Tag: Fashion

If you are planning on keeping your gown as a keepsake of your wedding there are a few things you should be aware of.

You can try hand washing a polyester gown if you are willing to go to the work involved and follow directions carefully. I would think twice about this as it seems like there are a lot of ways this could go wrong.

Before you decide that you can simply drop off your satin and lace gown at your local dry cleaners do some homework.

Do you know anyone who has used the cleaner before for an item that needed special care?

Will they inspect the gown for loose trim and beads and make repairs before the cleaning?

Do they have a written guarantee of their work?  If the gown is damaged during cleaning, what do they provide as compensation?

Are they prepared to let you inspect the gown after cleaning and before the boxing is finished?  More than one bride, after opening her stored gown has discovered that cleaning has been slip shod or incomplete and in one instance, the gown had obviously been worn by someone else and then simply packed away, un-cleaned, in a presentation box.

Most cleaners are reputable and eager to do their best to clean and preserve your gown. With a little effort on your part you will be able to turn over your gown to their care with the confidence that it will be in good hands.





Tossing the garter has been a wedding tradition since at least the 16th century.  Originally a means of proving that the wedding had been consummated, it has changed in modern times to be a bit of light-hearted naughtiness near the end of the wedding reception.

The groom removes the garter from the bride’s thigh and tosses it to the waiting groomsmen.  It is not unusual for the groomsmen to encourage the groom to remove the garter with his teeth.  If you don’t mind some cat-calls and rowdy behavior, the garter throw can be fun and entertaining.

But if this does not appeal to you for any reason, there is nothing to stop you from saying no to the toss.

If you decide not to do a garter toss, make sure the groom is agreeable to your decision and lets his groomsmen know ahead of time that there will be no garter toss.  This will save you the embarrassment of having the men egging the groom on and making you uncomfortable.

Can you wear a garter and not do a toss? Absolutely.  A blue garter is often worn by the bride to fulfill the old saying, “ Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”.   Many brides feel that a lacy garter completes her wedding look, even though it wont be seen by anyone but the groom.

Does it have to be blue?  No.  In fact, a quick search for wedding garters on line turned up everything from traditional white and blue lace garters to Tweetie Bird and Guns & Roses garters.

Wear them or don’t wear them.  Toss them or don’t toss them.  It really is up to you.

Here are a couple informative links:



If you haven’t already made plans to attend the 2012 Bridal Expo at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, there is still time to get it onto your calendar.

This year the Expo is on Sunday, January 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fashion show will take place in the spectacular glass ceilinged Sun Room overlooking the Monterey Bay.

This is a great opportunity to check out Santa Cruz area caterers, florists, and everything that you might need for your wedding.

So mark the date, grab a few friends and mom too, and head on down for a fun and informative day by the beach.

Visit http://cocoanutgrovesantacruz.com/public-events/bridalexpo/

I had the pleasure, just recently, of having dinner at Chaminade in Santa Cruz. While my husband and I were waiting for the rest of our party to arrive, I noticed that a wedding ceremony had just finished up on the Courtyard Terrace.  The wedding pictures were being taken with the backdrop of the Monterey Bay in the distance.  I wandered over to take a closer look as soon as I realized that the two bridesmaids flanking the bride were wearing black.  Cute, knee length, strapless black dresses.  But still, black.  And they looked fantastic.

So what turned simple black dresses into the perfect summer bridesmaid’s gowns?  Accessories.

Both the bride and bridesmaids were holding summer bouquets, filled with orange, yellow, hot pink and chartreuse flowers. The flowers stood out against the black dresses, and could have been overwhelming if it weren’t for the bridesmaid’s accessories.

Each of the ladies wore a silver beaded necklace, with a silk rose pendant. One pendant was hot pink and the other chartreuse, echoing the colors in the bouquets. Upon closer inspection, peering over the low hedge between the dining room patio and the Terrace, I saw that the bridesmaids were wearing shoes to match the pendants.  Those bright flashes of color, from the shoes and the necklaces, turned a basic black dress into the perfect dress for a summer wedding.

The bride was beaming, the bridesmaids were giggling and everyone looked gorgeous.

So, if you are thinking of black for your bridesmaids, go ahead and dive in. If you theme their accessories to the season they will look great.

Although it is “common knowledge” that wedding gowns have been traditionally white, that tradition is more recent than most of us realize.

Until the Victorian era the wedding gowns of European nobility and the very wealthy were a way to display the wealth of the brides family and could include silks, furs, lace and heavy jewelry.

Less well off brides commonly wore a new dress that could be worn again, or their “Sunday Best”.

The tradition of the white wedding gown really got started when England’s Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840.  Her all-white gown was a departure from the usual in several ways. Not only was it all white, but it was also intended to be worn just once.  This quickly became the preferred option for high society brides on both sides of the Atlantic.

