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July 2014 - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Trending Now: Quiet, Minimalist Wedding Dresses

 Bridal Fashion Week, Spring 2015 Bridal Fashion Week, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on Trending Now: Quiet, Minimalist Wedding Dresses
Jul 312014
Minimalist Wedding Dress Trend

Photos: George Chinsee; Thomas Iannaccone(2)

Less is definitely more these days, thanks to many of our favorite bridal designers sending seriously minimal designs down their runways. These stark white stunners focus on shape, rather than detail. With ultra-clean lines, these sleek sheaths are an extra fresh choice for the modern bride who doesn't want to look like a princess come her big day.

And while we've seen sleek and modern minimalist gowns before during the past few bridal runway seasons, these looks have a much softer impact. Crafted from airier fabrics like crepe, these gowns have a lighter feel to the other more architectural dresses we've seen in the past. Plus, a few of these even boast a very quiet mermaid skirt, adding a bit more movement to the look.

There's no better way to shine on your big day than with in a soft, minimalist gown. Here are a few of our faves!

Minimalist Wedding Dress Trend - Houghton

Photo: Thomas Iannaccone

Houghton: Never one to throw on too many details, Houghton has been making minimalist designs for years. But what we love about this particular dress are the thick spaghetti straps and visible seams. A city bride with killer accessories would do well to walk down the aisle in something as sleek as this!

Wedding dress by Houghton

Minimalist Wedding Dress Trend - Amsale

Photos: George Chinsee

Amsale: The famed design house wins us over time after time with its simple (and stunning!) designs, but this season they really killed it with their quietly powerful collection. Featuring a series of blank-slate sheaths, Amsale even managed to make a nearly-nude illusion neckline looked minimalist. Plus, these crepe creations are extra soft, managing to make a minimalist design ethereal and romantic in its breeziness.

Sleeveless crepe sheath wedding dress with a bateau neckline and sheer back; Sleeveless crepe slim mermaid wedding dress with an illusion high neckline, Amsale

Minimalist Wedding Dress Trend - Randi Rahm

Photo: Thomas Iannaccone

Randi Rham: A bit more feminine than the other dresses, this cap-sleeved sheath features surprising lace inserts, too!

Wedding dress by Randi Rahm

Three Things You Should Know About Men’s Formalwear

 Etiquette, Grooms, Groomsmen, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on Three Things You Should Know About Men’s Formalwear
Jul 312014

Getting your groom (and his guys!) dressed for the wedding might seem like a less-stressful task than organizing bridesmaids' dresses, hair, and makeup, but there are still a lot of things to coordinate, especially if you're hosting a formal wedding. We found three common groomswear questions and etiquette expert-approved answers that'll help all of your favorite men look like their most suave and dapper selves come your big day.

Can the men in our wedding wear dress oxfords with their tuxedoes?
A heavy everyday business shoe clashes with the elegant style of a tuxedo. Formal shoes are sleeker, lighter; the most traditional formal shoe (perfect with a full-dress tuxedo or white tie) is a black tuxedo pump — a plain slip-on shoe in silk, velvet, dress or patent leather, often with a grosgrain bow; or a suede or quilted slipper. Other formal options: Black slip-ons, lace-ups made of fine leather with a soft matte finish (for a morning suit — or cutaway, stroller, or tuxedo). Or add pizzazz with a black silk handwoven slip-on (available for rent at most men's formalwear stores).

My ushers live in different cities. How can I be sure their formalwear matches?
You can always have them plan a guy's trip (even over the bachelor party weekend) to all get fitted together. If that's not possible, the only guarantee is to order everyone's complete ensemble in one store, or try ordering via the Internet. The groom can choose a formalwear store convenient to the wedding site. After he chooses his formalwear style, the store gives the groom measurement forms to mail, fax or email to his ushers. They then visit a formalwear store in their own area to try on a jacket and be measured (most stores will dot his as a courtesy and a precaution against ending up with incorrectly fitted formalwear). It's not enough to measure chests; some men have muscular biceps, triceps, and thighs.

