Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Emily

I loved working with the team at Madeleine's Daughter.  Everyone was always very friendly and helpful.  When my seamstress fell unexpectedly ill, the shop was able to compensate without skipping a beat.  I was very impressed with their service and attitude......and I LOVE my dress!!

Gorgeous dress, gorgeous veil, gorgeous bride! We're a bit biased, but we think all of our brides are gorgeous, actually. And we LOVE featuring our brides here on our blog. If you are a Madeleine's Daughter bride and you would like to be featured here on our blog, email us today! Tell us your story and don't forget to send us photos!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Guest Post: Joya Beauty

When we refer our brides and their parties to Joya Beauty, it is most often for Joanne McDonough's incredible make-up services. However, she's so much more than a make-up artist. She's the kind of skin care specialist that you can entrust with your skin for its overall health and beauty. Her facial treatments are legendary and once you've experienced her techniques and products, you'll be hooked.

For our blog, she has generously offered to contribute this guest post detailing the Top Ten Ways to Defend Your Skin. Caring for your skin is a daily endeavor and you should be taking care of it regardless of whether or not you are preparing for your wedding. This post is just good advice if you want to take care of your skin. Enjoy this special guest post and visit Joanne's website to learn more about her services and products.

Top 10 ways to defend your skin

1.) Wear sunscreen all year long.  The sun showers us with hazardous rays even on grey days.  We are just fooled because it is cloudy.  Don’t forger that sun reflects off of water so you need to protect your skin poolside even while wearing a hat. 

2.) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.  Drink plenty of water and reduce caffeine consumption and watch your skin glow.   

3.) Practice “barrier” repair and “lipid” replenishment – products that contain lipids keep the skin barrier intact.  This will enhance your body’s natural moisturizing factor, reduce irritation and inflammation, speed skin healing and recovery. 

4.) Consume vitamins and anti-oxidents daily topically and internally. 

5.) Reduce sugar intake which causes a process known as “glycation” – a naturally occurring process which increases as we age.  Sugar molecules bond with protein molecules which creates a glycated protein and it becomes weak, brittle or fractured making it vulnerable to the dreaded free radical attack. 

6.) Reduce the occurrences of inflammation caused by UV exposure and overuse of harsh, acidic and irritating chemicals. 

7.) Stop Over-exfoliating. Not many people are aware that exfoliating can dry out and irritate the skin.

8.) Manage and Reduce stress. Stress fractures the skin cells and causes damage. It shows on the skin in the form of wrinkles and sagging.

9.) Get regular professional facials using products that contain ingredients that are generally more bio-available, massage which releases deeply imbedded toxins, floods tissues with fresh re-oxygenated blood that will bring a boost to the skin.  

10.) Don’t skip home care – if we are faithful with our home care we have 60 opportunities a month to nourish, hydrate and protect skin against environmental damage.

Whether you are preparing for a wedding or not, you should take these steps to care for your skin so you can have a healthy glow year round!

Check back soon for more guest posts, more advice for your wedding planning, your bridal gown, recommended vendors, etc. And feel free to comment below to tell us what you'd like to see posted here on the blog! We'd love to know your opinion!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wedding Hair Advice from Hair that Moves

When it comes to creating the perfect bridal hairstyle, we recommend no one higher than Lena Hartford of Hair that Moves. Her experience in the bridal industry is unparalleled, so we thought it would be fun to interview her for the blog. Enjoy! Note: All photos are examples of Lena's work!

MD: How do you determine the best hairstyle for each bride? What does your process involve?

Lena: I always start with a brief questionnaire which helps me understand the overall theme and vibe of the wedding. I ask about the venues, the florist, and of course about the dress. I also want to know about her vision for herself within the theme of the wedding. From there, I do my best to achieve the look she's after while at the same time educating her about bridal hair in general.

MD: What kinds of things to brides need to be educated about?

