Belize Honeymoon – Fashion Inspiration

I’d mentioned that I spent the long weekend down in Orange County for a best friend’s wedding, and it was incredible!  The wedding was absolutely gorgeous – from the venue to the flowers, to all the little details – it was like being in a real live Pinterest page – no joke.  My beautiful friend, Lindsay, was absolutely stunning – gorgeous, and glowing and happy.

Of course, everyone at the wedding has had to return to real life, while Lindsay and her new HUSBAND (so weird and awesome to say) are on their honeymoon in Belize. I’ve been daydreaming about a hot tropical vacation, and with Belize on the brain, I put together a wishlist for what I’d pack on a romantic trip down there…

I’m not known for packing light (I had a carry on AND a checked bag for 3 nights in southern California for goodness sake) but I’d do my best to limit myself to pieces that could easily transition from day to night… I’d definitely go after bright colors, and LIGHT fabrics, because it is hot and humid down there…

Here’s my packing check-list…

Belize

Matthew Williamson floral dress / 120% Lino floral dress / Miss Selfridge chiffon dress / Accessorize sun dress / Jane Norman summer dress, $78 / Pull&Bear red dress, $62 / Paprika floral dress, $7.79 / Cutie summer top / One piece swimsuit / Halter top / Vix bikini / Wal G jumpsuits romper, $51 / Forever 21 romper / Charlotte Russe fringe bathing suit / Steve Madden shoes / Nine West flat sandals / MICHAEL Michael Kors tote bag / Irene Neuwirth gold jewelry / Luis Morais gold bracelet / IaM by Ileana Makri sterling silver charm / Michael Kors jewelry / Stella & Dot cuff bracelet / Blu Bijoux gold jewelry

White swimwear – you’re a bride!!  And white makes you look oh so tan!  A sexy one-piece and a fringed bikini are must haves.

I’m also loving the versatility of the romper – light and easy to throw on for the beach, or for dinner with gold cuffs and cute gold sandals.  If you’re feeling a bit more dressy, a pretty floaty maxi is just the thing, but it’s Belize – one pair of wedges MIGHT make an appearance for a dressy night out.  With everyone else in flip-flops, it’s hard to muster up the energy or desire to squeeze heels on.

A big bright tote is perfect for throwing everything into before hopping on a boat, or heading to the pool, and a selection of bright floral sundresses are essential for any beach vacation…

Black and White Weddings

I am normally drawn to weddings where light colors and rustic details take center stage, but I have to say that the graphic contrast of black and white is a breath of fresh air from all the summertime weddings that take place in a garden, barn, or vineyard.


     

Doesn’t this bouquet of white anemones make a bold statement without being too “loud”?  I also love the black sash that break’s up the sweetness of this romantic dress.

I’ve always been a fan of having bridesmaids wear different dresses, and this line-up above is still cohesive, while letting the girls wear something that is a) flattering to their figure, and b) shows off their personality.  Aside from that, the blush and black is a little more fresh and unique than the standard creme, and more flattering than nude.  So pretty!

This picture strikes me as the perfect look for a Halloween wedding.  Without being costume-y about it, the black lilies in the bouquets add drama, while the strappy black shoes are adventurous, and give a nod to the spooky… almost witch-like.

      

I love these invitations wrapped in black and white string, and how fun are those checkerboard socks and black and white wingtips?!  Adorable!

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the chiffon softens the all black dresses above.  The vibe is romantic all the way despite the dark color.

     

Ok, who can say that these sheer lace Valentino’s are anything short of FABULOUS.  With the big bows, sexy peep toe, and sky high heel, these shoes are sexy meets sweet.  Weddings aside, I want these for my own closet!

            

Feather’s aren’t really my thing, but it makes for a dramatic detail on a white lapel, and don’t even get me started on that necklace.  I love the antique brooch that serves as a clasp, along with the oversize pearls – so pretty.

These invites are modern all the way.  I love the graphic “LOVE”, the black background with white font, and the simple lay-out.

The more I look at it, the more I love the idea of a black and white wedding… what do you think?

