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It’s hard to believe we’re in the homestretch of our wedding planning, with only 8 days to go until we say “I do!” It’s been a whirlwind six months, and we’re excited to celebrate with all our family and friends soon! I know how quickly things can turn from fun to frazzled without a proper plan in place, and if I’ve learned anything during our engagement season, it’s preparation is key.

We’re making progress on the last lingering things on our list, and a large part of that has been working on timelines for the morning of the big day! After talking with our friends at Plum Pretty Sugar , I was inspired to share seven tips I’ve incorporated into my planning, and I hope you find them helpful!

Photo by Robyn Van Dyke

Write it down. I’m taking a few moments to write out my excitement, my hopes and dreams for our marriage, and how much I value him. Since we’re forgoing a first look in favor of seeing each other at the altar, we’re hoping to exchange letters to one another.

Choose your room carefully. My bridesmaids and I will be getting ready at a local Airbnb, and we intentionally chose a space with abundant natural light to get ready in. If possible, choose a room with neutral colors, and try to keep things neat and tidy throughout the morning. If details are important to you, have everything you’d like photographed laid out and waiting for your photographer—a full invitation set, my mother-in-law’s veil, etc.

Choose attire for your bridesmaids. If you’ve been in the Southern Weddings family, you know we’re all big fans of Plum Pretty Sugar pajamas and robes! Plum Pretty Sugar was kind enough to gift our team pajamas for our Cultivate Team Summit, and we worse them for our slumber parties all week long. I loved them so much I ordered pajamas for my bridesmaids (I love how they offer Getting Ready sets for their pajamas, robes, and rompers!). I’m thrilled it’s a gift that will not only be beautiful in our photos, but they’ll enjoy for years to come!

Photo by Taylor Rae

Create a playlist. Leading up to our engagement, Logan created a secret Spotify playlist for us to enjoy after getting engaged. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite playlists because it brings up such sweet memories! I’ve already started building my wedding morning playlist on Spotify, and I have a speaker on my packing list. I know the playlist will bring back great memories in the months following our wedding day.

Give your phone to someone else. If you follow our sister brand, you know “phone down, eyes up” has been one of my goals for the year. I’m especially excited to pass my phone off to my sister or Matron of Honor on the morning of the wedding so I can fully soak up time celebrating with my family and loved ones without the urge to reply to text messages or scroll through social media.

Don’t skip breakfast or lunch! My appetite is the first thing to go when I get anxious, but the last thing I want is my stomach rumbling during the ceremony! We have a plan for breakfast, lunch, plenty of snacks, and a few mimosas for the wedding morning so no one goes hungry!

Have a plan. This is arguably the most important tip! I’ve been in my fair share of wedding parties to know the wedding morning can fly by, and I want to make sure we have plenty of time for hair and makeup without feeling rushed! Your wedding day is perhaps the one day you don’t want to be fashionably late :)

Newlyweds and bride-to-be’s, I’d love to hear from you! What would you add to this list? Is there something you did the morning of your wedding that you loved or would change? Leave a comment, and let me know!

This post is brought to you by Plum Pretty Sugar–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
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  1. avatar NST Pictures – Artistic Wedding Videos reply

    These tips are perfect for brides! Thank you!

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To me, Lea-Ann Belter Bridal has always been synonymous with classic, Southern charm, and we sure have featured some lovely Southern Lea-Ann Belter brides here. So imagine my surprise when I finally noticed Lea-Ann is based in Toronto! She could have fooled me, and I know any of her gowns would be perfectly at home at your Southern ceremony.

Today I have a fun treat for you! Lea-Ann herself has answered some of our questions about the origins of her business and her advice to brides! It turns out she and I have the same current favorite from her collection (Patrice: seriously stunning) as well as an affinity for red lipstick. We hope you enjoy learning more in today’s Designer Spotlight!

Tell us about the beginnings of Lea-Ann Belter Bridal—why did you want to start a bridal line, and how did you get started? I always knew my future lay in a creative direction — my sketchpad and pencil were almost never far! Textiles and glass have always fascinated me, so I focused on that love as well as fashion through college. Afterward, I trained with a couturier here in Toronto with whom I further developed my eye for impeccable execution and quality. Around that time, my brother became engaged, and his fiancée asked me to create her wedding gown! In doing so, I found it was the perfect expression of my love of fashion, gorgeous fabric, affinity for timeless style, and talent for meticulous execution. Before I knew it, I had opened my first Toronto bridal boutique and was offering the Lea-Ann Belter Bridal Collection to brides in Canada and the USA through a network of retailers. Over twenty-five years later, I’m grateful to be able to continue doing what I love.
Tell us about what y’all offer to brides and gals. I fervently believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. When I began designing bridal gowns, I wanted the dresses to celebrate that beauty, rather than overwhelm or obscure. It was equally important to me that my dresses were created in a true couture tradition — made by hand of the finest silks and laces I could find. I’m very proud to say that those things all continue to ring true. As a result, Lea-Ann Belter Bridal gowns offer wedding dresses that complement every body type and personality, as well as strike a true balance of contemporary and timeless style.

