THE PRE-OWNED GOWN OPTION


Want a top-of-the-line couture look on your wedding day but don't think you can shell out the bucks for a  designer label?  Well, check out these gowns from Pre-owned Wedding Dresses.com where you can actually order online.  You can also visit consignment a bridal shop. Now if the word 'consignment' conjours images of 1980s gowns full of the usual pouf and paste of sequins, perish that thought. Most dresses in consignment shops are actually cutting edge and you'll find it more like going to a high-end designer salon. With catchy names like One More Time, these places offer some elegant, gently worn gowns in better shape than your average designer sample. In fact, the proprietors can get real persnickety about what they take in—some only accepting top designer names like Vera Wang and Reem Acra in all natural fibers. In addition, once gowns are accepted they’re cleaned and pressed (Ask where though. More shops are specializing in environmentally safe cleaning)


If you’re price conscious going for a pre-owned gown is the way to go. Gowns that retailed last season for $3000-4000 are typically half off but sometimes can go for as little as $500-600. More good news. You’re going to get very personalized assistance—the same as in a full service bridal salon. Though there will be re-altering involved, you won’t have to wait 4-6 months for your gown. Bear in mind once-worn gowns have already been pre-fit and altered to someone else’s body. Just make sure they’re once-worn; an over altered dress that’s been on more than one body could lose its original shape after a while. Ask how many and what kind of alterations the gown you want has had. Typically, if it’s gone through more than two brides, forget it. In addition to alterations your shop may offer customizing services (for a fee). Shops realize with previously-worn gowns, there’s a kind of possessive energy the new purchaser wants to create to make the gown her own. Therefore some shops focus on customizing.

FYI: Naturally bridal consignment shops don’t stock set sizes like salons do. Small and larger brides might have to work closely with staff and keep a lookout locating a gown in their size
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BLUSHING BRIDE

Blushing Bride


Credits: Olivia Leigh, W. Scott Chester Photography, Marla Aufmuth, Orchard Cove Photography, Myrtle & Marjoram, Koelle Art via Poppytalk, Dollface Studio

Special thanks to Shana Wilson over at SMP Style Circle for putting together these delicate Spring inspirations for us.  Particularly love the gossamer feel of all the apparel shown here.  You can find all kinds of chic and cutting edge ideas on her blog, Baubles and Bubbles .
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VINTAGE SUNSET

VINTAGE SUNSET

I hope this board inspires a vintage feeling in all of you looking toward a Gatsbyesque or Hollywood style wedding.  The pale salmons and beiges suggest sepia tones evocative of the start of the last century when lace and intricate embroidery applications were more commonly used.  If you can find just one vintage item or accessory to work into your wedding day it will make a real difference sentimentally (especially if the item is passed down from a loved one) as well as adding panache to your look . . .
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ONCE UPON A TIME

One of the nicer aspects of aging would have to be 'remembering when' and actually seeing ads like these in daily papers back in the 1970s when  fashion illustrations were still the norm.  Thanks to Wendy Hartigan of Bridal Affairs in Philadelphia,we have these great fashion illustrations..  She sent me these clippings along with some editorials from Bride's from her mother's files. The above photo of the bride in a helmet-like headpiece and waterfall veil is from the late sixties; the bottom image late seventies when the gypsy-chic of Oscar de la Renta and YSL was all the rage; this is the era I cut my teeth in . . .
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MEET ME IN THE PARK



CREDITS

Photography by: The Renegades:
Gowns and Veils:  Amy-Jo Tatum
Makeup: Aliya Qazi
Venue: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
Models: Jen and Sujan
Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is home to a couple of the the city's museums, the De Young and California Academy of Sciences.  Next door is the Japanese Tea Garden, an outdoor botanical garden steeped in a serene and peaceful beauty.  After you've visited this 1000 plus acre landmark you'll find yourself asking, 'where else can you find year round greenery in so many fields of open space?'  Because Golden Gate Park has a unique landscape, there are scores of special places to get married indoors and out.  The most romantic of all would be Shakespeare's Garden the spot that pays tribute to all the the plants and flowers mentioned in the Bard's poems and plays. You'll find lady-smocks, hemlock, violets, and other florid representations of Shakespeare's works. 
Opting for spots in full bloom as well as architectural interest, we also improvised along the way and had a real day of it . .

