Friday, May 25, 2012

Wear it Again...

These ethereal dresses were only those we could dream of until Yoo Lee, owner and designer of Saja, created the most whimsical gowns we have ever seen. The elegant chiffon, and gorgeous silhouettes of each gown is absolute perfection. We asked Yoo how she would wear one of her stunning dresses after the wedding day…

Our Saja dresses are designed to be light and airy making them perfect for a day on the beach. This long Saja dress is elegant yet easy going. Pair it with some flats and a floppy hat creates just the right beach ensemble. Since the dress is long, I love the idea of layering up a few long necklaces with it; this one from Gorjana works perfectly. Add a printed beach tote, and you are chic yet well prepared for the sun and sand!

Dress: Saja / Hat: Target / Tote: Anya Hindmarch / Lipstick: NARS / Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Necklace: Gorjana

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nina Shoes & Accessories

Our motto at Bella Bridesmaid is with every fabulous dress should come fabulous accessories! And Nina Shoes provides all the accessories you and your maids could desire. From shoes and jewelry to handbags and sashes, Nina will be able to outfit your bridal party in the very best accessories to coordinate with your Bella dresses. We have picked out some of our favorites from Nina's new collection...

Nina: 1. Louise in Cobalt 2. Frieda in Black Polish 3. Beryl in Platino/Gold 4. Leya in Tearose
5. Leana in Verde 6. Lurleen in Pewter Sparkle 7. Norway Flats in Mother of Pearl
8. Fern in Bronze Glitter Moca Satin 9. Eiffel earrings in Gold Crystal 10. Provence in Gold
11. Vivienne in Powder Sand 12. Primrose in Ivory

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meet & Greet: Briana Griffiths, owner of Minneapolis

Image by J. Stoia

One of our newest Bella owners is Minneapolis owner, Briana Griffiths. Not only a great addition to the Bella family, but she has also brought the first Bella Bridesmaid boutique to Minnesota brides! Beginning her career in Chicago, Briana saw an opportunity to return to her home state and own her very first boutique. We got to catch up with Briana and see how life has been since opening her Bella store this past November…

BB: What was your career before becoming a Bella Bridesmaid owner, and what attracted you to the franchise?

Minneapolis boutique, Image by J. Stoia
B: After I graduated college, I moved to Chicago and started working in sales at I have always done sales in some aspect. Since I was a little girl, I had the hope that some day I would own my own boutique. I have always loved working in retail and after I helped manage a small accessory boutique in Chicago, I became determined! I decided to leave Chicago and move back to MN to pursue my dream of opening a store. My friend visited a Bella for her wedding and told me about the franchise opportunity available in Minneapolis. After talking with Bridget Brown, franchise owner, and some of the owners, I fell in love with the concept!


BB: What is the most memorable moment so far in owning your boutique?  

B: There have already been a lot of memorable moments, but the most rewarding part has been hearing all of the positive feedback from my brides and their bridesmaids. I can't wait to see pictures of all the brides I helped this season!

BB: What is your idea of a perfect night out on the town? Which one of our dresses would you wear, and how would you style it?   

B: Now that it's starting to get nice out, I would have to say a perfect night would be dinner on a patio or rooftop in Minneapolis with my close friends. I am loving the twobirds dresses for summer! You really can't beat a dress that can be worn in so many different ways! I also just ordered Swoon's new Capri dress as well as Joanna August’s Union Lace dress.

BB: Fave celebrity wedding dresses?

Playa Del Carmen, Image via U. S. News Travel
B: I know a lot of the other Bella owners have said Ivanka Trump and I couldn't agree more! It really is one of the most stunning dresses! 

BB: How would you describe your own personal style?

B: I guess I would say I am pretty trendy! I love to mix and match colors with fun chunky jewelry. 

BB: Favorite place traveled?  

B: I really haven't had a chance to do a lot of traveling yet. Someday I hope to travel all over Europe! For now, my favorite is Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Shemar Moore, Image via E! Online

BB: Favorite movie that you can watch over and over?  

B: Love Actually 

BB: Everyday wear item? ie: pair of earrings, fave cardigan, scarf.

B: Right now I am obsessed with my patent nude flats and my Kendra Scott gold feather earrings!

BB: Celebrity crush?

B: Shemar Moore :)

BB: Favorite quote or expression?

B: “Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like no one is watching.”

Now for This & That…

Thin Mints or Samoas?

B: Oooh this is a hard one because these are my two faves!! I would have to say Samoas. I love coconut!

Sun or Snow?  

Briana with fellow Bella owners in Chicago
B: Sun for sure! I think Minnesotans appreciate summer more than anyone

Dine out or Home cooked meal?  

B: Home cooked meal...I love to cook.

Vogue or Cosmo? 

B: Vogue

Rock n Roll or Country? 

B: Rock and Roll

                                        Thank you Briana!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wear it Again...

With Summer finally here, we were so excited to have Jenny Yoo show us how she would re-wear the absolutely adorable, silk cotton Reid dress in one of our fave colors, Marigold...

