Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For Mom: A HUGE SALE!!!

In honor of Mother's Day, we're hosting a sale specifically for mothers of the bride and groom. All of our in-stock mother's dresses are 50% off May 1st through May 15th! And since we know you may need to place a special order rather than purchase from our stock selection, we're offering 10% off all special orders, too! Whatever you're looking for- long or short, glamorous or casual, long or short sleeve- we have it! Here's a handful of our favorites!

We really do have something for everyone, so call us today! Appointments are required on Saturdays, but we welcome walk-ins Monday through Friday!


Monday, April 21, 2014

MOB Etiquette: Why You Should Wear a Long Dress

We recently mentioned here on the blog that many couples are foregoing many of the traditional etiquette rules in favor of  representing themselves- their style and personality. While this is fine for many things like the wording on your invitations or the attire chosen, there are still some rules everyone should follow. Many of the remaining rules have to do with the mothers. For example, it's still expected that the MOB (mother of the bride) be more formally dressed than anyone else at the wedding besides her daughter. As the most honored guest, the MOG (mother of the groom) should be third in terms of formality.

That brings us to today's blog post because formality is very easily distinguished by the length of the dress. As long as the bride is wearing a full-length gown, the mothers should also be in full-length. Their attire distinquishes them from the rest of the guests at the wedding and the worst faux pas would be for a guest to be more formally dressed than the mothers.

In addition to looking the most appropriate for the wedding, long dresses are the most flattering almost 100% of the time. And who doesn't want to look her best for her son or daughter's wedding?  Long does not have to mean cumbersome or full or hot- the most common objections to long dresses. You can be comfortable any time of year in a long gown if you choose the right fabric and silhouette.  The longer the dress, the more tall and slender you will appear- even if you aren't wearing tall heels!

With short dresses, you have to be certain to find the perfect length to flatter your legs. At the knee? Above the knee? Below the knee? Tea length? With a floor length dress there's no guess work- just take it straight down to the floor and it will look amazing no matter your body type!

Of course, if wearing a long dress is going to make you feel uncomfortable, then throw these rules right out the window because there is one rule that trumps all others and that is: Choose the dress that makes you feel the best- the silhouette, length, style and color should all come together to make you feel beautiful and if you break the rules in the process, so be it!

Check back again soon for more about how to choose the perfect mother's gown!  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Meghan

My wedding day was the best day of my life and my wedding dress was the best thing I have ever worn-I wanted to wear it to bed!  When I came to you, I was a self conscious bride who figured she would just settle on a dress that would fit but wouldn't ever really feel beautiful. However, when I came in you gave me the experience that I saw "on T.V." And that was something I just never thought I'd get.  Other salons just seemed to throw a dress at me or threw me into a dressing room for me to try to get a dress on, and they almost never fit. The dresses you brought out for me fit great or were too big, and you never even asked me my size!  From day 1 until my final fitting, each visit was fun and stress free.  Thank you again for giving yet another bride countless memories she won't ever forget.

 We have a confession to make: we try to get every bride to wear a long veil like Meghan's because this is our favorite kind of photo!!! Just look at our gorgeous bride and that amazing veil! LOVE!

All photos by Dan Gillan Photography
Veil preferences aside, we can say without bias that Meghan (and her MD stylist, of course) put together a truly classic, elegant bridal look from head to toe. Did you wear a long veil like her? A short one? Maybe no veil at all? Regardless, we want to see your pictures- it's literally our favorite thing here at the shop. So what are you waiting for? Email us today!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Costume Change!

The increasingly popular trend that we're seeing in the bridal industry is the desire to have a "costume change" from one part of the wedding day to the next. Brides want one distinct look for the ceremony, with a separate "party" look for the reception and sometimes even a completely different "exit" dress for exactly that- the exit of the couple from the reception!

Designers and bridal shops alike are finding unique and interesting ways to help brides achieve their desired "costume changes." The most obvious choice is to purchase multiple dresses, but once you add on the expense of alterations, this can get extremely pricey. The next most obvious choice and one that several designers are offering is the convertible dress. These dresses come all sorts of different ways- sometimes there's a short dress hidden beneath a long skirt. Other times, the bodice and skirt are completely separate, allowing the bride to wear one piece independent of the other, perhaps the next day at a brunch, or out to dinner on the honeymoon. And since many designers offer these "separates" to be sold separately, there's also the option to mix and match between designer, depending on your preference.

The possibilites are endless, but we thought we'd show just a few options we have available here in the shop. Of course, there's no telling how much longer they'll be here, so if any of these looks are something you may want to try, call us ASAP to see if they're still here!

