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July Wedding? Here’s How to Beat the Heat

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A wedding in July? No matter where you are in the country, July is usually one of the hottest months of the year. It’s no wonder that many brides begin second guessing their decision to get married in July.

However, not all is lost. Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean your wedding day can’t be amazing! We’ve gathered some surefire ways to help you remain calm and cool and your July wedding.

1.) Stay hydrated. Nothing makes you feel hotter than you already are than being thirsty. Even in 100 degree heat, a cold glass of lemonade can work wonders. So be sure you and your guests have cold drinks available at every turn. Hand out mini bottles of water as favors and have pitchers of ice water at every table. Alcohol dehydrates, so it’s essential that everyone have access to a cold, hydrating beverage at all times.

2.) Have shade. Many outdoor wedding venues, as gorgeous as they are, are very lacking in the shade department. Brides often ask how much it costs to set up a tent or indoor facility in case it rains, but many of them forget to ask about the possibility of adding shade for their big day. Some venues charge the same as a shade tent for a regular tent, while others have more affordable price if you’re just looking for a quick fabric solution.

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3.) Give plenty of props. Little umbrellas and hand fans are adorable on their own, but they become quite handy at a warm, outdoor wedding. A small hand fan can really take the edge off when there’s nothing to be done about the outdoor temperature.

4.) Use it to your advantage. If it’s excruciatingly hot outside, have something your guests will associate with the heat in a good way, like an ice cream truck or a snow cone machine. Instead of talking about how unbearable your wedding is, they’ll be talking about how fun it was to eat snow cones at the reception. And instead of other wedding day props that some guests hardly ever use, you can rest assured everyone will be participating in the ice cream bar.

5.) Keep the air moving. A breeze in any circumstances will help make the heat more bearable, especially if it’s a cool breeze. Having your ceremony close to the ocean, for example, will ensure it’s at least a few degrees cooler than everywhere else that day. Have overhead fans running and set up additional fans along the edges of the ceremony and reception site.

6.) Move the party indoors. It might seem like common sense, and it is. Having a tent in case of rain is a smart move in the first place, so it’s not too much of a stretch to have it booked anyway. A large room shielded from the sun with some fans and a space cooler will help everyone have an enjoyable time, not matter how much the sun is beating down outside.

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, Prom Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals.

How to Not Invite Guests to Your Wedding

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In a perfect world, everyone you know would be invited to your wedding. And we’re talking everyone: your family, closest friends, semi-close friends (like your Friday night drinking buddies), coworkers, people that follow your blog and even people you absolutely can’t stand, like that “popular” girl that made your life miserable in high school but has since gained 40 pounds and works at a gas station. Yeah, she’s going to want to see this.

But the fact is, not everyone can come to your wedding, even people you really, really do care about. So what happens when they clearly expect an invite but are definitely not going to receive one? We’ve got you covered.

1.) Sorry, but you just don’t have the budget. Weddings are expensive; everyone knows this. So just blame it on the budget. Bring up something else that costs a ton of money that you were completely unaware of, like the photographer. This will direct the conversation to something else and give you something to bond over. Say with how stretched your wedding budget already is, it’s hard to see how you are going to have any guests at all!

2.) Sorry, but it’s just going to be family and maybe a few close friends. If it’s a friend, you can even say that it’s going to be mainly just family. If it’s a family member, well…they probably already know why they aren’t invited. If not, just direct them to your mother. She’ll let them know.

3.) Sorry, but the venue is really limiting in the number of guests we can invite. Venues are tough to find, so when you do find one that fits 90% of your needs, it’s understandable that a few things might get pushed to the side. So simply explain that your venue strictly limits the number guests that can attend, and with your fiancé’s huge family, you’ve really had to cut out quite a bit of people that you wish could come.

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4.) Sorry, but everything is still up in the air. If it makes you feel better to dance around the subject, simply say you haven’t finalized your guest list and are desperately trying to figure out a way to avoid narrowing down your current list. Say limited space and funds are making it difficult, so you’ll let them know.

