Pearl Accessories That Are Infinitely Cooler Than Grandma’s Pearls

Pearl Accessories That Are Infinitely Cooler Than Grandma’s Pearls

There’s nothing more classic (or bridal) than a strand of pearls. And while these stylish accessories are definitely bridal, there’s nothing classic about them. From trendy ear jackets to chic chokers to embellished sandals, prepare to say “I do” to all the pearl pretties below.

Not Your Grandmother’s Pearl Jewelry

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Not Your Grandmother’s Pearl Jewelry

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More Beautiful Baubles

Unique Engagement Rings | Medal-Worthy Engagement Rings | Engagement Rings for Your Zodiac Sign

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Pearl Accessories That Are Infinitely Cooler Than Grandma’s Pearls
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Splurge + Save With These Wedding Registry Essentials

In a perfect world, we’d register for everything under the sun and it would all be topnotch, the best of the best. But let’s get real here people, that’s not feasible or fair. So how to choose which kitchen appliances to go big with, and which ones to keep a bit more reasonable? We rounded up registry essentials, sharing both sides of the spectrum, so you can choose the one that best fits your future!

Registry Save vs. Splurge

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Registry Save vs. Splurge

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The Smart Bride + Groom’s Guide to Wedding Registries

SMP’s Wedding Registry ABCs | Unique Wedding Registry Ideas | 10 Must-Have Registry Items

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Splurge + Save With These Wedding Registry Essentials
Source: Style Me Pretty Blog

Engagement Sesh at Shake Shack? Total #RelationshipGoals

Is it too much to call these two our heroes? Maybe. But any couple that includes a stop at Shake Shack in their engagement session is worthy of all the heart eye emojis in the world. Tommy and Amber planned an entire evening in Chicago with Shannon Duggan along to capture their city adventures, including sweeping skylines, romantic strolls, and delicious burgers – of course.

From Shannon Duggan PhotographyAmber and Tommy moved to Chicago immediately following college graduation. Wanting to make the life that most young couples dream of. They chose this gorgeous city after living in Chicago one summer during college, sharing a shoe box sized apartment, and falling even more in love with the city, and of course, each other.

The night of Tommy’s proposal Amber was completely clueless. These two are major foodies, so naturally Amber made a dinner reservation during Chicago’s restaurant week.

“We got all cute and took the train downtown and had the best jerk chicken of our lives. And after he suggested that we go for a walk on the river walk and look at all the ice and snow on the river (I love walking after a big meal) and as we walked he stopped me and said “I didn’t bring you here just for a walk and I didn’t bring them here for that either” and when I looked over I saw my family and his a few of our close friends (in person and on FaceTime!) and began crying uncontrollably as he said the most amazing things and asked me to be his wife.”

I wanted to capture the adventure these two have shared in this incredible city, and I truly feel this engagement session does exactly that. We ran around the city all evening, from Three Arts Cafe in the gorgeous Restoration Hardware, to Shake Shack, and of course the incredible North Avenue Beach. Chicago is truly a city I can’t get enough of, and I loved photographing the love and adventure these two have shared in it.

Photography: Shannon Duggan Photography | Location: Restoration Hardware | Location: Shake Shack

P.S. Unique Locations for Your Engagement Session

Engagement Session Ideas

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Engagement Sesh at Shake Shack? Total #RelationshipGoals
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#SMPWedding101 – Unique Wedding Heirlooms

I’m a sentimental person and that affection extended into my own wedding. I strived to create unique keepsakes from my big day that I’ll continue to treasure for years to come and I love whenever SMP discovers new ideas – and we got a whole bunch of them for you ladies today! The Garter Girl is here to share her favorite ways to keep those memories alive; which ones do you plan on recreating?!

BOUQUET WRAP

You have your mother’s (or grandmother’s) wedding dress, but you don’t want to wear it for your wedding. There are many unique ways to use this family heirloom at your wedding, such as turning the sleeve into a cover for your bouquet stems. Try cutting off the sleeve of the dress and using it as a wrap for your bridal bouquet. Many vintage wedding dresses actually had sleeves that were decorative with lace, beads and other trims. As a bouquet wraps, you’ll be able to carry a beautiful family heirloom with you on your wedding.

