A quick guide to help you to choose bridal headpieces

Wedding veils have been a long time tradition as headpieces for the official wedding ceremony. Though some modern day brides have decided to throw out the traditional thinking of the past, and go for a more modern or bohemian look. Other’s want the traditional look but want a little more personality to it. In the end it is the most special day of the brides life and shouldn’t she feel like a princess? Why not add  wedding crowns and tiaras to the top of your hair, or channel in some Gatsby by going with a feathered headband or a Juliet cap.
Bridesmaids on the other hand don’t have the opportunity to wear a veil as a headpiece, but that doesn’t leave them without options. Have your hairdresser add in some modern hairpins, or even a headband with rhinestones or lace (depending on the theme of the wedding). Don’t fret, Blushcheek’s newest infographic is a quick introduction on popular styles and will help you figure out which headpiece is right for you.

How to Know the Signs of a Quality Wedding Veil?

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the signs of a quality wedding veil, since it is an important part of your wedding ensemble. Unfortunately, just because a veil is expensive doesn’t mean that it is high-quality. I have visited couture veil shops that glue veils to combs for a $400 price tag.

wedding veils

A quality veil will not have glue anywhere — not to attach the comb, not to secure pearls, not anywhere. Glues become brittle and yellow over time, and it can happen in a matter of months. If you order your veil well in advance of your wedding or if you plan to keep your veil as an heirloom, it is vital that glue not be used in its construction.

A veil should be hand-gathered, because gathering by hand allows greater precision and control over the final look than if a machine is used. The veil will be gathered more evenly and any fullness will be distributed evenly across the comb.

The retailer should offer a variety of materials and styles. If they don’t stock exactly what you want, then you should look for a shop that does or a shop that accepts custom orders. Bridal veils are made of a wide variety of materials, so don’t limit yourself to bridal illusion. You can even have a veil embroidered with colors to match the embroidery on your dress! It is possible to find the perfect veil, but sometimes it takes persistence.

If your veil is made of tulle, it should be the softest tulle known as bridal illusion. Bridal illusion drapes better than regular tulle and is softer against your skin. If it feels rough to you, keep shopping. If you want true luxury and a distinctive look, try a veil made of silk. It isn’t as expensive as you might think!

No matter the veil’s price, good customer service is key. The retailer should respond to emails, letters, or telephone calls quickly. He or she should also be friendly and helpful. You should never feel rushed or pressured — that’s a warning sign that the retailer is more interested in making the sale than making sure you get the veil you truly want.

The retailer should be willing to put all promises in writing. The best clearly outline all aspects of a transaction in writing without being asked. If he or she says there’s no need or discourages you in any way from asking for the details in writing, don’t do business with them! It’s important to have everything in writing so there’s no misunderstanding later.

These are the most common veiling materials:

Bridal Illusion – A fine, soft nylon tulle made specifically for veils. Available in many colors, it’s the traditional veiling for brides in the United States.
Chiffon – A fine, semi-sheer fabric that drapes beautifully. Available in many colors. Silk chiffon has a softer drapethan polyester chiffon.
English Net – Similar to bridal illusion but made of cotton.
Silk Gauze – Almost identical to silk chiffon, but it is less than half the weight and thickness. A great compromise for a bride who likes chiffon but wants a blusher.
Organza – An opaque fabric with a somewhat stiff body; tends to be slightly iridescent. Available in many colors. Available in silk and polyester.
With these guidelines in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect wedding veil!

Top tips to teach you choosing wedding accessories

crystal drop timeless jewelry set with necklace and earrings

1 Take your time

Don’t buy wedding accessories at the same time as your dress (i.e. after you have just made a big decision on the dress). If you spot something you like in the dress shop, go back for it once you’ve had time to reflect.

2 Less is more

Don’t overdo it with your accessories. It’s always better to keep it understated and elegant.

3 Try before you buy

If you have the opportunity to try your accessories on, do it, and experiment with different types to find what suits you best. Many brides who visit our studio come with a pre-conceived idea of what they want to buy, but often leave with something different.

4 Statement earrings

If you have a fussy neckline to your dress, it’s better to go for statement earrings rather than a necklace.

