Ask Pat: I saw a dress online that I love, how can I track it down?

Dear Pat: I’ve been to a few bridal shops now and have a couple styles I really like, but a couple months ago I saw a picture of a dress online that I really loved and I just can’t get it out of my head. I know the designer and style and have called a few local places looking for it, but they don’t carry that designer. What’s the best way to go about tracking it down?

The best place to start is the designer’s website! Most designers have a page where they list their retailers, or stores that carry their designs. Look for the retailers closest to you and give them a call. If they don’t have the particular style you’re looking for, it couldn’t hurt to ask if they could get it. Often times designers have a loaner gown program, where they can send a requested dress to one of their retailers for a limited time–just keep in mind that there’s sometimes a charge for this service. Also ask if they’ll be hosting any trunk shows by this designer, since they will often be sent a variety of designs by that designer that they do not typically have in store. They might not be able to guarantee that the dress will be part of the trunk show, but often there’s a good chance!

Have a question you’re dying to ask a bridal consultant? Email your questions to pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com and one of our experienced consultants will be more than happy to help. Your question might even make it on the blog! 

Trunk Show Alert: The dresses are here!

The Justin Alexander dresses for this weekend’s trunk show have just arrived, and we thought we’d give you a quick peek at just a few of the designs you’ll see in store!

17758535_10154358516110143_5728559664928268895_o

janew2

janew3

 

janew

ja8918collage

Like what you see? Then be sure to give us a call at 434-9795683 to schedule your trunk show appointment before it’s too late!

Wedding Gown Style: Fit and Flare

Fit and flare styles are perfect for the brides who want to have a fitted, figure flattering dress without going for a full-on mermaid look. Whether you like lace, beading, or both, there’s a fit and flare style you’re bound to love!

  1. This strapless fit and flare style features all over embroidered Italian tulle. The corseted bodice ensures a snug, flattering fit and the chapel length train is just the right size for this stunning look. mtsailor

 

2.      This wedding gown is all about the details! It all starts with an illusion Sabrina neckline, which adorns a bodice with all over embroidered sequins. The illusion back features an embroidered lace illusion back and a monarch length train.

3.  The back of this fit and flare gown is bound to turn heads! It also features a a high illusion neckline and “tattoo” lace sleeves.

4.  This gown is so chic! You’ll find that this fit and flare gown has delicate floral lace over pinstriped taffeta. It also features a lace illusion back with detachable taffeta tails.  MTdove

5.   This fit and flare gown is perfect for the bride who wants a classic style with a modern twist. This gown has all over beaded lace, a deep sweetheart neckline and and an illusion back.

6.  Brides will look ever so graceful in this gown! We love the scalloped lace along the neckline as well as the hem, and the key-hole back is stunning!

7.   This elegant fit and flare look features long sleeves adorned with lace appliques, and an illusion button-up back. A simple chapel length completes the lacy look.

8.  This gown’s off shoulder neckline perfectly complements the fit and flare silhouette. The all over lace appliques feature sequins, adding a touch of subtle sparkle to the look.

Ask Pat: How long before the wedding should I get my dress altered?

Dear Pat: My dress just arrived (yay!) but I still have about six months before the wedding–when should I start my alterations? I’d like to get them out of the way, but what if I gain or lose weight between now and the wedding? When do most brides start the process?

Here at Sealed With A Kiss we usually tell our brides to start alterations 6-8 weeks before the wedding–typically this is close enough to the wedding date that you’re unlikely to lose enough weight to change how the dress fits. While this is a general rule, however, we often recommend starting alterations sooner under these circumstances:

If you are not doing your alterations locally. Many brides will have their alterations done in their hometown or the town the wedding will be located, rather than where they live, which can often mean arranging time off of work and booking flights. In this case it’s okay to start alterations early enough to give yourself plenty of time to make at least two trips to see your seamstress or tailor.

If you are planning on re-designing any portion of your dress. Making major changes to your dress–for example adding an illusion top to a strapless dress, or drastically altering the silhouette of your dress–will take more time than typical alterations, so you’ll want to give your seamstress plenty of extra time to re-design your gown.

If the dress is way to big or way too small (we’re talking more than two sizes). If you bought a too big or too small dress in a sample sale, or if you’ve drastically changed in weight since ordering the dress, adjusting a gown more than two sizes can mean a lot more work for your seamstress. Adjusting it to your size may mean adding fabric or completely taking it apart and readjusting for your proportions, which can be tricky. In this case the more time you can give your seamstress to work on your dress, the better!

In some cases, it might be best to wait until just a few weeks before the wedding date to begin your alterations. Usually your seamstress will recommend this if:

You tend to fluctuate weight.

You plan on actively losing weight up until the wedding day.

Depending on the dress, just a difference of five pounds can mean the dress fits a little too big or too small, so if either of the above applies to you it might be best to wait closer to the wedding date to have the dress altered.

In all cases, it’s best to call your seamstress or tailor, tell them what your dress needs done and when your wedding is, and ask them what they recommend. They have the expertise to know how long certain alterations will take to perform, and will be able to give you a good sense of when to get the process started.

Coming this April: Justin Alexander Trunk Show!