5.) Go rogue. Here’s an option that’s just craze enough that it’s actually known to work. Wait until after the wedding, then call up the scorned guest asking if you two are “good.” Explain that you were disappointed not to receive an RSVP from them and hope everything is okay. They’ll explain that they never got an invitation, you can blame it on the postal service, and you both can go out for coffee and laugh about it. Then in three weeks text them and let them know the same thing happened to (insert name of made-up friend or family member here) too! Crazy, right?!

 

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call 410-553-9336 to book your appointment today or book online!

Surviving Bitter Parents at Your Wedding

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For many couples, an engagement is a happy thing! You instantly go into wedding planning mode and start creating a guest list. For other couples, however, with parents that have recently split-up and aren’t necessarily on pleasant terms with each other, an engagement can bring about an instant feeling of dread. Just how the heck are you going to get them both in the same place and acting civil for an entire night? With wedding vows and alcohol being thrown into the mix? It can seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but we’ve come up with a few tips that should ensure complete civility at your upcoming nuptials

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1.) Plan your invitations accordingly. If your mother refuses to have her name in the same space as your father’s name, you’re going to have to be a bit creative. Maybe just writing it as, “Along with our parents, we would love to invite you…” would do the trick. Or perhaps your mom just doesn’t want your dad’s new girlfriend to be mentioned (fair enough). Sitting down with everyone (together or separately) will help nip any potential problems in the bud.

2.) Work that seating chart. Not only do you want to seat them far, far away from each other, but it’s also smart to seat them at a great table. Maybe your dad might be a good fit with some of your fiancé’s college buddies. He’ll be drinking and dancing in no time, and will probably forget about your mom on the other side of the room. Do the same with your mom; don’t sit her at a table with your aunt where the two of them can nitpick about your dad’s new girlfriend across the room; sit her with some of your happiest and most welcoming friends and she’ll be in a much better mood by the time the food is served.

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3.) Give your wedding party and vendors a head’s up. Make sure all the necessary people know the situation. There’s nothing more awkward than the photographer asking for a picture with your parents when everyone clearly can’t wait for the picture to be over. Maybe have a set of pictures with just your mom, then have them leave and ask one of the groomsmen to get your dad for the rest of the pictures. Plus, you can have your Maid of Honor and Best Man on the lookout for any potential problems.

5.) Stand your ground. If your parents are just refusing to get along, with your mom refusing to come if your dad is going to be there, tell her too bad. This wedding is not about them; it’s about you and your fiancé starting your lives together. Either they have to grow up and get over their feelings for each other for one night or they can both miss out on one of the biggest milestones of your life. It’s up to them. Now you focus your attention to other things, like your dress.

Lily’s Bridal – Marland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses up to size 30 – Book your appointment today!

5 Things a Good Bridesmaid Does NOT Do

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Alright future (or even current) bridesmaids, this one’s for you. Of course we’re also doing a favor to all those brides out there; if your bridesmaids are engaging in any of the behaviors on this list, either point them in the direction of this article or consider evaluating how much stress is worth having them in your wedding.

1.) Constantly complain. Now don’t get us wrong, as much of an honor as it is to be a bridesmaid, there are also many, many things to complain about. Between the money it takes to buy all the required shoes, dresses and presents, not to mention all the time it takes to throw bridal showers and bachelorette parties as well as attend dress fittings and participate in countless other wedding activities, you’ll start to feel like you’re planning your own wedding. But you’re not. This is her day, not yours, so as much of an inconvenience as it might be, shut your mouth and smile; it’ll all be over soon.

And in the case that there really is a problem (you simply can’t afford to drop $800 on a bridesmaid dress, talk to the bride directly. You can either work something out, or you can decline to be a bridesmaid, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with declining due to financial or scheduling conflicts.

