Style File: What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

Dressing for a summer wedding can be tricky. From casual to black tie, indoor to outdoors, there are many factors to consider. After all, no one wants to be underdressed, get their heels stuck in the sand or wind up freezing at an outdoor reception. While you can’t control EVERY factor that goes into your wedding guest style, you can certainly prepare by keeping a few fabulous dresses in your arsenal. We’ve asked TopShelf stylists Bryn and Mae to share two of their go-to wedding guest outfits. From a versatile little black dress to a colorful summer number, these dresses are sure-fire hits that you’ll want to wear time and time again. 

Summer Wedding Outfits: Flirty Femme

TopShelf Clothes | Summer Wedding Outfits“Team feminine pastels and neutrals for an effortlessly stylish outfit. This look combines a flirty lace dress with delicate gold accessories. Top it all off with a crisp white cardigan that will keep you comfortable at any wedding venue you have this season.” -Mae

Shop the Look: Alice + Olivia NMX Dot Lace Sleeveless Dress; Whiting & Davis Dimple Mesh Clutch; Adia Kibur Floral Crystal Drop Earrings; Stuart Weitzman Sling Back Evening Sandal; 3.1 Phillip Lim Chunky Ottoman Stitch Cardigan

Summer Wedding Outfits: Romantic Reds

“This red dress is wedding ready with its sleek strapless fit and bouncy hemline. Pair it with matching strappy sandals and glitzy accessories like crystal earrings and a silver clutch. Add two dainty bracelets and you’re ready for cocktails and the dance floor!” – Bryn

TopShelf Clothes | Summer Wedding Outfits

Shop the Look: Jill Jill Stuart Strapless Dress; Whiting & Davis Shirred ClutchKenneth Jay Lane Clip On Crystal Earrings; Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry Horizontal Bar Bracelet with Diamond; Tai Evil Eye BraceletNicholas Jocelyn Suede Sandals

Wedding Wednesday: Best Kept Secret Honeymoon Locales

Blog Contributor: Amanda Goetz, Founder & CEO of Availendar

mmm

mmm

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today we ask you to put down the registry scanner, step away from the Pinterest boards and take a moment to dream about your long-awaited honeymoon.

Let’s all step outside the comfort zone of the “couples-only” resorts and try a radical and exciting approach to this once in a lifetime trip. We found five destinations that are so remote, I am pretty sure they can only be reached through a wardrobe to Narnia.  These best kept secret honeymoon locales will make you forget all about the wedding stress and make everyone jealous of your post-nuptial Instagram feed. 

Honeymoon Destinations: A Walk on the Wild Side

TopShelf Clothes | Honeymoon Destinations

Located in northern Tanzania, the Singita Sasakwa Lodge provides expansive views over the Serengeti plains and its abundance of wildlife. The lodge blends authentic European Style with Eastern African influences, and creates an old-world luxurious setting – a little Gatsby-meets-Lion King. Couples can spend the morning getting up-close and personal with zebras, cheetahs, lions and elephants during a professionally guided game drive and then spend the afternoon relaxing in the spa sipping on wine from the Singita cellars.  If you thought people were animals at your wedding, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Honeymoon Destinations: Not Your Childhood Tree House

TopShelf Clothes | Honeymoon Destinations

Juvet is a boutique hotel in rural Norway set on a steep natural levee and allows for total immersion in nature. Seven unique cabins are set in a valley between two snow-capped mountains, as you perch above the Valldoal River. Each accommodation features a floor-to-ceiling glass pane that runs the length of one full wall so you can admire the serene landscape of birch trees, rushing rivers and stunning mountain terrain. Since you can’t be seen from any of the other houses, you can fully give in to any temptation to strip down and be one with nature.

