Friday, August 29, 2014 11:31:00 AM America/Los_Angeles
Friday, August 22, 2014 12:03:34 PM America/Los_Angeles
Hi ya'll! Today's post is a little different. I had a heart wrenching experience yesterday, and I had to share.
I volunteered to help with the photo event at my step-daughter's school yesterday. She is 11 and going into 6th grade. I was working with another mom I had never met before, and we were chit chatting about the kids' summers. The mom told me that her daughter had been away for two weeks visiting family, and "got really fat over the summer". Errrrrrrt!!! What? WHAT?! I decided to ignore the comment, and she proceeded to tell me how "fat" her daughter is and how she's going to put her on a diet and workout plan. What? WHAT?! I just kind of shook my head and went back to my job perplexed and disgusted.
Jump to a half hour later. Her daughter and her little wolf-pack came and sat behind the tables we were working. There are about 5 other girls sitting around (including my step-daughter) and about 5 moms. The "mom" and yes, I use that word loosely, told her daughter IN FRONT OF EVERYONE how she is going to take her down to the beach and make her get on the body board "to get some exercise". The daughter said she really didn't want to go that day, but really wanted to go the next day. The mom told her daughter she better get her butt on the elliptical when they got home since they weren't going to the beach. AND, "We are putting you on a diet". She told her daughter how fat she was, how she needed to go on a diet and needed to workout. I know if I heard it about 10 other people did too.
I literally came home and teared up. It broke my heart to hear this kind of body shaming to an 11 year old girl about ready to embark on a new milestone in her life - middle school. This is such a tender age with girls (and I'm sure boys too). I watched the little girl's face sink while her mother berated her. I did not say anything to the mom. I wish I would have in hindsight. I think I was just so flabbergasted by this blatant fat shaming that I couldn't even process it until I got home. I'm saying a little prayer that hopefully it won't ruin this beautiful little girl's body image for life.
Body shaming is a serious problem. I hear it ALL the time from brides who go to other bridal boutiques and are fat shamed (or just body shamed) out the door. What is wrong with people? It makes me sick. I am so glad at Dolly Couture we see everyone for the person they are, not by the tape measure numbers. I love when someone tells me they felt beautiful because of us - either in person, on the phone or via email. I want you all to know we see you all equally. We see the beauty inside and out no matter if you are short, tall, thin, large, green, blue or purple. We are a safe haven where you will not be body shamed or judged...ever. Sure we like to sell you beautiful dresses, but what really makes our day is knowing no matter who you are, no matter what shape or size, no matter what sexual orientation you are....we love you all, and you will have a positive experience with us.
Go out and tell someone they are beautiful today. It will make you feel AMAZING.
Happy Friday beauties!
Friday, August 8, 2014 11:31:43 AM America/Los_Angeles
Today's Fabulous Friday bride is Wendy. I love she is a non-traditional bride who didn't have to have a wedding to start her life. You can just see the happiness exude from both of them. And how sweet and cute are Wendy and Josh's little ones? Congratuations Wendy & Josh!!!
Couple: Wendy and Josh
Date & Location: April 12, 2014 at our home in Clearwater, Florida
Theme/Feel: Comfortable, black and white
"We asked all the guests to wear black and white. It was a way to link everyone together and help them to see their similarities because we had lived in various cities over the years and many of the guests had never met each other, but they were all connected through us. I also told everyone to dress comfortably, after all, it was a party. The centerpieces were vintage, black and white household items I found or already had."
Dress: Newport Beach without polka dot overlay
Favorite moments from the wedding: "The whole day was fabulous and choosing a favorite moment seems impossible but 2 moments stand out, my walk down the aisle and getting lost in a kiss when we were supposed to be posing for the photographer. Walking down the aisle I just remember thinking, "This is really happening! YEA!" We had dated for 7 years and we have known each other more than 20, but every time we started planning a wedding, we would encounter a major life event. We each lost a parent and we each lost a job over those 7 years. We had 2 children, and moved 3 times. Every time we thought we were going to have a wedding, something else happened, so when the time finally came, I was just so excited! I couldn't stop smiling! Then during the reception, as the sun was setting, we wanted to get some pictures next to two trees decorated with lights. The photographer said get close and we did. Then we started kissing and before I knew it, I remembered that I was kissing my HUSBAND and it became a sweet embrace. Once the kiss ended, we were all smiles. This was the result..."
