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Lace Wedding Dresses

Is there any fabric more romantic than lace? It’s no accident that so many wedding dresses have lace accents and overlay. Lace wedding dresses can have subtle accents of delicate lace, thick, textured lace, or a combination of lace varieties. Here are some tips for choosing a lace wedding dress.

Several designers are creating wedding gowns that are completely covered in lace as part of their latest collections. The dresses may have a simple, sheath silhouette, a gown with a flared skirt, or form-fitting dresses. Since lace wedding dresses come in the full array of available wedding dress styles, the bride may want to begin her selection by deciding which wedding dress styles would be most flattering for her body type. If she can choose whether she wants a sheath, mermaid, ball gown,  or A-line dress, she can focus her search for the perfect wedding dress.

Traditionally, lace is delicate and flowery. Bold lace makes a statement. Claire Pettibone designed such a dress. The Guipure lace sheath dress has thick lines and a large lace design that covers the entire dress. It’s a sophisticated mix of the striking lines and flowing fabric.

Sheath dresses are a common style for lace wedding gowns. Sheath dresses that have a full lace overlay have an outer layer of lace over the entire dress. The underlying fabric keeps the dress from being too transparent. The intricate design of the lace can be a nice balance with the simple silhouette of the sheath dress.

Mermaid wedding dresses fit snuggly at the top with a skirt that flares outward from thighs. Lace lends itself well for creating beautiful effects for both an overlay over the form-fitting top or as part of the flared, flowing skirt.

Most lace wedding gowns have a layer of lace over a more substantial fabric. This helps with durability as well as preventing the gown from being revealing. Some designers embrace the transparent nature of lace to create cutouts that show the skin through the lace.

Risqué wedding dresses might have designs where part of the gown is only lace. An example of this are the wedding dresses that have a bodice that resembles a bustier. A few modern bustier wedding dresses use lace as the primary fabric for the bodice.

With the DIY trend, some brides use lace appliqués to create their own cutouts. This commonly is done on the sleeves if the sleeves are plain. Brides should take care when adding appliqués to other portions of the dress. A misplaced cutout can render the gown too revealing. She may need to rush to find a seamstress who can fix her blunder or be uncomfortable during the big day.

The disadvantages of lace is it’s delicate nature. The lace can get snagged and tear. It’s an important consideration when choosing a dress that has a full layer of lace. The bride may want to restrict her bridal jewelry to earrings and necklaces and forego the bracelets that might catch on the fabric.

For more helpful information about choosing the perfect wedding dress, please visit the Best for Bride blog.

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String Lights for Weddings

A single strand of little white lights may not give the impression that it can be an amazing wedding lighting option. This affordable lighting can transform a wedding venue or reception in remarkable ways. You can achieve a variety of lighting effects by using string lights in different ways.

String lights can be used to create a wedding ceremony backdrop. A panel of string lights in gradually decreasing lengths forms a backdrop of cascading light. The cascading effect frequently is used on trees around outdoor weddings and the ceilings of tents and rooms used for receptions. For outdoor weddings, the lights are best used for evening or sunset weddings.

These lights are wonderful for complementing other lights. For a fun twist to the cascading string lights, hang them from chandeliers or lanterns. One couple had a backdrop of old-fashioned light bulbs strung together and hanging from the ceiling floor with string lights hanging between them.

Other types of ceremony backgrounds can be enhanced with twinkle lights. The lights can be used to cover the wall behind the couple or around a gazebo or pergola. Arches decorated in lights can be a great touch for an evening outdoor wedding.

Instead of a cascading line of lights or a covered panel, clusters of lights descending from the ceiling can have an interesting effect. Take a couple strands of lights and hang them from the ceiling so that they fall to the floor. Then, wrap the lights loosely in white tulle. This simple lighting has a unique effect. They could be used as part of the reception lighting or for the ceremony.

Random strands of lights across the ceiling can have the appearance of a starry night sky. Some couples use clear tents outdoors and string the lights across the ceiling for added nighttime sparkle. When used against white tents, the lights can be surprisingly elegant.

Twinkle lights can be used like lighted streamers. Consider hanging the ends of a group of string lights placed closely together at one end of the room. Hang the other ends farther apart on the other side of the room. The effect is a spreading, draped light.

The string lights can have practical applications as well. If the reception or areas of the building are dim, carefully placed string lights can help guide guests. For a darkened reception indoors, string lights have been used to show where guests can find coffee refills or lead them to the restrooms. A dimly lit stairwell may get a boost with string lights tied along the underside of the banister.

Some couples have added mason jars to their string lights. The lights might be hung with a portion of the lights hanging inside the mason jar. This gives the illusion that the jars are like light fixtures. String lights also can be used with table runners or centerpieces.

