Ask Pat: What ball gown styles are good for a hot summer wedding?

 

Dear Pat: I’m getting married in August and am concerned about getting a gown that I won’t sweat through on my big day. I really want a ball gown, but all the ones I’ve tried on so far have tons of layers and feel really heavy and hot. What kind of styles would you recommend for me? Should I give up on finding a ball gown that will work and choose another silhouette? 

Since our Virginia summers can be so hot and humid, many of our brides pose this same question to us all the time. You absolutely can find a style you love and also be comfortable in on your big day. The key to finding a dress you won’t get too hot in, particularly a ball gown style, is choosing a gown with the right fabric and structure. Here are a couple of examples.

 

The gowns above may look heavy based on the layers and fullness of the skirts, but they are actually quite airy! Both have skirts that are made from layers of soft tulle and netting, which are lightweight. Looking out for these kinds of fabrics will you help you find a style that is comfortable, and won’t get too hot on your big day. But if you’re not a fan of tulle or netting, never fear! There are more options for you. Take the chiffon and silk styles below:

Chiffon is wonderfully lightweight and absorbent, and designers are able to drape it very easily, resulting in beautiful skirts like the one pictured on the left. The gown on the right is a well-designed gown made from a single layer of lightweight Thai silk, which holds its shape very nicely. Both would be great choices for a summer wedding.

If you prefer an all-over lace look, you can absolutely find a style that will be lightweight enough for summer. Just choose a look with minimal layers, and laces like chantilly, that have a light and airy feel.

 

Have a question you want to ask a real bridal consultant? Email your questions to pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com. Your question might even be featured on the blog!

Customizing Your Wedding Gown Through Alterations

Here at Sealed With A Kiss we specialize in customizing a bride’s wedding day look to suit her individual style. Sometimes that means working closely with our designers to combine or create pattern changes on a design, but most of the time our owner-designer Susan and our expert tailoring team do the customizations right here in our store. Here’s a closer look at some of the easy ways you can use alterations to customize your wedding gown.

ja8664customized

Our bride Rachel found a beautiful lace style she loved, but after she bought the dress she thought the illusion neckline was a bit too much–so we redesigned it! Rachel was much happier with the regular sweetheart neckline and beaded straps.

ja8635customized

Our bride Sarah loved an all over silk gown from Justin Alexander, but said she would love it more if it had a lace top–so we made her dreams come true! Our owner Susan worked with Sarah to design an off the shoulder lace jacket that she can take on and off on her wedding day as she pleases. The jacket gives the gown a totally different look, and it was exactly what Sarah was looking for.

ja8793customized

Bride Judy fell in love with the fitted gown on the left, but had originally wanted a shorter dress so that it would be easy to dance all night at her reception–so we converted the skirt into a high-low design!

ja8792customized

Bride Kelli absolutely adored this gown from Justin Alexander, but didn’t want a gown with a high neckline–so our tailoring team created this gorgeous v-neckline for her! Kelli loved how her gown turned out.

Alterations open up an array of possibilities for customizing your gown, so feel free to ask your stylist or seamstress about altering areas you want changed. We guarantee you’ll be ecstatic with the end result!

Justin Alexander Signature Trunk Show

ja9832

Tomorrow’s a day we’ve been looking forward to for weeks–it’s the Justin Alexander Signature Trunk Show! During the trunk show we have a selection of gowns from the Justin Alexander Signature collection that we do not typically have samples of in the store, and brides who say yes to a Signature collection dress will receive a 10% discount on their wedding gown.

Sealed With A Kiss Richmond Trunk Show Dates: Friday, October 14th- Wednesday, October 19th. Call 804-393-2041 to schedule an appointment.

Sealed With A Kiss Charlottesville Trunk Show Dates: Thursday, October 20th- Saturday, October 22nd. Call 434-979-5683 for appointments.

About Justin Alexander Signature

Justin Alexander is world renown for their interpretation of timeless vintage fashion–and their Signature Collection is the epitome of elegance.

ja9831

Every one of their Signature designs has an unmatched attention to detail. Their gowns feature art deco inspired beaded patterns and dramatic cuts that are sure to make any bride feel glamorous.

ja9839

Every new collection is fashion forward and has designs and styles that are sure to flatter and fit the shape and style of any modern bride.

