Lily's Bridal and Prom Boutique

Archives: May 2012

Making a Sale Dress Look Expensive

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Getting married is exciting, there’s no doubt about it. Accepting the cost of everything, on the other hand, is not so exciting. And even though your dress should be the magical gown you’ve always been dreaming about, reality has a way of bringing your feet back to the ground. So if you find yourself desperately pleading with the wedding gods (Please let it go on sale…) here are three helpful tips to help you make that low-cost, off the rack dress look three times its price.

1.) Focus on fit. This tip works for virtually any article of clothing. A dress that hugs you in all the right places is going to look substantially more glamorous than any other dress not adjusted to meet your specific measurements. Ever seen someone wearing a spectacular dress and hear someone murmur that the dress looks to be wearing her? That’s often avoided with a perfect fit.

2.) Play with accessories.  Accessories often make the outfit, and a wedding is no different. Try out a beautiful hair piece like a vintage birdcage veil, a jeweled hairclip or even a large, stunning exotic flower. Adding a sash to coordinate your dress with the rest of your decorations is also a great idea. And if you have a short dress, think about wearing a playful, eye-catching pair of shoes.

3.) Don’t be afraid to personalize. Adding a personal touch to your dress will not only make it unique from all other brides that might wear the same dress, but it will also show off a part of your personality. Changing the sleeves slightly, or having it hemmed to a shorter length are all options in most bridal shops.

4.) Make the appropriate preparations. No matter how beautiful or how expensive a dress is, if it’s wrinkled it’s going to look as cheap as ever. If you’re wearing a used dress, make sure it is properly cleaned and steamed before your big day to ensure it looks like a million bucks.

5.) Don’t forget the details. Repairing a frayed hem or replacing a missing button do wonders to make a dress look fabulous, and the good news is it’s really not even that expensive! Examine your dress carefully for any small flaws and see what you have to do to fix them. In addition, if you see something that might be on its way out (a button that seems a bit loose, perhaps?) find out what it would cost to replace it before it falls off so you don’t have to deal with it should it disappear while you’re getting dressed to say your vows.

 

Including the In-Laws

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Ah yes, the in-laws. Even as you scan the first line of this article, I’m sure a part of you tensed up a bit just thinking of your future family members. I know, because as fantastic as my in-laws are (I really am one of the lucky ones), I still get a little tense. The fact is, families can be a bit overwhelming, especially when it comes to planning a wedding. So here are a few ways to let your future family members feel a little more involved in your day’s festivities… that is, without completely losing your mind anyway.

1.) Compromise on non-wedding related issues. A great example is holiday dinners. If they’re just not budging on inviting your husband’s ex-girlfriend that they all “just fell in love with” seven years ago, offer to give up something else, like Thanksgiving dinner at their house this year. That whole “I give a little here, you give a little there” stance should prove to be very useful when smoothing out negotiations.

2.) Offer to use their recipes. There’s nothing wrong with asking your mother-in-law to make a batch of her famous macaroni salad recipe to use at the wedding. They’ll probably be incredibly flattered that you consider their potato salad worthy of such an important day. It not only makes her feel like a much bigger part of your wedding than she really is, but it takes some of the work off you. Plus, at least one side of the family will probably love it; after all, it is famous for a reason.

 

3.) Incorporate their family heirlooms and traditions. As a woman dating a man who is the only child of his family, wedding talk holds a lot of pressure. It’s not like his mother has a daughter of her own that she can go dress shopping with, so the burden falls on me to make her feel involved in the process. Of course I will always have the final say when the time comes, but if she gives me a God-awful brooch to wear on my wedding day, it would go a long way for me to try to incorporate it somehow. I don’t have to wear it front and center on my wedding dress, but I might be able to use it as a hair piece or as an interesting addition to my bouquet.

4.) Consider their opinions on the smaller issues. Does it really matter which style of cursive your invitations are addressed in? Narrow down your options to two or three choices that you’re fine with either way, and let your overbearing sister-in-law make the final decision.

Party favors are fantastic way to incorporate both families on your wedding day. Even adding a tiny racecar sticker to favors will help his Nascar obsessed family feel a bit more welcome.

5.) Ask for advice. They don’t need to have their opinions displayed for all to see in order to feel involved. Wondering about what to do on your honeymoon in Barbados? Ask his mother, who went there last year for fun suggestions. Unsure about how soon to schedule wedding dress fittings? No? Well pretend like you’re clueless, and ask his sister for advice. Who cares if you already know the answer, she doesn’t know that, and it’ll make her feel needed and included.

