Category — A Bride Asks

A Bride Asks: What is a Trunk Show?

At Lovely, we strive to make the dress shopping process as easy and stress-free as possible. We understand that as important and exciting as finding your dream dress is, it is also a foreign and sometimes scary idea. One of the most common questions we receive is “What exactly is a Trunk Show?” and “Should I wait to come shopping until it is a Trunk Show Weekend?”. Let’s get this straightened out, shall we?

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During a Trunk Show, Lovely features the newest collection from a particular designer, and we mean all of them! The term Trunk Show is derived from the fact that the gowns literally arrive at our shops in trunks! During a Trunk Show weekend you will have the opportunity to try on dresses that Lovely does not usually carry from your favorite designer.

Not only that, but very often the designer themselves or a brand expert is on hand to give personal consultations and styling!  The knowledge brides receive during these events is unmatchable when the mind behind the design is there to guide you to the dress most suited for you. They may even suggest custom changes specifically for you!

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Not only is there the incentive of more inventory of gowns to try on, but typically there is also a discount or promotion offered if you purchase a gown from the featured designer. A free accessory perhaps?

Is a trunk show right for you? We recommend browsing our Lovely list of designers to see who’s style suits your taste best, then check our Trunk Show Schedule to see if they are coming to your area soon. Scheduling an appointment during an event is a must, as these dates tend to fill up sooner than on a regular business day.

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Also be sure you come with a mindset that you could find and buy your dream dress that day! You’ll want to take advantage of the Trunk Show discount, and sometimes it is the only opportunity to try on your dress before it is sent off to another shop. Trunk Shows typically only last three days.

The energy in Lovely while a Trunk Show is happening is electric! We love to throw parties to kick start a Trunk Show and celebrate our beloved designers. In a nutshell trunk shows can mean special gifts, treats, discounts, and well…just more LOVELY!

Images via Lovely Bride on Instagram. Be sure to follow along on our adventures!

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A Bride Asks: What Should I Expect From My Tailor?

This week we asked one of our favorite tailors to answer a Bride’s most burning question: what should I expect from my tailor? This aspect of dress shopping can be overwhelming and scary, but fear not ladies! Not only are Lovely’s stylists prepared to answer most of your questions, but we work with some of the best tailors in the business! We sat down with Olivia from A Stitch In Time who is our go to gal for all of our Lovely Brides in LA and California! She gave us some amazing insight into what the tailoring process entails, and we know it will come in handy for Brides-to-be!

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What should the bride expect at your first meeting?

The first meeting is a special time and very important for the bride and us. We discuss the wedding, venue, and details. We create a relationship with the bride so she feels comfortable. We ask specific questions sometimes delicate and personal to really understand what she truly envisions. We listen and pay close attention to their requests and concerns, offer advice and are very honest with the end results desired. The average time for the first fitting is about 30-45 minutes.

Once we have established the basics, the bride tries her dress. We review foundation undergarments needed, the alterations needed and the modifications desired. We specialize in customizations, such as build-ups for religious ceremonies, sleeves, cap sleeves, straps and anything else the bride may require. The bustling of the train is unique to each gown and the options are discussed and the demonstrations/lessons are done usually at the third fitting.

We of course need the shoes for the first fitting. In case the shoes are not available for the first fitting, we will start the work on the bodice as this sometimes affects the length. We also encourage the bride to bring any accessories she may already have as we like to go over the details of accessories, veils, jewelry and hairstyle ideas.  If the bride is not certain, we can assist her in finalizing details. We assist our brides to complete their look.

What information is it helpful for the bride to provide?

Brides should provide us with her wedding date. After the first fitting, we will work out the fittings schedule. From March to October is high season for us so we like to book appointments ahead of time. Weekend appointments are highly desirable and we try to accommodate as much as possible. Our salon is very private, intimate and we are by appointment only. Brides should also let us know if they are on a strict diet and plan on loosing more 10-20 pounds. Depending on timing we can stretch out the fittings if time allows to accommodate the process.

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What is the most difficult request to fill?

