Ulrika Bogo
While I’ve done a few posts on children’s bridal wear, I haven’t devoted myself to the ‘little girls only’ wedding yet. Imagine a parade of pretty little girls ranging in age from 3-13 processing their way through a garden in delicate organzas. Although this line-up doesn’t fit the typical wedding, the ‘little girl’ trend is different and delightful. For those of you considering a ‘wee chic’ wedding, designer Ulrika Bogo offers some fantastic kid couture.
Ulrika Bogo



elizabeth emanuel
Hand-rolled florals, invisible seams and closures, a pleated bodice. All these are couture touches that take a dress out of the ordinary and put it into the realm of a work of art. Since a custom gown is 85-90% handmade, the hours it takes to complete one are long and complex. Regardless, it can be rewarding for both the designer and dressmakers involved. When we think of couture we usually imagine European ateliers where the level of fabrication and fit are taken to the highest level. These gowns by British designer Elizabeth Emanuel for 'Art of Being' are ethereal masterpieces, the details of each component executed with great skill.
elizabeth emanuel

elizabeth emanuel

elizabeth emanuel

elizabeth emanuel


Conversations with Matthew Mead

We love Matthew Mead's new book, Entertaining Simple, in which Matthew outlines a back-to-basics approach to entertaining that tackles everything from crowd-pleasing recipes to stocking your pantry - all with remarkable style. We took time to chat with Matthew to get his thoughts on great ideas every bride-to-be and new bride can use. Whether you're planning a wedding or just settling in to a new life together, read ahead.

Somewhere between the tricked-out espresso machine and the art deco lamp for the guest room, brides seem to forget the basics that make their house a home. Starting in the kitchen and working your way out is a simple way to register for everything you need. In his book, Matthew outlines ideas for core items brides should consider when dressing their kitchen. He suggests beginning with all white dishes and clear glassware. "You can constantly change the look of your table, but you only need one set of dishes to do it" Matthew says. Using patterned tablecloths or colorful napkins can enhance or create a look. With white as your palette foundation, you can use details to change your style for any occasion. Matthew also suggests registering for twelve place settings of china. Not only will you have plenty of everything, but you can also mix and match dishes for smaller gatherings.

In addition, it's also important to get versatile pieces that mulit-task. In particular, Matthew loves very thin glass tumblers, saying "They are useful for serving any kind of cold drink, but I also turn them into candle holders or flower vases...very multifunctional." A nice set of porcelain mixing bowls can be used for both preparing food and serving food and a simple large serving platter can be embellished for different occasions or holidays. Using white and glass as the basis of your serving pantry "gives you a surprisingly wide range of options," says Matthew. You can mix old, new and handed-down pieces and they will all work together. Simple, chic basics will meld seamlessly with almost any design theme you choose for your new home.

We also loved Matthew's ideas for fall weddings. Drawing inspiration from nature and natural materials, his concepts are easy to pull off and offer a nice detour from the overdone "leaves and acorns" motif. From centerpieces to favors, you can put your own spin on any of these ideas.

When planning an autumn soiree, gather materials and create your own storyboard. Take a trip to the marketplace to find colors and fabrics to create a mood and set the tone for your decor. You can weave your palette into the table setting with handmade tablecloths or napkins from fabric that inspires you. Consider using seasonal items for your tabletops, like nuts in the shell, apples or jack-be-littles. Matthew suggests, "you can rub off decals and actually put a monogram of the guests' name on a jack-be-little that can go right on their plate."

Think of natural elements that can be used as unique, inspired favors. One idea Matthew suggests is to hollow out a whole walnut and fill it with a single truffle or chocolate. Tie the shell back together with twine and it makes an excellent favor. "I try to think of really simple things that are accessible," Matthew says. One of his favorite ideas is filling votive cups with natural potpourri or candied nuts. He also suggests creating an autumn-inspired menu with items like fresh apple chutney with pork tenderloin or anything with cinnamon tones. Using nature as your inspiration, it's possible to take traditional concepts and and make them original.

It's no secret that newlywed entertaining can be a little overwhelming. You're barely back from the honeymoon and everyone wants to visit. You want to be the perfect host, but let's face it, we're not all Betty Crocker. In Entertaining Simple, Matthew offers easy ways to entertain everyone, from the bridal party that put up with you, to the mother-in-law that can't wait to see you in action.

