My Fabulous Fall Wedding

I know it’s been quiet on the blog for a bit, but I promise I am back. 2015 was a whirlwind for me between working full-time as an office manager, coordinating weddings of my own, second shooting weddings with my awesome Raleigh photographer husband, and hosting my own ridiculously big wedding, the whole year went by in a flash.

I should begin this post by letting some of my newer readers know that Ryan (my husband) and I were engaged for three and a half years before getting married. While I certainly recommend starting your wedding planning at least one year in advance, because it makes securing vendors and venues easier, I will never suggest this long of an engagement to anyone. It gave me way too much time to think, and stress, and plan, and stress, and invite people, and oh did I say stress?

Despite the years of planning and stress, I managed to put together what I like to think of as THE Wedding of the year.  Ryan and I carefully selected some of the best Triangle area wedding vendors and it absolutely shows in the images and my memory of our wedding day. Everything was perfect. Continue reading

Alfred Angelo

I recently went to try on wedding dresses for the first time with my sister and I had an absolute blast! I want to share the details of my experience with you all because my first time at David’s Bridal with Jessi was not nearly as wonderful as this one.

First of all, I think my experience at the Alfred Angelo store was different in part because of the day of week we went. (Monday) When Jessi and I went to try on dresses we went on a Saturday, and that David’s Bridal was crowded from wall to wall! Not only were all of the consultants busy with brides, but the majority of the brides also had not just one person with them but an entire entourage! There was hardly any standing room and that was a pretty big David’s Bridal. I definitely suggest finding time to take the afternoon off during the week to go if you can. It was really nice to have the entire store to ourselves while shopping.


White Compared to Ivory

Alicia and I went to the Alfred Angelo Bridal in Danvers, Mass because I have been dying to check out some Alfred Angelo dresses in person. Ever since I got engaged I have been obsessing about the dress! If you’ve been following my blog you probably already know this about me. I’ve mentioned before that I want to be a princess on my wedding day and that I had been eyeballing that Disney Fairy Tale Bridal Collection and that the original Cinderella dress was my favorite. But I’ve definitely changed my mind since I finally got the chance to go try some dresses on.


Pointing out the detail on the train

First, I have to say that the consultant we worked with was just fabulous. She figured out pretty quickly from listening to my sister and I that I was just in town visiting and not really looking to buy anything just yet. Despite the fact that she had just learned she wasn’t getting a sale out of us, and that we were just there to try stuff on, she was still extremely helpful and friendly. I was preparing for the worst and expecting that she would be disappointed and no longer willing to even be friendly, but I was more than wrong. She took the time to listen to me describe what I was looking for, find a few good examples of what I described, help me in and out of each dress, and even pulled some tiaras, veils, and belts out to accessorize and give me a vision of what the finished product would look like.

I tried on about five or six different dresses, and at least three different styles. It was one of the last dresses that I tried on that really took my breath away. It had everything I described to Marcia (form-fitting, lots of sparkle, a little lace), but looked nothing like what I had originally envisioned wearing on my wedding day. That being said, I am obsessed with it.

I highly suggest getting a good idea of what you want in a dress before you go shopping. If you don’t know it may be harder to figure it out if you’re on the spot looking than it otherwise would be in the comfort of your own home while perusing the internet. Knowing what I wanted and being able to tell my consultant made her job that much easier. In fact, it didn’t take her very long after I told her what I wanted for her to find something I fell in love with.

I also recommend trying on accessories, even if you don’t think you want them. I went in to the store thinking I knew exactly what I wanted and thought I had firmly decided not to use a belt. But after trying on a few things, and discovering that the original dress style I wanted didn’t look great on me at all, I realized I needed to be open to the idea of trying different things.

Remember to bring a strapless bra and heels with you when you go to try on dresses. Having your own undergarments is helpful if you are someone who is anxious about stripping down in front of strangers. (Which you will definitely have to do because the consultants are the ones helping brides in and out of dresses.) And while you will usually have the opportunity to use bras or shoes that are being sold in the store, some smaller stores may not have shoes or undergarments to offer.

THE Dress

THE Dress

Overall, it was an extremely pleasant dress shopping experience and I firmly recommend this store to any women in and around the Danvers, Massachusetts area! The consultant who helped us, Marcia, even wrote down all the item numbers of the dress, veil, and belt I picked out while I was there, so I can easily find them  online or through another store location later on. Of course she is hoping I will come back and buy from her, but I can’t really make that decision right now. However, one thing that is definitely swaying my decision towards buying through Alfred Angelo specifically is that when you buy your Bridal gown through them, they offer a discount on your bridesmaid dresses as well as the mother of the bride and mother of the grooms dresses!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is based on personal experiences and opinion. This post was not sponsored or paid for in any way by Alfred Angelo or David’s Bridal. 