The groom may be able to secure the entire order with his credit card; later, as each usher comes in for a final fitting, he can pay for his own outfit. Even if an usher will wear his own tuxedo, the shirts and accessories should all be rented, since colors, styles, ties, shirt studs, and cuff links may vary.

Can my groom's outfit distinguish him from his ushers?
Everyone, including your fathers, wears the same type of formalwear. (The only possible exception: The ring bearer, who may fit into a different style of suit or tuxedo that is appropriate to his age.) What can vary, however, are the accessories. Some creative ways to set the groom apart include mixing up patterns, textures, and reversing colors of the vest and tie.

Your New Reception Dress: Heidi Klum’s Killer Marchesa Knee-Length Lace Slip!

 Celebrity, Celebrity Style, Get the Look, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on Your New Reception Dress: Heidi Klum’s Killer Marchesa Knee-Length Lace Slip!
Jul 312014
Heidi Klum Get the Look

Photo: Getty Images

She's still got it! Heidi Klum stopped our hearts when we saw her in this jaw-dropping, Marchesa spaghetti strap mini at the America's Got Talent Season 9 post-show red carpet event last night. Three words come to mind when looking at this lacy little number: va va voom. Whether you're looking to change into something a little bit more party-ready for your reception or are in need of an eye-catching rehearsal dinner look, this is one dress that would make a serious impact. The sultry V-neck, the curve-hugging fit, and oh-so-bridal lace exterior are pure perfection. Plus, her black-and-white peep-toe shoes and white stiletto nails are pretty on-point. Added with the fact thaqt it was crafted by one of our favorite bridal designers? Pretty awesome, we know.

Love this statement-making lace mini? Here's how to get Klum's wow-worthy look for yourself:

Heidi Klum Get the Look - Monique Lhuillier

Photo: Courtesy of Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier: Funny enough, Monique Lhuillier recently sent a nearly identical lace, knee-length slip mini down the runway. Like Klum's, this shift boasts a slim-fit silhouette, delicate spaghetti straps, and a V-neck.

"Jaime" sleeveless knee-length Chantilly lace sheath wedding dress with a v-neckline and spaghetti straps, Monique Lhuillier

Heidi Klum Get the Look - Marchesa

Photo: Robert Mitra

Marchesa: It lacks a V-neck, but this lace knee-length shift is an equally eye-popping design and it has a bridal bonus — the super-popular illusion lace neckline!

Knee-length re-embroidered lace sheath wedding dress with an illusion high neckline and short sleeves, Marchesa

Heidi Klum Get the Look - Hayley Paige

Photo: Steve Eichner

Hayley Paige: Paige took the form-fitting mini to the next level with a mod floral print and extra straps over the neckline — an extra sexy addition!

Style 6457, "Byron" sleeveless knee-length lace sheath wedding dress with a v-neckline and spaghetti straps, Hayley Paige

3 Things Every Couple Can Learn from This ’60s-Inspired Engagement Shoot

 Engagement, Wedding Photography  Comments Off on 3 Things Every Couple Can Learn from This ’60s-Inspired Engagement Shoot
Jul 312014
Engaged Couple Neutra VDL House Patio

Photo: Jeremy Chou

Zara and Jonathan are L.A. lovers through and through: the two met at UCLA during their freshman year and fell in love while discovering their shared city. Twelve years later, Jonathan proposed in the most iconic Angeleno way possible: on a helicopter tour above the skyline! The most impressive part: he's afraid of heights, but he braved the ascent to give his bride-to-be a real L.A. proposal. "When he seemed a little antsy before our tour, I assumed he was nervous about the height," Zara says. "It worked out beautifully for him, because when he finally popped the question, I was completely caught off guard!"

