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Celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa is always coming up with new creations for her clients to rock on the red carpet. (Fun job, right?!) Here, she shares a how-to for one of her favorite glamorous styles—with a bridal twist.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Step 1. Create a 2-inch middle part and section out hair at the crown. Tease at the root.

Step 2. Brush the top section of hair into a half up and secure with a ponytail holder.

Step 3. Take The Wrap Up, pull hair through, pinch closed and roll to one side (think of a French twist). Bend the bottom end up and the top end down. Secure with bobby pins at the crease.

Step 4. Using the Beachwaver Styling Iron, take large sections of hair and curl toward the end of the piece.

Step 5. Gather the remaining bottom portion of hair into a ponytail. Tease a little from middle to end. Secure with a small, plastic elastic at the tip.

For the reception, take down the ponytail portion of the style and let bottom half loose. Or you can create a second bun by gathering hair to one side and rolling into another Wrap Up.

Check out the must-have hair tools that created this look and then try it at home for yourself!

January 23, 2014

Beauty How-To: Dark Cat Eye

A dramatic cat eye is a sure way to add a little va-va-voom to your look—and yes, it can even work on your wedding day. The key is keeping it clean and classy, making smooth lines and wearing a minimal amount of makeup otherwise. Follow these steps below!

Remember to do a test before your big day to make sure you (or your makeup artist) feel confident in how to get the look you want. And test products too! For this look, we recommend Guerlain ‘Cils d’Enfer’ Maxi Lash Mascara and Guerlain Gel Eye Pencil.

Prefer light eyes but bright lips? Check out our Red Lip How-To, plus more ideas on the Beauty Blog.

January 16, 2014

Beauty How-To: Red Lips

Going for bold beauty on your big day? Try a classic red lip—it’s the perfect way to add instant glamour to any bridal look, and it’ll never go out of style.

Here, you can watch Beauty Director Laksmi Sam’s step-by-step guide, including how to prep, line and complete the perfect pout.

Next, get tips from Beauty Director Tawni Hart on how to match your skin tone with the best shade.

For more ideas—for your wedding day and every day—check out our Beauty Blog!

If you have your wedding dress, shoes and jewelry, what’s next for your big day look? Your hairstyle! So what’s it going to be…up, down, half up? Veil, fascinator, pins, clips, headband? We’ve got you covered with the ideas in our bridal hair lookbook.

Here, take a peek behind the scenes of the lookbook photo shoot to see the creation of these hair and accessory pairings. And read below for some important do’s and don’ts for creating wedding-worthy hair!

DO pair the right hairstyle with your dress style. Think about what will be around your shoulders–dress neckline or straps, jewelry, veil–and wear your hair up or down accordingly.

Don’t wait until the wedding day to perfect your style! Work with your stylist or practice on your own long before the wedding day. It’s one less thing to worry about and leaves more time to sip champagne and relax with your girls!

DO plan to freshen up your cut and color about two weeks before the wedding. But don’t make any drastic changes–there may not be time to fix it if something goes wrong.

Don’t forgot to bring touch-up products (hair spray, bobby pins and a brush) so you can make adjustments if needed throughout the night.

DO work with a wedding stylist to find the perfect hair accessories. Our stylists are happy to help with even the smallest details, and they have great advice after working with hundreds of brides!

We’re partnering with our friends at Vera Wang to bring you the inside scoop on the elaborate, iconic wedding gowns in her fall 2013 collection. Today we start with the lovely ‘Lisa’, a draped tulle and Chantilly lace-bodice ballgown. Hear the story behind the gown from Ms. Wang herself!

Throughout the fall 2013 collection, there are the invincible elements of an heirloom wedding gown—lace, beading and draping. And you can definitely see all three at work in Lisa.
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The bodice begins with a foundation of Chantilly lace, covered with a layer of embroidery work: a complicated but very soft, very subtle design in pearl and crystal. We call this cluster embroidery: it’s made up of little groupings of crystal and bead elements that present themselves as spangles and starbursts, rather than in a neat arrangement.

The embroidery is draped with a layer of fine, ruched tulle to obscure that sparkle a little and create a multitoned effect. I love this kind of veiling effect. The straps are also ruched tulle, which sets off the shoulders, making the bare skin look even more delicate.

There is a gathered tulle skirt, full of volume in the layers of tulle. The same cluster embroidery continues down into the drop-waist skirt, on the bride’s right side, just enough to give an accent and a bit of interest to the skirt.

