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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Wedding Gowns (45)

Friday
Mar092012

Lineage Bridal

OK, so I do sponsored posts. I do them for cashola. I don’t do them if they suck. Trust me, y’all. We bloggers get some FUNKY requests in regards to advertising. Dude. For reals. Some of it’s totally twisted what folks want to pay us to write about. But we don’t. Because money isn’t EVERYTHING. Even when you’re effin’ broke.

So now that you know this, it’s now supposed to mean EVEN MORE when I talk about Lineage Bridal, because I’m not getting paid to write about it. So here’s the skinny.

I met Natasha and her partner Jodene at a bridal show here in Charlotte when I first moved here. I really liked their concept. I really liked talking to them. We exchanged cards. We met for coffee. Natasha and I talked wedding smack and then we got into talking about some of our favorite kinds of charity work. I was a super-slacker volunteer with Mustaches for Kids, an event that Natasha headed that raised money for abused kids.

So on top of what I’m about to share, she’s a good person too.

OK, so Lineage Bridal isn’t a brand new concept, but it is a totally different way of approaching things.  What things?

Offering practical alternatives to the traditional and expensive gown, Lineage offers a diverse and stunning collection of couture bridal gowns at a price our brides can afford.

It’s a pre-owned wedding website, and coming within the next few weeks? A LOVELY pre-owned wedding boutique here in Charlotte! How exciting is that?

Let me tell you, Natasha has been working her ass off, traipsing all across the country gathering gowns for sale at a reduced price.

Wedding gowns are required to be three years or newer, retail $2500 or above.

These are not budget gowns, but they are much cheaper than the original cost. But I know what you’re thinking…ick, right? Who wants a  pre-owned gown? Well, I I’ll tell you what, I would have NEVER KNOWN THE DIFFERENCE .

Natasha invited me (meaning TruLu Couture) to join her in selecting some accessories for a bride. She has a temporary set up until her shop opens in a few weeks, but check it:

The Thirty-Something Bride Lineage Bridal1

 

The Thirty-Something Bride Lineage Bridal5

 

The Thirty-Something Bride Lineage Bridal7

She’s got a handful of gowns available for sale on her site.  She’s pulling together a bunch more too! And here’s a cool twist on the whole pre-owned thing, other than having a real-life boutique experience, she can FIND you the gown of your dreams! She’s got a small finders fee, but it’s totally worth it!

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Look at this level Vera Wang for $2990, originally $4990!

Check out her website, Lineage Bridal for a taste of what she offers. You can contact her at info@lineagebridal.com if you’re looking for a designer gown at a reduced price. And I’ll let you know as soon as her shop opens so you can have that boutique experience, get a designer gown and pay MUCH less than you would elsewhere.

Love it!

Thursday
Mar012012

{Accessorize It!} The Sash

We in the wedding world talk all about personalization. Personalize your invitations (Uh, how do you do that? It already has our names on it?), personalize your favors, your this, your that. The list is freaking endless, right?

The quest to avoid the cookie-cutter image of a wedding: white tulle, paired bells, flying doves, intertwined hearts and the Electric Slide is never-ending. It’s what’s keeping the WIC alive and strong.

Often the problem with unique, personalized wedding statements is that they are expensive in either money or time or both. Happily, there are lots and lots of resources out there to help brides wade through and reduce the outlay of that time and money.

What does this have to do with The Sash? It’s a great way to “personalize” your gown and it totally doesn’t have to cost much!

One of the things I do in my daily life in regards to style is accessorize. I’ve learned over the years that spending money on super-trendy clothes is ridiculous. The clothes don’t last longer than a season, they are made like crap and I end up with a closet full of nothing to wear. Accessories on the other hand? I’ll “waste” some money on huge, dangly earrings or big ol’ bangles because mixing and matching and adding in funky accessories to staple items gives the impression of being hip and happening without blowing a wad of cash.

You can do the same with your gown.

Go romantic and dreamy:

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The Outnet  Mikael Aghal lace-trimmed tulle gown $192 + TruLu Couture Sash $150 = $342

(Come on, it looks good, I had to!)

