Q & A with Bride-to-Be, Elaina Cokinos

Meet beautiful bride-to-be, Elaina Cokinos from Washington D.C. Elaina and her fiancé, Brian Simpson are gearing up for an unforgettable Mountain wedding in Montana complete with lavish lavender and soft blush hues mixed with Gatsby-inspired decor.

Elaina is more than stunning. She’s smart, ambitious, and passionate about making a difference. Elaina is finishing up her last semester at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She is currently studying education and religion and hopes to pursue a career in organizational design & change leadership in DC. She and Brian met in college and the rest is history. We decided to sit down with Elaina and get the inside scoop on her glamorous wedding plans. It came as no surprise to hear she even planned to bring in a horse-drawn carriage for her ceremony. Here’s our interview with the future Mrs. Simpson.

Q: How did you and Brian meet?

A: Brian and I met on my first day of school my freshman year. He was the residence assistant or RA in my freshman housing. He says he remembers seeing me unpacking my car with my dad and stepmom. We made awkward eye contact a few times. A few months later we had our first interaction where he was coming out of the bathroom and I said “nice towel.” One time he saw me stressing out over an assignment in the library and interrupted my phone call to tell me to come outside and look at how pretty the moon was. (I didn’t know him but I thought it was cute.) A few weeks after that, we had our first real conversation and we started dating like a week later!

Q: How’s the wedding process going? Fun? Stressful? What advice would you give to other recently engaged brides?

A: You have to always set yourself up for success. If you know that planning a wedding during a stressful time (for me, my senior year in college), then delegate or hire help. This whole thing should be fun. Don’t ever let anything stress you out. There will always be little hiccups but don’t let that steal your joy during such a precious time. Other advice I have is that your wedding will always …. let me repeat…. always be bigger than you actually want it to be. Have a list of criteria someone has to meet to be in your wedding. For example, I decided I had to know their first and last names, know their children, and have seen them within the last year. It will be different for everyone. But people will always tell you who to invite or how to plan it. It’s your wedding! As selfish as that sounds, I had to remind myself of that many times.  I want to please everyone, but, you can’t. This day is about celebrating the love of you and your fiance, and it should be an extension of the couple!

How did you go about looking for a wedding dress?

I started looking early for my dress. I would say always take 2 months to think about your dress before you buy it. I thought I had the one, but low and behold, after 2 months I saw THE ONE walking down the runway in a video from Bridal Fashion Week. I’m so glad I waited! Look online first, then go shopping in person.

Q: Where is your wedding going to be and what are you most excited for?

A: Our wedding is going to be in May in the mountains. The theme is kind of fairy tale, great gatsby-esque. That was not really intentional, that’s just what I love! I picked my favorite colors, lavender, gold and blush pink. I asked Brian if he was SURE he was okay with having so much pink. He said, “Well, it wouldn’t be my wedding if there wasn’t pink and sparkles everywhere!” The guy has to know his woman!

I am the most excited for my bridesmaids to feel amazing and taken care of as they are getting ready. I am also excited to see people I haven’t seen in awhile. It’s amazing how many people will travel for love!

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Prom, Fashion, and Rock ‘n Roll — Frew’s Takes to The Loop for a 50’s Inspired Shoot

We have reached the peak of prom season and that means it’s time for more fun photo shoots! Here at Frew’s, we like to collaborate with other creatives in the area. This shoot was a bit more spur of the moment, but nothing short of fabulous with visionary photographer John Metcalfe and Instagram sensation, Andjela Simsic.  It was definitely a night for the books. What better place to do a playful 50’s inspired shoot than in the heart of The Delmar Loop? Glowing neon lights and enticing vintage shop windows helped to create the perfect city backdrop. Our dress selection was based off Pinterest Pink Ladies inspired finds. Fun patterns and feminine sparkles from designers like Sherri Hill and Mac Duggal were an absolute must!

Trends to follow: Two-Piece Ball Gown

It’s time to rethink the two-piece prom dress. Often times, girls will shy away from this more risqué style. When you think two-piece, you’re probably envisioning a body-con dress that maybe shows a bit more skin than you’re used to. This is one of the most popular trends of the season, but we’re here to tell you there is such a thing as a ‘tasteful two-piece.’ Cue the adorable two-piece ball gown like this darling Sherri Hill. The charming combination of cherries and polka dots and florals and bold colors on the bodice gives this gown a subtle hint of vintage glam.

