Enjoy the Serenity of an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony

Not Today, Cell Phones, Not Today

Cell phones play such an important role in our lives these days. They guide us where we want to go, provide a portal to the world, and connect us with our friends online. Phones enable us to check the weather, the time, and the news. We can take photos, post pics, share photos, as well as check out other people’s pics. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and GOOGLE are all available right there in the palm of our hands. But, as awesome as they are, phones can also be a distraction from real life, authentic connections and, frankly, what is happening right in front of us. Sometimes we all just need to put down our phones and experience things IRL.

Would you rather look out and see the faces of your loved ones or a row of cell phones?

Put ‘Em Down Folks

When you host the most special day of your life and say your “I dos” in front of all your loved ones, we know you want them to be present for it. And, we’re pretty certain that you (as the couple standing in front of them) are willing to forgo your phones while you stand up to say your vows. In fact, you probably won’t have the time or inclination during your entire wedding celebration to even glance at your phones. So you might want to consider having a phone-free wedding. Let everyone present experience the day together without worrying about getting the perfect photos, or answering texts, or checking sports scores. Let everyone have a break from social media and bask in the love surrounding them. We are sure all your guests will also enjoy the serenity of an unplugged wedding!

Put ’em down, guys! Enjoy the precious moment happening right in front of you!

There will be resistance to this idea. We’re all pretty darn attached to our phones, right?

They Might Think You’re Crazy

Don’t worry, we have a few ideas on how to make this rebellious concept of a NO PHONES event work, without upsetting a bunch of folks. Sure they may think you’ve lost your mind, and they may go ahead and look at their phones anyway. Addictions go deep. But at least you can cut down on the distracting mobile devices in the air by gently suggesting an unplugged event. Try using adorable children holding a sign, for instance:

Or, post a nicely calligraphed sign at the entrance of your event. The pretty writing delivers your request in such a sweet manner, people will be compelled to comply:

Consider some carefully composed verbiage in your invites and/or programs.

Photo: http://www.leahhaydock.com/

Maybe Pass the Buck?

You could also have your ushers mention your request to the guests as they are being seated. Others who can help you in your crusade are your wedding planner and/or your officiant. But you don’t want to go overboard with the anti-cell phone vibe. One or two reminders should be plenty. People who choose to ignore a couple of reminders will most likely ignore twenty. And you don’t want the focus of your special day to become just how against mobile devices you are either. Say your piece, peacefully, and then let people do as they will.

Not a phone in sight. And look, hands are free to hold wine glasses!

A Way With Words

“Thank you for coming! We have but one plea. Please keep our ceremony camera-free. Though our I Do’s are unplugged, our reception is not. Once our vows are exchanged, you’re free to take a shot!”

“The greatest gift you can give us today is to be truly present, so please turn off all phones and cameras and enjoy this special moment with us.”

“The bride and groom request that you turn off all electronics and refrain from taking pictures until after the ceremony. Thank you.”

“Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks – we encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.”

“After ceremony use your electronic devices you can.” – Yoda

College Sweethearts Sami & Tayte’s Charming Love Story

Stunning Gilded Gown bride Sami recently took the time to share with us all the details of how she met and fell in love with her husband Tayte. We love that this gorgeous couple got to meet and fall in love thanks to social media. They actually met in college when Tayte reached out to Sami with an innocent little comment on Instagram. Sami decided to take a chance and respond. Read on and we think you will fall in love with college sweethearts Sami & Tayte’s charming love story as we did. And, don’t forget to answer your DM on Insta, ‘cuz well you just never know, it could change your life!

SAMI: On August 24, 2016, I met the love of my life. I was 21 years old and was about to start my senior year of college. I was living alone in an apartment in Monticello, Arkansas and couldn’t wait for all of the fun I would have my last year of college. It was the day before classes started when I received a message on Instagram from a guy I didn’t know, he said: “your smile is perfect.” I politely said, “thank you” and didn’t think too much about it, but he messaged me again and told me he was new to the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) and was needing help finding some stuff around campus. I was a part of the UAM welcoming committee for new students and was happy to help show him around. I told him I hoped he had a great first day of classes and that I worked in the college library if needed any help. The first night of classes a tall, handsome, blonde man walked into the library, came straight up to the front desk where I was sitting, and introduced himself. He asked for a book for his Economics class, which he didn’t even really need, and the rest was history from there. After meeting him that Wednesday night, I got off work at 10 pm and called my mom to tell her that I had met the man I was going to marry. It was the day that changed my life forever.

Here is the first picture that was ever taken of the adorable couple back when they met in 2016:

SAMI: Since we met at the UAM library Tayte felt it was so important that our life together should start where we first met. He proposed to me on his college graduation day on May 11, 2019. Here is a picture taken of us that day ten minutes BEFORE Tayte proposed:

SAMI: No one was around when he got down on one knee except for a hidden photographer. It was the most incredible feeling. I said, “yes”!

