Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Dress Shot (Again)!

We wrote a post quite a while ago about one of our favorite photos from the wedding day- the dress shot. We thought we'd write another similar post just to show you how great that photo can be! Enjoy!

Whether it's a close-up shot of the details of your dress, or further back to capture everything including your accessories, it's a shot we love to see. What do you think of this popular photo? Leave a comment and let us know! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Ethel

Madeleine's Daughter was the one and only store I went to in search of  "the dress." From the moment I stepped into the dressing room, I knew I was in good hands. My bridal stylist made sure to put me in many different styles and shapes of dresses so that I could pinpoint which style I liked best. I tried on eight dresses and when I was put into that last dress, I just knew in my heart that it was the dress for me.  After the tears, hugs and dances of joy, I still did not want to take the dress off. Luckily my fittings would give me more time to enjoy being in the dress before the wedding. Each fitting was more informational than the last so I never felt like I was wasting time. My dress fit all of my nooks and crannies perfectly on my wedding day. The hour travel time back and forth from Boston to Portsmouth was so worth it and I would recommend Madeleine's Daughter to anyone and everyone. I loved my entire wedding gown experience at Madeleine's Daughter!

What's YOUR dress- finding story? Did you find your gown at Madeleine's Daughter? Email us today with your story and photos and you just might see yourself here on our blog!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beat the Heat at Your Summer Wedding

While summer is hands down the most popular time to get married, it can present some unique challenges. Every bride hopes for great weather on her wedding day, but sometimes a sunny day can be challenging in its own way. Here are some tips and a little advice for handling the tricky parts of a summer wedding, particularly where your dress is concerned!

For starters, be very aware of the neckline of your dress and be sure that when you're out in the sun in the weeks and months before the wedding, you not only wear plenty of sunscreen, but you also make sure to avoid tan lines that will be in conflict with your dress. Wearing a strapless gown? You might want to consider a strapless bikini this year. The same is true for your bridesmaids- if they're in strapless, gently remind them that they might want to be careful of tan lines. Trust us, your photographer doesn't want to spend hours re-touching tan lines out of your photos just as much as you don't want the added expense of having them do that!

Worst-case scenario, tan lines can be blended with self-tanners, but who wants an EXTRA task added to their wedding-day to-do list? It's best to avoid tan lines altogether. Don't forget about your sunglasses, either, although this will be more apparent on the groom, since he's not likely to have wedding-day make-up like the bride and bridesmaids!

Speaking of sunglasses, if your wedding day is particularly sunny, consider snapping a few photos with a fabulous pair of sunnies to add a little whimsy to your shots! It can look adorable on just the bride and groom or on the entire party!

Another potential summer-wedding issue to consider is the heat and humidity. Whether a local wedding here in New England or a destination at a tropical venue, you, your guests and your bridal party all run the risk of just being hot and sweaty that day. There are lots of ways to beat the heat in terms of logisics:

- Have a late afternoon/early evening wedding, close to sunset to avoid the hottest part of the day.
- Consider providing parasols and fans for your guests to keep cool throughout the event.
- Hydrate and make sure you have plenty of water and non-alcoholic options for your guests as well.
- If your venue doesn't have a nicely shaded area, consider renting a tent to provide shade, or talk to your venue about moving the reception indoors if possible.

But what about your dress? How do you make sure you and your bridal party won't be too hot in your formal attire?

When shopping for your dress and your bridesmaids, too, keep the time of year and the heat in mind. You may want to consider a simple lace or chiffon sheath as opposed to a satin ballgown. Many brides think, "I'll just remove a few layers of fabric from the dress and it will be cooler." That's often not enough to make a real difference, though. It's also best to wear a more breathable fabric like silk as opposed to polyester if you're trying to stay cool.

Keep baby powder on hand to help keep your skin dry and smelling fresh. It doesn't hurt to have a little extra deodorant nearby as well.

Make a smart shoe choice when shoe shopping. Your feet will swell more than usual on a hot, summer day which can turn your beautiful, brand new Jimmy Choos into a torture device. If you are insistent upon a pair of killer heels, just remember to take breaks throughout the day and sit for a little while to give your feet a rest. You may also consider changing your shoes to a pair of platform flip-flops if you just can't last another minute in your heels. In your floor-length gown, it's unlikely anyone will even see that you've changed!

Finally, if it's just the most sweltering day and you're miserable, just change! Have an LWD (Little White Dress) on hand to change into for the reception. Dance the night away in a simple white sundress instead. After all, you really ought to enjoy your own wedding. Having a Plan B in place should the heat become overwhelming is the smartest move you can make. And if you don't end up changing into the LWD, you can still pack it in your honeymoon suitcase and wear it then!