Honeymoon Destinations: The Quintessential Honeymoon

TopShelf Clothes | Honeymoon Destinations

There are some spots that just scream honeymoon bliss and this is definitely one of them. The Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives is on an exclusive, private and romantic island, lush with tropical plants and encircled by the clear blue waters of one of the largest lagoons of the Maldives. Since this resort is only accessible by boat or seaplane, you will have no choice but to just relax and take in the tranquil sounds, soft sand and warm sun.  

Honeymoon Destinations: Santa’s Backyard

TopShelf Clothes | Honeymoon Destinations

Ever the gracious host, Santa opens up his arctic circle home at Kakslauttanen Igloo Village in northeast Finnish Lapland, allowing you to honeymoon under the beautiful Northern Lights, tucked romantically away in your very own igloo. Quite the juxtaposition as you enjoy steamy dates at a bar made entirely of ice or the world’s largest snow restaurant. During your stay at Kakslauttanen you can try exhilarating winter safaris by reindeer, husky, or snowmobile. My favorite part is being nestled inside one of the 20 thermal glass igloos while taking in stunning views of the Aurora Borealis. Oh and they actually have Santa’s home now open to the public, or you can play Mr. & Mrs. Claus by renting it out for the evening, magic reindeer and all.

Honeymoon Destinations: BYOD- Bring Your Own Donkey

TopShelf Clothes | Honeymoon Destinations

I had the pleasure of planning an event at the lovely Chora Resort on the untouched, tiny island of Folegandros, Greece. This remote location boasts only 667 inhabitants and is closed to car and motorcycle traffic. To reach the Mama-Mia-esq church perched atop of a cliff, couples will have to walk or borrow a donkey. The quiet romantic atmosphere at the Chora Resort perfectly complements the magnificent view of the vibrantly blue Aegean Sea. 24 residences are spread throughout the 3,500 square miles of property surrounded by lush gardens with tropical trees and colorful flowers – also known as heaven on earth dipped in olive oil.

Author: Amanda Goetz is the Founder and CEO of Availendar.com: a site helping brides and event planners access the availability calendars of reputable vendors in the event industry. Availendar is currently in beta and being rolled out in NYC. If you are a vendor, bride or event planner please visit www.availendar.com to request an invitation. 

Contact Amanda at Amanda@availendar.com or @availendar 

5 Tips for Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses

TopShelf Clothes | Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses

The search for that ‘perfect dress’ is hard enough when you are shopping for yourself. So, when it comes to shopping for all of your best friends, finding a dress that suits everyone can easily become overwhelming. Don’t be the bride that your bridesmaids resent as they shove another dress they will never wear again into their closets (ever seen Katherine Heigel in 27 Dresses?). Make your selection easier with these 5 tips.

Top 5 Tips for Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses: 

  1. Look for Universally Flattering Fit. A-line dresses work for most all body types. They highlight the smallest part of a woman’s waist and flair out on the skirt portion. If you’re looking for sleeveless dresses, try a wider strap that provides both coverage and support to suit all bust sizes.
  2. Keep it Simple. Avoid bridesmaid dresses that are covered in crazy prints, bunchy fabrics or over-the-top colors. Chances are, those styles DO NOT work for everyone and they will never be worn again. A fuss-free fabric is elegant and can be accessorized for future occasions. 
  3. For the Relaxed Bride: Give Options. A big trend over the past few years is picking a general tone for your dresses and letting your bridesmaids decide on the exact color. Blush colors work very well with this approach. The benefit here is there it looks less like a traditional uniform and your bridesmaids will love you for being able to pick a tone that works for their coloring. They might even be able to wear something they already own!
  4. Consider Time of Day & Location. Season is an obvious factor when choosing bridesmaid dresses, but the time of day is just as important. Although black dresses might look great on your bridesmaids, they don’t exactly go with an daytime outdoor wedding.  
  5. Don’t forget about the shoes! While you might love sky-high heels, they are not for everyone. Keep this in mind when dress shopping. Consider checking with your bridesmaid’s shoe preferences, which will affect both hemline length and color. If you’re at an outdoor wedding, be wearing of thin heels that will sink into the ground.