SAMI: His family threw us a surprise engagement party that same day!

SAMI: This is a photo of the two of us as we are moving out of our first apartment in Monticello, Arkansas before we relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee:

We are obsessed with this gorgeous couple’s breathtakingly romantic Save the Date Photos. They are right out of a fairytale:

These two!!!!!!

And, then, they got married!

Sami and Tayte

The Venue at Twin Oaks in Humbodlt, TN

Laurie Wilson Photography

Sami stuns on her wedding day:

Sami found her amazing dress at The Gilded Gown. She chose a voluminous ball gown with a deep plunging neckline and a handkerchief tiered tulle skirt. She finished off the look with an embroidered rhinestone and satin ribbon belt. 

(The Justin Alexander Sweetheart gown is still available if you’re interested.)

Join us in wishing Sami and Tayte the happiest future ever!

HONEYMOON: Serene Desert Beauty in Carefree, AZ

Looking to honeymoon in the good ‘ole USA? We suggest the lighthearted town of Carefree, Arizona, set amid the high desert just north of Phoenix. Not only is it achingly gorgeous with sweeping desert views and insane mountain vistas but it also has a fun mix of super friendly residents, abundant art, amazing architecture and loads of charm. Soak in the majesty of the Southwest with your Bae. You can bask in each other’s glow while watching epic sunsets. And ya’ll can hike through a landscape so beautiful it doesn’t even look real:

As the name suggests, this is a special place, with a relaxed vibe. This is the town where you can shelf all your responsibilities and truly be carefree! Embrace the name and dance in the desert, eat and drink with abandon, sleep as late you want. Begin your life together with a honeymoon in this joyful town!

WHERE TO STAY

Our top pick for your honeymoon accommodation is an award-winning and chic wellness resort in Carefree, CIVANA, that offers serious desert vibes plus a regenerating experience to those seeking a serene and healthy get-away. Everywhere your eyes land at this resort is just plain gorgeous: from the clean-lined architecture to the lush gardens to the big, blue sky overhead. Your honeymoon photos will be so Insta-ready! Enjoy their two restaurants, pool, spa, and swanky, swanky rooms.

You can also find spectacular condos and houses for rent. We love this charming Casita, which averages $128 per night and boasts a pool, a fire pit to toast marshmallows in, and lots of luxurious touches:

THINGS TO DO

Carefree has an array of fun activities for you two to enjoy at your leisure. It is a wonderful place to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, like say a desert hiking adventure, a jeep tour to an old gold mine, or a hot air balloon ride. Number one on our to-do list though is some mega-chilling at a spa. We think you should indulge in a muscle-melting, and deeply relaxing couple’s massage at CIVANA before doing anything else. Go ahead, you deserve it.

Their spa is calming and lovely:

We are digging their healing crystals. 

This is gonna be you:

After you are utterly relaxed from your spa visit you’ll be ready to see more of what Carefree has to offer. Make time to visit the Carefree Desert Gardens to see an astounding array of cacti in every shade of green:

Stop by the one-of-a-kind Carefree Sundial, one of the largest sundials in the US which marks the time by day and the North Star by night:

Stroll the boutique district, along East Street and Ho Hum Road, to visit the wonderfully eclectic mix of art galleries, shops, and boutiques.

Wild Holly Gallery

Meander through this bohemian gallery and enjoy the artwork of more than 95 artists in a stunning array of different art mediums and styles.

Adelante Art Gallery

Also stop by Adelante Art Gallery which showcases paintings, sculptures, and jewelry by local and international folk and fine artists.

WHERE TO EAT

Nothing says “honeymoon” like fine dining. Carefree boasts a ton of fabulous food options with loads of local flavor and international flair. Ex-pats from around the world seem to have settled in town and opened restaurants.

Alberto Ristorante

Alberto left his native Rome to live in Carefree. His Ristorante has a yummy selection of hand-prepared Italian dishes served up in a non-pretentious atmosphere. We love that Alberto greets all of his guests and makes everyone feel like part of the family. Don’t skip the bread, it is made daily from his very own recipe. And, allow Alberto to suggest the perfect wine for your meal from his extensive wine list, and after dinner enjoy one of his rare Armagnacs or Cognacs as well. Expensive, but well worth it. You’ll be reminiscing for years about that great meal you shared on your honeymoon.

English Rose Tea Room

A perfect spot for an afternoon tea or authentic British lunch, the English Rose Tea Room is a true gem in the desert. When Jo Gemmill immigrated from England she simply could not find herself a decent cup of tea in town. So she decided to open a tea room with an interior to rival the Ritz Hotel and a romantic, shady patio for tea al fresco. From scones and crumpets to cottage pie or a Ploughman’s lunch, you are guaranteed a culinary experience to remember. We’re ordering “The Duchess of Bedford’s Formal Afternoon Tea,” which consists of a variety of tea sandwiches, warm scones, petite fours and a pot of tea:

Carefree has a way of sweeping you off your feet. It is a place you’ll want to stay, long after your honeymoon is over. But even if you have to leave you’ll take your memories of your time on Easy Street with you.