Just like they knew they wanted a downtown Los Angeles wedding, Zara and Jonathan wanted their engagement photos to reflect their home—not the movie-stars-and-tourists part, but the real L.A. they'd come to know and love. They found the perfect spot in the Neutra VDL House, the midcentury modern former home of famed architect Richard Neutra. With its clean lines, lush gardens, and endless natural light, the house screamed West Coast chic, and it made for a fresh, modern, and absolutely gorgeous engagement shoot.

Check out Jeremy Chou's photos of the couple below, and get great ideas for your own engagement session.

Think outside the box: When searching for an engagement shoot location, Zara and Jonathan zeroed in on a few iconic LA spots. "We were torn between choosing more natural environment, like Griffith Park, or a more built-up environment, like the Arts District," Zara says. They first visited the Neutra VDL house as tourists, looking for a way to fill a weekend afternoon, but they realized it occupied the perfect middle ground—filled with both natural beauty and memorable architectural elements. Bonus: their photographer, Chou, had studied the house in person while in architecture school, so he knew it inside and out.

Black and White Engagement Photo Midcentury Modern Engagement Shoot

Photo: Jeremy Chou

Play with props: "The house's mid-century modern aesthetic dictated every aspect of our shoot," Zara says. The couple brought in some props from their own home that complemented the house's blond wood and clean lines, like a replica Eames chair and their vintage Crosley record player (with a few of their favorite albums) to set the scene. They dressed up in their Don-and-Megan-Draper finest for the occasion.

Engagement Shoot Mirror Engagement Shoot Piano

Photo: Jeremy Chou

Do you: A private home was just right for Zara and Jonathan, who are couch potatoes at heart. "On weekends, we like staying in and just enjoying each others' company," Zara says. "So shooting at a private house allowed us to be ourselves, which was important for us." The two both play the piano, and they made sure to take time to punch out a few tunes before the shoot was over.

Engagement Shoot Venue: Neutra VDL House || Bride's Attire: Anthropologie, Modcloth || Hair and Makeup: Neihulé || Photographer: Jeremy Chou

Cute Alert! The Super Romantic Thing Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Did for Each Other While Apart for Months

 Angelina Jolie, Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings, Relationships  Comments Off on Cute Alert! The Super Romantic Thing Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Did for Each Other While Apart for Months
Jul 312014
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Maleficent Premiere

Photo: Getty Images

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie might just be the starring in the greatest love story yet — their relationship!

Of all the heartwarming things we've learned about this lovestruck pair — from their kids' involvement in wedding planning, to how they "drive each other beautifully crazy" — Jolie just revealed our favorite tidbit yet about the future Mr. and Mrs. Pitt.

See more: Dream Wedding Dress Showdown: Angelina Jolie vs. Jennifer Aniston

While she and Pitt were filming separate projects across the world from each other —Jolie was busy directing Unbroken, a film about WWII hero Louis Zamperini, in Australia while Pitt was filming Fury, a movie about a tank crew fighting the Nazis in London — Jolie told Australian magazine TV Week that the two sent handwritten love letters to one another. Cue a major awww.

"He was supportive from a distance, and it was quite romantic in a way," she said of their adorable gestures. "We decided to be of that time, when we could imagine he was in the European theater and I was in the Pacific theater, and we wrote handwritten letters to each other that were very connecting for us, thinking of the people that were separated for months, if not years, at a time back then."

Not a bad idea for keeping things fresh and exciting! Luckily, their next films will bring the long-separated couple closer together: They're set to star together in an intimate character-driven drama, By the Sea, which Jolie is also directing. And that's good news for us, too, because their roles require them to say "I do" on screen!

A Pinterest-Approved Trend You’ll Love: Gold Wedding Details

 Wedding Planning, Wedding Style, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on A Pinterest-Approved Trend You’ll Love: Gold Wedding Details
Jul 312014

Want to add a tasteful hint of glam to your wedding day? Then you'll love these shimmering gold big-day details. Whether it's metallic wedding cakes or shimmering gold wedding dresses, luxe, gilded details are popping up all over Pinterest lately. To help get you inspired, we rounded up six fresh ways to add touches of gold into your big day, from invitations to favors.

Cake Topper: Consider topping your tiered cake with a delicate gold creation. Go for something understated, like this "I Do" design — Better Off Wed has tons of similar options.

Chargers: You won't need much else to turn even a simple reception space into something super elegant if you decorate your dinner table with glam gold chargers. This textured style pops against a white tablecloth, but your options are endless. Consider a gold-rimmed charger for something more understated or pair it with shimmering linens for an extra-glitzy look.

Gold Place Setting

Photo: The Nichols

Place Setting: For a more subtle take on the gold trend, consider gilded flatware paired with an all-white place setting. The look is formal and elegant, but will still work with nearly any wedding style. Here, it's part of a rustic tablescape with a simple burlap runner, but it would look equally pretty paired with romantic blush or modern black linens.

Gold Balloons

Photo: Babb Photo

Gold Balloons: We love these whimsy gold balloons, especially for an outdoor reception. They're perfect to lead guests to the dessert table, as seen here, but they'd also be a fun addition to your bar or above your sweetheart table with your initials. Plus, they're budget friendly.

Invitation: A classic wedding invitation becomes extra-special with the addition of gold-leaf details. The invite above is covered with gilded lace-inspired accents and gorgeous gold calligraphy.

Favor: Send guests home with a thank you that's as good as gold like these homemade peach preserves in mini metallic mason jars. Not the mason-jar kind of bride? Pass out other sweet shimmering desserts, like metallic candy, gold-dusted confections, or even mini champagne bottles.

My Bridal Shower: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known

 Real Brides, Showers & Parties, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on My Bridal Shower: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known
Jul 312014
Tips For Throwing Bridal Shower

Photo: Steven Stuts

Meet Chloe Melas, the Senior Entertainment Reporter at HollywoodLife.com and host of VH1's morning show The Gossip Table! Chloe is in the midst of planning her New York City wedding, and she's going to share each step of the process. From her bachelorette party to the honeymoon and everything in between, stay tuned for the reporter's wedding chronicles. For her latest installment, Chloe talks about the all-important bridal shower.

It was harder than anything for me to imagine handing over the imaginary keys to my bridal shower, and letting my bridesmaids plan the whole thing. One of my bridesmaids, Emily, took charge from the very beginning but then she started getting emails, emails and more emails from me that read: "Oops! Forgot Just One More Thing!"

Cue Frozen's "Let It Go" because that's what I was singing to myself, except with these lyrics "Stop micromanaging people!" But let's just say I don't sound as good as Idina Menzel.

I ended up having the most gorgeous, summery bridal shower any girl could ask for on July 19, at Southampton Social Club. It was complete with 35 of my closet friends and family, adorable cupcakes, flash tattoos and amazing mimosas. I wouldn't change a thing but, I will say, looking back there are five pieces of advice that I would love to give all brides everywhere.

Tips For Throwing Bridal Shower

Photo: Steven Stuts

Make one guest list.
Check it twice and then stop adding people! I always over invite everyone. Whether it's a dinner, drinks, or my birthday party, I have this tendency to literally invite every single person I end up talking to. Someone once asked me, "Why would you want to celebrate such an important day of your life with people that might not be there in 10 years." It's so true! Invite your close family and friends, then call it a day.

Pick one bridesmaid to handle the day!
Don't promise each bridesmaid that she can throw your shower. There are enough tasks to go around, trust me. But it's nice to have one person helming the entire event and have her give tasks to your other bridesmaids. Plus, it's nice to have someone who lives near you too. I have bridesmaids all across the country but it gets difficult to plan something long distance.

Write down your "Must haves and would be nice if" list.
If you have a certain vision for your special day, tell whoever is planning completely upfront. For instance, I had to have a wooden sign that said "Bridal Shower," pink paper straws, sunflowers, and a photographer. No one is a mind reader and your idea of a bridal shower may be totally different than your best friend who has known you 20 years.

See More: Should Bridesmaids Be Invited to All of My Wedding Showers?

Give whoever is planning framed photos!
I had a beautiful engagement shoot two months before my bridal shower with celeb photographer, Anthony Vasquez. A few days before my shower I was frantically calling because I thought it would be great to have scattered throughout the luncheon. Great idea but too last minute! That goes back to point number three, make a list upfront and stick to it!

Don't get upset!
There a one million tiny things that will go wrong but that's life! Don't sweat it if your best girlfriend can't make it because she can't find a sitter or don't be angry if it's too expensive for your other bridesmaid to fly across the country for your shower. You have to remember that although it's your special day, everyone has their own lives and issues. It doesn't mean that they don't love you to pieces. Be open to having smaller get togethers with the bridesmaids and friends that can't come. Just because they can't celebrate on that specific day doesn't mean you can't celebrate at all!

I could call this one number six, although I said I was only doing my top five! I wanted to say "thank you" to all of my friends who came that day. As a party favor, I had beach bags with adorable beach towels tucked inside — it made me feel good to tell them I appreciate them for being there on my special day.

Real Brides Reveal Their Best Plus-Size Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

 Plus Size Wedding Dresses, Plus-Size Style, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on Real Brides Reveal Their Best Plus-Size Wedding Dress Shopping Tips
Jul 312014
Plus Size Dress Shopping Tips

Photo: Robert Mitra

They say that experience is the best teacher, and that certainly applies to everything wedding dress shopping related, especially if you're searching for something plus size. Sure, you might spend every lunch break browsing blogs, pinning looks, and reading expert tips — but nothing beats the wisdom of real brides who have been there, done that, and came out with their dream dress.

We consulted with a group of real brides, and asked them to share the most important lesson they learned in plus-size dress shopping, to help guide you to a gorgeous wedding gown of your own.

Research your stores:
First find a store is stocked well in the plus-size department, so you don't get discouraged before you even start. Call ahead and make sure they carry all different shapes and styles in more than just one or two sizes.

See More: 6 Wedding Dress Dos and Don'ts for Plus Size Silhouettes

Find a consultant you trust:
Then make sure you find a consultant you trust, who is experienced with dressing your body type and knows what styles to pull. Be straightforward with your consultant about which parts of your body you want to show off and which parts you don't want to emphasize. It's their job to help you find the perfect dress!

Try everything:
When it comes to styles and fabrics, try everything and not just the looks you favor in every day clothes. You will be shocked by what looks good and what doesn't. One bride actually found that more fitted styles flattered her more than the empires waist looks she initially assumed she'd like.

Don't judge a dress on the rack:
One bride explains that she saw a dress on the rack, and turned it down multiple times since she was convinced that it wouldn't look good on her. She finally caved in and it was perfection.

Shop with supportive people:
Only bring positive people! If there is anyone who makes you feel miserable trying on clothes or likes to point out every flaw, leave her at home — even if she might feel slighted she didn't get to shop with you.

See More: 35 Flattering (and Totally Affordable!) Plus Size Wedding Dresses

Wear the right underwear:
Wear your best bra and underwear — something you'll feel comfortable showing during your fitting session. If you're going to wear Spanx on your wedding day, bring that.

Have fun:
Get dolled up before you go try on dresses and remember that this is supposed to be fun. Make sure you feel beautiful before you even walk into the salon. This is not a time to feel self-conscious. The man you're about to marry loves everything about you and thinks you're beautiful — and that's what you should always remember.

Whoa. Are Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden Already Engaged?

 Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings  Comments Off on Whoa. Are Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden Already Engaged?
Jul 312014
Cameron Diaz Emilio Pucci Dress

Photo: Getty Images

They've only been dating a few months, but there's something about Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden that seems made for life.

And, according to People, the lovestruck celeb duo seem to agree! "It's early, but they have talked about marriage," a source told the magazine.

After Diaz's pal Nicole Richie may-or-may-not have set her up with her brother-in-law (Richie is married to Benji's identical twin and Good Charlotte bandmate, Joel), things heated up pretty quickly.

See more: 20 Celebrity-Approved Honeymoon Destinations

"Benji spends so much time at Cameron's that it seems he now kind of lives there," another source told People. "They look very happy together...Cameron hasn't looked this happy for years."

We've got to admit that the perpetually sunny blonde has had an extra-wide grin on her face ever since she went public with her romance in June. And now that they're back from the romantic European vacation they took last week (they sailed along the French and Italian coasts aboard a mega yacht with some friends), it's back to focusing on the important relationship things — including meeting the parents.

In fact, Madden reportedly recently met Diaz's family on a trip to Florida. "It seemed important to Cameron that Benji met her family, and she looked very proud to introduce him to everyone," a witness told People. "They were very sweet to each other, constantly kissing and flirting. It was obvious that they had a great vacation."

Sunshine, romance, and good company is usually a winning combination, and it sounds like it's definitely the case for these love birds! Now, let's hope he proposes and we get to see her ring!

Keep Calm and Marry On: How to Stay Focused When Planning Your Wedding

 Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on Keep Calm and Marry On: How to Stay Focused When Planning Your Wedding
Jul 312014

Photo: Getty Images

Whether you've had a crystal-clear wedding vision since the age of four, or you're walking into the process with less-than-zero idea of what you want, wedding planning can get daunting fast. But before you reach for that ice cream tub and turn on TLC, take a deep breath and read our tips for staying calm, cool, and collected throughout the planning process.

Consider a planner
Call it an obvious recommendation, but if it's within your budget to hire a wedding planner to guide you through the process, consider it. For you, planning a wedding is likely a never-been-done-before occurrence. For wedding planners it's an everyday thing. Statistically speaking that means you have a lower chance of breaking out in stress hives while contemplating centerpieces.

See More: The Weird (But Totally Normal) Things Wedding Planning Can Do to Your Body

Stay on track
Have you seen our personalized wedding checklist? It's a simple way to keep track of your wedding to-dos, customized to your timeline. While you may feel averse to the concept at first, we promise that the more you adhere to a broken down schedule, the less you'll worry along the way.

Make time for the things you love
Whether it's wine with friends, yoga, or binging on buttered popcorn in a freezing cold movie theater, be sure to regularly make time for the things that get you excited, even though you're planning a wedding. With all the decisions to be made, you deserve — and need — time to unwind and not think about anything wedding related.

Let go of the factors you cannot control
If you're stressing non-stop about your wedding day weather or whether or not Aunt Betty will try to start a conga line after three martinis, you need to stop. Let go of hypothetical situations and factors you cannot control, and soothe yourself by taking pride in all the details you're able to oversee — like your flowers, dress, signature cocktails, and wow, you have a lot to do ...

See More: 8 Things That Might Annoy Your Wedding Guests

Think like a wedding guest
If you find yourself stepping into the quicksand of stress take a deep breath and think like a wedding guest. Consider what you remember about the weddings you've attended — it's likely how the night made you feel, how in love the couple looked, how good those cocktails were (though, yikes, not a great morning), and probably not how symmetrical the flower arrangements were, or how perfectly coral that ribbon was. The point is: guests will recall your wedding in large strokes, not minute detail.

Remember why this is all happening
Perhaps most importantly, if you feel your anxiety mounting, take some time to connect with your fiancé and remember why this whole wedding thing is happening. Schedule a date or simply reach for those misty-eyed engagement photos to center yourself, and focus on what matters most.

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