All bridal gowns are made very intricately, sometimes it is difficult to alter a sample gown that is 4-5 sizes bigger then the bride. There are also some modifications to styles of gowns that cannot be completed as the original designs are sometimes not made to go from a ball gown to a mermaid style. I wouldn’t say there are difficult requests, I would say there are some unrealistic requests!

How many times should she expect to meet with you?

The bride should expect to have at least 3 fittings, sometimes 4 or 5.  It gets a little tricky when brides lose weight as they get closer to the wedding date. The stress and nerves can cause sudden weight loss and this is probably our most common situation. Most bridal gown alterations are very straightforward. The gown always needs to be taken in to fit the bodice and bust, waist and hips. The length needs to be shortened and the train needs a bustle. There are brides that opt out of trains and want their dress floor length all the way around. We like to leave a slight sweep train as it looks elegant and feminine. Some gowns are extremely detailed with beading or lace, this is often more time sensitive and requires much more attention.

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What is the best advice you have for her on her big day?

Take deep breathes; everything is going to be just perfect and beautiful! Family and friends are gathering to celebrate your love and it is a joyous moment. Embrace and enjoy every moment and don’t drink too much champagne before the ceremony!

What do you need the bride to do the day of?

We press and pack all our gowns ready to be worn. Opening our finished gowns is literally opening a beautiful present. We take great pride in our final work of art and want the bride to feel this as well!

Upon picking up the gown, the bride must travel with it in the back seat of the car laying flat and the hanger hanging from the hook at the back seat/door. When arriving home or venue, hang dress as high as possible (or available) open the bag, lay a towel on the floor, unhook the train (if applicable) and let it hang. Leave the bodice stuffed with tissue until photographer comes in to take the pictures.

When traveling out of town, out of state or internationally, we pack the gowns ready for travels with extra protection. There are some gowns that will travel very well due to our packing precautions and their fabrics. There are some gowns that will need a little touch up especially on the train. But if you take good care of the gown and follow directions the touching up should be fairly minimal.

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Special services offered:

We also offer a very unique and specialized Day of Service which is highly recommended. Peerless personalized dressers/stylists will come prepared with everything from steamers to sewing kits. We work within the United States, World wide from Southern California to the East Coast and Europe to Asia with many talented event planners as well as celebrities and personal clientele to insure “Peace of Mind” for the brides who want everything to be perfect. We steam, press, and assist with getting dressed, remove stains and diligently offer confidence, composure and serenity. We are ready on hand with our emergency kits. We come a few hours before getting ready, assist the bride, groom, bridal parties and their families, stay through pictures (assist with photo styling), escort the bride and make sure nothing happens to the dress and leave once the bride is married, bustled and ready for her grand entrance to her dream reception!!  This is an exclusive service that no bride should go without!

Anything else you would like to add?

Our passion and focus is to make all our brides dreams come true! Our dedication, high standards, unlimited abilities and skills are some of the reasons we have become so popular and distinguished! We share our knowledge, years of experience and professional advice so our bride truly feels ready to enjoy the most important day of her life. We are perfectionists, detail oriented, we love all our brides and we thrive to make them feel more glamorous and beautiful then they already are!

Thank you to Olivia for all of her insight!

To contact the ladies of A Stitch in Time visit their site here!

Images via Carol Hannah.

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A Bride Asks: What Should I Expect From My Makeup Artist?

This week we sat down with makeup artist Kristen Therese to get the scoop on what to expect from your makeup artist for your wedding! Should you wear traditional foundation or airbrushed? False lashes or real? Kristen has the tips to make sure you look your best on the big day!

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What should the bride expect at your first meeting?

Your first meeting with your makeup artist should be where you not only test to see if you like what they do for your makeup, but it is also when you get to know each other and make sure that personalities jive.  Remember, this person will be responsible for how you look on your most important day.  You need to be comfortable voicing your opinion but also feel as though you are in good hands.

The first meeting is usually what makeup artists call the trial.  At the trial, you should get a full makeup application, just as how you would on the day of your wedding.  Your trial is, after all, a “TRY ALL” so if you are thinking about trying airbrush or false lashes, try it at the trial.  This meeting is supposed to be where you both discuss and create your look together.  If the eyeliner needs to be a little thicker or you want to try a different lip color, this is the opportunity to try these options.  A bride should not expect two complete applications though.  If you ask your makeup artist to do one look then take it off completely and do another look, know that you may have to pay a bit more.  Most trials are for one application, with tweaks.