Matthew suggests dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and/or can be served at room temperature. This is a great way to make sure you aren't stuck in the kitchen while your guests are mingling. Try dishes like individual servings of lobster and avocado salad or single-serving shrimp sandwiches and use frozen or pre-packaged ingredients to cut down on prep time.

Entertaining Simple also offers great party ideas for new brides including a "Girl Talk" afternoon tea, "Family Fusion" and a "Lazy Day Brunch", all of which have simple menu ideas, recipes and theme suggestions. If you have registered wisely, these menus can be as creative as your tabletop. Matthew says, "It's about spending time with your guests. That's what I want people to get out of the book." Whether you're planning a wedding, stocking your cabinets or throwing your first get-together as a newly married couple, Matthew's new book is all about "restoring sanity without sacrificing style."

For more great ideas and stylish inspiration, check out Entertaining Simple or visit Matthew Mead Style.

Hey Everyone!

Today we’re going on a really awesome field trip. Dani over at Weddings Fresh asked me to guest blog a couple days this week. Naturally I’m both honored and elated. Dani’s been committed to bringing her audience some of the finest in wedding fashion and all the pretty things that go with it.
I’ll be chatting over there pretty much about what I do here, only we’re going to be concentrating more on designers and forecasting trends in bridal fashion. Hopefully I can offer some extended insights as well as a few options customized to fit your own version of chic. . . See you over there . . .


Looking for a special gift for that bride in your life? Written by David Sassoon, what bride wouldn't drool over a book full of this British pair's creations? Bellville Sassoon was one of Princess Di's favorites and the famous duo's evening wear was regularly photographed on her. This soon to be released coffee table treasure is a pictographic escape through fifty-years of British haute couture. Just released, you can pre-order through Amazon and have it in time for the holidays.



Just remembering when I first laid eyes on Paris Designer, Max Choul’s collection pieces. Back in 1998 a couple of his ball gowns were featured in Wedding Dresses Magazine. I was awestruck by the carefree spirit of these dresses, the photos almost surreal and evocative of dreams. I wanted to share some new dreams found in his latest collections. I still think he’s brilliant . . .



Face it, most wedding gowns are worn once and preserved ever after as heirlooms. Others are donated to charity or consigned. Keep in mind you do have the option of choosing a design you can re-wear. Maybe you’re into cotton and linen. A cotton eyelet dress or linen suit can work quite well as reusable bridal attire. If you’re drawn to simpler silhouettes in functional fabrics like wool and silk jersey this works too. Knowing how to work a veil with some opera length gloves and the right shoes can really pull a simple dress into a ‘bridal look’. Consequently, the more practical you are, (as opposed to sentimental) the more likely you are to re-wear your gown.
Smoot Photo
Retooling your gown is another option. So what exactly is retooling? Think of it as recycling it into another garment for regular use. Being handy with scissors and thread helps; lace can be cut away and altered into a blouse or skirt, sleeves restyled and hems shortened. Though you may not be able to envision your ‘after design’ just yet, it may take till after the wedding for a vision to come. And with the help of a skilled dressmaker you’ll see all the clearer.

I don’t believe beautiful laces should be stored away for decades in dark attics so the idea of retooling gowns into elegant linens to be enjoyed by everyone appeals to my practical side. Bassinets in particular intrigue me, they keep the gown sentiment going as a story told through laces and silk. The bulk of the skirt wraps around the bassinet and your veil hangs as a head draping. If you wore a tiara you’ve created a real fairy tale. I’ve actually known brides who have fashioned table runners out of galloons of lace removed from hemlines; others lined shelves in china cabinets with smaller pieces. And don’t laugh. The skirts of some gowns have made some of the most ‘Hello Gorgeous’ tablecloths I’ve ever seen.

And what of my own imported allover lace gown? My wedding gown stood on a dress form in my design studio for years. It was the focal point to all who wandered through my door, a testament to my skill at working with lace. That is, till in the process of moving (sob, sob) it disappeared forever . . .



