Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not Your Grandmother's Pearls

I'm head over heels in love with the latest jewelry brides have been sporting down the aisle. Tons of drama and tons of bling! Statement necklaces and bold stud earrings seem to be the trend and I'm completely on board. These are my favorite pieces I've come across so far....

Monday, December 27, 2010

M&Z + N

Recently, one of our couples Missie & Zack tied the knot with an earthy and laid back ceremony and reception. Guests watched as the couple exchanged vows at the Mennello Museum followed by a terrace reception under the stars at the Orlando Science Center.

Missie's six yr. old son Nate took part in the ceremony too as he walked down with aisle with a, "Here comes the Bride" son. Too cute!

This is my favorite pictures of the night... we'll post more just as soon as we get them!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fingers & Toes

Getting your nails done before the big day means making one more difficult decision... what color to choose! Log on to OPI's website where you can choose your nail length, skin tone and color that goes best with that special white dress of yours.

TIP: Click on "Soft Shades" to sample traditional wedding-worthy shades.
My favorite is a pink shade called California Raspberry... got to love the cute names!

Photo Credit:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Benjamin Adams & Pink Bridal Shoes

Solutions Bridal recently received some amazing shoes that we want all of you wedding lovers to know about. We find that brides want shoes that really make a statement and add to the overall look on their wedding day. Whether they are a colored shoe or a simple ivory, the comfort and cuteness of the shoe is so important! Check out these amazing new shoes and come on in to find the right ones for you.

~Solutions Bridal

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unique Centerpieces

Centerpieces are such a beautiful addition to the entire wedding/reception look. Unique and beautiful centerpieces can really bring a very simple table setting to life. If you are on a smaller budget, keep in mind that centerpieces don't have to be just flowers. You can get so creative with your centerpieces, and sometimes you might only need a few flowers incorporated into your unique design!

I love the shabby chic look of the birdcage. These go great for a garden type reception. The simplicity of the entire arrangement is still breathtaking. As a D.Y.I. project, all you need are some birdcages, candles, and a few flowers. Just one candle surrounded by fresh blooms and you've got stunning centerpieces.

These are also fantastic birdcage centerpieces that will certainly get your guests attention. These arrangements are so simple and elegant. Be creative when thinking of the perfect centerpieces for your wedding. With birdcages as prime examples, you can use so many different things and dress them up in elegant ways to get a unique and beautiful look. Get going and get creative!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wedding Broaches

Wedding broaches are a perfect addition for the bride who wants a little shine! Broaches are a great way to add a glamorous look to a simple gown. They are also a fabulous addition to a simple belt on your gown.

At Solutions Bridal we have plenty to pick from. With swarovski crystals, and freshwater pearls, a broach is sure to make a big statement!

Broaches are also a great thing to use for your "something borrowed" or "something old." If your grandmother has an old broach, this could really be a great piece to incorporate on your new gown!


~Solutions Bridal

Welcome Baskets

As brides begin planning their weddings, there are often small details that can get easily overlooked. One thing that I completely disregarded as a bride, was the idea of making welcome baskets. I found that it was sometimes difficult to separate the things I wanted to have, and the things that are important no matter what. The things that are going to treat your guests and help them to remember your wedding, are the things that I believe are important no matter what.

Welcome baskets don't have to be too outlandish, especially if you don't have it in your budget to make them. If you have budgeted for baskets, you can do some great with over the top gifts for your guests, but again, even something small will keep your guests smiling.

I think that these bags are great! If you are on a tighter budget, you can use bags instead of baskets. The added ribbon is a super cute touch. This is also a great way to incorporate your wedding colors as well. You can stick some drinks and snacks in the bag for your guests, and tie it all together with a special note.

After having the importance of the welcome bags brought to my attention, my in-laws created simple, but thoughtful bags for each of our guests. Including something that is relevant to the town the wedding is in can also be a great touch. My wedding was in Virginia, and Virginia is known for peanuts, so our bags included some peanuts to represent the place. I think it is very important to provide your guests with directions, and other activities that your guests can do on their down time. We included a list of our favorite hang outs and how each place played a part in our lives. This will have your guests roaming around the town learning more about the bride and groom.

Have fun with your baskets or bags, and remember that sometimes simple says it all!