We are so excited to announce our Justin Alexander Trunk Show at Sealed With A Kiss Charlottesville this April!

jaapriltrunkshow1

During the trunk show we will have a number of gowns by Justin Alexander not usually available in store for brides to try on, and special pricing will be available on trunk show gowns. It’s the perfect time to say yes to the dress!

Appointments are strongly preferred, so be sure to schedule yours soon!

Just call 434-979-5683 or request an appointment online at http://sealedwithakissbridal.com/appointment.

Learn More About Justin Alexander Bridal

ja8888back

Designs in the Justin Alexander collection are timeless and elegant. The gowns are vintage-inspired, reminiscent of the classic gowns of the 1950s, but always with a modern edge.

The dresses are designed to create fabulous silhouettes, perfectly accentuating the figure of every bride. We also love the fabulous details incorporated into the designs, from the stunning bead work…

to the gorgeous back designs….

to the perfectly designed necklines.

It’s easy to see why brides love Justin Alexander dresses.

To see more of his designs, visit http://www.justinalexanderbridal.com.  And don’t forget to schedule your appointment for the Justin Alexander Trunk Show at Sealed With A Kiss!

10 Tips For Preparing Your Dress For Your Big Day:

 

1) Get some air the night before.

Make sure that you let the dress breathe by taking it out of the bag and allowing it to hang, supported by the hanger straps. Be sure the dress is in a room that is safe from the curious hands of children and pet paws.

 

2) Discuss with your hair and makeup artist the best way to get into your dress.

Be sure to come up with a plan to figure out how to get into your dress once your hair and makeup is finished.  Ask your hair and makeup artist for suggestions!

 

3) Put on  your shoes after you put on your dress.

Take a seat and allow someone to help you into your shoes after you are in your dress. Stepping into your dress with heels on runs the risk of snagging the material.

 

4) Determine how you will best use the ladies room.

Yes, we know this is weird,  but this is one of those things a lot of brides don’t think about and is important! Most dresses are going to either be fitted and difficult to maneuver in for this activity, or a dress with a full skirt can make bathroom access tricky. Discuss with a trusted friend, maid of honor, or perhaps a female relative how they might need to assist you.

 

5) Get familiar with your bustle.

Most dresses will have a custom designed bustle. Review how to do your bustle with the one who will be pinning or tying it for you.  It’s helpful to practice this at your final dress fitting.  You can also have your seamstress take a quick video of the process!

 

6) Look out for your train.

Be sure to bustle your dresses train as soon as possible after the ceremony, pictures, or first dance. This will help prevent damage to your dress.

 

7) Make a checklist

Does your dress have multiple parts? A ribbon for a corset, a slip or crinoline, or a jacket or overlay? Make sure all pieces are pressed or steamed, and in the garment bag with the dress. Be sure to include your veil and accessories, too!

 

8) Have a few safety pins on hand.

You never know when a safety pin may come in handy! Accidents happen, regardless of how well your dress fits. Safety pins are a must have for your big day!

 

9) Take one thing at a time.

Don’t rush getting dressed. Take your time! Enjoy every moment on your special day.

 

10) Take pictures.

Invite your photographer into your dressing room to capture special moments with the special people in your life.

Written by Nancy

Wedding Gown Style: Transformer Dresses

What is a transformer dress, you might ask? It’s a gown that comes with extra pieces–like an overskirt, detachable train or bolero–that, when worn with the gown, completely “transform” the original look. Here’s an example of a transformer gown with an overskirt:

Here’s the dress-

tgvirginia1

And now here’s that same dress worn with an overskirt-

virginiaoverskirt

The skirt completely changes the look of the dress, right? Brides will often wear the overskirt for the ceremony and remove it for the reception–guests often think it’s a completely different dress. For brides who really love both the ballgown and fitted looks, a transformer dress is a great way to get to wear both on your big day.

For brides who love the ballgown or a-line look but are afraid that it might keep them from dancing the night away at the reception, a transformer dress with an overskirt could be the perfect answer to your problem! Take a look at this gown from Lillian West

lw6462

The ruffled skirt on this dress is actually an overskirt! Once it’s removed, it reveals this short lace gown, which you surely can dance the night away in on your big day.

6462short

Overskirts aren’t the only way to transform a dress–take a look at this design

This gown comes with a removable wrap that can be used to add straps to this strapless a-line silhouette. It attaches with lace covered buttons on the sides of the dress, so brides can easily remove and reattach the wrap as they please.

Here’s a gown with a removable lace bolero:

Some brides will even opt to have both an overskirt and a bolero! It gives them more freedom to change their look throughout the wedding day. Take a look–here’s the dress as is:

tgplainmartina3

Now here’s the dress with a detachable bolero (we love the split sleeves on this look):

martinawithsleeves

Now here’s the dress with both the bolero and the overskirt:

martinaskirtandsleeves

Amazing how these extra accessories truly transform a dress, don’t they?

So, how can you turn your wedding gown into a transformer dress? It’s easy! Many designs nowadays come with the option to order  a matching bolero or overskirt, you just need to ask your consultant about this option. If not, speak to your seamstress! Here at Sealed With A Kiss we work with a lot of brides to create custom boleros and overskirts, and in this way we help brides create a truly custom look. If you’re local, just send an email to pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com to set up a time to meet with us and discuss your options!