Archive for October, 2010

Dress Talk is a bi-weekly post featuring wedding dress shopping and gown advice by guest blogger Sam Owen of Solutions Bridal Designer House. Make sure to check back for more bridal fashion information and also add The Bridal Closet, official blog of Solutions Bridal Designer House, to your blog reader!

This past week New York City hosted its semiannual Bridal Market. Also referred to as New York Bridal Fashion Week, the event was filled with runways, designers, dresses and celebrities that give us bridal gurus googly eyes. Among the googly eyed was Solutions Bridal’s very own sales manager and buyer, Tali Gallo! In an interview exclusively for this blog, she gave me the inside scoop!

Q: What exactly is Bridal Market?
A: “Very similar to New York Fashion Week, Bridal Market is a time for designers to showcase their inspiration and designs to all buyers from Neiman Marcus to independent boutiques. Press such as Southern Weddings, Style Me Pretty and the Knot also attend to cover the up and coming trends of the season.”

Q: What is the advantage for you to go directly to the fashion shows of Bridal Market?
A: “A designers sketch is a piece of art, and they do not always take into account the production of the dress while drawing. Practical decisions and changes need to be made. It’s like I would never advise a bride to buy a wedding dress based on what they saw in a picture. By attending I can also speak with designers about customizations and changes that can be made to their dresses.”

Q: Who were you most impressed with this year?
A: “Anne Barge, but I think I change my mind everyday depending on my mood. She (Anne Barge) has always had a classic-lace-meets-editorial look, but this year she really went back to her roots of beauty and southern elegance. Jessica (who accompanied Ms. Gallo) even had goose bumps!”

Bridal Market Fall 2010

Q: What details or styles should the trendy bride be looking for as the next big thing?
A: “Every season in bridal fashion is a carry-on of the previous season, but with bolder looks. Loud, large floral designs were everywhere; lots of shear details, black sashes, black beading and other black details were very popular. It’s a very glam look.”

Bridal Market Fall 2010

Bridal Market Fall 2010

Q: What kind of celebrities attend Bridal Market, and were you lucky enough to spot any?
A: “Every year it’s a bit different, but I know Martha Stewart attends, Preston Bailey and all the huge industry celebrities. Saturday night I sat right next to Randy from Say Yes to the Dress. “

Bridal Market Fall 2010

Bridal Market is how the fashion world lets everyone know what’s hot, what’s not, what’s new, and what you need to do to be stylish on your wedding day. The next market isn’t until the spring, so if you didn’t get your fill from the interview with Ms. Gallo, don’t worry…there’s a whole lot more where that came from!

All day, she was determined to hold back her tears. “I’m stopping it at Phase 1!”

But when Angie stood at the top of the stairs, looking below toward the beach where her family, friends, and soon-to-be hubby stood waiting, the tears started to fill her eyes. She took a deep breath, and continued her journey down an aisle of rose petals toward the blue-eyed boy who adored her.

To say Angie & Blake’s destination wedding in Riviera Maya was breathtaking is an understatement. They held their wedding at NOW Sapphire Riviera Cancun against a backdrop of jewel-toned waters and bright blue skies. Their wedding was filled with fun details, and Blake designed a wedding logo that was used throughout. It appeared on their Save The Dates, their welcome bags, the label for their cigars, and on the pashima scarves that they provided for guests to bundle up! I also loved Angie’s adorable personalized hangar for her wedding dress, proudly announcing her new name “Mrs. Lookabill.” She also had a cute robe with her new name on the back!

It’s hard to top a gorgeous ceremony, but Angie & Blake went all out for the reception. Angie knew that Blake really wanted a dance floor that lit up, so she got one for him! When I first saw it I just pictured someone doing the Moonwalk on there. So jealous that we didn’t have one for our wedding! LOL! In addition to a killer dance floor and colorful lighting, they also had fireworks shoot off twice during the evening! The NOW Sapphire staff also brought out a bunch of sombreros and tequila shots, which really got things going! It was the kind of night that you wish would never end. Truly incredible!

