From Wedding Sari to Western Reception Dress

Here it is!  I promised part two of my last post about bespoke wedding dress designer, Olivia Humphries of the Nova McLaren Label. It was absolutely brilliant how Humphries “Married East and West” in her dress design.  Her ‘Wedding Sari’ design became a ‘Western Reception Dress’.  If you’d like to read part 1, click on the link.  “Update, Wedding Dress Designer Nova McLaren

In Oliva Humphries’ words:

“Alissa’s dress was a dream to work on! As her fiance’s family were originally from India, she wanted this to be a noticable influence in the wedding…which it was from lace sari, gold belt, gold earrings from a crafter in India, asymmetrical lace patterning on the skirt, elephant name holders, henna patterned stationary and bajhi’s and samosa’s for appetizers! Everything was beautiful.

Her family’s traditional midwestern and preppy CT styling was prevalent too in the styling, we used pearls to decorate her reception belt, beautifully delicate french lace for the just off the shoulder style, a beautiful long train and even longer veil – to please her mom!




I thought you might like to see an image of the beautiful designer, Olivia Humphries! Here she is to the left in this photo in blue.

The transformation from the first look where the groom saw her in the off shoulder pearl look to the Indian influenced lace sari and gold jewellry was so cool to see – the groom loved the surprise as did all the guests.  Above is a photo of the bride’s reception look.  This is more of a ‘Western Profile’.

And above, the FABULOUS long veil, (which doubles as a train!), so cherished by the bride’s mother.

Don’t forget to check out Nova McLaren’s website.  Just click on the link!  Nova McLaren

Photos: Olivia Humphries

DIY Wedding Flowers

DIY Wedding Flowers!

One of your larger wedding expenses is that of your flowers.  You can save a good deal of money if you do it yourself – or DIY!  Here are some tips:

1 – Go on or pinterest, or MY BLOG!  to find out ways to make desired flower items, i.e., centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, etc.

2 – Research local sources for best possible prices.  Remember, when you buy local, especially in snow country, you will need to have a spring or summer wedding.  There is some availability in fall, but not as much.

If you’re lucky enough to live Southern New England, check out Jennys Flowers 

I know from personal experience how lovely Jenny’s flowers are, how long they last, and how personable and easy to work with Jenny is.  Even if you’re not from New England, give the link a click, you’re in for a treat.

3 – Practice, practice, practice.  You’re not a professional, so you’ll need lots of PRACTICE.

4 – Recruit help.  Many hands make light work.

5 – If your wedding day is hot, make provisions to keep the blooms cool.  Refrigerate as long as possible.  Make sure water levels are sufficient in stationary vessels.

6 – Recruit help for flower arrangement.  You, as the bride, will be getting your hair and makeup done.  Who will be arranging the flowers?  Consider a “Day Of” Planner for such needs.

Love the above centerpiece display.  This can actually be created with artificial flowers using a hot glue gun and a styrofoam ball.

The same is true for the series of photos above.  Click in the link for more info.

The above link gives a great set of photos on how to create a bridal bouquet. Bouquets are very expensive if designed and made by a florist.

The above series walks you through making “Tall Centerpieces” a fad that grew out of favor with modern brides about five years ago, but they still have their use.  If you choose this style, be careful they don’t overtake your table.


DIY flower items don’t have to be complicated, or lavish.  Just look at the lovey chair adornment above.  Good luck!

The Vendor Table

What is a “Vendor Table” you may ask. Well, if you haven’t planned a formal event lately, you may not know.

A “Vendor Table” is a table set aside for the “Vendors” at your wedding: the photographer, the DJ, the videographer, etc.  They have a long day, and while it is not required to serve them a meal, all hosts do.  Where to sit?  It is a lovely, generous gesture to have a table set aside for your vendors.  But then that just may not be possible due to space issues.


If an entire table is not possible, try to make sure there is a bench in front of a your venue building, or a picnic table, etc.  Anywhere for the professionals who are making your wedding a success to take a quick break will work.  Your vendors will not rest long.  There’s too much to do to keep your event running smoothly.  I have never worked a wedding where I have not had a place to rest, but talking to other vendors, it sometimes happens.

As a wedding guest recently, I attended a reception where there were not even enough chairs for the guests, much less for the vendors.  A few chairs had to be borrowed form another venue location.  Being in the business myself, my heart went out to the vendors.  Some, I knew had been on their feet in excess of 10 hours.  I can not imagine standing that long without a break.

For vendor or guest, some brides are renting lovely seating like the conversation group above.  I think it lends a cozy, yet sophisticated air.

Your vendor table doesn’t have to be as lavishly decorated as the ones for your guests, just a cozy corner to take a break.

A picnic table, such as the ones above, can make a nice respite for the weary, hard working vendor. These tables, however, are dressed so nicely, they could serve the guests!


How To Carry Your Wedding Bouquet

Do you know how to carry your wedding bouquet?  There is no etiquette that mandates the proper way, but there IS a way to do so that optimizes photos, and your “live” appearance at your wedding.

The bride in the photo above has nailed it!  Not only do I LOVE her choice of NON- flowers, she is holding her bouquet to make the most of her dress, her figure AND the bouquet. Bridal flowers are to be held with arms akimbo, (slightly out from your waist, so we CAN see that you have a waist), and at belly-button level.  This way your do not cover up the bodice of your beautiful dress.

The bride and her attendants in the next picture need a little help with staging their photo.  The flowers are being held too high, hiding the top of their dresses, and obscuring whether they have waists or not.  And what is with the floral paper?  It appears the bouquets need to be unwrapped before their photo session.

While a beautiful floral arrangement, there is just so much wrong with the “bouquet” above.  It overwhelms the bride, and one focuses on it and not HER, or her dress.

The bride above has it just right.  She is no longer in a standing position, but still wants to showcase her bouquet in this photo; so she holds it to the side.  It looks pretty, adds to the photo, but in no way takes away from the shot.

The same is true with the couple above.  You can still see the bride’s beautiful dress, her slim figure, but the flowers are an accent, not a focal point of the photo.

The bridal party above has struck a lovely floral cord.  I love the small, elegant bouquets.  One’s focus is on the pretty ladies, and their dresses – not their flowers .