Advice for future Dolly Couture brides: "My advice for Dolly Couture brides is to think about the little things you might need that day. Things like...a pen for the guest registry, which I forgot. Breath mints, which I borrowed from a guest. I love my dress and I had known I wanted a Dolly Couture Newport Beach dress with black trim since I first tried it on in her boutique in 2010 (the year I thought we might get married). I only wish I had thought about the fact that I might need pockets for a tissue!"
Friday, August 1, 2014 12:33:59 PM America/Los_Angeles
Am I just an emotional mess lately? I swear I tear up at EVERY Fabulous Friday post. I'm not joking. When Michael's uncle surprised him with such a special momento....that started it for me and continued as I read.
I loved this sweet store and all the paper elements. And Jennifer's advice at the end is so magical. Jennifer is so beatiful, and you can see the love just radiating off her (and Michael).
Couple's Names: Michael and Jennifer
Date and Location: July 6, 2014 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Theme/Color/Style: "Although we got married around the 4th of July, Michael did not like the idea of a red, white, and blue theme. Our style was vintage and the theme was centered around paper, appropriate since I am a magazine editor and Michael loves to write. I have always loved paper and paper crafting, and one of the first details I settled on was my gorgeous paper flower bouquet in some of my favorite shades of blue. Like a lot of my wedding decor, it came from Etsy. The paper flowers inspired many other details, including the paper flower and lantern centerpieces and the "Just Married" banner that hung over the sweetheart table."
Dress: "I wore the Port William, which I chose with my mom in the NYC showroom. Yvette was a lovely consultant, and even though I walked in thinking Avila Bay would be my dress, I couldn't get the Port William out of my mind on the way home. The pictures really don't do the dress justice! I had a seamstress modify the bodice to a slight sweetheart under the illusion lace. I got so many compliments on the dress, and a guest even told me I looked like Grace Kelly."
Favorite Moments: "We had such a magical day that it's hard to choose a favorite moment! My mom's text in the morning saying how happy she was for me was the first thing I saw and set the tone for a joyous day. Michael's uncle pulled us aside at the reception and presented me with the cigar he received from Michael's dad the day he was born--that was a surprise and very special! We didn't want a band or DJ at the reception, but Michael's brother, a musician, sang us a beautiful and meaningful song. The cupcakes we served in lieu of a traditional cake were the surprise hit of the day. There was practically a stampede to choose one after lunch!"
One other fun detail: "Instead of a book, our guests signed a metal print of a silly selfie we took in which I surprised Michael by biting his nose. After the cake cutting, we had smashed quite a bit of cake on each other, and someone yelled out that I should bite him, so we recreated the shot."
Advice: "My advice to other Dolly brides is that the only expectations you need to live up to are your own. No matter how traditional or nontraditional you decide to be, your love and the joy you radiate will make it a wedding. I was originally a little worried that having no bridal party and a lunch reception with no music would not feel "wedding" enough, but the day was absolutely perfect because it reflected us and how we wanted to celebrate. My other advice is to get fun shoes, because everyone will notice!"
Photographer Love: Jenn Erickson http://www.jennericksonphotography.com
Friday, July 11, 2014 2:33:24 PM America/Los_Angeles
Today's Fab Friday bride is Holly. I remember the day we received her dress at headquarters...we couldn't stop looking at it, and you've never heard so many oooooo's and ahhhhh's. I loved the tulle sleeves and the tulle skirt together. But what really made the dress come alive was the mint belt. Holly had a vision, and we executed...those custom gowns are so much fun for us! We love seeing how much creativity our brides have. Holly is no exception! The photos are just gorgous, and I love how everything all came together.
Couple's Name: Holly and Evan
Wedding Date & Location: "April 20, 2013. Ceremony was at Stone Valley Church in Hickory Corners, PA (dates back to 1796) and the reception was held at The Front Street Station, in Northumberland, PA. (The Front Street Station used to be a train station in the 30's, and has since been converted into a restaurant/banquet area, but still maintains the original train cars in the banquet hall area for seating.)"
Theme/Color/Style: "We jokingly referred to our theme as 50 Shades of Mint, since we ended up using so many variations on the color! I'd say our overall theme was vintage but mixed with down-home country - a lot of handmade, DIY touches. I handmade the programs, the centerpieces, the namecards, etc. It was important for us to stay within budget, and make our wedding affordable and accessible for our guests and wedding party as well. (Our bridesmaid dresses were handmade and purchased from Etsy.) Our main color was mint, with accents of peach."