Go beachy:

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J. Crew Sophia Gown in silk on sale $298 + Etsy Shop Denizy03 $75 = $373

Go vintage:

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Nicole Miller open-back sleeveless gown $750 + Emily Riggs Bridal Sash $300 = $1050

Go funky and fun:

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MoniRose English Tulle & Lace Gown $500 + KPersonBoutique on Etsy $239 = $739

Go glam:

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Alberto Makali beaded trumpet gown $1298 + MillieICARO jeweled sash $222 = $1520

A few tips and thoughts:

  • If you’re short, a sash/belt will look better if it’s thinner and higher up, elongating the bottom half of your body.
  • Don’t be afraid to sash over ruching, lace, beading or asymmetrical designs.
  • Don’t be afraid to remove a factory added belt or sash. Any seamstress or alterations lady worth her salt can accomplish this. I removed the side flower from my own gown simply because I didn’t like it. Snip! Snip! All done!
  • Not big on flowers or beading? That’s OK! Try just a simple silk ribbon in any number of widths or colors. Try wrapping it around your waist obi-style. Style the bow, knot, half-bow to the side or in the front. Embellish it with a brooch.
  • Have you found really pretty ribbon that has wire edging? Guess what? You can PULL THE WIRE OUT. Start on one side at an end, scrunching the ribbon until you see the tip of the wire. Grab a hold of it with your nails or some needle-nose pliers and start pulling. Really thin wire can snap, particularly if it’s vintage, so go slow. It can help to have someone hold the ribbon out straight and somewhat taught as you do this. I’ve been known to hold the ribbon between my feet so I can put it out straight….. Do the same for the other side and voila! Now the ribbon will be drape-y and lovely.
  • To finish off the ends, you can turn the edge twice and sew. You can use fabric glue (though this thought makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit). You can also heat finish the ends. Test with a small swatch of the ribbon first. Most ribbon has some sort of poly blend in it today and you can actually melt the ends using a candle flame. Patience, safety and care is required here, but it makes a really nice edge.
  • If you’re tall? Make sure the sash is long enough, particularly if you’re making a larger bow or wrapping it more than once. Generally 75”-100” is a good length. You want to make sure the tails don’t stop a length that’s too short for your look.
  • Thinner ribbon belts can also double as headbands. Wear the sash and a veil for the ceremony, then ditch the veil for the reception and move the sash up to your hair!
  • You can find sashes on Etsy for as little as $5, all the way up to $800. There is a sash for every bride and every price point!

So what do you think? Are you a sash kind of a bride? How did you decide to make your gown your own?

Tuesday
Feb212012

BeBe’s Gowns

Well, it looks like another retailer has jumped on board the wedding gown train (no pun intended). BeBe's will start selling their gowns in March 2012, along with bridesmaids dresses and accessories. All will be available on-line and will be carried in a few of their flagship stores: Oak Street in Chicago, Soho in New York, Rodeo Drive and Aventura in Los Angeles. Prices will start at $950 and are upwards of $2500.

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I imagine their gowns will be much like their clothing line – a little edgy/sexy/fun, a little tight, a little over-priced….

The good news is that the quality might actually be decent. While BeBe’s clothes are notoriously expensive, they aren’t total crap when it comes to craftsmanship.

Do we like the idea of more “regular” retailers selling wedding gowns? When I think about it terms of business decisions: I get it. First off, you need to stay relevant and competitive in the market. They need to step up and match The Limited, Nordstrom, Anthropologie. Second, retailers are taking MUCH shorter profit margins these days on their everyday lines. Adding a wedding mix into the product base – products that command a higher mark-up – adds in some financial protection/padding. BeBe’s has a fiercely loyal and young customer base as well – fits right into their demographics.

My concern is that the market is going to be flooded soon. You’ll have every Tom, Dick and Harry retailer selling wedding gowns. When that happens, you lose quality, prices drop across the board, the original specialty retailers, designers and bridal salons suffer. I wonder how long we will have to wait until Target is selling wedding gowns. I'll put down a Benjamin that it happens by 2014. Any takers?

These are the things I think about. Sometimes it exhausts me. 

Wednesday
Feb012012

{Podcast!} The Bridal Kool-Aid Cocktail Hour

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I didn’t think it was possible, but there are other bridal bloggers out there who curse as much as I do. They may not do it on their blogs, but they do it IRL (that’s lazy-text-speak for In Real Life, just in case you aren’t one of those tech-crazy-text-peeps). And how do I know this? Well, I have some Blog Friends IRL and make new ones all the damn time. And guess what? Ninety-nine point nine nine percent of them talk like truckers with tits. It’s true (okay, maybe not that high of a percentage, but it’s up there). Some recent additions to T30SB’s Blog Pal List include the illustrious ladies from Hindsight Bride (Christie), Rogue Bride and Kiss My Tulle (Cris).

