Friday, May 29, 2009

Wordless Weekend ... with a comment

This weekend's "Wordless Weekend" photo is by the fabulous Jen of JK Photography...this weekend I will providing Couture Service at Molly's wedding and working with both Jen and Aletha of Pearl's Events!

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sample Sale Rack!!!

Short Engagement?? Small Budget?? Unique Style??
If you're planning your wedding with any of these considerations, we invite you to make a special stop at September's Bride to shop our fabulous Sample Sale Rack. Most of the gowns are newly discontinued OR gowns from lines that we are not carrying at this time. However, we need to sell them to make room for additional gowns that arriving later this summer.
September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Couture Service

The BIG DAY is approaching! Your invitations are about ready to be sent, the tuxes are ordered, gown is being fitted, all the details you've been dreaming of are falling into place. Everyone has been assigned a job for the wedding day and things will go off perfectly. WAIT! Who's getting the dress? What if a bridesmaid pulls her hem out by accident. Oh, no! The flower girl just spilled milk on her dress. Now what?

Ok, maybe that's a little extreme, but let me remind you that you DO NOT want to worry about these things while you're getting ready for your wedding. Of course, a great coordinator can help, but she is going to be looking at the big picture, getting corsages and bouttinieres where they belong, and making sure the musicians get their cues.

At September's Bride, we offer Couture Service to our brides. Our Couture Service includes delivery of your gown, bridesmaid dresses, and tuxes, anything supplied by our store, to the church or wedding site. Then, one or more of our gown consultants will stay and help you dress, being available for slipping straps, flower girl mishaps, or anything you and your wedding party needs relating to the attire for the day.

Interested? Visit us or call for more specific information. We only schedule one bride for Couture Service at a time, so reserve your date soon!

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wordless Weekend

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Green" Gown Cleaning & Preservation

Since our beginning, Great Lakes Wedding Gown Specialists has made it a priority to clean our customer's gowns using the safest and most earth-friendly processes available.

Now, through the Assocation of Wedding Gown Specialists, of which we are a member, we can go a step further and offer a carbon-offset option to our customers.

Click on the icon above to learn more and find out how you can participate.

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stylish Moms

Some of the most FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) at September's Bride are about Mothers of the Bride & Groom and what their apparel should be on the big day.

Today's Moms are chic and stylish; they want a gown that makes them feel like that on their son or daughter's wedding day.

Let me also answer some questions that are frequently asked at our store:

Mom: As the mother, am I supposed to match the wedding party?

SB: No, but you should not clash with them, either. Wear a color that makes you feel pretty and confident.

Mom: Who chooses first, the bride's mother?

SB: Traditionally, the bride's mother chooses her dress first, and then informs the groom's mother of the color and formality of her gown; the groom's mother then chooses something complementary in color and length. Today, however, the lines are blurred with step-moms involved and couples who are from different parts of the country, and sometimes, world. It is still a good idea, however, to allow the bride's mother to set the standard.

Mom: Is black an appropriate color for me to wear?

SB: Yes, black is totally appropriate, especially for a formal, evening wedding. The key is to wear accessories that are more festive than somber. Metallic shoes and handbag would be a great thing to add. A sparkly brooch, chunky pearls, and chandelier earrings, perhaps. For an outdoor, summer wedding, black may look a little out of place, unless it is a black linen sundress. In this case, add a yellow or blush shawl, and you'll do great!

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.
Photo Credit :: Jade Couture by Jasmine Bridal

Monday, May 18, 2009

Smile! You're The Bride

1. Casablanca Bridal, 2. MEG Jewelry, 3. B2 by Jasmine, 4. Martha Stewart Weddings, 5. Photo by Amy Carroll, 6. B2 by Jasmine, 7. MEG Bridal Jewelry, 8. Justin Alexander Bridal, 9. Casablanca Bridal

At September's Bride, customer service, kindness, and fun are very important to us! We are a unique bridal boutique where our customers become friends and fans.

We promise that you will be treated well and honored at our store. Please come visit!