'Oriana' slid off the work table just in time for all those autumn/winter weddings. This is a lovely ecru brocade-faille sheath with a detachable train of the same fabric. Three hand-rolled satin florals sit on top of a gray satin sash that ties in back. Ideally this could be worn with a wrap and long opera gloves.

Inspiration for this gown comes from the sheath/ ball gown combo Givenchy designed for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. Although I didn’t use this 1950s pattern below, the lines I found in it motivated me to create Orianna in brocade; they used to use heavier fabrics for leaner silhouettes.

Here’s the brocade close up. It’s luxurious and has a real stunning sheen to it. I especially love the embossed motifs.

You can check out more of the gown galleries at Amy-Jo Tatum.com.



Following up on my 'Ditching the Veil' article a couple days back, I mentioned hair jewelry as one of your options. If you haven't caught Portobello on ETSY do check it out. You'll find some of the hottest in hair paraphernalia.

Going for that haute couture or vintage look? Try these feather/flower combos, particularly chi chi with body hugging silhouettes. It's the exact touch for evoking 1930s Hollywood glamour . . .

Portobello isn't only about hair. They also carry gorgeous jewelry ranging from the most romantic to eclectic to mod. Check it out here



I'm always on the prowl for the classic gown my mother could have worn and grand niece can wear today like a brand new creation. Lanvin's collection has such gowns in an array of sumptuous fabrics. Although these dresses are timeless, any fan of 'alternative' or progressive wedding fashion would find every piece the perfect back drop to work their own spin. You can see more of these confections by checking out Shine Anthony-Dharan's May 28th article for Culturekiosque.


Yes, veils are still in vogue. And yes, there are more styles out there than ever, but before you make the decision to wear one, consider your options. Today, some brides are bypassing the veil, going for special touches like wide brimmed hats, fresh flowers or jewels in their hair. The idea is, if you’d rather wear a wide-brimmed hat down the aisle and it works with your gown, go for it.
FLORALS in your hair. They compliment simple evening gown silhouettes with that tropical feel, A-lines and ballgowns with a touch of the romantic. There are three kinds of florals: Fresh, artificial and hand-rolled fabric flowers. All are beautiful choices. Fresh can be ordered through your florist possibly echoing some of those in your bouquet. Artificial flowers are typically silk, some so well made they look like they were just picked out of the garden. Hand-rolled flowers are made out of fabric like dupioni, organza or shantung, sometimes in the same fabric as your gown. These have a real high fashion look and are usually attached to a barrette or spongy wire

WREATH-Very romantic. A wreath circles the head and is interwoven with flowers, foliage and in some cases, ribbons. Florists can put these together either with fresh, artificial or dried flowers. Some variations would be those made exclusively of English Ivy or dried roses and baby’s breath.
HATS are the choice of some of the world’s chicest brides like Bianca Jagger and Rita Hayworth. Once you start trying them on, you’ll see how each works with the shape of your face, your body type and gown. A petite bride can wear a picture hat as long as it’s not massive and is in proportion with the rest of her. The evening-gowned bride will need something with enough width to create symmetry with her gown. Adornments can be feathers, flowers, ribbons, drapes and poufs of netting, to name just a few. The widest assortment can be found in millinery shops. Here you’ll get lots of personal attention. And if you don’t find exactly what you want, they’ll custom make it for you.

SNOOD- Another sophisticated look. A snood is a piece of openwork netting used to cover and wrap buns and chignons. They were highly popular in two eras: the Civil War and World War II. The contemporary versions that compliment evening and bridal wear often have pearls, or crystals on them.
HEADBAND- typically attached to a gathered pouf veil, you can wear the headband individually without the veiling. Headband brides have that fresh, Estee Lauder look. Bands range in style from simple, narrow satin ones to those covered in pearls and crystals. A great option for hair worn down, not quite shoulder length like a bob.
TIARA-Just the tiara—no veil. This is a classic look. The best tiaras are made out of crystal and rhinestone; forget the plastic pageant variety and invest in Swarovski if you can. Best when the tiara sits upon a well-coiffed up-do.
HAIR JEWELERY-These can range from Mother of Pearl hairpins to crystal adorned hair-sticks and clips. You can wear one or many sprinkled though a beautifully coiffed head. Top notch hair styling is a must to wear these properly.



