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Browsing through the beautiful bridal collections of JLM Couture, we were particularly taken by how many gowns in the Spring 2014 collections featured stunning back designs. From illusion lace to bejeweled keyholes, there were so many pretty styles we couldn't resist sharing a few of our favorites.
1. An open back flanked by jeweled panels (Gown by Hayley Paige)
2. A unique twist on the traditional keyhole (Gown by Jim Hjelm)
3. A romantic one-shoulder style (Gown by Jim Hjelm)
4. A touch Southern, don't you think? (Gown by Tara Keely)
5. Sweet—and just a touch sexy. (Gown by Tara Keely)
Also related: 6 Draped Backs We Adore.
By: Sarah Zlotnick
Weddings come in all shapes, sizes, and styles these days. And while we love a casual backyard celebration as much as the next gal, there's something to be said for getting (way) dressed up to say 'I do'. So we've whipped up a supremely elegant, Art Deco-inspired ensemble fit for the fanciest bride on the block. Pops of deep crimson paired with sparkly statement earrings (and a belt!) amp up the glam factor of this sultry halter gown, and a maribou purse is equal parts playful and chic.
Where to Buy: BCBG Ooversized Rhinestone cocktail earrings ($88) • Ann Taylor Maribou Feather Clutch ($135) • Nicole Miller embellished satin bridal sash ($330) • Chanel matte lipstick in L'Exquise ($34) • Badgley Mishka 'Ginnie' peep toe pump ($130) • Giambattista Valli Twisted Crepe Gown ($2395)
By Sarah Zlotnick
Don't forget about wedding day jewelry! We've rounded up ten stunning necklaces—and picked one for every bridal style.
1. For the Elegant Bride. Unexpected Grace necklace, $288 at Elva Fields.
2. For the Vintage Bride. Dancing Floral necklace, $125 at Ann Taylor.
3. For the Budget Bride. Seeing Bauble necklace, $27.99 at Modcloth.
4. For the Glam Bride. Sari Necklace, $334 at Nicole Miller.
5. For the Gatsby Bride. Deco collar necklace, $885 at Ben Amun.
6. For the Goddess Bride. Stone floral necklace, $98 at BCBG Max Azria.
7. For the Fashion-y Bride. Crystal Compilation Necklace, $165 at J. Crew.
8. For the Winter Bride. Crystal necklace, $98 at Lydell NYC.
9. For the Preppy Bride. Belle Fleur collar, $298 at Kate Sapde New York.
1. The Feather
We love this look for a glam or vintage chic wedding. It also looks best when your hair is all the way up in a tight chignon.
2. The Flower
If you're having a destination wedding, this hair style is perfect. We recommend a tighter up-do and that you choose a flower size that doesn't take over the look, but accentuates it.
3. A little Bling
You can have with this look for truly any wedding style. Go with a lot of bling for a glam look, or a more beaded hair pin for a understated classic feel.
Stay away from these 10 common hair mistakes (expert advice)
It’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life. As the bride, you’ll be the center of attention, and not only will your friends and family be present, but your photographs will capture the moment forever. On the big day, you want to look like yourself, only better. There’s nothing worse than a bride wearing a gorgeous gown, in the perfect location, whose hair is so dreadful that guests can’t keep their eyes off of it. Neil Weisberg and Amanda George, co-owners of the celebrity-filled Neil George Salon in Beverly Hills, say brides should always have a consultation with the stylist who will be doing their hair one to two months before the wedding date to ensure that their dream hairstyle fits in with their dream day. Weisberg and George advise staying away from these 10 common hair mistakes that brides make.
1. You forget your veil or headpiece. The veil factors into your overall look, and its length and style may determine if you’ll want to wear your hair up or down. If the veil hasn’t arrived yet, ask the bridal salon to loan you a sample, or at least bring along a photo when consulting with your hairdresser.
2. You cut your hair days before the wedding. Stay away from the scissors and don’t plan on getting a haircut right before the big day. Instead, do it a month or two prior to the wedding to ensure that you like the cut and it will work with the hairstyle you’ve chosen.
3. You don’t carefully choose your stylist. You will remember your wedding day forever, so choose someone you trust to style your hair. If your hairdresser doesn’t typically do wedding hairstyles, ask him or her for a recommendation, or speak with friends or other brides who have had hairstyles you’ve admired.
4. You experiment with hair color. Talk to your stylist about how you envision your hair on the big day, and let your colorist know if you are planning on wearing your hair up or down. It’s also not advisable to dramatically change your hair color before the wedding. You want to look like an enhanced version of you, not someone completely different.
5. You only try one style. Just as you tried on several wedding dresses (even if you knew the first one was the best), have your stylist show you at least three different looks based on your description of what you want.