RECREATING PHOTOS

There is no wedding heirloom sweeter than a family photo. But instead of the traditional family group picture of everyone all lined up, what about recreating a photograph from your parent’s or grandparent’s wedding album? Is there a iconic photo of your parents on their wedding day? Try using the same pose or the same expression on your wedding day. You can contribute to a family memory and create a new tradition by recreating a wedding photograph and then putting it in a frame along with the old family photograph.

GARTER

Once a scary thing that sent every unmarried wedding guest running for the bar or to hide in the restroom, the wedding garter is having a come back in a major way. But these bridal garters aren’t for tossing. Today’s wedding garters are pretty and elegant, designed to be modern heirlooms for saving as something special from a wedding day. Even better, the new wedding garter designs are meant to be passed onto future generations to come in your family.

GUEST BOOK

Guest books of the past were just that, books that wedding guests signed upon entering the wedding. But who wants a book full of signatures? Modern guest books are creative and thoughtful. Today’s wedding guest books have taken a turn for the practical, into something that brides and grooms would actually use and enjoy well after the wedding is over. Think thumbprints on a canvas, a signed piece of furniture (or a canoe!), a jar filled with well wishes, or marriage advice to be opened up on anniversaries.

FAMILY FIRST LOOKS

Sure, we’ve all heard of the first look where your photographer captures your expressions before you walk down the aisle to the ceremony. But what about a wedding day family first look! Your parents and siblings will be just as excited and full of emotion to see you on your wedding. After the first look with your fiance, ask your photographer about a first look for your family too. A family first look can create into those priceless wedding heirlooms you’ll cherish forever.

LIVE PAINTINGS

As your wedding ceremony unfolds or maybe during the cocktail hour of your wedding receptions, couples are opting for a live painter to come to their wedding to hand paint the event as it takes place. Not only is this an interactive and fun thing for your wedding guests, but the end result is a beautiful and very meaningful piece of artwork. This live painting is a unique wedding heirloom that you’ll be able to hang in your home forever.

VOW BOOKS

Writing your own wedding vows is coming back in wedding ceremony vogue. More and more couples are investing wedding planning attention into every little thought and detail of how their wedding ceremony will unfold right down to the music, the guest seating and taking the time to write their own wedding vows. A hand calligraphed hardcover wedding vow book is a beautiful way to preserve your vows so that you can and look back and reread your vows and so can your children.

Not Your Average Bridal Accessories

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Not Your Average Bridal Accessories

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ONGOING GIVEAWAYS + DISCOUNTS…  

Plum Pretty Sugar
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We’re excited to share that Shine invitations is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $500 (US orders only) as well as a free sample kit featuring the invitation of your choice, color charts, paper samples, and an example Save the Date! Don’t miss out!

THIS WEEK’S DISCOUNTS…

For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Weddings by Susan Dunne!

For our Destination Brides… Discount from Hitch’d Weddings & Events

For our Tri-state Brides… Discount from Femina Photo + Design and giveaway from OLLI STUDIO!

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Style Advice: The Garter Girl

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#SMPWedding101 – Unique Wedding Heirlooms
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Why We Can’t Get Enough of This Bride’s Bouquet

There’s nothing like kicking off the weekend with a bang, and these bright, coral peonies have certainly done the trick. But they’re only the beginning of a stunning waterside affair, with so many heirloom moments woven in along the way. Kristin La Voie captured every bit waiting for you in The Vault!

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From Kristin La Voie PhotographyOur sweet couple Kensington and Michael have known each other forever (since Kensington was 15!) and they shared a very intimate wedding with their closest family and friends (about 25 in attendance) at the Lodge at Pebble Beach, followed by an intimate dinner in a library room at the Inn at Spanish Bay. Tons of family heirlooms were incorporated into the wedding, including a 1913 pin passed down for generations that women in Kensington’s family wore on their wedding day (which can be seen pinned onto her dress), table runners made by her Great Great Grandmother, her Grandparent’s cake topper, her Great Great Grandmother’s ring pillow, and more, which start back in the 1800s!

