Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Perfect Rehearsal Dinner Outfit

There has always been much debate on what to where to your rehearsal dinner and how formal you want to get. But the decision is totally up to you! I have always believed that weddings are such a special occasion and the Bride is going to be in every photo imaginable, so why not look your very best? I love that their are so many options out there and now you don't have to look much farther than the Bridal Salon that you purchased you bridal gown at.

We know it's been talked about for years, and we all thought people were just fibbing. But now the way they are designing bridesmaids dresses they can be used for absolutely any special occasion and no one will even know the difference. I have heard over and over again brides say " Oh I love this dress, but it just won't work for all of my bridesmaids" or for whatever reason. I say, if you love it, buy it for yourself and wear to your rehearsal dinner. I am all about women showing their feminine side and I want to see Brides shine for all of their wedding events. And the rehearsal dinner is no exception.

The key to making sure that no one even makes a comment that you are wearing a "bridesmaid dress" (SHHHH) is making sure your accessories tell the right story. Choose an open toe nude heel, for one they make you look taller and leaner, and they will keep your look from becoming too made up. (Beauty should look effortless, no matter how long it took you to look like that!)

Keep your jewelry from looking too formal, skip the rhinestones for this look and turn to a mixture of beautiful colored stones and pearls. Hair should also look effortless, if you wear it down sweep some back to frame your face and make sure it has a natural body to it. If you like your hair up, sweep it back and tie a loose bun or twist in it. Make sure you leave some strands out or you risk looking like a stern librarian!

Now's the time to wear the color that you loved but your bridesmaids refused to wear! Or if you want a more elegant look order the dress in black or a gorgeous champagne. If you are traveling for a destination wedding purchase a dress in a jersey fabric. It's wrinkle free so you can literaly take it out of your packed suitcase and throw it on for the rehearsal.
Done right you will stand out amongst everyone at the rehearsal, and you should, your the Bride. Your look should be effortless, so don't think into styling too much. And remember it's a good investment because you can wear the same dress to your friends wedding 2 months later!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where to Donate your Bridal Gown or Prom Dress

Since we are full swing in the middle of Wedding and Prom season I am getting a lot of phone calls about where to sell or donate bridal and prom dresses. (We are all watching our pocket books a little closer now a days!)
As far as selling there's always ebay, although with an overflow of discount bridal stores also selling on ebay, prices are going way down. If you have a couture bridal gown, weather it be new or gently used you can take a trip to Chicago's bridal consignment store White Chicago. Here you can drop off your bridal gown to be sold by trained bridal consultants. It stays there for 3 months and I believe you get 40% if it sells.

Donation to me is the best way to make an impact and be able to make some money come tax time. All donations are tax deductible and if you end up shipping the dress, shipping is also tax deductable. Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation is a wonderful place to donate your new or used bridal gown. They will take all donations and go around touring in different states to sell the gowns to hopeful brides. We have made donations to Making Memories for 3 years and it is an easy process and since everyone is touched in some way by the disease, also a fulfilling donation.

There are many other ways to donate your bridal gown and make it count towards a good cause. The Bridal Garden in New York takes donations of new and used bridal gowns with the profits benefitiing the children of New York. Again a great tax deduction for you and a great way to give to others at the same time.

If you have a prom dress to donate I recommend the Sista Pride's Princess for Prom. It runs right out of Milwuakee by The Boys and Girls Club and is for a wonderful cause!

And I know you all want to hang on to those wonderful Bridesmaid dresses from the 80's and 90's but let go and make room in your closet for other things. If you think that no one would want or use a tacky dress, think again! Many Highschool Musical and Theatre departments are happy for these kinds of donations. They work perfectly for plays or musicals set in different eras, or they alter and change them to look completely different. Call your area schools to find out if they are in need, this is also tax deductable if they have a form for you to fill out.

We get calls all the time about where to sell gowns or what to do with bridal gowns when a wedding is canceled and the dress is new and unaltered. In that case it's a wonderful opportunity to take an unfortunate situation and make it into one that benefits many.