 

Sparkle with Style

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For many brides, the word “bridal” is basically synonymous with the word “sparkle”. After all, a bride should be absolutely glowing on her big day, and what’s a better way to stand out than to be dripping with diamonds and crystals?

Problem is though; sparkle not only often comes with a price, but it’s also very easy to have your look go from gorgeous to gaudy. Here are some ways to add sparkle to your outfit without looking ridiculous.

1.) Match your stones. For the most part, if you have crystals on your dress go for crystals on your accessories. If you’re wearing pearls on your dress, a pearl necklace may be the perfect touch. In many instances, fashion rules are made to be broken, but this is a rule that has stood the test of time.

2.) Balance. If your dress is clean and simple with little embellishment, feel free to be a little more over-the-top with your accessories. Even a remarkably low-key dress can be brought up a level with proper additions. Bracelets, necklaces, jeweled belts and fun hairpieces are all able to be worn with a clean cut dress.

In addition, make sure if your dress is on the ornate side (with an abundance of crystals, fabrics and materials), that you go for a more modest look with your trimmings.

3.) Comfort. Sparkle on your shoes may look divine, but if you’re having a hard time walking in them it’s not going to be a very enjoyable night. The same goes for any other part of your outfit. A jeweled belt is stunning, but make sure it won’t rub your arms raw after being worn for 8 hours. Your best bet is to try it out first. Wear everything around your house for a bit to see if you notice any problem spots.

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4.) Texture. Decorated lingerie is sure to be a hit on your wedding night, but if it’s not agreeing with your dress (you can see the texture of the lace through the dress) maybe it’s a better idea to pack it in your suitcase and change into it later (for round 2, perhaps?). You want to present a smooth, flawless silhouette under your dress, which is why they make fantastic undergarments now specific for your wedding day.

5.) Quality. It’s important to know what you’re getting into. That tiara may be absolutely striking, and you may think you scored a great deal on it, but if the jewels are going to fall out or you’re going to be covered in glitter halfway through the night, it’s a waste of money. Adding sparkle to your look is a great idea, but if it doesn’t last much longer than the ceremony itself, it might feel like a let-down. Check the quality before you buy.

5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

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When buying a car, it’s customary to shop around. Before making the purchase you’ll ask about the car’s history, check under the hood for any current damage and make sure that you’ll be able to keep up with any maintenance requirements. And that’s all for something that will only be a 5-10 year commitment.

Getting married is a huge life step, but surprisingly, many people tend to jump right in without doing proper research, and with a commitment this serious (we’re talking the next 50-60 years, people), there really are a few things you need to ask yourself before you walk down that aisle, and these are the top 10.

1.) What am I expecting to change or remain the same? From a psychological standpoint, a person’s habits can change, but their character typically does not. For example, if someone has a gambling problem, that can potentially change through effort. Belittling everything you are passionate about, however, is more a character trait, and is probably not going to change.

Plus, it might be an issue if you’re expecting something to change in a few years and your partner is expecting it to stay the same. If you work in a dangerous profession, for example, your mate might be okay with it right now, but they might not be prepared to live with the stress for the next 30 years.

2.) What about this person do I love so much? You want to make sure you aren’t in love with someone for short term reasons. It’s great if they have a great job or they have a great ass. These are all components of a person that change; he could lose his job or get really sick. Instead, it’s important that you’re in love with your mate for reasons that are consistent, like his sense of humor or his caring nature. In essence you want to make sure that you not only “love” your partner, but also “like” them as a close friend.

3.) Why are we getting married? You should be getting married for one reason and one reason only: because you’re in love. Not because it’s been three years and it’s the next logical step, not because your parents want you to, not for insurance purposes and not because you’re pregnant.

4.) How well do we communicate? There are many aspects of a marriage that need to be hashed out, such as finances (all current debts, financial goals and spending habits), having children (what forms of discipline will be used, who will stay home when you can’t get a sitter) and which holidays you are going to be spending with the in-laws. This also includes anything sexual. You need to comfortable with expressing your needs and wants in your relationship.

5.) Do we know how to fight? Believe it or not, many couples do not know how to fight. Screaming until you feel you’ve gotten your point across is not going to accomplish anything, and after 10 years it could lead to a lot of damage. Fighting fair means no name calling or belittling, and allowing the other person a fair chance to speak. A few quick counseling sessions will often give you some great ground rules for fighting in the future.

 

5 Tips for a Green Wedding

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In this day and age, it’s all about eco-friendly. And why not? Green weddings, as it turns out, can be incredibly more convenient and cost-saving than traditional weddings, And if you really think about it, all it takes is just a few little adjustments to make sure you don’t end up paying for a lot of wasted food and energy.