 

The Ultimate Stylish Halloween Wedding Inspiration

In the spirit of All Saints’ Eve we’ve done a bit of Internet stalking to find you the ultimate stylish Halloween Wedding Inspiration. From your invites to your bouquet, from your dress to your decor, there are so many ways to incorporate subtle hints of Halloween. And we’re not talking cobwebs, skeletons and jack-o-lanterns for this guys. We’re here for you with darkly passionate and sophisticated ideas. After all, there is something utterly romantic about an “Until Death Do Us Part” vibe. Chic Vintage Brides has us swooning with their ‘Dark Romance’ styled shoot. Their bride and groom are delivering the mega moody style we’re talking about:

Color Palette

Select an inky color palette incorporating black, plum, deep burgundy and moss green to set an edgy tone for your day.

Small bursts of color play well with this look, too:

Dress Dramatically

The best way to announce to your guests that you are ALL-IN on the vibe? Wear a black dress. Or a gray dress. Or an ivory gown with black accents. And accessorize accordingly. This gown, available at The Gilded Gown, is by Romantic Bridals:

The Gilded Gown’s very own stylist Grace modeled this gray dress/black veil Halloween look for a glamorous styled shoot. Read more about it in our blog post here:

You can also do a low-key nod to your dark romance with something more understated, like say this Mikado A-Line gown by Justin Alexander, which features a black satin belt tied with a bow:

Moody Floral Elements

Carry a hauntingly beautiful bouquet to deliver serious Halloween vibes down the aisle. We love the darkly oversize extravagance of this one:

An armload of fall colors combined with cascading branches of greenery makes a glamorous bouquet:

This one is so cool, especially surrounded by a black veil! Love the burgundy roses and wildly placed leaves.

Rich purples, dark burgundy and pops of bright green in this beauty are stunning against a bridal ivory gown.

This one is a more delicate take on the spirit of the season sporting soft colored flowers mixed with mustard yellow pods and tea stained roses:

Welcome My Pretties

Send your guests a peek into your wedding theme with a dark invite, like these stunning ones from Zazzle:

Chic Vintage Brides created these devastatingly beautiful and romantic invitations:

Decadent Decor

Your wedding decor can elegantly underscore your theme without screaming “We love Halloween.” It’s amazing how different types of table styling can really make your event special and expound on your vision. We have serious table envy for this sophisticated table by Minnesota Bride, which provides a hip take on a moody tablescape:

Image Credit: Lena Lakoma

A skull topped with a flower crown looks scarily at home among the rest of this table finery:

Another dark and lovely table:

Pumpkins, in neutrals, paired with black taper candles and black birds, can deliver a modern feel while still bringing that hint of darkness to your wedding day tables.

Black candles work well alongside the darkest forest green runner and a garland of greenery.

Crystal stemware and lush arrangements deliver a fancy feel.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Let them eat cake. Preferably something deliciously dark, like this three tiered masterpiece:

This dark green cake is giving us major mood:

A more literal take on a Halloween cake, spells out the sentiment of the day:

Sizzling Signature Cocktails

Serve your friends and family something spectacular and smoky, like this blackberry sage margarita:

Unconventional Wedding Favors

We love this creepy little set of anatomy dishes which will run you about sixty bucks! Set them out at each place setting for a spooky send off for your guests.

However you choose to celebrate your Halloween Inspired wedding, we hope you’ve found some inspiration here.

 

15 Super Creative Wedding Place Card Ideas You Will Love

Wedding planning allows you to make each moment special and uniquely yours. Every detail you plan will help your guests enjoy your wedding day. From the venue to the flowers, and the food, to your dress and the decor each and everything you decide upon paints a picture of your vision. One thing you might not have considered, though, is elevating your wedding place cards to something special. We’ve sourced 15 Super Creative Wedding Place Card Ideas You Will Love and will let your guests know just how much you care.

1

Personalized Notes

We’re starting with our absolute favorite place card idea. Nothing conveys an old-fashioned thoughtfulness quite like a personalized note. Imagine your guests sitting down to a special message from you. They will feel so welcomed and cared about. Yes using this idea will require some time and effort, but what a heartfelt and awesome idea! LOVE.

bobbiphoto.com

2

Vintage Keychains

We are in love with these groovy vintage keychains (100 for $153) available from PrintGlobe.com. You could personalize them by adding each guest’s name with a paint pen.

3

Holiday Ornaments

Another great idea is to place a lovely holiday ornament at each place setting. This way you are providing your guests with both a favor AND a place card. An especially enchanting idea for holiday weddings, this could also work for any season. Ornaments are available in so many styles these days that you can easily match them to your wedding vibe. You could source yours at greatly reduced prices after Christmas, or you could make a cute DIY, like this glitter-filled glass ornament:

How cute would these Flamingo Ornaments be for a beach wedding? All you would have to do is attach a little bit of paper with each guests’ name:

4

Mini Gumball Machines

How whimsical and fun are these mini gumball machines? Order these playful cuties online from FavorsLTD.com for less than $2 each. You can choose the machines in a color to fit your theme and fill them with gumballs of your choice.

