Nova McLaren Bespoke Wedding Dresses

New Hartford County Resident – Olivia Humphreys – Wedding Dress Designer

There’s a new citizen in Glastonbury who sports some impressive credentials.  Her name is Olivia Humphreys, and she is the creative talent behind the designer label, “Nova McLaren”.

The Nova McLaren line specializes in wedding dresses, like the ones in the photos above and below.  She also designs gowns such as ‘Mother of the Bride’ dresses and christening gowns.

Humphreys is a transplant from the UK.  Prior to her move to Glastonbury, she worked for a few years in Manhattan for design houses: Marchesa, Reem Acra and Christian Sirianao.  She also free-lanced during this time developing designs for a few chosen companies.

Humphreys made her debut as a television expert on “Connecticut Style” (WTNH), speaking about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and again on christening attire for the newest royal baby, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son, little Prince Louis of Cambridge.   (Please enjoy still photos of her debut below).  Follow Humphreys on Instagram, and you can check out a snippet of her interviews: @novamclarenbridal.

As a mother of four daughters, I realize how expensive weddings, and wedding dresses, can be.  When I heard about the Nova McLaren label, I thought, ‘that’s what I want for my daughters!’  But the imagined price scared me a little.   While a bespoke, (a “made to order item of clothing’), dress is quite costly, I was presently surprised at Humphreys’ prices.  Nova McLaren wedding dresses start at $3,500.  This includes materials and supplies, hand stitching, beading, lace work, (if desired), all fittings, and – get this…a matching veil.  Just a moderately priced veil can start at $500.00. Fittings, at such locations as the overrated wedding reality show staple, ‘KLEINFIELDS’ in New York, are a flat fee of $700.00.  Humphreys’ materials are always premium.  The lace is imported from France, from the ‘Sophie Hallette Company’; in fact it is the same used by H.R.H. Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, on her wedding gown and veil.

How long does it take Humphreys to create her works of art? It takes about ten full days.  First, Humphreys develops a paper pattern incorporating the brides’ desired style.  Next, she cuts the pattern out from muslin.  She then sews the muslin, and has a fitting with the bride.  If it looks right, the precious wedding material is cut and hand sewn. More fittings are required.  The last steps are the attachments of beads, pearls, lace, embroidery or sequins if desired.  These gowns are completely customized.  Think of what an heirloom these gowns can become… a keepsake to hand down from generation to generation.

Photos included are of designer Olivia Humphreys.  The gowns shown are from her personal collection.

Wedding Charitable Donations

Wedding Charitable Donations  – Want to do something to make your wedding not “All About You”? There are actually many options.  A family member who lives in the city, (NYC), recently told me about a wedding couple he had heard about.  The couple LOVED pizza. In fact they loved it so much, they decided to have a pizza truck cater their reception.  Such a cute idea.  They chose the three hour package, but then took a step back.  They wanted to do something to “give back” on this most special of days. So they called the pizza truck company back and booked it for two more hours – but with a twist.  They told the company after their three hour reception stop to drive to a nearby soup kitchen, and serve those in need of a meal for two hours.  How terrific is this???





Another wedding I heard about supplied “Live Strong” bracelets for the wedding guests as favors. Each bracelet purchased has a percentage go to the the “Live Strong” charity.  Love this, and the guests did too!

Another thoughtful idea was showcased at a recent wedding I worked.  The bride and groom chose to make a sizable contribution to “Juvenile Diabetes” research in lieu guest favors. What a brilliant idea. Guest favors are just fluff, really, and the wedding guests could walk away and feel good about their “contribution”.  If you’re viewing this on a mobil phone or tablet and the photo below is sideways, by apologies.  Sometimes this happens when creating a post on a desk top.



If you’re interested in supporting one of these worthwhile charities, either at your wedding, or in anther fashion, fantastic!  Just go on-line and google one.  Every charity has a website, and can be of assistance on how to go about a large contribution.

Photos # 3 and #4, Mary P. Karnes

Rustic Centerpieces

Rustic Centerpieces …


We all know that rustic is ‘in’ for weddings.  I think it’s a combination of a sense of fun, ease for wedding guests, and a sensitivity to wedding costs.  If you go with a rustic theme for your wedding, many DIY options are open to you.  First and foremost, are the flowers.   The are most often a wedding’s main decoration, and care should be given to ensure they fit your style and theme.  The first photo is a gorgeous bouquet and it appears that some sort of game is part of the arrangement.  Ooohh…I love the opportunity to win something.  Everyone does — this is a fantastic idea. It really doesn’t matter what the prize is… people like to win!


And to be beautiful, you don’t have to spend a lot, as evidenced by the arrangement above.  It mixes the delicacy of the baby’s breath with the sturdy comments of the mason jar and canning jar.  Perfect.


The teacup arrangement would work for a rustic wedding OR a bridal shower.  I am very partial to teapots AND cups…  🙂


Above is a centerpiece decoration from my oldest daughter, KK’s, wedding.  The centerpieces were professionally made, courtesy of the mother of the groom, but KK and her husband, Tyler, made the glow jars.  And the bottle of EVO, which accompanied our meal… just a nice addition.


And in the final photo, an arrangement from a summer family wedding.  They were perfect and created by the bride’s sister.  I’m sure a florist couldn’t have done better…

Photos #1, #2, #3

Photo #4 Hannah Colt

Photo #6  Mary P Karnes

Last Year’s Wedding Blooper…

Last Year’s Wedding Blooper…My second daughter, Maggie, was married to her high school sweetheart last June.  It was a beautiful wedding. Both Maggie and Robert, her husband, are highly motivated, organized, and just “together”.  As they were getting married right out of college, Maggie was living at home during the wedding planning process, and I worried little about the details.  She took care of them all – well, they both did.  Rob was also very involved in the wedding planning.







The morning of the wedding went well.  We were on time for our nail and hair appointments – not always the case with the Karnes girls…  Imagine my surprise when Maggie called me and said, “Umm, Mom, I think I’ll come home for a little while before I get dressed at the hotel.”  My ‘mom antenna’ went up.  “Why, Maggie?” I queried.  (We had plans to meet our photographer at the Glastonbury Hilton to do a pre-wedding shoot) “Well…,” she hedged.  Out with it, I thought.  “I want to grab my passport,” she confessed.  I knew at that moment we had a problem, a BIG one.  As I was home, I volunteered to begin the search.  Now let’s just say, I wasn’t dressed, hadn’t applied my makeup, hadn’t given any time to the younger girls, but hey — my hair and nails were done.  🙂  No passport.  (Why this was so chilling, was because Rob and Maggie were due to fly out at 8:00 AM the next morning for Jamaica!)  I called in the troops.  Kenny got on the phone and began calling government agencies to find out the process for obtaining an emergency passport.  (Remember the wedding was on a Friday).  “No problem!” he was told.  “Just get here, (an hour away), by 4:00 PM today and we’ll issue your daughter another passport!”







It’s about 12:30 PM now…the wedding was at 2:00 PM.  By this time, I had a pretty good inkling where the passport was, but there was no getting it before the flight time the next day…Check back tomorrow, and find out if we have a happy ending…or not…