Friday, August 31, 2012

The J&B Team...Meet Amy!

We love Amy's "J&B history" because it all started back in 1991 when she was a "J&B Bride" herself!  Amy purchased her wedding gown from J&B 21 years ago, had a great experience, and worked as a bridal consultant at J&B in 1995 and 1996.  She left for a short period after having her second child, and we were happy to welcome her back to J&B in December of 1999.  Amy has been at J&B ever since!

Amy can relate to her customers in all areas of their lives.  She has one daughter who is in college, one who is in high school, and a son who is in kingergarten!  Whether she is working with brides, mothers of the bride, or prom girls, she knows what they are going through.  She can relate!

When Amy is working with a bride, she is 100% focused!  :)  You can guarantee that she will not stop until she finds the perfect dress for her bride.  Amy also knows how to have a good time!  Many times you can hear her contagious laugh throughout the building as she is working with her brides and prom girls!  She also loves accessorizing and is fantastic at finding just the right veil, jewelry, and shoes to go with a dress.

In a recent review on Wedding Wire, one bride wrote: "I was a walk-in customer just wanting to browse.  Amy scooped me up right away and took complete care of me. The consultation she gave me was one of a kind (not like with other places I had been to with an appointment). They have fantastic gowns and really listen to the bride when she sets a budget. Amy even gave me a full head-to-toe dressing including jewelry and a veil."

In addition to helping her brides find the perfect gown, her favorite thing about being a bridal consultant at J&B is the strong relationships she builds with her brides and their families.

One piece of advice that Amy would give to her brides is "Once you find the perfect wedding gown, don't confuse yourself by continuing to look!"

When Amy is not at J&B, she enjoys spending time with her family.  In addition, she is a big fan of natural disaster movies and old TV show reruns, especially the show "Friends"! 

We love having Amy as part of the J&B Team!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The "First Look" - Is it for You?


There are hundreds of special moments on a bride and groom's wedding day.  However, the one moment that the bride has most likely been dreaming about more than any other is the moment when her groom sees her on their wedding day for the very first time.  As tradition has it, the bride and groom are to stay separated  on the day of the wedding until the bride takes those first steps down the aisle.  Although that is the tradition, many brides are choosing to abandon that tradition and see their groom during a "first look" before the ceremony!  If this is something that you are considering, here are some reasons why you may be persuaded to see each other before the ceremony.

Awesome photographs!
The number one reason why most brides choose to see each other before the wedding is because of the amazing photographs they are able to get!  Many photographers love doing a "first look" because it allows them to capture moments of the bride, groom, and wedding party all together in a setting other than the church sanctuary or wherever the ceremony will be.  It is pretty common for the wedding party to travel a short distance to a nearby park or field to take photographs together.

It gives the bride and groom a few moments of privacy during the hectic day.
On their wedding day, the bride and groom are sharing all of their special moments with their guests.  As wonderful as that is, the "first look" gives the bride and groom a few moments of privacy with each other on their special day.  Usually the photographer will have the bride waiting alone in a private location, and then will bring the groom to meet her.  They are able to have their time together, while the photographer discreetly can capture photos of their special time alone together.  Many times this private meeting of the bride and groom can calm nerves and allow the bride and groom to be able to relax and enjoy their day even more!

Less wait time for the guests between the ceremony and reception
We all have been to weddings where we have had to wait for what seemed like an eternity for the wedding party to arrive at the reception to get the party started!  No one enjoys waiting for long periods of time, and so the "first look" is a great way to cut down on that wait time.  Since a large majority of the photographs will be taken before the wedding even takes place, the photographer will just take a few quick shots with family and friends after the ceremony and then everyone will be off to the reception in no time!

It's fun!
The "first look" tends to get the party started early!  The bride, groom, bridesmaids, and groomsmen can spend all day together enjoying each other's company instead of having to wait until the reception!  These times can be just as fun as the time at the reception.

Is it for you?
Of course only you can decide if seeing each other before the wedding is right for you.  Talk to your photographer and  your fiance and decide what is right for you.  There is no right or wrong.  If you decide that you want to save that special  moment for the traditional walk down the aisle, then that's the right choice for you!  Go with it and embrace it.  However, after talking to your photographer if you want to give the "first look" a try, then go for it and have a blast!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Accessorize with a Belt!

At J&B, one of our favorite things to do is accessorize wedding gowns with belts! We find that sometimes all it takes is the right belt to make your wedding dress yours!

We love belts for lots of reasons. A belt is a great way to allow you to be creative and make your gown unique! Once you add a belt to your wedding gown, you have a gown that has your own personal touch on it.  In a lot of cases, a belt also equals an instant hourglass figure!  Many times, a belt will draw attention to the waist as the main feature, and is very flattering to the figure.

Keep in mind that many belts are a separate accessory and may need to be ordered separately from your wedding gown. If you choose a wedding gown that does not come with a belt and you want to add one, our consultants at J&B can help you find the perfect belt within your budget. J&B has a large selection of belts, in a variety of colors, styles, and prices.  Also, if you are wearing a belt with a gown that has a corset (lace up) back, you may want to consider having your seamstress sew it into the dress. It is perfectly fine to wear the belt tied in a bow in the back, but if you really want to show off the corset, having the belt sewn in is a great option. Another fun idea to consider with your belt is to wear one belt for your ceremony and a different one for your reception! We have had brides wear the traditional white or ivory belt during the formality of their ceremony, and then switch to a black or different colored belt for the reception! What a fun idea, and it may feel like you're wearing two different dresses!

