Wedding Dress Shopping

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
According to Martha Stewart Weddings…

"A dress is distinguished not only by its fundamental shape, but also by its fabric; decorative details such as tucks, pleats, ruffles, and flounces; and embellishments like lace and embroidery. The various cuts of sleeves and necklines can work with nearly every style and also make a dress unique.”

Shopping Tips
Bring someone whose sense of style you trust to the bridal salon, but limit the size of the group: Too many opinions will muffle your own.
• Wear a small heel and presentable undergarments.
• Don't be hesitant to talk price; a saleswoman can prevent you from falling for a dress you can't afford.
• If you love the way a dress looks, make sure you also love how it feels. Raise your arms as you will when you dance, and sit down in it. You'll feel more beautiful if you can move freely.
• Don't assume you'll lose weight before the wedding; order the dress based on your current size. It's easier to take in a dress than to let it out.

Ball Gown
Introduced by Queen Victoria, re-imagined by Dior in the 1950s, and never long out of fashion, this is the most romantic of all bridal silhouettes. It features a small waist (natural or dropped) and a voluminous skirt with petticoats. Most flattering to women of at least average height with hourglass or full figures, this style's skirt will overwhelm a petite or a particularly buxom bride. Depending on the fabric, the skirt can appear weightless or heavy.

This enduring style's name comes from the triangle (or "A" shape) between the narrow bodice and outer edges of the wide, ungathered skirt. Suitable for a variety of fabrics, the A-line is versatile: It may or may not have a seam at the waist, which may be higher or lower than the natural waistline; and the close-fitting bodice may be strapless or have any type of neckline.

Closely related to the A-line, with a slender bodice and broad, ungathered skirt, the architecture of the princess gown is based on the most basic element of sewing: the seam. Uninterrupted, full-length vertical seams begin at the neckline, skim the natural waist, and slide over the hip bones, with universally flattering -- and slimming -- results. The seams may be piped, beaded, or otherwise accentuated.

After the French Revolution, Napoleon's wife Josephine popularized this neoclassical dress with a very high waist; the sheer materials she chose caused a sensation. The cropped bodice of the Empire style flatters the small-breasted woman but not a more buxom bride; the raised waist creates a long line, ideal for a petite bride. The skirt may be straight, slightly flared, or even as wide as an A-line.

If you are comfortable with showing off your curves, consider the slyly constructed sheath, popularized in the 1950s by Marilyn Monroe. This body-hugging profile is artfully sculpted with darts, tucks, and seams. The effect will differ depending on the weight and drape of the fabric. A great choice for a tall, slim-hipped woman, the sheath is equally becoming to a petite, slender bride. Avoid this style if you have wide hips but narrow shoulders.

Slip Dress
Some women prefer minimal display over the lavish ornamentation common to wedding gowns; for the most body-confident among them, the simple and revealing slip dress is a stunning choice. This cut has its origins in the clingy gowns favored by 1930s Hollywood actresses. Suitable for those lean and trim, tall and petite, this dress usually features flowing fabric and a sinuous bias cut, elevating it from the humble undergarment for which it is named.

Fabric Glossary
The fabric determines how your dress floats, whether it clings to or stands away from your body, and if it absorbs or reflects light. Color makes a difference too. Natural whites are broadly flattering; stark whites look glamorous against dark skin but overwhelm the fair. Ivory or eggshell whites have yellow undertones, which complement pinkish skin tones; traces of pink in champagne whites favor olive complexions.
The best bridal fabrics are made of natural fibers -- usually silk, sometimes cotton or wool. Listed here are the ones that you are most likely to find.

1. Taffeta: A crisp, structured cross-weave, with a lustrous, dull, or moire finish
2. Shantung: Plain-woven silk fabric with an irregular, slubbed texture
3. Satin: A family of fabrics with a high gloss face and matte reverse; double-face satins are glossy on both sides
4. Faille: A fabric with crosswise rib that closely resembles grosgrain ribbon
5. Crepe: Woven with twisted yarns, this lightweight, soft-pebbled or crinkly fabric often has a dull surface
6. Charmeuse: Fluid, smooth fabric, with exceptional drape; dull or semi-lustrous
7. Jacquard: Textured fabric displaying a complex, variegated weave or pattern
8. Chiffon: Sheer and lightweight fabric with beautiful drape; matte finish
9. Organza: A sheer, fine mesh with a dull luster and a stiff body. Sometimes made with cotton and called organdy
10. Velvet: Plush fabric with a soft nap; may be patterned or embossed
11. Pique: Textured medium- to heavyweight fabric with raised rib
12. Eyelet: Woven fabric pierced with a pattern, then stitched around the holes
13. Chantilly Lace: With delicate floral and ribbon motifs on a net ground
14. Alencon Lace: Also called needlepoint lace; ornamental patterns are outlined with heavy silk cord on fine net ground
15. Guipure Lace: With raised, sculptural motifs bridged together or sewn onto coarse net; also called Venise lace
16. Point d'Esprit: Sheer net lace with dots, typically used in layers for a skirt or as an overlay for the dress bodice
17. Embroidered Tulle or Net: Tulle or net ground with patterned overwork

Vendor Spotlight: Clane Gessel

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I started my company because I wanted to show how I capture two people's love for each other. To me it is the most beautiful thing in the world. My favorite part of working with each couple is bringing out their personalities in the photos. There are SO many different personalities and styles out there, my job is to capture each one in their own unique way. What makes my company stand out from the rest would be my landscape style, incorporating vivid, bright images into each wedding. I'm also the highest rated wedding photographer in Washington State and the official photographer for the Space Needle.