5 Diamond in the dark

Dark hair makes even the smallest accessory stand out, so if have blonde hair you need an accessory of a certain size. Stay away from hairpins unless you use them as an addition to your chosen hair piece and scatter them in your chignon.

flower bridal forehead band pearl headband accessory beaded jeweled swags

6 Bling for blondes

Another tip for blonde hair is to add some bling, because pearls on their own can get lost, so combining freshwater pearls and crystals is a winning combination.

7 Hollywood Glamour

Choose accessories to work with the style of your dress – if you are going for Hollywood Glamour, a faux-fur wrap and sparkly jewellery can look stunning while a side or satin ribbon headband looks lovely with a vintage-style dresses.

8 Rear view

Think about how you will look from the back, because guests will see you from behind for a lot of the ceremony. An elaborate hair comb or lace-edged veil can work beautifully.

9 Comfort is everything

Ensure you are comfortable – don’t choose a headband that pinches or earrings that are too heavy – you don’t want to look like you’re in pain in your wedding photos.

10 Personal twist

Finally, be true to your own personal style, so if you are not a fan of bling, then choose freshwater pearls and delicate jewellery rather than lots of sparkly pieces just because it’s your wedding day.

The Useful Guide to Shopping for a Wedding Dress

You’re about to enter uncharted territory: The wedding dress universe comes with its own shops, timeline, and language. We broke down the entire process by the numbers to help you navigate the white dress wonderland. Read on for our wedding dress store decoder, shopping strategies, figure-flattering tips, and money-saving ideas to make you feel welcome in this bold new world.

amazing mermaid illusion crew neckline sleeveless beaded tulle wedding dress
There’s a special dress and store for every kind of bride. Whether you want to spend less than $1,000 or have no idea what kind of dress you want, there is a wide variety of big, small, and even online dress retailers.

1. Local bridal boutiques: These offer a dress that’s made to order, along with personal service from experienced staffers in an intimate setting. Small stores may have fewer dresses to try on, but they can provide a helpful perspective on what brides in the area are wearing. They will also be able to get a sense of your style based on your other hometown choices (e.g., florist, reception venue).

2. Destination salons: These massive one-stop shops are so enticing, brides travel from far and wide to reach them. They’ve got well-trained staffers, as well as dresses and accessories from hundreds of designers. You’ll need to book early (especially if you plan to visit on a weekend), since lots of other engaged women may be clamoring for an appointment in one of these establishments’ fancy dressing rooms.

simple sheath cap sleeves v neck backless floor length lace wedding dress

3. Mass-market retailers: Their price range is wide, but you might be able to snag a dress for as little as $300. At David’s, you’ll be able to try on dresses in your size, not samples—good news for anyone who’s above or below a size 8 or 10 (the usual sample sizes).

4. Department stores: These stores offer a mix of different designers and prices in a familiar setting. They have knowledgeable salespeople who tend to have experience in both ready-to-wear and bridal fashion.

5. Ready-to-wear favorites: Stores like these offer less expensive dresses that aren’t too structured or formal, by brands that specialize in lifestyle clothing. Depending on where you live, you may need to order your wedding dress nz online and have a local seamstress handle alterations. (This is why some women order several dresses and return all but their favorite).

Formal Dress Codes

At the turn of the twentieth century dress codes were rigid and extensive protocols that prescribed specific attire for every conceivable social and leisure activity and tolerated little deviation. One hundred years later we have rid ourselves of such excessive constraints only to discover that along with the proverbial Edwardian bathwater we have also thrown out some very valuable benefits.

blue a line transparent sexy long evening gown with lace applique

A major drawback of discarding dress standards is clearly spelled out by Britain’s authoritative etiquette guide Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners:

Indecision about what to wear is one of the most visible manifestations of contemporary social confusion and insecurity. The elevation of comfort above all other considerations, the flawed belief that informality equals conviviality, and downright laziness have resulted in a contradictory and illogical dress sense.

It is therefore ironic that the appearance of the Black Tie dress code on an invitation causes panic in so many men. Unfamiliar with the concept, they view the looming event as an intimidating test of sartorial skills which they know are sadly lacking. No wonder style and etiquette advisors frequently begin their instruction to men with a reminder that the Black Tie “test” comes with a complete set of answers guaranteed to ensure top grades to any student that follows them. As Men’s Wardrobe so succinctly puts it: “Black tie is your friend, not your enemy.”

long chiffon beaded cap sleeve ivory evening dress

Sense of Occasion

In addition to providing clarity and self-confidence, prescribed attire also helps to generate a sense of occasion. Combined with a specific code of conduct it fashions a social ritual that elevates one type of happening above another. Fine restaurants may go to great lengths to provide a more elegant atmosphere than a local pub, for example, but if their customers import typical pub clothing and behavior then these establishments are robbed of much of their special character. Unfortunately this fact is increasingly evident in today’s world as the once noble quest to end aristocratic snobbery manifests itself in a growing culture of democratic slobbery.

Act of Consideration

Just as a host or hostess can show consideration towards guests by providing clear dress guidelines, so does a guest return the favor by being mature enough to honor them. As Debrett’s author John Morgan so eloquently points out “by being seen to make an effort you are paying your host or hostess a great compliment, as well as making yourself look your most attractive. After all, the short time required for getting yourself dressed is negligible compared with the hours the hostess might have put in preparing the party.” This is particularly true for cheap formal dresses nz codes where ignoring the prescribed etiquette will make it clear that you could not care less about the desires of your host or the experience of your fellow guests.

Evening Dress Codes

(D)evolution of Formal

“Formal” is defined as maintaining a form or tradition and so formal wear is distinctive for preserving sartorial customs of previous times. Although it evolves with changing fashions evening wear deliberately remains a step or two behind them in a process much like a slow-motion ripple effect. When a new standard in daywear splashes onto the sartorial scene the previous norm is pushed out to the realm of formal evening wear which in turn drives prior evening garb to the outer circles of very formal dress and ultimately consigns the previous occupant of that position to the fashion history books.

Formal, Semiformal and Informal

While there once was a near-universal consensus of what defined “formal” clothing, the concept has become highly subjective in today’s world.

During Victorian and Edwardian times the term applied to virtually any evening that included mixed company and such occasions demanded men be attired in full dress; dinner jackets were considered distinctly “informal” and were confined to stag affairs. After the First World War standards were relaxed and formal was redefined as occasions of prestige and ceremony while the honorific “semi-formal” was applied to the tuxedo which had replaced the tailcoat as de facto evening wear.

World War II prompted a further loosening of social mores including the acceptance of the common suit at typical evening affairs and the consequent elevation of the dinner jacket to special occasion attire. While some communities maintained the pre-war dress codes, other segments of society that rarely wore tailcoats began to classify the tuxedo as formal and the suit as semi-formal. This new interpretation became increasingly popular during the 1960s and 1970s when the arrival of such casual garments as the leisure suit and turtleneck as acceptable day wear bumped the regular suit further up the dress code ladder which in turn promoted the tuxedo’s formality and all but guaranteed the redundancy of the tailcoat.

Today, when it is not uncommon for men to wear T-shirts to the office and sandals to the theater, the concept of formal is even more ambiguous and can mean anything from a tuxedo to a dark suit to a black shirt with designer jeans. A casualty of individualism’s triumph over communalism, traditional dress codes are now largely redundant outside of weddings, one of the last bastions of middle-class formal ritual. (For complete details of how the codes are interpreted in this context see Formal Evening Weddings.)
Formal Gray Areas: Overdress or Underdress?

Clearly, interpreting dress codes today is far more complicated than it was in years past. As A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up explains, the best solution for uncertain guests is to seek clarification:

If a gentleman has any doubts as to what he should wear to a wedding – or any other ceremonial occasion, no matter how formal or informal, – he feels free to contact his host or hostess, simply asking “what do you think most of the fellows there will be wearing?” He does not content himself with asking uninformed friends, “Well, Jack, what do YOU think I ought to do?”

When such clarification is not possible, experts are divided on whether to risk being underdressed or overdressed. One school of thought includes the authors of A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up who feel that “the former may be interpreted as a simple misunderstanding [while] the latter suggests conscious premeditation.” In the opposing camp are pundits such Sir Hardy Amies, a British authority on menswear, who pointed out it that is easier for an overdressed man to relax his manner (and his tie) than it would be for an underdressed man to change his clothes. “Correct dressing is only another form of good manners,” he wrote, “and good manners are only another form of mental comfort.”

However, the social stakes are much higher with formal wear due to its highly specialized nature. No matter how noble your intentions, you will very likely be perceived as pretentious if your tuxedo turns out to be the only one in the room. (If you deliberately choose to put yourself in this position – or if you dress in white tie for a black tie event – that perception will be quite justified.)

