ABBY LARSON, FOUNDER OF STYLE ME PRETTY, SHARES HER EXPERTISE
Let us count the reasons we love weddings: the flowers, the cake, and (hello!) the dress. And then there are the reasons we don’t: ambiguous dress codes, cookie-cutter Mother-of-the-Bride ensembles, and the inevitable etiquette conundrum. So we turned to Abby Larson, founder and editor of Style Me Pretty, to take on our Facebook fans’ toughest wedding questions, all in preparation for our Style. I Do! wedding Boutique. Here, you’ll find everything wedding – from bridal gowns to guest’s gifts. So save the date (January 20), and in the meantime, read up on this expert advice.
What to wear to a January 29th wedding in cold, snowy Maine? — Jacqueline C.
The #1 priority is something warm! But you may have more options than you think. Our New England-er advice is to layer. What might start off as a chilly trip to the church might end up as a fun night on the dance floor, so you definitely want an outfit that’s flexible.
Consider a dress that’s a little heavier material than your average flowy cocktail dress – maybe even something with sleeves. Pair it with a great pair of tights and you’ll be one happy camper. We LOVE this look for a snowy soirée. We’ve seen tons of tights on SMP lately – one of those trends that we hope is here to stay. Consider adding a cute sweater or tweed jacket and you’ll be layering in luxe style.
About the shoes. There are so many amazing boots. (You can totally rock a pair of dressy boots to a winter wedding!) But if boots just don’t work with your dress, toss on your cute heels once you arrive.
What are some good do-it-yourself personal touches you can add to your wedding? I’m curious about tablescapes, décor, and flowers. — Katie F.
So many possibilities! DIY is a great way to add some personality to your wedding day. As with any wedding-related project, you should be realistic about your timeline and budget. If you’re a crafter/designer, you might be willing to take on every single style element of your big day – from your invitations to your flowers, and maybe even your wedding dress.
If you love the idea of doing a DIY project yourself but aren’t totally in love with turning your apartment into a construction site, consider a couple smaller projects that don’t require quite as much time and elbow grease, like stir sticks or favor bag labels. You can easily download the template, cut out, and create.
Destination wedding in March in Costa Rica… suggestions on gifts for my 25 guests? — Briana L.
We’re HUGE fans of welcome bags. This is such a fun opportunity to let your personality shine through. It’s also a great way to give your guests a little taste of the local flavor and help set the tone for the wedding. Toss in some yummy treats and definitely add an itinerary, a map, as well as a list of area activities and restaurants.
If you want to do a favor or gift for everyone at the reception, try incorporating something you love about the area where you’re getting married. Maybe you’re a coffee lover. Guests would love a small bag of a local blend. Or give a gift that’s special because of what it represents to you – a donation to a charity would be appropriate.
How much money should I spend on a wedding dress?! — Dilara T.
You should only spend as much as you’re comfortable with. You wouldn’t believe how many possibilities there are when it comes to your wedding dress. We’ve definitely seen our fair share of gorgeous gowns, and we can honestly say that there is something out there for everyone and every budget. Many designers now make alternative bridal lines at several different price points.
If you’ve made the designer bridal circuit and you’re not finding the just right dress, you can also consider having something custom made or altered. We had to pretty much pick our jaws up off the floor when we heard that this bride’s dress was made of shower curtains. YES. Shower Curtains. We’ve also seen lots of beautiful gowns handed down through generations.
Tell us about shoes – the high, the low, and the inbetween. — Countless (footwear-loving) Facebook fans
When it comes to shoes, the possibilities are endless. And yes, that’s even the case if you’re tall and looking for something with less of a heel. We see brides wearing cute flats and sandals every day!
There are lots of gorgeous wedding shoes out there but you don’t have to necessarily be looking for “bridal”-specific options. What brands do you love? Keep your eyes peeled for a shoe that catches your eye. The rules have changed – don’t be afraid to wear a bold flat or a jeweled sandal. (We adore the way a fun shoe pops out from the bottom of a beautiful dress.)
Should the dress code and style of the rehearsal dinner be dictated by that of the reception, or can it be totally different and independent? — Amber P.J.
Totally depends on your style and what’s appropriate for the venue. Some couples like the idea of having a super-casual rehearsal if the reception will be a black tie affair. Others prefer to make the style consistent throughout the weekend. Do what works for you!
If I have a civil ceremony, in a restaurant or hotel, with about 80 to 100 people, can I have bridesmaids? And can I wear any dress I want? I don’t like the informal dresses, but I love the new trend of kind of Spanish dresses like Rosa Clara, Pronovias, etc. Can I wear one on a civil ceremony? — Giselle M.M.L.
Yes, yes, and yes. Even designers like those make dress options that feel glamorous but won’t make you feel out of place in a more intimate setting. Do what feels right for your style. And if you want to wear a wedding gown and have bridesmaids on your wedding day, go for it!
Our Style. I Do! Boutique opens Thursday, January 20 at 11AM ET.