When we ask our brides why they love their Justin Alexander Signature dress, the most common response is the exquisite details and sleek designs. Their gowns are designed for the bride who really wants all eyes to be on her on the wedding day.

ja9833

If you’re ready to say yes to a Justin Alexander Signature dress, you won’t want to miss this trunk show. Give us a call or email pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com to schedule your appointment.

 

Behind the Scenes at Sealed With A Kiss: Fall Bridal Market!

MTstaffedited
From Left to Right: Pat, Susan, Callie and Jennie at the Modern Trousseau New York Show Room during Spring Bridal Market

It’s that time of year again! This weekend is Bridal Market in New York City, which means our owner and a few lucky staff members get to make the drive up to the Big Apple to check out the latest in bridal fashion. While attending market is always fun and exciting, we’re there to work. This is the time we carefully select which designers and dresses we want to carry in our boutique, and it’s one of the most important aspects of our job. The designers we choose to carry and the specific styles we decide to order for our shop are a direct reflection of who we are as a boutique, so the pressure is on to choose wisely.

Before bridal market even begins we have to research and speak to the designers we already carry and designers we’re considering carrying, in order to make an appointment to view their collection. There are hundreds of fashion shows and viewings going on at the same time, making it impossible to see them all, so a lot of thought goes into deciding whose collections we’ll see and whose we won’t. Two of the most important things we take into consideration are the designers reputation for quality craftsmanship and their willingness to make their designs “bespoke,” so that they are easily customized to suit the needs and styles of our brides.

13344644_10153623057641778_1307945066363161946_n
Jennie, Susan, Paula and Pat at the Paula Varsalona NYC Studio

Our owner Susan is the designer of our in-house Sorbello Couture collection, so she has an eye for fabrics and construction, and she hand selects every piece we carry in our store. She’s developed close relationships with many designers during her time in the industry, and we find that our close partnerships with them ultimately benefit our brides.  It especially comes in handy during bridal market, since many of the designers we work with will invite us to their private work rooms to view the collections, and this means we can get up close and personal with the designs in a way we wouldn’t have an opportunity to do during just a runway show. Getting such an in depth look at the designs means we know what changes can be made to the dresses and fabrics, we know what styles are up and coming, and we can assure our brides that they’re getting great quality because we have seen how these gowns are designed and crafted.

We can’t wait to see what bridal market has in store for us, and we’ll be working hard all weekend to be sure we choose only the best gowns for our brides. We’ll be sharing pictures straight from the runway and workrooms so that you can see everything that we’re up to, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. NYC here we come!

Wedding Gown Style: Beautiful Backs

When we first ask a bride about what wedding gown styles she’s interested in, often the answer is “I want something with a beautiful back design!”. Since we love pretty details on the back too, we’ve put together this list of gowns by designers we carry that are all about that back. Whether you prefer lacy illusion or a beaded back, you’re sure to find a gown you love on this list!

  1. This 1920’s inspired design has a stunning deep illusion back covered with a gorgeous beaded lace. Brides love how glamorous they look when they try this style on!

 

2. This modern take on a classic fit and flare shape has one of the most stunning backs we’ve ever seen! The way the lace frames the deep illusion back makes for a different but flattering shape, and the buttons are the perfect finishing touch.

 

3. This design features a daringly low illusion back with lace applique details–it’s sure to wow your guests as you stand at the alter!ajkarinacollage

4. This mermaid gown features all-over pearls, crystals and sequins in a floral inspired design. The beaded back design makes this gown a stunner!

 

5.  Brides are sure to fall in love with the open illusion back on this gown! The embroidered design is sure to turn heads, and the jewel neckline adds a touch of elegance to the look.

 

6. This elegant fitted design features an ultra-low open back! We love the beaded detail on the v-neck front as well. ajravennacollage

 

7. Many strapless wedding gowns have gorgeous back design details as well, like this fit and flare design! It features a low scoop illusion with lace appliques.

 

8. This fitted gown has a back with sheer French tulle and intricate lace detail! We also love that this couture gown has all over French alencon lace.

Ask Pat: Why is saying yes to the dress so hard?

