Main Content

Expert Advice

To celebrate the arrival of the spring 2015 collection for BLISS Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses, we caught up with the designer behind the brand. We just couldn’t miss an opportunity to chat about her gorgeous bridal gowns (and bridesmaid dresses!), the risk she recommends brides take and her favorite thing about being in the bridal business.

Monique-Lhuillier

The Wedding Suite: Tell us three things we would be surprised to know about you.
Monique Lhuillier:
1. I started my bridal business after looking for my own wedding dress almost 20 years ago, because I felt there was a void in the marketplace for fashion-infused dresses.
2. I love the outdoors. I am from California, and I love hiking and spending time with my family in the sun.
3. I’m half French and half Filipino.

What’s the most important thing about designing a wedding dress?
For me, my bridal gowns must emanate romance and fantasy. I offer all different types of dresses that will make a bride feel glamorous and alluring on her wedding day. When designing, I focus on the gowns feeling very feminine, marked by exquisite workmanship and luxurious fabrications.

Monique-LhuillierMonique-LhuillierMonique-Lhuillier
BLISS Monique Lhuillier Wedding Dresses

What’s distinctive about your new BLISS collection; what sets it apart?
I subtly infused color into this collection. I wanted a beautiful pastel color palette including tones of pale blush and latte all mixed with soft silk layers, white tulle and lace. You’ll find exquisite design details: beautiful combinations of Chantilly lace with overlays of draped tulle and delicate embroidered lace appliqués in addition to cascading hemlines edged with horsehair trim.

How does BLISS differ from your namesake collection?
BLISS Monique Lhuillier is inspired by a feminine, elegant and youthful bride. This collection provides a curated collection of romantic dresses that are punctuated with fresh styles that embody my signature design aesthetic. I provide distinct silhouettes—from stunning trumpet-shaped gowns and ethereal sheaths to whimsical ballgowns—all at an accessible price point.

What is one bridal fashion risk you would recommend to brides?
Experiment with color on your wedding day. I love pale pink or blush for a touch of the unexpected; it can be quite enchanting for brides who are looking for something nontraditional.

Monique-LhuillierMonique-LhuillierMonique-Lhuillier
ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaid Dresses

What’s different about designing a bridesmaid dress versus a wedding dress?
The process is quite different, and I actually look to my ready-to-wear line for inspiration. Bridesmaids want to feel beautiful, comfortable and even a bit fashion appropriate when they are walking down the aisle. I try to provide dresses they could wear again for a special occasion and offer colors that will complement them.

What advice do you have for brides as they choose their bridal parties’ wardrobe?
The process of choosing your bridesmaids is hard, but finding a dress they will all agree on is sometimes even harder. As the bride, I think it is necessary to set the direction for what you want your bridesmaids to look like on your big day. The more guidance they have, the less likely they are to go astray. This means giving them hair and makeup direction, accessory parameters and, most of all, very specific information on what you want in their dresses. It’s important to select a bridesmaid dress that fits into your color scheme, but it’s most important for your bridesmaids to feel beautiful and at ease. Selecting one color is the easiest way to have a cohesive look; then allow the bridesmaids to select the style they are most comfortable with.

What’s your favorite thing about being in the bridal business?
The bridal business is rewarding because it all revolves around such a special day. To have the opportunity to make a bride feel beautiful, confident and glamorous on this momentous occasion is such an honor.

SHOP: Monique Lhuillier

Armed with a degree in photography and years of experience as a Beauty Stylist (currently at Nordstrom Topanga), Iris Brostowicz shares her expert advice for any bride to achieve the perfect skin, makeup and photos at her wedding. Check out Iris’s tips on our Beauty Blog.

Our friends at Rustic Wedding Chic share how to style a coastal rustic wedding for your own bridal look and your ‘maids.

Set sail with your guests as you take off on one of life greatest adventures: your wedding! Whether you are planning to say “I do” in a tropical setting, at a beachside affair or on the shores of your favorite lake, our three carefully curated looks will help set you in the right direction.

Donna Morgan ‘Laura’ dress | real wedding photo by Glass Jar Photography via Rustic Wedding Chic | ML Monique Lhuillier bridesmaid dress

Ted Baker London Fit & Flare Dress | Miu Miu Nautical Stripe Pump | real wedding photo by AMW Studios via Rustic Wedding Chic | Jenny Yoo ‘Isabel’ bridesmaid dress

Olia Zavozina Lace Wedding Dress | TOMS Classic Crocheted Shoes | real wedding photo by Blue Colibri via Rustic Wedding Chic | Alex Woo Pendant Necklace | kate spade new york clutch

 Love this style? Check out our Rustic Wedding Ideas Pinterest board for more inspiration!

