Perspectives

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2019 at a Glance

This was the year of ball gowns, straps + statement bows! We saw a swing towards “the bigger the better” in the form of full ball gowns + long trains. While strapless gowns continue to set our brides’ hearts aflutter, we saw an increase in brides looking for gowns with straps. And don’t forget the statement pieces, the winner would have to be the detachable bows…what a great way to get two looks in one!

The one thing that hasn’t changed? Our brides are the BEST!!!! A huge thank you to all of our 2019 brides for continually reminding us why we have the best “job” in the world!

1) THE BIGGER THE BETTER

This year it was go big or go home, we have seen some of longest trains + biggest skirts we have ever seen. Talk about the wow factor!

2) STRAPS

Give me the straps! For many years, strapless dominated. These days, brides want to make sure they look different than their friends who said “I Do” before them. That means more brides are requesting some sort of strap. From thin to thick, off the shoulder to detachable, straps were a hit this past year!

3) STATEMENT PIECES

We styled many brides this year who wanted a way of standing out! Statement pieces became a fan-favorite in the form of bows, capes, and unique fabrics.

Interested in any of these looks? Request an Appointment!

Bridal Gowns With Sleeves

You chose your venue + set the date…now it’s time for the gown! One current trend that we could literally wrap our arms around is SLEEVES! Read on below as we walk you through the different types of wedding gowns with sleeves + help you navigate which sleeve you’d love the most!

A NOD TO TRADITION

Carolina Herrera – “Lainey”
A floral-inspired lace sleeve is perfect for the bride who likes a traditional look. For the bride looking to modernize this classic style, we love the laser-cut lace Carolina selected for this gown, which gives it a more updated feel!

SLEEK + MODERN

Suzanne Neville “Adair” | Sareh Nouri “Belle”
Winter whites can pack a punch when they’re done using crisp lines on sleek silhouettes. The ultimate in sophistication…you’ll be the talk of the town, just ask Meghan Markle.

THE HINT OF SEDUCTION

Suzanne Neville “Luella”
The newest trend on the runway is that of subtle seduction, just a peek-a-boo, from a slit in the skirt to an unlined illusion top.

Love the look, but feel it’s a little too revealing? Great news: We can line the bodice and close up the slit.

THE TOUCH OF WHIMSY

Suzanne Neville “Topaz”
A hint of delicate garden-inspired applique, accented with subtle clear beading. This gown is the perfect nod to nature for a bride looking for whimsical elegance, and works equally for a summer or winter wedding!

THE BOLD + THE BEAUTIFUL

Kelly Faetanini “Adair”
When you hear wedding gowns with sleeves, it doesn’t always have to be long, check out this next one! Another laser cut lace, yet this time instead of a floral pattern we have an intricate design, creating a bold fresh look. What’s even better about this gown is it can be done with short sleeves or long. Scroll down for our Real ALSW Bride rocking this gown in a full sleeve!

Real Bride Inspo!

VENDOR LOVE: Bride + Groom: Jackie + Tom | Photography: @robertnormanphotography | Gown: @kellyfaetanini | Venue: Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Suzanne Neville “Nouevau” | Amsale “Angeline”
Not fully committed to a sleeve? No worries…we have detachable options! Many of our designers can make the sleeve from an existing design detachable, or we can layer a jacket over the top of a gown to create a two-in-one look!

Interested in wedding gowns with sleeves? Request an Appointment!

Traveling With Your Bridal Gown

Having a destination wedding can be fun & exciting, yet can cause some stress when it comes to traveling with your gown! After more than seven years of working with destination brides, here are our top 3 tips that we’ve learned along the way!

1. First and foremost….carry your gown with you! We cannot stress this enough, so let us say it again. CARRY YOUR GOWN WITH YOU! You do not want to have to worry about a lost bridal gown in the few days prior to your wedding.

2. Most times if you contact your airline and inform them that you’ll be bringing your gown with you, they will suggest ways of storing it on board. In most cases the aircraft has a coat closet where you can store your gown.

3. Nervous of your gown leaving your sight? We have had brides purchase separate seats for their gowns! While not necessarily the most economical solution, sometimes that extra peace of mind is worth it!

1. ALSW brides receive a complimentary pressing of their gown. However, traveling with your gown can cause some slight wrinkles, causing the gown to need a slight touch up prior to you walking down the aisle. Planning to travel a distance? We can inform you of the dos and don’ts for touching up your gown fabric. When it comes to ironing versus steaming, it’s important to choose the correct method!