Helpful Tip:  If you are interested in airbrush vs. traditional foundation you can ask your makeup artist to do one side airbrush and one side traditional so you can see the difference.

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What information is it helpful for the bride to provide?

Details like the colors in the wedding, what your dress looks like, what you are thinking about doing with your hair, and where the wedding is located are very helpful.  Your makeup is part of the whole look and you want to make sure it goes.  So if you’re having a sunset wedding on the beach and wearing a flowing Grecian gown, hopefully your makeup artist isn’t giving you and old Hollywood glam look.  It just wouldn’t go.

Pictures of makeup looks are always helpful but you must understand that they are for inspiration.  It is hard for a makeup artist to completely copy a makeup look because everyone’s face is different and it will of course, look different on you vs. the picture of the model you brought in.

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What is the most difficult request to fill?

The most difficult question I get is “can you cover my wrinkles?” There are so many products on the market that promise budge proof this and wrinkle erasing that, making it sometimes hard to explain to a bride that unless you don’t smile or make any facial expression at all, your makeup will move with you throughout the day and if you have a wrinkle, your skin will wrinkle.  The right makeup will absolutely diffuse the look of any lines you have, making your photos appear more flawless, but making wrinkles disappear completely is impossible to do.

 

We see so many Red Carpet images that are a good 20-30 feet away from these celebrities and we think they are completely flawless, so when you hold a mirror 2 inches from your face and still see some fine lines, you think the makeup isn’t done well, but in all reality, if you got up close to all those celebrities (the ones without Botox) you’d see all their fine lines as well.  Makeup needs to move with you throughout the day and be able to still stay on throughout all your smiling and laughing, so the real test of good makeup is if you still have it on at the end of the night!

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How many times should she expect to meet with you?

At least once before the Wedding but if you do your trial 5 months or more before the Wedding, you probably want to do a second trial a month before.  I find that my brides that book me early (which is always best to do… by April, most bookings are set for the rest of the year) sometimes discover things during their planning and have a different idea of what they might want just before the big day.  Also, I find that it is a feeling of security having another trial run closer to the Wedding.   It puts a lot of brides at ease.

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What is the best advice you have for her on her big day?

Don’t expect to stay completely on schedule no matter how well you plan ahead.  There will most likely be at least one thing that throws your timeline off.  I always work with my brides to create a timeline for hair and makeup on their wedding day and I pad the timeline because I know it will get thrown off by a late bridesmaid or a last minute craft project that needs to be completed. Even on my own Wedding day, we didn’t stick to the timeline but we all got to the ceremony on time so that’s all that matters!  So just keep the end goal in mind and you’ll have a much more pleasant morning!

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What do you need the bride to do the day of?

Well hopefully the bride has gotten a facial a few weeks before the Wedding or has been taking really good care of her skin so that I don’t have to use any exfoliant on her that morning.  I just want my brides to have a fresh, clean face.  Also, if there is any way that the bride can separate herself from her group while she is having hair and makeup done, it is best for everyone.  The bride really should have some time to be pampered and if there are people all around asking questions it not only will throw you off your schedule but it also stresses the bride and makes it difficult for the hair and makeup artist to do the best job they can.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to redo the glue on lashes because it dried up as the bride jumped out of the chair to go tend to someone.

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Anything else you would like to add?

The morning of your Wedding really sets the tone for the rest of the day so make sure that you are relaxed, are surrounded by people that you know and trust (bridal party and vendors), and have a good time.  Oh and make sure there is music playing!

Kristen also provided us with an amazing checklist covering almost anything you could need to prepare for the beauty portion of your day!