Recently, Rogue Bride and Hindsight Bride asked KMT and yours truly to partake in their monthly podcast series, The Bridal Kool-Aid Cocktail Hour. The subject? The Dress– The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

We went there. Oh, yes we did.

We drink (seriously) and talk wedding industry smack, this month focusing on  David’s Bridal, high-end couture, to WTF is going on in China?

When we organized the recording of this podcast, it was via Skype and getting four people connected was a bit of a challenge at first. Hindsight Bride is hidden out in the mountains somewhere and her connectivity was being all sketchy, then I had a power surge that dropped me like a hot potato. Then when Cris from KMT joined in, we couldn’t get her in the conference for like, ever. But the whole time, I was cracking up. It was just so much fun.

And I got drunk. Our podcast, which we thought would take us about an hour or so lasted for FOUR HOURS. At some point Christie (Hindsight Bride) remembered to turn off the recording function, but I have no idea how long that took us to realize. We needed to re-record a segment late in the process and by that time I was kinda drunk and have ZERO recollection of what I said. Smack talk at it’s finest. Since Hindsight Bride is on Mountain Time (WAKE UP ALREADY!), the Podcast isn’t quite live, but head on over there anyway and read the preview post on knock-off dresses made from China.

I’ll add in all the Podcast links as soon as everyone WAKES THE FUCK UP AND POSTS SOME SHIT! I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T STOP TYPING IN CAPS!

No, seriously?  I am so excited…and nervous. I wonder what I sound like? A douchebag? A dipshit? I remember at one point thinking, “People are going to rip me apart for saying that!” and it could happen. Bring it on. Let’s get this cocktail hour started!

 OK, IT'S UP NOW AND I HAVEN'T EVEN LISTENED TO IT YET! Go here and listen!

*drums fingers, taps foot, annoyed at Mountain Time vs. Eastern Time, has already ingested way too much coffee*

**If you’d like to catch up on the The Bridal Kool-Aid Cocktail Hour Series, you can go here and check them out or skip that step and go directly to Christie’s  iTunes Preview Page and click on the ones with Bridal Kool-Aid Cocktail Hour in the description.

Friday
Jan272012

{On Trend} The Back is Back!

First of all, have you see this? I have a hang-over just thinking about it.

Second, it’s been a while since I dove right into the goodies of wedding fashion world, so I thought I’d chat about one of my fave new trends right now – the open/sheer back detail of weddings gowns.

Now, we could all roll our eyes and think of ourselves as lemmings, assuming the trend is hot because of Carolina Herrera’s gown that whatsherface wore in that incredibly stupid Twilight saga movie. Make no mistake, I was in the theater the weekend it came out, but ohmygod was it bad.

But seriously, a trend isn’t going to become one unless people like it and want it. Need proof? Is ANYONE talking about or copying that god awful headpiece that Kardashian wore on her wedding day? No. Why? Because it was stupid and no one wants to wear that shit.

If you look at trends from a spot about 10,000 feet above all the noise, you can see things moving and morphing. Trends start off small and then grow to horrid extremes and then are gone, POOF! Just like that.

So floating above the noise, looking down at the wedding gown world, it seems all we’ve witnessed for years is a variation of strapless. Strapless, strapless, strapless as far as the eye could see. Why? I think it was a knee-jerk reaction to the sleeves of the 1990’s. (Side bar: so many of my girlfriends from college got married in the 90’s and the lamentations I’ve heard over their gown choices now are TOO FUNNY!). The sleeves got carried away and then Vera Wang stepped  into the scene with her gorgeous simplicity and on a dime, the direction changed.

I love that Kate Middleton brought us back to sleeves and her sister made our jaws drop at the stellar simplicity of the backside of her bridesmaid gown. I would pay some money to know whether or not she was rockin’ some Spanx because DAMN GIRL! Nice ass!

Anyway, you can see things trending from afar. Want a tip? In the décor area, we’ve seen French Provincial and it’s iterations for SIX SEASONS. I wouldn't put a lot of investment into that look for too much longer. We've worn ourselves out with it.

So instead of further dissecting trends, let’s just enjoy some eye-candy of this current one, shall we? Love me some back detail!

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Marchesa

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Angel Sanchez

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Claire Pettibone

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Reem Acra

Here are just a few more, jaw dropping inspirations.

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All photos found in and around here.

So what do YOU think? Loving the trend or no? Do tell.