Guest Post: Wedding Shoes that are Showstoppers

Shoes

I got this post’s inspiration from Wishpot Wedding Expert Mara (Wedding Cabaret), who created a fabulous wish list dedicated to fancy footwear. Enamored with so many of her picks, I knew I had to pick out my favorite pairs of wedding footwear that are sure to be showstoppers. 

 (clockwise from top left)

 Nina Shoes – These ankle-strapped big bowed heels are stunning. They come in red or black, equally as gorgeous. The reds are perfect for a Valentine’s Day wedding and can be found at Shoebuy.

Casadei Platform Pump – These 5-inch heel pumps are the epitome of style and add instant sex appeal. Available in Sahara Napa Silk, Pavone, and Nero, they can definitely be worn for multiple occasions. To learn more about them, check them out at Endless.

 Badgley Mishka Carlo Pump – The raw edged embellishment and satin makes for a romantic look that is perfect for any special occasion. Check it out at Endless to see it in black, white, and pink.

 Betsey Johnson Calendra PumpThese aren’t your typical wedding pumps but they fit perfectly with a black and white wedding.

 Pura Lopez – These flirty pumps are absolute showstoppers. They are fun, feminine, and perfect to spice up any wedding dress. Check them out to see them in prune, ivory, and fuschia.

 Hale Bob Billie Oyster Heels – These peep-toe, strapped heels are perfect for a spring/summer wedding. They add a bit of color and style, while not detracting from the wedding dress. These shoes can be found at Zappos.

 Colorifics Gala – These sparkly showstoppers are a great way to add a bit of spice to a simple wedding dress or a fabulous shoe to change into to dance the night away. They come in multi-gold or silver glitter and can be worn for years to come. They can be found at Shoebuy.

 rsvp Dolly – These patent leather, oversized bow uppers are great for comfort and style with foot petal inserts built in. Now you can get your showstopper fix without succumbing to the pain of fancy footwear. They’re available in black, geranium, lemon mascara, and linen. This pair can be picked up at Zappos.

 Badgely Mishka Calton Pumps – These are the epitome of sweet wedding style. The classic shape and satin shine are perfectly suited for your special day. Available in black, silver, white, or bordeaux makes them suitable for your bridal party as well! Check out all the styles at Endless.

 For more wedding information check out the Wishpot Wedding Blog or follow us on Twitter: @wishpot @gift_girl

Guest Post: Wedding’s Over…what about the dress?

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After the flurry of wedding activities, like a melted snowman, the wedding dress lies in a heap on the floor. So now what?

The decision to keep or sell a bride’s wedding gown is a personal, emotional, and financial one.

While waiting to make that decision, it is important to get the dress cleaned by professionals. A reputable cleaner will check the label to see if it is material they can handle properly. Expect the cleaning to run anywhere from $75 or more and to take two weeks or more depending on the level of cleaning and preservation. Leaving this important cleaning undone will render the dress unusable if body oils, food, or drink are allowed to discolor the delicate fabrics and lace.

How about preservation? Isn’t that what an expensive dress needs? Well, not if the bride is uncertain about whether or not to sell. Preservation is quite expensive and actually creates a large box that will require space for storage. It is difficult to see or inspect and if there is any chance of selling it, it will have to be removed to be checked for any damage.

Selling the dress? Placing it on a website, such as The Green Hanger Shop, as soon as possible will increase your chances of making a sale and recouping more of your investment.

Not selling? It will still need to be opened and refolded to prevent deep creases. Best bet, go with reputable professional cleaning, place the dress in its garment bag (Purchase this if necessary) and store in a dark, cool closet. It’s inexpensive and kinder on the environment.

Judy Meggs is the proprietor of a new online eco-boutique, The Green Hanger Shop, which opened in January. It’s a fabulous website where buyers and sellers of nice “wore it once” clothing can connect — including brides, bridesmaids, wedding guests, family, and anyone with a desire to give beautiful handpicked dresses a new life.  Judy is a retired educator and mother of two daughters. She strives to support endeavors that make a difference.

For more on being green, check out our 50 Green Wedding Tips!

Guest Post: Vintage Wedding Inspiration

Wishpot.com is an online gift registry service that lets couples add anything (items from any site, requests for cash, charity donations and more) to their wedding registry. The Wishpot wedding team is thrilled join the The Wedding Lens as a new monthly guest blogger.

vintage

This week’s wedding inspiration comes from the wish list of Wishpot wedding expert Pretty Chicky.  Get a timeless look and incorporate vintage and classic pieces in your wedding. Adding vintage, or vintage inspired elements gets you lasting style that will be considered beautiful for years to come .

