoms. Definitely fits a bride with a cheery personality.

2. Entry #11 from Suzanne Perron. Strapless gowns will always be in vogue. I like the trumpet style tiered skirt, as well as the lace details. Fits a sexy, sassy bride. Somehow I'm reminded of my Barbie dolls when I saw this one.

3. Entry #20 by Susan Zygarewicz. It's got a simple style, and when you need some covering for those cold weather weddings (or maybe you just want to hide your upper arms), you just have to don the matching 3/4 sleeved bolero. When it's time for partying, you can transform into something alluring by simply removing the jacket. It's like a 2-in-1 look already. If my sister were to get married, I would suggest her this bridal style.

You can check out the complete gallery here.

How about you? Got any favorite picks?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wedding gowns: Short dresses

My colleague is having her civil wedding next month. She was looking for ideas of what to wear for that special day. Of course, that meant no princess-like long-train gowns for her (what with the small space in the judge's office) so this brought about the idea of finding some short dresses that she could wear.

The "little white dress" may be worn on such similar occasions or for destination or outdoor weddings, where dragging a train would be such a bane while walking on, say, the beach. Brides having a more informal wedding may opt to wear a knee-length white dress or a cute dress which hemline falls just above the knee. Short wedding dresses also saves you time, effort and money for a separate reception dress. It's like a 2-in-1 look.

While browsing the Net, I found some dresses that you could wear for an informal, outdoor or destination wedding. Just remember to pick the right accessories for your look; for example, short veils like the birdcage complement your short wedding dress (if you're going for a more vintage look). Another tip: you can also look for similar dresses in sites offering cocktail or prom dresses. They have cute selections over there, too.


Top row, from left: Style 2005 from AlfredAngelo.com; Diane von Furstenberg 'Hippolyte' Crochet Lace Dress from Nordstrom.com; Style 1366 from EdenBridals.com.

Bottom row: from left: Style 19112 from MonCheriBridals.com; Cancun from Watters.com; Style DR161 from DemetriosBride.com.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here comes the groom

When you hear "weddings," it's almost always the bride that comes to mind. Most of the time, our focus turns to the blushing lady walking down the aisle in her most beautiful. But let's not forget the other VIP who shares the spotlight with her: the groom.

I mean, without him, there wouldn't be any wedding, right? Besides, grooms (or grooms-to-be) are not just there to kneel down and give the ring. I know some grooms who are very active in the wedding preparations, just like my husband when we were still in the planning stages. Believe me, there are guys who are also very much into the nitty-gritty of things, from the ceremony and reception details to the grooming.

And because this is also his special day, he deserves to look his best. And what better way to dress him with than with a suit that fits him perfectly? I found some tuxedos and formal suits that grooms can wear during the wedding.

Of course, you should also take note of the time of the wedding, where it will be held, and what season your wedding date will fall on, not to mention your personal style. All these will determine what attire you'll wear on your wedding day.

1st row, from left: Hart Schaffner Marx "Capital Collection' Gold Trumpeter Tuxedo from Nordstrom.com; Gable from FerrariFormalLandBridal.com.au; Lastrada from AfterSix.com; Calvin Klein Legend from Tuxedos.com; Black Multi Stripe from Spurling.com.

2nd row, from left: Style 385 The Oahu from AlsFormalWear.com; Ralph Lauren Starwood from FineTuxedos.com; John Yves Mirage from MinskyTux.com; Jacob from Zenetti.com.au; Alfresco Style 202 from JimsFormalWear.com.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Organize your wedding planning with My Wedding Workbook

Wedding planning can be a tedious task for every brides and grooms-to-be. You can ask help from friends and family, or even your wedding coordinator, but most of the time you (and your partner) are always on your own -- searching and selecting vendors, scheduling ocular inspections, dress fitting and other things. At this point in the pre-wedding process, you'd need someone or something to help organize everything that needs to be done.

Enter My Wedding Workbook, a free online wedding planner designed to assist you in the nitty-gritty of the wedding details. Actually, this was introduced to me by blogger, owner and groom-to-be Jeff whose web programmer friend, Steve, created this tool while he and his then-fiancee were going through with the wedding preparations.

