I will admit that these are my all-time favorite posts to write. Maybe its because at the end of the day I’m just a sucker for bridal gowns or maybe I have a thing for playing favorites … ha … Either way, here are the stylist picks for a barnyard or country wedding.
Pippa is a pheonomenal gown and an archetype of Hayley Paige’s designs.
She is flirty fun and princess-y but has a good done of rustic charm or bohemian flare depending on how you wear her. Head over to my post dedicated to Pippa for more info.
Ella Rosa style BE400. Another brand new gown to Bitsy Bridal and one that I am loving! Beautifully detailed bodice and a skirt that has just enough volume to be fun without getting in the way. Strap details and a scalloped neckline add to the interest.
Matie from Kelly by Kelly Faetanini. Slim fit, flowing gown with thin straps and lace details. Matie is one of those gowns where the fit is right on the edge between ALine and Column.
Soft chiffon and a mock basque waist line slim the hips without adding volume.
Fit to Flare
Tara Keely 2450.
This is a tried and true style from Tara Keely. Venise lace sleeves and bodice paired with a crepe skirt are a very demure combo. The wide, plunging neckline is incredibly daring. The combo makes for a mesmerizing gown. The skirt is straight cut but due to the train and the fabric it falls into a soft flare which lands it in Fit-to-Flare territory over Column.
Crepe is the most difficult fabric to wear as it is the most unforgiving. It is comfortable as it acts like a second skin but not the best choice for summer weddings since it isn’t the most breathable.
Tara Keely 2751. Unlike 2450, this is a brand new design from Tara Keely. We had this dress in store for a trunk show a couple months ago and are insanely excited to get it back in store as part of our collection. It should be arriving any day now!
Chantilly lace in a beautifully rustic gold color lays atop this trumpet gown from top to bottom. Spaghetti straps fall into a plunging neckline and V back reaching to or almost to the natural waistline which is marked by a gold ribbon. This gown is remarkably simple yet full of texture and interest.
I can just envision a pair of funky cow boy boots peeking out from under Pippa or BE400. And Matie or either Tara Keely gown would look fantastic in silhouette against the sunset in a field or in a candle lit barn. If a barn wedding isn’t your style, take a look back at the Stylist Picks for backyard, city, and temple weddings.
Check back for later installments including tropical weddings and garden weddings.
It’s time for another round of stylist picks and the setting for this week’s gowns is a backyard soiree.
Varying from rustic farm-to-table gatherings to casual family-based barbecue-like parties; a backyard wedding can be a wonderful way to celebrate your special day.
Just because your wedding is not in a mansion and doesn’t include a 7 course meal does not mean you have to sacrifice a beautiful gown. Below are our stylist picks for amazing gowns that will fit perfectly at a backyard wedding.
Wearing a dramatic silhouette in a casual setting is still possible. This trumpet gown of soft tulle with horsehair trim and a sweetheart neckline is sweet and romantic, softening the edge of the fitted cut.
Brides think that they have to eliminate silhouettes or fabrics because of their venue. But from experience I can say that it is more important to buy the dress that you truly want. With a few additions or alterations, dresses can be made to fit your setting. Chances are that your ideal dress and your ideal venue are fairly in sync anyway.
I hope you enjoyed our choices for a backyard wedding.
Before I dive in can we all just take a second to admit that Halo is the best name for a gown EVER. Its ridiculously adorable. Okay, thanks.
Halo is the second arrival from Blush by Hayley Paige.
I will admit, I was against ordering this gown at first. I wanted a different one. But now that it is here, I am happily eating crow because it is so painfully perfect. My absolute favorite part is the back. I’m a sucker for a pretty back on a gown. If you think it’s gorgeous in the pictures, you have to see it in person.
Silhouette: Ball Gown
Design: Lace bodice, tiered tulle skirt with horse hair trim
The guipure lace on the bodice is light but a bit chunky which is a nice contrast to the soft tulle skirt.
The skirt is made of several layers of tulle which gives it body without adding weight or bulk making the gown very ethereal and easy to manage.
Neckline: Scalloped v-neck
A beautiful twist on a standard v-neck a scalloped neckline is much more whimsical.
