Archive for June, 2011

Calling All Royal Wedding Fans…

Monday, June 13th, 2011
Royal Wedding

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge grace the cover of Vanity Fair's July issue. Photo by Mario Testino

Catherine Middleton – aka the Duchess of Cambridge – became a fashion icon in her gorgeous bridal gown designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. The gown and other items are on display at Buckingham Palace from July 23 to October 3, 2011.

If you’re planning a vacation in London and want to see the royal wedding dress, bridal accessories and even the wedding cake, you can tour the Queen’s palace this summer to see the craftsmanship that went into making the dress for the Duchess of Cambridge.

The royal wedding display includes the veil appliquéd with lace rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motifs; the Queen’s 1936 Cartier tiara; and the satin and lace shoes also made by the team at Alexander McQueen and hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.

The Duchess’ diamond oak leaf and acorn earrings will be displayed with her bridal ensemble. The earrings incorporated the Middleton family’s new coat of arms and were a wedding gift from Kate’s parents.

They didn’t forget about the royal wedding cake – a tiered fruit cake decorated with sugar flowers created by Fiona Cairns – which will be shown in the palace’s state dining room.

If you’re a fan of the royal family or want to admire the royal wedding accessories in person, then this summer is your chance. Images and videos fail to capture the intricate details of the gown, tiara, jewelry and shoes.

You can always shop Advantage Bridal to plan your own royal wedding affair – complete with rhinestone jewelry, custom accessories, couture wedding shoes, favors and much more! We’re the one stop shop for brides and weddings.


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Are You A Shoeaholic?

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Arbie Goodfellow Couture: Fluer

Shoeaholics, be warned: Shopping for bridal shoes could rekindle your obsession! Just check out this guest blogger post at Martha Stewart Weddings, in addition to these black and white Chanel heels at Merci New York.

Shopping for wedding shoes is almost as fun as choosing your wedding dress. The right shoes will look fantastic with your gown and in pictures.

While style is key, comfort shouldn’t be overlooked.

From the time you slip into your gown until your last dance, you’ll be on your feet more hours than you may realize.

Choosing the right pair:

  • The style of your wedding shoes should complement your gown. You don’t want them to clash with or overpower your bridal ensemble.
  • Consider the venue before selecting high heels – you’ll get caught in the grass in stilettos. Wear wedge shoes or square heels, bridal flats or sandals for an outdoor venue or beach wedding.
  • Pick a heel height you’re comfortable wearing. If you don’t wear heels, practice wearing them around the house until you feel OK.
  • Break your shoes in or you could suffer later. Shoe inserts and pads help make heels more comfortable.
  • Choose a pair you love! If you love stilettos, get them and then have a backup pair of flats for the reception.

Selecting color:

  • Traditional brides lean toward ivory or white heels to match their gown.
  • Modern brides opt for bold colors, statement heels or designer shoes they can wear after the wedding.
  • Keep in mind; colors vary so view it in the correct lighting.
  • Dyeable shoes are a great choice for custom colors. Make sure fabric samples are at least 2” x 2” for the best match.
  • For Dyeables, ask about the cast of the color and examine the shoe in a light box. Achieving an exact match might be difficult, so pick a complementary color instead.

Save or splurge:

  • There are plenty of options for bridal shoes under $100 or wedding shoes under $50 on the market, but don’t forget comfort.
  • Affordable shoes are fine since you’ll only wear them once. You can also find a pair you’ll wear again that don’t say “bride.”
  • Shop designer and couture bridal shoes if it’s time to splurge. You’ll be amazed at the details, quality and unique styles available.

If you had more fun shopping for shoes than you did shopping for your dress, send pics of your fabulous footwear to Advantage Bridal so we can see why! Confessions of a shoeaholic will be kept anonymous :)

Arbie Goodfellow Bridal Shoes: Swan

Jen and Kim Luna Wedding Shoes

Wedding Shoes

Paradox London Bridal Shoes: Electra

Cheap Wedding Shoes

Allure Bridals: Powder Blue Bridal Heels

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Upcoming Bridal Trunk Shows: Claire Pettibone

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Finding the perfect wedding dress ranks high on a bride‘s priority list. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect dress, try a trunk show to see designer gowns a bridal salon might not carry. You can also speak with the designer or rep to discuss specifics of your gown, and many offer discounts for ordering on the spot.

The Knot offers some tips for tackling a bridal trunk show. The biggest benefit of attending one is seeing bridal collections not always available at the store. With a flagship location in Beverly Hills, Claire Pettibone (CP) bridal gowns will make any bride gaga.

Couture Bridal Gowns

Claire Pettibone Bridal: Emmeline

Pair a couture wedding dress with couture jewelry or designer wedding shoes at Advantage Bridal. If you’re buying an off-rack gown, dress it up with couture bridal accessories to complete your look – you won’t be disappointed with our vast selection.

There are 15 gowns in Claire Pettibone’s spring collection and 5 in the fall, as well as the full line of dresses in the continuing collection. The gowns are über gorgeous and we suggest you check out the full collection on the CP website.

Even if they exceed your bridal gown budget, they’ll provide plenty of inspiration and may help lead you to the one. They also have select sample gowns at deep discounts or you can shop for previously worn Pettibone dresses for even greater savings.

The following are upcoming bridal trunk shows for Claire Pettibone:

Claire Pettibone couture bridal boasts a beautiful 2011 fall collection.

Celebrity Engagements: Model Molly Sims & Twilight’s Nikki Reed

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Celebrity Engagements Molly Sims and Scott Stuber

Molly Sims & Scott Stuber To Marry

It’s official: Two more celebrity weddings to look forward to. Model Molly Sims is engaged to producer Scott Stuber and actress Nikki Reed is engaged to American Idol’s Paul McDonald.

According to People, Molly Sims, 38, and Scott Stuber, 42, dated for a year-and-a-half before he popped the question the weekend of May 20.

@MollyBSims sent this message via Twitter: “I’m beyond thrilled to be engaged to Scott! I’m so happy and over the moon!”

Best known for her photo spreads in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, the bikini model transitioned to an actress and entrepreneur. She launched the jewelry collection  Grayce by Molly Sims in March 2010.

Scott Stuber has produced top movies, including Love & Other Drugs, Role Models, The Break-up, and You, Me and Dupree.

Celebrity Weddings Twilight Actress Nikki ReedPaul McDonald & Nikki Reed Celebrate Whirlwind Relationship


Twilight fans might be surprised to hear that actress Nikki Reed confirmed her engagement to American Idol contestant Paul McDonald after dating for less than 6 months. Reed plays Rosalie Hale in the Twighlight series. The bride-to-be showed off her engagement ring as she posed with her fiance at this year’s MTV Movie Awards.

Can’t wait to see what type of wedding they plan . . . An inimate affair or big bash? Traditional or Hollywood glam? Beach wedding or indoor venue? Celebrity weddings provide plenty of inspiration for all those planning their own special day!

Looking For Graduation Gift Ideas?

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Graduation Hat and Diploma

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~ e.e. cummings

Kindergarten graduation is the first big step of a long academic journey. Those small children who mastered their ABCs and 123s soon become high schools grads, then college grads in the blink of an eye. Celebrate their accomplishment with the perfect grad gift.

Hallmark lists these interesting graduation facts for the 2010-2011 school year (based on estimates by the National Center for Education Statistics):

  • 3.3 million high school grads
  • 798,000 associate’s degrees
  • 1.7 million bachelor’s degrees
  • 659,000 master’s degrees
  • 96,500 professional degrees
  • 69,600 doctorates

Hallmark also estimates that 75 million graduation cards are given annually. That’s a lot of cards! While money is the most common graduation gift, shop for unique gifts or party favors at Advantage Bridal.

For girls, check out these personalized gifts: cosmetic bags with their name or initials in waffle pattern, silk, quilted, polka dots, plaid, rhinestones; beach towels in fun colors and patterns, which can be emroidered or monogrammed for a personal touch; custom rhinestone tshirts and tank tops to wear to the grad night party.

For guys, you can find an engraved dog tag, personalized duffle bag, initial pocket watches and other unique gift ideas for guys.

Whether they’re graduating or being “promoted” to the next grade, this is a special time of the year. It also means summer is just around the corner.

Think about helping the special guy or gal pay for a sports camp, vacation or other summer activity in lieu of a traditional gift. Or, rather than give cash, consider a savings bond or donation to their college savings account.

Your support is the greatest grad gift of all.


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Are You An Indecisive Bride?

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Indecisive Bride

Photo: RS2GURU

How long does it take you to order at a restaurant? Do you make purchases at the mall or merely window shop? Can’t choose from all those nail polish colors at the salon?

Does this sound anything like you? Chances are, you’re an indecisive bride (sounds better than a wishy washy bride). Wedding planning and indecision don’t mix. Sometimes, you have to make decisions fast. If not, then your wedding venue might be booked, your hairstylist busy, your flowers out of season. . . You get the idea.

Imagine yourself as the CEO of your wedding – complete with checklists, vendor contacts, backup options, spreadsheets, etc.

Decide what you like first! Yes, before you go wedding dress shopping have an idea of what style attracts you. See your makeup artist with several inspiration pics. Write down your favorite colors in order. If you don’t like pink, well, then don’t pick pink bridesmaid dresses or a pink bouquet.

If you’re an indecisive bride, you’ll probably buy something you don’t like because someone talked you into it or convinced you it was the best choice or, even worse, because you waited until the last minute and it’s the only option left!

Wishy washy brides might not want to disappoint an in-law, feel they’ll make the wrong decision or simply can’t decide between so many good choices.

Final warning to indecisive brides: It causes more stress!

Procrastination doesn’t resolve anything.

Make decisions and move on; you’ll feel better and have a sense of accomplishment.

In the end, what matters are the vows between you and your fiance – all the worry will be gone once you walk down the aisle. You’ll forget why you spent countless sleepless nights trying to decide between ivory or white wedding shoes, flower centerpieces or candles, two flower girls or three. Relax and delegate some wedding planning tasks to bridesmaids who enjoy making decisions :)


Military Wedding Ideas

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Intimate Weddings Photo: Isabel March

Okay, so wedding planning isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, it can be stressful, time consuming and costly. But that’s why we’re here to help all you brides-to-be as much as possible, so you can have fun in the process and find everything you need at Advantage Bridal. When plannning an Army wedding, Navy wedding, Marine wedding or any military wedding, timing is critical. Picking a wedding date and location are likely two of your biggest obstacles, especially if you or your future hubby are on active duty in the U.S. or deployed to another country. Then, there are the unique elements when planning military weddings, such as wedding invitation etiquette (rank/title), military traditions and military wedding attire (we all remember how handsome Prince William looked in uniform at the royal wedding).

Check with your community and municipality to see about possible discounts for public wedding venues. Designated areas at public parks and beaches can be rented for a nominal fee, and many boast beautiful views and an arbor. If you’re a military bride or military groom, chances are you’re on a tight budget and timeline. Ask family and friends to help with planning your military wedding. Maybe they have a large backyard or a clubhouse in their housing track that can be rented for a small fee. Also, it might be practical to get married at the courthouse and plan the reception later that day or at another time (we’ve seen pictures of classy court weddings). Military weddings don’t have to break the bank. You can incorporate tradition and honor your service to our country in an elegant, understated way. Some military brides opt for navy blue bridesmaid dresses. Check out TheKnot for pictures and ideas of real military weddings.

Advantage Bridal offers wedding theme ideas, navy blue wedding accessories, patriotic wedding accessories and our military wedding collection, which includes military wedding toasting glasses, camo bridal garters and camoflauge wedding accessories.

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