The entire day was absolutely breathtaking from beginning to end. Their ceremony took place on the green at the Lodge overlooking the most beautiful blue water and the famous Pebble beach golf course. It was like a dream! Their cocktail hour continued over at the Inn at Spanish Bay with it’s picturesque rolling hills (with it’s own bagpiper!) and crashing waves. All of their guests sat at one long table for dinner, inside a library private room. The bride and her friends even surprised their guests (and groom!) with an ode to Beetlejuice with the “Day-o” song and dance!

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Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Floral Design: Fleurish Floral Designs | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Pebble Beach Resorts | Reception Venue: Pebble Beach Resorts | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka

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Why We Can’t Get Enough of This Bride’s Bouquet
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When You Lock Eyes With The DJ, Sometimes It’s Fate

Girl walks into a local bar. Girl locks eyes with boy, who happens to be the DJ. Boy has an instant feeling she’s something really special. And the rest, as they say, is history. Read on for the full love story plus beautiful engagement photos from the lens of Meredith Sledge.

From The Bride… Jasen and I met three and a half years ago. He was DJ’ing at a local bar and he said as soon as he saw me, he had a feeling. We ran into each other again two weeks later and he asked for my number. I didn’t think this popular Richmond DJ would ask for my number! We went out the following week and the rest, they say, is history.

To be completely honest, it hasn’t been an easy road (are relationships ever easy!?). Jasen was different than any guy I had ever dated, the biggest thing being the age difference of 13 years. Because of this, we had a rocky first year. I made the choice to fight for our relationship because I felt something in my heart that I never had before. Jasen accepted me for who I was. I rarely felt like I could be my true self in a relationship and, not only did he allow me to be open and honest, he brought out the best in me. He continued to do this through the hard times.

We laugh together. Every. Day. His energy lights up a room. We love to spend time with family and friends. Spring and fall weekends are filled with adventuring throughout Virginia. We lead a busy life (he’s a real estate agent/DJ on the weekends and I am a 5th grade teacher), but we always make time to check out the latest movie, blast music in our house and make a terrible attempt to sing like Adele, and be adventurous in our kitchen.

I am absolutely one of the girls that has been thinking about their wedding since they were 12. I am addicted to Pinterest and already have a “vision board” for my wedding! I want to describe my wedding as elegant, romantic, fun, and cozy and I can’t wait to get married this winter!

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Photography: Meredith Sledge | Location: Main Street Station

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When You Lock Eyes With The DJ, Sometimes It’s Fate
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Pastel Wedding Inspiration Complete with Foraged Blooms

If this bouquet is any indication it just goes to show that nature always provides. Because this heavenly handful? It was (believe it or not) mostly foraged finds thanks to the madly talented Colonial House of Flowers. From there it’s a day layered with elegance and delicious details – like this pretty from Savannahs Hall of Cakes! All in all it’s a inspo captured by Jeremy Chou Photography that you’re sure to love and we’ve got it all in The Vault.

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From Colonial House of FlowersJust above Savannah, Georgia and below Charleston, Okatie sits in the most gorgeous coastal countryside you’ve ever seen. This region also boasts some of the most talented vendors in the South East. For this workshop, the lovely ladies of Design Studio South collaborated with the uber talented designer Tristan Needham and when they asked us to be a vendor, we knew we had to be involved.

By incorporating a floral recipe that included greenery foraged up to the last minute and even blooms clipped by my daughter and sister from my own garden, I helped welcome the group of photographers the most natural way I could, amid the Spanish moss and 600 year old oaks.

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Photography : Jeremy Chou Photography | Cinematography: Vitor Lindo | Event Coordination: Design Studio South | Event Design: Tristan Needham | Floral Design: Colonial House of Flowers, Est. 1968 | Cake: Savannah’s Hall Of Cakes | Stationery: Cake | Catering : Thrive Catering | Hair + Makeup: Bride’s Side Beauty | Calligraphy: Every Little Letter | Vintage Car: AE Luxury Limos | Wedding Venue: The Outfitters Center At Oldfield | Basket: Pottery Barn | Candles: 100 Candles | Container: Urban Poppy | Event Rentals: Amazing Event Rentals | Gown Designer: Saint Isabel Bridal | Models: Brittani Dremann, Ryan Claus, Megan Johnson, Chandler Fritts | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic

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Pastel Wedding Inspiration Complete with Foraged Blooms
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This Clifftop Ceremony Will Make Your Jaw Drop

It’s not every day you see a wedding set on the edge of the world. Or an Ibiza clifftop, to be exact. But thanks to Ana Lui we’ve got just that, will an entire gallery of images that’ll give you Mediterranean wanderlust in a serious way. Scroll on for lots, lots more.