Lena: It varies, depending on the bride, but in general I try to educate them on the type of hairstyle that suits not only their wedding theme, but also that suits their type of hair- length, thickness, color, etc. I also try to make sure they know how to keep it looking good all day.

MD: What should a bride bring to her hair trial?

Lena: Pictures of styles she likes are the most obvious, but it also helps to bring the headpiece she plans to wear and her veil.

MD: We actually discourage brides from bringing their actual veil to the salon since they are so delicate and easily damaged by hairspray. Can they bring a less expensive substitute?

Lena: That's fine, because I want to be able to show them the placement of the veil in their hairstyle. A lot of brides don't realize that the veil often covers the up-do, so it's good for them to see. If they bring an inexpensive veil from a party store or Wal-mart, there may be a difference in the type of comb on it, which is important for the hair stylist to know. I always recommend that their actual wedding day veil have a fine, metal comb as opposed to the larger plastic combs. The fine, metal combs do a lot less damage to the up-do when it comes time to take the veil off. You should make sure you have hairspray and some bobby pins available on the wedding day for any touch-ups you might need.

MD: Good to know! What about birdcage veils?

Lena: In the case of a birdcage veil, I wouldn't bring an inexpensive substitute. Birdcage veils are actually really tricky to put on and often require bobby pins to get the perfect placement. Also, something brides should be aware of when planning to wear a birdcage veil is how far from her face she wants it. I can't tell you how many times the false lashes have clashed with the birdcage veil- catching on the netting when she blinks. It's fine to wear both, but it's important to know that if you wear false eyelashes, you may need the veil to sit further from your face to avoid that annoying part!

MD: Okay, back to the hair trial- when should the bride schedule it? Tell me some more about the process.

Lena: I typically see the bride about 2-3 months before the wedding for her hair trial. I look at the pictures she's brought and listen to the info she gives me about the wedding and then I style the hair completely, incorporating the headpiece or veil if she has it with her. I make detailed notes about which products and styling tools I used to achieve the look and also make notes about any changes she would like. I think it's a great idea for a bride to schedule her hair trial earlier in the day of one of her scheduled fittings. That way, she can see how the style looks with her dress and all her accessories.

MD: Do you offer to have two different looks- one for the ceremony and another for the reception?

Lena: I do offer that- whether the bride wants me to stay and create the second look, or if she wants me to show one of her bridesmaids how to pull out certain bobby pins to take an up-do down, either completely or partially. But I also want her to be realistic- taking your hair down halfway through the wedding day can be risky- the curls are more likely to fall out, etc.

MD: What advice do you have for brides that will keep their hair looking its best for as long as possible?

Lena: Try not to have super clean hair- shower the night before if possible. If you have to wash your hair the morning of the wedding, be sure to use more product in it that usual- a strong mousse is helpful. More product will help the hair maintain its style much longer. When you schedule your hair trial, you should have it early in the day. Then, as the day goes on, you'll be able to see how well that style stands up.

MD: Is the longevity of the style a common problem?

Lena: As long as you are realistic, it shouldn't be. If your hair doesn't hold a curl very well, then it's probably not a great idea to wear it down and curled for the wedding. Also, consider the weather on your wedding day and how your hair tends to respond to humidity, etc. If you're getting married on the beach, it will be a lot more humid, so take that into consideration when planning your hairstyle. A good stylist will think of that and at the very least discuss the pros and cons of what you're asking for.

MD: Is there anything else our readers should know?

Lena: One thing that not many people don't think about is color. About 99% of the time, brunettes come to their hair trial with photos of up-dos that have been done on blondes, or on brides with high-lights in their hair. This is because hair that is color treated often shows the details of the hairstyle better in photos. I can often re-create the exact up-do they've shown me in the photo, but it will look completely different depending on the color of their hair. In that case, I might recommend they either have high-lights put into their hair, or consider a slightly different style that will work better with their hair color.

MD: Wow! This was SO informative! Thank you for taking the time to educate us and our brides! How can our readers reach you for a hair trial of their own?

