Guess Who's Making Wedding Dresses Now!

Lacy Ivory Charmeuse Dresses by Faviana

-by Erica

The real question is, who ISN'T making wedding dresses? Lots of mass-market, retail clothing companies seem to be getting in on the act, with simple styles that would be perfect for destination and informal weddings. The good news for you is that most of the dresses are more affordable than anything you'd find in a boutique. In fact, many of these new offerings are so inexpensive (as wedding dresses go) that some brides are using them as "reception dreses"- dresses they change into after the ceremony so they can dance all night at the reception. But how do the dresses look? Let's see.


Nicole Miller

Grace Shirred Ivory Gown by Nicole MillerAntique White Satin Evening Gowns by Nicole MillerStrapless Stretch Bridal Dresses by Nicole Miller

Side-Gathered Gown


Bead Embellished White Empire Dresses by La FemmeGoddess Dresses by JovaniWhite Goddess Gowns by JovaniWhite Lace Long Gowns by Jovani

Vixen White Satin Mermaid Wedding GownDivine White Lace Halter Bridal Gown


Shimmery Mermaid Dress

Other companies dabbling in wedding gown (and bridesmaid) couture:
Chadwick's Of Boston
Victoria's Secret
Lane Bryant
Isaac Mizrahi for Target (Yep, good ole Tarjay.)

Can Old Navy be far behind???

On the other hand, are you having a formal or semi-formal traditional wedding with all the bells and whistles? We've got you covered, too! Later this week, we'll look at some of the benefits of getting your dress online. And later this month, we'll take a closer look at the concept of "reception dresses".

They Did It!

Our faithful readers will recall that last week we reported Season Two American Idol champ Ruben Studdard and his fiance Surata Zuri McCants were seen obtaining a marriage license. Well, as expected, the two tied the knot on Saturday in Studdard's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. The groom did not sing at the nuptials. But we're told he was flanked by TWENTY groomsmen. I guess the brother didn't want to leave anybody out. Congratulations to the newlyweds!!!! More details HERE.
See the wedding pictures HERE

DIY Table Arrangements

As her name suggests, Craftgenius is one of our resident experts on beaded jewelry, CD favors, and just about anything wedding related. But she really knows how to work her magic on flowers. She does fabulous centerpieces and bouquets. Today, she tells us about what she's working on for a client's late Summer wedding.

-by Craftgenius
This table arrangement mockup was designed for an evening August wedding reception where the guests will dine by candlelight.

This was what we put together for the sweetheart table

The colors of the wedding are chocolate, champagne and deep red. The reception venue walls will be completely draped in champagne.

Wedding Cake of the Day

Since we discussed the Black-and-White theme this week, we thought it might be nice to wrap things up on a sweet note. Take a look at this onyx creation made by April Reed Cakes in New York.

Bishop T.D. Jakes’s Youngest Daughter Weds

You may have already heard the news since the nuptials took place a few days ago. But have you seen the pictures of the blessed event? As always, Essence has the goods. Take a look.

10 Things The Wedding Industry Won't Tell You

The folks at have been thinking about you. They have an interesting article with tips for brides-to-be called "10 Things The Wedding Industry Won't Tell You". You may already know some of the things on the list. But we want to share these tips with you anyway, because there's bound to be something you might not have thought of.

You can also get new ideas from another SmartMoney article- "10 Ways To Cut Wedding Costs".

Some of the best ideas:

Limit liquor. This one is so obvious it makes our eyes roll. We've been telling people forever to stop going broke on getting people drunk. Stop it!

Something borrowed. In keeping with tradition, why not get your "something borrowed" from your local edition of Get gorgeous gently-used items for nothing or almost-nothing. Check the website for details.

Schedule off-peak. Save big moolah by scheduling off-hours, off-season (usually ends before Mid-April), and off-day. (Remember our article on Friday weddings?) Whatever you do, work it.

Look for your gown online. We'll have MUCH more on this topic next week. ;)

Slim down those invites. There are lots of ways to do this. Let's think about it. With Mapquest and similar websites out there do you REALLY need map cards? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. Or perhaps you could put your ceremony and reception information on the same card. You might be surprised at how much space is left on there once you knock out the "Brought together by the higher power, with the blessings of their parents Doctor John Theirlastname, Mary Theirlastname (Esquire), Right Reverend Joseph Theirlastname and Staff Sargeant Janice Theirlastname, and in the everlasting pleasure of your company..." yadda yadda.
has GREAT invites, and even they say brides can save an average of $68 dollars just by cutting out the reception card. Plus, if you can whittle your invites down to 2 ounces, (which used to be the norm) you can save another $48 dollars.

Have some tips you want to share with us? Tell us all about them in the comments section.

Jill Scott Engaged To Drummer

Wedding Bells are also in Jill Scott's future. The sultry singer announced this week she's engaged to her drummer, John Roberts (also known as Lil Jon). Some New York City fans got to hear the news a few days early, though. We're told that toward the end of Jill's JVC Jazz Festival concert at Carnegie Hall last Friday, John presented Jill with a bouquet off roses and gave her a long kiss. That's when she reportedly turned and said to the audience, "Ain't life funny? We're engaged." Woo hoo!
You'll recall Jilly from Philly ended her five-year marriage to Lyzel Williams last year. But we just knew ths gem wouldn't stay on the market for long, didn't we?
Here's Jill at the BET Awards this week.

Wedding Bells for American Idol Ruben Studdard

The Velvet Teddy Bear will soon be a married man. That's right, ladies. Former American Idol champ Ruben Studdard will wed his longtime girlfriend this weekend. Court records show that he and Surata Zuri McCants took out a marriage license on Monday.
The Birmingham, Alabama native was nicknamed the "Velvet Teddy Bear" on Fox's American Idol in 2003. He has released three albums since winning the TV contest and is now working on a new album. His CD "Soulful" went platinum.

Black and White Weddings- Part II

Black-and-White weddings exude power, drama and elegance. Classic. But how do you pull off this theme without limiting your options? Don't worry. There are several ways to keep it jazzy. You can do this!

1) First, set the tone with clean, classy invitations in white (or cream or ecru) with black writing.

Or flip the script- literally.

2) For your wedding gown, choose a shade of white that complements your skin tone.

3) Deck the groom out in a super-luxe, black and white tux.

4) Use dazzling black-and-white accessories to carry your theme. Take a look at this layout by Chair Covers By Yoli :

Add a bit of pop with a monogram!

5) Use splashes of color- in flowers, table decor or other details.

6) If you don't want to add color, add sparkle! Rhinestones, silver, or platinum can be added anywhere you want a little more drama. Better yet, wear your bling on your shoes.

7) Top it all off with candlelight. Nothing sets off all your hard work more than the soft glow of lovely, flickering candles.

8) Give favors that share the black-and-white motif. Here's a placecard holder that doubles as a favor box!

More fun items to accentuate a black-and-white theme:


Mint-To-Be Favors


Leather Key Chain Favor

Table Cameras

Versailles Toasting Flutes

Do you know someone who is considering a black-and-white theme? If so, email this article to them. And see more ideas in our Bridal Bin

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