Shop Our Stylist Picks:

TopShelf Clothes | Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses

Weekend Roundup: Wedding Week

With spring wedding season on the rise, we dedicated this past week to various forms of wedding inspiration. Our posts consisted wedding planning tips that ranged from fashion to décor to help inspire brides for their big day.

 Last Week’s Snapshot:

TopShelf Clothes | Wedding Week

Monday’s Muse: Vera Wang

We started our wedding week with famed bridal designer, Vera Wang. Our post looked to past and present Vera Wang collections, offering gorgeous wedding dress inspiration for brides everywhere.

Tuesday’s Treasures: Bridal Accessories for Every Style

Tuesday’s post highlighted bridal accessories for the simple bride, the glamour girl and the free-spirited lady. The post featured hairpieces, sashes and jewelry with links to shop for each.

Wednesday, Style File: Bachelorette Party Outfit

On Wednesday, we highlighted bachelorette party fashion with a hand picked outfit from TopShelf stylist, Randi. The post featured tips for styling the perfect bachelorette party outfit as well as links to shop our stylist’s pick.

Thursday, Wedding Feature: Glamour at the Plaza 

Wednesday’s post took a special look at a TopShelf client’s wedding. The post highlighted the glamorous ceremony at the Plaza Hotel with wedding inspiration and tips to help you prepare for your day. 

Friday Lifestyles: Don’t be a Bridezilla! 

We finished up the “wedding inspiration” week with tips to help you avoid being a bridezilla. From pre-wedding bashes to the after party, our tips will help keep you and your wedding party happy so that everyone can enjoy your big day!

Don’t be a Bridezilla!

TopShelf Clothes | How to avoid being a bridezilla

Wedding plans are stressful. There is no doubt about it. However, that does not mean you can take out your frustrations on everyone around you. Although it’s not intentional, many women become bridezillas during the months leading up to their wedding day. And with so much work to be done, the last thing you need is to lose the support of those closest to you. Keep your wedding party happy until the big day with our tips to avoid being a bridezilla.

#1 Tip to Avoid Being a Bridezilla: Be respectful of friends & future in-laws’ time

While planning your wedding is your number one priority, others (excluding your mom or sister) probably do not feel the same way. Your friends and family love you, and will of course be excited to celebrate your union, however, they do have lives of their own. If you have 4 dress fittings, invite different bridesmaids to join you for each. They each want to swoon enviously over your dress, just not 4 times! Be mindful when planning your wedding events, and when you do require other’s help, ask, don’t order.

#2 Tip to Avoid Being a Bridezilla: Be kind to your bridesmaids’ wallets

If anyone’s going to stick by your side during the stressful wedding planning process (other than your significant other), it’s your bridesmaids- so make their lives as easy as possible and don’t leave them declaring bankruptcy by the time you leave for your honeymoon.

  1. Pick a color palette for your bridesmaids and let them pick out the dresses and shoes. As a bridesmaid there’s nothing worse than asking your bridesmaids to spend $600 on an ugly dress they will never wear again (just think of poor Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses). Let them choose a dress they feel most confident and comfortable in.
  2. If you’re going to travel for your bachelorette party, choose a location where you and your bridal party can have fun without breaking the bank. Whether that means staying a friend’s beach house for the weekend or keeping it local, try to minimize costs as much as possible.

#3 Tip to Avoid Being a Bridezilla: Be thoughtful of your guests

  1. If the wedding is large, start serving drinks and finger food while your guests are in the receiving line. 
  2. If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony give out flip-flops to your guests so that they don’t ruin their heels in the grass. Use your wedding color scheme and consider  monogramming plastic flip flops for an extra special touch. Your guests will thank you for it and it will show that you care about them!

But most important of all… When your big day finally arrives, have fun!! 