Lena: They can call me at (207) 698-7997 or (603) 682-4465 or they can email me at They can also visit my website and my facebook page.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Dana

I had such a wonderful experience getting my dress at Madeleine's Daughter. Upon setting foot in the store, I knew that it was worth the trip from Boston. The staff were so warm and friendly and the dressing room was luxurious - I loved having the large space to share with the people I brought. My consultant asked great questions and it was clear that she got what I was looking for and stayed within my budget. No one can believe that I got my dress on the first try! The seamstress was fantastic- she was easy to work with and really took the time to get the fit perfect. My dress was a hit and made my day truly special. Thank you! 

What is your dress-finding story? Did you find it on the first try like Dana? Or were the dozens of dresses before "the one?" Email us today and tell us your story!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nicole Miller: Master of the LWD

We've written posts on the blog in the recent past about the LWD- "Little White Dress." As a bride it's fun to get to choose not just one white dress for the wedding, but additional little white dresses for the showers, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, reception, etc. One designer in particular seems to have mastered the art of the Little White Dress- Nicole Miller!

Even in this small sampling, Nicole Miller has managed to cover everything- every wedding-related event, every type of look you could possibly want- all of it! There's sweet, flirty, fun, sexy, demure, elegant, and preppy all in this samll five-piece sampling! Can't you just see the first dress for a fabulous reception look- you could shimmy the night away at your reception and sparkle like the top of the Chrysler building in that dress! The second, thirdand fourth are ideal for rehearsal dinner or shower- they're sweet and still bridal, but a little more casual, which makes them appropriate for those types of events. Finally, dress #5 is super sexy- perfect for a bachelorette night out.
What kinds of LWDs are you looking for? Are you planning to wear white or ivory for your bridal events or mix it up with other colors? Leave us a comment and tell us all about it!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Courtney

Sometimes no words are needed. As the saying goes, "A picture's worth a thousand words." We're inclined to agree, so here are "five thousand words."

Would you liked to share your photos and the story of finding your dream dress here on our blog? Email us today- tell us everything!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Best DIY Projects for Brides

Let's all be honest about the fact that weddings are expensive. Food, decor, attire- it all adds up and fast. It's understable that couples would try to save a little money here and there. Obviously, the most effective way to keep costs down is to narrow down the guest list, but truthfully, if your closest family and friends are all there to celebrate, you'll end up regretting that cost-cutting choice down the road. The second most effective way, when done right, is to DIY certain portions of the wedding. We've all seen dozens of DIY "Fails" all over the internet, so today on the blog, we're going to give you our advice for how best to DIY your wedding.

STEP 1: Prioritize!

Once you've put your wedding day budget together, sit back and look at all the elements. Discuss it with your fiance and decide what is most important to you. For example, if it's crucial to you to have a specific look for your bridal bouquet, it's likely you should choose to spend a little more and hire a professional florist to get exactly the look you want. Unless you're remarkably skilled, don't risk trying to DIY something that's really important to you. By the time you realize it was a bad idea, you may end up out of options due to time and budget constraints. You do not want that kind of disappointment, so it's important to be realistic from the get-go.

STEP 2: Organize!

Now that you've decided exactly what you will DIY, it's time to organize all the details- this includes determining what supplies you need, what research needs to be done, what tutorials you need to watch, and of course what time needs to be scheduled for these DIY projects to actually be completed. Ask ANY bride who's DIY'd anything in her wedding and she'll tell you to get it done ahead of time. The last thing you want is a pile of projects to complete the week of the wedding. That's the time you should be spending with your family and friends, especially if some of them are coming in from out of town. And trust us, there will be PLENTY of items on the To-Do list the week of the wedding to keep you and your bridal party busy. Don't overwhelm yourself or your 'maids with extra DIY projects in the last few days. Just don't.

STEP 3: Execute!