Advice for brides: make sure that you're able to get a FULL RESOLUTION disc of all photos from your photographer, and make sure you have seen at least three whole weddings from your photographer, most photographers only show a few shots from each wedding, their best photos. You aren't only going to get three shots, so you want to see exactly what you are going to get. Ask to see entire weddings, from start to finish, so you can be sure you're getting exactly what you want. Also, READ REVIEWS!! Reviews are the best way to tell if you're going to be happy with your photographer.

2010 PDN "Top Knots" Award Winner
- The top rated wedding photographer in Seattle
- #1 photo seller inside The Space Needle

Clane Gessel
2212 Queen Anne Ave N. #278
Seattle, WA 98109

Award-Winning Wedding and Landscape Photography

Happy Valentine's Day

Monday, February 14, 2011
Happy Valentine's Day! Take today to forget the stresses of wedding planning and remind one another why you're saying I DO! (No Hallmark card or flowers needed.)

As my present to all of you, I would like to share my favorite poem of all time! Please enjoy!

How Do I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Vendor Spotlight: Tasha Owen Photoraphy

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Why did you start your company?
Needing to try something different in photography I decided to change my path. Instead of remaining in the fashion editorial world of photography a switch to weddings called me. Feeling like it would be fun to be a part of a wedding day pushed me towards a newfound passion. It came as a complete surprise to discover that I love it… everything about a wedding day is exciting… but the most exciting part for me… capturing my clients memories. Looking back what I was really looking for was something that I could be a contribution to… and with a wedding day I found it.

What is your favorite part working with brides and grooms?
Boy… what isn’t fun about working with a Bride and Groom? Every weekend I get to see the very best in people. I get to watch young woman look in mirrors and fuss with hair a makeup… pull at dresses… put on high heals… oh how they make me feel young!!! I love the joy they have in doing all those simple girl things. Grooms give out cigars; a mother gives a young groom a kiss on a cheek… a father tells his daughter she is beautiful before he gives her away… I hear toasts that make me cry, see dancing that makes me laugh… and kisses which remind me of how much I love being in love.

What makes your company stand out from the rest?
It isn’t just the photos that are important to me… they of course need to be beautiful… but most importantly is to make sure that everyone around me is taken care of. To be concerned about the well being of a bride and groom… are they cold… do I need to give the bride a wrap while she waits for her next photo?... Does anyone need something to drink?... how about an energy bar?. You may ask what does this have to do with great photos… I say everything. My clients knowing I am concerned about them creates a relationship of trust. It is this trust that is the foundation of taking great photos. My goal is to make the experience about working with me as important as taking the photos.

Advice you would give brides on finding the perfect photographer?
After a bride knows that she likes photographer’s images, it is important to make sure the photographers philosophy jives with that of the bride. Does the bride get a sense that the photographer is there for her, or is it more about the photographer having their own agenda about what kind of photos they want to take? The more information a bride can give me about the vision of her the day, the better I can translate that vision into photos. Can the photographer adapt to changes that may occur in the day? Ask questions… and then more questions. One of my very favorite questions a bride ever asked me is “Why do I like to photograph weddings?”

What are the new photography trends you are seeing?
When it comes to trends in photography there will always be different looks from one year to the next, but what will not change is classic technique. Knowing how to execute my craft in order to best capture a bride’s day. There is a lot of “natural” looking photo styles out there and often these are achieved not because the photographer knew what they were doing… but simply because they were outside in natural light. What happens if it rains? How about photographing in a dark reception hall? Without understanding proper technique those wonderful candid moments can slip right by. I would say if I saw a trend it is in my brides looking for more experienced photographers. Too many horror stories out there about a “friend who has a good digital camera and likes to take photos”. Brides are discovering that having a camera does not a photographer make.

For me personally, this year will be about capturing even more of those amazing moments. To really look for the heart of the wedding, to not only take that photo at the height of the moment… but also to look for the follow through… it’s not just the hugging… but also the moment right after the hug. Genuine, authentic emotion… even in my formals I want there to be fun and spontaneity. Having a bridal party in a grouping doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for unique moments… you just have to relax, give a smile, and let the magic happen.

Tasha Owen

Testimonial from Mother of Bride

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
My daughter got married at the Farm Kitchen last August and what a marvelous job Lori did for us. From the moment we arrived she had everything under control. Every detail was done just as we wanted. She had the timing right for each event which made for a very beautiful and smooth evening. All I had to do was laugh, eat, dance and enjoy myself. I would highly recommend Lori to be your wedding coordinator as she does a fabulous job.
~Jo Harris, Mother of the Bride, August 13, 2010

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