Bridal Style: Wedding Dress Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

A wedding is one of the most important events for any woman across the world. It’s the culmination of an important relationship after potentially many years of anticipation. You’ve probably pictured yourself walking down the aisle since you were young, and now that the day is near, you want to look your best.

Featured Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings

While you can theme the wedding however you and your partner would like, what matters more is choosing a dress that not only looks beautiful but also has quality put into it. For those who feel confused or overwhelmed by browsing through the multitude of styles and assortment of wedding dress, here are some do’s and don’ts you should follow when you’re shopping:


Go to Wedding Dress Specialty Shops

While you might have a small group of local dress shops in mind, this is the time to expand your horizons. Don’t try to pass off a dress that’s not specifically intended for weddings on your big day. Some local stores probably won’t have huge selection of wedding dress styles available, so it’s best to find shops that specialize in gowns made how you envision them. These specialty stores are usually found in larger cities or malls. If you want, you can also search for wedding dress stores online so you won’t have to be limited looking for the perfect wedding dress based on where you live.

Check Over Different Sizes

You’ll never know how well a dress will fit on you unless you’re trying out ones with slightly different sizes. While your clothes may fit you just fine with the size you usually use, a wedding dress may require a different size as its fitting requirements could work differently from that of regular clothing. Be sure that your wedding dress options are just as comfortable as they are attractive. Some wedding dresses could look gorgeous yet may be so uncomfortable that it’s not worth it.

Buy a Quality Dress

Everyone loves the adventure of finding a good bargain these days. Does this mean you should do the same with a wedding dress? While there are many great dresses on sale, they usually come with a drawback, whether it’s out of season, an awkward color, or the wrong fit. As hard as it could be to stomach paying a higher price for a dress, it’s best to use your full budget. You’ll generally get better quality, fresher styles, and nicer fabrics. To combat paying a higher price tag, you can use membership points or gift cards to get a better deal, though you shouldn’t always wait for a special sale to pop up when your wedding’s close.


Shop at the Last Minute

Procrastination is never a good thing, especially when deadlines are near. This doesn’t always happen to brides and grooms, but searching for a wedding dress should be a high priority when the event’s date comes closer. Sure, it can be unpleasant when you have to go through different dresses to put on, especially if your progress seems to go nowhere. Still, it’s easier to devote time to searching for a dress without having to be buried under multiple errands. However long you want to spend searching for a wedding dress, don’t wait until the wedding’s super close, and don’t even think of rushing your way through the shops when there are only a few days left.

Changing Up Your Wedding Dress

They say that less is more, which can also apply to wedding dresses in some ways. It’s perfectly fine to change up the looks of a simple dress with extra decorations. Still, there are instances where the twists can go a little farther than they need to be — for example, wearing symbols that either clash with the aesthetics of a marriage or look inappropriate would be best to avoid. Additionally, make sure that your dress doesn’t have too much added onto it, especially if you want to avoid getting comparisons with the more ridiculous outfits of many celebrities. The beauty of a wedding dress is probably best left alone, so it’s best not to change it up too much when there’s nothing that looks wrong.

Rely on Hand-me-downs, Renting, or Borrowing from a Friend

Let’s get the first part of this “don’t” out of the way. A hand-me-down could only be recommended if it’s part of family heritage or as a gift that your mother would give you to continue growing your family’s legacy. Otherwise, avoid asking your mother or relatives if you can use their old, possibly unpreserved wedding dress. Renting a wedding dress may seem like a good idea, though you might have to pay more if it gets stained or suffers any rips. It’s best to buy a wedding dress to avoid worrying about any damage. You’ve already got so much on your mind. Finally, borrowing a wedding dress is another idea that sounds convincing on paper but not in its execution. Your friend’s wedding dress may not be your size, or its look may not be what you’re going for. Plus, everyone wants their own big day to have a unique style.

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Wedding Attire 101: What to Wear To A Wedding

Weddings are a $50 billion annual industry, with the average American couple spending more than $35,000 on their special day.

It can be easy to let that price tag intimidate you when you open your invitation. But of all the things you have to worry about — like finding a perfect gift for the newlyweds — your wedding attire doesn’t have to be one of them.

Here are the “I Do’s” and “I Don’t’s” of Wedding Attire

Before you proceed, there are a couple of rules you should keep in mind, especially if you’re a lady.

No. 1: Avoid white, off-white, or ivory. After all, you don’t want to detract attention away from the bride.

No. 2: Black is actually permissible now. Traditionally, the color used to be reserved for funerals and mourning, but Glamour Magazine reports that it’s become more socially acceptable because of how flattering and versatile it is. Some weddings are even specified as black-tie affairs now.