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gown Shopping Advice

This post was first published on the Wed Michigan Blog

Top Five Things To Remember While Dress Shopping
1. Plan your day. The anticipation of "wedding gown shopping" with friends or family is so fun! If you want to visit more than one shop, I highly recommend this schedule: Eat a healthy breakfast and visit two shops before a late lunch (plan about 1.5 hours at each stop), then eat lunch and visit your third store. Any more than this in a day and you will be exhausted and overwhelmed.
2. Wear the right undies. Believe me, we as gown consultants don't really want to see your thong any more than you want to show it to everyone in the fitting area. Not every gown will fit you just right and you'll want to be covered and comfortable. Wear boy shorts and a strapless bra. If you don't have a strapless bra, most shops will have clean ones that you can borrow. Along the same line, it's smart to wear your hair similiar to how you will wear it on your wedding day, up or down.
3. Know your budget. At a good bridal shop, your gown consultant will want an idea of the price range in which you are shopping. This is not so they can "upsell" you, it is so that they can show you the very best gowns for you in your range. Of course, you may find a steal of a deal or you may fall in love with a gown above your limit and make it work anyway; but, this should be your conscious decision.
4. Have an open mind and be honest. I say this to brides every day, "The gowns will look different on you than they do on the hanger." Try on several styles, colors, necklines, etc. If your gown consultant makes a suggestion, go ahead and try the gown on. Also, be honest to your consultant regarding what you like and dislike about each gown. This will help her narrow down the inventory and find the perfect gown for you.
5. Have fun! Play "dress-up". Go ahead and try on some fun veils and jewelry...this is your special shopping day!
September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Recommended :: Bride & Bloom Magazine

I love bridal magazines! Even during the 15 years between my own wedding and the opening of September's Bride, I was known to sneak a bridal magazine or two home from the bookstore, just to peruse. I'm glad I have an excuse to read many of them now!
Last fall, my friend, Meg Lammers, of MEG Jewelry introduced me to a fabulous, upscale bridal magazine called "Bride & Bloom".
Add it to your reading won't be disappointed!
September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Harmonizing Details

1. Winnie Couture 2. MEG Bridal Jewelry, 3. Martha Stewart Weddings, 4. My Wedding Shoe
Most of the time, it begins with the gown; then accessories and shoes are chosen.
If you have are confident in your sense of style and the look you want for your wedding, each detail will harmonize well, no matter when and where each individual item is purchased.
Be a smart bride and keep a small photo album with you with a picture of each element, so that during your shopping experiences, you can keep your overall style close at hand.
Of course, the easiest way to accomplish a harmonious "look" is to purchase all of your items at one store. Each item pictured above can be purchased at September's Bride, where we LOVE to help brides with their entire look!
September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Silk :: The Fabric of Luxury

Gown & Image from Justin Alexander Bridal

We often describe a fabric as "silky"...but this doesn't always mean that the fabric is actually made of the wonderful natural fiber called "silk".

From Wikipedia :: Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture). The shimmering appearance for which silk is prized comes from the fibers' triangular prism-like structure which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles...Wild silks are produced by caterpillars other than the mulberry silkworm and can be artificially cultivated. A variety of wild silks have been known and used in China, South Asia, and Europe since early times, but the scale of production was always far smaller than that of cultivated silks...Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture).

When it comes to wedding gowns, most are made of polyester fabric or silk fabric. Silk gowns are not necessarily more expensive than polyester, and are definitely going to have a beautiful luster and appearance. It is important to know what your gown is made of so that you can correctly care for and store your gown. Whichever you choose, be sure you are purchasing a quality gown made of quality fabric and workmanship. Gowns made with lower-quality fabrics are difficult to press, clean, and store.

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wordless Weekend

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Classic :: always in style!

Brides often say they want a "classic" style; a gown that does not look out-dated a decade from now. As I point to the photo of me in my puffy-sleeved gown from 1992, I assure them that if they buy a gown they love now, they will not look back and see how out-dated the gown might be someday, but instead they will see and remember their happiness from that day.

That being said, there is an elegance and grace to choosing classic elements on your wedding day. The classic silhouettes, timeless accessories, and traditional colors shown above look fresh in any era.

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bridal Season 2009 Begins!

Some of our 2008 Brides!
Rachel, Heather, Lisa, & Daisy

Of course, brides and grooms plan weddings all year round...but, here in West Michigan, those of us in the bridal industry consider "Bridal Season" as mid-May through October.

During bridal season, you will find me pressing wedding gowns, bridesmaid, and mother's dresses almost every Wednesday and Thursday morning. Thursdays are "pickup days" at September's Bride. On Fridays, I begin preparing the gowns that are scheduled for pickup the next week.

Almost every wedding gown that goes out from our store is pressed by me. I feel that this is a final gift that I can give each bride. I learned to press wedding gowns at the age of 15, in my parents' drycleaners. My Mom was the expert and patiently taught me!

After your gown has been pressed and you pick it up from the store, I suggest taking it home, removing it from the garment bag, and hanging it in a safe place (where no children or pets can reach it). Let your train hang loose so that the weight of the gown keeps it from wrinkling. When transporting it to your ceremony site, place it back in the garment bag. Remove it again from the bag once you've arrived in your dressing room. Most gowns are not fragile, but they will benefit from some TLC in the days and hours leading up to your wedding.

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My new photo!

Yes, that's me with the tulips of Downtown Holland as a backdrop. I needed some new headshots taken and the combined efforts of Julie, JamieLea, and Amy made me look pretty!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Vintage-Style Wedding :: How to do it!

1. MEG Jewelry, 2. Ben Harrison Photography, 3. Vintage Wedding Cake Topper, 4. Steven Fox Photography

I love vintage wedding gowns! In fact, I have a personal collection of nearly a dozen wedding gowns, the oldest is from the 1890's. My favorite era to collect is the "New Look" era; from the 1940's and 1950's.

Occasionally, we will have brides come into the store and use our restoration service through Great Lakes Wedding Gown Specialists to restore their mother's, aunt's, or even grandmother's gown so that they can wear it for their own wedding.

When SB's own lovely Rachel got married last summer, she wore a new wedding gown, her maids had vintage-inspired gowns, and her mini-bride wore the dress that Rachel had worn as a little girl in her aunt's wedding! I used my parent's cake-topper at my wedding reception, but restyled the plastic bride's dress!

Unless you are planning a true "period wedding", limit the vintage items and details to a few truly fabulous ones. If you are wearing a vintage gown, choose new accessories and dress your maids in a new style.

Our veil designer, Jennifer Leigh, will take a vintage veil and attach it to a new headpeice for you. You can find beautiful bridal jewelry in softly colored crystals that will really complement a vintage gown.

Think about using vintage items in new ways. Use your grandmother's brooch on your bouquet or your cake. You could have a ring-bearer's pillow made out of your christening gown or another favorite dress you wore as a child.

If you want to plan a vintage-style wedding and need some guidance, we would be happy to share other ideas with you and be sure all the elements come together in a pleasing way. Just call for an appointment with Tami or Rachel!

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Gifts for the Bride

This "Something Blue" anklet by MEG Jewelry makes a lovely
personal shower gift for a special bride.

I love to go to bridal showers; and even more than that, I enjoy bringing along unique and special gifts for the guest of honor.

Jewelry always makes a perfect gift! Something that the bride can use for her rehearsal outfit or on her honeymoon is fun; like a pair of earrings or a bracelet.

A few years ago, I knit an ivory mohair shrug for a dear friend as a personal bridal shower gift. The bride-to-be wore the shrug for her rehearsal and then her mother wore it to the wedding. She still uses it occasionally for other special events.

For a small gift, at September's Bride we carry lovely embroidered hankerchiefs...beautifully packaged. At only $12 each, they are a great token on their own, or decorate the package of a larger gift nicely.

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Due to the Tulip Time Festival here in Holland and the Parade of Bands on Saturday afternoon, our open hours will be different on this Wednesday,Thursday, and Saturday.

This Wednesday, May 6, we will be open from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm and remain closed for the afternoon. The Volksparade, Street Scrubbing, and Dutch Dancing will be taking place in Downtown Holland.

On Thursday, May 7, we will be closed during the Children's Parade, approximately 2-4 pm. We will open at our regular time of 11:00 am and be open on Thursday evening.

On Saturday, May 9, we will be open from 9 am - 1 pm and closed the rest of the day.

Enjoy Tulip Time!