6. You go to your consultation without any ideas. Pictures speak louder than words. Gather photos (e.g., from magazines) of hairstyles you like. This will give the stylist an idea of the kind of style you’re seeking. The stylist can’t make you look like the person in the picture, but he or she can attempt to copy the hair as long as the texture and length are not an issue.
7. You forget about touch-ups. If it’s in your budget, consider having the stylist stay after the ceremony and throughout the evening to do touch-ups to your hair—or even give you a completely different look. If the expense is too high, ask the stylist for tips on how to touch up your own hair during the reception.
8. You forget about the dress. Your hair should always complement your gown. Select your gown first and then decide on the hairstyle with your stylist.
9. You think short hair is your only option. If your cute bob doesn't jive with your dream of having long locks on the big day, ask your stylist for extensions. This temporary fix can be a perfect solution.
10. You forget about the groom. Although you’ll be the focus of the big day, you will want his hair to look just as good. Make sure the groom gets a good haircut a week before the wedding.
Lose a few pounds by eating more often -- yes, it's true! (expert advice)
If you're not particularly thrilled with your body, you've probably been dieting as your wedding day approaches in an attempt to reach your desired weight before the walk down the aisle. Many brides do this but find that they are lacking a few pounds a week or so before the wedding. If this sounds familiar, here are some important tips to lose those last pounds.
Eat More Often
Wow - didn't know it would be so easy, did you? That's right. If you want to lose those last pounds before your wedding day, eat more often but eat much smaller portions. By doing this, you will be giving your digestive system a break as well as speeding up your metabolism. As your metabolism kicks into overdrive, you will burn more fat and calories - and lose more weight.
Drink More Water
Another important thing that will help you lose those last pounds is drinking more water. Most experts recommend that you drink 8 glasses of water each day. Not only does this help you feel full for a longer period of time, but it aids the body in the natural fat and calorie burning process.
If you find it difficult to drink so much water each day, there are a few different things you can do. Go to bed after drinking 4 ounces of water and drink 4 more when you wake up. This is one glass gone - only 7 more to go. If you don't like the taste of water, slip a wedge of lemon in to create a more palatable drink.
Don't neglect your exercise as you try to lose those last pounds. Anything that gets your heart pumping and makes you break a sweat is an excellent exercise to do. For instance, jumping rope, skating, dancing and even jogging can help you lose those last pounds. While most people aren't overly fond of exercise, doing it regularly will boost your energy and even your sense of well-being! Exercise each day for about a half an hour to forty-five minutes at a time.
Skip the Sugar
In the last week before the wedding, don't indulge in processed sugar at all. Instead, fill your rumbling tummy with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and lean meat. This will help get rid of those last stubborn pounds and you may notice that you feel a lot better too! These foods are great for your health and provide important nutrients and vitamins.
By following the tips above, you can lose those last pounds and feel beautiful and confident in your wedding dress.
Find out what's hot in wedding cakes this year; we've asked a few of our favorite cake designers to weigh in! Geometric Patterns Cake by Erica OBrien "Feminine geometrics, such as chevron, are still very popular," says Connecticut-based Erica OBrien. "I'm expecting to see a lot of arrows and hexagons this season." Photo by Brooke Allison Photography Metallics Cake by City Sweets & Confections The gilded look is a favorite for both Deborah Lauren of City Sweets & Confections and Erica OBrien this year. "Gold is back, and stronger then ever," says OBrien. Photo by CLY Creation Hand-Painted Cake by Sweet & Saucy Shop "Hand-painting is definitely a new trend right now," says Sweet & Saucy Shop's head pastry chef Melody Brandon. "It's a personal and a one-of-a-kind style that brides are falling in love with." Photo by Melody Brandon Staying True to Your Style Cake by Maggie Austin Cakes Virginia baker Maggie Austin recently created this lovely confection for a friend's casual backyard wedding, and she loves that it perfectly reflects the couple's "understated and sophisticated style." Matching a cake to the personalities and priorities of her clients will be a big focus this year. Photo by Maggie Austin Multiple Cakes Cake by Layered Bake Shop Brides booking cakes with Layered Bake Shop's Shannon Star have been moving away from the traditional single large wedding cake. Instead, they're opting for multiple smaller confections in a similar decor suite. "It allows for more creativity and personality," says Star. Photo by N. Barrett Photography Showpiece Cakes Cake by The Pastry Studio According to owner Sherri Meyers, cakes have become a core component of reception decor. They are increasingly created to be equal parts delicious dessert and visual show-stopper. Designs are getting bigger and grander, and sometimes even include a fake tier or two to accommodate for ceiling height! Photo by Sherri Meyers Going Natural Cake by Enjoy Cupcakes Honor a cake that's free of artificial dyes by allowing the natural state of its flavor to become the main decorative element. This year, Amber of Enjoy Cupcakes is all about making fluffy chocolate cakes look fluffy, drenching caramel desserts in drips of caramel, and providing texture to peanut butter cakes with chopped up peanuts. Photo by Alex Creswell Ombré Cake by Erica OBrien Almost every baker we asked agreed— ombré is still at the forefront for 2013. "The shading lends itself so naturally to romantic designs," says OBrien of the style. Photo by Devon Jarvis Embossed Cake by City Sweets & Confections City Sweets & Confections owner Deborah Lauren recently etched an intricate floral pattern on a wedding cake for a friend. "It was modern, and different from any cake I've ever done or seen." Photo by Turnquist Photography Classic White Elegance Cake by Mark Joseph Cakes A white wedding cake never goes out of style, says Mark of Mark Joseph cakes. Couples turn to him for a modern, sophisticated take on the timeless aesthetic. Photo by Mark Joseph Textured Icing Cake by Betty Bakery Cheryl Kleinman agrees with Mark Joseph—white will always be popular, especially for formal weddings. At her Betty Bakery, she and partner Ellen of Bijoux Deux Specialty Cakes keep the look from becoming boring by texturizing the outer layer of icing. Pleats (seen here) and confetti are two favorite styles.