2. Call your hotel ahead of time to ensure there is an iron and steamer available. If not, arrange to rent one.

3. Some wedding venues have an in-house event planner that may provide a gown pressing service, so be sure to do your a little research before you arrive.

“I said I do, but I’m far from home, what should I do with the gown now?”

1. After spending a full day in your gown, it has likely collected some dirt throughout the day. The sooner you clean it, the better the results will be! We recommend bringing it back to A Little Something White as quickly as possible.

2. ALSW works closely with an award-winning gown cleaning company. All we ask is that you bring your gown back, pay for the service, and then we will send your gown out to be cleaned and preserved. It’s always good to protect your investment! Even better…as soon as it’s clean, it will be shipped directly to you.

3. Not returning to Connecticut right away? Not to worry…simply designate someone trustworthy to hand carry it back for you or arrange to ship it directly to us. Just give us a heads up if you’re shipping it so that we can be on the lookout for it!

Still haven’t found your gown? Request an Appointment!

Bridal Gowns For a Cause

We are a Proud Partner!

At A Little Something White we believe in the saying “Greatness is not how much you have, but what you give.” Giving back to fellow women and to a cause that is so near and dear to our hearts is so special to us. Our friends over at Brides Against Breast Cancer have been doing something amazing since 1997 by not only helping women to feel amazing on their wedding days, but also giving back to breast cancer research and preventative education.

In 2019, ALSW proudly donated $80,000 worth of bridal gowns to Brides Against Breast Cancer!!

Brides Against Breast Cancer | Pop Up Sample Sale

HOW IT WORKS:

1. Donate your gown and receive a charity donation 501(c)(3) tax receipt.

2. A bride purchases your pre-owned gown at one of the Brides Against Breast Cancer Sample Sales.

3. Proceeds go to breast cancer research organizations and early detection education. Check out their Charity Mission Partners Here!

4. Feel amazing that your donation could save the life of another woman!

As seen on…

“Your kind support allows us to focus on our mission of early detection, awareness, and education to stop the development of breast cancer and save lives.”

Brides Against Breast Cancer
Donate your Dress!

Interested in giving back, but don’t have a gown to donate?

Donate Funds!

or

Be a Volunteer!

Pre-Wedding Day Prep {Part 2 – Nutrition}

Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day. Today we kick off part two of our three part series focusing on things you should be doing now to make sure you are ready for the big day! Last time we touched on beauty….today we talk nutrition! We sat down with owner Ashley Krauss, who is also a health and wellness coach (we just love that entrepreneurial spirit), to find out her top nutrition tips for brides.

After working with thousands of brides over the years, the common theme I hear time and again is that brides want to look and feel amazing on their wedding days. While for many brides, this means losing some degree of weight and toning up, for others it’s simply that they want to move through the wedding process with more energy and less exhaustion. Nutrition plays such a critical role in all of his, yet I find many brides downplay its importance. I always advise my brides to pay close attention to what they are putting into their bodies daily, even if they aren’t trying to lose weight, but especially if they are! Below are some of my top tips!

Start Early
Changing your eating habits? I encourage you to start early. You should begin your wedding-day nutritional regimen 4-6 months prior to your first fitting. If you have a substantial weight loss goal, I would recommend even more time. Additionally, you are going to want to reach your weight loss goal by the time your first fitting begins (about 2 1/2 months before your wedding) and then plan to maintain from that point on. If you continue to lose weight after your first fitting, you could be looking at a higher-than-average alterations bill.

Focus on progress, not perfection
A wedding often turns even the most laid-back woman into a perfectionist. So much emphasis is placed on having the “perfect day”, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at things in a very black-and-white way. Weight loss is not a linear path and there is no such thing as perfection. Focus on making progress and allow for some set-backs, and you will be much more successful.

Nutrition is 80%, Exercise is 20%
While exercise is amazing, improving your nutrition is correlated with much success in losing weight and gaining energy than simply exercising more. As an avid Peloton rider, I often hear fellow riders ask the instructors where they get their abs from…and their answer is always “my abs are made in the kitchen.” There is so much truth to that, and while I always encourage exercise, the biggest change you need to make is with what you put in your mouth.

Don’t Go It Alone!
Want to make sure you stick to our goals? Grab your fiancé, maid of honor, bridesmaid, even mom to lose weight with you! After all, you aren’t the ONLY one who wants to look good on your wedding day! When you pair up with someone else, you hold each other accountable. And accountability is proven to be a huge motivating factor for those trying to lose weight. It’s easy to cheat on ourselves, but it’s harder to cheat on someone you care about. Pick one or two people who you know are truly motivated and ask them to get healthy with you. And then after your wedding, think of how amazing you will feel knowing that you inspired someone else to get healthy! I would also advise working with an expert who can help you evaluate your goals, come up with a program to make those goals achievable, and hold you accountable.