Have you caught this great read by Valerie Frankel? She's one of my favorite writers and this gem just happens to be about a wedding. In screw-ball comedy tradition, I Take This Man profiles about-to-be-a-bride Penny Bracket jilted the morning of her nuptials. I know, I know it doesn't sound like a real uplifting premise with your own wedding two months off but believe me . . . there's some really great writing here and you won't be sorry you picked it up. I do promise you won't be able to put it down . . . Read the synopsis


I just wanted to share one of my favorite photographs by Ron Greystar. Robin, the model, is in one of my gowns dancing around the lawn when Ron catches her in one of those mid-air leaps. Because the photo is over exposed she comes out looking sylph-like like a spirit . . . . I think this picture captures what a bride feels when she's wearing the right gown. She levitates . . .


The Muse has been visiting ever since I got back from my big shopping jaunt. Tuesday I was in Thai Silks in Los Altos and came across this sumptuous array of silks. The above sketch is one of the evening gown silhouettes I have planned for 2009-10; it was inspired by the embroidered chiffon pictured below. The embossed chiffons I found there still intrigue me as I've been using them for years.

Looking at the rack below, visions of sugar plums danced in my head. I'm not kidding. That's all it takes to get me going--a rack this size with some of the most exquisite stuff from the east and I have thousands of options . . . .


Real Weddings Part 2

From modern chic to organically natural, you'll be inspired by the gorgeous details in this selection of some of our favorite real wedding features from past issues of Weddings Unveiled. Enjoy Part 2!

Photography: Honour Hiers Photography,
Wedding Consultant: Shay Brown of Shay Brown Events.

Ceremony Site: Crest Center Field Site. Officiant: Rabbi Rob Cabelli. Hair: Joahnna Barron. Makeup: Denise Reis. Gown Designer: Amsale. Veil & Shoes: Saks 5th Avenue. Bridesmaid Dresses: Simple Silhouettes. Groom’s Tuxedo: Banana Republic. Ceremony Musicians: Lew Gelford. Florist: Aria Floral. Reception Site: Crest Center Pavilion. Catering: Crest Center. Baker: Short Street Cakes. Reception Musicians: Johnny White & the Elites. Invitations: Blue Barnhouse. Transportation: Asheville Trolley. Videography: John Williamson. Favors: Potted Herbs by Aria Floral. Spa: Grove Park Inn. Accommodations: Haywood Park Hotel. Photography Assistant: Aimie Cooke.

Photography: Amanda Caldwell and Adam Barnes for Amanda Caldwell Photography, www.acaldwellphoto.com.

Ceremony and Reception Site: Harbor Pavilion, Bald Head Island. Officiant: Hart Rist. Ceremony Music: Ray Robucke, Violin. Gown: Nicole Miller. Hair and Makeup: Lauren McCauley. Men’s Suits: J.Crew. Consultant: Bri Banners. Florist: Brunswicktown Florist. Baker: Norwood’s Cakes. Reception Entertainment: Mike & Brent’s Acoustic Duo. Catering and Party Rentals: River Pilot. Transportation: Golf carts courtesy of Bald Head Island. Invitations: Mindy Sorboro. Accommodations: Bald Head Island Vacations. Dance Lessons: Academy of Dance Arts, Inc.

Photography: Visio Photography, www.visiophotography.com.
Wedding Coordinator and Florist: Distinctive Events.

Ceremony and Reception Site: The William Aiken House. Officiant: Mac Hammett. Ceremony Musicians: La Mer. Catering: Fish Restaurant. Gown: Reem Acra. Veil and Shoes: Brideshead. Hair and Makeup: Stella Nova Salon. Baker: Cakes by Elaine. Reception Music: The Voltage Brothers. Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals. Accommodations: The Market Pavilion. Invitations: Rachel Johnson.

Photography: MCG Wedding Photography, www.mcgweddings.com.
Wedding Coordinator: Kristin Newman Designs.

Ceremony Site: Boone Hall Plantation Lawn. Officiant: Reverend Victor Smith. Ceremony Musicians: Nancy Weston (Pianist), Zach Marshall and Whitney Vance (Vocalists). Invitations: Dulles Designs. Reception Site: Cotton Dock of Boone Hall Plantation. Catering: Savory Catering. Gown: Lila Couture. Suits: Banana Republic. Florist: Gathering Floral & Event Design. Baker: Jim Smeal. Reception Music: Déjà vu Band. Favors: Teri Pringle at Blue Flour. Videography: Sipes Frazier Productions. Hair and Makeup: Stella Nova, Mt. Pleasant. Reader: Lydia Kicklighter.