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From The Bride…

Why did you choose to get married in the Mediterranean?

We fell in love with Ibiza from the first moment we visited the island. It has everything you need for a perfect holiday – from sun, sand, incredibly blue waters, fun nights out, delicious cuisine and relaxation. You can have a great night out in the south of the island or you can hide yourself away in the corners of the island for some peace and tranquility. There is a special energy on Ibiza, and you feel it as soon as you step outside. We wanted to get married on Ibiza so we could share the love of the island with our friends and family, so they too could experience the beauty for themselves.

How did you find the venue and your wedding coordinator?

After a few trips and searching for all different locations, we decided we hadn’t quite found the perfect place for the wedding. We really wanted to have the activities at a private villa, so everything could be in once place. After much searching (and Googling) we came across Cardamom Events – who were able to find a location, provide the catering and help us plan the wedding so it was a perfect fit.

What advice would you give brides to be regarding organizing a destination wedding?

Be patient. Be clear on what your vision is before you communicate to anyone supporting you because ANYTHING is possible, it’s just how to bring to life your vision within your budget, so be prepared to make compromises. And plan your budget based on 80% of you actual budget, because you WILL go over.

Most importantly, the day goes by so fast make sure to take some time away with your newlywed to enjoy the moment and take some pictures. Make sure to eat, and try not to think about the schedule. If possible, don’t get too involved in the timing and scheduling of everything on the day because if it doesn’t go according to the exact timing (which it never does), it’s best that you don’t pick up on that and can enjoy each moment.

From Ana Lui Photography… Alexandra and Bono were my dream couple! Super laid back, fun, happy and full of life! We had so much fun on the day and throughout the night – they partied like crazy and kissed like crazy. It was a wedding full of positive energy, happiness and music! Set around perfect location in Ibiza, private villa close to quiet sleepy town of San Juan, with clifftop ceremony and gorgeous sun setting over the hills of Ibiza.

I think film photography totally captured the beauty of the palace. Getting all the blues, greens and warm colours of the island out in every photograph. I am super happy with the peach skin tones and softness of all the images.

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Photography: Ana Lui Photography | Cinematography: At Your Side Planning | Coordination: Cardamom Events | Floral Design: El Ramo De Flores | Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham | Bride’s Shoes: Prada | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August | Hair + Makeup: Smack Ibiza | Groom’s Attire: Custom made by Thomas Baldwin | Venue: Casa La Vista Ibiza | Catering + Cake: Cardamom Events | Film Processing: Carmencita Film Lab | Grooming: Tailored & Groomed Ibiza | Lighting + Sound: Ibiza Pro Dj | Stationery + Invitations: Idlewild Co.

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This Clifftop Ceremony Will Make Your Jaw Drop
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The Ultimate Invitation Guide: How to Word and Address Your Invitations

Choosing a wedding invitation suite is no easy task. There are hundreds of beautiful options to choose from, especially from Wedding Paper Divas. But the hard part comes after you say yes to the stationery suite. Deciding on the wording and then figuring out the etiquette for addressing all the envelopes can be a headache, but thankfully, Wedding Paper Divas is here to break it down for you.

How to Word Your Invitations

There are countless possibilities when it comes to the wording of your invitations, however the traditional and formal phrasing is a good jumping off point no matter what kind of wedding you’re planning. Here’s the traditional wording (using Pippa Middleton as our example):

Mr. & Mrs. Michael Middleton
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Philippa Charlotte Middleton
to
James Spencer Matthews
Saturday, the twentieth of May
two thousand and seventeen
four o’clock in the afternoon
Westminster Abbey
20 Deans Yard
London, England
Reception to follow

The format may change slightly if the wedding is hosted by multiple sets of parents, the groom’s parents or yourselves. But don’t worry, it’s simply a matter of swapping out the names at the beginning of the invitation.