Reduce Stress
You’re probably thinking, “I’m planning a wedding, is this tip a joke?” And I get it. I remember being so stressed out while planning my wedding, and I wish I could go back and have a do-over (same guy though!) Research shows that the more stressed we are, the more cortisol is released into our body. And a higher level of cortisol is linked to weight gain, especially in women. Additionally, when we’re stressed, we tend to engage in habits that aren’t waistline friendly, such as eating and drinking. So acknowledge that while you can’t get rid of stress completely, you can take some steps to reduce it. Add exercise, get a massage, get better sleep, and delegate some of your wedding prep tasks!

Get Sleep
Try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night on most nights. I know this may sound unrealistic to do all the time, but try to achieve it as often as possible. Even if you aren’t getting the full 6 hours, stack the odds in your favor that the sleep you get is restful. Studies show that those who are chronically sleep deprived have a much harder time losing weight. In this day and age, we tend to tie our self-worth into how “busy” we are, and so many people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. It’s not, and it’s not going to serve you well in your weight loss goals!

Listen To Your Gut
Gut health…say what?!?! It’s not the most fun topic but quite important if you’re trying to lose weight. Even the healthiest of foods, like fresh fruit and veggies, are much less nutritionally dense today than they were 30 years ago. Add in all of the processed, sugar-laden food present today and our bodies are not functioning optimally. Your gut may very well be lacking in the good bacteria that keeps it healthy, as they are not given an environment to grow and thrive. This can lead to bloating and other digestive issues. We recommend adding an excellent quality probiotic to your diet each day as well as eating clean, unprocessed foods as often as possible (do 80% of your shopping at the perimeter of your grocery store and you should be good!)

Stay Hydrated
Water, water, water!! Drink as much water as possible. A good rule of thumb is to aim for ½-1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. So a 150 pound person should be drinking 75-150 ounces per day. Water does so many things for our body – aids in digestion, helps our brain function optimally, and actually helps us feel less hungry. In fact, the next time you think you’re hungry, drink an 8 ounce glass of water first. Our brains often mistake thirst cues for hunger cues.

Thank you, Ashley, for taking the time to share your wisdom with us! If you have any questions or are looking to get a jump start on your nutrition, please contact Ashley at ashley.krauss@gmail.com. Ashley is generously offering complementary consultations to anyone referencing this blog post.

Stay tuned for “Part 3” – Exercise Tips!

Tip of the Week: Book An Appointment

Your venue and date are set. You took our advice from the last two weeks and figured out which bridal boutiques have both the right price range of gowns and will deliver the best experience (missed those blog posts – read here and here). So now it’s time to get shopping, right? Almost…..

Bridal gown shopping is not like shopping for everyday clothes. Your bridal gown will likely be the most unique and self-expressive garment you ever wear in your life. If you are like most of our brides, this is the first luxury clothing item you have ever purchased and will probably be the fanciest piece of clothing you ever wear. Bridal gowns come in a variety of shapes, fabrics, colors, and sizes. What’s more, many designers offer the ability to make changes to the pattern of the gown (what we call “customizations”) to make it uniquely yours. What does that mean? You need to make sure to work with an expert to get it right.

At A Little Something White, our bridal stylists are experts in connecting your personality, body type, and wedding day vision with the perfect gown for you. All three of those factors are incredibly important in finding the right gown. ALSW bridal stylists collectively have several decades of experience in working with and styling brides. What’s more, they have a lifetime of experience in connecting with people, and that is one way I believe we differentiate ourselves from other stores out there. You will be treated with an unparalleled amount of kindness and respect. I digress….

In order to ensure that there is a both a bridal stylist to work with you and an fitting room available, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment for your visit with us. Additionally, this allows you to connect with your stylist prior to the appointment so that she can learn about you and your wedding and have some gowns picked out for you.

However, if you find yourself wanting to come in at the last minute, don’t be afraid to call us to see if we have last minute availability. We often can accommodate same-day requests, especially during the week. And if you walk in without an appointment, know that you’ll be greeted with a huge smile and open arms, we just can’t promise that we will be able to fit you in on the calendar at the exact moment. But that’s what coffee shops are for, right? In that case we would likely send you out for a cup of coffee and then ask you to come back a little later when something opens up.