  1. RESEARCH First, do some research on the range of pricing for a makeup artist in your area so there are no big surprises.  Generally, the more in demand an artist becomes, the higher the fee, however, there are still plenty of up and coming talented artists that fall into the average price range for your area.  If you can’t afford the most experienced, make sure to prioritize what is important to you when speaking to your potential makeup artist.
  2. NUMBERS Know who is having makeup done on your wedding day. You may want decide if you will pay for your bridal party or not and have a discussion with your bridesmaids about this before your research.  Knowing the number of people helps the makeup artist properly quote you and block out time for your day, plus can sometimes give you some bargaining power if you have a large group.  Hello bundle pricing!
  3. LIST Make a list.  What are you most concerned about for that day?  Is it problematic skin?  Do you have a limited timeframe yet have 12 bridesmaids?  Writing out all of your questions and concerns ahead of time will only help the research process and will easily weed out the artists that cannot accommodate your requests.  Also, collecting images for inspiration will help give you direction in your research and give you a better eye on what to look for in an artist’s portfolio.
  4. REFERRALS Ask for referrals from friends and vendors.  A lot of this business is based on referrals. Check out these artists’ website or blog.  If you cannot find a web presence, be cautious as their level of professionalism may not be on the level you are looking for.  Browse their portfolios and read through their sites.  Does anyone stand out to you?  Sometimes the look and feel along with the tone of voice of someone’s web presence can give you a nice look into their personality.  Make sure you like that person.  Check for pricing and make sure they are in your range and then reach out to two to three artists.
  5. TRIALS Bring lots of questions to your trials.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to like the person who will be responsible for how you look on your Wedding day.  Ask them how they got into the business and how long have they been doing this.  Ask for advice on skin prep leading up to the Wedding.  Also ask for fun or crazy stories from past Weddings.  I always love to tell my clients about my “black eyed bride” and the random products I used to cover itJ  Throughout your trial, make sure your artist is listening to you while giving his/her opinion.  You want the look to be your vision with the guidance and execution of the artist.

Note: if you bring pictures to your trial, try to have an open mind about what you will look like in comparison to the picture.  Keep in mind that images we see in magazines are highly retouched.  Also, if you are blonde with blue eyes, chances are the look on a brown eyed, black haired model will not look the same.

A big thanks to Kristen for sharing her knowledge!

Photos via Ashley Therese and kristentherese.com

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A Bride Asks: What Should I Expect From My Photographer?

This week we interviewed a pair of our favorite photographers, Tim and Merrill of Sweet Little Photographs. They’re giving us the scoop on what to know before you meet with your photographers from knowing if a photographer is right for you, to a head’s up you might want to give your guests! How could you not be smiling from ear to ear with this darling couple behind the camera? Their experience in the industry is invaluable, so study this post intently brides to be!

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What should the couple expect at their first meeting?

The first time we meet with our couples, we like to start the conversation by asking to hear their story. This gives us the opportunity to learn how they met, swoon at their fabulous proposal, and feel connected with the history behind it all. It’s a great way for us to get a general vibe of how they interact with one another. We also ask about the wedding and what they envision for their special day, including venue, color scheme, decor inspiration, and anything that gives us a glimpse into their vision. From there we let the couple take direction of the conversation by answering any questions that they have for us, whether that’s regarding logistics of how we work, payment, timeline, or any other particulars. We think the meeting is the perfect way to see if you and your photographers click, because you need to keep in mind that these are the people who will be following you around for the entire night so you should feel comfortable and at ease with whomever you chose.

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What information is it helpful for the couple to provide?

Before any meeting is set up, we always ask in the initial email for the date of the event and the venue location. That way we can immediately let you know if we are available and if there are any additional travel fees involved. It is also helpful to know if there is a separate location for getting ready or for the reception, that way we can look at the timeline and really assess how many hours would be efficient. After getting those initial details and booking the date, we usually get a bulk of the important information a few weeks before the big day. We send out a questionnaire asking for important phone numbers (it’s always helpful to have a bridesmaid or planner’s number on there since we know how busy you are the morning of your wedding), the timeline, family photo shot list, specific shots wanted (are you wearing a necklace passed down from your grandmother? Let us know! Does your groom have your wedding date stitched into his jacket? We want a photo of it!). No need to tell us you want a photo of your dad walking you down the aisle, your first kiss as husband and wife, or a shot of the cake. We have all the standards down to a science, but we do want to know if there is anything really special that we may otherwise overlook.