We hope these few tips will help you have a comfortable, happy wedding even in the hottest days of summer. Was it hot on your wedding day? How did you cope? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Eliza

Madeleine's Daughter helped me develop the vision for our wedding and bring it to life. As a bride not knowing what I wanted my wedding to be, they made me feel beautiful and helped me work my personal style into the design and image of our wedding. Their attention to detail and truly caring relationships they built with me as a customer exceeded any other salon I visited during my search for the perfect dress. They listened to what I wanted and helped guide me towards my dream gown. Thanks to Madeleine's Daughter, I not only felt as beautiful as every bride should on her day, but more importantly, I felt like me.

All photos courtesy of Jane Berger Photography
Are you a Madeleine's Daughter bride who would like to share her experience here on our blog? Then email us today with your photos and testimonial- we'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Make It Grand

Hopefully, getting married is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most people. While this aspect can sometimes create added stress for the couple as they try to make the day "perfect," it can also be a very exciting opportunity. And in our opinion, why not take that opportunity to go big. Make a grand statement with a ballgown. Like these brides did:

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Kay Photography
Photo courtesy of Patrick McNamara Photography
 Photo courtesy of Ivins Images

Was your gown grand? Whether lace, tulle or satin, a ballgown makes a huge statement and we love it! Leave a comment and tell us YOUR thoughts! Or better yet, send us a photo of your wedding day look and tell us how you chose it. You might just end up here on the blog!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Amanda

I had been waiting for this day my whole life, wedding dress shopping!!! I found a designer I LOVED and just happened to see they were having a trunk show at Madeleine’s Daughter. I made my appointment, printed out some of my top favorites and showed up not expecting that the first dress I put on would be “the one.” I had the delight of working with Brandie during my search. I showed her a few pictures I had printed off and Nina by Watters had a HUGE star on it. I think Brandie knew before I even saw the dress it was the one for me. When I put that dress on it fit like a glove, I felt so beautiful and elegant and like a bride. Just to make sure, I decided to try on a couple other dresses and none of them gave me that feeling that I had with the Nina. I only tried on two other dresses, went back to the Nina and of course said YES TO THE DRESS with tears of joy. Every person at Madeleine’s made me feel like I was the only customer there. From picking out the dress with Brandi, to bridesmaid dress shopping with Gigi, accessory shopping with Renee, everything at Madeleine’s was AMAZING. The day I got to marry my best friend was the best, I couldn’t have asked for anymore. I have referred every single bride I meet to Madeleine’s and am hoping some day I can go back with some engaged friends or a sister to pick out their dress.

All photos courtesy of Brianne Seekins Photography
Are you a Madeleine's Daughter bride who would like to share her photos and testimonial here on our blog? Email us today! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wedding Gown FAQ

There's a pretty steep learning curve when it comes to the bridal industry. Most brides are purchasing for the first time and are accustomed to purchasing ready-to-wear attire. The majority of bridal gown designers require 4 to 6 months lead time when ordering a gown. Veils can take several months as well, depending. Bridesmaids and mothers dresses also take several months to come in. And don't forget- you want to give your seamstress at least 2 months for alterations. It's almost always a huge shock to the bride and her family that the process can take so long! That's just one of the many aspects of planning a wedding that can be a surprise! To help you navigate this tricky and often confusing industry, here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

I'm ready to start shopping for a bridal gown- what should I bring when I go out to shop? We can't speak for all bridal shops, but when you come to Madeleine's Daughter, all you need to bring are photos of gowns you like (from magazines or online) and a couple of your closest friends and family. We provide you with the proper undergarments and have everything you could possible need right here in our shop. Watch our "What to Expect" video here to find out more about our appointment structure.

What about accessories I already have? I plan to wear my mother's (grandmother's, cousin's, best friend's) veil (earrings, headpiece, etc.). If you want to make sure that your gown matches the accessory, then we strongly recommend you bring it with you. Heirloom veils can be tricky to match in terms of color, so it will definitely help your stylist to be able to see it in person.

How many dresses should I try on before choosing? Every bride is different, but we've found that the average number of dresses tried on is 6-8. You may find this to be very low, but the majority of our brides find "the one" amongst the first few dresses they try on. This is largely because our stylists know our inventory so well, they are able to go through the hundreds of gowns in our closet and pull out the ones they know you will like the best and that will look the best on your body.

How long does it take for a bridal gown to come in after I've ordered it? Typically, bridal gowns can take 4 to 6 months to arrive in the store, which is why we recommend shopping about a year in advance.

What if I don't have that long? What are my options? Some of our gown designers can have dresses here very quickly- as little as 4-6 weeks. This can sometimes come at an additional cost, but not always- your stylist will make sure you know about any rush fees. However, if that's still too long to wait, you often have the option of purchasing one of our samples.

Your store only has one sample of the dress I love, but it's not my size. How can I try it on in my size before purchasing? Unfortunately, this is most likely not an option, as our store and the majority of bridal shops only carry one sample of each dress. But our stylists are highly skilled at clipping and pinning the sample on you so that you can clearly see how the gown will look when it IS your size.

