Monday, May 31, 2010

Pretty Little Somethings

Your perfect "something blue"; a lustrous silk charmeuse garter

The gown, the veil, the jewelry, the SHOES!  Each peice of your bridal ensemble is carefully chosen to coordinate and create your beautiful look for your wedding day.  It is so fun to see the bride for the first time in all her finery.

One of my favorite things that a bride traditionally wears is never really meant to be seen, except by the groom.  It really has no purpose except tradition; but, I love bridal garters!  Little bits of silk and lace, small enough to be totally luxurious or really fun; I think garters are the one piece in which "anything goes".

At September's Bride, the collegiate garters (U of M, Michigan State, Hope College, Calvin College) are very popular.  My favorites are the elegant silk garters.  There are also beautiful garters made of bits of lace and satin in popular wedding gown colors, such as blush and champagne.

Garters make wonderful shower gifts and can be customized in so many ways. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

At September's Bride, we always give a 10% Discount to those in the military or those who are veterans of the United States Armed Forces. 

Thank You! to our service people!

This weekend, we are extending our Military Discount to anyone who orders a custom gown.  Visit us today and ask about our Memorial Day Special.

September's Bride will be closed on Monday, May 30 to allow our employees to enjoy time with their families and friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

EVENTS by September's Bride...a week left for May's special!

Do you need some last-minute help for a summer wedding? 

Are you planning a fall wedding after a short engagement?

Looking ahead to a big bash in 2011?

Our wedding planning service, EVENTS by September's Bride, is for you!

Michelle, our Lead Planner, is offering a May Special, too!  To celebrate our new "merger", all events booked during May 2010 will be 10% off the package price.  Please e-mail Michelle at to see if your date is available and for all the fabulous details!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's the Quality that Counts!

I was dismayed a few weeks ago when I learned that the famous American designer, Vera Wang, has agreed to sell wedding gown designs to David's Bridal.

As a strong beliver in capitalism and the free enterprise system, I do not wish ill to my competitors, whether other independent bridal boutiques, or the "big stores", like David's or Bridal Warehouse.  But, the same free market system urges me to point out the differences between my products and others. 

David's Bridal does have some beautiful gown designs; and has relationships with other well-known designers, such as Priscilla of Boston and Oleg Cassini. 

However, in my years of cleaning, pressing, and preserving wedding gowns, even before owning a bridal boutique, I continually find wedding dresses and formals from David's to be of inferior quality.  The fabrics are scratchy and stiff and the construction is not as finished as others.  Again, customers who shop at David's are able to see, feel, and try-on the gowns; so the decision to purchase is completely theirs and I only wish them all happiness.

But, back to Vera Wang.  Vera's gowns have always been held up as the epitome of luxury and design in wedding gowns.  Never overly embellished with crystals, pearls, or beads; Vera Wang gowns are stunning because of the fabrics and excellent construction details.  I am dismayed because this partnership seems to "cheapen" her name. 

Most of us only wear one wedding gown during our lifetime.  When shopping for your gown, please take time to shop for quality and learn some of the differences between quality fabrics and construction and those that are mass-produced rather than custom-made for the bride.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's worth the money...

Earlier this week, I shared some ideas about wedding fashion choices with which you could not go wrong.

Today, I have some thoughts on getting the most for your wedding dollars; what is worth spending your money on and where you can save.

1.  Buy a gown made of quality fabric and construction.  (Watch for a post later this week with more tips about this).  You don't want crystals popping off your gown before you even begin your walk down the aisle.  And what bride wants to be stuck in a dress with a scratchy lining all day or evening long?  This is the biggest day of your life; even if you only wear a T-shirt and jeans in "real life", it IS important to buy a quality gown that will fit you perfectly and in which you feel beautiful and comfortable.

2.  Get real.  Faux fur is great for your wedding day; faux jewelry is not.  Please do not cheapen your $1000 wedding gown with a $19 necklace from Claire's.  It looks much prettier to purchase a good-quality $500 wedding gown and spend $100 on a pretty necklace made of fresh-water pearls and Swarovski crystals.    (BTW, I have nothing against Claire's or fun, cheap jewelry; it's just not for weddings) 

3.  Buy or borrow a nice veil.  If you are going to wear a veil, wear a good one; made of high-quality tulle and professionally-applied embellishments.  Just like jewelry, I've seen too many beautiful wedding gowns cheapened with a poorly-made veil or a veil made of scratchy tulle that will not lay smoothly.  Since most brides only wear a veil for the ceremony, this is the perfect peice to buy "beautiful and basic" or to borrow from a Mom, sister, or friend.

4.  Don't shy away from the sale rack.  At September's Bride, I make it a priority to stock our sale rack with beautiful, quality gowns in a range of sizes and prices.  There are always some "surprise finds" there, too!  Buying off the sale rack at a full-service bridal boutique is definitely a fabulous way to get the most for your wedding gown dollars.  You'll still get excellent service, a quality gown, and access to the best seamstress and gown care.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Can't Go Wrong...

When it comes to some wedding decisions, you know exactly what you want and what will be "your style". 

Other things, however, may be more difficult to decide.  Here are a few wedding fashion choices that you cannot go wrong making...

1.  Wearing natural-colored silk or diamond white.  Not stark white but lighter than ivory, this color will flatter anyone.  It will always look white, but is soft and pretty. 

2.  Choosing a shade of blue for your bridesmaids.  Your friends; blonds, brunettes, and red-heads, will look good in anything between sky blue and navy.  It's also a classic color; which makes it easier to find shoes and other accessories that coordinate well. 

3.  Black tuxes for the gentlemen.  Paired with white shirts and black ties, either bow or long; this classic look will never go out of style and every guy looks fabulous in it!