Dress Trends

I already wrote the post about wedding trends for 2013, but today I want to get a little more specific about current trends for the dress. There are many different things trending for dresses this year, so I will only cover a few of my favorites. I know I tend to write about wedding dresses a lot but that’s because I believe the dress is just about the most fun part of the whole wedding!! (Besides the actual wedding itself)


AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Lately, we’ve seen the more classic wedding dress looks coming back into play. Heading off that fashion statement, and heavily influencing many brides to do just the same; Kate Middleton. Kate may not be the only reason we’re seeing more classic wedding looks, but she’s definitely a major one. After the Royal wedding, lace wedding gowns began popping up everywhere. It’s been well over a year now since the wedding, but this is one trend that won’t be disappearing anytime soon. Lace is definitely one of the major trends for dresses this year and I’m very glad because it absolutely should be.



Style JH8312 Front

Lace gives a sophisticated and elegant look to anything it’s paired with. It can also be used to jazz up your decorations and maybe even your cake! And what better than a beautiful wedding gown with lace accents? The 2013 Jim Hjelm Spring collection has some really pretty lacy selections to choose from.


Style JH8312 Back

This elegant A-line bridal gown showcases the back with a beautiful lace opening and is one of my favorites from the Jim Hjelm spring line. It has a sweetheart neckline and is just as beautiful in the front as it is in the back.

The Jim Hjelm spring line has a few really good options whether you prefer a form-fitting dress or a ball gown type dress.


Style J8315 Back

Here’s another option with more of a ball gown style. It’s not only covered in lace, but along with the first dress, also showcases the bride’s back. It’s accentuated with an Ivory Moire ribbon that can be tied into a bow, and the front of this one, like the other, also has a very lacy and elegant look to it.


Style JH8315 Front

This look may be a little more racy for some because of the plunging neckline. It is covered with lace though, leaving a little more to the imagination, and I think, giving it a fabulous final touch.

Another dress trend I’m excited about that will pop up quite a bit this year,  as I’m sure you’ve already noticed, will be dresses with portrait backs.

Portrait Backs

Brides spend a lot of time with their backs to the guests, why shouldn’t the back of their dresses be just as detailed and magnificent as the front? Portrait back wedding dresses can be intricately detailed or as simple as a circular lace opening, like the first dress I talked about.  Either way, they really leave the guests with something to talk about.

Source: Southboundbride.come


Some women will try as hard as they can to find a dress that covers their tattoos, while there are also many women out there who are very proud of their ink and want to show it off on their big day. A portrait back dress would be great for any woman who finds themselves in the latter category. I personally don’t have any back tattoos, but I do know of a few ladies who have some beautiful art on their backs and am definitely going to suggest this to them!

The last trend I wanna talk about isn’t really one of my favorites, but it seems to be getting really popular right now so I figured I’d mention it.


I know what you’re thinking, color really?o-JUSTIN-TIMBERLAKE-JESSICA-BIEL-WEDDING-PHOTO-570 That’s the most unorthodox wedding trend I’ve ever heard of! Well, I completely agree with the fact that it’s unorthodox but to say it isn’t popular right now would be a lie. I haven’t heard of anyone personally yet, but it seems to be becoming a popular trend with celebrities at least. Jessica Biel got married last summer in a pink wedding gown and honestly, I think she looked amazing! There’s no getting around the fact that she is one gorgeous lady, but she also managed to pick a color that made her skin look radiant and as if she were glowing.

Cinderella-cinderella-7089589-774-1065Tradition or not, isn’t looking lovely on your big day extremely important to you? If so, why not try something different and pick a colored dress? Be daring, and pick a color that you know you look good in! I’d be a total liar if I didn’t even sort of imagine myself all dressed in blue like Cinderella on my wedding day.


Wedding gown crowding up your closet?

When the Wedding is over what should you do with your Wedding gown? Sell it? Preserve it? Donate it? How much did you originally spend on your gown? Was it a hand-me-down? Did you buy one that was already previously worn?

Depending on what your dress is worth will help you decide what to do with it after. One different idea that a lot of brides tend to over look, but could be really exciting would be a Trash the Dress photo shoot. If you haven’t heard of these, they are fun and spontaneous photo shoots where Brides often times literally trash their dresses. Some brides may not want to completely destroy their dress and elect to do something a little more simple and silly whereas other brides may go traipsing through mud puddles and jump into rivers. Either way, it’s something fun and different a bride can do while photographing the memory at the same time.

If you want to sell your dress after the wedding, there are many different ways to do so. With the wonderful world of technology easily at our fingertips, we have so many websites to choose from and here are just a few:

  • Craigslist – This is a quick easy way to put your dress online and get responses right away. You might not get the best price, but you can at least make deals with people and get it taken off your hands immediately.
  • Ebay- Using ebay can help you to get closer to the price you are looking for.
  • Sites that specialize in selling dresses-

Why not donate your dress after the wedding? Brides Against Breast Cancer is a great non-profit organization that sells donated wedding dresses and donates the profits to programs for cancer patients and their families.  This wonderful fund raising event will be coming to Raleigh, North Carolina September 21st – 23rd, and is also a great place to purchase your dress! I am definitely planning on checking it out!