Back: Low open back with strap detail
Color: Ivory with nude underlay (also available in solid ivory)
Shine Level: 0
The draw for Halo is the cut and finish of the fabric, not added beading or
Boho Level: 3
Hayley Paige is known for her exquisite ball gowns. Halo is no exception. It will fit perfectly in many settings both indoor and outdoor. It is very much a warm weather gown but if you love the design, you could customize it by adding sleeves and it would work just as well.
We are so excited to have these Blush by Hayley Paige gowns trickling in! They are simply gorgeous and make beautiful additions to our carefully picked selection of gowns.
When you start looking for a wedding dress there are many factors to consider. When you sit down with a stylist, one of the first questions she will ask you is what silhouette you want. Obviously you don’t have to have made a decision on a specific silhouette but it helps to have an idea of your preference and what will give you the look you want.
If you do a google search to help you research silhouettes, you will likely find a whole host of info-graphics depicting what silhouette to wear or not to wear based off you body type. To be honest, those graphics are useless: very few people actually fall into those narrow categories and even fewer share the opinions of the people who designed the graphics.
So, rather than tell you what you should wear, I’m going to tell you what each silhouette does for your overall look and let you decide if its what you want.
Gown: Tara Keely pic: via Instagram
A true ballgown is fitted on top with a heavily flared skirt. The waist is fitted and can fall anywhere from the rib cage to the low hip.
Defines the waist where the gown changes from fitted to voluminous.
Mask the hip/lower stomach area – which is sometimes desirable if your hip area is larger than you would like.
“Cuts” the bride in half – especially with a waistline near the ribs. By separating the bodice from the skirt a bride tends to look more proportional. If there is a great deal of poof, a shorter bride’s frame may become overwhelmed.
A larger skirt helps to balance out a top-heavy frame. This works well if you have broad shoulders or a large bust.
Characterized by a fitted bodice and tapered skirt, A line is a nearly universally flattering silhouette. Waistlines are most often found at the rib cage (natural or empire).
Softly flared skirt hides a larger hip area and the stomach
Balances out a slightly top heavy frame without the drama of a ballgown
Defines a waist where the bodice meets the skirt
Easy angles of the dress give the body a well proportioned look
Gives the illusion of height
Easiest silhouette to move in
Column gowns are aptly named. Defined by a straight cut, similar to a column. They can be tightly fitted to the hip or can fall straight from the waist line. Waist lines are on the rib cage (empire or natural).
Creates the illusion of height
Works well if you have an hourglass silhouette as it shows off a naturally proportional silhouette
Softly defined waist
Creates the illusion of a well proportioned body
Fit to Flare
Fitted down to the low hip or high thigh and breaks into a soft or dramatic flare. This silhouette is often confused with trumpet but Fit to Flares hit much higher on the leg and don’t restrict movement.
Shows off the waist, hips and upper part of your butt
Flares above- and therefore hides- the biggest part of the thigh
Shows off a flat stomach or an hourglass figure
Trumpet gowns are named because the flare of the skirt is like the spout of a trumpet: soft and round. The flare should hit just above the knees on a true trumpet gown.
Shows off the waist, hips, butt and thighs
Depending on the fabric can be quite restricting
Draws attention to the hips and stomach
Not as dramatic as a mermaid
Will make a large bust or broad shoulders look larger
Fitted through the entire length of the body until the knees or just below. It then flares quite dramatically, giving the illusion of a mermaid’s fins.
Most restricting silhouette
Makes a short frame seem even shorter
Draws attention to every curve
Makes a big bust or wide shoulders seem larger
In the most recent seasons, it has become increasingly difficult to find “true” mermaid silhouettes. The flares have been moving higher as most brides want to have free range of movement. The biggest difference has become the volume of flare on the skirt. Mermaids are considerably bigger.
That is the long and the short of it. The breakdown of all major bridal silhouettes. Any questions? Comments? Emotional outbursts?
If I can give you one piece of advice on top of all of this information: If you aren’t sure about a silhouette…. just try it on. More often than not, brides are happily surprised.
One of the first things brides do after they pick a date is start planning their time line: when to book the photographer, when to buy the dress, when to send out invites and save the dates. There are a lot of opinions on when to buy your wedding gown. Most say 9-12 months before your wedding or if your engagement is shorter, purchase it first thing. That’s because gowns can take upward of 20 weeks to get to the shop after you order it.