4.  Add great earrings.  The sparkle of crystals or the shimmer of pearls will bring the attention to your face; right where you want it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why a Full-Service Bridal Boutique?

Behind the scenes :: here I am returning gowns to the rack from the fitting areas

Unfortunately, it happens occasionally and it happened this week.

A customer, hoping to save some money, took a gown that had been purchased from September's Bride to a seamstress who she had been told was "inexpensive".  A few days ago, the customer returned to our store, wondering if we could do anything to salvage her gown.  The gown had been shortened, but it was way too short and very uneven, too.  Our fabulous seamstress, Sherry, used her experience to suggest a great fix and the gown looks very nice now.  However, the customer ended up having to pay for the gown to be shortened twice.

Weddings are expensive, and I can fully understand trying to save money anywhere you can.  Unfortunately, there is a misconception that a full-service bridal store, like September's Bride, is charging a premium on services and items that can be obtained elsewhere for much less.  On the contrary, using professionals who work with bridal gowns and accessories on a regular basis will save you money and stress in the long run. 

We work very diligently to be sure that everything is just right for our customers.  We go out of our way to match fabrics, do things right the first time, press your gown to perfection, and fix even the smallest detail that may have gone awry.  We deliver items that may have been forgotten, call you to verify colors, and stay after the designers and manufacturers to be sure that you have everything in time for your wedding day.  The big bridal warehouses do not do that for their customers.  We want you to be absolutely delighted with the service and products you receive from September's Bride.

If you have questions about our services or our prices, we are happy to explain the value you are receiving. 

Blogging about Music

Besides wedding fashion :: dresses, veils, accessories...; the wedding topic that is closest to my heart is ceremony music.  I am a pianist and my son is a violinist, so we have been honored to participate musically in the weddings of friends and families. 

I will be blogging regularly on our EVENTS by September's Bride about wedding music. Please visit the blog to read this week's post.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not Just for Brides...

It's not a pro pic; and my red shoes and purse are not shown.  But, I wanted to share this photo of myself from Mother's Day and show that real women can wear beautiful jewelry and accessories on special days.  The beautiful things sold at September's Bride aren't just for brides on their wedding day.

My friend and accessories designer, Meg Lammers, of MEG Wedding Jewelry designed and made this red hat for me, based on the "Holly" hat from her bridal line.  I'm also wearing earrings from Meg's Bridesmaid Jewelry line.  I wore the ensemble to church and then to brunch on Mother's Day and felt so pretty.

The next time you're looking for something "special" for an event or occasion, remember that September's Bride accessories are "not just for brides"...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vintage-Style Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago, Kerri Banyas of Taylor Grey Photography contacted me to ask if she could borrow a few gowns for a photo shoot that she was planning.  For several reasons, I am pretty particular about which gowns I allow out of the store and especially who I allow to take those gowns.  However, I knew that Kerri's sense of style would compliment our store's style. 

Kerri's overall theme for the shoot was vintage; but she definitely "amped" it up and made vintage very current.  I love these images that she sent me.  For more, visit our Vintage Couture blog.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today, it's all about the Shoes!

Today, I'm going to treat you to a little behind-the-scenes look at two projects I'm working on for September's Bride customers.

SB Bride "L" wants to wear the same fabulous silk satin Stuart Weitzman shoes that her sisters wore for their weddings. But, as you can imagine, after being happily worn for previous weddings, the shoes had some stains and were just dirty looking. As a Certified Textile Specialist, I was able to clean the shoes today and they will look fabulous with "L"'s dress for her wedding in a few weeks. (Wish I had thought to take a before-and-after photo, though)

Another bride asked us to dye and embellish ballet flats for her flower girls after seeing a similiar idea in a magazine. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tulip Time!

It's Tulip Time this week...Downtown Holland is all dressed up and ready for visitors.

Insider's tip...come early in the day to shop and you'll be just fine.

September's Bride will be open our regular hours this week, with these exceptions ::

Wednesday & Thursday :: Closed during the parade (approximately 1:30 - 3:00)

Saturday :: Open from 9 am to 1 pm; Open by appointment only after the parade. Please call 616-355-1433 to make an appointment.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New for Moms!

At September's Bride, we love to help Mothers of the Bride & Groom find dresses for the wedding that are not "matronly" or "old-fashioned".  We love both the Belsoie line by Jasmine and the Lilacs line by Lila Couture for these ladies.

However, we have been continually asked to also carry options for Moms that are a little more traditional with just a tad more coverage.  Of course, it was still very important to us to maintain the style and quality that our customers expect from September's Bride.

We are very excited to announce that the Jade line by Jasmine is now available at September's Bride.  We will continue to carry the other lines that we suggest for Moms, too; making us the most complete source for Mother's gowns and social ocassion dresses in Holland.

Want more guidance in choosing the perfect gown for Mom?  See this post for ideas.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our Big Announcement!

For a few days and weeks now, I've been slowly sharing some hints and clues on our Facebook page and Twitter (9bride) about a big announcement from September's Bride.

We are finally ready to announce our new wedding planning & coordination service, Events by September's Bride!

Events by September's Bride will be lead by Michelle Torno, formerly of Memorable Events, LLC.  Michelle has been planning and coordinating weddings for over 10 years and is well respected among West Michigan's wedding vendors and professionals. 

The style and customer service that you have come to expect from September's Bride will be combined with our planners' expertise.  We welcome clients from the entire West Michigan area as well as those from out-of-town who are planning a destination wedding on the Lakeshore.

For more information, please visit our new Events by September's Bride blog where you will find our contact information as well as package details and more.