If you and your fiancé are more casual, it’s completely OK to go more casual — the experts at Wedding Paper Divas recommend changing the spelled-out numbers to numerals, removing the hosts’ name entirely, changing the phrasing to “Together with their families…” or if you want to be really straightforward “Philippa Charlotte Middleton and James Spencer Matthews Are Getting Married!”

What Should and Should Not Be Included

Although you have flexibility with the wording, there are three things that should always be included in your invitation: the who, the when and the where. The who should include the full names of the bride and groom, and if a formal invite, the name of the hosts, too. The when should clearly list the time, date, month and year of the event. Lastly, the where should include where the event is taking place, with a full address (though the zip code isn’t necessary).

As a general rule of thumb, the main invitation should only include the necessary details of your wedding. However, the rest of your invitation suite should include information on attire, accommodation details, activities and a map with clear directions to any venues.

The Tricky Part: How to Address Them

Addressing your invites can definitely be tricky. Besides keeping track of titles, addresses and spelling, you also have to figure out the proper wording for all your invitations. Thanks to Wedding Paper Divas, we have the proper etiquette for addressing the outer and inner envelopes of your invites. If you’re still lost, Wedding Paper Divas has a life-changing interactive tool to help you address invitations for everyone attending the wedding.

To a Married Couple

This is the most traditional form of addressing an invitation. Should you choose to include both persons’ names, the outer envelope can be addressed as Mr. and Mrs. HIS_FIRSTNAME LASTNAME. An alternate version includes both names as Mr. FIRSTNAME and Mrs. FIRSTNAME LASTNAME. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy or Mr. Fitzwilliam and Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy.

To a Married Couple that Uses Different Last Names

It’s best to list the person to whom you’re closest to first on the outer and inner envelopes. If you know each one as well as the other, you may write them in alphabetical order. Example: Mr. John James Preston and Mrs. Carrie Bradshaw or Mrs. Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. John James Preston.

To an Unmarried Couple Living Together

Similar to the address for a married couple, both names should be included on the envelopes. Example: Mr. Ross Geller and Ms. Rachel Green.

To a Married Couple with a Hyphenated Last Name

Similar to the address for a married couple, both names should be included on the envelopes with Mr. FIRSTNAME LASTNAME and Mrs. FIRSTNAME LASTNAME-LASTNAME . Example: Mr. Gerry Kennedy and Mrs. Holly Reilly-Kennedy.

To Those with Distinguished Titles

If only one in the couple has a distinguished title, it is proper to write his or her name and title first. If the wife has the professional title, you will address her name depending on whether or not she uses her maiden name professionally. Example: Dr. Theodora Altman and Mr. Henry Burton or Dr. Theodora and Mr. Henry Burton.

If both parties are doctors with different last names, both their names can be written on the inner and outer envelopes. Example: Dr. Derek Shepherd and Dr. Meredith Grey.

If both parties are doctors with the same last name, you may address the envelopes as The TITLES LASTNAME. Example: The Doctors Avery.

Many of the same rules that you use for doctors also apply for military personnel, judges, reverends, etc. If both parties have distinguished titles, it is best to write the person with the highest rank first. Also, make note to add “The Honorable” to a title in the case of elected government positions, excluding the President. Example: The Honorable Governor of Illinois Peter Florrick and the Honorable State Attorney Alicia Florrick or Colonel Jane Burton, U.S. Army and Dr. Roland Burton.

To a Divorced Female

The best practice is to address her as either Mrs. or Ms. and use her maiden name if she doesn’t use her former husband’s surname. Example: Mrs. Liz Gilbert or Ms. Liz Gilbert.

To a Widow

Traditionally, you would use the deceased husband’s last name in the address, as well as his first name. However, this depends greatly on her personal preference and what she will find respectful. Some choose to use their own first name, and sometimes also their own last name. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask what she prefers. Example: Mrs. Charles Hamilton or Mrs. Scarlett Hamilton.

To Children and Families

Younger guests can be included on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation listed by first name. However, children are normally not addressed on the outer envelope. For girls under 18, you’ll want to use “Miss.” Boys don’t require a title until they’re 18. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Mike Brady.