Click here to schedule an appointment or call us at 203-309-5110. Happy Shopping!!

Tip of the Week: Do Your Research {Part 2 – Reviews}

Now that your venue is selected and date is set, you’re likely looking at what bridal boutiques to visit so that you can shop for your bridal gown, and there are many options out there! Last week we advised first narrowing down your selection to the stores that have the correct price range of gowns you’re looking for. Once you have done that, how can you pick the best stores to visit?

One thing that is important for you to know is that brides LOVE to leave feedback about their wedding vendors. That means for someone like you who is newly engaged, you have access to feedback from real brides about their experiences working with that vendor. Most review-based sites will offer an overall star or number rating but will also give brides an opportunity to share their experience, in words, for future brides.

Your goal in picking the best stores to shop at are the ones that are going to deliver an exceptional experience for you and the people you bring with you. You want to pick a place where brides say they felt part of the family, where they were valued, where they felt celebrated, where they felt supported in their decision making process, and where the store stepped up to help when something went wrong. Yes, that’s right…don’t be afraid of a store where a bride mentions that something went wrong and the store was there to fix it. That’s the exact place you WANT to buy your gown from! Pick a store that is going to have your back in any situation. You want the store that is going to go the extra mile for you at all times. The stores that have great reviews are typically stores who went above and beyond for their brides. Also important is to see how a store responds to a negative or difficult review. Is that store empathetic and understanding or combative and defensive? These responses speak volumes about the type of store you’re dealing with!

In our opinion, the best review sites out there are The Knot, Wedding Wire, and a store’s own Facebook page. Yelp also has reviews, but they randomly hide certain reviews and make them difficult to find, which we thing does a disservice to people who spend time to write a review! If our brides are going to take the time to review us, we feel like that should be front and center! At ALSW, we are incredibly proud that no matter what site you visit, you will see stellar reviews by former brides for you, our future bride, to read!

In addition to reviews, look for stores that have won local awards in their wedding communities. Awards are often earned by both a combination of brides voting and other wedding vendors voting. This means awards are often an endorsement by other wedding vendors, who have a trained eye for spotting the best of the best. Many local publications run “best of” contest for local businesses. If your area has one, see if your local bridal salon has come up as a winner in the weddings category!

Happy Shopping!!

Pre-Wedding Day Prep {Part 1 – Beauty}

Today we kick off part one of a three-part series focused on helping you to look and feel your best on your wedding day! There are three critical areas to focus on in the months before the wedding day – skincare, nutrition, and exercise – and we have discovered that most brides start thinking about these much later than they should.

Erin Infantino of Simply Gorgeous by Erin graciously agreed to meet me for drinks (coffee for me and celery juice for Erin!) to share what a bride’s skincare regimen should be in the months leading up to her wedding day and why this is so important! Erin has been a makeup artist for over two decades and has done the makeup of countless ALSW brides.

Every bride wants her skin to look flawless on her wedding day. What I have noticed among my thousands of brides over the years is that they all have questions about skincare. And the one important thing to know is that makeup will only look so good as the skin it sits upon. My personal philosophy is to make skin look flawless with as little foundation and concealer as possible. No one wants a caked on face! This is where a good skin care routine comes in. I recommend starting about six months before your wedding day, if possible. The sooner you start a good skincare routine, the more time you will have to reap the rewards of it. Below are some of my top tips. I could probably go on forever but I don’t want to overload you with information!

Drink Water
If you think you drink enough water, you most likely don’t! You should be drinking roughly half your weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces of water. Throw some lemon in it and just make it happen.

Always Wash Your Face Before Bed
Even if you didn’t wear makeup that day, you still touched dirty surfaces and surely touched your face. Wash all that bacteria away and prep your skin with products your skin can soak up and benefit from.

Schedule a Personal Consultation with a Skin Care Expert
Every woman has their own unique skin so a personal consultation with an aesthetician or skin care expert is smart. Oily skin has different needs than dry skin or sensitive skin, and you want your own personal skin care goals to be addressed. Don’t try to get advice from a sales rep behind a counter. Make sure the individual has been educated and trained on the skin’s anatomy and what ingredients you should use or stay away from.

Gut Health
Let’s talk “gut health”. Too much sugar or dairy in your diet will wreak havoc on your skin. Our gut is our second brain and tells our body what to do. Our skin is our largest organ so if something isn’t right internally it will manifest itself in your skin. Keep sugar, dairy and alcohol to a minimum. Take a probiotic that’s suitable for you – I recommend a high quality one that requires refrigeration. Health is always a worthwhile investment.

Add These Products to Your Regimen
One product all skin types can benefit from is a Hyaluronic acid serum. This is naturally found in our bodies and is nothing to be worried about just because it has the word “acid” in it. It’s a hydration booster and plumps up the skin to appear nice and healthy and vibrant. Even if you’re oily, you can be dehydrated and you can benefit from this. Its meant to be worn under your moisturizer or can be worn alone if you’re excessively oily. A second product most skin types can benefit from is Vitamin C serum. Make sure it’s an L-Ascorbic as this tends to cause less or no irritation. This brightens the skin, feeds the skin’s strength, and fights off free radicals and toxins in the air.

Your Daily Routine Matters
If you decide to do facials, please, PLEASE invest in good at-home skin care as well. It’s pointless to get your car detailed and washed if you’re never going to maintain basic cleaning in the days afterwards. The same goes for your skin…what you do day to day matters most!

Thank you, Erin, for taking the time to share these tips with us. Erin and her team can be reached at erin@simplygorgeousbyerin, on Facebook, and on Instagram!

Stay tuned for “Part 2” next week – Nutrition Tips!

Tip of the Week: Do Your Research {Part 1 – Budget}

Chances are, if you’re engaged, you have BIG feelings about gown shopping. You’re either ready and excited and can’t wait to get started or you put it off for a while because you were a little nervous about the process. Or you fall somewhere in between. The good news is that we’re here for you and promise to make the experience a wonderful one. We have a singular mission in working with you, and that’s to find you a gown you love at a price you feel comfortable with an experience that leaves you with that warm and fuzzy feeling. That sounds great, right??

One thing we advise prior to coming in is knowing what you are comfortable spending on your bridal gown as well as your tolerance for fluctuations around that budget. Both are important to communicate to your stylist and something that we will ask you when we speak to you.

Additionally, establishing your own budget is step one, but we also recommend making sure you are comfortable with the price range of gowns a store carries before you visit it. Bridal gown shopping is fun but can be time consuming, and we believe the time you are spending should be enjoyable and productive. Walking into a place where the gowns are priced more or less than your budget is no fun for you. So make sure to ask that question and know the answer.

At A Little Something White, we have two different types of collections – “special order” bridal gowns and “off the rack” bridal gowns. With a special order bridal gown, you will try on an example of the gown in the boutique, and then we place an order for that gown from the designer in the size and color of your choice. With this type of order, you may also be able to make certain changes to the gown, or customizations, since the gown is being made for you only after we place the order. With an “off the rack” bridal gown, the gown you try on in the store is the exact gown you will be purchasing, and you will take it with you on the day of purchase. Gowns from our special order bridal gown collection may be priced anywhere from $2,000-$11,000, with the bulk of our gowns falling in the $2,800-$6,500 range. Gowns from our off-the-rack bridal gown collection may be priced anywhere from $1000-$3,500.

Tip of the Week: Know Your Timeline

The ring is on, the champagne is popped to celebrate, the venue and date are set…..and now it’s time to gown shop! When is the right time to gown shop? We advise buying your gown 8-11 months before your wedding day. In the era we live in today of “fast fashion”, you may not realize that bridal fashion follows a whole new set of rules when it comes to timing. Don’t fret, we are here to demystify it!

One of the things I love about bridal gown shopping is the fact that you get to pick out a gown which is then hand-made just for you. That means it’s not hanging on a rack in some stock room…when we place the order for your gown, the designer and her team hand cut the fabrics, hand sew them together to the size and specifications we tell them, and then put on the finishing touches to make it perfect just for you. This is a garment unlike anything you have worn before and will likely ever wear again!

However, all of that magic takes time to happen. Once you pick out your bridal gown, the designer requests 6-8 months for production to make sure they have enough time to source the fabric, which often comes from special mills overseas, cut and create the gown, and send it through a rigorous quality control process.

So what if you don’t have 6-8 months? Not to worry! We have an amazing relationship with our designers and are often able to get gowns more quickly than that time frame, for a fee. We once got a gown made in a week! We also have an amazing selection of gowns available for purchase off-the-rack, meaning you can buy the gown and take it with you that day.

Once the gown has arrived, you will likely need alterations in order to get the perfect fit. At ALSW, our seamstresses require 2 1/2 months to perform those alterations.

So as you can see, 8-11 months before your wedding is the ideal time frame in which to order your gown. But remember, for ALSW brides, nothing is impossible and we are here to help you find the perfect gown!