Before tackling ANY wedding day DIY project, do a test run. Make one mock-up of the centerpiece design and look at it objectively. Make adjustments and get the design just right before moving on. Order a sample of the invitation design before printing all 150 of them! Whatever the DIY project, practice it enough that you feel confident you can create the look you want given your skill level. Let's be honest- we're not all Martha Stewart, right? However, if you have a friend or relative who IS as good as Martha, don't hesitate to enlist his or her help.

If you plan appropriately, you can end up saving yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on how much you choose to DIY. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of what we feel are the best parts of a wedding to DIY, and not just for the super crafty brides, either!

1.) Paper Goods- Lots of brides are using their own software and inexpensive printing sites like VistaPrint to design their own invitation suite. You can choose to do something simple like the Save-the-Date cards, or you can do everything including your full invitation suite, escort cards, table numbers, menus, etc.

2.) Centerpieces- If you like the idea of a centerpiece design that doesn't necessarily incorporate fresh flowers, this can be an excellent DIY option, since they can be done at any point and stored away in your basement or attic until the big day.

3.) Favors- Much like centerpieces, as long as there isn't anything perishable involved like food or flowers, you can DIY the favors and then box 'em up until the big day. And it will feel pretty awesome to have that major item on your list checked off early in the planning process.

For the average bride, there are definitely some ways to save money through DIY, but there are also some aspects of the wedding that we feel very strongly about leaving to the professionals.

1.) Food- Unless your family owns their own catering business and is accustomed to handling large scale events, definitely leave this to the professionals. When it comes to food and drink, there are so many things that professionals will do and take into consideration that you could never imagine in your wildest dreams.

2.) Flowers- Even if you're a skilled floral designer and can put together a beautiful bouquet for yourself, that doesn't mean you should. Aside from the pressure of spending the morning of your wedding creating boutonnieres, bouquets and centerpieces, you also have to consider the logistics of picking up the flowers prior to putting the designs together AND delivering them to the various locations- bouquets to the bridal party, boutonnieres to the men, corsages for special guests, centerpieces for the reception, large arrangements for the church- that's a LOT of running around. A professional florist can plan for those logistics while keeping your flowers fresh in their climate-controlled vehicles.

3.) DJ- It's becoming increasingly popular to create various playlists for your wedding- one for the cocktail hour, another during dinner, and then of course the playlist to get all your guests bustin' a move on the dance floor. However, we don't recommend this particular DIY for one big reason: a DJ is not just there to hit "play." A DJ is there to facilitate the flow of your reception- from announcing the bridal party and introducing the couple, to letting guests know when the buffet is open. Most importantly, a DJ will read the crowd and respond accordingly with appropriate song choices. A playlist can never do that.

Are you a DIY bride? Do you agree with our advice? Why or why not? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Ashley

I truly enjoyed everything about Madeleine's Daughter. My consultant was wonderful and very helpful. She gave me the confidence to say Yes To The Dress!! What made me fall in love with my dress was the lovely bolero. It was everything I could have dreamed of.

Ashley looked so romantic, didn't she? Would you like your wedding day photos to be featured here on our blog? Email us today and tell us your story. Don't forget the photos!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Featured Bridal Vendor: Regal Limousine

Did you know that one of the most often forgotten detail of wedding planning is transportation? Many brides mistakenly assume that if the ceremony and reception are taking place at the same venue that they do not need to provide any type of transportation for guests, but there's a lot more to it than that. For instance, are you offering an open bar? Then it might be a smart idea to offer a shuttle service for your guests back to their hotels. What about transportation for the bride and groom? And I'm not talking about just getting to the venue, I'm talking about a trip to the airport for the honeymoon the next day, too.

Don't put off this important detail until the last minute. Start considering your transportation needs early in the planning process. There are a lot of choices besides the traditional limo service. Trolleys are becoming increasingly popular, so if you love the romantic idea of a trolley ride on your wedding day, you'll likely need to reserve one early!