1.) Buy local. The number one rule, by far, is to use local vendors. Since they don’t have to pay for shipping costs, their product is already better priced. And wouldn’t it feel better to be supporting your local community anyway?

2.) Get creative with the flowers. A few years ago, I attended my cousins wedding and found that her centerpieces weren’t made of cut flowers (read: expensive), but were instead various potted plants. At the end of the night, guests with a green thumb were invited to bring some home, while the ones she kept were planted in the front yard of the first home she and her new husband bought. She saved thousands on flower costs, and each year when the flowers in her front yard begin blooming she’s reminded of her wedding day.

However, if potted plants aren’t for you, talk to your local florist about recycling your flowers. Many varieties can be used again for another wedding, so instead of purchasing all the flowers, you actually only pay the price for renting them, which can be a huge cost-saver.

 

3.) Use candles for lighting. Candles are not only eco-friendly (especially soy candles, which are cleaner and longer burning), but they’re incredibly romantic. Just picture it now; you, looking deep into the eyes of the love of your life as you exchange vows in front of friends and family…all while bathed in the romantic glow of candlelight…yup, I think I’ve made my point.

4.) Go paperless. These days, there is nothing you can’t do over the internet. Invitations sent by email are not only a great money saver, but are also a much more convenient way to for people to RSVP and take a look at your gift registry. And that super expensive calligraphy you could never afford in real life? Online it’s available, and for no price hike whatsoever.

5.) Do good with your venue. Wedding venues are not cheap; we all know this. But sometimes, you can get a great deal if you decide to have your wedding at a place where the money can be going to the community. Instead of having your wedding at a generic location (a hotel conference hall, for example), think of having your special day at a local museum, art gallery, or wildlife refuge. The money will be going to something you love, and your guests will be able to enjoy the unique setting.

Wedding Dress Shopping: Rules for the Perfect Entourage

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Ask any bride about the first thing to pop into their heads as soon as they slip on that engagement ring and they will probably tell you something about going out to celebrate or wedding planning in general, but every hot-blooded woman in the country knows what they are really thinking: Oh my God wedding gown shopping here I come!

The truth is, the act of shopping for the perfect wedding dress is almost as important as the dress itself! It not only makes the wedding immediately feel more real, but also gives the bride a chance to bond with new family and friends. And since we’d like every dress shopping occasion to be the magical experience every bride should have, we’ve gathered a list of things you should keep in mind when shopping for your wedding dress.

Do:

Bring those closest to you. Finding your perfect dress is a very significant experience, so you’ll want to include those that mean the most to you. If your grandparents raised you, invite your grandparents. If you have a close friend that you consider family, invite that friend. Most likely, your parents have been thinking of this day since you were a little girl, so make sure they feel included. Remember this is about you and finding your wedding dress.  No more than 3 people is best when searching for that perfect wedding gown.

Bring a fashion-savvy buddy. Fashion can be a tricky thing, and while you may find something you think you love, a close friend with an eye for fashion will be able to let you know if you will be having serious regrets when you look at your wedding photos in 10 years. Bring someone who knows what will look good in the future, but still cares enough about you to accurately inform you of how you look but will also be supportive no matter what you choose to walk down the aisle in.

Don’t:

Bring children. As much as you might love your 4 year old niece, bringing her along as a part of your entourage is a huge mistake. Dress shopping is your special day, meaning all the attention should be on you. No matter how well behaved a child is, they are still going to be irritated that no one is paying attention to them…for the next few hours. And on top of that, you’ve brought them to a pure white wonderland where they can’t touch anything and the amount of small items they could put in their mouths (beads, pins, etc.) is endless. A better option is to bring them to the final fitting, where they can see you in all your glory and only have to contain themselves for 30 minutes at the most.

Invite too many. Inviting too many people creates a situation where members of your entourage begin competing with each other. Each person has an opinion, and the more people you bring the more opinions you are going to have to deal with. Keep your numbers low for the best appointment possible.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Dress

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Choosing a wedding dress can be an overwhelming task. Think about it; it’s one of the most important days of your life, everyone you love and care about is going to be looking at you, and you’re going to be saving pictures from this day in beautiful, acid-free paper, how could the thought of choosing what to wear on this important day not be stressful?

Alright now, let’s take deep breath; everything is going to be just fine. All you need to do is keep these things in mind when shopping for your wedding gown:

1.) Know what you like. Even if you don’t know the actual terminology of wedding dresses, or if you haven’t the slightest clue what silhouette you’re going for, being able to describe how you want to look (and feel) on your wedding day is important. Maybe you want to look regal, elegant and sophisticated, or maybe your personality is more cute, quirky and fun. And if you’re not great with words, bring a few pictures of wedding dresses you like from catalogs or magazines. Even if you don’t want the exact dress, it’ll give the consultant an idea of what you’re looking for.