In front of the De Young Museum


Special thanks to all the Renegades, a Bay Area group of photographers on the edge, finding the nuance in recording everything from daily life to the surealness of fashion  . . .
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THE TRUTH ABOUT GOING VINTAGE

Balenciaga Inspired
The above gown is from Amy-Jo Tatum's collection of authentic vintage gowns.  This one is from the 1960s Balenciaga era.  Photo by Lirette Photography

If you're flirting with the idea of wearing that dress from your favorite era, here's the lowdown: Many vintage clothing stores stock actual gowns from by-gone eras as well as ‘retro-inspired’ selections that are brand new. The bride in love with a particular era of clothing usually checks vintage clothing stores first. Not all opt for an actual gown that survived the ages though. Some go for a newer style reflecting the period in natural, sustainable fibers. Why? Because that authentic 1916 Shiffli lace blouse may be so delicate, without proper restoration it could literally fall apart. Think of gowns belonging to the ages like you would certain antiques: some so precious to be considered museum quality. Depending on restoration, the rule of thumb is, the older the gown the less they should be worn. If you are set on wearing that 1910 dress find a specialist in restoration who can advise. At this point you may have to decide whether or not going green or wearing a repro Art Deco (possibly in synthetic or made in overseas sweatshops) is the more important.



Above is a reproduction of 30s-40s vintage
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RAPSODY IN BLUE

RAPSODY IN BLUE
While there are many shades of blue, these pewter and slightly aqua hues do inspire a light muted spring mood found in gardens and sea refuges. Adding light pastels and the texture of berries to your bouquet gives this floral piece real individuality . . .
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MINIMALIST

 Bottega Veneta

Not every dress out there is about flounce and bounce this season.  Strip away the ruffles and layers and these simple styles reflect the women who knows less is sometimes more and feels best in a dress that shows her off to the best advantage
Calvin Klein
Emilio Pucci.
GianFranco Ferré.
Luisa Beccaria

Yves Saint Laurent.

Images courtesy iosposa.it
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HEART OF GOLD

Heart of Gold
Kudos to Naomi Goodman of Enchanted Dream Weddings and Affairs for giving us this stunning set of inspirations.  Old and new are fused together here to create a sense of the classic always having belonged to us no matter where we are in the portals of time . . . .
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PUTTING TOGETHER A VINTAGE LOOK

These stunning vintage inspired gowns by Atelier Aimée Montenapoleone offer handmade touches in exqusite fabrics. Every gown you see here is created and produced at Atelier Aimée’s own workshops in Italy.  Aimée designers blend highly honed skills to create these gowns. Says Designer Lucia Zanotti,‘Each gown is like a painting and a sculpture together. First it is designed and then it is sculpted...’




Gowns by Atelier Aimée Montenapoleone
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SPRING GLOVE GLAM

Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal/Photo by Stephanie Williams Photography

Whether crocheted shorties or long, opera length lending that aspect of drama—gloves are glamorous and really tie a bridal look together. Luckily there are no rules anymore about what sort of gloves you have to wear with your gown. You can go with the classic white and ivory or jazz up your look with any length, color, texture, even pattern as you can see below. Just as some brides are showing some pizazz wearing different color shoes with their gown, glove color is an option you have as well. Go ahead, be adventuresome!


StylehiveVintage kid gloves from Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal



Crocheted gloves by Shaneen Huham
Shorty cotton gloves Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal/Photo by Stephanie Williams Photography

Opera gloves by Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal/Photo by Henley Photography

Pink opera gloves by Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal/Photo by Henley Photography
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HAIRRIFIC!: THE TREND TOWARD HAIR ART

 There's a trend toward innovative hairdressing whether you opt to ditch the veil or not. Once you've found your wedding dress, topping off your look is typically the next detail to dressing the part. Not every bride feels right doing the veil, some are going for smaller headpieces, hats or wearing nothing at all. For those of you skipping the cake top template of hairstyles, we have some innovative looks from hairdresser Kathie Rothkop of Salon Glam in Novato, California.  "I get inspired by the style of the gown and type of woman wearing it.  Then there's the time of year of the wedding, says Kathie. "I put women in 4 categories. Sporty, classic, romantic and edgy. A sporty woman would want hair very simple, probably short and tailored. Her wedding dress would be stream-lined. Classic would be very traditional, maybe a french twist, no ornamentation. Grace Kelly was a classic beauty. Romantic is my favorite. Lots of bling, flowers, height, softness and curls. Goldie Hawn and Katherine Zeta Jones are good examples of this. Edgy is non traditional, Lady GaGa really is this look."

A long braid dappled in Stephanotis.  This is the romantic look Kathie mentioned.

A little 1960s Mod Chic! This wired, white ribbon weaves in and out of Lauren's bun forming ringlets. Great pair up for most any wedding dress- even short and mini styles.

More Swinging Sixties Mod!
Above and below:  Vintage glam with long hair Marcel-waved and tucked under.  Added Stephanotis is the perfect accent . . . 


Got long locks? Flaunt it with half up and half down hair sprinkled with white Stephanotis.
This loose upsweep is accented with fresh Star Royal Magnolias, the perfect compliment to any destination wedding.

Go full bird feathers and all  The hair is long and loose with tiny braids interwoven at the crown. Stunning with sheath and evening gown wedding dress styles.

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