Dress: "My dress was custom Dolly Couture, and was drawn by one of your artists from a few pictures I sent it. It was exactly what I had dreamed of, and I couldn't find anything like it anywhere else - I looked! I had only been one place to try on dresses and wasn't really happy. A friend from London had gotten her dress from DC and recommended you. The dress was perfection from the moment I tried it on, it fit like a glove, and I never even had to have it altered- that's how perfect it was. Being pretty short, I loved that I could have all the tulle I wanted but at a shorter length that complimented my height, instead of drowning me in fabric. I also adored the capped tulle sleeves, which I felt really gave the dress something different and made it stand out from other silhouettes."
Favorite moment(s) from the wedding: "Our favorite part of the wedding was having our friends and family so present and involved - a close friend performed the ceremony, another was our photographer, and another the DJ. Everyone banded together to play a part in the day which made it very special for us - - and even our dogs took part (one was walked down the aisle by my niece, and the other was carried by one of my Bridesmen.) The most memorable and fun parts definitely happened during the reception. Old friends, new friends, college friends, relatives- everyone joined in the dance party and kept the reception hopping until well past our intended finish time. High heels and ties came off, and everyone really cut loose and had a great time- which is exactly what we wanted for our guests!"
Advice for future Dolly Couture brides: "Try not to worry about how things "should be" or "should look" or even what you "should" do! Do what feels right, and what makes you happy. It certainly can be overwhelming, but try to stick to a few key aspects of your wedding that are most important to you and your partner. Think about the things that you will remember 25 years from now or 50 years from now! And most importantly, remember to have fun! It will all go by so quickly and be over before you know it."
Friday, April 18, 2014 12:52:20 PM America/Los_Angeles
Some days it's not hard being plus sized. Some days it is. But the hardest time in my life being plus sized was wedding dress shopping. It's suppose to be the most exciting time in your life, but I can attest it is not. I've heard from so many of our Dolly Couture brides they have had similar experiences which breaks my heart.
I know how it is. You are excited but extremely nervous for your appointment. What if they don't have anything that fits? What if they are rude because of my body shape and size? Will I get the same customer service as a size 6 bride? I really love that size 10 dress, but I have no idea how it will look on me because the designer felt that dress should not be worn by plus sized women. Maybe that's not the designer's intention, but it sure feels like it doesn't it?
Unfortunately, more often than not these fears do come to life. It happened to me. And honestly I love the fact I work for a company that makes EVERY body type feel beautiful. I couldn't work for one of those other bridal companies who looks down on women because they are a certain size. My day is made when one of you tells me how special and beautiful you felt trying on our dresses, or how Dolly Couture didn't make you feel like an outcast - instead we welcomed you with open arms.
We have sizes 0 - 28 in our shops to try on. Some of our locations have less stock than others (yes, this includes the smaller sizes too), but we strive to accommodate everyone. And I guarantee none of our staff will judge you…for any reason. We see each and everyone of you as family the moment you email or step into our showrooms. There are no high pressure sales pitches. We let you decide on your own time. But more importantly we see each and everyone of you as beautiful human beings who have so much to offer the world.
I love my job. I love getting to see the smiles on your faces when you are wearing a Dolly dress. I love hearing how you felt beautiful on your wedding…and you should! You were stunning!
You are getting married because somebody saw you for who you are…your quirks, your beauty, your talent, your heart and your soul. The whole package is what makes you beautiful.
Thank you all for letting us make your dress and being a part of your special day. It's quite an honor.
Friday, February 28, 2014 4:13:51 PM America/Los_Angeles
The weather around the country is pretty drab and grey today (even in LA), so I thought I would show you a wedding with bright color palate and leave you longing for those warm summer days at the State Fair.
Today's couple is Samantha and Travis who hail from Kansas. They decided to do a carnival themed wedding. I just love the fabric pennants, the dessert bar and does she look amazing in her Beverlywood?
Below are some photos from the wedding, but go to Green Wedding Shoes to see the great article and more photos. Be sure to read the full blog because Samanta gives some great advice for you future brides.
