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Posted on March 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM in Announcements, Bridal accessories, Bridal gowns, Celebration accessories, Current Affairs, Upcoming Events, Wedding attire | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Happy New Year! Paper Passionista has completed a wonderful week of Christmas and New Year holidays, surrounded by friends and loved ones celebrating lots of Fa La La La La. Now that all that has passed it's time to get back to the business of helping loyal readers make their way through their celebration preparations. Did you become engaged over the holidays? Then, first of all, Congratulations! Second of all, I wanted to make sure you're aware of a book I believe is a must read for any bride-to-be about to set out on the mission of wedding gown shopping. We all know that once the ring is on the finger the gown is the next order of business, right ladies?!?
Lindsay Kenna, author of "Polyester is the Devil", has provided a great guide book for anyone about to begin shopping for a wedding gown. I read the book, and found it to be a very pleasant read, filled with "simple no-nonsense advice for the fashion-forward bride". Wedding gown shopping will be a much better experience if you purchase this book and take a little time to read it (it's not a thick book, and goes quickly once you open it). She's filled it with lots of great tips and considerations, and even a style journal and planner. I won't share the tips here as I don't want to give away Lindsay's trade secrets until she's sold a book. If you buy the paperback it'll be the best $18.95 investment you'll make in your wedding. If you can't wait to have the book shipped to you go check out your local Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy. If you're in the local Seattle area you can purchase it at Swink Style Bar, 611 Stewart Street between 6th and 7th one block north of the Pacific Place mall.
May all your gown shopping experiences be pleasant ones, and may 2012 bless you with special memories to last a lifetime!
William & Kate take their vows
Photo taken of tv during CNN Royal Wedding coverage
It's now been nearly a week since all the pomp and circumstance of the Royal Wedding where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge exchanged their vows before the world. At the "Tiaras & Pj's Royal Slumber Party" I attended, a fun time was had by all. Did you stay up into the wee hours - ok, way beyond the wee hours - to watch this Royal spectacle? We had a great time watching the parade of ladies' hats and outfits, some divine and some...well not so much. I'd love to have you share comments here about your favorite and not so favorite parts of the wedding.
Picture Credit: Photograph by Hugo Burnand; All rights reserved by The British Monarchy*
My favorite part was the long-awaited revealing of Kate's gown - I LOVED it, and certainly hope it will bring about the return of sleeves on wedding gowns. It was perfect and so reminiscent of Princess Grace's style and glamour. The photo above gives a view of the gorgeous train, and the pattern in the fabric which wasn't easily seen from the television coverage. Just like most men, William didn't have too much to plan for - just pick out your prettiest uniform and decide which sash you'll wear.
The photo is courtesy of the British Monarchy's photo stream
My most underwhelming thing about the wedding? Well, the invitation, of course! Here it is...
After all these years it seems a shame that with so many options for glamour and interest in the invitation that exist today the monarchy would take the side of boring. Oh if only they had asked me. Ha! I can imagine the talk that will go 'round about those invitations at the National Stationery Show I will be attending in New York a week from now. Guess I'd better be careful in case the creators of those stuffy invitations are there! One friend commented to me that maybe they had to keep cost down with as many invitations as they had to send. But the invitations they sent, with a metallic engraved crest at the top, were not inexpensive - they were just boring. My friend Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York created her version of what the royal invitation would look like if she'd been commissioned to create it. I much prefer Ceci's version, but again, no one asked me (or Ceci for that matter). Here's Ceci's proposed creation, complete with a custom crest for William and Kate:
photo courtesy of CeciNewYork.com
Ceci used Kate Middleton's sapphire blue engagement announcement dress and the beautiful sapphire engagement ring as inspiration for these creations. She created something she felt would portray Kate & William's sense of style yet still have a royal feel. OK, we can all dream, and this was a fun one!
One more comment when critiquing Royal style, or lack thereof, I think my worst fashion disaster award has to go to the Royal sisters, Eugenie & Beatrice. I'm sure you haven't forgotten their mystifying displays of style (?), but just in case you need a reminder, here they are:
*Note: The photos from the Royal Monarchy are for editorial use only, and they must not be re-sold or commercially exploited in any way. For requests other than editorial use, please put your requests in writing to Press Office, St James’s Palace, London, SW1A 1BS.
A couple weeks ago I mentioned Paper Passionista was attending the opening event for the new "Wedding Suite" at Nordstrom's downtown Seattle flagship store. I did attend and have been waiting for a break in my invitation appointments and other wedding shows to report on the details of what I learned. I had a delightful visit with one of the three Wedding Stylists at the Wedding Suite, Jenny Van Norstrand. With such a full house I was honored to be given a one-on-one tour and run-down of all their lines and services. Jenny is clearly enthusiastic about the new wedding department, and wanted to make sure I knew that for all of them service is key! She said all wedding stylists love to work with brides, even if they get their gowns elsewhere and just come there for all the wonderful add-ons they have available.