Check out this gown below, with and without the belt.  What do you think?

Without a belt

With a belt
A closer look at the belt we added to the dress above, available at J&B

A belt works with a lot of wedding gowns, but not all.  Speak with  your bridal consultant at J&B if you are considering adding a belt to your wedding gown!  She will let you know if it is right for your dress!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dress shopping tips for the Mother of the Bride/Groom

In our years of experience with weddings, we have found that many times the mother of the bride or groom will stress over finding the perfect dress!  Rest assured, shopping for a mothers dress can be fun and stress-free!  Here are a few tips for any of you moms out there who just don't know where to start.

1. Start early The thing that a lot of moms don't understand is that standard delivery for a mothers gown is 12-14 weeks! And, don't forget to factor in time for alterations (approximately 1-2 months) once the dress comes in. With that being said, we love when a mom comes to us 6 months or more before the wedding to order her dress. The options are endless when you have more time! However, don't worry if you have a wedding coming up and you didn't allow youself that much time. Most of the manufacturers we carry do offer rush deliveries (for a small additional charge) to get the perfect gown delivered within about 6-8 weeks.  Of course we also have the option of purchasing a gown that we have in stock if the wedding is very close.

2. Have an open mind Once they start trying on, many moms are surprised by what they actually like! Be open to trying a variety of styles, from soft and flowy to sleek and sexy. Just like the bride, you don't know what you'll like until you try!  We have many moms that even choose a bridesmaids dress to wear, not just the traditional mothers gown.

3. Coordinate with the wedding party, but you don't have to "match"
Of course you want to look like you belong with the wedding, but it is not necessary to match the bridesmaids, or the other mom for that matter.  Keep in mind that unless you have any daughters that are bridesmaids, you probably won't have any formal pictures taken with the bridesmaids.  So...that means you have even more color possibilities!  Make sure the bride approves of your color choice, but don't feel confined to choose a dress that is matching with the bridesmaids.

4.  Be comfortable and confident!
The most important thing to keep in mind is to purchase a dress that is comfortable, and that you feel good in!  Whether that means you are wearing short, long, a jacket, lots of sparkle, or very plain, be comfortable and confident!

Beautiful Caterina dress that is flattering for all sizes and comes in many colors!

Elegant Mori Lee bridesmaid dress that easily can double as a mother's gown

Teal knee length dress by VM

Stunning Montage dress with flattering jacket 

Beautiful lace balero jacket gives this dress just the right touch

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A New Twist on an Old Tradition

Looking for an updated, trendy look for your traditional bridal bouquet? Check out the brooch bouquet!  These bundles of sparkle are all the rage!

How do you find the right pieces to go into a brooch bouquet?  Go digging through your great grandma's jewelry box and you are sure to find some amazing pieces to add, and now you have a bouquet with some sentimental value! Antiquing is also a great way to come across some unique sparkle for your bouquet.

These blingy bouquets are so amazing for so many reasons.  They are wonderful because you can keep them forever!  Five, ten, fifteen years later you can still touch and feel the actual bouquet you carried down the aisle! They also give you endless color options to choose from so that your bouquet is a perfect complement to your bridesmaids gowns.  Brooch bouquets also give you a chance to walk down the aisle holding valuable heirlooms from generations of family members. They are memorable! I guarantee if you choose one of these bouquets, your guests will remember the classy bling you held in your hands as you walked down the aisle on your wedding day!

Check with your florist about adding this special touch to your wedding!

Here is a great example of a brooch bouquet trimmed with live flowers

100% bling!

Another brooch/live flower combo

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Prom 2013 is just around the corner!

A few of us just returned from Formal Fashion Week in Atlanta and our heads are spinning! This is where we had the chance to preview thousands of 2013 prom gowns from all of the major designers such as Mori Lee, Jovani, Sherri Hill, Flirt, Tony Bowls, and many more! Wow!!

For those of you who are wondering, here is what a typical day is like at prom market. Wake up at 6:30, grab a Starbucks on the way to the first show at 8:00am. (Can't start the day without a little caffeine!) Sit down and watch 2 hours worth of beautiful dresses go up and down the runway. Make lots of notes! Run to the next showroom, swallow down a quick bite of their catered meal, and sit down and watch 2 more hours worth of beautiful dresses go up and down the runway. Repeat about 6 times until 8:00pm! At 8:00pm try to remember what you saw all day! :) Yes, it is exhausting, but what a blast!

Here's a quick summary of what we see trending for 2013. For those of you who like simple, flowy looks, there are lots out there for 2013!!! Many beautiful chiffons with minimal beading in soft mints, champagnes, and ivories. But don't worry, if you're a girl who likes to bling it up, there will be plenty for you to choose from too! Dresses with head-to-toe beading, flashy sequins and sexy slits are also on the rise for prom 2013. For the more mature look, there are actually a few soft lace dresses!

And if you are more of a sweet, ballgown type of girl, you will still find your Cinderella look. Whether Prom 2013 will be your first prom, or your third or fourth, we will have the perfect dress for you! We can't wait to show you our entire collection of prom gowns in just a few months!

Here is a picture of a few of our wonderful friends from Mori Lee! We had a great time in the Mori Lee showroom with them! From L to R: Sales Reps Mike and Ann Parrett, Sales Manager Marty Boikess, and Sales Rep Steve Glazier
Here's a picture of a model on the runway at the Tony Bowls showroom.