Ah, wedding dress shopping, one of life’s greatest pleasures (and stressors)! I had a pretty intense wedding dress shopping experience that spanned many months and two countries. In an effort to help you have a better experience than I did, I’ve compiled a list of the best wedding dress shops in Maine. You’ll find just what you’re looking for: modern gowns, current trends and high quality wedding dresses here in Maine.Read More
Nights in Maine, even in the middle of summer, can be chilly. Evenings on the coast are especially cool. If you’re getting married in Maine, you could throw a sweater or light jacket over your wedding outfit, but I have a better, more fashionable option for you: a Swans Island Company wrap! You’ll stay warm while still looking fabulous, and your choice of covering will represent your Maine wedding experience.Read More
More and more, brides are choosing to wear a veil during their wedding. Many of them decide to have the veil already off their face for the ceremony, while a few brides are sticking with the tradition of having the wedding veil over their face until the kiss. If you're going with the veil over the face, here are a few things to think about.Read More
Have I told you how much I love Twitter? A few months ago, I started seeing some really fun, interesting and Maine-centric posts by Pratt Abbott Cleaners. I liked what I saw and started sharing their info and chatting with their marketing folks, and especially their Garment Care Coordinator, Angela Emery. She and I share retweets, give each other big hugs at networking events, and now we're sharing guest blog posts! Below are tons of great ideas for your Maine wedding thanks to the team at Pratt Abbott!
You’ve been dreaming of your perfect wedding day ever since you were a child. Now that you’re engaged, it’s time to turn those dreams into a reality. No matter what your style and budget, there are tons of ways to plan a truly magical day.
To help inspire you, we’ve listed some of our own dream wedding ideas. We also hand selected a few of the best local businesses and vendors that can help make your wedding day amazing and unique.
Take a Schooner Ride
Take your wedding party (or even your guests!) on a sail from Portland Schooner. If your wedding guest list is small, you could even have your ceremony right there on the ship itself. If not, you can always charter a pre-wedding schooner ride for just the wedding party. How fun would it be to have a post-rehearsal dinner cocktail hour while sailing around the bay? This could also help your wedding party get to know one another a little better if they haven’t had the chance to do so yet.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Many brides and grooms find that wedding planning is very exciting to think about at first. However, when things start to get more difficult, many bring in backup. When hiring a professional wedding planner, make sure that you and your significant other (SO) both vibe well with the planner. You’ll be working very closely with this person, so make sure it’s a good fit. It is also a good idea to hire a wedding planner who lives in the area and can give you the inside scoop. This Free Guide to Maine Event Planners can help steer you in the right direction.
Consider Food Trucks
After the ceremony, you and your wedding guests are bound to be hungry. Spice things up by skipping the buffet or the fancy sit-down meal. Instead, opt to bring in a couple of local food trucks. Or, if you still want the more traditional catered meal, you can always choose to bring in the food trucks later on in the evening as an unexpected treat before everyone begins to head home. There are a number of excellent food trucks in the Portland, Maine area to choose from.
Go On a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hot air balloons not only provide unique photo opportunities, they’re also great fun for you and your guests. If exchanging your wedding vows in the air isn’t your ideal ceremony [Editor: please, please, please hire me for your hot air balloon wedding!!], you could always use a hot air balloon as your getaway transportation, and then incorporate the balloon as a tethered ride at the reception. Hot Fun Balloons is a Maine based company that offers wedding packages.
Get Fancy Nails
On your big day, there are going to be a lot of people looking at your hands to see your new ring. Why not treat yourself to some stunning nail art when you get your manicure? There are so many lovely wedding nail art ideas, like adding rhinestones and glitter or lining your french tips with the color of your bridesmaids dresses. Akari Beauty in Portland, Maine has great options for you to choose from for your nail art needs, as well as other bridal services.
Of course you’re going to need some flowers for your big day. Whether you want to keep it nice simple and just get bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party, or go all out with a more extravagant flower display (like the famous flower wall at the Kardashian/West wedding) there are many local florists that can help make your dreams become a reality.
Elegant Day-Of Transportation
Some brides and grooms ask family or friends to volunteer to be their transportation, while others opt to rent a couple of vans or limos. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but have you considered renting a more elegant mode of transportation to help you arrive in style? This could be something such as a vintage car, a boat, or a hot air balloon. You could even play on a classic theme by including a horse drawn carriage for the bridal party or the guests.
Let Them Eat Cake
After the dress, the cake is the next wedding staple that guests cannot wait to see. No matter what your theme is, a great cake can show off the both of your unique styles in a very creative and delicious way. Cakes For All Seasons is a wonderfully creative bakery that specializes in cakes for weddings and special events. They also offer bite-sized sweets that look almost to good to eat...almost!
Incorporating a photobooth into your wedding reception has become a very popular option with brides and grooms everywhere. Not only does the booth give guests the opportunity to loosen up and have some fun, it also gives them a great wedding favor to take home with them. To add to the fun, you can provide things such as dress up items, signage props, or a dry erase board that guests can customize and hold up in the photos. Maine to Boston Photobooth Rental offers a wonderful photo booth rental package that lets you choose your own backdrop color and includes things such as a props, a red carpet, and a friendly professional host to help guide guests.
Don’t forget about the bridal accessory that is for your special someone's eyes only: Your lingerie. With so many options out there, it can be hard to choose just one. But who says you only need lingerie for the wedding night? What you’re wearing underneath your dress is important as well. And, if you’re going away on a honeymoon, why not treat yourself to a few extra items? Etain Boutique and Aristelle Lingerie in Portland, Maine will help you find the perfect lingerie for your style.