5

Candles

Candles are another option that can double as a favor and a place cardholder. You can print each guest’s name on some clear label paper, cut them out and affix them on some simple glass candle holders. Affordable and adorable. And, everyone likes personalized items!

6

Painted Leaves

Bring the beauty of nature to your place settings with leaves. Simple silver calligraphy elevates these fresh leaves into lovely personalized place holders.

Gold painted leaves with gorgeous script names are a glam option:

7

Glass Bud Vases

Tiny little bud vases with miniature flower arrangements provide a delicate place holder and are nice favors for guests to bring home, too.

8

Wooden Tags

Wooden tags are a nice touch, especially if you include your names and your wedding date as well.

You can make an easy DIY version of this idea by punching holes in little pieces of wood, tying them with jute and personalizing each with a black permanent marker.

9

Laser Cutouts

Laser cutouts of everyone’s name would be so, so, so cute. These awesome cutouts are widely available online at places like Etsy.

10

Mini Liquor Bottles

Booze with their name on it. A gift and a place holder with a kick.

11

Agate Stones

Agate stone place cards work well for on-trend, stylish weddings. The natural stones are gorgeous and guests will treasure their personalized rocks.

We found a super cool and affordable option if you don’t want to spend the money on actual stones. Make your own with the help of a handy Agate Stone Place Card DIY tutorial on APracticalWedding.com,

12

Little Lanterns

Little lanterns would be a unique touch at each guest’s place. We found these cuties on amazon, six for $18.99 and they come in lots of colors.

13

Shells

What better way to set your table at your beach wedding than to use shells as place cards.

You can quickly and affordably make these yourselves. Get shells or even shell fragments and add names with a permanent marker in a pretty script.

14

Fans

Mini folding fans make a fun style statement as place cards.

Oriental Trading Company has these bamboo folding fans for less than $10 per dozen:

15

Acrylic Stands

Clear, clean and crisp acrylic stands are the perfect spot to position a place card.

Or, these personalized wedding place cards from amazon could be the perfect finishing touch to your table.

The Bride Gave Her Groom a PUPPY at This Beautiful Summer Wedding

The Bride Gave Her Groom a PUPPY at Their Beautiful Summer Wedding

Meet beautiful bride Hayden and this sweet little pup Lulu Blue:

Lulu Blue was Hayden’s precious surprise wedding day gift to her fiancée Scott. Hayden didn’t mind sharing the spotlight with the third member of their new family. Scott was overjoyed:

Hayden and Scott chose beautiful Dara’s Garden in Knoxville to celebrate their wedding vows with all their family and friends. The talented team at Winx Photo was on hand to capture all the gorgeous, fun, playful moments.

Even though it was a rainy morning, and it looked like it might continue all day, the couple didn’t worry. They had Marvyl with Team Wedding on hand to problem solve. She and Dara quickly re-imagined the reception tent into a ceremony space to keep everyone dry. Luckily, the sun came out when it counted and light filled the space.

We love the idea that rain on your wedding day is good luck and foretells a long marriage! Since a knot that becomes wet is extremely hard to untie, when you “tie the knot” on a rainy day, your marriage is supposedly just as hard to unravel!

Hayden looked like a princess in her lovely A-line tulle gown by Sweetheart from The Gilded Gown.

The dress features a unique lace Queen Anne neckline complimented by a tightly ruched bodice.

The back features a darling illusion panel with lace appliques and covered buttons. Oh, and oh, that spectacular bridal braid is the work of Shayla Feezell Strands.

We love the whimsical rose gold hair vines intertwined with Hayden’s hair. So stunning. And how sweet is this moment? Hugs are the best.

Hayden chose the simplest, sweetest bouquets of daisies beautifully created by premier Knoxville florist Melissa Timm Designs.

The table arrangements are a crisp, fresh combination of Hydrangeas, greenery and daisies tucked into blue and white vases.

The wedding vow backdrop is a lavish and lovely display. Our favorite part is the daisies sweetly scattered across the floor:

The centerpiece of the desert table was a delicious cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes decorated with daisies and a beaded monogrammed topper.

The love this darling couple shares just radiated on their joyous day:

They only had eyes for one another:

The seven lovely bridesmaids looked amazing in their shades of blue:

While the guys were so handsome in their blue tuxes and bow ties from Regal Tuxedo.

The glorious day, the picturesque setting, the immense love between the pair, and the great gathering of friends and family all culminated in the perfect summer wedding for Hayden and Scott.

And, we can’t forget little Lulu Blue, who grabbed some much-needed rest after all the excitement of day.

