Real Sealed With A Kiss Wedding: Brandi & Chris
Does this sound familiar? Have you heard this, or something like it? Or have you said it yourself?
The truth? No, you don’t just wear your dress one day. Okay, yes, you’d be correct. You do only wear your wedding dress one day, but let’s think about a few things.
Are you going to be having pictures taken in this dress?
Are you going to be hanging or placing these photos around your home?
Will you be sharing those photos with loved ones?
Will they be putting those photos around their homes?
Did you say yes to most of these? Then now you see, as much as it is true, you only wear the dress for one day, you are also wearing that dress everyday for the rest of your life. “The Dress” is one of the most important aspects of a wedding to a woman outside of the ultimate goal of why the wedding is occurring. It’s important that she feels good, confident, and sexy (yes, sexy – as in feeling good about how she looks and knows she looks good).
It’s so important for a bride to have THE dress that she wants. Looking at those pictures on the mantel will be a daily reminder of the entire day. The association with the meaning of that dress will invoke emotions daily. We want the right emotions evoked. We want our brides to look at those pictures and smile, feel so good about themselves, and confident.
We look forward to helping you find that dress.
The big day has come and gone, you are waiting with anticipation to see all the pictures to bring back all the great memories. The photographer finally calls with the news, your wedding day photos are ready!
First thing’s First
Most photographers send your photos digitally. Be prepared as soon as you get them to back them up even more than once just in case they expire or are mishandled. Now take your time and absorb, gush and shed some happy tears while reflecting on the memories from that day.
Next, share share share!
Not all of course, but a select few. You can even decided to make an album for all the close participants to enjoy at their own leisure. Feel free to share as a timeline of the day with cute captions of the highlights.
In a digital world do not forget about the traditional photo album
In today’s digital age, traditional photo albums and scrapbooks have become a thing of the past for many, but nothing compares to flipping through an album and getting all the feels. When you begin to celebrate your 25th anniversary you will want to reach for the paper album and not a digital file. For such a special occasion, it makes crafting a special wedding album to cherish worth it. Especially so you can pass it down through generations. You may opt to work with your photographer to create a leather bound, luxury album for you and your families, or work with an online service like Shutterfly or Minted. Creating a physical album from your wedding day is not something you’ll regret. And besides, who knows where Facebook and Instagram will be when you’re old and gray?
Prints and Canvases
Go print crazy! Selecting your favorite images will be difficult, but this is an occasion where it’s okay to go a little overboard. Thanks to the Internet, you can go crazy with your fingertips. You can order prints, canvases, photo gifts, calendars, and novelty items. Before you go completely crazy, stop and make a plan. Think of all the locations you may want a photo or two of the big day, and work from there. While you probably don’t want to turn your home into an overwhelming art gallery of yourself and husband, having images scattered throughout is a beautiful way to relive the special times. It’s okay to order a few more than necessary, too. You can always swap out images, and have fun figuring out where certain photos, sizes, and frames look best.
Most married couples are excited to put their beautiful photos to good use. One of the best and most timely ways to do this is by selecting your favorite images to use on your thank you cards. Not only will your guests love seeing special moments from your big day as you express your gratitude , but you’ll be sure that your images are being seen and appreciated, and not just posted on social media or stuck in a file sharing space somewhere on the web.
The happy couple are not the only ones who have been anxiously awaiting wedding images. Your excited parents, siblings, and besties all love seeing your images for the first (or tenth) time and will be just as excited. Share the love and excitement and consider gifting framed prints or photo gifts to those closest to you for upcoming holiday, birthday, or special occasions. Remember not everyone wants to pull out the computer or phone to share your memories. Photos make a great gift and your loved ones will cherish them forever.
Written by Susan Walters
Photography by Michelle Kuzmick
Margaret Hazelett came to us with a vision. She knew exactly what she wanted in her dress, and by conveying that to our in-house designer, Susan Sorbello, she got just that. She got married at 2nd Baptist Church with a reception following at The Country Club of Virginia West Hampton. She chose The Country Club because she loved that they catered to her needs and wants, making her feel like the venue was truly hers for her special day.
Margaret had a beautiful wedding day. Her favorite part was being able to be with all those people who are special to her. Margaret shares with us that even during that exchange, the emotions were palpable, explaining how they both teared up a little, admittedly she did more so, which made it all the more special.
She explained that the day went very well, sharing that there were a few little hiccups here and there, but she was really the only one who knew about them. She remained calm throughout the day and shared that her secret was simply to realize that there was nothing else she could do. She had hired experts with whom she had the opportunity to get to know well during her wedding planning, so trusting them to take care of everything was relatively easy to her.
Her event coordinator at The Country Club of Virginia helped her truly be present and enjoy the day by allowing for her and her new husband to take special “moments.” Margaret says her favorite moment was right after the ceremony, before the reception. She and her husband were taken to a private room with champagne to simply relish the moment, just the two of them, before being announced and joining their guests. Margaret says she took lots of “moments” like this on her wedding day. She wasn’t always able to have them be so significant as a private room, but a simple pause here and there to take in everything really helped to stay in the moment. She even took time to jot down her favorite wedding day memories in a journal the next morning so that she could remember it always.
The reception ended with a gorgeous display of celebratory fireworks. Margaret felt that in this moment, her friends and family truly celebrated her and her new husband as they allowed them forward for the show, showing Margaret that in that moment and throughout her entire marriage, they were, and always would be behind her.
Some love stories start off with love at first sight while others express the importance of a solid foundation built on trust and friendship. Chanda and her fiancé Alejandro started their journey as friends who met through a mutual desire to help people by training to be first responders at Phillip Morris.
“Our friendship turned into a relationship years later,” she told us, while her eyes sparkled as much as the gown she was wearing.