_K1A1016jennfinazzophotography
Photo Credit: Jenn Finazzo Photography

Pat: I’ve been shopping for a wedding gown for about two months now, and I just can’t seem to commit to one. At the very first shop I went to I found a dress I thought was “the one,” but didn’t want to say yes to a dress at the first store I visited–I felt like I needed to see what else was out there. Since then I have found two more dresses I really love, but I just haven’t had one of those bridal moments where I put on the dress and just know that this is the perfect one. Will I ever have one of those moments? I know I could probably be happy enough with one of the three dresses I’ve found, but how am I supposed to know which one to choose if I don’t feel more special in one than the other? What if the perfect dress is still out there and I just need to find it?

It sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed! That tends to happen after you’ve visited a lot of bridal boutiques, and my best advice is to stop looking at new dresses. The more dresses you try on the more confused you will become, and the more you’ll begin to doubt yourself. This will just make deciding on a gown even more difficult.

I know many brides expect to have that moment where they slip into a dress and realize it’s “the one”–it’s a moment dramatized over and over again in movies and in shows like Say Yes to The Dress. The fact is, however, that not every bride is going to have this moment, and that’s okay! Every bride is different, so we shouldn’t expect every bride’s wedding gown shopping experience to be exactly the same.

That being said, if you’re not the type of bride who will have that moment of realization when you’ve found the perfect dress, it can be a little harder to determine which dress is “the one.” As in your case, you might end up visiting several bridal shops and finding several gowns you love.

When this happens, and when you begin to feel stressed by the shopping experience, it’s time to stop trying on new styles. Instead, think about the options you’ve already found. Try to remember how you felt in each dress. Does one stand out in your memory? Was there one you really could imagine yourself walking down the aisle in?

If you can’t remember the gowns well enough, try booking appointments to re-try on each of the dresses you have in mind (and just those dresses!). It’s best to do this alone or with just one family member or close friend who you know will be supportive. Trying on the favorites back to back should make it easier to discern which of the gowns you truly love best.

Often the feelings you had about each gown will return when you see yourself in it again–or you might find you don’t feel the same about the dress at all during this second look.Be sure to try on each gown with veils and accessories so that you can visualize the full look you’ll have on the big day.

In the end, go with your gut. You likely know which dress is “the one,” but aren’t trusting yourself to make the decision for one reason or another. Take a deep breath, get the insecurities out of your mind, and choose whatever makes you happy. No matter what you choose, you will look and feel beautiful on your wedding day.

Augusta Jones Bridal Trunk Show this September!

ajbronte

This September is the perfect time to fall in love with a design by Augusta Jones Bridal. Sealed With A Kiss will be hosting Augusta Jones Bridal Trunk Shows in both Charlottesville and Richmond.  During this time we will have designs by Augusta Jones not typically in our store, and brides who say yes to an Augusta Jones dress will receive a 10% trunk show discount.

Sealed With A Kiss Richmond Trunk Show Dates: September 9th-13th. Call 804-393-2041 for appointments.

Sealed With A Kiss Charlottesville Trunk Show Dates: September 14th-17th.                       Call 434-979-5683 for appointments.

Learn more about Augusta Jones Bridal

Classic gowns for the modern bride–that is what Augusta Jones Bridal stands for.

ajterri

When you browse their collection you’ll find shapes and silhouettes you’re familiar with–form fitting mermaid gowns, figure flattering a-lines and shop-stopping ballgowns. But what sets Augusta Jones apart is there clever design work and attention to detail.

ajkarinacollage.jpg

All Augusta Jones Bridal dresses are made ‘bespoke,’ which means that brides can easily customize the gown to better suit their personal styles–from changing necklines to switching out fabrics, the options for customizing their gowns are endless.

ajpiper

Besides the innovative designs, Augusta Jones focuses on selecting only the highest quality laces and fabrics for their gowns. Brides feel luxurious and beautiful every time they slip into an Augusta Jones gown. It’s no wonder so many brides choose to wear an Augusta Jones gown on their wedding day.

Ask Pat: What size should I order for my wedding dress if I’m planning on losing weight before the wedding?

