wedding belles blog

My Favorite Looks from Bridal Market 2015

Did y’all know that last weekend was NYC’s bridal market? Brides did a great job of posting all the latest runway looks (which will be the designers’ Spring 2016 lines), and of course I eagerly devoured each photo slideshow. Here’s the thing about runway bridal fashion, though: Sometimes, I just can’t picture the ensembles on actual brides. Many of the dresses (or pantsuits, or crop tops) are just too modern and high fashion-looking for an actual Carolina girl’s wedding (examples: here, here, and here). The dresses that caught my eye from bridal market were the ones that I could actually see my friends and family members in. They’re still different and unique and fresh, but they don’t look like they would only be appropriate on the cover of Vogue. I’ve collected all of my favorites here to share with y’all…let me know which ones you like best!

1. Reem Acra: Silk chiffon bateau neck dress with embroidered bodice and low back detail.

Reem Acra Spring 2016 silk chiffon bateau neck wedding dress with embroidered bodice and low back detail, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

2. Reem Acra: Bateau neck silk taffeta ball gown with embroidered bodice and low back.

Reem Acra Spring 2016 bateau neck silk taffeta wedding gown with an embroidered bodice and low back, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

3. “Ella” by Monique Lhuillier: Tulle a-line dress with floral overlay

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2016: "Ella" tulle A-line wedding dress with floral overlay, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

4. “Roma” by Monique Lhuillier: Chantilly lace strapless corset ball gown with tulle skirt.

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2016: "Roma" Chantilly lace strapless corset ball gown with tulle skirt, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

5. Ines di Santo: Lace wedding gown with tulle skirt.

Ines di Santo lace wedding gown with tulle skirt, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

6. Maggie Sottero: V-neck wedding gown with lace appliques.

Maggie Sottero Spring 2016 V-neck wedding dress with lace appliques, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

7. Maggie Sottero: Scalloped v-neck a-line wedding gown.

Maggie Sottero Spring 2016 scalloped v-neck a-line wedding gown, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

8. Oscar de la Renta: Strapless lace and organza tiered ball gown with sweetheart neckline

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2016 strapless lace and organza tiered ball gown wedding dress with sweetheart neckline, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

9. Marchesa: Strapless tulle fishtail with floral threadwork and architectural seam line.

Marchesa Spring 2016 strapless tulle fishtail with floral threadwork and architectural seam line, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

10. Marchesa: Corded lace a-line dress with bateau neckline and elbow-length sleeves.

Marchesa Spring 2016 corded lace A-line wedding dress with a bateau neckline and elbow-length sleeves, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

11. Amsale: Champagne dress with gold beading.

Amsale Spring 2016 champagne wedding dress with gold beading, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

12. Amsale: Gold beaded strapless ball gown.

Amsale Spring 2016 gold beaded strapless ball gown wedding dress, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

13. Amsale: Classic taffeta ball gown.

Amsale Spring 2016 classic taffeta ball gown wedding dress, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

14. Carolina Herrera: all over lace wedding gown.

Carolina Herrera Spring 2016 all over lace wedding gown, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

15. Carolina Herrera: Vintage lace mermaid wedding gown.

Carolina Herrera Spring 2016 vintage lace mermaid wedding gown, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

16. Hayley Paige: Geometric print spaghetti strap wedding gown.

Hayley Paige Spring 2016 geometric print strapless wedding gown, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

17. Hayley Paige: Fitted silk and lace wedding gown with long lace sleeves.

Hayley Paige Spring 2016 fitted silk and lace wedding gown with long lace sleeves, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

(All photos via Brides, obviously).

Favorites, belles?

xoxo Laura

Internet Roundup: Touchy Bridesmaid Topics, Budget-Friendly Bachelorette Party Planning, and More!

Hello hello belles, and welcome to the latest edition of what I’m loving around the Internet lately. All of today’s links feature bridesmaid-related topics. We’re talking bachelorette parties, prepping your gals for the big weekend, and more!

1. 10 Things All Brides Should Tell Their Bridesmaids Before the Wedding. You will have much less stress and confusion if everyone is on the same page!

10 Things All Brides Should Tell Their Bridesmaids Before the Wedding, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

2. How to Plan the Ultimate Bachelorette Weekend. This is a great read for all the MOHs out there!

How to Plan the Ultimate Bachelorette Weekend, via Long Distance Loving - Wedding Belles Blog

via Long Distance Loving

3. How to Handle Those Touchy Bridesmaid Subjects. Here’s how to tactfully deal with everything from pregnancy to crazy hair cuts.