2.) Fight with the other bridesmaids. There is always a chance that one of your sworn enemies will be another bridesmaid, but that is just something you will have to deal with. You didn’t pick the other bridesmaids, the bride did, and frankly, your opinion in this matter is completely irrelevant. And trust us, she has plenty of things stressing her out already; she doesn’t need you and her new sister-in-law bickering on top of it all.

3.) Be late to important dates. Planning a wedding means having to fit countless new activities into your daily schedule: dress fittings, cake tastings, band reviews and many, many more appointments with other wedding vendors. When the bride schedules something that you need to be present for, like a dress fitting, for example, she’s likely squeezing it between two other very important things. Arrive on time.

4.) Ignore the bride. Yes, there will come a point when you are completely overwhelmed with wedding related tasks and you just need a break, but ignoring the bride is not the way to take this break. Just take a second to read her email and answer whatever question she asked. It may sound like much, but my making her tasks a priority you’ll get her off your back much faster.

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5.) Take over. Chances are, the bride will probably give you some responsibility when it comes to certain tasks, but that’s where it ends. Don’t invite anyone or change anything unless you clear it with the bride first.

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Dresses, Prom Dresses, Bridesmaid’s Dresses, Mother’s Gowns, and Tuxedo Rentals. Book your appointment today!

Why Wedding Photographers Are So Expensive

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As many people probably find out while planning their wedding, the photographer does not come cheap. And how can this be? Cameras are digital now, so don’t they just spend a few hours taking photos then go home, burn them on a disk and call it a day? No, they don’t. Not even close.

The fact is, many photographers charge thousands of dollars to shoot one day at a wedding (and maybe include another day for the engagement.) And if you’re curious, here is where those thousands of dollars are paying for:

1.) The photographer’s equipment. That camera that you’re photographer is holding probably looks pretty complicated; that’s because it is. No professional shoots with even a $400 camera; they shoot with something close to $2,000, minimum. The lenses also cost some serious money, ranging from $600 – $5,000 and in some cases, even more. Plus, let’s not forget all the studio lighting, editing equipment, backdrops and props they also use. That’s thousands and thousands of dollars (well over $10,000) worth of equipment they’ll be using for your wedding.

2.) The photographer’s time. On the surface it may seem like they only spend a couple hours here and there shooting your engagement session and then your wedding. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. For a wedding, a photographer spends anywhere from 60-80 hours editing the photographs. Each one is color corrected and each detail is taken care of. That blemish that popped up on your forehead the morning of the wedding won’t be a problem for a professional photographer, as they will take the time to edit it out of every, single, individual photograph, one at a time.

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3.) The photographer’s expertise. It takes much, much more than simple know-how to take a good picture. A professional photographer will know how to handle harsh or dim lighting conditions and which camera settings they need to use to render the sharpest photos possible. They know how to edit each photo correctly to make it look as beautiful as possible. And no, selective coloring is not a skill, it’s something a four year old can do in Photoshop. A professional photographer would never, ever use that as a selling point.

4.) The photographer’s experience. Weddings aren’t something for the inexperienced. Think about it, would you want a DJ using your wedding as their trial run, or would you rather they know exactly what they’re doing? The same goes with your photographer, except their experience is probably even more important when it comes to wedding venders. If they’re standing in the wrong place to capture your special moment, that moment is gone forever; there is no “redo”. It’s well worth your time to pay a little extra money for something that knows exactly what they need to do to catch the essential wedding photographs.

5.) The photographer’s talent. Some people call themselves photographers, when really, they aren’t even close. A true photographer doesn’t just snap a picture; they capture a moment. You don’t want to simply see a bride and groom standing at the altar, you want to see the emotion on the groom’s face the first time he sees you walking down the aisle; you don’t want to see tables and place settings, you want to see the beauty of your special day just as it becomes bathed in a soft sunset light. A truly talented (and seemingly expensive) photographer will be able to accurately capture these memories.

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s top Bridal Boutique offering wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, mother’s dresses, prom dresses and tuxedo rentals. Book your appointment today!