AMAZING WEDDING VENDORS

Venue | Dara’s Garden

Photography | Winx Photo

Planning | Team Wedding

DJ & Photo Booth | Special Notes Entertainment

Florist |  Melissa Timm Designs

Dress | The Gilded Gown

Suit | Regal Tuxedo

Catering | Rothchild

Cake | Nothing Bundt Cakes

MUA | Beauty by Blair

Hair | Shayla Feezell Strands

Bartending | Single Barrel Events

Officiant | Magnolia Matrimonies

Some of the Prettiest Wedding Cakes in the World! Part I

We’ve sourced the some of the prettiest wedding cakes in the world for your viewing pleasure. And, although the best confectioners on the planet might not be in your neighborhood or price range, their work is free to admire. And we are pretty sure you’ll find something you LOVE. We hope you’ll find inspiration for your own wedding cake. Since the world is a pretty big place we are starting with a few of our favorites from the US, Great Britain, Australia and Signapore. (Stay tuned for more in this series!)

Our tour starts in London with the height of opulence at renowned confectioner Rosalind Miller who specializes in fancy, fancy cakes finely detailed with hand-crafted sugar flowers and decorations. What gets us most excited are the cascading florals they do so incredibly well.

Take a moment to view this vibrant three tiered stunner from their Abundance Collection:

For those who prefer a more delicate color palette, this three tier ivory cake with cascading florals is absolutely enchanting:

The creativity and craft is simply amazing at this bakery. How sweet is this three tiered wedding cake in blush, which features sugar roses with hand-piped brush embroidery?

Each cake is more amazing than the last. Like this incredible cake inspired by Frida Kahlo, rich with the vibrant colors and patterns of Mexican art, which features hand-piped and iced embroidery designs with a colorful bouquet of sugar flowers (AND TASSELS):

This confectionery also makes INCREDIBLE, MIND-BLOWING desert tables, like this one that was created for a royal event. We’d HATE to be on Keto at this party:

Singapore is home to the fabulous Cupplets bakery.

Cupplets is a small, artisanal bakery dedicated to customized baked goods. Their swoon-worthy designs are inspired by painting, nature and flowers, which means they are every Boho bride’s dream. Each and every cake is hand crafted by the Cupplets team from the baking to the decorating. Their awesome slogan, which IOO everyone should embrace, is, “live what you love.” The peeps at Cupplets are obviously doing what they love and their passion is reflected in the gorgeous cakes they create, like this luscious single tiered vision of watercolor loveliness:

They are famous for their custom, two-tiered forest cakes, which are covered with lavish bits from nature and provide a big dose of whimsy:

Actually, all their cakes have a whimsical, fairy tale feel:

Sunny Santa Monica, California is where you can find Vanilla Bake Shop. This darling bakery focuses on heartfelt, scratch-made cakes with a focus on contemporary design and taste.

Vanilla Bake Shop can turn out most any style cake with exceptional craftsmanship, like this amazing geode cake. Is that a hole right through the third layer? Why, yes. Yes it is.

Traditional, with a twist, this gorgeous high-rise of a cake, features asymmetric tiers and beautiful blush florals:

They do sweet, too. This adorable ruffled cake with a vintage inspired swath of flowers is the perfect wedding confection for an easy-going, country feel event:

And, their black wedding cake with handmade sugar florals is a study in exquisiteness. We’d actually feel bad cutting into the perfect exterior. But we’d get over ourselves:

Stewart Uy Photography

Nine Cakes, located in Brooklyn, New York, is a boutique cake studio specializing in decadently delicious cakes with elegant, clean lined, handcrafted designs.

This lovely, lovely white cake is a study in minimal maximalism. You have the clean, crisp white cake accented with the smallest bursts of color. A relatively plain cake but somehow it just stops you dead in your tracks with its major style punch. Probably our favorite of all! What do you think?

And, the starkness of the white tiers of this next cake, accented with the simplest of sliced fruits is so dramatically awesome. These cakes give us art museum vibes. They look easy, but only because the baker is so freaking talented. If we cut up some fruit and arranged it on a cake it sure wouldn’t look like this:

A study in a single color palette, this cakes wows with its simplicity and it’s many beautiful textures:

Tome is a stellar bakery on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. They serve up casually decadent, sun-drenched cakes.

The cake creations from Tome are a visual sensation – vibrant, colorful and topped with all sorts of delights. This photo of a shot inside the fridge in their bakery went wild on social media recently. Like, who doesn’t want to open their icebox to this view?

This pretty pastel cake is giving us serious mermaid feels:

We love how they combine the naked cake trend, with the drip cake trend, and the macaroon topped cake trend with beautiful abandon:

Their cakes are like a dose of sunshine. We can just stare at pictures of their confections for DAYS. Yes, Tome, Yes.