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Perfect Bridesmaid Gift

Brides are always trying to find the "perfect" gift for their bridesmaids... something super cute, practical, and somewhat wedding related. The solution? Pashminas! They're my absolute favorite accessory and go with everything (including semi-formal attire). This nation wide store offers them in tons of colors and at the affordable price of $10. Buy extra, you'll want to keep a few for yourself!

Love this idea.... get them embroidered for a personal and preppy touch!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cakes That Match Your Dress

One thing that I find so fun about weddings is that brides can get really creative by using the look of their dress in other aspects of their wedding. My favorite way to incorporate the dress into the wedding is by having your cake designed to look like your dress.

One of the most popular Watters dresses that we carry at Solutions Bridal is called "Torrean."

After some research on Martha Stewart's site, I found the perfect cake to match Torrean.

This cake looks just like embroidered lace with applique. Torrean is a duchess silk satin strapless gown with embroidered lace and beaded applique. It is nearly a perfect match between the dress and the cake. It's a fun way to show off your dress, aside from wearing it! Be creative and let your dress be your inspiration!

~Solutions Bridal

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paris Accessories

For all of you lovely ladies that love Paris Accessories, this one is for you!

Check out Paris' blog and their Facebook page "Debra Moreland is Paris" for their Niagara Earring giveaway.

If you "like" them on facebook you'll receive the chance to win the Niagara earring giveaway! Enjoy!

~Solutions Bridal

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

~Wedding Design~

One of my favorite aspects about weddings is that the design options and elements are endless. There are no longer the same standards as there used to be, and brides now have the chance to really let their personalities shine through on their wedding day.

I think that using a thread of one element throughout the entire wedding is the best way to keep things together, without letting your creativity get out of control. Your one thread could be a thing, like feathers, or it could be a color, like green.

Using your designs subtly will really keep everything classy and elegant. If calla lilies are your flowers of choice, you can use them in everything, but the entire arrangements don't have to be calla lilies. It keeps the theme together by using them in everything, but it also keeps things interesting by adding other things in.

Here is an example of what just calla lily arrangements look like and what a mixture looks like. Don't get me wrong, calla lilies by themselves are beautiful! But if you want to subtly use your calla lily theme throughout the wedding, it is nice to mix in other elements, so that your theme doesn't look too redundant.

When using another design element, such as feathers, this can be done very tastefully as well. In my own wedding, I incorporated feathers because of my Erin Cole headpiece. My Favorite Things Florist in Williamsburg, VA used a minimal amount of feathers in my bouquet, as well as created a flower for my hubby with a tiny feather to keep things all tied together.

I hope this inspires you to get creative! Your options really are endless, and don't be afraid to try something to see if it will work, even if the initial thought sounds crazy!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tis' the Season for Engagements: Part 1

I love the Holidays... what's family and turkey without diamonds!? From Thanksgiving to New Years Eve more guys pop the question than in any other time of the year. With that being said, there's much to consider after saying yes!

Here's a few things to keep in mind (and keep you busy) before we all say thanks and slice the turkey.

What is most important to you and your groom to be?

For some people it's the details and others it's the open bar. The point is, it's completely up to you and your fiance. Knowing what is important will help you focus and stay on budget while planning. Believe me, it's so easy to want it all once you see what's out there.

What season do you want to get married in?

Spring, summer, fall or winter? There are so many different looks to a wedding and the best way to start is by determining the time of year.

What budget are you trying to stay in?

Budget is going to be the number one factor in determining everything. It doesn't mean you can't plan a fabulous wedding with a tighter budget, but it's definitely best to be honest with yourself (and your planner) from the beginning! You have to have a range at least or else you can go from a $30,000 to spending five times as much before you know it.

Make sure you keep a look out for part two of this post after the new year... more exciting tips will be posted on what to do first once you're engaged. Until then drink wine and eat pumpkin pie until your heart's content. After all, the wedding will most likely be a year away which gives you plenty of time to get in shape! Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

~Meet Leah~

Hello Beautiful Brides! My name is Leah Melone and I wanted to introduce myself and begin to tell you a little bit about my passion for weddings. I love sharing my wedding ideas and inspirations with brides and other wedding lovers. I am currently the Salon Coordinator at Solutions Bridal Designer House and I will also be blogging on a regular basis for Stylish Traditions.