How to Handle Those Touchy Bridesmaid Subjects, via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

4. 7 Tips for Bachelorette Party Bashing on a Budget. This is great! Bachelorette parties have gotten to be quite spendy these days…and that’s okay if the attendees can all afford it. But if you’re a bunch of average Jills who may not have large savings accounts, these are some great tips to rein it in while still having a blast.

7 Tips for Bachelorette Party Bashing on a Budget, via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

What are y’all loving on the Internet lately?

xoxo Laura

Baby’s Breath, Beware: Think Twice Before Adding This Flower to Your Bouquet!

Baby’s breath bouquet inspiration is all over Pinterest. This pretty and delicate flower is also very cost-effective, making it a favorite for budget-conscious or DIY brides. However, I learned something about baby’s breath the other day that surprised me. It stinks…literally!

Apparently, baby’s breath got its name because it smells like…well, you guessed it, bad baby’s breath. As in sour milk. Yuck. Nothing says love and beauty like a bad stench wafting off your bouquet! And can you imagine smelling a strong odor of sour milk while trying to enjoy your dinner at the reception?

If you’re using a professional florist, you may not have to worry. Apparently, many florists will spray baby’s breath with fragrance to mask the smell before handing off bouquets and centerpieces to brides.

What do you think, belles? Would you mind having a smelly bouquet if it meant saving a few bucks or having the floral look you’ve been dreaming of? Or are you going to pass on the baby’s breath for a nicer-smelling alternative?

xoxo Laura

These Adorable, Glittery Paper Straws Are On Sale!

Okay, no need for me to re-establish how much I love stumbling across wedding-worthy deals on sites like Groupon, Jane, and Eleventh Avenue. I think that’s a given by now. Well, I’ve gone and done it again: Check out these ADORABLE paper straws, complete with glittery paper rings!

Glittery engagement ring paper straws...perfect for an engagement party, bridal shower, or bachelorette party! - Wedding Belles Blog

How cute would these be for an engagement party, bridal shower or bachelorette party? There are several different colors, and they are on super sale on Jane.com (58% off!). According to Jane, there is a limited quantity available though…better hurry, belles!

Glittery engagement ring paper straws...perfect for an engagement party, bridal shower, or bachelorette party! - Wedding Belles Blog

xoxo Laura

Internet Roundup: Etiquette Edition! Registry Sharing, Facebook No-No’s, and Crowdfunding Your Wedding

Who else loves all things etiquette? Am I the only person whose favorite section of the newspaper is the “Dear Abby” advice column? Am I a total grandma? Don’t care, love it anyway. Here are some of my favorite wedding etiquette articles that I’ve stumbled across on the Internet lately:

1. Facebook Status Updates No Bride Should Ever Make.

6 Facebook Status Updates No Bride Should Ever Make, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

2. The Right and Wrong Ways to Share Your Wedding Registries.

The Right and Wrong Ways to Share Your Wedding Registry, via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

3. Why Crowdfunding Your Wedding is NOT Okay. So much yes.

Why Crowdfunding Your Wedding is NOT Okay, via The Knot - Wedding Belles Blog

via The Knot

Belles, feel free to share what you’re loving lately in the comments!

xoxo Laura

Deal Alert: Up to 90% Off Wedding Fashion, Decor, & More at Eleventh Avenue

RUN, do not walk, over to Eleventh Avenue (aka groopdealz) NOW for their big “Save the Date” deal event! Y’all know how much I love sites like Eleventh Avenue for finding wedding steals. For the next two days, you can purchase everything from ring dishes to enormous L-O-V-E balloons at extremely discounted prices. Hurry, hurry, hurry! Here are some of my favorites:

1. “Mrs.” earring studs from Everyday Icing.

Mrs. Earring Studs by Everyday Icing - Wedding Belles Blog

2. “Bridesmaid” t-shirt from Thread Tank.

"Bridesmaid" T-shirt by Thread Tank - Wedding Belles Blog

3. Gigantic heart balloons from JH Couture.

Gigantic Heart Balloons from JH Couture

4. Personalized “Future Mrs.” Thank You Notes from Put A Case On Me.

Personalized "Future Mrs." Thank You Notes from Put A Case On Me - Wedding Belles Blog

Let me know if you end up purchasing anything to use for your wedding! Would love to see!

xoxo Laura

On Trend: Hand-Painted and Watercolor Wedding Cakes

To be honest, I’m not one to love things that are “trendy” when it comes to weddings. I love a classic feel…details you can look back on 30 years later and still love. However, I have to admit I am smitten with the latest trend in wedding cakes: gorgeous watercolor designs and hand-painted details. Here are some of my favorite hand-painted and watercolor wedding cakes that I’ve spotted lately:

1. How cute is this bright floral cake with the personalized bride and groom motifs? I’m also loving the shape of the bottom tier. So modern and unique!