Through Jeff's invitation, I had a chance to browse through their site and check out the sample account.

The main website gives you a comprehensive overview of what you can expect from this online wedding planner. It gives you a brief background and some screenshots of the tools you can use: from the budget breakdown to the guest list to a calendar which lists all important dates prior to your big day. And with just a click of a mouse, you can easily register for an account at My Wedding Workbook -- at no cost!

I also perused through their dummy account (I thought of making my own, but since it's been 9 months since my wedding, I just chose to access the sample account) to see how all the info is presented. Upon logging into your account, you will be taken to the Overview Page where you can see your total expenses and guest details. From there, you can access all the other integrated tools by selecting the tabs on the upper screen.

The Guest List tab shows you, obviously, the names of the attendees you're expecting. It also helps you track if they have responded to your RSVPs, or where they will be staying if they're coming from out of town. When you click the "Add a NEW Family/Guest" button, you can put all the details of the family (who from their brood are invited, etc.) or the guest (and probably companion) and the events you would like for them to attend (engagement party, rehearsal dinner or just ceremony/reception).

One of the most important tools in this online wedding planner (and perhaps the priority of every wedding preparation) is the Budget tool found in the next tab. Here, you can track all the expenses you have incurred during this time. A detailed budget breakdown is presented when you click on the menu on the left side of the screen. With this, you can easily track how much you would have to spend for your engagement party, rehearsals and wedding suppliers, who would spend for them, and when the balance is due. What I find nice about this part is that it calculates the total budget instantly when you put in the amount information in any of the subcategories, so you can immediately see how much you've already incurred up to this time.

The Events tab helps you organize all pre-wedding and actual wedding day details. You can input location and date details, who your officiant will be on the day of your wedding, and other things. Details of your wedding vendors and and their contact numbers may also be entered here for archiving. If you're planning to get a gift registry, you can also put their information here, as well as the items included in the registry. Also in this tab, you will find helpful hints which offers tips on topics such as bridal showers and the like.

Lastly, there's a calendar that helps you be reminded of all the important dates of the wedding preparation. What's nifty about it is that you can opt to be reminded of these appointments automatically through email, making sure you won't forget when you'll have to go to the tailor or reserve your ceremony venue.

This online wedding planner also has checklists and worksheets that can help you choose the best suppliers for your wedding day. They also come in PDF form which you can save in your computer or print out.

My Wedding Workbook is such a helpful tool for all couples out there, especially those who are too much into the details of everything or those who are unable to have their own wedding planner oversee things for them. What's more, it's easy to use and navigate through, and you will find everything you need all in one place. No more worrying about missing the small details; you'll find everything is easy to organize. The layout is even commendable -- simple and not busy on the eyes. And did I mention that it's free? So if you're looking for a great wedding tool online, My Wedding Workbook is one you should get.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wedding flowers: Tulips

Another staple in weddings is the tulip. Many brides opt for a bouquet of tulips because of its simple, delicate and elegant look.

Tulips come in different colors. And like the rose, each of its color also has a meaning. TeleFlora.com lists a few common tulip colors and their symbolism: Red tulips mean "perfect love," yellow tulips mean "cheerful thoughts," white tulips mean "forgiveness," and purple tulips mean "royalty."

Because they are basically grown in spring, one needs to know that tulips are sensitive to high temperatures. The Wedding Flower Guide site suggests that you should make sure it gets plenty of water by putting them in a vase or a wet foam prior to the ceremony. You wouldn't want photos of your wilted tulip bouquet, right?

Tulips look great as a bouquet when bunched up or tied together. But you could also combine them with other flowers to create a burst of color and varied texture. See the collection of tulip bouquets I found over the Internet and get inspired to create your own tulip bridal bouquet.

1st column, from top: Tulips, calla lilies, roses, and hydrangeas from BlueSkyWeddings.com; Purple tulips and anemone from EdelweissWedding.com; Tulips and white orchids at BuyFlower.com.sg.

2nd column, from top: Two dozen red tulips from TheBridesBouquet.com; Cream French tulips and stephanotis collar from RenaesBouquet.com; Spring Bridal Bouquet of tulips, roses, old fashioned stock, ranunculus, freesia, and hydrandias from BlvdFlorist.com.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Traditional or photojournalistic: What's your wedding photography style?