DIY Wedding Tips

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DIY Wedding Tips

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If you’re planning on doing most of your wedding on your own, you aren’t alone. Weddings are one of the most expensive purchases many people make in their lifetime, alongside a home, a car and an education, so it’s perfectly natural to want to cut some costs by doing most of the grunt work on your own. However, if you aren’t careful, some of your do-it-yourself ideas could turn into an absolute disaster. To prevent that from happening, we’ve got a few tips for you:

1.) Keep it simple. Just because you’re doing the bulk of your wedding on your own doesn’t mean you should tackle what a professional could easily do. If you can’t afford a florist, don’t try arranging 40 centerpieces and 12 bouquets all on your own; that would be near impossible and incredibly stressful. Instead, keep it simple; instead of intricately arranged bouquets, have your bridesmaids carry delicate collections of dried wildflowers or a simple bunch of baby’s breath. Even some creative, like a pinwheel can add an interesting (and easy) touch.

2.) Choose a location that does most of the work. Choosing a completely blank space, like a white tent, means you have to decorate the entire thing. Instead, choose an already beautiful spot, like a beautiful old church, an enchanting garden or a relaxing beach. Think about it; with plenty of light shining through vintage stained glass windows, would anyone even notice a bit of streamers by the door?

3.) Go for high impact. Instead of drowning yourself in hours and hours and hours of work, choose small tasks that have high visual impact. Go for bright colors or vivid accents. This not only cuts down on the cost of the materials you’ll have to use, but also the time it takes to put the look together.

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4.) Look for the best deals. Just because your local party store has the streamers you want doesn’t mean that’s where you can get them for the best price. In this day and age of online shopping, you can get virtually anything you need for the lowest possible price with a bit of research. Check a variety of stores, including online stores, vintage shops, yard sales and even with friends’ that have been recently married.

5.) Prioritize. Doing things on your own means you can’t do everything. There are going to be some things that you simply have to let go. Focus on the main points of your big day and make sure those aspects come out as perfect as possible. A few things are most likely going to fall through the cracks, and that’s okay, just as long as those are very minor things.

 

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offers gorgeous Wedding Gowns in stock up to size 30. Yes we offer Wedding Gowns in all sizes but specialize in Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses size 22 and up. Plus Size and Curvy customers are our specialty! Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offers has the largest selection of exclusive designers Wedding Gowns, Plus Size Bridal Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Call to book your appointment today.

What You Will Remember From Your Wedding Day

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Your wedding day typically happens in such a blur that it’s a wonder if you remember any of it at all. Think about it; between the dancing, the alcohol, the family and friends and the crazy emotions, it’s a wonder you even remember where you are throughout the day. But as it turns out, there are a few things that you end up remembering, and we’ve decided to list them for you, for your convenience.

1.) The transportation from the ceremony to the reception. Whether you took a limo, a horse-drawn carriage or even walked to the reception site, this is one of the most vivid memories for many couples. Think about it; it’s the first moment right after you’ve officially been announced as a betrothed couple that you are alone. The experience has even been described as time stopping; it’s quite, you hold hands, take a deep breath and then begin the second part of your day: the reception.

2.) The moment you first see each other. Both you and your spouse will not only remember exactly what you and your soon-to-be spouse were both wearing on your wedding day, but also exactly how you both felt upon first sight of each other. “Seeing her in her dress for the first time was something I thought I was ready for,” explains Greg. “But I had no idea how happy I would be to see her. I just lost it.”

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3.) The unique distractions. There are so many emotions you need to control on your big day, many people create unique distractions to keep from crying. “I didn’t want to ruin all my professional makeup,” explains Madison, “so I started thinking about what my dogs were doing at home and how excited I was to eat a piece of wedding cake. I don’t remember much of what the Rabbi said while I was up there, but it worked!”