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What is the most difficult request to fill?
As much as all of us photographers adore Pinterest, we have found that it has created some unrealistic expectations in regards to photography. It is absolutely wonderful to bring some ideas to the plate for your wedding or engagement session, but please do not expect your photographer to be able to recreate that exact shot. There are so many variables to consider: the weather, the location, the position of the sun, the couple. Instead, think about what it is you love about that photo. Is it the way the couple is posed? Is it the composition of the photo? Are there fun props? Take that as inspiration, but leave it up to the artistic professional to create your very own Pinterest-worthy shot.

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How many times should the couple expect to meet with their photographer?
We generally only have one meeting with a couple before the big day to determine whether or not we are a good fit for them. In addition to hiring us for their wedding, a couple may also choose to book us for an engagement shoot, which we definitely recommend for a few different reasons. First, it gives you a chance to see how we work together as a team. You can pretty much guarantee that we will operate the same on your wedding day as we do during your engagement session. Second, after an hour-long engagement shoot you will be old pros at posing for your portraits by the time the wedding comes along. You can rid yourself of all the nerves and anxiety about being photographed and will be so much more comfortable with us at the wedding. And lastly, we get to use that time to learn more about each other! We love getting to know our couples better and developing a friendship with them. This is our favorite part of the job and we love walking away feeling like we just gained some amazing friends.

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What is the best advice you have for the couple on their big day?
As cliche as it sounds, don’t sweat the small stuff! The big day has come, your friends and family are all around you, you are marrying the love of your life! Who cares if the peonies are baby pink instead of fuchsia, if your three year old flower girl gets scared and doesn’t want to walk down the aisle, or if the DJ plays the wrong song for your first dance. Breathe…take a sip of champagne…and remember what this day is really about.

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What do you need the couple to do the day of?

This is absolutely optional but we love it when the couple has asked the guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony. Whether it’s a sign in the entrance or a brief mention from the officiant, letting them know that you have hired professional photographers for this very occasion can actually give you better photos from us. We’ve experienced a lot of people getting up out of their seats holding up giant iPads hoping to get that perfect shot, not realizing that they have just stepped in front of our cameras. We know how exciting this is for all of your friends and family, but we promise that we are capturing everything (and with much better cameras!). The guests should enjoy the ceremony in real-time and then relive it through the photos we capture. Having a little note allows your guests to experience your incredible ceremony without being distracted by which Instagram filter to use.

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Anything else?: Here are some random thoughts from us!

As photographers, we want to capture the moments as they unfold on your big day. We do our best to be flies on the wall, getting the shot of your mom crying as she zips up your dress or your best friend getting emotional watching your first dance. We don’t like staging anything because we don’t want you to feel like anything is forced. We want to photograph the day as it is happening…the nerves, the excitement, the happiness, the love! Some photographers work differently, so make sure you let them know what makes you feel comfortable.

The best time for your photographers to eat is during the dinner service at the same time that the rest of the guests are eating. After dinner the timeline is usually jam packed with speeches, the first dance, father-daughter dance, cake cutting, etc, so we need to be finished eating and ready to hit the dance floor to capture all of those incredible moments. A simple note to the caterer or planner before the event is very much appreciated!

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A big thank you to Tim and Merrill for sharing all of these helpful tips with us!

Check out more about Sweet Little Photographs here!

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A Bride Asks: What Should I Expect From My Floral Designer?

This week we interviewed one of our favorite Floral Designers who we have had the privilege of working with since Lovely’s creation in New York, Rebecca Shepherd! She gave us all the information you could need before going in and meeting with a florist for the big day!

 

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What should the couple expect at your first meeting? 