I'm 23 years old and I got married to the love of my life on June 5, 2010. After receiving my degree in Public Relations and planning my wedding from start to finish, I knew that the wedding industry had to become part of my life. I had a vintage style wedding in Williamsburg, Virginia, and we had the time of our lives. I think every bride deserves to have an absolutely incredible time on their wedding day.

I bought my Rivini gown from Solutions before I began working there. I was completely in love with my gown. I found it on a trunk show weekend, and I made a few custom changes to make it unique to fit my personality.

My goal was to have a black and white wedding, with the addition of charcoal and green accents. The reception was held in a garden pavilion, complete with crystal trees, a candy bar, and nonstop dancing.

I feel better now that I have shown you a little bit about me and my personal wedding style. I love creating inspiration boards and offering my advice on any topics that you suggest! I look forward to being a part of the great things happening with Stylish Traditions. Thanks for reading!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bridesmaid Bargain

When brides ask me for advice on finding their wedding gown and choosing their bridesmaid dresses, I always recommend making an appointment at a fabulous bridal salon so they can work with experienced stylists who know the gowns best. Almost always do I suggest ordering the bridesmaid dresses from a salon where quality, size and delivery can be depended upon. However, for budget-friendly brides there are always exceptions!

Recently while in Miami I stumbled across the Adventura Mall and into Forever 21... stumbled as in I heard about how amazing this mall was and made it a priority to go! There on a rack were dozens of floor length, flowy blue dresses and immediately I thought, BRIDESMAID! For the ridiculous price of $32.80 sizes were offered from 0-14 making it a purchase your bridesmaids will love you for. I highly doubt the quality or sizing measures up to any dress ordered from a salon, but this option could be great for brides (and bridesmaids!) on a a serious bridal budget.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Badgley Mischka

In 1988 Mark Badgley and James Mischka became the design duo who have left their mark for decades for their stylish and glamorous designs. They have created designs that have been worn by several different Hollywood women such as Madonna, Catherine Zeta Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Taylor Swift, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Carrie Underwood. Their beautiful gowns and accessories have been worn by President's daughters, and by countless other women in society.

All of Badgley Mischka's designs are constructed from the finest fabrics and the best craftsmanship. The line is known for intricate and luxurious detailing.

Solutions Bridal Designer House carries Badgley Mischka bridal gowns and this weekend you won't want to miss the chance to see some of the luxurious designs in for the weekend. There is a Badgley Mischka trunk show taking place this weekend, that will include an exclusive designer discount, and a firsthand look at some of Badgley Mischka's finest gowns.

Don't miss out on your chance to experience one of America's "Top 10 American Designers," as described by Vogue magazine. It will be great fun!

~Solutions Bridal

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Your Inner Bride

Every bride has a look they have in mind for their long walk down the aisle. Whether it be soft and romantic or fun and quirky, The Knot has created this super cool tool brides can use to create their, "inner bride". With customizable settings such as eye color, hair style and of course bridal gown and accessories, the options are endless!

Even though I'm not engaged I couldn't resist logging on and creating an avatar of my own! This is what I came up with...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bridal Shoes

Okay, so you have the dress, you have the awesome hair piece, you have your beautiful jewelry, what comes next? Some brides don't think about their shoes until everything else is taken care of, but your bridal shoes are very important. You don't want to skimp on your shoes. It is so important to not only find cute shoes, but you should consider comfort as well. You don't want your feet screaming at you on your wedding day.

At Solutions Bridal Designer House, we have plenty of choices for bridal shoes. We have incredible shoes made by Angela Nuran, that are not only super cute, they are amazingly comfortable too! We have endless options from Grace Shoes, Grazia, Touch Ups, and more. We also have some amazingly stylish shoes by Badgley Mischka.


~Solutions Bridal

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who Should You Bring To Your Bridal Appointment?

No bride wants to feel the stress that the bride pictured above is showing. Your wedding and all of the planning should be a fun process. It wouldn't be realistic to say that the whole process should be stress free, but there are parts of the process that you should just enjoy!

Picking out your wedding gown should be one of the most exciting and fun experiences in the whole wedding planning process. A lot of brides struggle with trying to figure out who to bring to their bridal appointments. Brides sometimes want to bring all of their close girlfriends in order to include everyone and get all of her best friends opinions. Other brides, feel obligated to bring along several opinions, but in reality they want the dress they want!

My best advice for who you should bring to your bridal appointment is the person who you are absolutely closest to. Whether is be your mom, your best friend, your sibling, or whoever, bring the person that you love and trust the most.