One of the most important aspects of weddings is the photography. It captures that special moment and makes your big day last a lifetime. It serves as the memory of your wedding day, a solid proof, and lasting memento when you want to look back at that special moment. That's why it's no wonder why couples choose to splurge on photography when allocating their wedding budget.

Couples nowadays have many options when it comes to wedding photography. And with the turn of the tide, varied wedding photography styles have emerged, each aiming to capture that special moment of your lives. Today, two different styles are popularly known in weddings: the traditional and the photojournalistic approaches.

As defined in Wikipedia, traditional wedding photography "provides for more classically posed images and a great deal of photographer control and interaction on the day of the wedding." This means the bride or the groom (and probably the entourage, too) take their cue from the photographer. He dictates the poses and the composition, how the images would come out.

More often than not, the traditional style is mainly about getting all the details in a single shot. Portraits and posed group shots fall under the traditional style of photography. Whether or not the subject looks at the camera, how he or she is positioned is directed by the photographer, and the subject has an awareness of the camera looking back at him or her.

Some couples may find this style to constricting or, well, traditional. Simply because it has been utilized for decades now. More adventurous couples nowadays seek a different kind of POV from photographers, and thus choose those who offer a photojournalistic style.

A photojournalistic wedding style, according to Wikipedia, "focuses more on candid and unposed images with little photographer interaction." It features more of a reportage style, capturing the essence of that particular moment.

Photojournalistic wedding pictures seem to have more drama in it, basically because the photographer shoots a very candid scene. Oftentimes, too, the shots are unobtrusive, as the photographer blends with the crowd that it enables him to snap a more sincere photograph without the subjects being aware of his presence.

Emotion is basically what the photojournalistic style captures. And for a lot of couples, that is more important than having a sort-of rigid "firing squad" pose. The composition is never forced. It looks less formal than the traditional style and describes more of the actual wedding rites or reception party.

Most photographers nowadays combine these two styles to strike a balance in their offerings. Not too much formal poses and enough candid shots. When you think about it, it's nice to have photos that capture the reality of the event, but it would also be good to see the faces of your loved ones smiling back at you when you look at those pictures once more.

Bottomline, your wedding photography style would depend on both you and your partner's preference and personalities. What's important to remember is that you choose a photographer you are most comfortable with and who will give you great value for your money -- and of course memorable shots that you will be proud to show even to your grandchildren.

Photo credits, from top to bottom: Thomas Bartler Wedding and Event Photography; BecauseYouLove Journalistic Wedding Photographer; Wedding Photography by Rhee Bevere; Edmonton Wedding Photographer Buffy Goodman.

Wedding photography styles definitions taken from Wikipedia.com.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On wedding rings

One of the most important symbols in a wedding is the ring. I consider it the most obvious sign of the couple's unending love for each other (hence, the circle shape, too). My hubby says it's also the first thing you should look for in a girl or guy you're eyeing, to know whether she/he is committed or not.

But I digress...

Anyway, to grant a request from Pinoy online buddy utotmopink, I'm sharing you some tips on helping you and your partner find THE wedding ring.

I'm pretty sure you've seen lots of wedding ring designs in magazines, over the Net, or even on your friend's ring finger. At this point, it can get very confusing as to what wedding ring you would really like to wear forever. So first up, you should know the basic considerations when searching for a wedding ring.

One is the budget. How much are you willing to spend for a pair of wedding rings? Below $100? Around $400? Or maybe up to a thousand? Knowing your budget range will surely determine almost everything else about your rings.

Which would also include the second consideration: design. Would you want a plain band? Or something with diamonds? Would you like the rings to be in yellow gold, white gold, tungsten or titanium? If you'd like diamonds, how many or how big would they be?

The aforementioned consideration will also depend on your style. Would you want it simple and not too flashy? Or would you want it to be the center of everyone's attention with those big blings?

Once you have an answer to those questions, you can now scout for the wedding rings of your choice, whether online or in jewelry stores. Of course, be sure to bring your partner along so you could both decide on the one.