A big thanks to Green Wedding Shoes for sharing!
photography + videography: The Shalom Imaginative Documentary Media // venue: Preisker Park in Ellsworth, Kansas // event design + planning: Samantha Finke-Johnson (bride) // wedding dress: Dolly Couture in Los Angeles, CA // hairpieces: Vintage // hair + makeup: Julie Connolly at The Hairstream // catering: Rollin Taco’s Food Truck // music: Memphis Soul // wardrobe stylist: Malina Heinemann, Kansas City, KS // day of wedding coordinator: Jesterbird Events // rehearsal venue: Kanopolis Drive-In Movie Theatre
Saturday, February 22, 2014 1:16:52 AM America/Los_Angeles
Today's Fabulous Friday bride is Amy. She is the queen of DIY. So much in fact DIY Bride did an amazing write up on her and Max's wedding. We just loved Amy's unique flair and all the nuances that made the wedding hers.
Amy wore a Manhattan gown with an organza overlay. We just love her shoes! Dolly Couture gowns are perfect for showing off your favorite pair!
Below are a few photos of the wedding, but check out DIY Bride for the whole story.
Photographer: Matei Horvath Photography//Wedding Date: 10/27/2012//Equipment Rentals: A Rental connection//Dress Designer: Dolly Couture//Invitation Designer:Everybody! Everybody!//Bakery: Magnolia Bakery//Makeup Artist:Pure Skin and Lash Studio//Reception Venue: Saddlerock Ranch//Floral Designer: Unique Floral Designs//Submitted via Two Bright Lights
Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:50:06 AM America/Los_Angeles
Today's Fabulous Friday is a day early because I know all you love birds out there are NOT going to be reading a blog. :)
Nicole's recap gave me goosebumps! As a newlywed, I concur! Make it your own. Make it yours. Make it unique.
Couple: Nicole and Austin
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Date: July 26, 2013
Theme: Bright Vintage with a heavy music/record influence
What she wore: Sweetheart Manhattan with Catalina polka dot overlay and a raspberry chiffon petticoat
Favorite moment from the wedding: "I feel like it went by in a blur, and I had so many amazing moments. One that really stands out for me was our first look. I had been super anxious the whole time we were getting ready and I couldn't sit still. By the time I got to the top of the stairs to walk down to Austin, and I could see everyone in the bridal party watching me, I was shaking like a leaf. It felt like it took me forever to walk down the stairs (Austin said it sounded like I ran!) and then I just burst into tears and he just held me, and all my nerves went away. I wasn't nervous at all, it was complete anticipation about the fact that I was finally getting to marry my love! (We were together for 8 and a half years before tying the knot!)"
What made you choose Dolly Couture? "I had originally went shopping at traditional boutiques and picked a dress and wasn't too sure about it. Then I found Dolly online and found out you could customize your dress and I just knew I had to have one. Being able to make my dress EXACTLY what I wanted, and not having to compromise on anything was perfect for me, and I am so happy with my decision. I've always loved pin-up and love that I got to incorporate it into my wedding."
Any advice for future Dolly Couture brides? "DO WHAT YOU WANT! I know so many people who did something at their wedding because someone else wanted them to do it. Why? It is you and your partner's day, and you should make it a reflection of yourselves and your relationship. Every last detail of our wedding was hand-made by us, or was placed there for a specific reason. We used records as place settings. We didn't have alcohol. We didn't have religion. We played punk/metal music. We served fajitas and bottled soda. If someone didn't like it, that was their problem. My husband and I woke up the next morning and looked at each other and agreed; our wedding was perfect. Every couple should have that same feeling!"
Monday, June 10, 2013 11:04:23 AM America/Los_Angeles
We have been so busy here at Dolly Couture we almost forgot our 7th birthday! We still can't believe 7 years ago Dolly Couture was born from Dolly's vision. It all started with her wanting a short dress for her wedding reception. Not being able to find one, what did Dolly do? She went out and designed her own!
Today Dolly Couture has now been worn by THOUSANDS of brides worldwide! We've even been featured of David Tutera's "My Fair Wedding". Even after all those brides and tv appearances, Dolly and her staff are committed even more than ever to provide great customer service and gorgeous handcrafted quality gowns. With our extensive list of customizations we offer, you truly can make your wedding dress one of a kind. If interested please email email@example.com for more information.
Happy Birthday Dolly Couture!!! Here's to 7 more unbelivable years!
We couldn't have done it without our BRIDES!!! Thank you to all the past, present and future Dolly Couture brides!