To People 18 and Older

Unless they live at home with their parents, they should receive their own invitations. Example: Ms. Serena van der Woodsen.

If you come across a situation not included in the examples above, don’t worry. Take a deep breath and head to Wedding Paper Divas for their a life-saving interactive tool, which will help you address any invitation to every guest invited to the big day.

Got It? Head Over to Wedding Paper Divas to Find Your Perfect Invites!

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Desiree Hartsock Is Helping You Find The Right Dress For Your Figure

Hi, Brides! It’s Desiree back again for more wedding fashion talk. Today we’re breaking down dress fit, because a perfectly fitted gown makes all of the difference! I’ve seen it all when it comes to different shapes and sizes of women and I’ve come to know which details and styles work best for each shape. It’s important to understand and know your shape before dress shopping so that you can identify the features you’d like to highlight and the type of styles that’ll flatter those features best!

I’ve listed different shapes below along with the most flattering silhouettes for each to help guide you along the way. Finding a wedding gown should never be about hiding or masking your shape but about enhancing and flattering every curve. Often times, what we have in mind for a dress doesn’t always live up to the hype once we try that particular style on so be open minded to the process of finding the perfect gown and don’t stop till you feel absolutely stunning in it!

Find Your Perfect Fit

SQUARE (BOY) SHAPE

If you have the Cameron Diaz shape, narrow hips without a definite natural waistline, then a ball gown or A-line style dress is a great choice. A ball gown and A-line silhouette will give you a cinched waistline while the fuller skirt will create a hourglass figure.

PEAR SHAPE

Like me, you are a pear shape if your upper body is smaller than your lower section. Modified A-line silhouettes are a slimmer version of a full A-line gown that hug the hips slightly before making the A-line shape in the skirt and work well for pear shaped women. This kind of silhouette shows off the small of the waist while slimming the hips and creating a flattering curve. If you are a pear shape who wants to show off your hips, buttocks or thighs, then fit-and- flare styles with a strapless, sweetheart neckline will offer a balanced and beautiful shape as well.

APPLE SHAPE

Women with an apple shape are more round in the mid-section and may not have a distinct waistline. Drop-waist dress styles that are fitted to the hip, before the A-line portion of the skirt, are very flattering on brides with this shape. The structure in wedding gowns will cinch in the smallest part of the waist creating a nice curved line from the waist to hip. The drop waist also slims and elongates the waist for a clean, streamline look. Another style that does wonders for the mid-section for an apple shaped woman is a gown with diagonal gathering (ruching) across the waist since the gathering enhances curves while flattering the mid-section.

THIN

Sheath gowns are a great option for thin brides. Many sheath gowns are made with a silky lining that can be hard to wear for many shapes, due to the lack of construction in them. The layer of lining is lightweight and offers comfort but also lies close to the body that a thin figure can pull off. Also, the flowy nature and movement of a sheath gown adds just enough to flatter the shape even more.

TALL

A trumpet or mermaid gown that has a seam slightly above or at the knee, where the skirt portion begins, looks great on tall brides because the proportion stays balanced from the waist to the hem. The same goes with any trumpet or mermaid style but the more height you have the easier it is to pull off more drama at the bottom of the skirt. The seam at the knee tends to break the overall silhouette up and can visually make a bride look shorter if she is already petite.

SHORT

Streamline gowns without a horizontal break in them is best for a shorter bride. Depending on your overall shape (pear, apple, thin, curvy) the exact style may vary but less dress will enhance more of your natural shape when it comes to choosing a style for your height. Keep in mind that straps and beading at the neckline will also help create a taller silhouette.

CURVY

If you have curves then I recommend showing them off! I have found that fit- and-flare silhouettes with gathering, beading, or a belt at the natural waistline creates the perfect shape for brides with curves. The detail at the waist offsets the curves on top and bottom enhancing a beautiful hourglass figure that will knock the socks off of your groom.

Happy Shopping!

xoxo, Desiree

Peek Back at Desiree’s Wedding!

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Desiree Hartsock Is Helping You Find The Right Dress For Your Figure
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