Photography: Marni Rothschild Pictures, http://www.marnipictures.com/.
Wedding Consultant and Event Designer: Kristin Newman Designs.

Ceremony Site: First (Scots) Presbyterian. Officiant: Reverend Shannon Dill. Hair & Makeup: Stella Nova. Gown Designer: Monique Lhuillier. Shoes: Ferragamo. Bridesmaid Dresses: Nicole Miller. Ceremony Musicians: The Helen Greenfield Trio and Susan Nessersman, trumpet. Florist and Event Designer: Gathering Floral + Event Design. Reception Site: William Aiken House. Catering: Fish Restaurant. Baker: Cakes by Jim Smeal. Reception Musicians: Plane Jane. Party Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals & Staffing. Invitations: Dulles Designs. Transportation: Absolutely Charleston. Spa: Stella Nova. Accommodations: French Quarter Inn.

Photography: Laura Negri Photography, www.lauranegriphotography.com.

Ceremony & Reception Site: Themba, Roy Family Home. Officiant: Seth Meehan. Gown: Monique Lhuillier, from New York Bride, Charlotte, NC. Veil: Lazaro, from New York Bride, Charlotte, NC. Shoes: Vera Wang. Bridesmaid Dresses: Rebecca Taylor. Groom and Groomsmen attire: Brooks Brothers. Florist: Jennifer Daniels. Catering: Rob McIsaac. Baker: Jean Luc. Ceremony Music: Rhapsody Quintet. Reception Entertainment: Music Africa, Tony Smith and the Sound Machine. Party Rentals: Tent from McFarland's & Linens from Mickey's. Hair & Make-up: The Interlude Spa. Invitations: William Arthur from The Buttercup, Charlotte, NC. Accommodations: Blomodin Inn, the Victoria Inn and The Evangeline in Avon Valley, Nova Scotia. Transportation: Eastern Event Management. Videographer: Lasting Images Video Productions.

Photography: Tina Rowden Photography, www.tinarowden.com.
Wedding Consultant: Ashley Baber Weddings.

Ceremony and Reception Site: Serenbe. Officiant: Jim Crews. Hair & Makeup: Meredith Boyd. Gown Designer: Watters & Watters. Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal. Tuxedos: After Hours Formalwear. Florist: Awesome Blossom. Catering and Baker: Lee Epting Catering. Invitations: Custom by bride. Monogram Design: Romar Design. Favors: River Street Sweets. Accommodations: Inn at Serenbe.

Photography: Marni Rothschild Pictures, www.marnipictures.com.
Event Planner & Designer: Kristin Newman Designs.

Ceremony & Reception Site: Alhambra Hall. Officiant: Thomas Pompeii. Gown: Romona Keveza. Veil & Shoes: Bridals by Lori (Atlanta). Florist: Heather Barrie, Gathering. Catering: Good Food Catering. Baker: Elaine Mincey, Elaine's Events and Cakes of Distinction. Ceremony Music: Nikolai Svisher's Trio. Reception Entertainment: Booty Call. Party Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals. Hair & Make-up: Salon Couture. Spa: Glow Spa. Invitations: Dulles Designs. Accommodations: Old Village Post House. Videographer: David Frantz.

Photography: Nashan Photographers, www.nashan.com.
Wedding Consultant: Ellen Robinson of Weddings Elegantly Designed.

Ceremony Site, Reception Site and Catering: Caneel Bay Resort. Officiant: Captain Greg Fretias. Gown Designer: Yolanda Couture. Veil and Shoes: Kate Spade. Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lazaro. Groom and Groomsman attire: Suits from Brooks Brothers. Ceremony Musicians: Greg Kinslow String trio. Linens: Snyder Event Rentals. Florist: Katie Huebel, Owner of W.E.D. Reception Music: DJ - Greg Kinslow. Invitations: Rachael Blessinger with Studio R. Accommodations: Caneel Bay Resort.


Popular Posts

Blog Archive