 

 

 

 

Wedding Dresses 101: A Guide to Bridal Fabrics

Since your bridal gown is the most important dress of your life, we thought it might be handy to have a guide to all the amazing wedding dress fabrics available to you. This way you’ll be able to select the perfect wedding dress fabric specifically tailored to you and your day! Many are fabrics from the past, but as trends come and go we will likely see the return of each of these at some point.

Batiste

A lightweight, semi-sheer linen or cotton fabric with a slight sheen ideal for summertime brides. Often seen in fine lingerie and vintage garments, like this gorgeous gown from the Victorian era:

Brocade

A jacquard-woven fabric which is very recognizable due to its raised designs and metallic sheen. We are obsessed with this 1930’s brocade stunner:

 

Charmeuse

A lightweight, semi-lustrous soft fabric, that feels like satin. This slinky fabric clings to the body. Imagine an Old-school Hollywood starlet in a form-fitting glamorous gown. Or, better yet, have a look at this luxurious charmeuse  wedding dress accentuated with a Sabrina neckline from Justin Alexander.

Chiffon

Delicate and transparent, this sheer fabric is composed of either silk or rayon. It is often layered due to its’ transparency. Popular for sheer sleeves and layered skirts, chiffon has a soft finish. This gorgeous long sleeve gown from Lillian West features a chiffon skirt:

Crepe

A light, soft, and thin fabric with a crisp, crinkled surface. The chic strapless ruched fit and flare gown, shown below, is perfect for those brides looking to accentuate their curves. The dress, by Sincerity, features a crepe bodice:

Crepe de Chine

Crepe made from lightweight and fine fabric, usually silk.

Damask

Like brocade in that it has raised designs, but this woven fabric is much lighter weight. Think table linens!

Dotted Swiss

Lightweight, playful and breathable, dotted swiss has evenly placed dots on muslin fabric. Old-fashioned and delightful, this fabric used in this 1970’s dress, which could work well for today’s boho brides:

Duchesse Satin

A lightweight mix of both silk and rayon with a low luster glossy satin finish and a heavier weight than regular satin.  Below is a Duchesse Satin gown with lace overlays from the 1960’s:

Dupioni

This plain weave silk is a lot like Shantung, but this tightly woven fabric has thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen. Rich silk Dupioni is fashioned into a gorgeously dramatic plunging V-neck ball gown by Justin Alexander:

English Net

A soft, pliable fabric which looks like tulle, but is much more luxurious to the touch. Often used for special occasion dresses, accessories, bridal veiling and trim. Perfect for outdoor weddings. We love this lavishly beaded fit and flare gown from Venus Bridal which features English netting over lush satin:

Faille

A structured, ribbed finish that looks like grosgrain ribbon; usually quite substantial. This strong fabric works well for A-line dresses. Grace Kelly wore her iconic wedding dress with a pleated silk faille skirt in 1956, when she married Prince Rainier:

Gabardine

A tightly woven, smooth fabric that is firm and durable, with diagonal lines. Often used on jackets. Often used in bridal embellishments, like appliques or flowers. For contemporary brides wanting to eschew the traditional dress code, Oscar de La Renta offers this chic double-breasted jacket cut from ivory gabardine:

Georgette

A sheer, lightweight fabric often made of polyester or silk with a crepe surface. Venus Bridal offers a modest and soft Georgette princess dress with a skirt that gently flows down to a sweep train:

Illusion

A fine, sheer net fabric generally used for finishing touches on sleeves or necklines. This gown, by Venus Bridal, features a gorgeous lace illusion back:

Jersey

A stretchy and comfy elastic knit fabric; the face has lengthwise ribs and the underside has crosswise ribs. Great for maternity bridal gowns and often used for dress linings. This adorable short sleeved gown in chiffon by Sweetheart is lined in jersey for the ultimate in comfort:

Moire

A heavy silk taffeta with a subtle, wavy design that has a watermarked look.

Organdy

A stiff transparent fabric great for ruffles, like those on the skirt of this fabulous 1950’s gown:

 

Organza

Crisp and sheer like chiffon, but with a stiffer texture that can look a lot like tulle. This sumptuous fabric works nicely for flowing details like overlays and skirts. Like the circular organza skirt on this softly romantic Sweetheart gown:

Peau de Soie

The French translation is “Skin of Silk.” A soft satin-faced, high-quality cloth with a dull luster, fine ribs, and a grainy appearance.

Pique

Ideal for creating volume, this knit fabric has a waffle-weave appearance on top and a flat and smooth underside.

Point D’Esprit

A fine net with small dots spaced evenly all over. While the best quality dots are embroidered, they can also be flocked or woven with the net itself.  Point D’esprit over jersey lining is used in the creation of this sexy fit and flare gown by Lillian West:

Polyester

An inexpensive man-made fiber that can be woven into just about anything, including Duchesse satin.