We welcome Angie & Blake back from their honeymoon and hope that these photos bring back memories from this amazing event! We were so honored to be a part of it and enjoyed meeting your friends and family! They are a fun bunch!! : )

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Today we’re in Charlotte for Nancy & Salim’s wedding reception at home. A couple weeks ago they celebrated their destination wedding in Riviera Maya with a close group of family and friends. With memories and stories (plus some gorgeous pics – wink wink) they are now celebrating their love again in the gorgeous state of North Carolina!

So to get the celebration started, we wanted to share more photos from their amazing Riviera Maya wedding at Azul Beach Hotel! The evening before their big day, they brought their guests together for a gorgeous party on the beach. Cocktails and dinner on the beach alone would have been awesome, but Nancy & Salim brought it to the next level! They stunned guests with an appearance from Pepito, the super cute little Mexican burro! Everyone enjoyed Pepito’s company, petting him and even going for a short ride around the beach! No one could get over the fact that Nancy & Salim brought a donkey to the party!

But they didn’t stop with Pepito! As the sun began to set, the sounds of a mariachi band started playing and they walked down onto the beach. NOW they had a party! Everyone danced away as the mariachi band played, sang, and danced.

Nancy & Salim were also in for a surprise because following the party, their families had prepared a slideshow telling the story of Nancy & Salim then and now. It was an amazing evening full of laughter, and we can’t wait to re-live the memories with everyone tonight at their Charlotte reception!

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Our guest blogging spot on The Bridal Closet continues with a few things to remember when it comes to the ceremony. The Bridal Closet is the official blog of Solutions Bridal Designer House, so make sure you add them to your blog reader to read the latest about modern bridal fashion, inspiration for your wedding, and a glimpse into the happenings of Solutions Bridal Designer House.

Weddings are full of excitement, from the dress details to the entertainment at the reception, but the most important part of the day is the ceremony. In all the excitement, it’s easy to get nervous, so we’ve highlighted some of the most important elements:

1. The Processional – Make sure everyone who’s processing in takes their time as they walk down the aisle for the processional (and the recessional, as well!). Enjoy that journey down the aisle and don’t forget those smiles!

2. Vows and Exchange of Rings – After the father of the bride gives his daughter away, most couples stand to face the officiant or altar for the opening speeches or prayers. Though you may be nervous, make sure you face each other at the appropriate time, especially when speaking your vows and exchanging rings. If you need to, have the officiant prompt you and your groom to look at each other. After all, you are saying your vows to each other, not to the pastor!

3. The Kiss – It’s the magical moment of the ceremony, the one that seals the vows! THE moment you’ve been waiting for. No reason to rush it. Hold that kiss an extra second, or even better, go back in for another! We have seen so many ceremonies end in a quick peck. If you think you might be nervous about The Kiss, you can always practice before the big day!

To know Nancy & Salim is to love them. As one of her friends told us, Nancy is everyone’s best friend. She loves with her whole heart and just being around her makes your day brighter. And if there is anyone who can match Nancy’s amazing spirit, it’s Salim. They are both always smiling and it’s clear that family and friends mean everything to them. And on October 9th, we witnessed just how much two people can love each other!

Nancy and Salim planned an incredible destination wedding in Riviera Maya at the Azul Beach Hotel. Filled with salsa lessons, lounging on swinging beds hanging over the ocean, a welcome reception featuring a mariachi band and “Pepito“ the donkey, the days leading up to their wedding were incredible. We’ll share more about their welcome reception and the resort later, but since Nancy & Salim just returned from their honeymoon we are anxious to share their wedding photos first!