Wedding Perfection

<img alt="sparkler send-off + the dress
Every Last Detail

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a wedding perfect.  Some envision a big fancy black tie affair, some want a small, quiet ceremony in a meadow, and some would be ticked pink at the idea of an impromptu elopement at City Hall.

For a gal like me who has probably spent a bazillion hours dreaming about my wedding day, I am looking for a feeling.  Whether it be in a barn, at a vineyard, on the beach, or somewhere far away, I am looking for a high-on-love dizzying happiness with family and friends.  A magical day… and what could be more magical than sparklers and layers of silk chiffon ruffles (Vera Wang gets it right every single time).

I mean, seriously… how awesome is this photo??

White Wedding

Oh my dears, it’s Friday, and I can’t think of a better way to end the week than with a stunningly beautiful all white wedding!

I’ve long loved the look of white on white on white.  My parents would tease me growing up because I loved my white, and while some might think me crazy, I sort of LOVE the idea of having your bridesmaids wear white in a wedding.  Actually it’s quite traditional to have bridesmaids wear white – back in the day, this was the custom – but as brides are constantly worried that they will be “outshined” (outshone?) on their “big day” the idea of having the bridesmaids wear white has faded away.

I mean, how pretty is this?  Varied shades of white, creme, and even the palest of pinks. So whimsical, and I think it really creates the look of a special event.

Of course, white flowers to match the white dresses, tablecloths, etc.  What else would you expect?!

Such a lovely wedding, and such amazing inspiration.  Thank you SMP.

Wedding Style Guide: Black Tie Wedding

Ahh the black tie wedding (not to be mistaken with the evening wedding) – a black tie affair is possibly one of the most difficult of all weddings to dress for as a guest.  While a knee length LBD would do the trick in a pinch, a black tie wedding is the only occasion where a floor length gown is acceptable.  Always during the evening, it’s totally appropriate for opt for a glamorous floor skimming number – break out your grandmother’s cocktail rings, and sparkly chandelier earrings, because black tie means glam all the way!

Old Hollywood Glamour:

Black Tie Wedding I

Yes, this is Oscar de la Renta, so for the masses this first dress is really just a day-dream, but with this look in mind, head to Bloomindales and seek out a sparkly gold number like this one.  The trick to making gold look expensive is to watch the sparkle and the tone.  A too gold color looks gaudy, and too sparkly conjures images of a Vegas showgirl – look for a muted Champagne gold, and you’ll be good to go.  Since the dress is the statement, stay away from more sparkle in the jewelry – pearls are a classic choice.  Finish the look with red lips and red nails – neutral eye makeup and simple hair will be perfect.



New Hollywood Glamour:

Black Tie Wedding II

Emerald green has been a HUGE trend in the past several years, with many a-list actresses donning substantial gemstone jewelry for red carpet events.  Jump on the bandwagon because this rich green is flattering on everyone and brings to life a simple black silhouette.  Don’t be fooled by this dress’ demure neckline – the back opens up to show a little skin (tastefully of course).


Midsummer Nights Dream:

Black Tie Wedding III

Yep, this next look reminds me of the Shakespeare play, because of the romance.  The floaty chiffon is romantic (and flattering), and you’ll stand out from all the other navy and black dresses in this pale pink number.  There is nothing like gold and pale pink to compliment one another, so be sure that your accessories – from strappy heels to dangly earrings are gold toned and sparkly.

Summer 2012 Wedding Gowns

I always look forward to the release of the next season’s wedding dresses.  I find the world of bridal couture completely fascinating, but I have to say, I am not loving a lot of the Summer collections.  Some of the trends are WAY too trendy – I fear there will be many brides looking back and saying, what was I thinking?!

The designers I’m drawn to this season are the ones embracing feminine silhouettes, interesting draping, and floaty fabrics.

Watters:
First up… Watters – they were actually one of my favorite designers that my sister tried on when she was shopping for her wedding dress.  The bonus??  These dresses look extremely high-end, but in the realm of wedding dresses, are actually quite affordable (dresses range from $2K – $4K).