But where to begin when choosing a transportation company? How do you know they will understand a appreciate the importance of the day? You need a transportation service that has experience with weddings and knows exactly what to do to make even that detail of your wedding day special. Enter Regal Limousine Service.

Here's a little about Regal, in their own words:

Regal Limousine Service - a tradition of excellence since 1983. Great service is an experience. It is someone else paying attention to the details so you don’t have to. A memorable and truly cherished experience only comes about by paying attention to details. By selecting Regal Limousine Service as your chauffeured transportation provider for weddings, special occasions, concerts, ball games and airport service our attentive and polished service professionals will attend to every detail so that your event is perfect.

Regal Limousine service…..details attended to, perfection achieved.

And did I mention that Regal has trolleys in addition to limos?

Check our blog in the future for more important information about the best vendors in New England. We can help you find the best florist, wedding planner, photographer- pretty much anything you could possibly need to help plan your wedding. We know all the best vendors and we're happy to steer you in their direction.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month and there are quite a few amazing female designers who have influenced the bridal industry in enormous ways. We're proud to offer their designs to our brides, knowing they are becoming a part of fashion and women's history as well!

Monique Lhuillier is one of the most cutting edge and fashion-forward bridal designers in the world. Her designs grace the red carpet on a regular basis on stars such as Halle Berry, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cameron Diaz, andGwyneth Paltrow. In the bridal industry, she is know for her innovation and for always being ahead of the trends.

Originally from the Phillipines, Monique launched her bridal line in 1996 and has been getting rave reviews ever since. Her line began in response to her search for her own bridal gown in 1995. After discovering a lack of fashion-forward bridal designs in the industry, she decided to try her hand at it. Given her extensive fashion background, it's no surprise she's been so successful.
Another cutting egde female designer we're proud to carry is Jenny Packham. Another designer frequently found on the red carpet, her bridal designs are the only of their kind in the industry right now. Slim silhouettes accompanied by intricate beadwork are her signature whether on the red carpet or in the bridal industry. Perhaps her most notable client is the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who wears her gowns on a regular basis for all sorts of events.

Her designs have also been worn by Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez and of course by many brides around the world. She recently celebrated 25 years in the fashion industry and we hope she'll be creating more amazing gowns for another 25 years to come!
Of course, our designers aren't all focused entirely on gowns. There are a number of amazing accessories designers impacting fashion and women's history with their innovative collections. Maria Elena is perhaps the most notable jewelry and bridal accessories designer we carry and the history of her company is as beautiful as her designs. The company came into being when Maria's daughter was searching for a headpiece for her own wedding day look. Maria Elena designed her daughter's headpiece with the intent for it to become an heirloom. The rest is history- she soon had launched her business creating beautiful heirloom quality headpieces and jewelry for brides around the world, most recently Kelly Clarkson!

Finally, another of our designers who is making bridal fashion history is Toni Federici. Her veils are unparalleled in the industry and feature only the finest materials- tulle, lace and beading. Her designs are featured on some of the high-end bridal gown designer's runway shows including Monique Lhuillier and Watters.

These four amazing designers are far from all-inclusive when it comes to notable female designers in our shop. We know that they were influenced by female designers from the past and their work will also stand the test of time and influence many designers yet to come.
What female designers do you feel have had the most impact on the bridal industry? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Alyssa

From the moment I walked into Madeline's Daughter, I knew I wouldn't be visiting any other dress shops. It's a beautiful store, and the stylist I worked with made me feel like a million bucks, while staying well within my budget! She listened to my ideas about what I wanted, and was very knowledgeable about the gowns. I ended up choosing the third dress I tried on, absolutely loved it, and tell anyone who will listen about the fabulous experience I had!

What a gorgeous bride- Alyssa looked amazing! We love nothing more than hearing from our brides and seeing their photos from their wedding day. If you are one of our gorgeous brides, we want to hear from you, too! Email us today!


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