20160115-036

Dear Pat: It’s about ten months before the wedding and I know that I have found the perfect dress, but I have held off on actually ordering it because I have been steadily losing weight and hope to lose more before the wedding day. Should I order the dress in the size I anticipate being at the time of the wedding? What do I do?

We strongly advise meeting with a stylist or an experienced tailor to discuss your situation, but usually the best plan of action in this case is to order the dress for the size you are now, or at most one size down. Yes, chances are that if you lose a lot of weight the dress will then need to be taken in drastically during alterations, but in most cases it is much easier for a gown to be taken in than to be let out. If you order a smaller size and the dress does not fit, there may not be a lot of extra material left in the side seams to make the dress bigger. Should this happen it could very difficult and in some cases impossible to make it fit. It is much safer to order the bigger size.

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! 

 

Real Sealed With A Kiss Bride- Maitland and Austin

 

0660
Photography by Wendell Powell Studio

Our Sealed With A Kiss bride Maitland married the love her life Austin on November 14, 2015 at Christ Episcopal Church here in Charlottesville.

0116
Photography by Wendell Powell Studio

Before Maitland came to see us during her search for a wedding gown, she had come across this silk ball gown with a beaded neckline online, and it was love at first sight. When she came in for her appointment she showed us a picture of this gown and said she was looking for something similar–turns out, we had that very Justin Alexander Signature dress here in our store. She said yes to the dress that afternoon.

Maitland and Austin’s ceremony was followed by a reception at Farmington Country Club, where friends and family couldn’t wait to start celebrating.

McManusShow041
Photo by Wendell Powell Photography

We know these two have many happy years to look forward to. Congratulations again Maitland and Austin!

Vendors:

Dress: Sealed With A Kiss, Photographer: Wendell Powell Studio, Hair and Makeup: Salon Cielo, Flowers: Marion’s Flowers, Band: Sam Hill Entertainment’s Attraction, Bus: Blue Ridge Tours.

Wedding Gown Style: Necklines 101

Brides are often surprised by how many different necklines they encounter while wedding gown shopping, so we’ve put together this list of popular neckline styles to help you find the cut you like best!

  1. Sweetheart Neckline
    sweetheart
    Left Photo: Courtesy of Augusta Jones Bridal, Center and Right Photos: Courtesy of Justin Alexander

    Sweetheart necklines are one of the most popular necklines, and for good reason! Named for their resemblance to the curves at the top of a traditional heart shape, this neckline is universally flattering. While most brides associate sweetheart necklines with strapless gowns, you can certainly find sweetheart necklines on gowns with sleeves and straps.

2. V-Neckline

vneck
Left Photo: Courtesy of Modern Trousseau, Center Photo: Courtesy of Justin Alexander, Right Photo: Courtesy of Augusta Jones

V-necklines are also popular on wedding gowns! Brides love the cut, and many choose to customize their gown by lowering or raising the neckline.

3. Queen Anne Neckline

queenanne
Photos Courtesy of Justin Alexander

There are many variations of the Queen Anne neckline, but they all have one thing in common: a raised back. The style has always been a classic, but has been recently popularized by the wedding gown worn by the Duchess Katherine of Cambridge. Brides who prefer having a little more coverage up top will love the look.

4. Boatneck/Sabrina Neckline

sabrina
Left Photo: Courtesy of Augusta Jones Bridal, Center Photo: Courtesy of Justin Alexander, Right Photo: Courtesy of Modern Trousseau

Boatneck (also known as bateau) and Sabrina necklines are very similar–they both follow the line of the collarbone. While boatnecks follow the collarbone very closely, Sabrina necklines will be cut a bit lower. The cut creates a very elegant look

5. Jewel Neckline 

jewel
Photos Courtesy of Justin Alexander

Jewel necklines are round and closely follow the neck. Jewel necklines tend to give wedding gowns a modern and sleek look that brides love!

6. Portrait Neckline portrait

Portrait necklines are so named because they are styles that frame the collarbone, much like a portrait. These necklines have sleeves that rest on the tip of the shoulder blade, providing a variation of the off-the shoulder look.

7. Scoop Necklinescoop

The scoop necklines are another popular neckline on wedding gowns! Their wide rounded shape shows off the collarbone and is another universally flattering shape.