Try not to stress about your wedding being perfect because in reality, few things are. Accept that things will go wrong and expect the unexpected when it comes to planning. Hiring a wedding planner is probably the best way to minimize stress. While they do come at a cost, at least you won’t have to face every problem that comes your way on your special day.

Have more tips? We’d love to hear!

Follow us on Pinterest for more wedding inspiration.

Wedding Feature: Glamour at the Plaza

Wedding planning is undoubtedly a hard task when you want everything from the rehearsal dinner to the after party to be perfect. Whether you turn to Pinterest for ideas or to an experienced wedding planner, looking to other’s ceremonies for reference is a great help.

Today we’re taking a peek at the gorgeous ceremony and reception of glamour bride Sam Haber, one of TopShelf’s very own clients, for wedding inspiration. With the Plaza Hotel as a venue and a Marchesa wedding gown, it wasn’t difficult to get inspired!  

Wedding Inspiration: The Venue

TopShelf Clothes | Wedding Inspiration

Reception and ceremony held at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. Photos courtesy of Arnold Brower

Ambiance is key to making your big day memorable. Choose a location that you are both attracted to and one that is easily accessible for your loved ones. Then customize the space with your dream décor.

Sam chose to hold her wedding at the Plaza Hotel, home of Eloise and the majestic ballroom. The ceremony was held in the Terra Room, followed by cocktails in the Palm Court, a reception in the Grand Ballroom, and an after party in the Centennial Foyer. While most people aren’t lucky enough to celebrate their day at the luxurious Plaza, choosing a large space like the Plaza Hotel will allow you to switch up the venue and décor without requiring any kind of transportation for your guests.

Wedding Inspiration: The Fashion

TopShelf Clothes | Wedding Inspiration

From Left to Right: Sam Haber in Marchesa, bridal accessories, custom Eloise clutch, custom Stone Fox Bride head piece. Photos courtesy of Skye Lehman.

Wedding fashion is one of our most favorite aspects. From the dress to the accessories, all pieces add up to a memorable, timeless look. When choosing your wedding outfit (or outfits) do not forget to find something that is not only stunning, but also incredibly comfortable. Both style and fit evoke confidence so that you have nothing to worry about when all eyes are on you.

Our featured bride, opted for a gorgeous Marchesa gown and a custom veil for her wedding day. As for the shoes, Sam sported Charlotte Olympia for the ceremony and Miu Miu for the after party. She finished off her look with probably the best part about her outfit; a custom Olympia le Tan Eloise Clutch to go with her dreamy ceremony at the hotel.

Wedding Inspiration: The Food

TopShelf Clothes | Wedding Inspiration

From left to right: Reception menu from Foremost catering, the cutting of the cake. Photos courtesy of Skye Lehman.

Dining is major component of your wedding day. Choose a menu that suits everyone’s tastes (vegetarians, pescetarians, and major sweet tooths) to keep all your guests happy and lively all night long. Keep the menu relatively simple and fuss-free to eat; there’s nothing that spoils your guests’ experience like getting up from dinner with stains on their newly purchased suits and dresses. As much as we love bruschetta, messy foods or anything with bones are generally a bad idea. Providing options for your guests is also important. Bite sized finger foods or appetizers on skewers are great for hors d’oeuvres. And as for the entrée, choose something light and filling that requires minimal effort to eat. You can stick to traditional steak or chicken recipes, which are always a hit, or offer inventive sushi entrées. One-bite foods are packed with flavor and easy to munch on in a party setting.

What photo from Sam’s wedding is your favorite? What’s your dream wedding location?

Follow us on Pinterest for more wedding inspiration.

Style File: Bachelorette Party Outfit

Dressing for a friend’s wedding can be tricky. You want to look your best, but you do not want to outshine the bride. And with so many occasions surrounding weddings, figuring out what to wear can be stressful.

The bachelorette party is a great time to have fun with your outfit without worrying about proper guest etiquette. Dress in whatever makes you look and feel great! Today we’ve asked TopShelf stylist, Randi, to provide her favorite bachelorette party look.

