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10 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

Angela here from Saffron Avenue bringing you my next blogger bride adventure! Some girls are crazy excited to try on dresses for the first time, and I thought I always would be…until the time actually came. I’m not big into shopping, trying on clothes, and definitely not in front of family and friends while literally on a pedestal. The idea actually stressed me out because I had no clue what to expect. But I’m passing on what I learned, and tips to make this important shopping excursion one to remember.

A few things I was told by my friends and family was to try on all different styles, and that dresses always look better on you than the hanger. Also, to keep an open mind the whole time. And while that info was great, it wasn’t quite enough. The first time I tried on dresses didn’t turn out the best. I didn’t eat much before, I was so tired and exhausted, and the bridal salon didn’t have any music and weren’t enthusiastic. It just wasn’t the experience I’d imagined. 

I decided the next place I would choose to go to would be 10x better and that’s when I ended up at Hayden Olivia Bridal in Charlotte, NC. It was one of the best decisions I had made because it was such a great experience, and one I’ll never forget. I spent the day with my sister and very close friend trying on so many beautiful dresses in an absolutely beautiful loft style boutique. We had music, dresses lined up, mimosa, and best of all we laughed…a lot. To top it off I had a great photographer, Lauren Rosenau snapping pictures of the process to share with you!

I definitely had an open mind too, I tried on big ball gowns by Hayley Paige, an amazing trumpet dress by Monique Lhuillier, a dress with crazy feathers, and another with a sparkly plunging neckline. And just in case you wanted to know…none of these shown are the dress I chose. (That’s top secret! ) But I do want to share a handy list of tips Hayden Olivia Bridal and I pulled together to make wedding dresses shopping a little bit smoother!

Until next time! xoxo, Angela

Photography: Lauren Rosenau Photography | Wedding Dress: Hayden Olivia Bridal | Hair & Makeup: Michelle Dula - The Paintbox | Branding: Saffron Avenue | Venue: Hayden Olivia Bridal

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Angela

Contributing Editor, Blogger Bride

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Whimsical + Elegant Charlotte Wedding

Darlings, I cannot wait to share today’s recipe for pretty. Take two Irish Catholic cuties, pair them up with the planning genius that is The Graceful Host, add a dash of whimsy and a dash of elegance and the result is one ridiculously beautiful, classic wedding day. Dressed in kelly green and a turquoise navy, the hues will make your eyes dance in every capture from Lauren Rosenau Photography. See more in here!

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Summer
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From The Graceful HostHard to believe that just a few months ago this sweet couple, Katelyn and Phillip, were married in a beautiful ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ll never forget my first phone call from Katelyn. This busy bride-to-be knew that she needed a planner, and she’d do whatever it would take to get one – even changing her wedding date so that she could book me! Honored and humbled just skims the surface of how I felt when this amazing bride said that she couldn’t imagine getting married without my help.Working with these two was such a blast! There was no shortage of laughter at each meeting. Katelyn came to me with a vision of a vintage romance meets artistic whimsy meets elegance wedding inspiration that had no shortage of personal touches and was big on family traditions. I mean, we’ve got two Irish Catholic families here! Katelyn had gotten her dream dress from Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. It was a beautiful and timeless lace gown with a cathedral length lace trimmed veil and a jeweled champagne sash for a pop of sparkle. Her dress became a source of inspiration for a number of wedding details. I worked with Katelyn to create something unique and beautiful in a color palette of navy, cream and kelly green keeping accents of vintage charm and whimsical elegance throughout each detail. The centerpieces included unique flowers like green trick, kale, anemone, hostas and bells of Ireland for a bit of an artistic touch. Along the head table we had three tall candelabras with smilax, hanging amaranths, umbrella fern, white stock, and bells of Ireland wrapped and draped around for an ultra romantic look. As with most brides, Katelyn also wanted to create an intimate atmosphere using a lot of candle light. Personal touches were important to this couple, so we included as many as possible: the bagpiper that greeted guests upon arrival to the Catholic Church and lead the couple out of the ceremony was a nod to their Irish heritage, the fire helmet sitting on the front pew of the church with a family rosary was in honor of the brides late grandfather, & the lace detailing on the wedding cake which was inspired by the brides wedding dress – to name a few. The bride and groom danced the night away at the Mint Museum in Uptown Charlotte, NC, and left the reception to a ribbon wand exit on the front staircase. As they got into a pedicab, they waved good night to family and friends and headed off to start their honeymoon.

Photography: Lauren Rosenau Photography | Videography: Brian Bunn Films | Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter's Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Mint Museum Uptown | Brides Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Something Classic Catering And Cafes | DJ: All The Right Grooves | Bagpipes: Carolina Bagpipes | Chair Rental: Chiavari Chairs Of North Carolina | Hair + Makeup: Who's The Fairest | Wedding Dress, Veil + Belt: Kleinfeld Bridal | Wedding Planner + Designer: The Graceful Host

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Second Chance Wedding Shoot in North Carolina at the VanLandingham Estate

This couples’ story will warm your heart right up this Monday morning. With the help of a talented team of vendors including Taken By Sarah PhotographyWillow Floral Boutique, and Ella’s Celestial Cakes (just to name a few), they were able to create the dream wedding day they never got to have, to the same person they will always love. See the entire shoot here.

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From Taken By Sarah PhotographyWhat started as an inspiration wedding shoot turned into so much more when we found our perfect couple to give a second chance for a wedding.

From The Bride…Some say young love won’t last, that you need to find yourself before you can truly love someone else. But for us, we found love at a young age, and that love grew up together. We met in middle school, and on that day at a mere 13 years old, CR told his best friend that he’d found the girl he was going to marry. At the ripe age of 20 he proposed, and though we had no money for a big fancy wedding, we had more love than one could dream of. My grandparents were our inspiration, they had married at 16 and 19, and were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They gave us their original rings from 50 years ago, and we all celebrated the lifetime of love they shared, and our wedding on the same beautiful day at a small plantation in Georgia.

We are approaching a decade of marriage, 4 beautiful children, and a hope for the same lasting love my grandparents found. It was wonderful to have a second chance wedding that we could have only dreamed of, and knowing that we would marry each other all over again, with an even stronger love and commitment than we did so many years ago…

Photography: Taken By Sarah Photography | Florist: Willow Floral Boutique | Dress: Fabulous Frocks Charlotte | Cakes: Ella's Celestial Cakes | Stationery: Sweetest Beginnings | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bracelet: Chloe And Isabel | Hair: Glammed And Groomed | Chandeliers: Charlotte Chandeliers | Earrings: Saks Off 5th | Florist/Planner: Lily Bee's Events And Floral | Makeup: Blush Beauty And Makeup | Menswear: Revolve Upscale Menswear Consignment | Private Estate: VanLandingham Estate | Vintage Plates And Flatware: Heirloom For Hire