If you feel like you need more than just mom or best friends advice or opinion, bring along a few of your best friends. At Solutions Bridal, we love when our brides come with just mom and a close friend. That way, each bride has the chance to get pampered and pick the gown that SHE truly loves and feels amazing in.

As a bride, if you feel like you need to bring more of your friends along, that is completely fine, just be sure that you know that ultimately, your choice is what matters! Be confident and know that your bridal appointment should be a super fun and exciting time. Don't let anyone else take that from you!

~Solutions Bridal

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Accessories That Sparkle For Your Big Day

Aside from accessorizing with shoes, belts, and hairpieces, the perfect addition to tie everything together can be your jewelry. Whether your statement piece is your beautiful cuff bracelet, or your dangling and sparkling earrings, your jewelry can really wow! your guests.

Wedding jewelry is another fun way to make your bridal attendants feel extra special. Giving your bridesmaids a fantastic pair of earrings is a great way to show your appreciation to them for their great friendship. Another fun idea is to create a special look that you wear, your mom wears, and your grandmother wears. I did this for my wedding and it was so special. My mom and I went to a bead store and created bracelets that all were very similar in style and I gave them their bracelets on the wedding day to wear. It is sentimental and makes the receiver of the gift feel extra special.

You can wear pearls, diamonds, whatever you would like, and you will shine with beauty because it's your wedding day! I think less is often more with bridal jewelry, but whichever route you choose, bridal jewelry is the perfect icing on the cake for a beautiful wedding day look! Solutions Bridal Designer House has tons of wonderful options that we provide our brides on a daily basis. Come on in and check them out!

~Solutions Bridal

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gotta Love Martha

The Queen Bee herself always has the best ideas for entertaining! While skimming through I couldn't help but share these wonderful projects that might one day save you from a wedding decor dilemma.

Tea cups and cafe mugs are a beautiful alternative to your Grandmother's vase.

No linen? No problem. Bold patterned wrapping paper does the job and looks fabulous!

A family photo wall is a touching way to remember loved ones who are unable to attend the celebration.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wedding Dress Alterations by Holly Smith

Tears of Joy Seamstress Services is the in-house seamstress used at Solutions Bridal Designer House. It is important to know everything you need to know about alterations for your bridal gown.

You should schedule your first fitting for your wedding dress about 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding and shoes are a must. If you have not found the shoes you are going to wear on your wedding day, then you need to have a shoe with the same heel height so you can get an accurate measurement on your hem. If you decide to change shoes to a different height, whether it be shorter or taller, you must let your seamstress know, because it can make the difference in having a dress too short or one that you will trip and fall on the day of your wedding.

When it comes to whether or not you should wear a bra, one suggestion I can make is that if you are a C cup or bigger, then a bra would be helpful. Some wedding dresses have a built in corset and a bra is not needed. But for a full bust line, the correct fitting bra will give you lift and a good profile. For brides who are looking for a more full figure profile, having padded cups sewn in is a quick and inexpensive solution.

Depending on the style of dress, wearing an extra petticoat or crinoline can give you a fuller skirt. It may also alleviate the need for a hem adjustment if it is less than an inch too long of if the hem is one that can't be altered because of a lace edge or beading that will all come apart when altered. You also need to get your weight as stable as possible. A drop or gain of more than 10 pounds will result in a major change in how your dress fits and will end up costing you more in alterations for numerous changes. Also remember that if your dress is very fragile and if it needs to be let out, stitching lines or creases from pressing may show.

Usually it takes 2 fittings when having your wedding dress altered. At the first fitting, your seamstress will pin your dress as needed to be taken in and talk to you about how you want your dress to fit. Please speak up with any concerns or suggestions you may have, or if you wish to add anything to your dress such as straps, trim, or cap sleeves. For strapless dresses, one important component in having your dress sit properly on you is to install an inside belt. This may need to be added to the waist of your dress before an accurate measurement can be taken of your hem. Also your seamstress will talk to you about what type of bustle will look best for your dress. Whether you chose a French or Traditional bustle, it should compliment the look and style of your dress.

Alterations will then be made to your dress and a second fitting will be required. The amount of fittings needed will be determined by the amount of alterations required. Your seamstress may wait to alter the hem until after your dress has been refitted and is sitting on you properly. If at all possible, bring someone with you to your last fitting. Your seamstress will want to teach you and whoever is with you how to get into your dress, how to do up the bustle, and care instructions for your dress until your wedding day. Your dress should be pressed and ready for you to take home.