https://www.bestbridalprices.com/sherri-hillin-stock-blackmulti-dress-style-50599-p156993?ref=c238d131

https://www.bestbridalprices.com/sherri-hill-in-stock-dress-style-50217-p149777

Pastels and Glitz

If you’re planning to wear a statement gown, you might as well go all out. A sparkly diamond bodice paired with a baby pink skirt of delicate layers of chiffon gives you that Old Hollywood vibe perfect for the girl looking to make a grand entrance. It’s hard not to turn heads when wearing a gown that glitters throughout the train with delicate yet dazzling beads. The only thing that’s missing is a Frenchie hot pink do.

https://www.bestbridalprices.com/mac-duggal-in-stock-blush-dress-style-65586a-p147806?ref=c0n2

Wine Colored Lace

Vintage, fabulous, and flattering, this long sleeved gown will stop people dead in their tracks. Much like the last gown from Mac Duggal, this Faviana has tiny sparkling beads that line the bodice, skirt, and train of the dress. To complete the glamorous look, opt for a dark bold lip and a pair of killer heels.

https://www.bestbridalprices.com/la-femme-in-stock-garnet-dress-style-24164-p157359

Dresses featured: Sherri Hill 50599, Sherri Hill 50217, Mac Duggal 65586A, La Femme 24164

Photos by John Metcalfe

Hair and makeup by Laura Cunningham

Model: Andjela Simsic

To shop these hot prom styles, stop by our NEW store at The St. Louis Galleria or in Alton, IL and visit us online at frewsbridal.com.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram for more photo shoots! @frewsbridal and @bestbridalprices.

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Shine Bright Like a Diamond — Prom Photo Shoot at The Jewel Box

Photography by Bishoppe Kamusinga

Models: Shani Belshaw and Allex Sammuli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frew’s Prom takes to the Jewel Box for a Valentine’s Day inspired photo shoot complete with romantic styles by the hottest designers including Sherri Hill, Faviana, and Mac Duggal. Fall head over heels in love with our spring prom faves.

Nestled in Forest Park lies The Jewel Box, a true gem of St. Louis. This striking space is known for its unique Art Deco architecture and gorgeous glass windows making this intriguing structure ideal for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and of course fashion photo-shoots. The vintage inspired Gatsby greenhouse is home to tropical plants in an array of vivid colors. The interior of the building transports its visitors to a lush and balmy rainforest in the heart of St. Louis’ urban landscape. We couldn’t think of a better place to kiss the winter blues goodbye and plan a spring prom shoot, showcasing some of our most colorful gowns with eye-catching hues and playful patterns.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we selected only the most romantic and daring of styles, dabbling in a pretty palette of mixed reds, pinks, and purples. The rich dark green palm leaves and candy-colored bromeliads created a surprisingly dramatic backdrop, contrasting nicely with our warm reds and bold fuchsia dresses. It was a match made in photo shoot heaven. Bishoppe, a skilled risk-taker with a keen eye for aesthetic and detail, was able to bring our vision to life, capturing those picture perfect moments and highlighting the unique beauty of each dress.

Trends to look for this prom season

Two-pieces! The common misconception about two-pieces is that you need a certain body type to rock this more unconventional formal style. The right two-piece dress flatters and accentuates your assets. The two-piece is on-trend but also lets people know you’re different and like to live life on the edge.

On Allex: Faviana, Style: 7962 Call to order 877-274-3321

Cutouts and thigh-high slits This particular style is hot with celebs on the red carpet and even hotter with us chicas who want to show off our new killer stilettos. We love this intricate floral embroidery on the halter top with some peek a boo cut-outs for that extra touch of stylish sass. The beaded black belt adds some glam glitz and the slit completes the overall look.

On Shani: Faviana, Style: 7952 https://www.bestbridalprices.com/faviana-style-7952-p153043

Contrasting patterns We can’t get enough of this striped strapless Mac Duggal prom dress. It’s flirty, fierce, and totally fabulous for that girl who wants to make the most dramatic of entrances. The floral print blends surprisingly well with the striped pattern. We recommend this fashion-forward style for the girl who’s always wanted to rock a ball gown, but doesn’t want to end up looking like a marshmallow. This Mac Duggal has some serious feminine flair to it, but doesn’t have that over-the-top princess vibe many girls try hard to avoid.

On Shani: Mac Duggal, Style: 40597H https://www.bestbridalprices.com/mac-duggal-ball-gowns-style-40597h-p155389

High-lows We don’t know how many times we’ve heard moms say, “now why didn’t we have this style back when I was in prom?” For the shoe-obsessed prom girl, the high-low is the answer to your fashion prayers. This strapless gown is short and sweet in the front and elegant and eye-catching in the back. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better…this dress also has pockets!! No more regrets about missing out on prom photo ops and Instagram stories with this little number. Simply store your cell phone in one of the hidden pockets of this darling dress and you’re good to go. No more social media FOMO.

