Henley Photography
This is my versatile 'Eva' gown with an eerie twist. To top off a shoot we did last July, hairdresser Kathi Rothkop added a pink wig (in place of a veil) and so our Gothic bride was created. Actually, this would be a great Halloween wedding idea for the bride who is heavily into Goth . . .of course not everyone embraces this idea which makes it all the more original . . .

Photo: Henley Photography
Hair: Kathi Rothkop
Makeup: Rob Ward

Real Wedding ~ Courtney and Philip

Courtney and Philip's wedding combines seaside Florida charm with sophisticated, ultra-chic design. Creamy neutrals combine with bright greens and rich, deep browns, while the texture of leaves, woven mats, linens and twigs have an island-like freshness, all shown beautifully in stunning images by East Hill. We especially love the incredible curly willow arch over the chapel aisle. The undulating form and dark color of the branches provides a striking frame for the ceremony against the pristine white of the pews and clean lines of the chapel.

Photographed by East Hill Photography. Wedding Planner: It's A "Shore" Thing Wedding and Event Planning. Floral & Event Designer: Nouveau Flowers. Caterer: Townsend Catering. Ceremony Location: Seaside Chapel, Seaside, Florida. Reception Location: Ruskin Place Park, Seaside, Florida.



Ian Stewart

I told myself to pass up this sweet Ian Stewart picture hat all swathed in tulle . . . . tried to convince myself its just too soon to run another post on hats because I did one two weeks back . . . . . but . . . well . . . I finally convinced myself this hat is just tooooooooo gorgeous not to share with you. I'd love to hear from anyone who is planning on wearing a hat of any kind . . . .

Real Wedding ~ Collins and Jared

The details are gorgeous in this real wedding at Trillium, in Cashiers, NC sent to us by wonderful NC photographer Abigail Seymour. From simple fern detailing to the lush florals and rich combination of creamy whites with deep browns and greens, this wedding has a sophisticated elegance that is cleverly blended with a bit of rustic charm. We especially love Abigail's image of the bright reception tent beneath the starlit sky. Florals: Dutchman's Design, Highlands, NC. Event Planner: Weddings With Tara. Enjoy!


Think Pink Part 5 ~ Support Pink

“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”
Isadora James

Nancy G. Brinker’s simple promise to her dying sister, Suzy, was to do everything possible to end breast cancer forever. Diagnosed at the young age of 33, Suzy died three years later in 1980. Believing her sister’s outcome may have been better if patients were more informed, Nancy launched a global breast cancer movement that has become
Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Since its beginning in 1982, the organization has proudly become the “world’s largest, boldest, and most aggressive grassroots network of survivors and activists.” To date, it has invested nearly $1 billion in research, education, and health services, with a goal of $2 billion over the next 10 years. Just last year, on its 25th anniversary, the organization adopted the mission to “end breast cancer forever.”

Susan Cabil said it best:
“One’s sister is part of one’s essential self, an eternal presence of one’s heart, soul, and memory.”

We've put together a few of our favorite items that benefit this amazing organization and make great gifts for everyone. Support Susan G. Komen for the Cure and help put an end to breast cancer, a disease that has ravaged millions of our sisters. Visit or call 1.877.GO.KOMEN.

2008 Holiday card set – $9.99. 59% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Ornaments – $9.99. 11% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Hot travel mug – $15.99 56% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Imagine notecards – $11.99. 60% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Vest – $29.99. 56% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Mouse pad – $5.99. 56% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Promise/hope/cure notecards – $9.99. 50% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Pink is more than just a color Tshirt – $17.99. 65% of purchase goes toward Komen's

Real men wear pink Tshirt – $17.99. 68% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.

Adult wristbands - $4.99. 70% of purchase goes toward Komen's mission.



I've long been a fan of Dutch bridal couture. I discovered way back, this land of tulips, windmills and canals has a unique respect for the winter bride and knowing exactly how to dress her. Holland uses those thick and rich winter fabrics like peau and brocade in some of the most creative ways. Keep in mind at the forefront of Dutch costume is that big ruff collar and various lace treatments. You'll find scaled down and refined adaptions of the collar and plenty of lace in these collections. Nobody's forgotten the Dutch bride come spring either as you'll see below.

Envie Couture

Natasja Sadi
At right is Natasja Sadi's brocade jacket with silk underdress.

Astrid Ritmeester's ensembles above and below are the real deal for chilly weather brides.

Astrid Ritmeester

Jaap Rijnbende

Jaap Rijnbende
The two photos above prove Jaap Rijnbende works great looks for spring-summer as well as winter.

Above photos: The workrooms of Els Hillenius in Haarlem, Holland.


Hayden Olivia ~ Modern Gowns for Modern Brides

There's a new girl in town and her name is Hayden Olivia. Actually, her name is Heather Batt, but she's the owner of Hayden Olivia, the new bridal boutique in the heart of uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Named for her daughter, Heather's boutique opened its doors in late August of 2008 with 3,000 square feet of gleaming hardwoods, exposed brick walls, silk drapes and lots of sophisticated charm. At Hayden Olivia, you'll find a skillfully edited collection of gowns by some of our favorite designers such as Alvina Valenta, Junko Yoshioka, Anna Maier, Vineyard Collection, Reverie by Melissa Sweet, Kenneth Pool and Modern Trousseau. You'll also find shoes and accessories hand-picked by Heather, along with custom veils and incomparable service.

In addition to running her amazing boutique, Heather also regularly contributes to her blog, Girl Talk, where you'll find lots of stylish information for brides.

Hayden Olivia
221 S. Tryon Street, Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28202
Driving Directions

telephone 704 333 0377
facsimile 704 333 3447

Boutique Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 11-6
Saturday 9-6
Sunday and Monday - Closed
*By Appointment Only
*Special appointment times can be arranged with advanced notice.


The above photograph is by Norman Parkinson of a Christian Dior evening gown taken decades ago. Fast-forward almost sixty years and the House of Dior is still a Paris landmark as well as global fashion phenomenon. Pictures below show the silhouette and fabrics of today’s Dior pieces. Wouldn’t you say they’re almost replicas of the original?


The creations coming out of the House of Dior have been so consistently ultra-fem through the years. Despite the fact Dior died in 1957 and the house has employed a succession of designers for many more years than the designer reigned in his own house (ten years), they’ve all stayed true to Dior’s trademark hourglass silhouette.

Conjour up any image of fashion pre-1947 and you’ll come up with a limited selection of dark colors, shorter skirts and silhouettes that took as few yards of fabric as a wartime shortage could afford. Once the war ended and restrictions lifted, a fashion-starved Paris changed overnight when Dior premiered his, Corolle Collection in February 1947. Then editor of Vogue, Carmel Snow, dubbed it, “The New Look.” And new it was. It seemed like ages since cinched waists sat atop suddenly voluminous skirts of which took yards of fabric and many petticoats to produce. We of later generations have embraced this look we associate with the 1950s. According to vintage dealers, almost anything from this era is in short supply


I’d say these repros by Dior this season are as real and pure as the originals. Don’t you get the idea maybe the late, great Dior has been looking down upon and blessing each designer who succeeds the next in his Parisian House?



The baby doll dress is either empire or natural waisted with a full skirt and short hemline. Always youthful, the look evokes images of the light-hearted playfulness of youth. This style is just one spin-off on the Mod-look London helped create in the swinging 1960s. While all dresses sporting mini length were revolutionary back then, forty-some years later the mini is part of mainstream bridal wear, tallied up as another great option you have.


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