One, such item is the rhinestone haircomb from Romancing the Bling on Etsy. This piece originally a vintage broach is now an elegant one of a kind vintage rhinestone hair comb.  If you have any family heirlooms or accessories consider incorporating them into your day. It’s a cost-effective way of adding lasting elegance and sentiment.

The gorgeous headpiece/veil was taken by Stephanie Williams Photography. And it’s a perfect example of timeless glamour combined with a veil that modernizes the look! The headpiece veil is the perfect addition to any classic wedding gown.

The last picture is a beautiful vintage pleated wedding gown that can be found on The VINTAGE Dress on Etsy. This elegant, floor length, gown with cream colored lace details embodies class and romance.

These indie, vintage-inspired designs are just a few ways you can be fashion-forward without sacrificing the lasting look of your wedding!

Thank you to Pretty Chicky! Check out Burgundy Weddings for more wedding wish list inspiration.

For wedding and wedding registry ideas join us at the Wishpot Wedding Blog. Follow @gift_girl @wishpot on Twitter.

Guest Post: Here Comes the Bridal Backlash

The following is a guest post by acclaimed author Doree Lewak! Enjoy!

Here Comes the Bridal Backlash

OK, so you’re getting married. I offer you a half-hearted “congratulations.”
 
Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not unenthused simply because you’ve gotten married before me (though that’s no small part of it).  In fact, I offer you a mazal tov in one breath while cursing you in the other not just for me, but for the little guy. You know who I’m talking about: the best friend / bridesmaid who’s forced to endure your endless prattling (and might I add increasingly cloudy engagement bling) throughout this entire drawn-out engagement!!
 
Let’s give a little well-deserved love to the (loveless) and shafted – and some say hopeless – single best friend /bridesmaid. You may have very well already driven her away, but she always has had a soft spot for you, even with your maniacal self-obsession with regard to your “big day.”
 
Before you further alienate the last real friend you’ll ever have, please be so kind as to read these friendship-saving tools and rules before your bride-to-be head can get any bigger than your soon-to-be nuptialed behind:
 
Wow, you’re annoying. I don’t even know you, but I know enough to know that your upcoming wedding has sucked all of the air out of the room. Please work on yourself, as you’ll need to hold on dearly to the few real friends you have.
 
Let’s be clear here: We know you dropped your best friend for your best future meal ticket – however inadvertently and however subtly – but now here we are; your best friend who’s pitifully single feels abandoned and you feel self-entitled. What’s a panicker and her best friend who’s getting married to do? 

The delicate dichotomy of the relationship with your friend is even more strained now that your wedding has taken on a life of its own. It’s a tricky area to maneuver, and unfortunately best friends can become bitter enemies when your wedding starts to trump a longtime friendship. 
 
How NOT to alienate your single friends during your non-stop engagement hoopla:
 
She’s a personal friend, NOT a personal assistant.
You are NOT Kim Kardashian, so why do you continue to insist that you can bark orders at your best friend who curses the day she got sucked into bridesmaid duties. Your unearned self-entitlement amuses me. Turn to another paid staffer of yours if you insist on using someone as an emotional punching bag in unleashing your “wedding woes.”
 
You tell her to lose any weight before your “dream day” and I will personally put cyanide in your champagne.
Who do you think you are to make demands on your FRIEND that she altar any aspect of her body, face or figure for an event she’s marginally excited about participating in anyway.  Your bridesmaid is not your underling, she’s your friend – and any subtle or not-so-subtle or even outright request that she drop five pounds so she’ll look “sooo beautiful” in that heinous puffy, crusty sleeping bag of a bridesmaid dress that you picked out is wildly inappropriate. Ditto for insisting she get some pigmentation on that frighteningly pale punim – and bake herself under harmful UV light so that she’ll have the same fake summer glow that you’re sporting.
 
Stop spending other people’s money like a drunk sailor
Yes, your best friend/ bridesmaid is “more than happy” to comply with the dress…and the shoes… and the makeup and hair artists you’ve prearranged for her. But that’s where the buck stops. And that’s where you need to draw the line. As if being a bridesmaid isn’t odious enough during boom times, it’s that much more of a hardship when her bank account is in a virtual freefall.

Try to demonstrate a little (extra) sensitivity to your friend’s wallet. It’s your wedding, not hers, so any money she shells out for you is a mere courtesy – one that you should be mindful not to abuse. 

Doree Lewak is a NY-based reporter and hates only a mere fraction of the brides-to-be she claims to hate. Her new book “The Panic Years: A Guide to Surviving Smug Married Friends, Bad Taffeta, and Life on the Wrong Side of 25 Without a Ring” (Broadway Books) is now available. To learn more, please visit www.thepanicyears.com.