On Allex: Sherri Hill, Style 51177 Call to order 877-274-3321

Sophisticated Florals We know, we know, “florals for spring…groundbreaking.” We had to insert a quote from Miranda Priestly there from The Devil Wears Prada. A fashion faux-pas? We think not. It seems obvious to include a dress covered in roses for a Valentine’s day spring photo shoot, but we think there’s something especially unique about this particular gown. Let’s make a prom 2017 prediction shall we? Amidst a sea of pastels; baby pinks, powder blues, and buttercup yellows, all heads will turn as you grace the dance floor in a killer Queen of Hearts inspired ball-gown. We think this dress has a charming French flair to it that puts traditional springy floral gowns to shame. “Off with their heads because they can’t seem to stop staring.”

On Shani: Sherri Hill, Style: 50826 https://www.bestbridalprices.com/sherri-hill-style-50826-p156116

Form-fitting 90’s chic Sure the plunging neckline is all the rage right now, but let’s not overlook the stylish high-neckline on this body-con Faviana. This dress hugs you in all the right places and gives us some serious Kate Moss vibes. Pair it with a leopard overcoat and a black choker necklace, and you’re well on your way to channeling your inner 90’s diva. This fit is super popular right now with top celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Rihanna. Dance the night away in this fabulous red-hot style.

On Allex: Mac Duggal Style: 25220I https://www.bestbridalprices.com/mac-duggal-ieena-style-25220i-p155040

Let prom be your fashion runway this year and dare to be different with a dress from Frew’s. Shop our extensive online selection at bestbridalprices.com.*

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The Season for Giving

Frew’s donated 15 wedding dresses to be made into beautiful handmade burial outfits. One wedding dress can be made into about 20 baby bereavement outfits.

Newborns in Need is a non-profit charity that donates essential baby care items to hospitals, homeless shelters, family crisis centers, and county health units. Many of the babies, Newborns in Need helps are born to families living in poverty. Also many are born too soon and extra small clothing is very difficult to find. Newborns in Need was founded in 1992 in Houston, Missouri by Carol Green. Carol discovered the need when she read in a sewing magazine that some newborns that died would be buried in paper sacks with medical waste, simply because no one had the money or resources to provide burial clothing. She researched this problem and found that this was happening at many hospitals.  Newborns in Need then grew nation wide.

Frew’s Bridal Donated to the Newborns in Need/Arch Chapter in Ellisville, MO. “Our Company wanted to give this holiday season,” said Shani Belshaw, Frew’s Bridal social media manager. “I did some research and found Newborns in Need. I had never heard of the organization, but it’s a really great cause. We have an abundance of wedding dresses, so it is the perfect non-profit for Frew’s to get involved with.”

“We meet the third Saturday of each month”, said Ruth Hoover, leader of the Newborns in Need/Arch Chapter. “We sew between the meetings and we bring what we have made to the meeting and then they are distributed to 15 plus facilities in the St. Louis area.”

The Newborns in Need/Arch Chapter is in need of more storage space for their clothing and more seamstresses. If you are interested in volunteering or donating funds to this organization, call (636) 227-7450.

Shani Belshaw, Frew’s Bridal Social Media Manager handing over one of the 15 gowns to Ruth Hoover, leader of the Newborns in Need/Arch Chapter.

 

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What color gown should I wear to win my pageant?

We get asked this question a lot. What is the winning evening gown dress color? The truth is there is no winning color. When choosing your dress, you should worry less about what everyone else is doing, and focus more on what looks great on you, and what dress makes you feel your best. You need to consider your skin color, hair, and body type when choosing a dress. Take this quiz to see what color looks best on you. Yes, white is the most common winning color, but that is primarily because more girls tend to wear white. More people drive white cars. Does that mean you should buy a white car for that reason? No.

Many of us do associate colors with certain feelings and meanings. Let’s start with the most common winning pageant gown color, white.

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Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell
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Miss America 2015, Kira Kazantsev
Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan

White is associated with purity, perfection, and safety.

The second most common wining color is black.

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Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields
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Miss America 2012, Laura Kaeppeler

Black is associated with power, elegance, and mystery.

The third most common winning color is red.

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Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo
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Miss USA 2014, Nia Sanchez

Red is associated with power, passion, and desire.

So, does everyone that wins wear white, black, and red? No! Here are some queens that rocked other colors.

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Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber
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Miss USA 2015, Olivia Jordan
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Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri

What are some of our favorite pageant gowns?