Lisa is beautiful, youthful, almost innocent. It’s really a gown that celebrates time-honored tradition.

To see more Vera Wang gowns at Nordstrom, browse our lookbook. Make an appointment with a free Wedding Stylist to try on gowns at selected Nordstrom Wedding Suites.

Our bridal buyer Sharon sums up our feelings for designer Olia Zavozina perfectly: “We are really proud to carry Olia’s designs in our suites. They offer brides a twist on traditional dresses, with unique fabrics and customization options. Plus, Olia is incredibly sweet—we love her!”

And you will, too. We asked Olia to share everything, from her early-age designs to her own wedding to her favorite Saturday activity. Read on to get to know this designer and see her gorgeous gowns!

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The Wedding Suite: Hi, Olia! Take us back to when you first started designing wedding gowns. 

Olia Zavozina: The first wedding gown I ever designed was for a Barbie doll when I was a little girl. I always liked love stories and fairy tales. In 2008, when I was getting married, I realized that there were not that many options out there, so that was the start of my line.

You recently celebrated your 5th wedding anniversary—congrats! Tell us about your wedding.

Olia: I was busy attending MBA classes at the time, and my parents told me in April that they could only come to my wedding if it was in June—so I had two months to plan a wedding!

When Robbie, my husband, told me that he was going to have 14 groomsmen, I almost had a heart attack. This is when I had to come up with the ladies on my side. I came up with eight bridesmaids and had him cut it down to the same amount!

We got married on June 7, 2008. It was an outdoor wedding on a lakeside. I had my friend Ochi do my flowers, and they were wonderful.


One of the unique things about your gowns is that they are customizable. What does that mean exactly?

Olia: The choice is yours! That is the beauty of it. We can do any length, neckline or fabric you would like, from any gown in our line. Brides often want to take a gown we already have and put their own twist on it.

For example, we had a bride who used the ‘Treasure’ fit model; however, she wanted to add in pieces of her great grandmother’s gown from nearly 100 years ago. So I took her grandmother’s gown apart by hand and pieced it together to lay it over a silk duchess. It turned out beautifully, and the bride was really happy with it. It is one of my favorite gowns we have done.

My goal is to make sure the bride feels beautiful in her gown and that it is everything she dreamed it could be. If I can help make that dream come true, I have done my job.

‘Treasure’ gown, double-tiered Alençon lace with silk charmeuse underlay & chapel-length train

Speaking of fabric, you have some of the most interesting fabric we’ve seen! At what point in the design process do you choose fabric?

Olia: Fabrics are very important in a design of the gown. Most of the time, before I start designing, I have to see, touch and feel the fabric.

‘Britt’ gown, embroidered lace overlay with blush-colored silk charmeuse underlay & peplum accent

‘Ann’ gown, fit & flare floral lace with sweetheart neckline & keyhole back

Do you have any tips for brides who are shopping for their gowns?

Olia: Be open-minded and trust your wedding stylist. Be honest and let your stylist know what your concerns are. What is important on your wedding day? Do you want to be comfortable? Do you want to be different or traditional? Try on dresses for fun, preferably by yourself first, before you invite your friends.

Now a tell us a few fun things about yourself! What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?

Olia: Take my two dogs to the park! It’s great exercise, and the dogs love to swim in the creeks.

What’s your favorite city?

Nashville is my American home, but New York has become a second home to me. I like the city because you can feel like you are part of the world: everything is close, all of the nations within in a couple of blocks.

What was your last vacation, and what’s your next? 

Olia: Cabo, Mexico, was fantastic! My brother-in-law was getting married and we all got a chance to have a mini mandatory vacation; how can you not love it?

My parents have a beach house on the Black Sea in the south part of Russia. In preparation for the Sochi Olympics, we’re all thinking about going to visit and stay in the mountains by the Black Sea.

How many weddings do you attend a year?

Olia: Traveling over 100 days a year, I attend fewer and fewer weddings, but I would say I attend four to six weddings a year. I love weddings! Usually, I sit in the back and cry at how beautiful everything is. The thought of something beautiful like two people getting married makes me so happy, especially when I become a part of the big day.

See more of Olia’s gorgeous gowns in our online lookbook, or in select Nordstrom Wedding Suites!

Photos courtesy of Olia Zavozina

Boho brides, classic brides, retro brides, rustic brides, romantic brides, glam brides: we have a wedding dress for you. All of you. Trust us! The ‘Elizabeth’ gown by Caroline DeVillo is simply stunning, but the best part is that it’s a sleek, flattering blank canvas for one of our favorite things: accessorizing!

Watch the video to see how one dress can be transformed into six distinct styles with the right jewelry, shoes and other accessories. We hope you’re inspired to find your own unique style!

Now take a peek behind the scenes of the video, filmed in Seattle with our charismatic “bride” Anna and her lovely (and helpful!) ‘maids.

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To shop the accessories used in the video, view the lookbook experience. And don’t forget—our free Wedding Stylists can help you with your head-to-toe look at one of our 18 Wedding Suites.

That’s a wrap!

SnapKnot is back again with more great tips and tricks from professional photographers in their directory! Today’s tips are on how to pose for your engagement photo session. Necessary advice, right? With many, many photo shoots under their belts, these photographers have some good ideas to keep you looking natural and happy.

1. Bring along props.

Ideas: signs, pets, wedding rings, symbolic pieces of your setting (think carnival tickets, balloons, a car or boat).

“Bring along props that really reflect your fantastic personality. Don’t hesitate to bring anything that truly reflects you individually or as a couple.” —Eugenio Williams, The Wedding Traveler


2. Try to control your expression…

“You don’t always have to smile. You don’t want a forced expression, so close your eyes and think back to when you first met. Relax and let your expression come naturally.” —Kristin Griffin Photography


3. …and your posture.

“Own it! Though most engaged couples aren’t professional models, you can fool your photographer by following a few foundational principles of posing: keep a straight back, relax your shoulders, bend slightly at the waist and lean toward the camera. And when you find yourself becoming stiff, shake it off and just bear-hug your partner!” —Phillip of Blume Photography

4. Practice posing in the mirror.

“I know it can be silly but when your photographer asks you to smile or give a serious face, you want to nail it! Look around on your photographer’s website to get a sense of their style, and then practice that type of posing. Always trust your photographer from behind the camera! Some poses feel crazy and weird but look amazing!” —Josh Fisher Photography


5. Just be yourself.

“Always remember to have fun and be yourself. Some of my favorite images are just of couples being ridiculous with each other, especially if they think I’m not watching. I’ll tell them I’m checking the light or something, then I can capture a few adorable images of them just being themselves.” —Leah Valentine Photography

For more tips on posing for your engagement photos, visit the SnapKnot blog. Now get out there and create some awesome pics!

Photo credit:  Glee and Bliss, Leah Valentine Photography, Nathan Moreau Photography and Josh Fisher Photography.

 

Our love for shoes at Nordstrom is pretty well-known—and wedding shoes are one of our favorite topics! So we’re especially thrilled to announce a new shoe line in our Wedding Suites by event planner and designer extraordinaire, David Tutera.

With so much experience in the event industry, David was on our “must interview” list, and now we can pass along his ideas and advice to you!

The Wedding Suite: David, we’re excited get your expert advice on two major wedding topics: planning and fashion! You have designed amazing events for celebrities, charities, and of course, brides. And you’re in the 5th season of your hit show My Fair Wedding With David Tutera. Congrats! First, tell us how you got started in the industry.

David Tutera: I got started at the age of 19, when someone asked me to do a Bar Mitzvah for them. It was because I had a small singing telegram company and I decorated my store window differently every month. This woman came in and asked me to decorate for her son’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the same way I had decorated my window, so that was my introduction into the world of events. I had no knowledge, not even a clue that people spent a lot of money decorating for parties. This led to planning parties, which led to my career…and here I am, 26 years later, answering this question!

What is your favorite part of the event planning process?

David: I love the event planning process because I get a chance to take people’s direction, ideas and imagination and bring it to life. My job is bringing ideas to fruition and really turning a fantasy into a reality.

If you could offer our brides one piece of planning advice, what would it be?

David: The most important advice I have is to take a deep breath, step back, don’t overthink your decisions and really have a plan. I think nowadays, brides really don’t have plans. They’re so overwhelmed with information that they can end up making the wrong decisions.

If you take a step back and acknowledge the fact that you have a budget and make decisions based within those perimeters, you won’t be so stressed or feel disappointed. Do your homework, gather all of the information and plan.