The range of dresses available for both brides and bridesmaids was impressive, and even more amazing was the extremely reasonable pricing of the gowns. Bridal gowns currently in stock range from $200 - $1400, and even the least expensive gown is very nice. There are long gowns, short gowns, sleeves or not, and designer names that most anyone who follows fashion will recognize. The two gowns below represent the least expensive and the most expensive options:
I was shown the backroom where there are lovely spacious dressing rooms, a consultation desk, a large mirror and sitting area for those with appointments to get comfy, and accessory displays perfectly completing "the look". The even more amazing thing Jenny shared with me is they encourage brides to take photos of dresses they're considering for their bridesmaids and themselves as they're trying on. This is completely opposite of many gown salons you hear about that allow no photos until after a gown has been purchased. The typical length of the gown appointment is 90 minutes. There are many gowns available to choose from in stock, but even more can be purchased by viewing the gowns online. I asked about availability of gowns for the plus size bride and was assured there are gowns both online and a couple of in-stock gowns in this size range as well. Then there are dresses for moms of the bride and groom, and even options available for flower girls and ring bearers.
Above are a couple views of the "backroom" where fitting and selecting take place.
If you have a bridesmaid interested in a "signature" piece, this darling red ruffled dress from Notte by Marchesa is sure to be remembered. Short and strapless with swirly ruffles on the skirt, it is $795.
For dresses available in multiple styles and colors in a versatile elegant chiffon, Jenny's personal favorite is the dress selection below from Amsale, reasonably priced starting at $280-$290
The motto for the Wedding Suite is "Love is all you need. We take care of the rest." After seeing all they have available I know you're in good hands. In closing here are a few more photos of the many accessory items available for you, including shoes, jewelry, wraps, and hair accents. If you don't see it, just ask. They seem to have it all covered!
To schedule your appointment with one of the Nordstrom Wedding Stylists call 206.628.2111, extension 1730 or 1.888.300.1295. To schedule online visit nordstrom.com/weddings. You can also get personalized service from a Wedding Stylist via Live Chat, email or on the phone.
One side note: All photography for this piece was done by me, and photography isn't my area of expertise, so please make an appointment and go visit the Wedding Suite at Nordstrom in person for a much better view and expert personalized friendly service.
I recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune (November 24, 2010) where they announced that Nordstrom was opening one of 14 new bridal salons in their Michigan Avenue store in Chicago. The article stated, "the Seattle-based specialty department store is stepping into the bridal business for the first time in the company's 109-year history." I found this an interesting statement since the Paper Passionista purchased my bridal gown (for what I fondly refer to as my "practice" marriage) at the flag-ship store of Nordstrom in downtown Seattle in 1977. They had a full-on gown salon then, where I purchased the gown, the veil, the shoes, etc.. Nordstrom later discontinued their offering of bridal gowns, and as the rumor mill flies it was said they discontinued selling gowns because their "no-questions asked" return policy was killing them when it came to people wanting to return bridal gowns.
Who knows if this was really the reason, or if it was because having weddings fell out of favor in the late 60's through 70's as "flower children" chose to express their commitment and undying love by marrying in a field with bare feet, a flounced gingham homemade creation or a Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock muslin dress with a ring of daisies in their hair.
Whatever the reason for why the gown salon disappeared from Nordstrom, I am thrilled they are coming back into the bridal world. It sounds like they're offering a less traditional gown with this go-round, but one can always rest assured their gowns will be fashion forward, quality, and will come with the outstanding customer service for which any Nordstrom shopping experience is known, and they even say these gowns will be "affordable"!
The Seattle Nordstrom "Wedding Suite" opens this Friday, January 7, located on the second floor. The bridal gown services will be by appointment only so it's a good idea to call one of the wedding stylists at 206-628-1730 and reserve your spot. At the same time you can ask about the Wedding Suite Open House which is scheduled for Saturday, January 15, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM . RSVP to this event
According to the Chicago Tribune article, "Nordstrom plans to carry wedding-gown collections from Milly, Notte by Marchesa, Sue Wong, David Meister, Nicole Miller and Tadashi. The boutique also carries reception dresses, bridesmaid dresses, shoes, headpieces, jewelry and foundations."
The remaining stores on tap to get a bridal salon, besides Seattle, are in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Canoga Park, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; Coral Gables, Fla.; Paramus, N.J.; Garden City, N.Y.; Dallas; Houston; McLean, Va.; and Oak Brook, Ill., according to an article in the Seattle Times on Dec. 1, 2010.
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( by Appointment)
Tuesday - Thursday
11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday - Sunday
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed on Monday
Be sure and let them know you read about them on Paper Passionista's blog.
I have never really been one to have things altered. I would normally just go buy something new, but since losing some weight this past year I've been trying to find some new pairs of my favorite Jones New York pants and much to my displeasure Jones NY has discontinued my favorite pants. The pants I had were still in great condition so my practical and wise hubby suggested I try getting the pants altered. I figured since I couldn't find the pants I love any more I had nothing to lose, and if it worked it would certainly be less than purchasing new versions of the pants at over $100 a pop, if I could even find replacements I liked.
My hubby picked up the pants for me yesterday. When I got home last night I promptly tried on the pants and was thrilled to find that all 3 pairs fit perfectly! The amazing thing is it only cost $14 per pair to have them altered. So for what would have cost me more than $300 to replace I have three pairs of pants in perfect condition and now perfect fit for $42 (plus tax, of course). I will certainly not hesitate to take more things to La Belle Reve for alterations, and if you have an upcoming wedding or event that you need a gown or outfit altered for I highly recommend you give them a try. I'm a VERY happy customer!
La Belle Reve is located at 900 108th Ave. NE, Suite 104 in Bellevue. Phone # is (425) 454 7772, or toll free at (888) 696 7772