Diva-Style Wedding Dress Pressing
On your wedding day, you want to make sure that your dress to look picture perfect. Unfortunately, even if you have tried your best to take care of your dress, you may still wind up with wrinkles. Proper wedding dress pressing can help with that. Maine-local drycleaners, Pratt Abbott, offers wonderful on-site wedding day care for you and the entire wedding party.
A trend that has been gaining popularity is hiring a two-person photography team. There are a number of reasons why a couple may choose to do this. For example, before the ceremony while you’re getting ready, one photographer can stick with each person to capture as many special moments as possible, rather than having one photographer run back and forth between the two. With two photographers, one photographer can worry about the big picture, while the other focuses on other details such as candid shots. And of course, with two photographers, there will be two angles for every special moment like walking down the aisle, the first kiss, and the cake cutting. A local two-person photography team that does beautiful work is Double Take Photography out of Saco, Maine.
Preserve Your Memories
No matter how careful you are, or how clean your dress looks after your ceremony, invisible spills and even the oils from people’s fingers can cause devastating damage to your dress over time. Don’t let a great dress go to waste! Schedule an appointment with a garment care professional as soon as possible after your wedding before stains can set it. Once your dress has been cleaned and preserved, you can hand it down to your daughter, donate your dress to charity, or resell it to another lucky bride. To learn more about wedding dress care, visit Pratt Abbott’s website.
What are your dream wedding ideas?
What are the trends and traditions you love most? Do you have a favorite local wedding vendor? Please share them in the comments!
I created a spring wedding inspiration board on Pinterest for all you lovelies thinking of getting married in the spring. Even if you're getting married at another time of year, head on over and bask in the beauty that is a spring wedding. I could stare at this board for hours.
If I had the chance to do it all over again and plan (another) wedding of my dreams, I'd totally get married in May. I really love spring here in Maine: you start hearing the birds singing again, you can smell the earth thawing out, and of course the profusion of flowers inspires awe and delight! Some of my favorite flowers bloom in the spring, like lilacs, forsythia, apple blossoms, tulips and daffodils. Just that alone would be enough for me to choose this season for my wedding. So, here's what my spring wedding would look like.
My wedding colors would be dreamy pastels like serenity and rose quartz, lilac grey, sweet peach, and a dash of green flash.
The bridesmaids would carry May Day baskets instead of bouquets. The little baskets would overflow with seasonal flowers and have multi-colored pastel ribbons streaming from the handles. The ladies themselves would be in flowy, mismatched pastel gowns, and the ones with long hair would have ribbons in their hair. And barefeet. It was a tradition at our house that once the lilacs bloomed we could go barefoot for the rest of the summer!
My centerpieces would be a mix of seasonal flowers like grape hyacinth, narcissus, ranunculus, lily of the valley and, my favorite, lilacs. There'd be lots of greens and white, too, like moss and ethically harvested birch bark. Maybe the look of the centerpieces could play off the May Day posey.
For the wedding ceremony site, I'd use an abundance of apple blossom and/or cherry blossom branches, and flowy lightweight cotton draping to decorate the wedding arch. And, of course, more of the multi-colored pastel ribbons holding the draping in place and streaming in the sunshine and fresh breeze (which of course I'll have because it's my fantasy wedding and I can have anything I want!).
My wedding dress would be sweet, with long or 3/4 length sleeves and a demure neckline (think Kate Middleton). Maybe some embroidery or embellishments and definitely lots of swish. It should be simple but a statement piece at the same time. It will be a light, airy blue which is meaningful because blue is my favorite color.
The place settings will have rose-colored, thin-glass wine goblets, gold utensils, a light blue charger and a pastel floral vintage salad plate on top. A mix of jade green and white milkglass salt and pepper shakers and a white cotton cheesecloth runner complete the look.
This was fun! What would you add to my spring wedding inspiration? Feel free to steal the look and any others you see on the spring wedding Pinterest board.
i predict that weddings in 2014 will include some of these trends. the overall vibe for 2014 will be simple, effortless, comfortable, earthy and clean.
inside out cakes
simple wedding jewelry
bouquets with mostly one flower or color
simple silhouette wedding dresses
wood, rock, glass, and fibers: raw materials for wedding decor
creative wedding favors: handmade soaps, special teas, homemade jam
live bands will make a comeback
camp weddings will continue to be a big thing, especially here in maine
the other day my sister asked me about good stores online where she could for a dress for her to wear to a wedding. it got me thinking: that would be a great blog post especially, if you're like me and you don't live in an urban metropolitan area. as much as we love supporting local businesses it's sometimes necessary to shop online for the dress that's just right for the wedding you're attending or you're in.
i did a little poll on facebook and came up with the following online retailers for party dresses, cocktail dresses, rehearsal dresses, bridesmaid dresses or after-party dresses. where do you love to shop? leave your favorite retailers in the comments.
i have a great pinterest board of bridesmaid dresses that might give you some fun inspiration of what you're looking for!
It's time we all learned the old-timey skill of how to tie a bow tie. There is nothing as classy as a real bow tie tied just right, agreed? So take one minute and 12 seconds and learn how to do it yourself. This is a cute, easy to watch video. Now, tell me: did it help you?
I was approached by Simply Bridal about them doing a guest post on my blog. I get many of these requests and normally I just ignore them because they're not right for my site. But when I got this request and checked out Simply Bridal's website I was immediately convinced that they would be a good fit for the A Sweet Start blog. The dresses are great and reasonably priced (from less than $100 to about $700). There are literally hundreds of dresses to choose from and my readers get a 15% off discount code! Use code SBL131SS which is exclusively for my blog readers. With their wedding dresses and this discount code, your wedding dress could be the most inexpensive part of your wedding! Imagine that!
So here is the wise wisdom from the ladies at Simply Bridal about why the back of the wedding dress is so important. I agree with everything they're saying!