The middle class did not embrace this idea until after WWII when greater prosperity made such extravagances more acceptable.

We are now seeing a change away from the all-white wedding gown, although it continues to be the most popular choice.

Many white gowns now include colorful edging, bright sashes and embroidery.  Some gowns are offered in a range of colors from palest ivory to bright red and even black.

So if the all-white Victorian style ball gown just doesn’t appeal to you, there are lots of options for you to step outside of tradition.

Here is a link to a collection of more colorful wedding gowns:


Tattoos are no longer associated with just tough guys, thugs and sailors.  Age, gender and profession have little if anything to do with who is getting body art.

Whether you are sporting your astrological sign on your shoulder, or if your maid of honor has a botanical garden running up both arms and down both legs, you will need to determine how you feel about those tattoos showing before you get too far along in your wedding plans.

If its time to get rid of your high-school sweeties name from your bicept, laser removal has come a long way.  A qualified dermatologist can help you take off a little or a lot.

If a temporary cover up is all you need, there are special kinds of make-up used just for that purpose.  You may want a professional to match your skin color exactly rather than try to do it yourself.

On the other hand, few people are offended by body art anymore. Even so, the shock value of extensive tattoos, yours or someone else’s, needs to be addressed.

It is hardly fair to cut your best friend from the wedding party over concerns about her body art drawing attention away from you.

And if the tattoos are yours, you have them for a reason. They are a big part of who you are, and you shouldn’t have to cover them up unless you want to.

Longer dresses and fuller sleeves can cover up a lot of artwork.  But unless you were already heading in that direction for you or all your bridesmaids, it may not be worth considering.

If you are concerned about Great Uncle Paul’s reaction, you can head it off with a little pre-wedding maneuvering.  Mention yours, or your friends, tattoos ahead of time.  Talk about it as the artwork it is, rather than something to be embarrassed by.  Tell Uncle Paul to be sure to check out the latest addition to the human canvas he will be meeting at the wedding. He may end up deciding its time to get that eagle on his chest he has always wanted.

We all know that a group of bridesmaids wearing matching dresses that compliment the bride’s colors can look very elegant.  But if you are aiming for a less formal approach, there are several options to look at.

If you would like all of your bridesmaids to wear the same color, but want each of them to be able to wear a style that is comfortable and flattering, you can select the fabric and color for the dresses and then let each bridesmaid select the style that suits her best. This is a nice option when your bridesmaids come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and works well if any of your attendants are expecting.

Taking this concept a step further is letting your bridesmaids have full responsibility for their dresses, including the colors. If you go with this option you must remember to be firm about your guidelines.  If your wedding palette includes mostly spring pastel colors, you won’t want to see one of your bridesmaids dressed in black.  What about dress length?  Be sure to specify whether dresses should be short, full length, or somewhere in between.

Last summer I attended a wedding where the bridesmaids were dressed in a variety of solid jewel tone colors including bright blue, emerald green, dark red, and plum.   Each of the bridesmaids had selected a different style, but all of the dresses were the same length.  Grouped around the bride for the ceremony, they looked both festive and elegant.

Once you’ve settled on your colors, styles and lengths take one last look at your choices and then ask yourself, would I want to wear that?  If the answer is no, then your bridesmaids will probably feel the same way.  Make them happy, and they will add to the joy on your happiest day.

One of the newer trends in wedding dresses is the short dress.  So what does that mean? Short can be anything from a 1950’s style bell-skirted dress that falls at mid-calf to a mini sheath dress.

If you are looking at short wedding dresses there are a few things to keep in mind.

Is your wedding formal?  If so you might consider a mid-calf style as long as it retains a traditional feel.  If you want to go shorter, make sure the dress you pick fits in with the level of formality for the rest of your wedding party.

Where is the wedding? A church wedding may not be an appropriate place for a dress much shorter than knee length.  Know your audience.  Will older relatives feel that your dress is inappropriate for a religious setting?

If you are getting married in a less formal venue, especially if it is a beach wedding or other outdoor wedding, a shorter dress can be a more appropriate choice, especially for Spring and Summer weddings when your wedding guests are more likely to wear lighter, more casual clothing.

Take a long hard look at your legs. Will they look good in your wedding photos?  Accepting a little more length in your skirt could make the difference between comments about how lovely you looked to how knobby your knees were.

If short works for you there are several advantages to that choice.  Shorter means more ease in moving about. Dancing at your reception becomes a lot easier. Trip hazards pretty much disappear. You will be a lot cooler both at the ceremony and the reception. And that last minute trip to the ladies room right before you walk down the aisle becomes much less of a production.

So check out the shorter styles.  You might find that the gown you have been dreaming of is actually a kicky little dress that will knock his socks off.

Here are a couple sites to take a peek at: