Wedding Sparklers Blog

Wedding Planning Blog: The Dress

September 1st, 2016

I Said Yes to the Dress!

By Laurel Critchfield 

Dress shopping has been the biggest project so far. It was so much more difficult than I ever expected and it's nothing like what you see on TV. That's not to say it wasn't extremely fun and exciting, because it was. I was just also a bit stressful.

I went dress shopping in four stores before I found ‘the one.' I probably tried on close to 100 dresses and I was starting to get to a point where I thought I would never find the one.

I went shopping for the first time a couple months after we got engaged. I invited all my bridesmaids, my maid of honor and my mom. One of my bridesmaids was not able to come, unfortunately. But, I wanted it to be a big bonding activity and a kick-off to wedding planning.

It was so fun! I had never seen myself in a wedding gown before, outside of playing dress up as a kid. That was a crazy feeling! It got even better when I got to try on a veil. Every dress is better with a veil.

The second time I went dress shopping was on vacation in Chicago. It was very spontaneous. I was planning on stopping by BHLDN while I was there, because I had admired a lot of their dresses online - however, I was concerned that many of their dresses wouldn't suit my body type.

But while my two best friends and I were shopping in Nordstrom, we found the wedding section and decided to schedule a quick appointment. The dresses were very expensive and very much above my budget, but we just wanted to have some fun. Pretty much every bridal consultant tells you not to try on dresses not in your budget, but I just wanted to try on some extreme ones and see what sort of silhouette I liked on my body.

One of the dresses I tried on was a vintage style dress with really large lace flowers and a lining that only went to my knees, so you could see my legs underneath the lace. I LOVED the dress and the concept of it. It also fit me really well. However, I did not like the more than $5,000 price tag. So just like we had planned, we left without buying anything. I did get more of an idea of what I liked though.

Finally, we got to the day in which I said yes to the dress. My two best friends and my mom and I went to St. Louis for a day trip to visit two bridal shops. I went into this trip pretty blind. I had a friend recommend the first place we went and then picked the other place based on reviews I'd found on the internet.

The first place was fun. We were able to go through the racks and pick all the dresses I wanted to try on. The dresses were very pretty, but none of them really stood out compared to other ones I'd tried on. At this point I was getting a bit frustrated. Since I wasn't really feeling any of the dresses, we decided to go have lunch before our second appointment.


After lunch we went to the second store. At the very beginning of the appointment it felt different. The store was very elegant; which I didn't think I would get in my price range. My budget for a dress was $1500, but I hoped to spend less. I also really liked our consultant. She was around my age and very bubbly, but not overbearing.

The store was pided into different sections by the type of dress. For instance, there was a lacey dress section, a ball gown section, a mermaid style section, etc. I got to pick dresses out of the sections that I liked.

I liked almost every dress I tried on there. Each dress was better than the previous. We got to play a bit of a game where we decided whether we liked the dress I had on or the one before. The dress I liked less went away.

Then I tried it on. It was definitely the dress. When I came out of the fitting room, everyone's jaw dropped. It was nothing like what I expected I would want. I can't describe it in case my fiancé decides to read this. I don't want him to know anything about the dress. But what I can tell you is it was perfect. It fit me like a glove, which is unusual for dress samples. I couldn't stop looking at myself and spinning around in the mirror. 

Then the consultant put a veil on me. That sealed the deal. I didn't want to take it off. So I didn't. For a very long time. Instead, I sat down in a chair in my dress and had my two best friends try on bridesmaid dresses for me. I'm pretty much set on one of the dresses they tried on.

Overall, my dress buying experience was great. I was very pleased with all of the stores we went to. All the consultants were very helpful. No one was pushy.

My best advice for anyone buying a dress would be: don't settle. You're not going to hurt anyone's feelings if you don't buy a dress on the first shopping trip. In my case, I knew when it was my dress and I wasn't going to settle for anything less.


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Repurposing Your Dress

July 12th, 2016

 By Mackenzie Kleinman 

Many brides dream about a wedding dress at a young age, if it would be a ball gown, lace or silk. What we never really think about what do we do with the dress after the wedding. We spend so much time and energy finding the perfect dress and even more money paying for the dress and we never think of what to do with it after the wedding. It's not like you're planning on wear it again after your wedding. So, here are a few ideas of what to do with your wedding dress after the wedding.

1. Shadow Box
If you are crafty, one idea is to make a shadow box with your invitation and include a piece of your wedding dress in it. A shadow box is a shallow box frame that decorated with jewelry or memorabilia with a transparent (glass) front. I love this idea because with the shadow box, you can put it anywhere in your house and have a little bit of your wedding as a part of your decor. If you love this idea but don't trust making it yourself, you can send it to a company that makes them.

2. Make it into a necklace
This works best if your dress has some lace in it, but making your dress into a necklace would ensure that you wear it for years! I have seen a lot with lace put on a black silk base, which I am a bigger fan of. Chockers are also a very "in" statement piece so you'll be trendy too! If your dress isn't lace, maybe use some fabric to make a pendant with it and matching earrings!

3. Preserve it
Maybe you want your dress to be handed down to your daughter or daughter-in-law; in which case, you'll want to preserve your dress. There are specific ways in which to preserve the dress so it won't yellow or deteriorate in anyway. There are also certain companies that will preserve your dress for you.

4. Donate it
This is one of my favorite ideas, donating your dress so a bride who can't afford a dress can have one. Brides Across America is one organization that specifically takes donated wedding dresses, and there a ton more you can find. After your wedding and you are thankful for everything in your life, it feels good to give something back.

5. Use the fabric for throw pillows
Another crafty idea for your dress is to use the fabric to make throw pillows! I like this idea because any type of dress could be repurposed for this. You and your husband could use these pillow on your bed or in the living room, whatever works!

5. Trash it
This idea might not be the most popular one, but I think it's the most creative one! Have a fun photo op with you dress by completely trashing it! Whether it be crawling through mud or splatter painting it, the pictures and experience would be memorable.

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Engagement Instagrams

July 7th, 2016



By Mackenzie Kleinman 

He proposed, you cry, and you're both ecstatic. But now what? So after he proposes the first thing you want to do is tell your family. You are also going to want everyone else you've ever spoken with to know also, which is absolutely fine! Social media is a beautiful thing. You can post an adorable picture of you and your new fiance on instagram for the whole world to see. BUT it's important that you tell family and close friends FIRST. You don't want you aunt or your brother to find out you are engaged because of a picture on instagram or facebook. Call who you need to call first, and then share your happiness with everyone.
Exactly what kind of picture do you want to post? A selfie? A picture of just your hand? A picture of you and your husband showing off your newly blinged out hand There's so many different ways you can go about taking pictures like this. Keep in mind that I'm not talking about the actual engagement photos that you would take with a professional photographer or anything like that. These are just pictures that someone would post just so everyone can know the great news! Here are a few that are my favorite.

I love this one because its creative and cute and it shows off the couples goofy side! I also love that they are both in the picture because the groom-to-be is also 50% of the couple; he should be included too.  

This one's for the java lovers. Again, the groom-to-be and the bride-to-be are both featured in the instagram. It's also sweet and to the point.  


When your animals are so important in your life, you don't even think twice about featuring them in you first wedding announcement. Just look at those puppy faces!

This one is for all the foodies out there! #respect. Honestly I really like this one because of all of the color in it. It looks whimsical and color gives off a playful and happy vibe and this should be a happy time in your life. 

This picture can literally be taken anywhere, its so casual, but it's still such a great way to announce your engagement. It's casual, not for the lack of effort, but because this bride-to-be just wanted a quick post to share her joy! 

This is the big kahuna of all engagement posts. I love the classic "in the moment post because it's so special and you get to see the couple's genuine reaction. Again, as I have stated before, I am partial to having both partners in the picture and this picture checks that factor off my list. 


Photo Courtesy:
1. Besticle | instagram
2. Goldalamode Photography
3. amybradfield1108 | instagram
4. Tessa Hancock
5. Vanessa Smith
6. theblissinakiss | instagram

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Iconic Wedding Dresses

July 1st, 2016

By Mackenzie Kleinman  

Grace Kelly
When you think of wedding dress style you think of Grace Kelly. Her marriage to the Prince of Monaco was iconic in itself, but her dress is iconic enough. It even has its own wikipedia page. Everything about is so glamourous in the most humble way possible. Some have said it was what inspired the Duchess of Cambridge's gown.


Princess Diana
I remember when I was about 10, there was an exhibit in Houston of all of Princess Di's notable outfits. At the very end of the exhibit in the middle of the room was her wedding dress with its famous great long train behind it. The designers of the dress, David and Elizabeth said that it was a dress that needed "to go down in history." Because of her dress, puffed sleeves became a noticeable style in wedding dresses.


Kate Middleton
Like Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, Also wore a very iconic wedding dress. It showed tradition with its full skirt but modernity with its tight bodice on the top. The Designer of the dress Sarah Burton, designer at Alexander McQueen, was a secret until the moment Kate arrived at her wedding, causing a flurry of speculations leading up to the wedding day.


Carrie Bradshaw
Even though it was in a movie, Carrie Bradshaw Vivienne Westwood dress still deserves a stop on this list. Gifted to Carrie from Vera herself because she said it belonged to her after Carrie's photoshoot. This dress was so fantastic I wish she was able to get married in it.


Solange Knowles
Solange was literally a show stopper in her wedding outfit. Her flaring jumpsuit with a daring neckline was such a statement and so her I couldn't not keep it off this list. If you didn't follow Beyonce at the time, she was rapid firing out instagrams of the wedding party and they were nothing short of amazing.

Kim Kardashian (2nd wedding)
Although her gown for her first wedding wasn't drab, her dress she wore to marry Kanye West was just beyond gorgeous. Lace from head to toe, the tightly fitted gown reflected her personality in a classy way.


Kelly Cuoco
Cuoco different;y strayed from traditional with her dress. Her's had the ball gown aspect but instead of in classic white, she decided to do a daring hot pink. Her wedding also featured and upside-down wedding cake so a hot pink dress wasn't the only crazy thing at her wedding!


Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono wedding dress was exactly like who she is, different. For her nuptials to John Lennon she wore a white mini dress paired with knee socks, white felt hat, and large sunglasses. Her husband also chose with for suit.


Audrey Hepburn
Even though Hepburn had three iconic wedding dresses each from separate marriages, I chose her second wedding dress, designed by Pierre Balmain. Audrey Hepburn was wearing Balmain before the Kardashian started be the walking breathing advertisers for it. Her dress was so simple yet so elegant, it will forever remain one of my favorites.


Queen Elizabeth
Inspired by Botticelli's "primavera" Queen Elizabeth's is regal, yet unique. My favorite part of the ensemble is her veil, which has detailed embroidery with underwater illusions like starfish to mimic the famous painting that inspired it.



Amal Clooney

There's actually no words on how much I fangirl over Amal Clooney. She gives the term "girl power" a whole new meaning, so obviously she would need a wedding dress as great as her. She and George make literally make up the #1 power couple in the world. 

Photo Courtesy

1. Getty Images

2. Getty Images

3. Getty Images


5. Getty Images

6. Instagram

7. Instagram 

8. Getty Images

9. Getty Images

10. Getty Images

11. Getty Images

12. Vogue 



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Shark Week Wedding

June 27th, 2016

We have a alot to be excited for today. July 4th is soon, summer has started, and SHARK WEEK IS UPON US. Honestly shark week needs to be a national holiday if not only for the sole purpose for making watch the discovery channel. That alone is a feat. Anyways, I thought it would be fun to make a post about a shark week themed wedding!

Shark cake toppers
These are absolutely adorable I can't get over it. These will perfectly personify you and your fiance's love for these underwater creatures.


Photo booth props
If you choose to have a photo booth at your wedding, add some props that will makes your guests wish they were celebrating under the sea.


Maybe you won't walk down the aisle to the Jaws theme song, but maybe you will walk down in these shark inspired heels. (Even though these are only on display at The Shoe Museum, we can still appreciate their existence.)


Literally there is so much you can do with desserts for a shark week theme. I have seem shark shaped cookies, cupcakes with blue icing and a shark fin toppers, and even shark infested wedding cakes!




Mechanical Shark
Now I saw this on pinterest and thought it was so cute and so funny! Guests will love it and you'll get a ton of laughs throughout the night


Shark Gummies  
One staple shark treat are those blue shark gummies. Put jars filled with them everywhere around your reception for guests to snack on throughout the night.


Shark Themed Cocktails
There so many shark themed cocktails you can do for your reception. Choose any blue or red colored cocktails and give them a funky name like "shark attack," "Shark bite," or even "get hammered" (get it? Like a hammerhead shark lol). Just for the love of Poseidon, don't call a drink a "Sharknado. Don't give that movie more recognition than it deserves.


Shark Tooth Stud Earrings 
Need a little bit of shark bling to go with your dress? These shark tooth silver studs, so subtle and so perfect!


Shark Bow Ties
You can't leave all the shark accessories to the bride. Have your groom and groomsmen don these shark spotted bow ties from Vineyard Vines.



This insane wedding party photo
I'm going to just left this picture speak for itself.

Photo Courtsey

1. Morgan the Creator|Etsy

2. BellaLuz Photography

3. Style Luxe

4. A Baked Creation

5. Follansbee Photography

6. Make life lovely

7. Hampton road's happy hour

8. Molly Jane designs

9.  Vineyard Vines

10. Esser photography

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