If you’re not sure what the dress code is, ask the bride to see one of her wedding programs to get a better idea of what to expect. It’s also helpful to note the setting and time of the wedding, that way you can stay comfortable and fashionable at the same time.

For the Ladies

There are a few guidelines to follow once you know the time and location of the wedding. For instance, avoid black and sequins if the wedding is during the day, as this will make you appear overdressed.

Additionally, remember that the wedding will be attended by guests of all ages, not just your own. This means you should probably save that low-cut, high-hemmed, revealing, or form-fitting dress for the bachelorette party — especially if the wedding is taking place in a church or other modest setting.

Moreover, you want to accessorize properly. Ditch the tote bag in favor of a clutch, cross-body, or mini bag. All you’ll need is your keys, phone, ID, credit card, and lipstick. And as for the shoes, you want them to balance the formality of your outfit, not over- or underdo it.

Lastly, if a dress just feels a bit too feminine for you, you’re allowed to wear pants. Just be sure they’re not denim; stick with a pair of elegant slacks, or find a comfortable pantsuit.

For the Gentlemen

Although wedding attire for men is significantly less diverse, it’s still possible to screw it up. However, feel free to personalize your look with a pocket square, cufflinks, or tastefully patterned tie.

Rule number one: No shorts. Ever. Not even in the summertime. Remember it’s a wedding and not a Saturday frat party before the game.

Your safest bet will be a suit and tie, but remember to stay away from black. Navy is a better alternative if you’re drawn to the darker, neutral shades. And if the dress code is “black tie,” stick with a tuxedo and black bowtie.

Before We Part…

No matter what you decide to wear, make sure your wedding attire is properly tailored for the occasion. The last thing you need is a wardrobe malfunction on the dance floor.

Keep the theme of the wedding in mind as well. Some couples like to get creative over their shared interests, so this might allow you some extra freedom with your outfit. And if all else fails, it can’t hurt to run your idea by the bride and groom for approval beforehand.

Feeling lost? Let the Kim West Styling agency give you some pointers. Visit her page at Style Life Fashion to arrange a virtual consultation.

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I am excited to share that Emmy winning host and New York Times bestselling author Maria Menounos wore a Pronovias gown for her wedding to Keven Undergaro on January 1st, 2018.
The wedding took place just after midnight in Times Square as part of Menounos’ appearance as co-host on Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square. 
Menounos wore the Randala gown from the Atelier Pronovias 2018 Collection; the exact style can be viewed at


Maria Menounos wedding at Times Square

WHO: Maria Menounos, Emmy winning host and New York Times bestselling author

WHAT: Maria Menounos wears the Pronovias Randala gown for her wedding to Keven Undergaro on Fox’s New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

WHENJanuary 1, 2018

WHERE: New York City


STYLE CREDIT: Atelier Pronovias Randala Gown

About Pronovias:

Pronovias Fashion Group continues to consolidate its position as a global leader of the bridal sector year after year. It started out as a family business in Barcelona in 1922 and is now the world’s leader in bridal gowns, present in more than 105 countries with 155 stores and more than 4,000 sales points.

Martha Stewart Weddings Big Day Beauty Guide

For the fifth year in a row, Martha Stewart Weddings has unveiled its Big-Day Beauty Awards, where they surveyed more than 500 recent brides to find their tried-and-true favorites for that special day.

From skin prep and hair products to cleansing products and cosmetics, Martha Stewart Wedding’s editor Amy Conway shared a few of the 42 best products that brides swear by. Below are a few of this year’s winners and here is the limited online feature

LIP COLOR WINNER: Chanel Rouge Coco ($36)
Available in 29 shades, this lipstick lasts, looks beautiful, and feels amazing. Brides say: “Gorgeous, moisturizing color in one perfect package.”


STAY-PUT SPRAY: TRESemme TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray
This humidity-resistant, water-free hairspray holds updos with grace and keeps down-dos in place with our compromising touchability. Consider this product an insurance policy for your hair.


ALL OVER COVER-UP: MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Concealer ($21)
Offering up to 15 hours of foolproof production and available in 16 shades, this concealer is a necessity for a long day of celebrations. Brides say: “It’s one and done . . . even if you apply it in the morning, it lasts well into the night.”


SHINING GLORY: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector ($41)
Whether dabbed on cheekbones or mixed with foundation to fake a dewy complexion, this creamy creation is worth of a white carpet. Brides say: “Red-carpet magic in a bottle.”


SUPER SHADOW: Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54)
With more than twice the votes of the runner-up, making for its third win in our beauty awards, this palette remains brides’ choice for eye-popping appeal. While everyone has her favorite (there are four iterations), one things is certain: you’ll get tons of mileage from each 12-shade pan.


MAJOR MASCARA: Maybelline Volum’Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara ($6)
This mascara is waterproof, clump-free, and dramatic – which is exactly what you need on your big day. Brides say: “Creates length and volume without much fuss. . . I’m often asked if my lashes are real because they look so dramatic, and who doesn’t love that?”


PromDressOk Online Wedding and Special Occasion Dresses

Are you newly engaged or seeking a special occasion gown?  One way that we can avoid the hassle of making appointments, standing in line or sold out sizes (and styles) is by shopping online.  There are several reputable bridal retailers but shoppers need someone who can deliver items on time!

According to the website, “ is a professional and experienced online wedding dresses company. As the leading supplier of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, party dresses and accessories, customers can select their favorite dresses here with great satisfaction.”

Shoppers can also receive the best price, a wide product range, assured quality, and world-class customer service.  Most importantly, all payments are secure, encrypted and protected.  Visit to find the wedding dress of your dreams!


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Wedding Salon Luxury Bridal Event – Recap

Wedding Salon hosted a luxury bridal event featuring top beauty and fashion trends on September 21, 2015.  The event was held at the Loews Madison Hotel and emulated a luxury wedding where affluent couples met with vendors face to face.

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Couples enjoyed Charm City Cake tastings, The Cocktail Guru Drinks, Style Me Bar beauty makeovers, Ava Laurenne gown previews, Costa Rica honeymoon giveaways, luxury swag bags and much more.

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Photo Credit:  BK Freeman Photography & Design


Ann Taylor – What To Wear Summer Wedding Essentials

Whether you’re headed to an exotic island or your boss’s daughter’s wedding – Ann Taylor has the essentials for surviving wedding season.

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Add a splash of color with your pumps
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Floral and Eyelet – always a classic style for summer wedding

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Neutral Tone Handbag
Neutral Tone Handbag
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Metallic Clutch
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Seascape Sunglasses compliment any dress

From a short-sleeved for church appropriate ensemble to sophisticated sheath dresses and wedges to keep you from sinking in the sand, Ann Taylor’s summer collection solves your wardrobe woes. Please see below for suggestions.

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Paper Wedding Dress: Beautiful Haute Couture Design

I had to share this post with my readers!  The following photos were sent via my aunt Gloria from Bishop State Community College. Erica Hunter, Graphic Communications Technology Instructor, created and designed the beautiful dress seen below.  What makes this wedding dress so special is that it’s created with the use of PAPER!
She and her students worked to design the dress for an event called The Arts in Technical Education for Bishop State.  The dress is (now) on display in the lobby on the school campus.  How beautiful and creative was this design…Style + Life + Fashion approved!

Interview with Debi Lilly: Entertainment and Design Expert

Debi Lilly
Debi Lilly

Style + Life + Fashion had the opportunity to interview Debi Lilly, Entertainment and Design Expert.  Debi shared with us wedding advice, trends, budget conscious tips, and her new collection at Safeway.

· What’s the most important aspect when planning a wedding?

o Weddings reflect the personal style of each couple, with welcoming, thoughtful, elegant designs and details that celebrate the couple, their family and friends.
· Can you share the latest wedding trend?

o This year it’s all about a colorful, interactive dessert themed Cake Bar to get guests up out of their seats celebrating once dinner ends. Brides can create an elegant but affordable dessert bar using debi lilly design cake stands, pops of color with ribbon accents, candy and cookie collections, and more. It’s gorgeous, DIY edible décor, that doubles as your wedding favor, helping to stretch that bridal budget.

Safeway & DLD Wedding Images_ Style, Life, Fashion

· What are some budget conscious tips for brides?

o Safeway stores are a great source for brides on a budget. Modern brides have access to value and quality with everything from customized cakes, affordable wines and now an exclusive line of chic, trend forward wedding flowers from debi lilly design.

· Where do you find inspiration?

o I travel the world studying wedding, floral and entertaining trends, color palettes, and fresh takes on cultural styles of celebration.

· What can we expect from the Debi Lilly Collection at Safeway?

o I work alongside Safeway to create an affordable and unforgettable collection of bouquets, bridal party flowers, and table-top centerpieces to maximize the floral and decor budget for weddings and parties.


Romantic Collection: Brides will fall in love with the delicate colors in our Romantic Collection. The graceful pink, lavender and green hues will add soft, elegant beauty to your special day.
Chic Collection: The bright red and orange palette of our Chic Collection adds depth and warmth to any wedding celebration.
Classic Collection: The timeless elegance of our Classic Collection includes stunning white and ivory flowers and lush greens to provide a sophisticated and elegant feel
Modern Collection: Add a contemporary flare to your wedding with our Modern Collection. Vivid yellows, hot pinks and rich purples are the perfect complement for you and your bridal party.