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Here in Manila, there are many options where you can find wedding rings that would suit your budget.

During my wedding preparations, I was told that inexpensive wedding rings were sold at Ongpin St. in Binondo, in Manila's Chinatown. I must admit, I never went there because I didn't know how to get there. Anyway, I was told that plain gold bands may cost around Php5,000 only (around $100) or even less. But here's the tricky part: I was told to be careful in buying the rings there because some are made of fake gold (gold probably mixed with another metal, steel perhaps?). One of the shops recommended by past brides was Mayfair Jewelry, at 809 Ongpin St. Unfortunately, we failed to drop by there.

So the next step was to look for rings somewhere near to where we live. We landed at The Jewellery in Greenhills. It's basically an area of jewelry stores, so canvassing is pretty easy because you don't have to walk too far to get to the next shop since they're located beside each other.

I've also encountered some other stores recommended by other Manila brides:

Goldenhills Jewelry, which also has a store in The Jewellery in Greenhills. I believe they have branches in other malls, too. Some brides recommend this store for their add-on services (free cleaning, etc., though I know other jewelry shops offer this, too) and free arrhae.

Suarez Wedding Rings, which has a shop at Gateway, Cubao (near the LRT2 entrance) and SM Mall of Asia. I believe they're one of the big names in jewelry in Cebu.

Matus Jewellery, which has a new branch at the SM Megamall Atrium (5th floor, I think).

Miladay, which is also located in The Jewellery and in malls like Robinsons Galleria. Incidentally, this is the shop where we bought our wedding bands (the photo above are our actual rings).

These are just some of the names that are on the top of my head. There are many other jewelry stores out there, especially in malls. Just take time in going around, canvassing, and asking about their prices and offers before your purchase.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On wedding favors

Choosing your favors is also essential in wedding preparations. It's one of the things that will make your guests remember your special day.

I've always believed that wedding favors should tell something about the couple -- their personalities, their love story, something that would remind the guests about the two of you, the bride and groom.

Many wedding favors have sprouted through the years. The earliest I know of are the small bells which guests would ring if they want the couple to kiss. Another is a figurine of two doves or swans that symbolizes the couple. But today, more couples have been adventurous. And with the advent of new technology, a host of unique favors have surprised and delighted many guests. The rental of a photo booth is one example of a high-tech souvenir.

Sometimes the favors also depend on your wedding theme. For example, a couple who would have an Asian-themed wedding prepared chopsticks as souvenirs. Fans and parasols with the couple's names could be a great favor to get for outdoor weddings. Couples who would do a destination or beach wedding can give away flip flops or shell-shaped candles.

I've seen some weddings that have souvenirs with a 2-in-1 purpose, like place card holders or table napkins with the couple's monogram. Some choose functional favors, those that guests are likely to use even after the big day. Others choose edible ones, such as candies, chocolates and the like. And for those concerned with the environment, there are already "green" favors, such as plants or something recyclable.

When you look around the Internet, you will find many inspirations for wedding favors. I've collated some, which I have posted below. You may be overwhelmed by the options, but I guess what's important is that the favors you get speak about the both of you. And it should be both your choice, too. ;-)

Top row, from left: Silver Teapot Placecard Holders from HotRef.com; Heart-shaped Measuring Spoons from Beau-Coup.com; Scented Bath Salts from HansonEllis.com; Bendable Comical Bride and Groom Magnets from MomentsofElegance.com.

2nd row, from left: Hug Salt and Pepper Shakers from ProductWiki.com; Airplane Luggage Tag in gift box with Suitcase Tag from MyWeddingFavors.com; Seeds of Love Personalized Wildflower Favor from FavorIdeas.com; Chocolate Lollipops with print from Chocolography.com.

3rd row, from left: Love Chopsticks from ThingsFestive.com; Personalized Chocolate Favors from AmericanBridal.com; Custom Imprinted Wedding Napkins from CharmingWeddings.com; Photo Booth from RentPhotoBooths.com.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bridal accessories: Jennifer Behr headwraps

I first heard about Jennifer Behr when one of her works was featured in the series Gossip Girl and worn by no less than Leighton Meester's character. Since then, everyone was raving about those fashionable headbands laden with Swarovski crystals. I think every girl who watched the show wanted one.