David Tutera: The Big White Book of Weddings

Ok, now we have to get the scoop on the shoes! When you designed this line, were you thinking of a specific type of bride?

David: My first collection was specifically made to make my girls feel like they’re not just wearing bridal shoes down the aisle. All of the shoes can be worn long down the line. I think that’s what’s important; we get so caught up in the world of bridal fashion that it has such a short shelf life, and the cost spent on something can’t live beyond that one day. But now, brides can wear these shoes far beyond the wedding day.

I love when I see a bride kick her foot out when she’s sitting down or coming out of a car or walking down the aisle and you see a pop of color or a pattern; my shoes provide that. They’re fashion-forward as opposed to just bridal fashion.

David Tutera ‘Joy’ Sandal (also in black, lavender, and white)

Good line! We agree that they’re fashion-forward. Now, tell us about the special “something blue” detail on the shoes.

David: There is a genuine sapphire Swarovski crystal on the bottom of the sole of every shoe, and that is my “something blue” for each of my brides. So when you have to come up with your “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”, I’ve already checked one thing off your list for you!

David Tutera ‘Sweetie’ Pump

What trends are you seeing in bridal footwear for this year?

David: I’m setting the trend and I’m seeing patterns, colors, florals, metallics, wedges, platforms, and higher heel heights. I think these trends are coming from the fact that these are fashion-forward, designer shoes and not just bridal footwear.

David Tutera ‘Cascade’ Pump

Do you have any advice on wedding attire overall?

David: The two most important things to keep in mind when it comes to wedding-day attire are comfort and understanding the right silhouette for your body type.

Another piece of advice regarding shoes: you can’t put your shoes on for the first time an hour before you walk down the aisle. You need to buy the shoes ahead of time, wear them around the house, break them in, so you know that you can walk in them for your wedding.

David Tutera ‘Vintage’ Pump

Good call, David!

Shop more wedding shoes for the bride and wedding party, and tell us about your favorites!

OK, we’re pretty excited (read: really thrilled) about this! We recently chatted with the fabulous Nicole Miller to bring you the details of her design inspiration, the hottest trends and how she got started in the bridal business. Plus, she tells us which dresses she would pick for different wedding destinations. Juicy! Read on, friends!

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The Wedding Suite: When did you decide to start designing wedding gowns? What kicked it all off?

Nicole: It was a natural progression. Friends of mine began asking me to design custom wedding dresses, usually loosely based off styles already on the line, in white versions. I realized the demand was there, and the rest is history… bridal is a big part of our business today!

Now you’re designing for the modern bride. We’re seeing metallic fabrics in a few of your designs, as well as the peplum trend. Any other trends you’re excited about for 2013?

Nicole: Many of my new gowns feature back detailing—lace continues to be a huge trend, but also scoop-backs, delicate beading and button accents as well as unique trims. Brides want to look gorgeous from all angles, especially from behind, when facing the altar!

Nicole Miller ‘Elizabeth’ Gown

How do you start designing a new gown or collection? What’s your first step?

Nicole: Now more than ever, bridal trends are mirroring ready-to-wear runway trends. Since designing my Artelier and Collection lines, I often adapt the trends and feelings of those collections and put a bit more of a bridal spin on them. I always take feedback from our brides and vendors into consideration while designing, too.

Are there any specific places where you seek inspiration for bridal design?

Nicole: I find inspiration in the most unexpected places! I love looking at vintage photographs and watching old movies, and I also sometimes find myself inspired by new technologies.

Pick your favorite dresses for these types of weddings: laid-back beach nuptials, modern hotel affair and classic garden party.

Nicole: Our ‘Aneka’ lace gown is perfect for a classic garden party, and has that beautiful back detail. The ‘Merril’ peplum silk faille gown is understated and chic for a modern city wedding. The ‘Sharon’ techno metal gown is the ultimate destination gown—the fabric does not wrinkle, is lightweight with a hint of beading and is extraordinarily comfortable.

Nicole Miller Peplum Silk Faille Gown

Nicole Miller Strapless Techno Metal Gown

Nicole Miller ‘Aneka’ Gown

Any advice for brides-to-be shopping for their gowns?

Nicole: The most important thing is to feel comfortable. Then, of course, you have to feel gorgeous. Then you will glow with confidence!

Well said, Nicole!

Shop Nicole Miller wedding dresses online or in our 18 in-store Wedding Suites.