If you're wanting to pull of an Olivia Jordan jewel toned dress, we love this dress. You should know that it has pockets! xoxo
If you’re wanting to pull of an Olivia Jordan jewel toned dress, we love this dress. You should know that it also comes in royal and it has pockets! Click the image to find this dress on our site.
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This dress would be perfect for the USA system. It has the fun over-skirt that you can play with on stage. The deep V makes the dress very sexy, but the long sleeves keep it classic. Click the image to find this dress on our site.
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For pageant girls on a budget, this dress is perfect. The material and fit shows off your body’s shape. The judges don’t want the dress to wear you, they want you to wear the dress. Try wearing big earrings with it to bring the attention to your face. Click the image to find this dress on our site.

If you have a pageant coming up and need help picking a dress, schedule an appointment with our pageant consultant at (618) 466-8820 or visit bestbridalprices.com.

 

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Bridal Shoot Collaboration

What’s more fun than a wedding? A fake wedding! Lots of glam and charm without the commitment. LOL. In all seriousness though, we organize shoots like this, so that we can give our beautiful brides-to-be a little wedding inspiration. Here at Frew’s bridal, we want our brides to fulfill all of their wedding dreams, and every bride has that dream or vision of what they will look like on their wedding day. Some of us have been dreaming of such a thing since we were young girls! That being said, there are three important things to remember when it comes to planning your wedding day look, your hair & makeup, the photography, and of course THE DRESS!

1. We collaborated with one of the best hair and makeup bridal teams in the St. Louis metropolitan area, Kristen’s Hair Studio in Wood River, IL. “I love being able to be a part of the bride’s day by helping her get ready. I feel it’s not only the dress everyone is excited to see, but how beautiful the bride looks on her special day,” said Laura Cunningham, member of Kristen’s Hair Studio Bridal Team. “We accommodate everyone and our goal is to make the bride’s special day as smooth as possible.”

Hair & Makeup Tip for the Brides: “It’s always best to wash your hair the day before. We offer packages to get the bride ready for her rehearsal dinner, that way she is prepped for the day of! If a bride gets any type of skin service before the wedding, do it a week prior to the week of the wedding!”

 

2. Choosing a photographer is very important. You only get to wear the dress once. You want someone that is going to be able to capture all of the beautiful moments and details of your special day.  We wanted only the best of the best for this shoot, so we  teamed up with one of the best wedding photographers in the St. Louis area, Kelly Susan Photography. “I photograph so many gorgeous brides in amazing gowns on their wedding day — from glitzy to simple and everything in between — and each one of them is unique and special, said Kelly Shoppel, photographer. “I take detail shots of the dress hanging and it’s pretty. But when I shoot the dress on the bride, everything changes. The way you feel in your wedding dress, and the way that radiates in your final images, is truly a special kind of magic.”

Photography Tip for the Brides: “So many brides go in with exact expectations of what they want, and come out with something wildly different than what they expected. I found my own gown at Frew’s and it was everything I swore I wouldn’t ever wear. Trust your bridal consultant and go in with an open mind — focus less on the opinions of those around you and on your insecurities, and more on how the dress makes you feel. If you feel amazing in your dress, I can guarantee it will photograph beautifully and result in images that you adore for a lifetime.”

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3.  Every bride has a different style or theme they’re going for. With 30,000 square feet,  Frew’s Bridal has a huge selection of dresses to choose from. Frew’s carries the most affordable designer dresses, which can relieve some financial stress off of a bride without having to settle, but staying in their budget. “My favorite part of helping brides find their dress is talking to the moms, aunts, and sisters, said Sarah Purcell, Frew’s Bridal Manager. “The ladies have watched the bride grow into the beautiful woman she has become. I love watching the bonds between women. It is truly amazing to see the pure joy and happiness that sharing this special moment creates.”

Styling Tip for the Brides:“Shop Early! Brides are shocked to hear it can take up to 6 months for a wedding gown to come in… Selecting your dress is not something you want to rush. So many details revolve around your wedding gown, jewelry..veil..hair..bridesmaid dresses..color schemes.. So, definitely shop early. To get the most out of your appointment call and book your appointment mid week. Sure it might be easier to come in on a Saturday or a Sunday, but that is why they are so busy! If you come on a week day, you will have a more relaxed experience.

Preparing for a wedding can be stressful, but with Frew’s Bridal, dress searching can be an incredible experience.  You can book an appointment online or call us at 1-618-4333-9520.

