wedding dress

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

8 Stunning Wedding Dresses You Can Buy NEW for Under $1,000

Y’all, as someone who was on a mission not to spend more than $1,000 on a wedding dress myself, I appreciate how truly difficult such a task can be! At many of the bridal shops I went to, it seemed like prices started around $1,500 and just kept going up, up, up from there. Even at David’s Bridal, which touts itself as being an affordable option, many of the dresses were out of my budget. If you’re lucky enough to stumble across a sample sale or score an already-loved version of your dream gown, you can definitely find a great deal. Or, you can check out the awesome finds below, which are all under $1,000 completely new! Brides recently published a slideshow of 44 such dresses, and the eight featured below are my favorites from their selection.

"Ines" by Tadashi Shoji, $700 - Wedding Belles Blog

“Ines” by Tadashi Shoji, $700

Style 2752F by Allure Romance, $618 - Wedding Belles Blog

Style 2752F by Allure Romance, $618

Style T670 by Moonlight Tango, $795 - Wedding Belles Blog

Style T670 by Moonlight Tango, $795

After Six, $690 - Wedding Belles Blog

After Six, $690

"Rupp" by Stone Cold Fox, $550 - Wedding Belles Blog

“Rupp” by Stone Cold Fox, $550

"Penelope" by Love Marley by Watters, $970 - Wedding Belles Blog

“Penelope” by Love Marley by Watters, $970

"Corrine" by Sue Wong, $629 - Wedding Belles Blog

“Corrine” by Sue Wong, $629

"Livia" by Badgley Mischka, $800 - Wedding Belles Blog

“Livia” by Badgley Mischka, $800

What do you think, belles? Are you loving any of these? If I haddddd to pick a favorite, I think it would be Penelope by Love Marley…so romantic and flattering and sexy all at the same time!

xoxo Laura

Only 10 Days Left to Get Your Wedding Dress for $299!

Belles, have you been checking out our NC & SC Events page? I’ve been updating it regularly as I hear about wedding-related shindigs (think: bridal shows, open houses, etc.) going down in the Carolinas. Today, I want to highlight one particular event on the page, as it has the potential to save you lots of cash-ola…

Bridals by Jodi wedding gowns in Charleston, SC - Wedding Belles Blog

Bridals by Jodi

Bridals by Jodi, currently located on Rivers Avenue in Charleston, is having a HUGE moving sale. All in-stock wedding gowns are reportedly marked down to $299-$499, with in-stock bridesmaid dresses ranging from $29-$89. Incredible! I sure wish I had only paid $300 for my own wedding gown. The sale is going on now through December 20th, which means you have 10 days left to scurry on over and start shopping.

Bridals by Jodi wedding gowns in Charleston, SC - Wedding Belles Blog

Bridals by Jodi

Let me know if you find THE dress at the sale! Would love to post some pics of our lovely readers on the blog.

xoxo Laura

5 LWDs That Would Be Perfect as Your Rehearsal Dinner Dress!

Ladies…how many of you have dreamed about your wedding dress for years, but have never given a thought to what you’ll put on for your rehearsal dinner? Well, you’re in good company…it didn’t occur to me to consider my rehearsal dinner dress until this summer, just a month or so before my wedding! Many brides these days are opting to wear white or ivory for their rehearsal dinner, just in case anyone should forget who the bride is (ha!). I’ve gathered some lovely LWD (little white dress) inspiration for those of you wanting to get on board with this trend (or for brides wanting to go short on their big day!). Behold:

1. Nicolette by Ruche, $68.99

Nicolette by Ruche - Perfect Rehearsal Dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

 

2. Woven Fit & Flare Dress by Alfred Sung, $198.00

Woven Fit & Flare by Alfred Sung - Perfect Rehearsal Dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

3. All lace dress by Rebecca Taylor, $139.00

 

All lace dress by Rebecca Taylor - Perfect rehearsal dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

4. Marilyn by kate spade – This one is definitely a splurge at $428.00!

Marilyn by kate spade - Perfect Rehearsal Dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

5. White crochet cutout maxi dress by Lookbook Store, $33.00

White crochet cutout maxi dress by Lookbook Store - Perfect rehearsal dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

What do you think, belles? Will you be wearing any of these to your rehearsal dinner or wedding? Or maybe for some other special occasion just because?

xoxo Laura

Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale and Bridal Show – Durham, NC

Back in May we talked about the Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale and Bridal Show taking place in Charlotte. Now, Durham gets a shot at discounted wedding dresses while at the same time supporting a great cause!

Brides Against Breast Cancer - Wedding Belles Blog

Mark your calendars: The Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale and Bridal Show is taking place Sunday, July 13 at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club in Durham, NC. The sale will feature new and already-loved wedding gowns ranging from $99-$3,900 and sizes 4-18 (keep in mind that wedding dresses tend to run small, so if you are normally a size 4, you likely will wear a size 6 or 8 wedding gown). Durham-area wedding vendors will also be present at the show, so you can knock out some planning at the same time! I also hear that there will be lots of exciting prizes and giveaways.

Visit the Brides Against Breast Cancer webpage to register to attend or volunteer for the event. The VIP Unveiling of the Gowns Reception will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and general admission for the sale will be 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Buying general admission tickets ahead of time saves money, as the tickets cost $5 online but $7 at the door. Ticket purchases are tax deductible.

Brides Against Breast Cancer supports efforts to deliver free information and services to children and adults impacted by cancer.

Go register, belles! Happy shopping!

xoxo Laura

Wedding Gown Sale at Anjolique Bridal May 24-26 in Cornelius, NC

Attention belles! If you live near Charlotte, NC, and are in the market for a wedding dress, there is an upcoming sale you need to know about. Anjolique Bridal (located in Cornelius) is having a wedding gown sale Memorial Day Weekend (May 24-26). All dresses will be on sale, and you can score 10-70% off inventory dresses. Additionally, all brides who purchase a dress during the sale will receive $100 off a veil!

Anjolique Bridal, Cornelius, NC - Wedding Belles Blog

via Yelp

Anjolique carries a wide variety of designers, including Allure, Amalia Carrara, Eve of Milady, Ian Stuart, Essence of Australia, Enzoani, La Sposa, San Patrick, Demetrios, and Justin Alexander. Go ahead and book an appointment now, as I am sure appointment slots during the sale will fill up quickly!

Disclaimer: I am not endorsed by or affiliated with Anjolique Bridal. I just like helping our belles and beaus score great deals!

Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale and Bridal Show – Charlotte, NC

Who wants to score a discounted wedding gown while at the same time supporting those affected by cancer? Oh, everyone? That’s what I thought.

Brides Against Breast Cancer - Wedding Belles Blog

Mark your calendars: The Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale and Bridal Show is taking place May 23-24 in Charlotte, NC, at the Embassy Suites Charlotte. The sale will feature new and already-loved wedding gowns (we just discussed these last week!) ranging from $99-$3,900 and sizes 4-18 (keep in mind that wedding dresses tend to run small, so if you are normally a size 4, you likely will wear a size 6 or 8 wedding gown). Charlotte-area wedding vendors will also be present at the show, so you can knock out some planning at the same time! I also hear that there will be lots of exciting prizes and giveaways.

Visit the Brides Against Breast Cancer webpage to register to attend or volunteer for the event. The VIP Unveiling of the Gowns Reception will take place from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. on May 23, while general admission for the sale will be 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on May 24. Buying general admission tickets ahead of time saves money, as the tickets cost $7 online but $10 at the door. Ticket purchases are tax deductible.

Brides Against Breast Cancer supports efforts to deliver free information and services to children and adults impacted by cancer.

Go register, belles! Happy shopping!

xoxo Laura

Budget-Friendly Tip: Wear an “Already-Loved” Wedding Dress!

I don’t know about y’all, but I was personally shocked at the price tags on wedding dresses when shopping for my own. Yes, I can appreciate that many dresses use premium, expensive fabrics and that sewing on beading is truly a labor of love. But spending upwards of $5,000 on a dress I would only wear for a few hours? Not for me, belles. If you’re looking for a way to keep dress costs down, here’s an idea: choose an “already-loved” dress.

OnceWed Dresses - Wedding Belles

all dresses via OnceWed

I purposefully use the phrase “already-loved” rather than “used” because “used” sometimes carries a negative connotation. Yet, most already-loved dresses are in premium condition – no stains, tears, or worn out fabric. Many already-loved dresses have been worn for just five or six hours…that’s likely less wear time than a sample dress you can buy from a bridal salon! And, the savings can be hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

One way to find an already-loved dress is to wear a friend or family member’s (think: Mom’s or older sister’s dress). However, there are also lots of helpful websites and physical stores to help you find already-loved dresses, as well. Some of my favorites:

OnceWedSearch by designer, price, size, location, neckline, color, and so many other categories! If you’ve fallen in love with a gown at a store but aren’t quite ready to make the plunge with the price tag, search OnceWed to see if that style is being sold by another bride. Even if not in your size, alterations may cost quite a bit less than purchasing the dress new.

The Marketplace at 100 Layer Cake: Like OnceWed, the marketplace over at 100 Layer Cake features already-loved wedding dresses at fractions of their original price. The only downside is that there is not a helpful search feature like the one on OnceWed. On the upside, however, the marketplace features much more than just wedding dresses, so you can score deals on not only your dress, but also favors, decor, and accessories, all at the same time!

Tradesy: Has a helpful search tool like OnceWed, and currently features over 30,000 dresses! There’s no way you could NOT find something you love.

Physical Stores: If you’re more of an in-person type of gal, or don’t really know what style you want and need to try on dresses in person, there are many bridal salons that sell consigned dresses in top condition. One I can personally vouch for is Lineage Bridal in Charlotte, NC. They handpick designer gowns to sell and have fabulous customer service. Bonus: They are currently having a major anniversary sale as of May 1! Other stores selling already-loved wedding dresses include Gorgeous Gowns in Cary, NC, The Dress in Mauldin, SC, Fabulous Frocks in Charleston, SC and in Charlotte, NC, and Budget Bridal in Matthews, NC.

craigslistOh, you thought I was joking when I wrote that? Nope. Believe it or not, thousands of brides are selling their beautiful already-loved gowns on craigslist. The bonus of using this method for your search is that you can go try on the dress if you find one from a local seller, and prices are often negotiable. And, no tax! Just be safe about meeting up with strangers…take a buddy and meet in a public place, if possible.

What do you think, Belles? Would you consider an already-loved wedding dress? Do you have experience shopping for or purchasing one that you’d like to share? Let’s discuss in the comments section!

xoxo Laura

Oh, and p.s. – I am not receiving sponsorships from any of these stores or companies…just enjoy sharing helpful hints with my belles!