There are so many factors, including designer, customization, location of the designer factory, size, color, etc etc etc. Then you have alterations and pictures, maybe you need to travel, maybe you gained/lost weight and now your alterations are more extensive or you have to reorder your gown. There are just so many moving parts that your best friend when ordering a gown is time. That’s why the standard is 9-12 months before your big day.
This is GREAT advice, but there’s a catch. Here in Utah it is quite common to have very short engagements; many are in the 12-20 week range from down-on-one-knee to down-the-aisle. So, as a designer bridal shop in Utah, we tend to operate a little differently and are a bit more accustomed to working miracles. However, sometimes it’s just not possible. You cannot fit 20 weeks into 12.
This post is aimed at brides with shorter engagement times. I’m going to break down the variables in dress ordering so you can decide for yourself when the right time is to order your gown.
Types of Gowns
A reorder gown is a gown you have tried on in the boutique and are now ordering from the designer in your correct size and color.
It is YOUR gown. You will be the only one to have ever worn it and depending on the designer, it may be cut to order for you.
Sample gowns are the floor models at designer boutiques. They are what is tried on in store before ordering from the factory.
Once or more a year bridal shops will hold Sample Sales. Select floor model gowns will be sold straight from the rack at (usually) a significant discount. You may be able to get a $3000 gown for under $1500. You would take these gowns home day-of and as-is.
Most shops only carry one of each gown so if you are looking into a sample gown be sure to ask what size their samples are.
This is what you get at a store like David’s Bridal. Every gown in the store is technically a sample gown but they are all sold at full price.
Off the rack gowns are usually under the $1500 mark, with many options under $1000.
Often I have brides who get a little frustrated in the discrepancy in what they hear on order times. This is why.
** Note: order times are the time it takes from the day the order is made to the day it arrives at the designer’s facility. It still has to ship to your specific boutique. Unless you are buying from an Off-the-Rack store where the store is their facility so shipping time is built in.
This gown will be made and shipped from the factory in their normal time. For most designers this sits between 12 and 16 weeks.
Some designers have gowns that are ready and waiting to be ordered. We call that “stock”. Expect it to be the most popular dresses in the most popular sizes. In stock gowns can be requested to ship immediately so, depending on where the designer is based, you are looking at roughly a 10 day wait. To secure these dresses and minimize your wait time, be prepared to pay a rush fee, just like with a rush cut gown.
If you don’t have 16 weeks to wait for your dress to arrive, don’t worry because the vast majority of designers offer a rush cut service.
Price and availability will depend entirely on the designer and sometimes it varies between dresses. However the basic guidelines for rush cuts are below.
** This is referring to gowns unable to be ordered from stock
*** There are a few designers who will do rushes as quickly as 4 weeks for as little as $50. However this is not very common.
Alterations can be a lengthy process. Our seamstress can be booked for what we call weekend alterations: where all the work is done in a matter of days because the seamstress works on your gown and only your gown. Usually you are looking at 4-8 weeks if you don’t want to pay the seamstress a rush fee.
The more complicated the alterations (i.e. modest build up) the longer and more expensive they will be. So build that time into your schedule.
If you have a quick engagement then you are looking for a designer who can rush a gown in 4-8 weeks. Schedule your alterations for the week your dress arrives and look into the possibility of a quick alterations process by paying the seamstress a fee to only work on your gown for a weekend.
If you can’t afford the rush fee for a 4-8 week ship time or you have even less time than that, look at sample gowns. Sample gowns are sold directly from the floor of the showroom and are sold as-is, usually at a very steep discount.
Be very straightforward with your stylist when you go in for your consultation. She will know which designers can get dresses to you and how to guide you without getting either one of you in hot water.
Short engagements can just compound the stress but don’t forget that you’re getting married and this should be a wonderful experience. What ever you do, don’t get pressured into buying a dress you don’t want because of time constraints. There is always something for everyone.
We have been looking forward to this for weeks, pouring over dress pictures and painstakingly picking the gowns we think you will love the most.
