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.