4.) The inside jokes. There are so many little things that are between just you and your fiancé. Whether it’s a little look from across the room as soon as your uncle starts in with his wedding speech, or a couple clever remarks you’ve both added into your vows for a little amusement between the two of you. The little jokes and quirks are part of what makes you such a perfect couple, and they are also some of the things you’ll remember for the next 30 years to come.

Suzie describes the end of the limo ride; “As soon as the limo pulled up to the reception hall, Brian announced ‘21st Floor: Menswear.’ It’s one of his favorite lines from the movie Liar Liar, and it still makes me laugh when he says it.”

5.) The morning after. The morning after is one of the happiest moments for most couples. “You’re very aware that this is the first day of your new life together,” says Tom. Anna had a similar reaction: “ I couldn’t wait to introduce him to people as my husband,” she said.

 

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, Prom Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to book your appointment today 410-553-9336 or book your appointment online!

Tips for Hiring Your Wedding Videographer

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When it comes to things that you should budget for in your wedding, your photographer and your videographer should be at the very top of that list. They are the ones responsible for the safekeeping of your wedding memories. When you look 30 years down the road, you aren’t going to be able to remember every single detail of your wedding, but a video and some photographs will bring it all back in no time.

Of course, as with every wedding vendor, there are a few tips to doing it right.

1.) Get a jump on it. Everyone knows that in this business, the best wedding vendors are the ones that get booked the fastest, so don’t wait until the last minute or all you’ll have to choose from is the random guy that no one has ever heard of or your little cousin with a handheld camcorder. In addition, many wedding videographers offer similar packages to many wedding photographers. If you book them early enough, a save-the-date or reception video might be included along with your wedding video.

2.) Ask to see examples of their work. You’d be surprised how many people don’t take the time to watch a few clips of other couples’ wedding videos before settling on a videographer. Just as with any other wedding vendor, you need to see their portfolio in order to get a good idea of whether or not you will be pleased with their work.

3.) Get a list of callable references. References are going to be your best bets to learn everything you need to know. You’ll want to ask if they videographer was professional, polite, and made their subjects feel comfortable being videoed, if they showed up on time and stayed until the promised hour and if they succeeded in catching all of the important aspects of the wedding on video. You’ll also want to ask how intrusive they were when videoing; someone who barges their way up the aisle alongside you is going to be a real thorn in your side on your wedding day.

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4.) Make sure they use HD. Many companies offer HD, but not all HD is the same. They should be using the most modern HD cameras with 1080p resolution. Of course if you are looking for a vintage or film grain look for certain aspects of your wedding, ask if they are able to do that sort of thing.

5.) Find someone that matches your personality. Your wedding videographer is going to have to look through hours and hours and hours and hours of wedding footage before determining what moments should be kept and which ones can be edited out. If you choose a wedding videographer that has different than you of what is ‘important’, you might end up with a wedding video full of cake close-ups and ceremony shots rather than one that recorded your brother performing some of his famous moves on the dance floor.

 

Lily’s Bridal – A Maryland Bridal Boutique offering Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Prom Dresses, Mother’s Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Sizes 0 to 32 available. Our curvy bride selection is a MUST SEE! Book your appointment today.

How to Talk About Your Wedding Budget as a Couple

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If we know one thing, it’s that planning a wedding is virtually impossible without first establishing a budget. How else would you be able to make the important decisions that go into planning your big day? However, talking money isn’t usually a conversation many couples look forward to; it’s much more enjoyable to talk about the venue and what you’ll wear. It’s necessary though, so we’ve gathered a few tips that will make the talk a little more productive, meaning you’ll only have to have it once and can save your time for the fun stuff.

1.) Pick the right time. The best thing to do is set aside a specific time to talk about your wedding budget. That ensures it won’t just come up, say after you get the credit card bill in the mail and are both a little on edge. Choose a relaxing time without distractions. Instead of having the talk while the Yankees are playing the Red Sox, meet for coffee sometime during the day to hash out the details.

