1/19/17 -Blog of the Day

Trying On Too Many Dresses

If you’re a fan of Say Yes to the Dress, you’ve undoubtedly seen a bride who’s tried on 100+ dresses without finding the right one. Most brides try on between four and seven gowns and shouldn’t try on more than 10 because it can lead to confusion.

Often, a bride is trying on dress after dress because she’s just not ready to end the shopping experience and make a real commitment. The most common mistake that a bride makes is not purchasing her gown when she finds it. The danger that befalls her is she becomes overwhelmed and forgets what she originally set out to find. She begins to doubt herself and starts to lose faith in the experience.

Not every bride has “that moment” when the tears start rolling and you know you’ve absolutely found “The One.” 

As noted by a bride while trying on a gown, Crista noted, "As I gazed upon my reflection, I noticed my family standing around me, teary-eyed. Although I was touched by their reaction, I wondered, ‘Why aren’t I crying?’” said Crista. “I decided not to purchase that dress and left the salon contemplating my shopping experience only to return months later to purchase the gown. However, by then it was too late to special order the dress and I needed to purchase it off the rack. I still loved the gown but I regret not committing sooner.”

1/13/17 -Blog of the Day

Under the Wedding Dress Essentials

1) "BUILT-IN" BRA CUPS - First, we usually recommend cups being sewn in your wedding dress for many of our gowns. If there is a low back, plunging deep V, or other design preventing a bra, cups sewn into the gown are a great solution! This also ensures your dress won't move around at some point and show your bra. Your seamstress will have this option for you during your fitting.

2) A SEAMLESS BRA -  If having cups sewn into your gown doesn't work for you, here's a few more options! Some brides don't feel comfortable without a bra on for a variety of reasons. And there are some gowns that allow for a more traditional strapless bra. This might sound like the easiest option at first. However, it is still important to try out a few options as the average strapless bra kind of, well, sucks! It's best if you can find a seamless, strapless bra to prevent any lines showing through your gown if you prefer/need to wear a bra. A good strapless bra is probably not going to be cheap, but definitely worth it's weight in gold! No matter what bra you choose, choose a nude/skin tone color. White may seem more "bridal", but it might show through. Undergarments as close to your skin tone as possible is the safest option!

3) ADHESIVE CUPS - Everyone seems to have their own opinion about sticky bras. Like most things in life, it works for you or it doesn't! It's all about figuring out what works best for you and your body. If you are comfortable with adhesive cups, we recommend investing in a quality set. 

4) BARE - For our bold brides that feel confident going braless, there are still a few great options to help complete the finished look. We are big fans of these Non-Adhesive Nippies Skin Covers or the adhesive version! We've had great results using them, and have only heard good feedback. If these skin covers aren't quite right, try adhesive Nippies. These are an upgrade from the old, miserable bandaid trick. Ha! Plus they are much cuter with their heart shapes and lace patterns. These are all great options for anyone needing a little extra coverage as well, even if you have some structure or support built in. They're not just for the bare! 

11/3/16 - Blog of the Day

20 COOL & CURRENT WEDDING HAIR IDEAS FOR FASHION BRIDES

When you look up 'wedding hairstyles', so much of what you find is carefully coiffed upstyles, ornate braids, elegant chignons, or glamorous sculpted waves.

And while they’re all gorgeous, if you’re the kind of bride who’s looking for something cool, casual, and a little more ‘you’ for your big day, those styles certainly won’t be for you.

For fashion brides, it’s all about looking effortlessly undone, avoiding overworked looks and letting your natural tresses and personal style do the talking.

Choosing a bridal store

10/28/16 - Blog of the Day

WHAT IS A SAMPLE SALE?

In the past, sample sales were limited to sizes 4-6 in clothing and size 7/8 in shoes, which excludes pretty much everyone except Naomi Campbell. However, A Formal Affair has a wide range of sizes and styles. Discounts at sample sales can range from 20% to 90% off retail price and the quality and quantity of merchandise varies as well. 

Here are some tips on how to shop a sample sale

Know the dates Mark your calendar appropriately. Key sample sale seasons are November and May in New York City.  Make sure to arrive early, and also remember that many sample sales start earlier than advertised— it doesn’t hurt to stop by a couple of hours beforehand, or even a day or two early in some cases.