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All of our models at the shoot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Behind the Scenes of Our Monster Mannequin Show

All of the employees and owner’s of Frew’s Bridal worked super hard preparing for our Halloween event. It takes months of planning before it all comes together. This year’s theme was “Frew’s Dollhouse”. We brought in the models for fittings ahead of time and then chose their characters. The designs were sent to the seamstresses and they diligently to bring the designs off of paper and onto our models!

 

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Some of our amazing seamstresses who created all of the props and put finishing touches on the dresses for the Mannequin Show.
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Mary always helps with decorating the windows and decor for the Mannequin Show.
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Our seamstresses were going a little crazy, after working so hard on all of the Halloween costumes. LOL
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Halloween makes everyone a little goofy, here at Frew’s. 😉
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Barb hard at work.
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These were the keys for the back’s of our “wind up dolls”.
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Our seamstress, Tina, created this amazing headpiece.

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Makeup and Hair: Mr. John’s School of Cosmetology & Nails – Jacksonville Campus & Kristen’s Hair Studio

Models & Dancers: Models & Dancers: Principia College Dance and Theatre Students, Showtime Productions in Alton, and Parish School of Performing Arts

Every year we are impressed by the incredible talents and hard work from this community. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and came to watch!

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Hues of Frews

No you don’t have to wear white to your wedding. Where did this tradition even come from? Believe it or not, over 175 years ago red was the popular color for  a wedding dress, but Queen Victoria broke the mold. Thank goodness for trend setters or we might still be walking down the aisle looking like a STOP SIGN.

Contrary to popular belief most people don’t actually wear optical white on their wedding day. When you walk into a wedding store, most of the dresses are shades of ivory. Pure white doesn’t usually photograph well and most skin tones look washed out or sallow next an absolute white.

Blush, champagne, sea mist, cafe, white gold, ivory dresses or dresses with silver, gold or blue accents are a great alternative to the traditional bright white wedding dress. Opting for a shade other than absolute white helps bring out the lace appliques, embroidery, or other details.

Try several different hues, before you say yes to the dress.

 

HUES

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For the blushing bride.
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Here’s your something blue.
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This is the perfect example of how ivory over light gold is simply stunning.
This fully beaded gown doesn't come in absolute white because the details of the dress are too pretty to have blend in. The lace is off white and your color options are almond, blush, champagne, ivory, and rose gold.
This fully beaded gown doesn’t come in absolute white because the details of the dress are too pretty to have blend in. The lace is off white and your color options are almond, blush, champagne, ivory, and rose gold.

 

 

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It’s Party Time

Party time means: Florals. Lace. Embroidery. Gems. Beaded Fringe.

From fancy to casual. These are some of our favorite party dress styles, we have in stock at our store.

All of the jewelry feature is Jim Ball Designs.

 

 

 

 

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This Rachel Allen dress has pockets. What more could a girl want?
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Floral is so in! This Splash by Landa rose dress is to die for.
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This Splash by Landa dress looks way better on than on the hanger and the color looks good on everyone!
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Go for the gold! This two piece is classy and sheek.
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Didn’t we say floral is in? This two piece is so flirty and fun.
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Another dress with pockets. YES. This embroidered two piece is adorable.
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Need something a little more casual? This sleeveless lace dress would be the perfect get up for attending a wedding or classy event.

 

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Sneak Peek of our Bridal Photoshoot Collab

We joined forces with some amazing professionals to create some staged romance. We paired up with Kelly Susan Photography and Hair and Beauty by Laura. Kelly and Laura were so fun to work with. They are both a joy to be around, each are very energetic and have an incredible eye for their craft.

We brought four female models into our store last week for fittings to find them their perfect wedding dress for the shoot. It wasn’t hard to find some amazing dresses that fit our models because we have so many dresses to choose from.

They each posed with our male model at a local park. It was funny to see four brides all with one man. I’m sure the spectators at the park were very confused. LOL The weather was great, but it was a bit windy, although their hair and makeup stayed on “fleek” for the entire shoot.

I can’t wait to receive the final edited pictures from the shoot!

 

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Our model is wearing an Allure Madison James Style MJ07. The dress is satin with cap sleeves and a scoop back. Lace wedding dresses have become overdone, so I see satin wedding dresses on the rise with some future brides.

 

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Our model Lauren wore this Impression tulle and lace dress, style 10315. We were scared it was going to be hard to find a long enough dress for her because she is 6 ft! This was the second dress we tried at her fitting and it worked perfectly.

 

 

 

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Our model Maddie wore a white Mori Lee Blu 5209. The lace appliques and hand-cut petals made the dress.

 

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Our model, Kasey wore a high low Moonlight, style T741. The dress has pockets, so of course it won our model’s heart.

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