Chanda shared her love story with us while having her dress expertly fitted. As someone who had already been taking steps to improve her health Chanda felt a new resolve to take things to the next level explaining that once she found “the dress,” she saw her and Alejandro’s love and the promise of a future together right before her eyes. The dress represented the realness and awesomeness of what they had and what they were creating. Just like she wanted to give her best and her all to Alejandro, she wanted that represented while wearing her special dress.
“I love my green smoothies and my supplements,” she explained, and even shared her secret with us about enjoying time in her personal sauna, which helped speed along the process when vigorous exercise wasn’t available to her. Whether it was her green smoothies, supplements, or her love for Alejandro, Chanda radiated a joyful and vibrant beauty as she shared her planning experiences with us.
“I had to change the venue,” she confessed, as we were adjusting her train. We then learned that Chanda felt that she had been sacrificing her dream for her perfect wedding environment in the hopes of being more accommodating to the guests. Over time though, the guest list grew so much that she had to make a change, and it turns out it was for the better.
Chanda has loved planning her wedding and growing closer to her bridal party, creating a “sisterhood” with her family and circle of girlfriends before this. Even the involvement of Alejandro has helped strengthen their relationship and has helped them get to know each other in a deeper and more meaningful way.
We asked Chanda how she felt now that she had found the perfect dress and she explained, “When you go to get married you’re thinking it’s forever and when you see it that way you want something that represents that. The joy it brings is overwhelming. I wanted to feel like a princess. I wanted it to represent how I feel about Alejandro and our future. The amount of work I see that goes into finding the perfect dress, and adjusting it to fit, just makes it that much more special.”
We are so honored to be working with Chanda and wish her a lifetime of blessings and marital bliss.
We plan for our big day for years. Some of us have envisioned this day our entire lives. We keep scrapbooks, magazines, and Pinterest boards full of our favorite gowns and ideas. These ideas are very easy to hold onto and become attached to, after all, we birthed them all on our own. It becomes very personal when it’s finally our time to make our visions come to life, but something doesn’t go as planned.
As bridal stylists, we’ve found that often times, brides will become very attached to their vision, so much so, that it becomes difficult for them to branch out and try new gown styles. We see the frustration when a bride is finding that the style and shape they originally dreamed of isn’t working for them now that they’re seeing it in person. We see them try on every dress that fits the original idea, but they are still unable to fall in love. This is where we step in.
When we see the dissatisfaction overpowering the joy and excitement of what the appointment should be, this is when we pause, take a step back, and talk through what isn’t working for the bride. Most of the time, we find that the best thing to do is to try something completely new and start a clean slate. We pick out gowns the bride wouldn’t normally think to try on and encourage an open mind. This is when a lot of the magic happens.
A lot of the time a bride will come looking for a specific style or shape and leave the store completely in love with something they never would have imagined. We love it when this happens because we get to watch our bride not only fall in love, but also form a completely new dream. They can finally see themselves walking down the aisle to their fiance or having their first dance.
We absolutely encourage having that dream. We also encourage keeping an open heart when the process becomes difficult. Don’t become discouraged. This experience that you have with us is so important and we do our best to see that our brides leave happy and in love. We love our jobs and seeing all of our brides overjoyed by their gowns. Your dream dress is out there and we’re here to help you find it.
Shopping for ones wedding dress is one of the most fun and exciting experiences of a girl’s life. It can also get confusing. There are so many different types of styles, fabrics, colors (yes! even that too, in todays time!) to choose from. A scenario we see happen often is when a bride can’t decide between a more classic dress style and a more high fashion, trendy style.
Sometimes, a bride will find a dress they love. They feel it represents them, who they are, their personality, and fashion sense, but they also found a dress that represents what they think they should get married in. The more classic “wedding gown” that girls spend years dreaming about and envision themselves getting married in. So what does a bride-to-be do? Our recommendation is to think 20 years down the road, when you’re looking at your wedding pictures, what will you want to see? Will you want to see a timeless dress, or would you want to see a dress that reflected you and who you were as a person then? No answer is right or wrong. It’s completely up to each individual what they would want to see.
A wedding dress is something that not only represents the individual, but it also represents the love that will be celebrated on the wedding day. Life is never stagnant and we always learn more with each passing day who we are and how to represent that. Have fun with the process, and don’t get too hung up on what you feel like you “should” or “shouldn’t” do. You’re getting married to the love of your life! Don’t be afraid to show your friends and family what that looks like to you, when they see you in your wedding dress. It’s your day. Enjoy it. All of it.
We hear it so much. “I’ve been shopping for my dress and I’ve found a lot that I like, but I haven’t had that ‘moment.’”
What is this “magic moment” you’re supposed to have while shopping for a wedding dress? It’s that moment where one feels that the stars have aligned, the heavens open, the goosebumps break out, and the tears start flowing. The thing is, not everyone has this “moment.” We live in a culture where we are always told that the next big thing is around the corner. We are taught to always keep looking; Looking for the next big thing, the best deal, the best offer.
When we do this, we are robbing ourselves of these magic moments. We sell ourselves short of the experience because we are so focused on the end result. It’s important to be present and let yourself enjoy the journey. The process is truly a unique experience, after all.
While choosing your wedding dress is clearly a very emotional experience, it’s also one of practicality. Each bride experiences the “moment” differently. There is no right or wrong way to choose your dress. It’s our goal as bridal stylists to listen, guide and encourage our brides along the way. We’re here to help you find a dress that fits your dreams and requests, and give you the best, and most memorable experience possible.
If you’re finding that you’re struggling “having the moment” try taking a step back. Have fun with the process, be open to trying different things, and detach yourself from the outcome. It might surprise you how quickly the moment comes.
We look forward to working with you to help you feel that moment.