In this project, Mary Swenson extended the life of a pre-packaged paper flower centerpiece kit by turning the blooms into favors and centerpieces as well. Love it!
View the Full Tutorial
Available at The Green Vase
10 DIY and ready-made ways to bring paper flowers in to your wedding.
Want your wedding bouquet to last longer than a season? Consider investing in a beautiful paper alternative from The Green Vase ($325). This multi-talented NY-based floral design shop also offers single paper blooms, cake toppers, and cake decorating kits.
Available at Frances & Francis
We love the idea of topping a reception table with a single romantic stem in a vintage glass bottle—and then repurposing the centerpiece as bookshelf decor in your new home! These romantic blooms from Frances & Francis ($14 to $60) are perfect for that.
West Elm Paper Flower Shop
Several national chains are hopping on the paper flower trend. For example: Furniture store West Elm, which offers several pretty pre-made sets ($7.99 to $36).
Available at House That Lars Built
Handcrafted in Copenhagen, these gold-stemmed paper roses ($14 each) will look beautiful gathered in a vase or laid upon individual place settings. Designer Brittany Watson Jespen also creates jumbo-sized versions of these blooms, as well as paper flower hats—email her for custom projects!
Crepe Paper Flower Bouquet DIY
You won't believe how easy (and inexpensive!) it is to whip up these colorful crepe flowers—it takes just three simple steps.
Available at Paper Source
Looking for a little guidance while you construct your paper blooms? Consider a pre-packaged kits from The Paper Source your new best friend ($10.95 - $19.95).
The Crafting Book
Paper to Petal, Available at Barnes & Noble
Husband and wife duo Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell are very good at what they do (which includes photography, design, and, yes, plenty of paper crafts). Releasing late this August, their new book ($16.29) will show you how to make 75 paper blooms yourself. With a forward authored by Martha Stewart herself, it's clear the couple knows what they're doing.
The Perfect Prop
Large Paper Rose, Available at BHLDN
This extra-large paper rose ($68) is almost five feet tall! At that size, it's the perfect addition to any wedding photo booth. It's also, as the website suggests, a whimsical alternative to a basket of petals for the flower girl.
Paper Posy Escort Cards
Easy-to-make crepe flowers will add a joyful touch of color to any spring wedding! This tutorial offers step-by-step instructions for making these cheerful escort cards out of streamer ribbon. It's a great way to save money on a fun but lower priority item on your decor list.
See the Full Wedding
If you're still on the fence about paper flower decor, you have to check out Liz and Josh's color-infused Minnesota wedding. They created some of the most unique centerpieces we've ever seen!
Idea By: Sarah Zlotnick
Photos By: Mary Swenson
French Countryside:Inspired by a set of vintage French pottery, we embraced our inner Francophile and created a unique table with a mix of patterns and colors that evoke the French countryside!
Lavender:We tied bundles of lavender together as favors. Lavender is quintessentially French, and remains fragrant even after the stems dry out, leaving guests with a lovely reminder of your day! Classic Patterns: We chose muted red stripes for the tablecloth overlay, red and off-white checks for the table runner, and a traditional navy blue and red French-inspired print to use for napkins. Hidden Gems: The rustic fleur-de-lis votive holders were a flea market find, and add to the old-world, country look of our table. Pottery: Using the pottery as the starting point of our theme, we chose flowers and fabrics that complimented the colors of the dishes. Mix and Match: Because we used different fabrics for the linens on our table, we stuck with simple, classic patterns in similar colorways to make the look work. Centerpiece: Since we wanted the pottery to be the star of the table, we used an old wooden box to hold our centerpiece flowers. We stuck a container of water inside, and filled it to the brim with a casual, unstructured arrangement that kept with our color scheme: sunflowers, hydrangeas, and sprigs of lavender. Finishing Touches: The lavender in the centerpiece carried over to each place setting.