Guest contributor (and celeb hair stylist) Sarah Potempa is back with another bridal hair how-to, this time in a vintage glam theme.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Step 1. Create your clean, deep side part, while smoothing out any fine hairs that may pop up, with your comb. TIP: For more volume, apply smoothing gel directly to brush. Using a blow dryer and a brush, pull hair through brush in upward motion. 

Step 2. Take the Beachwaver Styling Iron and begin to curl in a roller-set style. Set each curl with a clip.

Step 3. After the sections are complete and cooled, take hair down.

Step 4. Spray a light movable hairspray directly onto brush. Begin to brush out curls using a smooth, downward motion. For lasting results, pin hair with a large silver clip in each crease of the wave. Remove all clips and spray one final time.

For the reception, you can change it up by teasing the hair from mid-strand to ends to create fullness and volume. For an extra-glam step, gather hair to one side and create a thick braid. Add a fun, vintage hair accessory—even a necklace will work.

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

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.

Today, we’re excited to bring you a guest post from our newest collaborator, Rustic Wedding Chic!

When thinking of hosting a rustic wedding, it is important to remember that you don’t have to skip the glamour just because you are selecting a rustic location. Venues like barns, vineyards, farms and lodges are beautiful backdrops for a rustic chic wedding, and they work perfectly with more dressed-up looks—for both the bride and the bridesmaids—for a one-of-a-kind event!


Anne Barge ‘Emmanuelle’ Wedding Dress | Whichgoose ‘Nymph’ Crown | kate spade new york ‘secret garden’ stud earrings | flowers & venue photo by: Robin Jolin Photography via from Rustic Wedding Chic


Jenny Yoo ‘Gigi’ Ruffled Bridesmaid Dress | Lauren Ralph Lauren Beaded Earrings | Ivanka Trump ‘Anita’ Sandals | Nadri CZ Cluster Necklace | flowers photo by Robin Jolin Photography via Rustic Wedding Chic


Adrianna Papell Dot Bridesmaid Dress | Pelle Moda ‘Gretel’ Sandals | Lauren Ralph Lauren Hoop Earrings | Guinevere Statement Necklace | cake photo by Robin Jolin Photography via Rustic Wedding Chic

 Love this style? Check out our Rustic Wedding Ideas Pinterest board for more inspiration!

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!

Wedding Stylist Chelsea Hobbs from The Wedding Suite at our Downtown Seattle store offers ten tips for dress shopping that every mother of the bride can cherish.

HERO

Read More

Did you just get engaged? Congratulations! You’re starting one of the most unique and exciting times in your life—celebrating, planning and celebrating more! Make the most of it all with our 8 helpful tips below:

1. Take a deep breath, smile and say to yourself and your honey: “This will be FUN.” Make a pact to remind each other of that any time you start to feel stressed during the planning process.

2. You’ll be staring at your new bling—and showing it off—quite a bit in the coming weeks. So dress up your digits with a manicure at a Nordstrom Spa near you or DIY with a pretty polish.

3. Have an inspiration party! Get your girlfriends together to binge on bridal blogs, Pinterest and magazines. Married or single, they’ll never turn down a chance to drink wine and look at beautiful wedding ideas!

4. Start a Pinterest board…or change your secret “Someday” board to “The Big Day Is Here!” Follow us on Pinterest for endless inspiration and check out some of our other favorite boards too.

5. Look at real weddings for ideas on themes, colors, DIY projects, bridesmaid looks—and of course, wedding dresses!

6. With engagement parties, bridal showers and bachelorette parties coming up, treat yourself to a cute little white dress. Get ready to party and don’t be afraid to wear white to every event!

7. Have date-night planning sessions with your fiancé! Go out to dinner or get coffee while you talk about ideas. Budget conversations will be much more fun this way!

8. Start dress shopping! It’s never too early—even if you don’t have a venue or a date, you can start discovering what styles you love. Browse online lookbooks, find a Wedding Suite near you and make an appointment with a free Wedding Stylist. Trust us, she’ll become your bridal BFF, handing ALL of the attire for you and your wedding party!

HeroA dress-shopping selfie is a must!

And finally, check back here for inspirational articles each day as you plan your wedding. Any questions? Comment below and we’ll give our best suggestions and advice!