The morning began with Nancy meeting her sisters for breakfast while Salim and his friends took a catamaran sail down the coast. As they got ready in rooms near each other, the anticipation was building. Salim waited anxiously in the grand entranceway to the resort for Nancy to meet him for their first look. When Salim turned around to see Nancy for the first time, the look of joy on both their faces caused us to get tears in our eyes. Salim already thought Nancy was the most beautiful woman in the world, but no doubt he saw her differently at that moment. With tears in Salim’s eyes, I’m sure that Nancy’s heart started fluttering as she looked into the eyes of her soulmate.

Nancy and Salim’s beautiful ceremony included personal vows that they had written for each other. You could tell that both of them could barely contain themselves as they laughed and cried. They even got in trouble for kissing (a few times) before they were supposed to.

Following the ceremony, everyone met for a cocktail hour in a swanky lounge created under the palapas. As everyone chatted and enjoyed the ocean breeze, the resort was preparing a gorgeous reception site further down on the beach. Everyone gathered for dinner under the stars as tikki lamps and candles created a romantic ambiance. As the evening continued and speeches and “tequila” toasts were made, everyone was in full party mode! Everyone brought props to take part in the photobooth, and it got a little crazy! Good times!!

We can’t emphasize enough how wonderful their wedding was and what an amazing time everyone had! We are so honored to have been part of it, and we’re very excited to be going up to Charlotte this weekend to celebrate again at their home reception! Nancy & Salim, you are both wonderful and we love ya! : )

Dress Talk is a bi-weekly post featuring wedding dress shopping and gown advice by guest blogger Sam Owen of Solutions Bridal Designer House. Make sure to check back for more bridal fashion information and also add The Bridal Closet, official blog of Solutions Bridal Designer House, to your blog reader!

Okay ladies, this is the 21st century, and there are more ways than ever to communicate with your friends. Between cell phones, social networking and blogging, the past decade has blown the world of communication wide open. Of course you probably already know this, but did you ever think about how social networking can fill you in on bridal events, giveaways and deals around town? Or how it can keep you in touch with your favorite wedding vendors? If you’re reading this blog than you’ve already started to keep tabs on wedding vendors on the internet.

Social networking sites are my favorite resources for wedding tips and local information because the information is short sweet and coming from only the vendors that you want to hear from. These vendors want to help you, and they often do so by hosting small events or specials that you wouldn’t otherwise know about if you didn’t keep tabs on them in the cyber world. The world of wedding vendors is a large and complex network of services and products, and the more informed you are, the better. For example a Facebook status from your favorite florist may fill you in on a free public cake tasting event in your town. This cake tasting may introduce you to not only some great wedding bakers, but a great event planner that attended the event.

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Twitter is one of my favorite ways to receive wedding tips. I simply follow all of my favorite people and companies in the wedding industry, and Twitter will feed me all of the links and tips that they tweet.

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So my word of advice to all you brides to be…whether you’re a Facebook fanatic, Myspace diva or Twitter tweeter, social networking is a great way to expose yourself to the best links, pictures, references, tips and contests! Happy networking!

Follow Solutions Bridal on Twitter and add them on Facebook. You can also find me (Gwen) on Twitter and Facebook.

Holly and Brock were married last Wednesday in an intimate evening wedding overlooking the water in historic St Augustine, FL. They rented the beautiful Bayfront Mansion for what may be one of the last weddings to take place there.

After having makeup and hair done by makeup artist Faythe Mesic, Holly’s sister and MOH helped her get into her dress. Holly met Brock for a first look on the long dock behind the mansion. They were comfortable and relaxed, knowing that soon they’d officially be husband and wife. We walked through the streets of the neighborhood under a canopy of mossy trees for a few photos of them alone before meeting with their families for pre-ceremony photos.

When the ceremony began, the sun had already descended beyond the trees, leaving behind a sky of cotton candy colors. Following the ceremony, Holly and Brock welcomed their guests into the house for a champagne toast before inviting everyone to partake in a wonderful spread of homemade dishes and desserts. Personally, the highlight of the treats was the homemade fudge and the little red velvet cakes inside Mason jars that Holly had personally made. Their wedding cake was also delicious, with three layers with different flavors, including marble cake with custard, German chocolate, and raspberry filling. Brock had a special groom’s cake in the shape of the Jaguars logo, and inside was chocolate cake with peanut butter filling!