Out of curiosity, I checked out Behr's website to see her creations. I must say, I love it! Perfect to wear in so many occasions, including weddings. Incidentally, she also has a Bridal Collection which features headbands, headwraps, and even birdcage veils. Among the items in the collection, the headwraps caught my attention. See why:
Jennifer Behr's Bridal Collection headwraps. Top, from left: Belinda, Victorian crystal and silk satin headwrap, Petite vined crystal headwrap, Double crystal scallop headwrap. Bottom from left: Overlapping crystal twist, Encrusted crystals on silk chiffon, Wide crystal lace headwrap, Petite crystal and satin headwrap. All taken from JenniferBehr.com.
I also found more headwraps from her Seasonal Collection which can be worn during your wedding, too:
Crystal lace headwrap and Encrusted crystal padded headband, all from Jennifer Behr's Seasonal Collection.
To be honest, I don't see a lot of brides wearing headwraps. It's either a tiara or some crystal pins under the veil. These headwraps give a unique twist to your look: it's like a mix of vintage, classic and sophisticated. So if you want to stand out from all the other brides, of if you plan to have a Gossip Girl-themed wedding, why not be inspired with these headwraps from Jennifer Behr?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Inspiration board - Summer

Maybe the heat is getting into me... so I thought why not do a summer theme for my next inspiration board?

I like summer. It's a warm season, not much rain, everything's in bloom, and a great time to cool down by the beach. I like the weather, the burst of colors -- they make me so cheery inside.

Anyway, for this inspiration board, I used the bright colors I associate the season with: yellow, green, and pink, with some lavenders and blues. And because it's a hot season, I picked dresses that have light fabrics and without the heavy design. Throw in some unique wedding details, and voila! Hope you enjoy this one.
1st column, from top: Domo Adami sheath empire draped dress in shaded chiffon from Brides.com; Harvest Bride sunflower bridal bouquet from MostlyFlowersBridal.ecrater.com; Summer wedding cake from CakePower.com.

2nd column, from top: Monogrammed parasol from PamelasParasols.com; Sunflower boutonniere from BriDesign.com; Ellyn flower girl dresses in ivory/pink and ivory/cream from WinnieMini.com; Flip flop floating candles in sheer organza bags from SophiesFavors.com.

3rd column, from top: Wonderland Flowers fan program from Custom-Programs.com; Table centerpiece of hydrangeas, roses and peonies from TheKnot.com; Lazaro satin faced taffeta tea length bridesmaid dress with sash from JLMCouture.com.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wedding hairstyles

As they say, the hair is the crowning glory. And for brides, it's not just the look of the gown that makes them the center of attention. The hairstyle does, too. The way you wear your hair on your special day enhances your facial features and makes you radiate even more -- even under your veil.

I believe aside from the shape of your face, your hairstyle should also complement your wedding dress. Brides wearing strapless gowns can wear their hair down, while those with intricate necklines should have an updo so that the details of the gown won't be covered.

Most brides I've seen tied their hair into a neat bun. A simple look made more classy with accessories like tiaras, hairpins, or hair vines. Other brides like it worn down, styled with some waves for a bit of volume. As for me, I wore an updo to match my halter-neck wedding gown. Plus it can get pretty hot up at the altar.

Anyways, for today's inspiration, I looked for bridal hairstyles over the Net. I collated possible hairstyles for short to mid-length to long hair, from straight to wavy to curly. Hope you like it!

1st row, from left: Mid-length hair with white flowers from WeddingHairstylesDen.com; Low ponytail from InStyleWeddings.com; Modern beehive updo from OneWed.com; Curls with headpiece from ContemporaryBride.com.

2nd row, from left: Tight curls with pearl headband from Brides.com; Messy updo from OneWed.com; Clean Sweep half updo from InStyleWeddings.com; Short hair with clip from WeddingHair.com.

3rd row, from left: Wedding Hair Two Ways half updo from TheKnot.com; Freshwater pearl/crystal headband worn on short hair from ReneeRivera.com; All Straight hairstyle from OneWed.com; Sexy Updo with tiara from Brides.com.