Rayon

Like silk, but more elastic and affordable. This 1940’s dress with the killer pleating and ruching is rayon jersey:

Satin

Satin is not actually a fabric, it is a type of weave that gives a high sheen finish to whatever fabric it is used on. The result is a finished product with a high sheen on one side. Fabrics with a satin weave are commonly referred to as “satin” though. This classic sweetheart strapless lavish satin fit and flare gown is from Sincerity:

Silk

A traditional choice for wedding dress construction, silk is the most sought-after, and priciest fabric for bridal gowns. Silk is a natural fiber that is very shiny and made from the spun silk cocoons of silkworms. We love this bohemian take on a silk babydoll wedding dress by Lillian West. This is a very airy and modern take on silk chiffon:

Silk Gazar

A four-ply silk organza. This stunning Monique Lhuillier gown, circa 2016, features Chantilly lace, re-embroidered lace appliques, and silk Gazar fabric imprinted with roses:

Silk Mikado

A brand of blended silk, usually heavier than 100-percent silk. Used in couture gowns for structure. This sleek light Mikado ball gown by Venus Bridal features a plunging v-neckline highlighted by a crystal beaded belt:

Silk-faced Satin

A smooth silk satin, with a glossy front and matte back.

Shantung

Like a raw silk, shantung is characterized by its rubbed texture. This fitted gown, by Venus Bridal, is composed of Shantung, appliques and netting:

Taffeta

Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib. This fabric makes an unmistakable rustling sound and has a high sheen. This 1950’s gown has a taffeta ballerina length gown.

Tulle

Netting made of silk, nylon, or rayon; used primarily for skirts and veils. Exactly what ballerina tutus are made of. This alluring fit and flare gown by Venus Bridal features an illusion beaded lace bodice, a dramatic plunging neckline and a flirty tulle skirt:

Velvet

A soft, thick fabric with a felted face and plain underside. Perfect for winter nuptials, like this 1930’s twist front velvet gown in cream:

Voile

A breathable, semi-sheer fabric that is softy and floaty. Perfect for summertime weddings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actress Nikki Estridge’s Enchanting East Tennessee Farm Wedding

Beautiful actress Nikki Estridge recently married the love of her life Matt. We were lucky enough to meet the lovely Nikki (and were totally starstruck) when she found her wedding dress with us at The Gilded Gown last March.

Nikki, a Knoxville native, earned an athletic and academic scholarship to UT where she played softball for the Lady Volunteers. This powerhouse earned her B.A. in Communications with honors. After graduation she built a very successful career as an actress, appearing on top TV shows like House of Cards and Law and Order: SVU as well as in many films and national commercials. Nikki’s comedic skills and exotic blend of beauty and curves light up any movie screen and make her a crowd favorite.

Nikki and Matt got married at the beautiful Sun Dance Farm and Event Center in West Knoxville. Wonderful venue owner Vicky Edgemon also served as the couples’ event planner and coordinator. Talented photographer Richard Hoynes soulfully captured all the best moments of the wedding, including this sweet shot of the couple with their two adorable sons!

We were thrilled that Nikki was kind enough to share her amazing love story with us:

Matt and I met at The University of Tennessee (Knoxville) where I played softball for the Lady Vols and he was a strength coach. After seeing me at the TN/FL football game (I didn’t see him), he found my number through a mutual friend and boldly called me up and asked to meet me. I then told him, “This is something only a serial killer would say.” He laughed. I’m not sure what he said to talk me into meeting him however we ended up meeting after one of my classes in Circle Park and I am was immediately smitten. Shortly after us meeting, I moved to Jacksonville Florida for a job and missed him greatly because I knew I had found the person I wanted to be with the rest of my life. Less than three years later he declined a job in San Diego and I just so happened to move back to Knoxville that same month. We married 6 months later and moved to DC where he worked for DHS (as I mentioned above). God blessed us with two amazingly sweet boys (now 6 and 4) and I worked the DC & New York market as an actor. After being there for almost 8 years, Matt became medically retired from his agency due to herniations in his lumbar, so we decided to move back to our hometown of Knoxville Tennessee. Shortly after moving back I went to renew my passport and found out the state of Tennessee never received my original marriage certificate so we found out we were not legally married! Ha ha! We decided to renew our vows/get married (again) this past June. This time it was even sweeter! My children were able to be a part of this unique story! ♥️
Nikki chose a stunning Hand-Placed Lace Fit and Flare Bridal Gown with Illusion Side Cut Outs by Lillian West at The Gilded Gown.
Nikki looks absolutely gorgeous! Her ride, a glamorous Bentley, was courtesy of David Passmore.
Family and friends surrounded the happy couple with love and support.
Nikki with Chris Blue (winner of The Voice) on her wedding day:
Nikki gave us more details about her handsome husband, and turns out he is a real hero:
A little about Matt and the amazing things this husband of mine does for all our children, teachers and corporations:

Matt is the COO/Lead Instructor and Founder of the L.I.V.E. Programs, including the L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Training Program and the L.I.V.E. Principle (Lock, Instruct, Vantage Point, Engage). He is a retired Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Law Enforcement Counter-Terrorism Agent who has created a multifaceted solution to address active shooters! He served our country as the Department of Homeland Security Lead Active Shooter Countermeasures Instructor for the Washington D.C. field office and is a subject matter expert in active shooter countermeasures. Utilizing his knowledge in unarmed countermeasures, proven close quarter battle strategies, threat assessment education, high value target security assessments, emergency action plans and his knowledge of special needs and handicapped individuals, he has created a multifaceted solution to address active shooters. 