Holly and Brock ended their evening by going to the Castillo de San Marcos with us to do some night photos. Using the wonderful backdrop of the old fort, we gave Holly and Brock a few quiet moments to let their wedding day sink in and to allow them to savor just how amazing and perfect their wedding was.

Now that they’re back from their honeymoon in San Francisco, we’d like to wish Holly and Brock the very best and thank them for being not just an amazing couple, but also our friends! Thank you both so much for the sweet gift, and we can’t wait to get together and watch Christmas Vacation!



Our guest blogging spot on The Bridal Closet continues with a few suggestions about ceremony lighting. The Bridal Closet is the official blog of Solutions Bridal Designer House, so make sure you add them to your blog reader to read the latest about modern bridal fashion, inspiration for your wedding, and a glimpse into the happenings of Solutions Bridal Designer House.

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Sometimes a song can speak right to your heart. For Jessica & Jeff, music and love are almost synonymous. It was music that brought them together, and on their wedding day it was how they expressed their love for one another.

Jessi and Jeff planned a romantic evening wedding in downtown Nashville. The day began quietly as Jessi spent the afternoon at Charm Salon getting hair and makeup done. She joined her mother and bridesmaids at her suite at Hotel Indigo to put on her dress before heading to the wedding venue.

Because their wedding began after sunset, they decided to do a first-look at the ceremony site. Jessi slowly walked down the aisle towards Jeff and as he turned around to look at his bride, it was like a moment frozen in time. We could see the connection between them, see the sparks flying, and feel the energy in the air. And as they simply held each other, putting their heads together and whispering each other, we knew we were looking at two soulmates.

Their ceremony took place on the beautiful rooftop at Graham Central Station in the heart of Nashville. Overlooking the Cumberland River and LP Field, they were joined by their closest friends and family for a very emotional ceremony. As a very special surprise to Jessi, Jeff arranged for a performance by country music band Emerson Drive, who sang Jessi and Jeff’s favorite song “Belongs to You.” As the music began, Jessi still didn’t know that it was live until she heard the first note sung. It was such a sweet moment, and one that they will never forget.

Following the ceremony, Jessi and Jeff had a beautiful reception downstairs in the River View restaurant. To go with their music-themed wedding, the reception featured some amazing elements, including a black guitar for guests to sign and a black and white cake with music notes. Their wedding stationery was designed by Cory Ridge (Cory49@aol.com) and included a Save The Date that was a concert backstage pass and invitations that were made to look like a concert ticket (complete with perforated RSVP ticket stub).

The rest of the evening was filled with music and fun, as Jessi and Jeff shared their first dance together, partied with their closest friends and family, and enjoyed their dream wedding together. We thank them so much for letting us share this special day with them, because we consider them friends! We love you guys! : )



Everyone always knew Andrea & TJ would get married. Their friends knew it. Their families knew it. At the young age of 12, TJ knew that someday he would attend the United States Naval Academy. It was during his time at the Academy that he knew he would marry Andrea.

Their wedding at the Naval Academy was iconic. Andrea walked down the aisle on the arm of her father, a cathedral length veil flowing behind her, toward her handsome groom at the altar wearing his white Navy uniform. After a beautiful ceremony, they left the chapel through an arch of swords. It was like watching a fairytale unfold!

The celebration continued that evening at the Annapolis Sheraton where everyone danced the night away to music by Quality Entertainment. In lieu of favors, Andrea & TJ decided to donate money to the Jacksonville Humane Society (where they got their pup Riley). A friend of TJ’s family made their cake (the infamous Mr. W Cake) which was made complete by a 56 year old cake topper belonging to Andrea’s grandparents. Of all the things that made Andrea & TJ’s wedding perfect, I think it was all of the personal touches from family and friends that really made this wedding special!