 

The first in person meeting to discuss flowers follows after a few connections back and forth via email or phone calls. It’s important for the florist to get all the information about your needs including how many tables you have, your bridal party, what you need for your ceremony, the location of your wedding venue, and your floral budget. This will give a mutual understanding about general pricing and expectations. Once those preliminaries are out of the way, we’re free to set a date to meet! I like to have my clients start putting together a collection of images that inspire them. Pinterest is an awesome resource for this hunting and gathering process. The Pinterest album can have all kinds of images that will convey your overall style and desired look. I encourage putting images of invitations, dresses, jewelry, shoes, and of course flowers that tickle your fancy. This gives me a solid understanding of what you are looking for on your big day. From there we will go over your options for the table scape’s, centerpieces, ceremony, etc. I’ll be able to suggest blooms that fit your style and that will be in season on your wedding day. At my design studio, you will be able to thumb through my collection of containers, props, and look book for inspiration.

 

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What information is helpful for the couple to provide?

 

It’s very helpful to know how many tables there will be, including if they will be round or long. It’s hard to put together a detailed proposal if you haven’t yet decided on round, verses long tables. Decorating long tables is more expensive than round tables because they tend to need more elements to trickle down. It’s helpful to have a good source of images to show me, whether it be a Pinterest album, tear sheets, or images that have been sent to me via email. Pictures do say a thousand words, but it’s also good to be able to describe what you like. For instance, brides say they are looking for “Art deco style, romantic, bohemian, modern, rustic, Victorian, whimsical, etc.”

 

It’s also good to make a list of what you need. So many brides overlook all the add ons! Do you need a card table arrangement/prop set up? What about an entry way piece, a guest book table, the bar, cocktail tables, aisle decor, hair flowers, bathroom arrangements, or your cake decorated? These are all important pieces of the puzzle that can creep up right when you thought the decor was under control!

 

Also, it’s really good to have an idea of your timeline. Do you need a few different drop offs? Some brides want their personals delivered to their hotel early for photos. This is important for scheduling on my end. Is your party not happening until 4pm? Also very important for me to know so I can plan the wedding breakdown, deconstruction, packing, and cleaning up party.

 

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What is the most difficult request to fill?

 

Flowers are created by mother nature. She doesn’t always make your favorite peonies the same time of year as your wedding date. Remain open minded to flowers that can act like that big fluffy peony that is not in season. We’ll come up with alternatives! Flower colors are also made by mother nature. Let’s not dye those precious beauties. Remember, blues and purples can often be seen as one or the other at the exact same time! Flexibility is key with flowers because it allows the designer to shop the market for what looks amazing the week of your wedding. When you stick to your guns about a lot of specific flowers, you end up limiting yourself to alternatives that show up at the market without warning that may be perfect for your ensemble. This doesn’t mean your flowers should be a mystery, it just means it’s good to show that you have flexibility with some ingredients.

 

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How many times should they expect to meet with you?

 

I have had clients that I have met only once. I have had clients that have needed to meet 3 times due to extensive planning, or ordered mock up’s, and I have have had clients that I have never had the pleasure to meet! A handful actually! This has been the case with brides that live out of state or the county. We work a great deal via sharing images and being very specific, so, you really will have a good handle on what to expect.

 

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What is the best advice you have for the couple on their big day?

 

This is my favorite question! I feel like I tell my brides on the day of to enjoy every moment; that it goes by SO VERY FAST! Be specific leading up to, and planning your wedding. Now is the time to get sorted about your expectations. This is your wedding. Remain true to what you want on your big day. There will always be compromise. Pick and choose what you can’t live without and give in to what your mom/in-law can’t live without. This is first and foremost a celebration of the two of you, but look at it like it’s also a great way to exercise your ability to compromise, negotiate, and let some things fall to the wayside. At the end of the day, all you need is love (:

 

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What do you need them to do the day of?

 

Get a good night’s sleep the night before, be surrounded by family or friends that calm and support you, have healthy snacks around you all day. Breath! Enjoy! Try not to let all those stress bugs steal your big day from you. The one you’ve likely spent 8 months to a year planning. It’s so easy for all of us to take ourselves too seriously. Focus on your soon to be partner in crime. Focus on the fact that it’s the beginning of a brand new chapter in your lives. The professionals you hired will handle the rest.

 

Thank you so much to Rebecca for answering all of our burning questions! To see more of her gorgeous work check out her site here.

Photos Via Isabelle Selby PhotographyW. Scott Chester PhotographyBetsi Ewing Studio, and  Di Bezi Photography.

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