2.) Know the date and venue of your wedding. Knowing when and where you’re getting married is huge in the process of choosing your dress. Will you be getting married in June on a beach in southern France, or will you be getting married in December in your local church. A heavy, royal gown might not mesh with your laid-back beach wedding vibe, and a light, airy dress with exposed shoulders might not be appropriate for your conservative church. Knowing the place and setting will help narrow down the options.

 

3.). Have a definite budget. As every person who has ever gotten married will undoubtedly tell you, a wedding budget can quickly go out the window if you’re not careful. Plus, if you don’t have a budget, you could end up trying on something you can’t afford, falling in love with it, and then never being able to find anything within your price-range that measures up. Decide on a budget before you enter the store; a number you’d like to stay around and a number you can’t go above no matter what.

4.). Wear the right undergarments. These include nude bra and panties and whatever Spanx or corset you might be considering wearing on your wedding day. It takes a lot of focus to choose a dress, and exposed bra straps and a bright pink thong could definitely be distracting…especially to those you brought along in your entourage.

5.) Trust your consultant. The store consultant has one job: to find you a wedding dress that you will absolutely love. What’s more though, the consultant has done this more than once. They’re going to know what kind of silhouette looks good on your body shape and what style of dress you’re looking for when you’re having trouble describing it. If she comes back with something that doesn’t quite look like something you would choose, try it on, you might surprise yourself.

 

Prom Blowout Sale

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It is that time of year, time to clear out our Prom Dresses. Select prom dresses are 40% to 60% off. Dresses that were normally $499 are now $299. What a great savings! Sale will continue to the end of May.

Lily’s Bridal has the largest selection of exclusive prom dresses in Maryland. We carry designers found no where else in Maryland. What does that mean to you? We can guarantee that no one else will show up at your prom in the same prom dress as you, when you purchase one of our exclusive prom dresses.  Other shops can not guarantee no one will show up in your dress because they do not offer exclusive dresses and all their dresses can be purchased online. So why take the chance of being in the same dress.

Shop for your homecoming dress or next year’s prom dress. At these prices you can’t go wrong. Hurry in before they are all gone. Sizes 0 to 30 available.

Wedding Day Fitness Tips

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Ask any bride about her goals for the big day, and one of them will most likely be to get in shape. And why wouldn’t she? This is the day when she is the center of attention, the day when her friends and family will all gather to celebrate her new marriage, and a day of photographs that will be seen for the rest of her life; it’s only natural that a bride would want to look her best.

But with all the stress of planning a wedding, finding time to eat right and make it to the gym is a bit of a laughing matter. No fear though, for there are a few proven ways to looking your absolute best on you wedding day.

1.) Set realistic, healthy, accomplishable goals. Yes, believe it or not, I can hear you now thinking to yourself, “Screw realistic, I’ve got to drop 30 pounds and I don’t care how I do it!” Stop it. It does matter how you do it, and if it’s not a healthy method it’s not worth doing. Now I know that at 5’4” I’m never going to be one of the lanky models I see strutting down the Victoria’s Secret runway every November, so it would be futile to aim for that standard. Instead, think about what you can realistically do (you might want to consult a doctor to make sure it is realistic), and then move on to step two.

2.) Plan ahead. Planning is always key when considering a fitness regimen. Setting goals for yourself can only get you so far, now you need to know how to reach them.

Start by writing things down, and then creating steps to reach these goals (this is where your doctor can come in handy). Creating a workout schedule will help keep you on track. Personally, I find I work out faster if I have a checklist I need to take care of rather than just showing up at the gym and “winging it.”

This will also help with nutrition. Plan out your meals ahead of time and think of ways to stave off those unhealthy snacks. You always eat late at night? Go to bed earlier. You always end up starving around 3:00 in the afternoon and then eating junk food? Bring some healthy snacks to work.

3.) Keep a journal. Don’t stop writing out things just in the planning phase, make sure to write down everything you do. Keep a food journal of food you eat and keep a workout journal of exercises you do. It’s pretty tough to say to yourself “I can’t run more than one mile” when the day before you just ran five. Writing things down will keep you honest and help you stick to the plan.

4.) Keep things in perspective. The truth is, you are probably being harder on yourself than you need to be. Your fiancé did not fall in love with the perfect, flawless, fit version of yourself that you are envisioning walking down the aisle, they fell in love with the person you are right now. The caring, talented, and hilariously funny person they are going to spend the rest of their life with. So good luck in your fitness goals, but remember; it’s your wedding day! Live it up!