For more wedding lighting and wedding decor ideas, please visit the Best for Bride blog.

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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With 86% of brides wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue, it could be fun to see a variety of ways brides fulfill this wedding tradition. One of the most common ways to incorporate old, new, borrowed, and blue items into the mix is to wear jewelry that fits those descriptions. However, many brides have found creative ways to embrace the old, new, borrowed, and blue.

The wedding tradition started with a nineteenth-century British rhyme that described what a bride should wear for good luck. The rhyme includes a sixpence in the shoe. A sixpence was kept in the bride’s left shoe. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” has been included in weddings occurring on television shows such as How I Met Your Mother and Friends.

Old

Although antique jewelry can be a beautiful way to wear something old, you might want to consider the ingenious ways some brides have included the old in their wedding day garb. One bride added pearl beads from on old dress. If you want to honor a deceased friend or family member with something old, you could use a locket with an old photograph of the loved one. A locket can dangle from the bouquet or be worn on a necklace.

New

Having a new item is probably the easiest part of the rhyme to accomplish. The wedding dress is often considered the new item for a bride. The bouquet typically could be considered the new item as well.

Borrowed

Some families have a tradition of borrowing veils from past brides in the family. Sisters, mothers, even grandmothers may be willing to share their veils with a new bride. Other creative options are to add a charm or cufflink from a family member to the wedding bouquet, borrow a purse or hair comb, or wrap a family member’s handkerchief around the bottom of the bouquet.

Blue

Before the Victorian era, blue was a popular color for wedding dresses. Blue signified constancy, faithfulness, and was considered good luck. There is an old rhyme about wearing blue: ” Marry in blue, always be true.” Though a blue wedding dress is not a popular way to wear something blue, some brides add blue ribbon to their gowns. A blue temporary tattoo is an unconventional way a bride can wear blue.

If blue doesn’t exactly blend with your wedding colors, you may want a hidden blue item such as a blue stitched monogram inside the dress. One fun option for women with floor-length dresses with full skirts is to wear blue shoes. One bride wore bold, blue sneakers hidden under her gown. Blue on the bride’s lingerie is another hidden option.

These are just some of the numerous ways brides can carry the old, new, borrowed, and blue items on their day. As with any wedding traditions, you choose whether you want to follow it and how you want to include it in your wedding. Choosing something personal can make this a special part of preparing for the wedding. For more tips on making the wedding truly special, visit the Best for Bride blog for helpful articles.

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How to Write Your Own Vows

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Any writer can tell you that facing the blank page can be intimidating. It’s no different when writing your own wedding vows. How can you begin to describe your love for the person with whom you want to share your life? Here are some helpful tips for how to write your own vows.

Before actually writing the vows, talk to your fiance about the tone of the vows. If one of you writes very serious, traditional vows and the other’s are humorous, the humorous vows can seem disrespectful even if there was absolutely no intent to be portrayed that way. You might decide that you will both include a mix of serious and funny. Discuss the options as a couple. Also, decide on a general length. Vows usually are between one and two minutes long.

Looking at the whole project of writing your own vows may be too overwhelming. Try breaking the vows into the sections that you want. Many people start with a very basic statement addressing their loved one. They typically start with the fiancé’s name and a few sentences talking about the person’s strengths, lovable qualities, and caring nature. Close the beginning of the vows with a declaration of love.

An example of the beginning of vows:

“Daniel, you are my one true love. You have an amazing balance of being strong, yet being affectionate, and being focused, yet making me laugh. You have always accepted me for who I am while challenging me to reach my potential. I love you with all my heart, forever and always.”

Traditionally, the second part of the wedding vows include promises. These promises can be statements about how you will show your love and commitment every day. The promises can be general statements such as, “I will always do everything I can to make you happy.” Or, the promises can be more personal and specific.

Wedding vows typically end with statements about future hopes or what you will do together. For example, this part can be summarized as “I will love you through good times and bad.” You may want something more poetic or personal. The ending of the vows usually includes a sentiment about the bond being eternal, such as “as long as we both shall live.”

Take a cue from writers of dialogue. Practice saying the vows aloud. Sometimes, we write things that look good on paper but are awkward when spoken. Hearing it will help you know what they will sound like to your fiancé and wedding guests. This will also give you a chance to time how long it takes to say the vows.

Start writing vows early. You may want to make changes along the way. After you think you’re finished, you might think of something else you want to say or want to change the wording. When you are completely finished, make a fresh copy to practice if you have been writing and changing things on paper.

For more tips for conquering challenges associated with planning your wedding, please browse the Best for Bride blog.