Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meet Our Bride: Rachel

Madeleine's Daughter really made my dress buying experience one in a million. This was my turn to feel like a princess that I had grown up dreaming about, and they did just that. They made the experience, fun, memorable and had impeccable insight on just the right dress that I had in mind. When I tried on the final dress, it was instantly clear that it was made for me. My dress and my day made me feel like I was plucked out of a fairy tale and I could not have been happier.

What was your dress-buying experience like? Do you want to tell us (and our readers) all about it? Email us today- tell us your story and send us some photos!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to Choose the Perfect Veil: Part 2

In our first post of this series, we discussed the many different lengths of veils that brides can choose from. Today we're going to focus on the various edgings, embellishments and shapes available and how they differ. There seem to be endless combinations of these, but we're going to break it all down for you in a simple, accessible way. At least, that's our plan...

First, let's focus on shape. The way a veil drapes behind and around you is dependent on how the designer cuts and gathers the fabric. The shape of the cut, or pattern can be done in any number of lengths, but we'll be showing a variety here today.

Perhaps the simplest and most common style of veil is the straight cut- it falls straight down from the comb and is rounded at the bottom. It is typically gathered a great deal at the top- generally the top of the veil is as wide as the bottom, which creates the fanning effect as it falls down.

This shape looks great no matter the length- fingertip or cathedral or anything in between.
A simple variation on the straight cut involves creating a more circular shape, but just at the top. This creates a beautiful halo-effect as you can see in this photo:
Notice how the tulle surrounds the face a little more? It's so romantic! This particular shape works best with longer veils like the chapel-length veil pictured above.
Another really beautiful pattern is the circular veil- a style where the tulle is literally cut in a perfectly rounded shape and the comb is placed somewhere in the middle. This differs from the first two veils I've shown you, as the combs are places at the edge of the veil. When the comb is placed in the center, it creates a fold in the veil which causes a very elegant draping effect:
You can also pull the top layer forward to create a blusher:
A blusher is the veil that is worn in front. Not all veils have blushers, but almost all veils can be worn with one and it's easy to add to whatever your favorite veil happens to be.
Next,  I'd like to show you a simple oval veil with no gathers at the top:
This shape veil tends to be more narrow, as it doesn't have as much fabric gathered at the top. It's very elegant and simple and looks best with some type of trim such as the lace pictured above.
Finally, I'd like to show you a full, bubble-style veil. This kind of veil is cut very full and then stitched onto itself creating a bubble effect. It's a very fun, playful, whimsical look, great for a modern bride:
The other distinguishing detail to decide for your veil is the type of embellishment you prefer, or maybe you'd rather have non at all! We'll try to break it down to keep it simple for you!
Ribbon edges are perhaps some of the most common. In the picture above, on the left is a 1/16th inch ribbon and on the right is a 1/4 inch ribbon. Of course you aren't limited to these- whatever size a ribbon comes in, it can be used to trim a veil!
Similar to ribbon, another common edging is horsehair braid, also known as woven ribbon. It's a little stiffer, but more sheer than ribbon and has a very whimsical look to it.
Beading and rhinestones are becoming more and more common for veils, whether trimming just the edges of the veil as pictured above, or scattered all over like this veil:
Last, but certainly not least is the lace-trimmed veil:
Pictured above is Alencon lace on the left and Chantilly lace on the right, but there are any number of designs and types of lace that can be used to trim a veil. You can even applique pieces of lace in a scattered pattern across the veil. The possibilities are endless!
That's true of everything related to veils, actually- the possibilities are truly endless. From the exact shade of tulle used, to the length, to the shape, to the various trims you have to choose from- it can be overwhelming! We often find that for many brides it's harder to choose the veil than it is to choose the dress. That's why we recommend you make a Finishing Touches appointment with us, whether you bought your dress with us or not. We can have one of our stylists work with you to create the perfect wedding day look- she'll help you figure out exactly which veil is perfect for your unique dress.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the various shapes, lengths and trims used in making veils. Leave a comment below if you have any veil-related questions and we'll be happy to answer them for you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Meet Our Bride: Patti

My best friend brought me to Madeleine's Daughter in 2007 in search of her wedding gown. We had such a fantastic experience with Juhree that I told my little sister to check it out in hopes that she'd have a wonderful time finding her gown, which she did in 2010. We'll now it was my turn, and there was no doubt in my mind that I'd be heading to Portsmouth (from Boston no less) to have my special day too.

We all have an idea in mind of what shape or style or designer when it comes to finding the dress, I sure did—a little advice, try on something you would never imagine putting on.  I had my heart set on some sort of sheath with a capped sleeve or some other cool element to the dress, like a keyhole back for example.  My consultant, Sadie, took her time with me, asked me some questions and off she went in search of my gown.  Sure enough, in the first batch of 5 dresses or so, my gown was there, the Allure 8800, it sparkled, it was a sheath, it had amazing lace and I loved it. But wait, this is the first place/time I've looked for a dress; I can't just get it today! I hadn't even figured out my budget yet—second bit of advice, figure this out early!


I waited and browsed for another 2 months or so and stumbled across another Allure gown 8764. This was it. I called Sadie and asked if she had it in the shop or if we could get it in. Long story short, we ordered the dress and I was in heaven! I made the deposit, signed the contract and was on my way.


So I thought... my car ride home I started having second thoughts. Which I think is fairly normal in all of this planning. When I signed the contract, Sadie had mentioned a part that basically said I had 24 hours to freak out. Well I was freaking OUT (and this was all for a good reason that I would soon come to find out). Regardless, I told myself to sleep on it.


I didn’t sleep; I called Sadie as soon as the shop opened the next morning, and told her what was going on.  She said “no-problem-o, come on in and we'll start over,” I think I was there within the hour.   Fortunately for me there was a trunk show that began that Friday, featuring some Jacquelin Exclusive.  Sadie pulled this funny looking strapless sweetheart, A-line dress, with a bow from the rack and asked what I thought... at this point I didn't care if I tried on the whole bridal salon, sure I'd try it.

Here I hold and examine this different, but groovy looking dress, covered in laser cut lace rosettes; I stepped in, zipped up, turned to the mirror and absolutely lost it—I think I actually gasped.  There is some feeling that happens when you put on the gown, and you just know it’s the one (hopefully a similar feeling to when you meet your other half).  My heart was beating out of my chest, adrenaline was pumping, and then I saw my Mom.  We cried, couldn't speak and both just knew this was it.  Sign, sealed, delivered; there was no turning back or second guesses on this one.


I may have questioned a lot of things during the wedding planning process, especially with the first 2 dresses, and I sure am glad that I did. My gown was nothing like I had tried on and had that unusual element that I was looking for (the laser cut rosettes). 


My wedding day was a blast, it absolutely poured. We got married on a beach with no back-up plan, just a bunch of orange umbrellas. The beach sand/mud created a really neat effect on my dress, the underlay got filthy, but made the overlay lace pop, something even cooler that I could never had predicted.  Thank you Madeleine's Daughter for making me step out of my comfort zone and into a completely unpredictable and fabulous dress.

Did your bridal gown search bring you to Madeleine's Daughter? Did you find your dream dress here? Would you like to tell us all about it and be featured on our blog? Email us today!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to Choose the Perfect Veil: Part 1

In our finishing touches appointments with our brides, we find that it is often more difficult to choose a veil than it is too choose a gown. It seems like it would be a simple thing to do, but in truth, most brides have never shopping for a veil. And while most have never shopped for a bridal gown, either, they've at least shopped for dresses of some kind, so they at least have a jumping off point of knowing roughly what silhouette they like, or whether or not they prefer lace or beading. Also, after stepping into the "one," it's often such an emotional reaction that brides get, that they just know. Veils can be a little trickier. After all, usually her first time shopping for a veil is also her only time. Over the next few weeks, we'll break down the mystery of finding the perfect veil for your bridal gown.

There are just as many veils as there are gowns, but they all break down into some combination of length, shape and edging. For this post, we're going to focus on length:

The shortest is typically known as "elbow" or "waist" length:

"Pixie" by Toni Federici
The next longest is known as "fingertip" length:
"Luxe" by Toni Federici 
Next comes "waltz" length, which typically falls somewhere between the knees and the ankles:
"Whimsy" by Toni Federici
The next longest length is called "sweep" and usually just brushes the floor:
"Blizzard" by Toni Federici
The next longest is called "Chapel" length and usually extends 12-36 inches behind:
"Swirl" by Toni Federici
Finally, the longest length veil is called "Cathedral" and extends at least 36 inches behind, but can go on for as long as you like. Princess Diana wore a Cathedral length veil that extended for nearly 24 feet! Our Cathedral veil below only trails about 6 feet and yet it's incredibly grand:
Veil by Pronovias
We hope this has been a helpful introduction to veil lengths for you. When it comes time to determine which length will look best with YOUR bridal gown, just call us and make a "Finishing Touches" appointment with one of our stylists. After all, shopping for a veil in anything other than your gown is practically impossible!
A general rule of thumb for all veils is that they should perfectly compliment your dress without competing with it. Long veils tend to be the most flattering as they tend to lengthen your appearance and show off your uninterrupted silhouette. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, otherwise there would be no need for short veils!
Check back again soon for our next veil-oriented post- you'll be a veil expert very soon!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Meet Our Bride: Marissa

I could not have imagined a better experience shopping for my wedding dress then I had at Madeline’s Daughter.  From the moment we walked in the door we were greeted with friendly smiles and a warm atmosphere.  My Bridal Consultant was incredibly knowledgeable and had a keen eye to the style dress I was most comfortable in.  She made a point to incorporate all of my “bridal entourage” into my shopping experience, which I truly appreciated.  Deciding to purchase my wedding dress from Madeline’s Daughter was one of my favorite and best decisions made throughout all of my wedding planning process. Thank you Madeline’s Daughter for providing such a special memory for an amazing time in my life!

Would you like to share your experience at Madeleine's Daughter with all of our readers? Email us today- tell us your story and send us your photos!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We Just Can't Decide

We all have our favorite pieces here in the shop- favorite gowns, favorite veils, favorite earrings, etc. But when it comes to Maria Elena headpieces and jewelry, it's often way too hard to decide on our favorites. You may remember from an earlier post that we recently got in the same piece that Kelly Clarkson wore on her wedding day. It's definitely a front-runner for the title of "Our Favorite." But it has some stiff competition. Here are a few of our "favorites."

See what I mean? It's hard to pick our favorites because they're all so unique and completely fabulous. We just can't decide, so comment and tell us YOUR favorite!

And the best part is that we're getting SO many more pieces in so soon. So if you haven't already found your bridal accessories, call us today to make an appointment and come try on some Maria Elena headpieces and jewelry! It's one of about half a dozen designers that we carry and we know you're going to love these lovelies just as much as we do!

Have a great day and as always, thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Meet Our Bride: Vanessa

I had such a wonderful experience with Madeleine's Daughter!  I got engaged in October 2011, right before I moved to Birmingham, Alabama.  Planning a New Hampshire wedding from Alabama was not the easiest thing, but finding my dress was!  I had an appointment with McKenzie and within the first 10 minutes of my appointment she had pulled several dresses and had me trying them on.  With my mom and sisters by my side, I tried on the first dress and loved it.  It was simple with lace detail and, surprisingly, not what I had imagined myself in.  To help me make my choice, McKenzie had me try on about 10 more dresses during my appointment each and while each was beautiful, none compared to the first dress.  It was perfect!  Since my time in New Hampshire was limited with each trip I took, it was such a relief to know that I had found my dress and absolutely loved it.  


I also had my alterations done by Madeleine's Daughter and was so impressed by the way that they were able to accommodate my scheduled trips up to New Hampshire and make sure that I had enough fittings, at the right time.  Renee and her team were so understanding and helpful; they made it stress-free, an important thing for all brides!  


My wedding day was everything I had dreamed of, and more.  My dress was beautiful, comfortable, and fit me perfectly.  

What was your experience like at Madeleine's Daughter? Email us today and tell us all about it. Don't forget to send photos- you might end up here on the blog!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2014: What's Coming!

October is the month for bridal market, so we just recently got back from New York City after seeing all the new collections for 2014! We made a LOT of decisions about which dresses to carry in our store and decided to give you a little sneak peek of what's going to be coming to New Hampshire in the coming months! Our brides are going to be gorgeous (as if they weren't already...)!

Of course, these are far from professional photos, so take our word for it that even though these gowns look amazing, they are even more spectacular in person!

First up, we chose some amazing dresses from Essense of Australia and Martina Liana, two sister companies based in- you guessed it- Australia!

This dress was so classic and elegant, we just couldn't pass it up!

So many of our brides have wanted a super low-back and we're excited to have this dress in the shop for them to try on!

Our New England brides just love their lace and we just know they're going to love this amazing gown! It's available beaded or unbeaded, so no matter your preference, it's available!

This is another stunning gown that we just couldn't pass up- wait until you see it in person!

This dress made us gasp even when it was on the mannequin. It's available with a high-low hem (as shown), but we ordered it in the standard full length for the store. The brocade fabric of the skirt is just breathtaking!

We're suckers for a cute bow and a pretty train- can you tell?
Next, we stopped in at Eve of Milady and picked out four absolutely over-the-top gowns. Unfortunately, we only photographed one of them:
Eve gowns are ideal for the bride who wants drama- whether it's silhouette or embellishment, Eve will have it!
The next day, we visited the JLM Couture house and chose dresses from Alvina Valenta, Tara Keely and Lazaro. Here are some of our favorites:
This gown is the most delicious champagne color that barely reads in the photo- trust us, it's amazing.

Another super-low back gown for our brides who want that sexy look!
This Lazaro dress is SO amazingly over-the-top- the textured skirt, the beaded bodice. It's drama all the way! (Sorry for the screenshot, btw!)
The blush of this gown is so lush and the beadwork is just stunning!
Tara Keely had this amazing textured ballgown that we had to have!
Who can resist a tulle ballgown with a dainty lace bodice? We certainly can't! Tara Keely, we're in love!
Our final sneak peak of what's coming is Jenny Packham, one of our all-time favorite designers. We were practically drooling over these gowns:
Marion- we ordered our sample in the color pictured on the left. It's called "Magnolia." How gorgeous is this gown?!?!
Kathleen- simple, elegant, gorgeous.
We'd love for this blog post to go on and on, but it must come to an end eventually. Of course, this is only a small sampling of the gowns we'll be getting in the store in the coming months. We've got new dresses from nearly 30 different designers coming in- Paloma, Mikaella, Maggie Sotter, Allure, Pronovias, Christina Wu, Jacquelin, Monique Lhuillier, Marisa, Marchesa, Theia, Robert Bullock, Watters, Wtoo, and Romona Keveza- to name a few!
If there's a specific dress you're looking for, feel free to call or email us and we'll be happy to check and see if it's one we already have or one that's coming soon! In the meantime, visit our Pinterest page and see over a hundred photos of the gowns we saw at Market last month!


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