Guest Post: The Do’s and Don’ts of Engagement Announcements

Saying “I do” is a blessed affair, a time when two individuals express their love for each other in the company of family and friends. Before the actual wedding takes place there is the engagement process which can be just as exciting as the big day! As soon as you get engaged, you want to share your joy with those who are close to you. However, there are several do’s and don’ts involved in engagement announcements:

 Do Tell Close Family Members and Friends Immediately

 The moment you become engaged is magical and thrilling and cannot be repeated. After the initial shock wears off, those who have recently become engaged want to share their news with loved ones. You should tell your parents, siblings and best friends that you are engaged right away. They can then share the excitement with you during this special time!

 Do Not Call Everyone You Know     

 While you should tell of your engagement to those you are close to, you should limit the amount of people you inform. It would take a lot of effort and time to call everyone about your current relationship status. Also, no one knows the exact guest list of their wedding the minute they get engaged. It would be rude to call someone about your engagement if you do not plan on inviting them to the wedding.

 Do Send Engagement Announcements in An Appropriate Manner

 As mentioned above, calling everyone you know about your recent engagement is a time consuming and inappropriate idea. A better way to let your news be heard is through engagement announcements. These simple cards are a great way to easily inform your family and friends that you plan on getting married. Engagement announcements offer you the opportunity to express your happiness and prepare your loved ones for an upcoming event that you would like them to attend. There are several varieties of announcements with traditional and contemporary styles. Each announcement can also be personalized to match your style and taste!

 Do Have an Engagement Party

 Another way of announcing your engagement is by hosting a party! Engagement parties allow you to get together with family and friends and inform them of your happy decision at the same time. Plus, its another reason to celebrate with the ones you love!

Jaime Smith is a writer for American Greetings Interactive brands.  AGI brands include American Greetings (ecards,) PhotoWorks (photocards,) Webshots (photosharing,) Blue Mountain (greeting cards,) Egreetings (free ecards) and Kiwee (free html codes.)  She writes on family, love, holidays, friendship and more.  Her content can be found on brand websites, articles, blogs and press releases.

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Guest Post: Rehearsal Dinner Favors

In case you didn’ t know, The Wedding Lens Blog accepts Guest Posts.  Do you have an idea for a guest post? Email us at editor[at]theweddinglens.com.

Here is a guest post by Susan Hawkins on Rehearsal Dinner Favors.  Enjoy!

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Fabulous Rehearsal Dinner Favors Are Ready for Their Debut!

You’ve been to rehearsal dinners, and typically they’re more laid-back than the wedding itself.  Most of them are held someplace close to the ceremony venue, so they can be easily reached after the rehearsal. And some aren’t. A few of the rehearsal dinners I’ve attended in the past have been backyard barbecues, a New England clambake and a picnic in the park. I don’t recall the favors, but I do know favors are as important at the rehearsal dinner as they are at the wedding. There are, however, designers that think outside the gift box to create unique party favors for all kinds of events, including those really cool rehearsal dinners. I found three favors that are real beauties to cover the rehearsal dinners I mentioned!

Backyard barbecues are always a lot of fun, and you need a fun favor to knock the socks off your guests. For example, I found a tea light candle holder that looks just like a grill.  They are so detailed, they even have tiny, black wheels and the handle!  And the one I found is not just a tea light holder-it’s a place card holder or photo holder, too. It even comes with the cutest hot dog- and hamburger-shaped place cards. This is a smokin’ favor!

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I went to a New England clambake rehearsal dinner in Maine a few years ago for my cousin’s wedding. They dug a fire pit and filled a canvas tarp with lobsters, crabs, mussels, King crab legs, potatoes, corn on the cob and more that I just can’t remember. The dinner was at night, and they had tables set up with lobster bibs, plates and utensils and disposable cameras. They could have used small glass candle holders, shaded in light frosted colors – blue, green, and white — to create an incredible ambiance with tea candles. Afterward, the guests can take them home and bask in the glow of the memories. Oh-and the dinner was beyond delicious. I still dream about it.

Picnics in the park are made for two or two hundred of your closest family and friends. When it comes to the food, almost anything goes-fried chicken, sandwiches, burgers and dogs, steaks, grilled chicken and all the luscious sides that go with them. And, yes, you’re right! The tea light candle holder that looks just like a grill would work beautifully here, but how about a mini bench that has a slot so it can be a place card or a photo holder? Pretty perfect, right?

If you have an idea for an unusual type of rehearsal dinner, let me know. I bet I can come up with the absolutely ideal favor for you!

– Susan Hawkins

A happily married world traveler with her heart and home in America’s Southland, Susan Hawkins is a writer for MyWeddingFavors.com. She writes on a variety of wedding-related topics, with specialties in wedding favors, destination weddings, wedding reception decorations and unique wedding ideas. Susan lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and a houseful of German Shepherds.