The gowns will be coming in one at a time over the next weeks and months so we are introducing them as they arrive. First on the list is this little number: her name is West.
Silhouette: Fit to Flare
Fabric/Finish: Cashmere lining and Marrakesh beading
Neckline: Elongated Sweetheart
Back: Low scoop
Boho level: 3/5
How can you not love this? Seriously.
But for real, if you had an answer for that question, just go away… I’ll wait.
That’s right, it’s AMAZING. Say it with me now…. Marrakesh Beading……. from top to bottom!
With the stellar fit, low back and the perfect amount of sparkle, I’m not sure how Miss Hayley Paige could have improved upon this design.
West is a phenomenal design. Not just because she is drop-dead gorgeous but because she is such a universal design. She appeals to the “princess” brides who are looking for drama, sparkle, and a little more drama. She also has such strong bohemian elements with the off white coloring and abstract beading that trendy brides are losing it! West is perfect because she walks the line between classic and bold.
As for me, my favorite part of the entire gown is the cut. I love the neckline, where it hits the legs to flare out into a perfectly rounded skirt, and most of all I love that back. I am a sucker for a low-back gown. But for real, who isn’t?
Want to see it yourself? Call and make your appointment. 801.699.2571
Its time for one of my favorite types of posts: Stylist Picks! I’m taking a setting/venue that is common among brides this year and together with the other Bitsy Stylists will highlight our favorite gowns in every silhouette for the chosen setting!30
This round’s setting: URBAN JUNGLE
Country-chic and feminine-floral are still going strong but the edgier, urban style is starting to come back and its coming back fast. So, for the brides getting married in lofts, industrial building, city center hotels, train stations turned reception venues, or anywhere with exposed brick, steel or concrete; these gowns are for you.
This ballgown from Ella Rosa is the perfect choice for an urban wedding. There is just enough sparkle paired with the clean lines and sheer nude illusion neckline. Together they make the ultimate centerpiece for a city-based wedding.
Christos does several things extremely well. One of them is a flowing, A-line silhouette. This gorgeously beaded gown, Paisley, is no exception. The sheer back and side panels only adds to the romantic allure. Simple and comfortable with feminine and sparkling details, Paisley, is the perfect reflection of venues such as exposed lofts and industrial spaces.
Fit and Flare
Smooth crepe from head to toe, this Mikaella gown is elegant and classic. Add the sparkling belt and suddenly its that much more romantic. Don’t let the beach-based pictures fool you, this gown is destined to be photographed under city lights and next to stunning architecture.
The romantic lace and beaded applique on Idella from Kelly by Kelly Faetanini are such a perfect pair. Any ballroom or loft will be made all the more perfect with the addition of this beautiful gown.
Silk shantung and architectural seaming make Tamara from Tulle New York absolutely stunning. Its hard to pick the best part of this true trumpet gown. The v-back, perfectly placed seams and a crisp off the shoulder neckline are all downright perfect.
Meet Kate, from Tara Keely. This gown is a column silhouette and covered in caviar beading. With the addition of the removable tulle over-skirt it becomes a flowing A-line gown with a glistening under-layer. If you are getting married in a chic ballroom or a museum this gown would be perfect.
See something you like? Make an appointment to find your perfect gown at Bitsy Bridal.
This weekend (3/31 – 4/2) is a very special one at Bitsy Bridal! In additional to our curated collection, we will be showcasing dresses from Claire La Faye.
This unique bridal line brings the height of Hollywood glamour into the 21st century. Described as “luxury with an edge” Claire La Faye Bridal is full of whimsical and modern designs for the feminine and fashionable bride.
You will just as soon find a head-to-toe glitter gown from Claire La Faye as you would a delicately ruched Chantilly lace bodice paired with a flowing train.
These rare and impeccable designs out of Portland, OR are completely unique and the Bitsy team is incredibly excited to show them to as many brides as possible. Make your appointment for the trunk show here or call us at 801.699.2571.
All CLF dresses ordered during the trunk show are discounted 10%. Claire La Faye dresses cannot be found in any other boutique in Utah. Don’t miss out on this amazing chance to see these exclusive designs.
Its that time of the season: Sample Sale Time!! Now for some of us this may bring up flashbacks of watching Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel from Friends battle other women with the help of “safety whistles” to find the perfect dress.