Lastly, the cost of alterations average anywhere between $300-$500, but will ultimately be determined by the amount of work you have done to your gown and by how much time it takes. Your seamstress should be able to give you an estimate of the cost after your first fitting.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Datz What I'm Talking About!

As a Tampa resident I can officially say that I'm obsessed with the local South Tampa foodie market and loft bar, Datz Delicatessen. Not only do they have an amazing wine and beer menu, tons of yummy sweets made in-house by their pastry chef, and the best (and biggest) sandwiches you've ever had.... but now their catering big events! Big as in your engagement party, bridal shower and wedding!

Most locals recognize Datz for their creatively named sandwiches and homemade chips with the blue cheese drizzle. Not that you can't order tons of deli items for an event, but now you can order whatever kind of cuisine your heart desires with a completely customized menu. From roasted vegetables and couscous to smoked salmon with pickled cucumbers, the options are endless and their team is more than happy to help create a unique menu for your event.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hairpieces For Your Big Day

Some brides find the perfect dress and the perfect veil, but they are searching for that extra piece to really put the icing on the cake. A hot trend that we are seeing more and more is that brides are taking off the veil after the ceremony and putting a fun hairpiece in for pictures and the reception.

At Solutions Bridal we have so many beautiful hairpieces that are perfect just for this. We have hair pins that can be put in and incorporated into the hairstyle to add a little extra sparkle. We also have great feather hairpiece and flower pieces that make beautiful statements for your wedding day!

Hairpieces are also a great alternative for the brides that don't really want to wear a veil. They can still carry on the veil tradition by wearing something in their hair, and yet it is a new and unique option!

Visit Solutions Bridal to see all of the wonderful options that we have for all of you blushing brides that love hairpieces!

~Solutions Bridal

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Difference Between Plum Raisin & Sugar Plum

Pantone Colors: Plum Raisin & Sugar Plum

Great news for brides that can seriously tell the difference between two shades of plum! Pantone has partnered with the bridesmaid dress designer, The Dessy Group, to provide a color guide that can be used to plan the perfect color pallet for your wedding. Whether you're a "Victorian Lilac" or a "Cherry" bride, Pantone has the perfect color for you!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pearls, Pearls, and More Pearls by Meg Surrell

I’m just going to come right out and say it. Loud and proud. I’m not ashamed. I LOVE PEARLS! I love them. They are to me, classic, timeless and pretty much look amazing with any outfit. Not many people know about the culturing process or how it got started, or even what a cultured pearls is. So I took it upon myself to inform you brides (and anyone else who is reading this blog) about the amazing world of pearls. So sit back, relax and enjoy the reading!

Pearl diving first began centuries ago when divers would dive down to the bottom of the ocean and grab handful’s of mollusks, put them into a bucket, and bring it up to the boat. Needless to say, they became frustrated easily when no pearls were found. Why you ask?!(Because I am sure you are) That is because there is only a 1 in 10,000 chance of finding a natural pearl in the open waters. And that is when the culturing process started.

The culturing process is very interesting and intriguing. They take a perfectly round shell and surgically insert it into the oyster at a very young age. (need not worry, it does not hurt the oyster, they barely feel it.) The oyster builds up its defense mechanism, known as nacre, and it hardens and crystalizes, hardens and crystalizes, and over time it becomes a pearl. It takes anywhere from 2-4 years to fully form a pearl.

The Akoya pearl is one of the most popular and well known pearl. The Akoya pearl can be found in stores like Tiffany’s and Cartier. The Akoya pearls are cultured in the South Sea’s of Japan and are perfectly spherical in shape. They are also known for their natural luster (the shiny part of the pearl, it’s just a fancy way of saying shine).

Pearls are not just for girls though. (Yes, loud gasp) In Ancient Roman times, Men would wear strands of pearls to protect them. Also, when pearl diving first began it was thought that women had a stronger heart and lungs than men. Kinda interesting…

So ladies and gentleman, that is my little lesson to you. I hope you enjoyed it. Here are some AMAZING pictures from one of our designers at Solutions Bridal. Paris, uses Swarovski glass pearls. Everything is handmade in The United States and is a wonderful company! I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as me!!