It’s all in the preparation
Make your sample sale shopping experience more enjoyable by leaving your excess belongings at home . Dress appropriately, wear comfortable shoes and appropriate underwear. For example, slip-on shoes are the best if you are shopping for pants.  Assume that there will not be a private dressing room area—wear a camisole if you do not feel comfortable getting naked in front of strangers (women and men alike).

Know thyself
You can’t hit all the sales; you must be strategic. Know what designers cut for your body type. Know your size. Know how to separate the junk find from the treasure find. And, most of all, know your budget!

All sales are (usually) final
Make sure you’ve tried everything on and examined your items before you make your purchase. Watch out for a red stamp marked “SAMPLE”, any garment mutilation, faulty construction, damage, mislabeled sizing, etc.

10/27/16 - Blog of the Day

Choosing a bridal shop can be a fun and exciting experience for brides-to-be. Read on for tips on how to find the best shop for you.

Choosing a Bridal Shop-Where to Begin?

When it comes to shopping for a wedding or bridal party gown, it's important to choose the right shop. Some bridal shops are large, some small, some offering a wide selection, some offering primarily made-to-order gowns. So where to begin when choosing a bridal shop?

Pre-Shopping

Before choosing a bridal shop, you might want to do a bit of pre-shopping. Browse the Internet and look through magazines and books. Try to get an idea of styles that might fit your tastes and the style of your wedding. Doing so will help you to narrow down dress selection and help you not to be overwhelmed when you do go to bridal stores.

Location

Once you've done a bit of dress style pre-shopping, you'll want to find out what bridal shops are available in your area. Locating shops close to your area is preferable to save drive time -- the phone book or Internet Yellow Pages are good places to start. Asking friends, relatives, colleagues, and even acquaintances for suggestions on choosing a local bridal shop is a good idea -- you'll get honest feedback on what they did and didn't like about a shop.

Selection

Just because David's Bridal is well known does not mean that it has the best selection. Many brides find that David's Bridal styles leave a lot to be desired in quality and styles. As a bride you may want to try every style of a bridal gown to ensure that you are choosing the dress of your dreams and many stores cannot accommodate the number of styles. For your special day don't cheat yourself!

A Formal Affair has hundreds of quality bridal gowns where many brides do not even need to wear a bra.  

Sales Staff

Once you've established what bridal shops are in your area, you may want to consider calling and asking a few questions. Not only will you get valuable information about the shop, but the phone conversation may be a good indication of what the sales staff is like in person. Are they eager to help you and answer your questions? Courteous and friendly? Choosing a bridal shop with rude, pushy salespeople will most likely result in a miserable shopping experience. Additionally the atmosphere of the bridal store is critical. Choose a shop with a calm, relaxing ambiance. Since this is one of the most memorable experiences of your life, don't hesitate to patronize a store with better service.

 

The Bridal Shop Itself

Another important factor to consider in choosing a bridal shop is the shop itself. A good bridal shop should be clean, well-organized, have good lighting, and have plenty of mirrors so you can see yourself from all angles. A bridal shop should also have ample enough space for you to walk around and test different movements in your dress. After all, you'll be dancing, hugging, standing, sitting, and more on you wedding day.

You're in luck! A Formal Affair has good lighting, is both well-organized and clean, in addition to numerous mirrors!

Deal or Devestation?: A Bridal Shop That's Going Out of Business

While some brides have found rock-bottom deals from bridal shops going out of business, others have horror stories of shops going out of business - taking their perfect dress, and sometimes even a portion or all of their money. For this reason, it is advisable to be cautious of bridal shops that may be going out of business. A good idea when dealing with any bridal shop is to pay for your dress via credit card rather than cash or layaway, so you can file a dispute claim if necessary. If a shop is going out of business, it may be a red flag.

 

10/26/16 - Blog Post of the Day

11 Must-Read Gown Shopping Tips

 

Have a Price In Mind

If you know you're not going to spend $15,000 on your dress, don't waste time trying on a bunch of gowns out of your range. You're better off zeroing in on your realistic price point so you can spend more time editing down the amazing options you can actually buy. Also, keep in mind that you'll need to factor in the cost of alterations, taxes and shipping fees, plus your veil, shoes, lingerie and jewelry, which can add up to $500 or more altogether.