As you can see, I’m not only in love with him, I’m proud! ♥️♥️♥️
 We wish this amazing family the happiest future. We can’t wait to see what they do next!!!

NIKKI ESTRIDGE
SAG-AFTRA
 
Check out Nikki’s t.v. series now streaming on Amazon Prime

What to Wear Under Your Wedding Dress: The Best Bridal Undergarments

A Guide to the Best Undergarments for Your Wedding Day

Almost every single bride wears some form of shapewear on her big day. But not every bride is comfortable talking about it. So if you have some burning questions about the dos and don’ts of bridal shapewear, you’ve come to the right place. Many brides buy their wedding underwear and shapewear as soon as they say “yes” to the dress. Just make sure you know exactly what needs to be enhanced, concealed and smoothed under your bridal gown before you purchase your underpinnings. 

What To Wear On Top!

One of the most important undergarments for any bride is the bra. Having everything supported and lifted will help make you look amazing on your wedding day. These days many bridal gowns actually have bra cups and supportive boning built right into the bodice of the dress, so you might not need anything more. But, if you would like a little additional lift, or a bit more fullness, you can always purchase bra cups and have them sewn into the dress by your seamstress. The Gilded Gown has bra cups, show below, for $15:

Perhaps you have selected a backless dress. No worries, you don’t need to resort to duct tape as a solution, as adhesive bras have advanced dramatically over the years. There are really high performance “sticky bras” that work really well. They feature a strong enough adhesive to keep the girls up and give a nice round shape from all angles. We have these available for $25 at The Gilded Gown:

Or you can purchase a strapless bra to wear under your gown. If you do, make sure to match your bra color to your gown color, not to your skin tone. That way any accidents can be disguised and the bra will blend in with the rest of your dress. Another good idea if you decide to purchase a bra, is to wear it around the house a few times to ensure it is a perfect fit. You can also test it out during a night out to make sure it stays where you want it to, provides the right level of support and is comfortable to wear. That way you will have no worries on wedding day! Nylon and spandex are the best materials to choose. Our fave, is the Peyton Contour Strapless Convertible by Yummie. This $42 bra has soft molded cups in a breathable fabric and will comfortably stay put under your wedding dress:

And, there is always the traditional bridal bustier which is a fancy bra-plus-shapewear combo that smooths the midsection and uplifts breasts.

What To Wear On The Bottom!

The type of shapewear to wear for smoothing things out under your gown depends on the fit and fabric of your wedding dress. Some dresses fit very close to the body and will benefit from a seamless smoother underneath. Mermaid, fishtail, and trumpet wedding dresses will usually require some form of shapewear in order to achieve the most flattering silhouette. Certain fabrics tend to be more forgiving than others too, especially ones that have their own built-in shapewear. Therefore, you must choose your wedding dress first before selecting your shapewear. Textured fabrics and heavier silks, for example, are more structured than body-hugging dresses.  Some even come with built-in corsets, so there may not be any need for shapewear at all. Lighter fabrics, such as silk charmeuse, are almost transparent, and therefore far less forgiving. Nothing can be disguised with this type of fabric, which is why shaping garments are essential to eliminate visible pantie lines, smooth out any bumps, and create an overall seamless silhouette.

High rise shapers will nip in the stomach and iron out any bumps. Shaping shorts can also be worn to give your legs a slightly slimmer and smoother shape, as well as eliminate the appearance of lumps. This high waist short targets your tummy with an extra wide shaping band while giving your rear a lovely lift:

What To Wear Under The Skirt!

Most high quality bridal gowns are fully lined and have built in crinolines to support the structure of the skirt:

But if you should need another layer or two, there are tons of bridal slips and crinolines readily available in every silhouette, from mermaid to a-line to ballgown.

For a slip that flatters and smooths, we adore the Hidden Curves Firm Shaping Slip from Yummie. It provides lightweight shaping and invisible control to enhance your curves.

If you are wondering what the heck a crinoline is, here is a link to our blog post about those.

Make Sure Your Undergarments Don’t Show!

To ensure you’ve found the perfect shapewear, we suggest you test its’ visibility under your dress. Try your undergarments on underneath your wedding dress, and have a friend take some pics in different lighting (including natural light) to make sure they don’t show. After all, your undergarments should be working to make you even more gorgeous on the best day of your life. And you don’t want to waste a single moment of your wedding day worrying about what’s going on under your dress.

We hope these tips help you when you are shopping for shapewear that pairs perfectly with your dream wedding dress!