Personalized, Hand-Painted Floral Wedding Cake Featuring Bride and Groom Motifs - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

2. This very classic gold and white cake…proof that you can be on trend and classic at the same time!

3. This watercolor cake in sherbert tones. So dreamy!

Watercolor Wedding Cake in Sherbert Tones - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

4. I adore this pink and gold watercolor cake…so elegant!

5. This bold, bright, and beautiful hand-painted floral cake. Those colors!! In love!

6. Seriously swooning over this ornate cake with the hand-painted gold floral designs.

7. This peach and aqua watercolor goodness.

Peach and Aqua Watercolor Wedding Cake - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

8. Loving the pretty hand-painted floral designs on this moody blues wedding cake.

Hand-Painted Moody Blues Floral Wedding Cake - Wedding Belles Blog

via flickr

Aren’t these all true works of art? There are so many hand-painted and watercolor possibilities, from bright and cheerful to dark and elegant. What do you think, belles? Are you loving any of these?

xoxo Laura

Classically Carolina: Cheerwine

Try talking to someone outside of the Carolinas about Cheerwine and you’re likely to get some blank stares. This fizzy red beverage, which originated in Salisbury, North Carolina (not too far from Charlotte), is truly a Carolina classic. If Cheerwine is one of your favorites, or if you want to create a signature drink that reflects the local beverage scene, include this soda in the mix!

For a cost-effective signature drink option, ask your caterer or bar tending service to mix Cheerwine and vodka (about 1 oz of vodka to every 6 oz of Cheerwine should do the trick…experiment at home until you get the ratio the way you like it) to serve up to guests. Be sure to give the beverage a clever name. I am partial to “Southern Cheer” or “Carolina Cheer” for this one. If you really want to kick it up a notch, garnish the drink with cute straws or lime wedges. You could even serve it up in glass Cheerwine bottles for a vintage feel.

If you’re a cocktail connoisseur or have a larger bar budget, you can get more creative in the mixology. Take for example this creative “Cheershine” cocktail, which includes Cheerwine, moonshine, and Campari:

What do you think, belles and beaus? Any Cheerwine lovers out there?

xoxo Laura

Internet Roundup: Wedding Hacks Edition

I am all about sharing helpful hints for other future marrieds in order to make the wedding process that much easier….because let’s face it y’all, sometimes wedding planning can be downright difficult. So, today’s internet roundup features all of the wedding planning hacks, tips, and tricks I’m loving on the Internet lately. Enjoy….and you’re welcome!

1. 10 Completely Brilliant Wedding Hacks You Definitely Need to Know. These are all so good…although good luck finding a post office that will actually hand cancel all of your wedding invites for you!

10 Completely Brilliant Wedding Hacks You Definitely Need to Know, via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

2. 14 Wedding Details That Are Almost Too Easy to Forget. Yes yes yes.

14 Wedding Details That Are Almost Too Easy to Forget, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

3. 5 Wedding Guest Dilemmas and How to Solve Them.

5 Wedding Guest List Dilemmas and How to Solve Them, via mywedding - Wedding Belles Blog

via mywedding

4. 7 Things You Can Learn From These Real Couples’ Big Day Regrets. Take heed!

7 Things You Can Learn From These Real Couples' Big Day Regrets, via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

Share in the comments what you’re loving on the interwebs lately!

xoxo Laura

Striped Wedding Gowns: Modern and Unique!

Are you less of a traditionalist and more the kind of girl who wants a unique wedding gown with a modern feel? Oh, have I got just the thing for you. I have been seriously loving striped wedding gowns lately, and you can check out my favorites below. Regardless of whether you choose bold or subtle striped details, I can guarantee it will give you a sleek, modern look!

1. “Hilton” by Amsale…simple perfection!

"Hilton" Wedding Gown by Amsale - Wedding Belles Blog

via Amsale

2.  This gorgeous strapless number by Hayley Paige. Such a unique gown..the texture and color of the top is such a neat contrast to the skirt of the dress!

3. This strapless lace gown by Maggie Sottero. The lace softens the look of the gown, and the subtle striping makes it fun!

4. The “Marlena” gown by Sottero and Midgley: so sleek and mod!

5. Oh! I love the look of all these layers on this Hayley Paige gown. This one is probably my favorite.

6. This sleek stunner by Herve Leger.

7. I adore the fluffy stripes on this Christos gown!

8. The Libertine by Ian Stuart…I adore the elegant, classic design of the dress (click the link to see the full profile – wow!). You have to get up close to see the stripes, which give this fairytale dress a subtle modern feel.

9. And just because Hayley is totally killing it in the stripes department, one last ruffly Hayley Paige stunner for you:

What do you think belles? Are you loving any of these gowns?

xoxo Laura