In reality, this is an amazing opportunity to find a designer gown at a killer price. There is no door rushing a-la Black Friday and you still get the personalized attention that the Bitsy team proudly provides.
If you have never experienced a sample sale, then you are definitely missing out. You get to take your dress home day-of and at an incredible price.
This March we are running an event with all sample gowns under $1400 and 80% of our samples will be under $900! Considering our gowns normally START at $990, that is pretty awesome! I’m excited, are you excited?! If not, then keep reading because these are just a few of the gowns we are featuring this weekend.
Appointments for the sale (Saturday the 25th) will be an hour instead of the normal 90 minutes. This way we can help as many brides as possible during the one day sale. Appointments can be made online or over the phone. We hope to see you this weekend!
Shopping for your wedding gown is an amazing experience and most women have no idea what to expect when they get there. Just like the Bitsy Stylists, all bridal consultants are there to give you the best experience possible. We will do all the heavy lifting. And like any successful interaction, it’s a two way street.
Keep these things in mind as you are preparing to hunt for your perfect gown.
1- Choose your underwear/bra carefully
Most quality bridal shops don’t carry undergarments for you to wear under the dresses because the gowns are designed to not need a separate bra (usually)
If you are uncomfortable going bra-less or if your bust is on the bigger side, then try to wear a strapless bra in white or nude. So it doesn’t interfere with your view of the dress.
Spanx are always welcome too.
Remember that your stylist will be in the dressing room with you so whatever you wear will be seen
** Note: Your stylist has seen it all, so don’t wear something different just for our sake. Wear what’s best for you.
2- Know the gowns will not fit you perfectly
Unless you are shopping at an off-the-rack store, the gowns you try on are samples. This means there is usually only one – often carried in a middle size.
If the dress is too big, we will clamp it (see picture). If the dress is too small, we will use elastic bands and extra fabric to make it worth showing to your friends & family.
Any consultant worth their salt will be able to show you how the gown will fit perfectly, regardless of size.
3- Only bring who you have to
Dress shopping gets overwhelming. Having a gazillion opinions flying around only makes it worse.
Just bring THE people whose opinions really matter to you. (The people you couldn’t imagine doing this without.) You really can’t please everybody… literally!
On the flip side, make sure to bring the people you need. Don’t get caught in your dream gown and your mother or you bff is not there and unreachable.
Bitsy Bridal has a free wifi that you can skype or facetime!
4- Please don’t expect your entourage to pull dresses
Considering the traffic jam in a bridal store and the quality of the gowns; it is standard for the bridal stylists to be the only one to handle the gowns and put them on and off racks.
It ensures the integrity of the gowns for all brides.
This works in your favor. I can’t count the number of times that after finding the perfect gown for someone, she tells me she never would have picked that gown after seeing it on the hanger.
Don’t hesitate to point out what you like. Ask your stylist to walk you through the racks (Same goes for friends and family).
Each shop works a little differently but your stylist is all yours for the entire appointment: she will navigate the shop for you.
5- You will get tired: Bring on the Gatorade!
Wedding gowns are seldom light. Even if you are only trying on the airy ones
made of chiffon, you will get tired from the in and out.
If you are making a day of it and hitting multiple shops, schedule breaks and meals so that you + your friends & family can rest and be energized for the next appointment.
You might consider packing some sugary snacks to eat between appointments (since no food or drink is allowed in most bridal shops)
6- Come looking “your” best
You will likely not be able to see yourself as a “bride” when you feel like a slob or not feeling fresh or not feeling clean. So, no dresses will feel right.
You don’t need to be dolled up for the red carpet, just feel good for yourself: whatever means work for you.
7- Your stylist doesn’t care what dress you choose
Don’t edit your praise or criticism of a dress based on a fear of insulting your stylist. She doesn’t have any unnatural attachment to a gown and her only goal is to find you your perfect dress.
It is our job to make your dress hunt an unforgettable experience. Let us do the heavy lifting.
Just take a few steps to ensure a good time and we’ll handle the rest. One final concept reaches through all these pieces of advice and is something every bride should remember:
This Is About You!
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and ask for what you want.