Google+ Sponsor Love Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Category: Sponsor Love

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!

Follow along with Lea-Ann Belter Bridal here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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

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!

Reply to:

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

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!

Reply to:

It’s a new year, and if you have “plan our wedding” on your list of goals for 2018, it’s time to get started! Lucky for you, I have a great opportunity if you are considering getting married in Wilmington, NC!

Every January in Wilmington, a group of hand-picked creatives gather together to fully style and create seven mock weddings that are then showcased to brides through a downtown walking tour called, Courtyards & Cobblestones, A Walk Through Wedding Row. This wedding planning and inspiration event allows you to see your potential venues all dolled up as if for a real wedding and experience your potential vendors’ work in person (and all on one afternoon)! Wedding planning doesn’t get much more fun or productive than that.

This year’s walking tour is on January 13, 2018 from 4:00-8:00pm. Then, the next morning, stick around for a Mix and Mingle Brunch on January 14th from 10:00am-noon to chat with the creatives! The weekend is a fun and relaxed opportunity to line up your vendors and gather beautiful inspiration for the design and details of your wedding.

Each of the seven venues you will tour was assigned a team of the best wedding professionals Southeastern North Carolina has to offer. These creatives then conceptualize, design, and produce fully-styled weddings and receptions for you to experience first-hand! The images you see in this post, by The Story Creative, are an example of the work you will see in person at the event (times seven!).

This event is a fabulous opportunity to bring your fiance, mom, future mother-in-law, grandmas, bridal party, and friends so that your loved ones can be a part of the planning process in a fun way! Everyone can enjoy experiencing the styled weddings and helping you dream up what your day will be like.

On the C&C Tour, you can take part in a wedding planning experience like none other with live music, table settings, flowers, lighting, cake tastings, savory samplings, beverages, photo booths and incredible giveaways from REEDS Jewelers, Pressed Cotton, Party Suppliers & Rentals, High Performance Lighting and Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Wilmington.

You’ll leave with some great goodies, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of our tenth-anniversary issue at the event!

This is one of our favorite wedding planning events of the year! And what wedding is complete without a montage video? Enjoy this styled wedding’s film from Blue Ribbon Vendor Life Stage Films!

Courtyards & Cobblestones 2018 from Life Stage Films on Vimeo.

To purchase your tickets for this year’s tour or for the C&C Mix & Mingle Brunch on January 14th, head to the Courtyards & Cobblestones site!

Last but not least, the giveaway! Enter via the widget below to win two tickets to the C&C venue tour on January 13th, two tickets to the C&C Mix & Mingle Brunch on January 14th, and a one-night stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown/Historic District in Wilmington, NC. Best of luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photography: The Story Creative | Design and Florals: Fiore Fine Flowers | Videography: Life Stage Films | Catering: Pine Valley Market | Cakes, Pies, and Sweets: Creative Cake Design | Bartending:Mister Bartender PC | Specialty Furniture: Pomp Event Furnishings | Rentals: Party Suppliers & Rentals | Specialty Decor: Pressed Cotton | Lighting: High Performance Lighting | Jewelry: REEDS Jewelers | Paper Products: Lyndsey’s Fine Paper | Makeup: Meraki Beauty | Hair: By Melissa Kinnamon | Dress: Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique | Styling: ADG Fashion & Wedding Stylist | Hotel & Lodging: Courtyard by Marriott | Wilmington Downtown | Historic District

This post is brought to you by Courtyards & Cobblestones. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

Written with love by Catherine
  1. avatar India reply

    Yay! This sounds so fun. If I were to go, I’d bring my mother!

  2. avatar Skylar reply

    Sounds great! I would love to bring my mom and my boyfriend! :)

  3. avatar Emily Els reply

    Oh, I would love to road trip with lynn Els to this!

  4. avatar Janna Toruno reply

    What a fun event! Since we are having a semi-destination wedding, my fiance and I planned a trip up to visit with our parents. It was fun getting to visit our venue and rehearsal dinner venue and got some time for everyone to spend together!

  5. avatar Melissa reply

    Can’t wait for the best wedding show of the year!

  6. avatar Amanda L reply

    I would bring my best friend. She’s looking for ideas and venues and I think this would be great for us to do together.

  7. avatar Brittany Landreth reply

    Would love to attend this show. I’ve heard that it is one of the best bridal shows in the South East and so helpful!

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!

Reply to: