Friday, February 28, 2014

Want All the Best Wedding-Industry Insider Tips?

Planning a wedding is incredibly stressful in large part because most people doing it are attempting it for the first time. The number of details that need to be attended to is overwhelming. Even if you give yourself well over a year to plan, it's still difficult to feel as though you can learn everything there is to learn in the time you have.

Enter the New England Wedding Resource. If you haven't heard of this group in particular, it's highly likely you've heard of all the vendors that comprise the group's list of members. Jardiniere Flowers, the White Apron Catering, Joya Beauty, Hair that Moves, MAC Photography and of course Madeleine's Daughter are just a few. These members represent the best in the bridal industry and their goal is to come together once or twice per year to offer an event for couples in the beginning stages of planning their wedding. This event is specifically geared towards educating couples and their families on how best to be prepared when booking vendors. There is no sales pitch, no pressure to hire these specific vendors- it is purely educational.

Typically, the event has a simple structure: All the vendor panelists take turns sharing with the audience the three most important questions to ask vendors when hiring, and then they also take the time to answer each of those questions. After that, the floor is opened to the audience for an informal question and answer period. Finally, once the open presentation has finished, couples are offered an opportunity to speak privately with any of the vendor panelists. Typically the event also includes some great perks like delicious h'ordourves, and a raffle with an incredible prize. Last year's event included a grand prize valued at well over $2,000!

Jamie, the winner of the prize at the most recent NEWR panel event!

We wanted to give our readers a taste of what to expect if they were to attend the panel event, so below you will see one question from each of the vendor panelists that they feel is an important question for you to ask when booking a service or vendor. Of course this is just a taste of the advice available at this event and if you want all the best insider tips, attending the event is the best way to get it. Be sure to sign up for the next event! For more information, visit the New England Wedding Resource Facebook page.

And now for the questions:

HAIR STYLING- Hair the Moves
Q: Do you have references of past brides who can speak to your skill/professionalism?

MAKE-UP- Joya Beauty
Q: How do I best communicate my beauty vision to you (my make-up artist)?

FLOWERS- Jardiniere
Q: Do you have ample space and refrigeration for the flowers I've chosen for my wedding?

VIDEOGRAPHY- Lasting Memories Videotaping
Q: How do you work with photographers?

Q: May I see an entire wedding that you have photographed?

DJ SERVICE- Main Event Entertainment
Q: May I see a recent video that shows the DJ's personality, voice, style and general presentation?

BRIDAL ATTIRE- Madeleine's Daughter Bridal Shop
Q: What should I expect at my first bridal appointment?

Q: How long will it take for me to receive my completed invitations?

Q: Do you have specific wedding training for your chauffeurs?

Q: When do I need to order tuxedos?

WEDDING PLANNER- The Wedding Belle
Q: What services and packages do you offer and can I mix and match?

CATERING- White Apron
Q: Do you have experience working specifically with my venue?

 Of course, this is just a taste of what the panel will be discussing- it's far from all-inclusive when it comes to the tips they will have for you. If you're planning a wedding, we strongly recommend you consider attending one of the New England Wedding Resource's panel events. Visit their Facebook page for more information about the next panel event on March 20th. And as always, thanks for reading our blog!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Guest Post: The Wedding Belle

Leslie and her team of wedding "Belles" are truly experts in their field. It's really amazing to see their work come together. Today on the blog, we have a guest post from them all about something many brides dread: rain on the wedding day.

Every bride’s worst nightmare is about having rain on their big day. Instead of letting the rain soak your spirit think about ways you can brighten your day with making the rain be on your side! There are many ways that you can incorporate the rain into your wedding day.
Use umbrellas as a decoration and a guest favor! This multi-purpose idea will have your guests feeling extremely appreciative if they came unprepared for the weather. And it will also give them something that they can use again in the future!

The rain also provides some great mementos. A new trend has found that bride’s are saving some of the rain that fell on their special day as ornaments or as rain jars. Guests can even give these as gifts!

Read the full post here and then be sure to check back soon for more informative and inspirational posts, including everyone's favorite series, "Meet Our Bride!" If there is something you'd like to learn more about, comment below and let us know!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Colors are Blush and Bashful...

Everyone remembers that memorable line from "Steel Magnolias" between Shelby and her mom, M'Lynn:

Shelby: My colors are blush and bashful.
M'Lynn: Her colors are pink and pink!

But the thing is, decades ago, Shelby had no idea she would be perfectly on trend for 2014. I guess she was ahead of her time. Blush is one of the hottest bridesmaid looks out there right now. It's all over Pinterest, Style Me Pretty, the Knot- pretty much anywhere you see bridesmaids, you'll see blush. It's a popular color for bridal gowns as well, but even more so for bridesmaids.

Blush is the perfect color if you're hoping to do a mismatched look for your bridesmaids:

Petal Pink bridesmaids- all styles by Bill Levkoff
Left to right: 165, 478, 484

Peach bridesmaids- all styles by Watters
Left to right:3538, 5512, 5513, 5518
As you can see from all the pictures above, whether you choose one color from a specific designer and let your girls select their own unique style, the look can still be very cohesive. Even when some dresses are long and others are short, the color pulls everything together. Of course, it helps that the fabric is the same as well. That ensures that the dresses will all photograph the same. However, you don't have to choose one color from one designer for a fabulous look. Don't believe me? Check out this collection:
Various shades of blush chiffon bridesmaid dresses
Despite being four different styles from four different designers in four different shades of blush, the bridesmaids in the photo above would look good enough for the front page of Style Me Pretty. While all four dresses are chiffon, the color and weight of each dress varies, but they still all look fabulous together. And while we feel chiffon is the best fabric for the mismatched bridesmaid look, it's definitely possible to mix and match other fabrics as well. We're fond of this set of lovely lace dresses- three different designers, three different laces, three different styles, yet all together it's fabulous!

I personally would love to see a mismatched lace look like the one pictured above with all the girls in brown cowboy boots. Wouldn't that be so charming and fun?
So whether your preferred shade is blush or bashful, peach or peony, you can rest easy knowing your bridesmaids will look absolutely perfect!
Did you have blush bridesmaid dresses? Would you like to show off your gorgeous bridal party? Send us an email telling us all about it and don't forget to attach the photos!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Renee

Madeleine's was wonderful. I was nervous to go but everyone was pleasant and welcoming from the first phone call to set up my appointment. It was my third and final bridal shop. I really wasn't interested in continuing to shop around- I had a dress in mind at the other shop that was nice and would work if all else failed. I had some specific interests but prior to wedding gown shopping had never tried on any kind of formal gown before so wasn't sure what to expect. McKenzie was my consultant and she was great! She listened to what I liked, but more importantly to what I didn't want and to my budget. I really didn't want a strapless gown and after leaving the other two bridal shops I was confused as to whether that would be what I ended up with. She was able to find me a gown that met all of my interests- it was unique, it had lace and was a little vintage but not too vintage, it was an illusion neckline so didn't look strapless but still had a corset back to keep it nice and tight, and it was in budget! She was even considerate to the dress sizing so that it would be able to be fitted to the look I was going for without taking too much fabric away. She was just awesome!

Renee helped me pick out my accessories- they were understated and didn't take away from the dress. People (especially the girls from the salon) were in love with my beautiful headpiece, and the birdcage veil tied into my play off of vintage/rustic wedding theme nicely. I don't wear a ton of accessories so she spent some time with me to make sure I felt comfortable and was wearing the accessories, not letting the accessories wear me.
I had such an amazing wedding day! I looked far more stunning than I could have imagined and I felt like a unique bride! I had a lot of people tell me they loved my "vintage" look and that it wasn't commonly seen in recent weddings. Despite misplacing my birdcage veil (so sad, but I have some awesome pictures to capture the memories) I could not have been happier with my magical day. My dress and accessories were perfect! I never fidgeted with my dress once- it was snug and secure even after an afternoon of "first look photos", the ceremony, and of course dancing the night away!

All photos courtesy of Garone Photography
Are YOU a Madeleine's Daughter bride who would like to share her story here on our blog? Email us today with your photos and testimonial!  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Our Top Ten Stunning Wedding Gowns for Under $1,000

Our annual sample sale that just happened last month features bargains galore on bridal gowns. We offer our samples at 40-70% off the retail price during that sale, so prices are literally rock bottom. However, for plenty or reasons, there are brides who don't want to purchase a sample gown. Sometimes it has to do with size- the sample gowns tend to fall within a limited range, and if your body is outside that range, you may end up spending as much on alterations as you did on the gown. Other times, it just has to do with wanting something completely fresh and new- the idea that you are the one and only person to ever wear that gown is very appealing to lots of brides, so a sample just isn't an option for them.

Whatever your reason, don't be discouraged by price. We have quite a few absolutely stunning gowns for under $1,000 even at FULL PRICE! Ballgowns, mermaids, simple sheaths- we've got it all! Whether it's a fancy hotel or destination venue, there is a gown that will work for you. Just look!


These are of course not the only gowns for under $1,000 in our shop, but they are definitely our favorites! Are you looking for a stunning gown at this price point? Call us today and make your appointment! We can definitely help you find your dream dress!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Allison

After trying several shops in Boston, I returned to where I bought my prom dress twelve years earlier, Madeleine's Daughter.  My sister purchased her wedding dress at Madeleine's Daughter in 2009.  She and I like to say, "You go to other shops to try on wedding dresses.  You go to Madeleine's Daughter to buy your wedding dress."

The consultant listened to my ideas and budget and then helped me find  exactly what I wanted.  She gave great advice and helped make the  decision-making process easy.  I still use her advice to this day: you  won't pick your second favorite! I was about to move halfway across  the country and I couldn't believe that I walked out of the shop with  my dress, a sample, in hand!  Thank you so much to the wonderful  staff, particularly my consultant, for helping me find the perfect  wedding dress.

Did you find your dream dress at Madeleine's Daughter? Email us today and tell us all about it! We'd love to put your story on our blog!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Featured Bridal Vendor: Lasting Memories Video

Did you know that 98% of brides regret not hiring a videographer to document the wedding day? It wouldn't occur to you not to have a photographer, but as valuable as those pictures are, none of them can capture the sound of your voice as you say your vows, or the laughter of your guests during the best man's toast. Do yourself a favor and make sure you're one of the 2% who hire an amazing videographer and then you'll be able to relive actual moments from your wedding day when you watch the video again and again.

But where do you find a great videographer? Well, just like we know the best florists, photographers, wedding planners, DJ's, etc. in the business, of course we also know the best videographer: Lasting Memories Videotaping.

Here's a little more about them in their own words:

LMV Productions is a full service video production company, located in Southern Maine, that specializes in wedding and event videography. Established in 1985, LMV (Lasting Memories Videotaping) has been servicing clients around New England for over 25 years. In 2006, Jamie proudly took over the day-to-day operations of the family owned and operated business. In 2009, Matt joined LMV with the intention of expanding the business throughout the region. As co-owners, Jamie and Matt take tremendous pride in developing story through film. Client satisfaction is what the company was built on, and continues to be the number one priority. Though the equipment and technology have changed over the years, one thing has remained consistent – our commitment to building relationships with our clients and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

The Lasting Memories Difference:
We understand that the only way to truly document the emotion of your Wedding Day is to make you feel as comfortable as possible. That is why we take the time to get to know you well before your wedding day arrives. What are your expectations? What details are important to you? What do you want to remember forever? These elements, combined with our discreet style, create the genuine emotion that make your wedding video extraordinary. With our experience, and approach to filmmaking, we provide a product with the quality of a large production company, while still being able to maintain the personal connection that only a small production company can deliver. It is our goal to create a memory that you will enjoy watching and sharing over and over again; and vividly remember all the detail and emotion that made your Wedding Day truly one of the best days of your lives.

Take a few minutes to enjoy this wedding video by LMV. It's pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face! (Also, it just so happens to be one of our brides!)

Tristin">">Tristin & Justin (9-7-13) Highlight Segment
from LMV">">LMV Productions on Vimeo.">Vimeo.>

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Alexandra

My experience with Madeline's Daughter was wonderful. I had only been to a couple dress shops before coming to Madeline's Daughter. When I got there I felt like I was on the show "Say Yes to the Dress" because I was treated like finding my dress was very important to them. The person who helped me took her time and listened to everything I wanted in a dress. I also have to say that the dressing room was very spacious and comfortable. Once I picked my perfect dress, they had to order it. Luckily my dress came earlier than expected which was very nice. They contacted me as soon as it came in. Picking up my dress was also very easy and I am extremely happy with how beautiful my dress looked on that day. I owe that all to Madeline's Daughter. Thank you all so much!