I normally wear size 4 when I shop at the mall and department stores. Why do I need to order a size 8 bridal gown? Bridal sizing is very different from ready-to-wear. The size charts are determined by the pattern sizes of the gowns, which is very different from ready-to-wear clothing. Additionally, very few brides measure perfectly into one size. Often the bust, waist and hip measurements will place you into 2 or 3 different sizes. You may end up ordering a size 8 because of one of your measurements, not all of them.

But you took my measurements- doesn't the designer make the dress for me based on my measurements? Unfortunately that is not how it works most of the time. We take your measurements so that we can compare them to the designer's size chart and choose the size that will come closest to fitting you. 90% of bridal gowns require tailoring to get the perfect fit. They are made with the intention of being altered and your bridal gown should be so perfectly tailored that you are the only person who can wear it.

When should I shop for bridesmaid/mothers dresses? We recommend you shop for bridesmaid dresses shortly after finding your gown. The same goes for mothers. As those dresses tend to take roughly 4-5 months to arrive in the store, it's smart to get started immediately. Additionally, once you've chosen a color and style you love, don't hesitate to order. Colors and styles are discontinued all the time and often without much warning.

We hope this helps clear up some of the confusion you might have about shopping for bridal attire. Leave a comment below if you have more questions. We'd be happy to answer all of them for you!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Meet Our Bride: Danielle

As a future bride shopping with her mother, grandmother and little 3 month old baby the revered dress shopping had turned into serious angst! I cannot begin to explain how glad I am that we found the perfect dress at Madeleine's Daughter!  Our stylist, Ashley, was so encouraging and really had the ability to see my vision.  As many women find, it was the first dress I tried on that stole my heart with its simple elegance and flattering lines.  From the moment I purchased the dress, to the veil and eventually the bridesmaid dresses, Madeleine’s Daughter was so personable.  Everyone there really made me feel like a bride, not just another number!  I would highly recommend anyone to Madeleine’s Daughter! 

Are you a Madeleine's Daughter bride who would like to share her photos are testimonial? We would love to hear from you, so email us today!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Be an Amazing Wedding Guest

Last week on the blog, we discussed the importance of being a good host and hostess at the wedding and how to achieve that. This week, we'd like to talk about how to be a great wedding guest. Since there are a lot of couples these days who are choosing to forego a lot of the traditional wedding day events, it's important that they make sure their guests are informed about what to expect- dress code, timeline, local information, etc. Most couples these days create a wedding website which includes information about the venue, local hotel accommodations, the timeline and location of wedding events including day-of, etc. As a guest, start there and only once you've thoroughly read through all the available information and still not found the answer you need should you contact the couple. Even better than contacting the couple is to contact the best man or maid of honor, especially if it's close to the wedding (week of or closer). How else can you be a terrific guest at a wedding? Read on!

1.) RSVP in a timely manner and respect how it was addressed. Do NOT assume a "plus one" unless your invitation specifically states "and Guest." Also, do NOT assume children are welcome unless the invitation includes them. The most costly aspect of the wedding is taking care of the guests- catering specifically. They have asked for your reply by a specific date for a reason. The caterer and reception venue need a final head count, obviously, but there might be less obvious reasons for the deadline. Consider a couple that is trying to keep their guest list low and therefore not invited everyone they want to. They may then receive a dozen "no's" which could allow them to invite a few more friends and family that had previously been cut from the list. Whatever their reason for giving you a deadline, respect it and RSVP on time.

2.) Arrive on time. This requires no explanation.

3.) Unplug. You owe it to the couple to give them your undivided attention at the very least for their ceremony. Silence, or better yet turn off your phone including the camera. Don't check facebook during the vows, or text your buddies at the bar around the corner during dinner. Be present. They've invited you for a reason. And back to the picture-taking part of unplugging, you should respect the fact that they've hired a photographer to document their day and leave the picture-taking to them at least for the ceremony. #lettheprofessionalsdotheirthing

4.) Drink responsibly. "Open bar" does NOT mean you should get obliterated. The couple wants you to enjoy yourself and they've paid for your dinner and drinks to help make that happen. It's generous of them, don't you think? You should pace yourself and avoid getting drunk.

5.) Dress appropriately. Not sure what the description on the invitation means? Check out this fabulous cheat sheet by The Knot.

6.) Under NO circumstances should you contact the bride or groom on the day of the wedding or even the day before. If all of your questions couldn't be answered on their invitation and/or wedding website, as a responsible, repsectful guest, you probably should have figured that out sometime prior to the last 24 hours before the big event.

Ultimately, it's actually pretty easy to be a great guest. Follow these simple rules and you'll not only enjoy yourself, you'll help the bride and groom have an amazing day as well. And isn't that what it's really all about?


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