Randi pulls a stylish Bachelorette Party outfit for her TopShelf client:

TopShelf Clothes | Bachelorette Party Outfits

“Wedding season is all about having fun and playing dress up! Of course a “Little Black Dress” is a staple and a go-to item, but it’s great to spice it up. For the Bachelorette Party, don’t shy away from bright and bold colors. This two toned dress is flirty and feminine, but has a bit of edge with its’ cutouts. Don’t go overboard with accessories. Instead, pick one or two items. Adding this woven necklace adds some texture to the outfit and accentuates the neckline, making a statement all on its own. The last few details, from the shoes to the clutch, are simple neutrals. A small clutch is perfect because for events like these, all you need to carry is a great lip gloss, money and your phone and you are ready to hit the town!” – Randi

Shop the Look: 1.  Charles Albert Woven Collar; 2.  Mara Hoffman Cutout Midi Dress; 3.  Juliet & Company Forget Me Knot Earrings; 4.  Lauren Merkin Handbags Molly Suede Croco Clutch; 5.  Sam Edelman Allie High Heel Sandals

Follow us on Pinterest for more wedding fashion.

Bridal Accessories for Every Style

It is important to look your absolute best on your wedding day, which means careful styling from head to toe. While the dress is often the main concern when planning your big day, accessories can be just as important. Accessories can transform your look by personalizing even the simplest of wedding gowns. So whether you’re going for glamorous or understated, wear accessories that speak to your personal style for a wedding day outfit that is uniquely you.

Bridal Accessories for the Vintage Free-Spirited Bride

TopShelf Clothes | Bridal Accessories

If you’re getting married outside, nothing works better than delicate accessories. Choose a piece with texture and stay away from accessories that are over-the-top glitzy (it doesn’t mean you can’t pull out the sparkles for the reception!). Our personal favorite is the Tasha feathered flower clip. It will tie together your bridal look and your gorgeous outside surroundings. For more inspiration, take a look back on our Drew Barrymore wedding post.

  1. Judith Jack Pendant Necklace: A dimension-rich doublet rimmed in marcasite on  for a fresh take on bridal jewelry
  2. Tasha Feather Flower Clip: Shining crystals center a flower detailed with feathers and raw edges for delicate organic look
  3. Jenny Packham Camellia Bridal Belt: A slender pale ribbon, imitation pearls and sparkling crystals merge for a romantic comfortable, romantic finish

Bridal Accessories for the Glamorous Bride

TopShelf Clothes | Bridal Accessories

Diamonds (or “diamond inspired” jewelry) are a girls best friend and your wedding day is no exception. Even the most extreme pieces work well against the white of your dress so don’t be afraid to go big. However, if you decide to go for a bold look, choose one statement accessory and leave the rest of your look relatively minimal.

  1. Fallon Jewelry FOREVER Regalia Bib Necklace: Dangling Swarovski pendants hang from this chain of spiked glass pears for a standout necklace
  2. Halo & Co. Crystal Branches Headband: Elegant branches composed of crystals and faux pearls for a deco-inspired accessory
  3. Cara Crystal Bridal Belt: Sparkling crystals and beads create an eye-catching statement on this wide grosgrain belt 

Bridal Accessories for Sweet and Simple Bride

TopShelf Clothes | Bridal Accessories

Our picks for the sweet and simple bride are understated, yet can be just as standout as our more bold picks above. These delicate accessories work best with more dramatic dresses (think long feathered train), and add just the right amount of sparkle and shine.

  1. Majorica 8mm Pearl Station Necklace: A demure chain with spaced luscious pearls for a touch of shine
  2. Deepa Gurnani Faceted Crystal headband: A delicate handcrafted crystal headband for a touch of understated glamour
  3. Nina Vintage Crystal Sash: Crystal ornamentations lend a dream vintage feel to this subtle sash
Follow us on Pinterest for more wedding inspiration.