2.) Have two numbers in mind. A wedding budget is never really set in stone, hence the two separate guidelines. The first should be your goal number: an amount you’re going attempt to stay close to. The second number should be the maximum amount you will be able to spend. So maybe you’d like to budget $12,000 for your wedding, but you know you absolutely cannot go over $15,000 without having some financial repercussions.

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3.) Be prepared to compromise. Remember, this isn’t just about your wedding; it’s about your marriage and your future. Life doesn’t stop after you get married; you still need money if you’re ever going to buy a house, travel the world together or have kids someday. If your main goal is to buy an $8,000 wedding dress, but your fiancé’s main goal is to pay off some student loan debt before buying a house, you might need to give a little.

4.) Put it in writing. It’s very difficult to work out a budget for your wedding when everything is conceptual. So instead, bring a pen and paper to the meeting. Writing down what you both agree and disagree on will help keep everything organized as well as give you an idea of how your budget really breaks down. Once you see, in writing, how much is going to what things, you’ll be able to better prioritize which aspects of your wedding get more cash and which you might be able to do without.

5.) Don’t take it personally. If you and your fiancé could give each other the world, you probably would, but this is reality, and reality means someone has to say ‘no’ once in a while. If your fiancé thinks paying $5,000 for a venue is too steep, it doesn’t mean they think you aren’t worth it, it just means they think paying $5,000 for a venue is too steep.

Maryland Bridal Boutique – Lily’s Bridal offers wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, mother’s dresses, tuxedo rental, and prom dresses. Book an appointment today to find “The One”

Look Sexy, Not Trashy, in Your Prom Dress

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Prom Dress - Not trashy - Plus size prom dresses, Wedding DressesProm is one of the premier times in a young woman’s life. You want to look your very best, and let’s admit it, looking your very best often means looking as beautiful and attractive as you can possibly look. Of course there’s one more thing though; you’re still in high school. Sorry, but you need to save the over-the-top sexiness for after you turn 18.

But we get it. So instead of telling you to wear something with long sleeves and a high collar, we’re going to tell you how to get that sexy look you’re after while still keeping your prom dress classy and appropriate.

1.) If you’re going to show skin, avoid the obvious. A low, low cut front not only screams ‘inappropriate’ but also slightly desperate, just as a short, short, short skirt would give off the same impression. So if you’re going to show some skin, we suggest going with something unexpected: your back. Backless gowns provide and element of surprise while still showing off your figure, and literally every “risqué” part of you is covered. It’s a compromise for everyone.

2.) Consider the cut. Even if something covers you completely from head to toe, it can still be sexy provided it has the right fit. Even a long gown with long sleeves looks unbelievably gorgeous when made in a slinky, body skimming design. Not only will you look amazing, but it also gives off an aura of effortlessness: like you just can’t help how good you look. You tried to cover up…it’s not your fault you have an amazing body under there.

3.) Consider the fabric. Sheer fabric has been seen everywhere lately, and if New York fashion week means anything, it definitely won’t be going away any time soon. This means you can use it to your advantage. When sheer fabric is strategically placed in the correct places, it gives the illusion that something is missing while you remain completely comfortable and covered.

4.) Be supported. No matter what dress you wear, there is nothing more unsexy than someone pulling and tugging at themselves all night. Wear the proper undergarments, and if you’re afraid you might pop out or expose yourself on the dance floor, wear a different dress! You should be able to move any which way you please without risking an accidental peep show.

5.) Stay balanced. The fastest way to cross over from sexy to trashy is to try and do too much. A skin tight, low cut, short skirt is way too much. Instead, make sure to pick one feature to accentuate and keep everything else fairly tame. If you’re showing your legs, keep your chest and back reasonably unexposed. If you plan on wearing a tight, fitted dress, make sure there is plenty of fabric to keep you reasonably covered. If you’re thinking of wearing something with a plunging neckline, opt for a longer dress that conceals your legs.

 

Lily’s Bridal – Maryland Bridal Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses.