Finding The Perfect Wedding Dress

It’s every girls dream to look absolutely breathtaking on their wedding day. Besides choosing the right person to marry, choosing the right wedding dress is the most important aspect. Most women feel overwhelmed with the task of finding the perfect dress. There are so many styles, colors, and designers to consider. You should choose a dress that showcases your beauty and feels “right” to you. Making the right choice takes time, planning, consideration, and most of all patience! Enjoy a few of our tips to make dress shopping easier:

dallas_wedding_planner_0221*Gown by Maggie Sottero from Lulu’s Bridal ; Photo by The Mamones Photography

  1. START EARLY-You should begin shopping for your dress anywhere from six months to a year in advance of your actual wedding day. Dresses take time to create! On average it takes about four to six months for a manufacturer/designer to make a dress. And let’s not forget about alterations; this could add another two months. Customizing your dress by adding beading, lace, modifying the neckline, or train can take even longer. While many shops do offer rush orders at an additional fee, your choices may be limited. So plan accordingly!

dallas_wedding_planner_0217*Photo by Ivey Photography

  1. BUDGET The perfect dress does not have to cost you a million bucks. Come up with a realistic budget. When creating your budget you should also factor in the cost for alterations; which can vary in price depending on how elaborate your alterations are and where you go to get them done. Don’t forget to add on shipping fees if your dress is not being purchased off the rack. Your dress budget can also include shoes, veil, headpiece and accessories or you can figure these cost separately. Once your dress arrives, it may require some additional care such as pressing or steaming, which can tack on an additional cost as well.                                                                                                                              dallas_wedding_planner_0264*Gown by Anjolique Bridal  from Bliss Bridal Boutique ; Photo by Shannon Skloss Photography

If you are looking to save on your wedding dress as you see it as a one-time wear; try shopping on the sales rack. You may be able to find one that needs minor alterations. There are also many salons that hold big annual sales to clear out their inventory as well as sample sales, where brides can get off-the-rack styles with major discounts.

  1. PLAN AHEAD- Decide where you want to shop for your dress. You can call stores in advance to find out their price range, if they carry the designer(s) you’re looking for, if they offer alterations, and even if they sell accessories. Most wedding dress stores require that you schedule an appointment. If possible, schedule your appointment or shop during non-peak hours. Normally a weekday when you are free; this will give your more time to shop and your consultant’s undivided attention. Carry a notebook to jot down store information with the descriptions of the dresses you like (most bridal stores forbid photos) in case you decide to return back to try on the dress you can’t stop thinking about.

dallas_wedding_planner_0263*Gown by Jenny Packham  from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon of Houston, Texas; Photo by Amy Herfurth Photography

  1. SHOPPING- First and foremost before you set out to go dress shopping, wear good undergarments! This will give you a better visual of how things will look and fit on you. And you’ll thank us later when your consultant see’s you in your undergarments when their helping you into the dresses you’ll be trying on. Before your consultant starts to pull dresses for you to try on, inform them of your budget! You don’t want your dreams crushed by a dress that is out of your price point.                                                                                                                    dallas_wedding_planner_0265*L-Photo by Shannon Skloss Photography ; R-Photo by Amy Karp Photography

To keep your dress shopping experience exciting, do not be afraid to speak up on what you do and do not like. We promise their feelings won’t be hurt; you’re actually making their job easier! Not sure of the perfect silhouette? Bridal dress silhouettes fall into six broad categories: ball gown, empire, A-line, sheath, fit-and-flare, and mermaid. Try on one of each style the first time you go shopping for your dress. Selecting the right silhouette will help narrow down your options. From here, you can decide on the details such as neckline, sleeves, embellishments, etc.

dallas_wedding_planner_0224*Photo by Tracy Autem

  1. NO ENTOURAGE- While it may sound like a good idea to bring all of your eight bridesmaids, your mom, your great grandma, and your aunts for this important purchase; it’s not! The more people you invite, the more opinions you have to consider. An overly opinionated entourage can be confusing and frustrating. Feeling overwhelmed can cloud your judgment on what you actually want. Bridal consultants advise selecting two or three loved ones to attend dress shopping with you. They should know your style, be honest, and have your best interest in mind. If you feel bad for not including everyone, just bring them along to your fitting.

dallas_wedding_planner_0220*Photo by Nicholas Leitzinger Photography

  1. IGNORE THE SIZE In most cases bridal wear runs about two to four sizes smaller than ready-to-wear items. Buy the dress that fits right now or that is closest to your size. Even if you plan on losing weight; don’t insist on a smaller size! A dress is easy to take in, but difficult and can be costly to let out.

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dallas_wedding_planner_0262*Gown by Tara Keely from De Ma Fille in Ft. Worth ; Photo by Amy Karp Photography

  1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND- Don’t be afraid to try on something that doesn’t seem like your style. Also, keep in mind some dresses look different on and off the hanger. A dress that seems average while on the hanger may be the dress of your dreams once on. The same thing goes for the dress you thought was “the one” from the pictures online; it may be a big fail in person. While it’s always great to have an open mind, do not let yourself be talked into purchasing a dress that you’re not absolutely in love with.
  1. FOLLOW YOUR GUT Don’t go with the dress that everyone else wants you to wear. This is your day and your dress! You should choose the one that makes you the most happy. You don’t want to fight with your dress instead of enjoying your day. In the end you must do what is best for you by choosing the dress that feels right to you. You should feel beautiful in your wedding dress! If you aren’t truly sure if it’s “the one”, try adding a veil or other accessories to help you envision yourself walking down the aisle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dallas_wedding_planner_0228*Photo by Sarah Kate Photography

CTE Loves Branching Out Floral & Event Design

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There is almost nothing better than the sweet smell & look of gorgeous blooms and there is no one that creates floral arrangements better than Branching Out Floral & Event Design.

Debby Jewesson, a good ole’ East Texas girl from Longview, is the Principal of Branching Out, and let me tell you friends, she is such an amazing soul.

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After graduating from UT Austin, she had a coaching and teaching career. After doing that for a few short years, she quickly decided that she wanted to make a career change. She wanted to chase some dreams.

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Debby: “I picked up a copy of“What Color Is Your Parachute?…” by Richard Bolles. Although I didn’t read it cover to cover, I picked up some very useful tips. I composed a list of dream jobs, then analyzed my positive attributes. Taking a leap of faith, I started knocking on doors at floral design companies. Did I mention my Mom was a floral designer? She’s always been an influence on all things creative in my life.”

Soon she landed a job at a high end event company, sweeping floors and processing flowers. Debby soaked up all the knowledge she could and with that same company she was offered the head designer & manager at their boutique flower shop. After a year, she made the leap to join forces with 2 partners/friends to start a floral & event design company of their own. Fast forward 2 1/2 years later, her first precious baby was born and it was then that she decided she would sell her ownership. Although this was hard for her, she knew it was the right decision at the time for her family.

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Debby: “So, now here I am. 2 kids and 14 years later. I returned to the industry in January of 2009 as Principal of Branching Out. The name means multiple things to me. I am branching out from a previous career, previous ownership in a company and motherhood. I am more enthusiastic and ambitious than ever before, and most importantly, I feel alive and fulfilled!”

Branching Out has a gorgeous style of work that simply has a fresh approach to classic design. When you walk into her charming floral shop in the Design District in Dallas, you are instantly filled with joy & warmth. The walls are filled with a light gray and each room is scattered with accents of cream and yellow, representing the brand perfectly. Did we mention that every single person in that office is so fun & wonderful?

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To stay inspired for her sweet clients, Debby said, “I really appreciate a good display of color- walls of fabric rolls at Fabric Factory, designer office supplies on display at Target, a rack of colorful t-shirts at the Gap, paint swatches at Home Depot, buckets of color coded roses at my local wholesale supplier! For me, these types of colorful merchandising displays inspires new color palettes for our events. The inspiration is everywhere!”

When you meet Debby for the first time you instantly feel the fun & love she has for her job! So, it is no surprise what she had to say when we asked her what her favorite part of her job was.

View More: http://jenneferwilson.pass.us/jourdin--chris--wedding

Debby: “Fun people: clients, vendors and my staff! And I love designing alone in my studio after everyone has gone home. I call it my “flower therapy”.  I also really love working with brides! I still tear up at engagement stories and get chills when I see pictures of their gown! I also sincerely enjoy getting to know each bride, which enables me to see a design in production and confidently say, “She will LOVE that!”

During the wedding planning process, we will tell you that choosing a floral designer is so crucial and there is no better person in our eyes to give future brides advice when knowing what to do during the floral planning process.

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Debby: “Share as many inspiration pictures as possible (pinterest, magazine pages). Respectfully critique the images you share and view so the designer will know what YOU want specifically. Sharing what you don’t like is just as important as sharing what you do like. Discuss budget with your designer. Talking budget with any wedding vendor benefits you both. For me personally, I know what I should and should not suggest. For the bride, she leaves the consult with a realistic idea of what’s available to her and confidence in knowing that I can marry creative concepts with her style, theme and budget.”

So, if you are looking for a floral designer for your wedding or event, we hope you find your way over in Debby’s neck of the woods. If you have fallen in love with her just by reading our blog, just wait ’til you meet her and her team in person in that gorgeous space of hers, and tell her we sent you! It’s easy to see why our clients love her and we know you will too.

:: Event Photo Credits from top to bottom ::

Tracy Autem Photography (top/ bottom left) and K & S Photography (top/bottom right)

Autumn Light Photography

Greg Blomberg Photography

Jennefer Wilson Photography

Tracy Autem Photography

 

Meaningful Wedding Details, Creating Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

In today’s wedding world, gone are the days of the bland guest book and the same centerpiece on every table.  Bride’s are taking an active role in adding their personal touch to just about every aspect of their wedding.  From what’s in her bouquet to the handmade wedding favors, brides today really want to place their personal stamp on their wedding, making it uniquely theirs.  Whether the wedding details are important to them, their families, their fiancé, or just simply for aesthetics, it seems that each are meticulously thought through, and together make their wedding a special experience.

As planners, we LOVE LOVE LOVE details!  But if this sounds a bit daunting or you don’t want your wedding to look like it threw up Pinterest (no offense, we love you, Pinterest)….don’t worry.  Your special elements don’t have to be everywhere your guests’ look.  If you’re not feeling particularly creative, this is where your wedding planner can step in and help tie everything together.  This is one of the many things that we do to help our clients achieve the look and feel that they want for their special day.  There are some simple ways to add your personal touch to the many aspects of your wedding, and more importantly, there are ways to turn these details into memories that will last a lifetime.

One of the most meaningful aspects of planning the personal touches of your special day are the memorable moments created from those details.  For Rebecca and Tommy’s August wedding, their homemade pecan pralines favors were much more than just a “detail”.  Spending the week leading up to her wedding making pecan pralines with her mom will always be dear to Rebecca, creating a special memory behind this delicious detail.

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For other sentimental facets, which perhaps might not be seen by each and every guest, consider a way to honor your loved ones that just you and your immediate family will cherish.  One of our bride’s adorned her bouquet with her grandmother’s brooch, a very meaningful and personal touch.  While another wore her mother’s veil for the ceremony.  The options are endless.  When it boils down to it, the details should be about what’s important to you and your fiancé.

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Sentimental details don’t always have to honor loved ones from your past, they can also be a symbol of your new future together as Mr. and Mrs.  Take this unique stepping stone guest book, for example.  While it does make for an exceptional guest book display, the true meaning behind this element will unfold when the stepping stone is planted in your new backyard, bringing you back to your wedding day every time you step outside.

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So as it can now be seen, the personal touches in your wedding go far beyond aesthetics and they don’t have to be around every corner.  The most meaningful details come from old memories paired with new memories for you and your guests’ for years to come.

Photos by (in order of appearance):

Top: The Mamones

Middle Left: Wisner Photo

Middle Right: K & S Photography

Bottom: Tracy Autem Photography