Start Early

This is one of the things that surprises everyone. You really need at least six to eight months to get your gown—and that's if you're really decisive. If you're a picky shopper or don't really know what you want, start looking eight to 10 months before your wedding. Give yourself plenty of time; if you put it off for too long, your selection of dresses could be limited or you might make a quick decision you may regret later. Once you've found your gown, give yourself at least eight weeks to make alterations. Custom gowns take six to eight months to tailor on average, and heavily-embellished ones can take up to a year. Why so much time? A muslin version of a custom gown is created before the actual dress to guarantee a perfect fit.

Determine the Dress Code

You may need to consider religious restrictions when shopping for your gown. If your ceremony is in a house of worship, find out whether there are any attire guidelines you're required to follow, such as covering your shoulders.

Figure Out What You Like

Take cues from your venue, the season and the time of day you're getting married to help narrow down your dress style. Rule out fabrics and silhouettes that won't work (a bulky ball gown is probably not the best fit for a midday beach affair) and consider what styles will flatter your shape. 

Just because a salon carries your favorite designer doesn't mean it'll have the exact dress you've been dying to try on.

In A Formal Affair while you may get lucky and snag a salesperson just by walking in, scheduling an appointment guarantees you'll get a full hour of undivided attention.

Shop At the Right Time

Taking a half day off to shop on, say, a Tuesday morning is absolutely worth it. Saturday afternoons are the most popular times—which actually makes them the worst. Unless the store is by appointment only, try to target those slower times. Consultants are fresher earlier in the day and can give you more of their attention. A calm store means a more personalized shopping experience. Another shopping trick: Don't bring an entourage. It may be tempting to include all your friends in this experience, but any more than one or two adds up to too many clashing opinions.

Buy a Dress That Fits Now

Even if you're planning on dropping 15 pounds before your wedding, your body type isn't going to completely change. Besides, it's a lot easier (not to mention less expensive) to take a gown in than to try and make a too-small dress work.

Bring Your Accessories

While most salons will have shoes and a slip on hand for you to try on with your gown, you should still come prepared with a nude bra and underwear for the fittings. Also bring shoes with a similar height as what you plan on wearing at the wedding, so you can see how the dress falls with your heels. And try on your other day-of accessories (if you have them), like your veil or cover-up, to get an idea of how your whole look will come together.

Trust Your Instincts

If you have to be reassured that the dress looks great on you, it's probably not “the one." If you can't see yourself walking down the aisle in it, move on. When you find the right dress, you'll know—you won't want to put on anything else. Have some tissues handy; it will be an emotional moment!

Start searching for the perfect wedding dress here!

Your wedding reception is a celebration, where the people that cherish you both come together to commemorate your new beginnings. A part of this celebration is the meal you share together. As one of the most important events of your life, your table design should be carefully thought out and represent who you are as a couple and individually.

Wedding planner and designer Eileen Morales, of Beauty in the Making, talks us through how she helps her clients plan their wedding tablescape.

Find your style
1. To begin, collect images that distinctly inspire your color combination and aesthetics. With those create an inspiration board. While doing this, take into consideration the style of your ceremony, wedding dress and location. You want to use this vision to help make your “tablescape” design uniquely yours.

Pay attention to your venue
2. Let the venue inspire you. Feel the life of the reception space and let it dictate how it can be used. Look at the lighting, structure and design to determine the type of table, linen and color combination that works best for your style. Establish whether or not you will use table linens, runners or none of these if the table’s natural composition complements the look you’re aiming for.

Choose your chairs
3. The chairs should complement the table, the space and design without conflicting with the “tablescape”. It should all bring harmony.

Plan your centerpiece
4. The centerpiece is literately the “center” of your design and it sets the stage. When you choose the flowers think of the desired colors, size, textures and shape that enhances your look. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to only flowers. If you desire, you can explore with other elements such as candles, wood, greenery, etc. Make sure that your centerpiece does not block the view of your guests, so they can enjoy their time without barriers.

Select your plates, flatware, glassware
5. Your plate, flatware and glassware setting selection helps to complete your story. There are many styles that can be rented to fashion your design. Having the setting on the table when the guests arrive is like an invitation to the feast.

Accent with details
6. Once you’ve set your table, the addition of details such as stationery, napkins and candle votives provide the finishing touches. The stationery need not be over the top, something as simple as a personalized place card set neatly on a folded napkin can be enough. Candles, whether tea light votives or tapers, add to the atmosphere of your tablescape.

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