This stunning 2-piece gown designed by Watters is a perfect example of  how a dress can be worn mutliple ways and for different events. The above look is perfect for the ceremony and dinner portion of the reception. It's elegant and sophisticated and oh-so bridal. But what if you love it so much you don't even want to take it off the next day? Then why not pair it with a simple skirt and wear it to brunch the following morning?
You could dress it down for brunch and then pack it in your suitcase for the honeymoon and dress it up for a nice dinner out. The finished look will depend entirely on the accessories you choose! (Also, if you're not into the blush look, this dress is available in ivory as well.)
Here's another, much slimmer option, perfect for the bride looking for a sleeker look for both:
We were pretty crafty putting this look together- we took a short dress by Nicole Miller and topped it with a ruched skirt by WToo. You'd never know if we hadn't told you, though! Here's the dress by itself:
Isn't it perfect for a reception look? The jazzy feathers and beadwork are perfect for dancing the night away! We loved this short dress so much, we decided to pair it with a different skirt, too, just to see another option. This is a very fashion-forward look ideal for showing off your legs:
This tulle overskirt is designed by Monique Lhuillier and is intended to go over a long lace sheath, but we thought it would be fun to try it with something short! What do you think of our creation? It's kind of reminiscent of the wedding dress in the Guns n' Roses November Rain music video! It's a lot more elegant, and a lot less 80's, don't you think?
If the high-low look isn't for you, and you want something a little sweeter, why not try this two-for-one combination:
We've taken yet another Nicole Miller "Little White Dress" and layered a tulle skirt by WToo on top of it. It makes for a very sweet, romantic look that with the right accessories might even work in a very formal setting. But the LWD all on its own is perfect for dancing the night away at the reception, or to wear for an exit dress:

Are you a bride who may want to wear a convertible dress or have multiple "costume changes?" Leave us a comment and tell us all about it!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Love Affair: What's it's all about

As you know, the owner of Madeleine's Daughter, Elizabeth, recently partnered with Leslie Barbini the owner of the Wedding Belle, the seacoast's premier wedding planning industry. They've had a long-standing professional relationship between their two businesses, but recently they've gone into business together to create Love Affair, a bridal planning suite that we have no doubt will revolutionize the way couples plan their weddings. I sat down with Leslie a few days ago to find out a little bit more about Love Affair, specifically why couples should head there ASAP.

MD: How did the idea for Love Affair come to be?

Leslie: The idea started about a year ago. Elizabeth and I spent an entire year working on a business plan, developing the concept and building the space.

MD: Tell me more about the concept. What exactly IS a bridal planning suite and why should couples want to use one?

Leslie: Well, we've essentially narrowed down the field of vendors to the most qualified ones, the ones we feel are the best to work with. Between Elizabeth and I, we have decades of experience in the bridal industry, not just working directly with brides, but with vendors as well. We know first hand which vendors to recommend and we've been extremely selective in who we chose to be a part of Love Affair.

MD: So how does that help couples planning a wedding?

Leslie: They can choose to be a member here at Love Affair and then we become their "matchmaker." We pair our couples with the perfect vendor for them based on budget and style. It's sometimes hard to narrow down the field, so we've done the research for them and can much more easily and efficiently find the best vendor for their wedding. We represent ALL price points as well as all styles and aesthetics.

MD: How does the pricing work?

Leslie: Couples can sign up for as little as an hour of our time to the maximum they need. Just like our vendors are represented at all price points, so are our services. And if you upgrade, the previous payment you made gets applied to the new package you choose! It's actually very affordable.

MD: So, what it sounds like is that instead of going to a bridal show and meeting tons of vendors who are all trying to make a sales pitch, or searching endlessly online, reading hundreds of reviews and websites, you help couples choose their vendors in a fraction of the time and effort.

Leslie: Exactly! Gone are the days of spending your whole weekend at bridal shows and sorting through hundreds of photographers, caterers, florists, etc. And what's better is that when you're here, we hope other couples will be here, too. You can bounce ideas off each other, not only about vendors, but about DIY projects and anything else wedding-related! Love Affair is about creating a community of couples who can support each other. Wedding planning is stressful and anything that can help ease that stress is a good thing!

MD: You mentioned DIY- what about couples who plan to DIY a lot of their wedding? How will Love Affair be beneficial to them?

Leslie: Starting this month, we'll be hosting events to help those couples learn how to do the DIY projects they intend to do! For example, we'll be having a DIY Brooch Bouquet class very soon! We'll be doing all sorts of events that are educational for all couples, whether DIY or not! We're even going to have events like trivia nights and speed-dating-with-vendors!

MD: Seriously? Speed dating with vendors? If that doesn't streamline the process, I don't know what will! Thanks for taking the time to meet with me and let our readers know more about what makes Love Affair so fabulous!

Love Affair really is an innovative idea and we just know that couples are going to love it! The Grand Opening is Friday April 25th from 5-8pm! Stop by and check it out- you won't be disappointed! Here are some photos to entice you! Isn't it a gorgeous space?

The front reception area is gorgeous and welcoming!

There are lots of nooks to meet with vendors and other couples to talk about your wedding.

This cozy meeting spot is just one of several available to members to meet with vendors and discuss the details of their wedding.

Yet another meeting space...

We're obsessed with this chandelier!!!!

Photos of happy couples are scattered around. It's nice to know happy former customers of Leslie and Elizabeth are on the walls of Love Affair!

Love Affair is located at 51 Islington Street in Portsmouth. For more information, call them at 603-319-8280 or visit their website here!


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