Watters Beverly Hills: I love the variation of fabrics, and the draping – it’s unique without being over the top, taking a classic silhouette and making it stand out.  I’d prefer a deeper sweetheart at the bust, but this is so beautiful it’s hard to critique!

watters santa barbara wedding dress
Watters Santa Barbara:  This silk taffeta dress fits narrowly through this hips, which is flattering on the waist – a ball gown can be difficult to wear depending on the skirt.  Too many gathers near the waist makes you look bulky, but the flat lay and the flared skirt keep this slimming and streamlined. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t LOVE pockets?!  The belt has got to go… something more delicate and less bulky!

watters 2012 napa wedding dress
Watters Napa:  Oh the romance – silk organza is so floaty and light, and the way that the skirt has subtle pick-ups creates volume without poof.  I’m not loving the bolero, or the mauve sash, but both are easily removable.  I imagine this dress with a floral belt – possibly in champagne for contrast.  Can we also talk about this bodice?  The intricately embroidered detail and defined sweetheart are both so pretty.  LOVE.

Vera Wang:
In addition to Watters dreamy confections, Vera Wang tops my list for Summer Couture designs.  Cliche? Yes.  Pricy?  OMG, I don’t even want to know.  BUT, her attention to detail, and unique embellishments remain unparalleled by any other bridal designer.

Vera Wang Diana: Holy ruffled skirt… does this look like a huge blossoming flower, or what?!  The raw cut edge keeps the skirt contemporary, while the silhouette is traditional all the way.  Another love??  The bodice is pleated, NOT ruched, minimizing bulk, and accentuating the waist.  Finally, that twisted belt.  So simple, but so pretty.


Vera Wang Gemma:  I am so in love with this dress, I’ve actually posted about it before (original obsession here).  The asymmetrical pleated bodice is SO pretty – looks amazing on this thin model… not so sure it’s for me… but the cut organza hem is so pretty – it looks like a cloud or flowers, or some ethereal combination of both.  Dreamy!

Wedding Style Guide: Evening Wedding

To continue this series of posts, I wanted to talk about evening weddings.  Black-tie optional is something you see on a TON of invitations.  This translates to cocktail-length evening wear.  Do not take “black-tie optional” to mean “floor length gown”.  Aside from the bride (and maybe the bridesmaids) you’ll end up being the only other person there in a floor length ensemble.  It’s a “don’t” for sure.

My guidelines for a black-tie optional evening wedding are simple, and here are a few inspirations to get you going!

Pretty in Pink:

Evening Wedding I

This look could possibly double as a late afternoon to evening wedding.  Even though its short, the color keeps the whole look sweet, so you’ll avoid looking like a tart.  A few rules – keep the footwear classic.  A t-strap shoe is perfect here – strappy or sparkly heels will put this over the top for sure.  Keep all the accessories in the same color family – golds, rose golds, cremes, and tonal pink is pretty together.  This look is for sipping bubbly under the stars, and dancing to a live band’s Frank Sinatra re-productions.

Red Hot Ruffles:

Evening Wedding III

This is DEFINITELY a dress to be worn strictly after dark.  A one shouldered, ruffly red number is in no way appropriate for a non-evening wedding.  Art deco jewlery, an embossed crocodile (or faux croc) clutch, and classic pumps accessorize the look.  Just be sure to bring a pashmina for your shoulders as you leave!  This look is perfect for a hotel wedding – picture a grand ballroom, chandeliers galore, and champagne towers.


**A note of caution: make sure the skirt falls just above your knees – any shorter and this is not a wedding look anymore!

Floaty Full Skirt:

Evening Wedding II

Oh the romance of a wedding… and what is more romantic than a full skirt and lace??  A soft dove color allows you to be more bold with bright accessories.  Nude pumps will elongate the legs, and a sweet embellished sweater will keep the chill off at night.  This look is perfect for sipping martinis at the country club’s bar, and twirling on the dance floor with your date.

Final words of advice??  Follow the cardinal rules and you will be fine!

  1. NO White.  If the pale pink is even close to white, wear something else!
  2. Nothing TOO short.  If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see you in it, chances are your friend getting married doesn’t want her grandmother to see you in it either.
  3. Do not try to outshine the bride.