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Wedvice: The Dress Down-low!

Finding “the dress” is no easy task. In fact, it can seem quite daunting! But don’t be dismayed! A few quick and easy tips are to follow!!


[Flirty Tabletop inspired by the deep, sultry hues of the Moulin Rouge. More pictures below!!]


This is the most special, amazing, and overwhelming wedding planning experience. It can be the most frustrating and emotional experience, because it’s so personal. Each person goes through the dress finding process differently, and there’s really no way I can tell each reader, without meeting and spending time with each of you personally, how to find the dress you’ll love. So, here is my generic overview of my thoughts on “the dress”:

1. Try it on. It may not look like your style. Try it on, anyway. If the lady who is helping you brings you something you think is awful- try it on! If your mom brings something hideously 80’s- humor her, try it on. I say this because I want you to analyze EACH dress. The quality. The fabric type. The cut. The way it lays on your body. What curves does it hug? What does it emphasize, in both a negative AND positive way? Each of these questions are important and vital to address when it comes to finding the dress that will fit not only your style and personality, but your body shape to make you feel ultimately fabulous on your big day. And, it’s 85% chance that you’ll be surprised by a dress you’d never have picked out yourself. Most of us aren’t really honed in on what will fit best on our bodies. Sometimes bridal shop associates are more in tune with that, because they know their products. Either way, everything is worth trying on- no matter how long you’re in it, putting it on will allow you to have the assurance in your dress [once you do find “the dress”] and you’ll know that you have searched every nook and cranny and this is THE best dress for you.

2. Bring a friend. YES. You need an outside opinion. But, don’t bring too many. Ever heard the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen”? Remember, you are not your friends. You need your own style and your own comfort level on your big day. Some friends are honest and truthful, others are pushy, others are passive. Try to bring the BEST person possible to be with you. You want the friend that will tell you your hips looked better in that last dress but that this one makes your bust look great. You want the honest friend who wants you to look drop dead gorgeous on your big day. This may or may not be your sister or your mom. Try to surround yourself with positive people to be with you and encourage you in this special time- but don’t bring a crowd. I suggest no more than 3 to tag along with you for this marathon day!

3. Visit more than one place. Especially if the bridal salon you visit is an in-house brand, like David’s Bridal or Alfred Angelo. My advice is to try on dresses from lots of different designers. Like all clothes, different designers cater to different body shapes and styles. Allowing yourself to weigh your options and experimenting with similar silhouettes from the same or varied designers will really help you pin point what it is that you’re liking about each dress that makes you starting blushing like a bride!

4. Consider your venue. The reason I put the dress down here after finding your venue and picking your date is because I want your dress to make sense with your wedding. When you get engaged, you’ve probably already put some thought into your wedding, the style of the reception and décor, and the dress. But, the reality versus the initial vision could end up extremely different. Nobody needs to get married on the beach in a ball gown. It’s just not practical, and honestly the style can become a bit muffled. Is the wedding formal or casual? Don’t send your guests- or yourself- mixed signals! Holding off on picking your dress will give you the freedom to really style yourself and tailor your accessories to your specific wedding day aesthetic in such a personal way- I promise, you will not regret this decision [even if it IS a major delay of gratification].

5. Don’t be afraid to surf. The internet, that is. There are so many places these days that specialize in online sales of bridal gowns. J Crew carries a fabulous collection of wedding and party dresses that are perfect for a modern or laid back affair. Even Target offers a wedding gown line that would fit a bride counting her pennies more closely. More than that- you would be surprised at how many people fall in love with the dress JUST out of their target range, price wise. Websites that offer former brides a place to sell their unworn or gently used wedding dress are becoming increasingly popular and are a great bet for the budget-conscious bride [plus, a safe alternative to ebay]! Visit oncewed.com or preownedweddingdress.com for more details on how each site allows the flexibility and freedom to find your dream dress at an amazing price!

6. Above all- have fun! Do NOT fret if you don’t find the dress on the first day searching. Or the second. Or the third. It’s okay if it takes you a bit longer to pin point your heart on a hanger. There’s no reason to pressure yourself or to settle. You’ll find something perfect for you, it just may take a little elbow grease! Sometimes, if you feel you’ve saturated your options, looking into a local seamstress or designer may work best. Finding an up-and-coming name or local legend could be more affordable than you think- especially if you find something at a steal of a deal that can work as the silhouette to what you’re thinking and can be added onto, taken away from, or customized to create your dream dress!

Now- pictures of the hot hot hotness from above!


The deep, dark color scheme that was envisioned for this table started with the gorgeous pleated fabric that was used as a topper on the table. I paired the warm red tone with a stark black to keep the colors monochromatic and not take away from the overall effect.


I fell in love with these little clusters of feathers and we popped them into the centerpiece, which was a square vase covered in black silk fabric!


Red plates with black plates with red napkins and the simple silverware. I heart this. So big time.


The idea for these favors was a funky fun bud vase with an oversized bloom- the dahlia fit perfectly and the color match was made in Heaven!!


Arial shots are my fave!! And aren’t you dying for the mini splits of Rose wine at each place setting?


Burgundy cushions on black chairs with black satin sashes. I love that this feels gothic and dark- can’t you just see it in a fabulous venue such as the Vibiana in Los Angeles, with luxurious up-lighting filling the venue in deep red hues? DYING at the thought!!

The list of vendors who are wonderful enough to have made this work for you:

Jonilyn Photography
The Treasured Petal
Dress My Chair
Signature Party Rentals

And for everything else… meeee!! :)

Hope you all loved it as much as I did making it. And more surprises are up my sleeve- I JUST finished a new set of tabletops so there will be fresh new pictures for you guys in the coming months. Are you peeing your pants?? You may want to. You may need to. You just may.

Hope it’s a wonderful week full of love and joy in all areas of your life [especially engagement]. Go give lots of kisses to the one you love!


A. Auer