Ultimately, though, there is absolutely no reason for the confusing gray areas caused by ambiguous traditional dress codes. Thoughtful hosts can instead use alternative codes that state their intentions in black and white.

Black-and-White Clarity

“White Tie", “Black Tie"

As the interpretation of “formal" and “informal" became progressively more subjective in the second half of the twentieth century, hosts increasingly turned to codes that literally spell out the required attire.

At the dressiest end of the scale, the appearance of White Tie (or Evening Dress in the UK) on an invitation announced that male guests are required to wear a tailcoat with the appropriate accoutrements while the ladies were expected to wear ball gowns. Black Tie (or Dinner Jackets in the UK) declared that traditional tuxedos and cheap evening gowns were required. For the least formal evening affairs, Business Attire (or Lounge Suit or Don’t Change in the UK) allowed guests to attend in conservative suits.

“Black Tie" Variations
This black-and-white three-tier system worked perfectly for decades until declining dress standards introduced a slew of ambiguous deviations. The advent of “business casual” in the 1990s muddied the universal concept of business attire and hosts of informal parties consequently grasped for more descriptive alternatives forcing their guests to decipher such vague codes as Dressy Casual or Cocktail Attire. Similarly, the 1970s reinvention of formal attire led to a number of confusing variations of the Black Tie theme that were counterintuitive to the dress code’s role as a tool for clarity and uniformity. The following page defines these variations and, more importantly, explains why they are to be avoided.

Find Suitable Cocktail Dresses

If you need special occasion dresses, but are afraid you aren’t going to find one that compliments your body shape, you aren’t alone. There are a lot of women who experience stress when it comes time to buying a dress, because of a little extra weight they are holding on to. But this kind of shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need so you can shop with confidence.

short dark navy illusion neck sleeveless flora lace patterns cocktail dress

Firstly, you need to know the look you want. Fashionable clothes are made in all sizes. Just because you are a little larger, don’t think you can’t find pieces that are stylish. Look through current magazines at the fashion trends.
Do you need shape wear? Some women like to use undergarments that have some support and help to tuck that tummy when you wear it, if you are going to use these items, you need to have them on when you go shopping.
When you do find items of clothing that you think may work, try them on. A lot of people like to guess that something will fit. There is no way to know for sure other than to put it on your body. Once it is on take some time to really look at yourself in the mirror. Look specifically at the areas on your body that you know are the trouble spots and see if the dress is flattering.

embroidered black lace sleeveless short a line two tone cocktail dress

Tip! One of the best dresses you can get is the proverbial ‘little black dress’. Black is a flattering color for plus sized women and a little black plus sized cocktail dress can be worn to almost anything. Just dress it up with some jeweler and you’re ready to go.

Cocktail Dresses for Weddings

A cocktail dress is a very versatile dress that can be suited to a number of occasions, so unsurprisingly a wedding is pretty high up on that list of occasions. When it comes to attending weddings, there are a few rules to keep in mind when choosing dress. If your dress is white, forget it. Only the bride gets to wear white. This is her day and no one gets to take that color except her. Black cocktail dresses are also out at weddings. Black is a bit somber of a color for a wedding.

Dressing for the Occasion

Now that you know what colors not to wear, you can focus on what you can wear. If the wedding is semi-formal or an informal evening event, a regular cocktail dress nz will do just fine. If it’s a formal evening event, you can still wear a cocktail dress, but it needs to be very dressy (think beaded or heavily accented with a wrap and stunning jeweler.

Ultimate Bridesmaid Dress Buying Guide

Avoid dress stress with our easy how-tos for choosing the perfect bridesmaid attire.
The date is set, the reception hall is booked, and now you’re starting to focus on the details that will really make your wedding day unique. Standing next to you will be the best support group you can have — your bridal party. Don’t torture them with ugly dresses. We’ve devised a step-by-step guide to help you keep your girls happy and glowing all day.

muted blue beaded long chiffon flower attached bridesmaid dress

Set the Scene
Although it may seem like a no-brainer, decide on the formality of your wedding — day (casual) vs. evening (formal) — before you start choosing any important details. The time of day play huge roles in the bridesmaid dress selection. These days it’s really the fabric, not the length, that dictates the formality of the dress. Tea-length (just above the ankle) dresses are quite versatile with the right choice of fabric. Pick a dark color in a rich satin for a formal wedding, and opt for pastel chiffon or printed organza for a daytime ceremony.