All photos by Mon Petit Studio
What was your Madeleine's experience like? Did you feel like you were on "Say Yes to the Dress" too? We hope all of our brides feel special, so email us today to tell us all about your experience! You never know if you might end up featured here on the blog! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How to Choose a Universally Flattering Bridesmaid Dress

We all love to look at gorgeous photos of stunning bridal parties on Pinterest and Style Me Pretty, but the truth is that not every bridal party is made up of 5'9" size 2 models. In fact, the majority of bridal parties consists of gorgeous women of all shapes, sizes and heights. So, when you have multiple body types and skin tones in your bridal party, how do you choose a dress that works for everyone? Of course, you can always choose a mismatched bridesmaid look and we've broken down the mysteries of that here on the blog. But if you want a more uniform look, it can be a little more tricky. That's why we're breaking down the mystery of it here for you!

It all comes down to color, silhouette and neckline. First, let's talk about color. There are lots of colors that will work for just about any skin tone and lots of colors that are bad on just about any skin tone. Today, we're going to show you the top three MOST flattering colors you can choose for your bridesmaids regardless of skin tone, hair and eye color.

Of course, the most obvious is black:

What girl doesn't need a great LBD, right?
Advantages: Black is slimming and literally looks great on everyone. It's also a neutral color, so it will also coordinate well regardless of the other colors you are using in your wedding.
Disadvantages: Black is very formal and some people just hate black at weddings. While there isn't really a rule about not wearing black to weddings anymore, it's just not everyone's favorite.
If you are opposed to black, for whatever reason, then consider the second most univerally flattering color: Navy.
Advantages: Softer than black, but still slimming and great on every skin tone.
Disadvantages: Navy works with a LOT of other colors, but not everything. Pair it with red and it's a little patriotic (especially once you add the bride in white to the mix). Also, if you're using black elsewhere (such as with the tuxedos), it can look a little off as it's so close to black, but obviously not exactly the same. It's all a matter of preference.  
Finally, as far as color is concerned, the third most universally flattering color is purple. Dark is best- think eggplant and amethyst NOT lilac or lavender.
Advantages: Slimming and looks just as great on the palest skin tone as it does on darker skin. When I say "universally flattering," I mean it!
Disadvantages: Not exactly a neutral, purple can be difficult to incorporate into your color scheme, depending on what you've chosen.
If purple isn't quite right for your color scheme, consider another deep jewel tone such as emerald or dark teal. Darker colors tend to be more universally flattering than light colors. Also, dark colors are more slimming and who doesn't want that?
Once you've chosen color, whether it's one of the colors above, or not, you can also help everyone look fabulous by choosing universally flattering necklines and silhouettes. It's very simple, actually and while there are exceptions to every rule, we're not often wrong with this.
NECKLINE: Sweetheart necklines look good on everyone, regardless of bust size. Be careful not to have too deep a dip in the "heart," or it might be too revealing. Choose a dress with or without straps, depending on your or your bridesmaids' preference.
SILHOUETTE: Choose a dress with a cinched natural waist and a softly gathered skirt. Avoid skirts that are either very full or very slim as both can be tough to pull off depending on your body type.
Here are some fabulous examples of universally flattering dresses:
Trudy by Jenny Yoo
Bill Levkoff style #732
Amsale style #G748J
One last detail to consider when choosing your bridesmaid dresses is length. While short dresses look good, generally speaking long dresses look great. With all your ladies in floor length dresses, you don't have to worry about what shoes they wear- heel height, color, etc. Floor length is also an idea choice if you have a lot of different heights to contend with. Finally, floor length is far and away the most flattering.
So there you have it- the simple elements that add up to a universally flattering bridesmaid dress: dark color, natural waistline, sweetheart neckline, floor length. It's a simple formula that will help every single bridesmaid feel beautiful on your big day.
What factors led to your bridesmaid choice? How did you prioritize? Did you decide on a style and color, or did you let your bridesmaids pick? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Mira

Madeleine's Daughter was both the first and last place that I shopped for a wedding gown. I went with my mother and we had a great time- we were both impressed with our stylist- she was personable, knowledgeable, and we never felt pressured. After I tried on a bunch of dresses and I was still indecisive, she let me look at the racks for myself. "What about this one?" I asked her at one point.
Apparently I had tried it on already and had nixed it...I decided to give it another try. It turned out to be THE ONE! A first for my consultant. And it was in my budget!
I was so pleased with my wedding dress and couldn't have asked for a more incredible wedding day! I would definitely recommend Madeleine's Daughter to anyone looking for their perfect dress.

Are you a Madeleine's Daughter bride who would like to share her experience here on our blog? Email us today and tell us your story! You just might be chosen to be featured on our "Meet Our Bride" series!


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