What sets Lea-Ann Belter apart from other bridal gown brands? We truly make every gown by hand. Each individual gown is cut, sewn, finished, and pressed all within my Toronto atelier. No dress leaves without a thorough looking-over! That couture approach enables us to create bespoke gowns for our brides. Additionally, we don’t have a finite size chart. Lea-Ann Belter gowns are available in all sizes and are completely customizable.
What is your single best tip for a bride about to start shopping for her wedding gown? Keep an open mind. You may think you want to wear a mermaid gown or that you love lots of beading or lace, but if after trying a few that seem to fit the bill you don’t get butterflies, try something new. That V-neck ball gown with the lace at the hem may be the one! Similarly, don’t let perception drive your choice. What others wear, want you to wear, or say is in fashion are completely secondary to pleasing yourself.

What is your current favorite wedding dress in your collection? An impossible question! I really do love them all. However, I do have daily favorites. At this moment, I am loving Patrice, a gown from my Summer in Provence collection. So many beautiful fabrics and textures make up this dress! Also, she reminds me of a particularly delightful afternoon I spent wandering a charming town in Provence while on holiday.
Do you have a favorite Lea-Ann Belter Bridal memory? Oh my…so many great memories! One of my more recent memories is the move to our current location on Broadview in Toronto. I purchased the building in which my flagship boutique and atelier are now housed, and doing so has always been a great dream of mine. Though moving is pretty dreadful, our first full day was such a proud, happy one for me!

What is the single greatest lesson you’ve learned in business? There are definitely many lessons to be learned when you open and run a business. However, one thing that has proved its worth time and time again is integrity. When you do the right thing and stay true to who you (and your brand) are, it’s a very powerful thing. Hand in hand with this is learning to delegate! It is hard in the beginning to justify enlisting help for various things such as accounting, graphic design, or copy writing when you can do them yourself. However, in order to focus on your strengths (design and production, in my case), you can’t also be running around doing taxes, managing the office, writing dress descriptions, and creating advertising images.
Name three items every gal should have in her closet. A pair of fierce boots that make her feel like a warrior, a timeless pencil skirt, and the perfect red lipstick.

Thank you so much, Lea-Ann!

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This post is brought to you by Lea-Ann Belter Bridal – thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

Written with love by Catherine
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    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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    Belles, we have a treat for you today!!

    Early last year, our friends at Southern-staple Lauren James told us a VERY exciting secret: they were working on a one-stop bridesmaid shop for their signature LJ dresses!

    We pretty much started jumping up and down, as nothing could make more sense: Lauren’s dresses are PERFECT for Southern gals, and they’re already being used in weddings around the world! Now, the geniuses at LJ have simply streamlined the shopping and ordering process for your entire bridal party, making it easier to deck your belles in bows on your wedding day. Here’s how:

    Head to the “Made for You” section of the Lauren James site to create an account and set up your own bridal suite. This will be your custom landing page, where you’ll enter information about your wedding and each bridal party member.

    Choose from a wide range of options to assign each bridesmaid a color, fabric (100% cotton or seersucker), and dress style choice. You can give each gal several styles to choose from, or assign one option to everyone. Bridesmaids can order a dress with added length too!

    Once you’ve made all of your selections, the system will send an email to each bridal party member welcoming her to the bridal suite and showing her the style options you’ve chosen with links to shop on the website. From there, each gal can order her outfit of choice directly from Lauren James.

    As the bride, you’ll be able to see who has ordered what, and when, eliminating so many headaches and the hassle of chasing down your girls! Hallelujah!!

    All dresses are made to order in the United States and take up to ten weeks for delivery.

    Genius, right?! You already know Lauren James dresses are the epitome of “wear it again after the wedding,” and now, they’ve made the whole process simple and fun for everyone involved. We could not be more excited to see more LJ bows show up in our real wedding features from here on out!

    To check out the Bridal Suite for yourself and scope out the dresses featured in these photos (the Morgan, Emerson, and Livingston), head to the Lauren James site!

    Photography: Bamber Photography | Venue: Leslie-Alford-Mims House | Hair and makeup: Teighla Norris | Flowers: Amanda Day Rose | Cake: Ashley Cakes

    This post is sponsored by Lauren James. Thanks for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

    emily Written with love by Emily
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      Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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