Note: Start thinking about finding cheap bridesmaid dresses about six months before your wedding to allow enough time to decide on, order, and fit the dresses. It takes two to three months for the dresses to arrive, and four to six weeks for alterations.

Start the Search
First, select a dress or dresses that you like. Start by choosing a style or a color, whichever is more important to you. Be sure to pick your own wedding gown before beginning the search for bridesmaid attire. Your gown and their dresses should coordinate but don’t have to be an exact match. If yours is strapless, don’t put the bridesmaids in long sleeves, or if your dress is ultra romantic, you might not want thoroughly modern maids.

spaghetti strap long chiffon blue beach bridesmaid dress

Take Shape
Think about the body types and individual styles of your bridesmaids. If you’d like them all to don the same dress, choose one that will look great on the most hard-to-fit girl. The others can always get the dress altered to fit their shapes. Or allow each maid to choose a different dress style in the same color scheme or fabric to tie the look together. Remember, you can’t please everyone, so don’t stress yourself out. And be confident in your choices.

Hone in on Hues
If color is key, there are a few ways to approach choosing the right one. First, keep in mind the color schemes at your ceremony and reception sites, as well as your palette. If your wedding will be at a rustic inn that has burgundy and dark green decor, rule out fuchsia bridesmaid dresses. Second, decide if you’d like everyone in your bridal party to wear the same color, or if you’d rather choose a color scheme. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades of the same hue to add some variety.

Finally, let the season be your guide. Rich, saturated colors — such as deep plum and chocolate — work well in the fall and winter months, while lighter shades such as celadon and iris are perfect for spring and summer.

If you’re still at a loss for which color to choose, go with one you love — pick a shade that you used when decorating your apartment, for example, or one that shows up frequently in your wardrobe.

Note: If opting for prints instead of solids, keep the rest of the look simple — think monochromatic bouquets paired with sweet and simple hairstyles and jewelry.

Decide on a Dress
Once you’ve found your favorites, finalize the dress with your bridal party. Email photos to the group for their opinions. And, don’t feel you have to bring everyone to the store with you. Your girls will appreciate that you want their input, but they might be happy to skip the chaos of cramming into a small shop.

Size It Up
If possible, ask everyone in your bridal party to get measured by a professional seamstress or tailor at a department store if they can’t make it to the store where you’re ordering the dresses. Warn them that bridesmaid dresses tend to run on the small side, so each girl’s usual dress size might not apply.

Place Your Order
Looking for the seemingly effortless way to find and finalize your bridesmaid dresses? Here’s a simple checklist to make sure you don’t miss any of the important details:

Order all the dresses at the same time so they are from the same dye lot.
If many maids live out of town, collect all the measurements and money and coordinate with the dress shop yourself, or enlist your maid of honor’s help.
Allow about two to three months for the dresses to come in, and add four to six weeks for alterations. Alterations typically take only two weeks, but a second fitting (if necessary) will add a few weeks. Also, don’t assume that every girl will be able to get to the tailor the day the dress arrives — be considerate of your maids’ busy schedules.
After the dresses are ordered, send a quick email or letter to everyone in your bridal party with info about the timeline and their responsibilities with regards to the dresses. Be sure to follow up with them about a week before the dresses are due to arrive so they can plan their arrangements accordingly.
Note: Don’t get frustrated if your maids don’t deal with the dresses right away. They know how important your wedding is.
Find the Shoes
Even if you fall in love with the perfect pair of fuchsia four-inch stilettos to match the ribbon trim on the dress, don’t subject your girls to the torture. If you’re choosing the shoes for them, comfort should be the top priority. Then find a color that will complement the dress — metallic hues are a great option if classic black won’t work. Another option is to tell your bridesmaids the specifics (color, open- or close-toe, for instance) and let them find the perfect pair — some might already have it in their closets.

Do Everything Else
A few little extras can go a long way. Use pins, scarves, belts, and jewelry to dress up simple ensembles, or to give each dress an individual flair. But all the details tend to add up, so if it’s not in your budget to spring for them yourself, don’t ask your girls to. Just think: A beautiful brooch for the dress would make a perfect bridesmaid gift — and one less thing you would have to worry about right before the wedding!