 

Monday’s Muse: Vera Wang

TopShelf Clothes | Vera Wang

As spring wedding season begins we can’t help but look to the dreamy designs that make Vera Wang such a prominent figure in the wedding world.

Vera Wang typically designs with an ultra feminine feel that is not only evident in the materials she uses, but the whimsical silhouettes and soft colors. Her dresses, while feminine, are also diverse. You can find anything from voluminous skirts to sleek designs within her collection. We love that she continues to combine classic elegance with modern designs, furthering her ability to transform the look of bridal attire each season.

This spring’s collection displays an array of red and burgundy bridal dresses that speak to the romanticism behind her work. The collection is a major jump from her black and nude wedding dresses last season, which does not come as a shock, since Wang continuously reinvents herself each year. As for the fall, a preview of the collection reveals a return to white gowns in classic ivory and lace. The newest designs speak to a more ornament-focused approach to femininity, featuring styles that we can definitely get on board with.

A look at Vera Wang’s Spring/Summer 2013 Collection:

TopShelf Clothes | Vera Wang

A Preview of Vera Wang’s Fall 2013 Collection:

TopShelf Clothes | Vera Wang

Follow us on Pinterest for more wedding fashion.

Wedding Wednesdays: Top 3 Wedding Boards to Follow on Pinterest

From the bride to the bridesmaids, the dishes to the décor, planning a wedding can easily lead to intense stress and anxiety in the months leading up to your big day. However, with the growing Pinterest community, there are a countless number of people who have already started the wedding planning process for you. Today we have selected our top 3 wedding boards to follow on Pinterest to help make your wedding day as uniquely you and stress-free as possible. Follow these boards and you’re sure to get some wedding Pinspiration!

Pinner: Style Me Pretty

With over 12,000 pins, it is easy to get overwhelmed. However, don’t let that discourage you from taking a look at what Style Me Pretty has to offer. With 53 boards that address everything from the engagement party to the honeymoon, Style Me Pretty provides a great combination of décor and styling ideas for those planning their big day.

#1 Pick for Wedding Boards to Follow on PinterestWedding Fashion

TopShelf Clothes | Pinterest boards to follow

While there are many boards that cover dresses for the bride, Style Me Pretty’s “Wedding Fashion” provides a wide range of styles from casual to couture gowns. In addition to the different types of gowns, Style Me Pretty’s pins feature detailed looks at dresses as well, a useful tool if you’re looking to spice up a gown you already have.

Pinner: Wedding Chicks

Wedding Chicks is another go-to site for wedding inspiration here at TopShelf. The ladies of Wedding chicks host nearly 7,000 pins across 63 boards. And while this may seem daunting, each board is dedicated to a very specific aspect of wedding planning, so it is easy to single out what you’re looking for.

#2 Pick for Wedding Boards to Follow on Pinterest: Wedding Hair & Makeup

TopShelf Clothes | Pinterest Boards to Follow

We love the “Wedding Hair & Makeup” board for its variety of styling ideas. Whether you’re looking for a specific hairstyle or a sparkling accessory, the ladies of Wedding Chicks have collected options to match every woman’s style with both headshots and DIY tutorials. 

Pinner: Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine

The editors from Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine have combined their ideas and inspirations into a collection of 83 Pinterest boards. And while these pros have managed to cover nearly every aspect of wedding planning, it is their unconventional boards that we at TopShelf are especially interested in.

#3 Pick for Wedding Boards to Follow on Pinterest: Wedding Cake Alternatives

TopShelf Clothes | Wedding boards to follow on pinterest

The “Wedding Cake Alternatives” board is perfect if you are looking to switch up the desserts at your wedding, or any other special event for that matter. The collection of desserts ranges from mini baked goods to single serving mousse recipes, all of which are beautifully displayed. 

Follow us on Pinterest for an assortment of our favorite wedding pins from the boards above as well as from across the Pinteresphere.