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.

“Confessions From the Mother of the Bride”

 “Confessions from the Mother of the Bride.”  Well, here it is, my “Mother of the Bride Dress”.  No, it’s not your conventional dress for such an occasion.  It’s very simple, but I loved it on sight.  It’s my favorite color and I liked how I looked in it.  If you like how it fits, that’s half the battle, right?  I did, however, promise myself that I would never wear a sleeveless dress as a ‘woman of a certain age.’  But I couldn’t resist!

So this much too expensive dress hung covered in my closet.  Because once this sleeveless wonder was altered, there was no returning it — it was mine.  While I had been prompt and organized throughout the wedding  process, three weeks out, I STILL had yet to alter my dress.   I finally bit the bullet, and took the dress to get fitted.  Measurements were taken, pins went in.  I picked it up, the dress was mine. Now it was time to do something about those arms.

Growing up in CA, I always had a tan.  I was a kid, and sadly, we never even wore sunscreen.  Here in New England, I always wear sunscreen, but sit outside a lot at the younger girls’ softball games — so I have a farmers’ tan.

I’ll just use some “sunless tanner,” I thought…Crazy as I have NEVER used the stuff…I generously wiped it over my arms.  “Huh!” I thought.  “Doesn’t work very well.”  —Until the next morning.  I awoke to HUGE patches of tan arms, and huge patches of white!

Soooo…How to remove sunless tanner from your skin?  Apparently there is a product for just that purpose.  I tried to find it locally, and had no luck.  What worked best for me?  Make-up remover facial wipes.  Kind of gives me pause that I must be using a product that has rubbing alcohol in it…  I’m going to be more careful about reading labels from now on.  Other home remedies include hydrogen peroxide, and body scrub such as St Ives.  (Above the lovely bride and groom, daughter Maggie and son-in-law, Robert)

SHOES – When I initially went dress shopping, the male personal stylist picked out navy blue patent leather pumps.  When I went back to the store to have the dress fitted, I had a female stylist help me.  She just shook her head “NO!” when she saw the pumps.  She ran down to the shoe department and came back with the flashy silver ones in the first picture.  I LOVED them!  She brought a 7 1/2, but decided there were too big.  I tried the size 7 and purchased them – being swayed by the stylist.

Then I began to worry.  “I’m going to be on my feet all day and night,” I thought.  Better go with the 7 1/2.  They were out of stock!!  I had just enough time to order and receive them before the wedding, YEA!  Of course I tried them on and walked in them.  Everyone knows to do that…

But what I DIDN’T do… was try them on with the pantie hose I chose to wear to the wedding.  I opted to wear the hose as I was still so pale from the winter.  Enter potential disaster…

The shoes were now too big with my feet slipping around with the lack of friction.  “I’ll just put some fashion tape on my heels and the balls of my feet,” I thought.  I had the tape too, but it never happened – distracted over some small item…  My walk down the isle was great – but when I was a few feet away from my seat, and after I genuflected, I ALMOST walked out of my shoes…rookie mistake to skip the tape.  🙂  But as a side note…my feet never hurt all night…maybe I DID get the right size…   (Below, my walk down the aisle with the groom’s handsome brother, Matt)

DIY Wedding Florals

DIY Wedding Florals…We are almost entering “Engagement Season”!  ‘What is engagement season?’ You may ask.  Well, on the calendar, it’s Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day.  It’s the time period most engagements are made.  If you get engaged this fall, you just may want to get married next.  Looking for some fun DIY fall arrangements for your wedding?  Look no further!  Please enjoy a post written by a delightful FTD associate.  And her ideas… spot on! Do you have that, “Wish I could do that feeling?” Well, you’re in luck.  Alexandria has included a wonderful tutorial!  Enjoy!
“Fall weddings capture the season in its most beautiful form. From jewel-toned color schemes to bountiful tables of delicious food, the cool weather does not get in the way of a couple’s love and celebration of it.”

FTD.com

Above: just one of the beautiful arrangements you can order from FTD for your fall floral pleasure.  Click on the link for more info.

“If you are embracing fall elements in your wedding, try including a chic succulent pumpkin display. Trendy succulents have been everywhere in summer weddings, but why not include them in your fall wedding?

To help you get started, FTD has a DIY pumpkin succulent tutorial that walks you through each step. Not only will these pumpkins look stunning on your wedding tablescape, but they can double as wedding favors when the night is done.
Let’s get started!”

Succulents are especially dear to my heart.  Growing up in Southern California, I never appreciated their beauty as I do now.  I just know that if I were getting married today, I’d have oodles of them at my wedding!

“Back Stabbers” A Book Review!

“Back Stabbers” A Book Review!  One of my favorite book series is the ‘Country Club Mystery Series’ by the talented Julie Mulhern.

If you’ve yet to read any of Mulhern’s books, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  “Back Stabbers” is the eighth book in the series, and my favorite.  I don’t know how Mulhern does it, but each book gets just a little bit better, a little bit more interesting, a little bit funnier.  Yes, funnier.  Because even though the series is about a 1970’s socialite/mother/painter, she is incredibly funny; laugh out loud funny.  I think Ellison and I would be great friends.  I’d enjoy solving a mystery or two with her, and laughing.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering, you can click on either link below.  You won’t have to wait long for your book to arrive!  The book debuts Tuesday October 23, 2018.  If you order an e-book, it will arrive automatically to your device on that date.

amazon

Barnes and Noble

So what is this book about?  You may ask.  Well, just take a look at Barnes and Noble’s website description:

“All Ellison Russell wanted was an update on her stock portfolio. Instead, she found her broker dead.

With an unexpected out-of-town guest at her house, Ellison is too busy for a murder investigation. Only this time, Detective Anarchy Jones wants her help, and she can’t deny the handsome detective. Can Mr. Coffee supply her with enough caffeine to keep her brain sharp and everyone else happy?

Juggling bodies (one, two, three, four), two-faced friends, her social calendar, and a cat (yes, a cat) is taxing but Mother might be the biggest challenge of all.

With a killer drawing closer, can Ellison put together the pieces or will she be the one getting stabbed in the back?”

Below, the beautiful author Julie Mulhern.

And what would my wedding blog be without a wedding photo of the lovely Julie and her new husband many moons ago?  🙂   Love her dress and hair!