Marigold is one of those fun summer colors that’s just dying to be worn, but needs just the right accessories to make it shine. The Reid dress is a soft and elegant silk cotton blend, making it easy to wear but no less stylish with subtle pleating details that just make it beyond special.  By pairing it with gold statement jewelry from Ippolita sophistication is added to this look, appropriate for a day at the office or a night out with the girls. Add a sleek and timeless Michael Kors bag and this look is ready to go!

Dress: Jenny Yoo 'Reid' / Cardigan: Nordstroms / Bag: Michael Kors 'Hamilton' / Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples 'Corie' / Shoes: Kate Spade 'Lynn' / Necklace: Ippolita

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

En Trend with Della of Smitten Magazine

We absolutely adore Smitten Magazine.  Filled with creative, colorful and inspiring wedding ideas, Smitten always leave us.... well, smitten! Co-founder, Della MacNicholas shared with us some creative ideas and inspiration based on the "Ombre" trend...

Della here, from Smitten Mag! For this "En Trend" post, my first thought was Ombré. French for "shaded", Ombré is a trend that firmly resonates in the hearts of brides to be. First spotted in 2011, the Ombré effect has found it's way into weddings every, which, way… from florals and cakes, to graduated shades of bridesmaid dresses. Why ombré - why not? The subtle color changes from light to dark create interesting focal points for any aspect of the big day. The graduated tones are the perfect way for a bride to indulge in color, without over doing it. Ombré is an easily translatable trend accessible to every bride, offering a fresh infusion of color in a soft, yet romantic way. 

Dress: Dolly Pearl 'Romans Dress' / Earrings: Kendra Scott / Bracelet: Kendra Scott / Shoes: Nina Shoes / Cake: Charleston Crepe Company (Image by Corbin Gurkin) / Invitations: Dee Ruel Papers / Flowers: Stems (Images by Leigh Webber)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meet & Greet: Megan and Danielle, owners of Kansas City

Danielle & Megan

College friends, wedding planners and today, Bella Bridesmaid owners, Megan and Danielle have a lot of history! In October of 2009 these two gals brought Bella to Kansas City after seeing a great need for modern and stylish bridesmaid dresses. Bella Bridesmaid gave Megan and Danielle the opportunity to continue not only a friendship but also a partnership in the wedding industry that each had a great passion for. Between running their boutique and keeping up with their family and friends, these ladies took some time to share what’s been going on in Kansas!

BB: What were your careers before becoming Bella Bridesmaid owners, and what attracted you both to the franchise? 

M: I worked for an advertising agency here in Kansas City on the Build A Bear account. I managed the mobile tour which was a traveling Build A Bear bus that would go to State Fairs, large event, etc. and set up for kids to make bears right there on site. However, on the side Danielle and I were getting our wedding planning company up and running so I was in advertising by day and wedding planning by night.

Kansas City boutique
D: Megan and I met in college and always talked about having our own business.  After college we parted ways for a while since she moved to Chicago. I worked in advertising sales, and then Megan and I started Soirée Event Designs, a wedding planning company, when she moved back. Bella was a natural step for us, since we had experienced first hand the lack of stylish bridesmaids dresses in Kansas City. 

BB: What is the most memorable moment so far in owning your boutique? 

M&D: By far our first sale, which was our very first appointment. We were finishing the store up until the very last minute… the night before we opened our husbands were doing some work on the lighting, so we had no lights! We were "practicing" appointments in the dark so we'd be ready for our 10am appointment when we opened the next day. We still have her info sheet hanging up in our office. We sold her navy LulaKate Ashley dresses with A-line skirts and white sashes!

BB: What is your idea of a perfect night out on the town? Which one of our dresses would you wear, and how would you style it?

Megan and family
M: A perfect night on the town is a kid-free evening with my husband and some friends out to dinner. It would start by getting ready from start to finish without my son under me pulling everything out of every drawer in the bathroom and actually drying my hair. We'd then go out for a leisurely dinner with multiple courses on a patio somewhere. I would wear Swoon "Barbados" short with some great jewelry and dressy sandals!

D: Dinner and drinks with friends. I would wear my LulaKate Margaret dress with Kendra Scott jewelry. 

BB: Fave celebrity wedding dresses? 
Nicole Richie via The Wire

M: Nicole Richie's Marchesa gown. I would never have worn anything like it in a million years but it was so unique and over the top, it made a huge impact. 

D: Carolyn Bessette.  It just never goes out of style. Simple and elegant.  

BB: How would you each describe your own personal style? 

M: Probably dressed up casual. I like a simple look with really great jewelry. 

D: Classic and neutral. Megan is always challenging me to wear things outside of my comfort zone.  

BB: Favorite place traveled? 

M: Italy by far! I've been to some great beaches but nothing beats the culture, scenery and lifestyle of Italy.

D: Aruba. My husband and I traveled there for our honeymoon. The beach is so gorgeous it doesn't even look real.  

Danielle and family
BB: Favorite movie that you can watch over and over? 

M: I actually don't like watching movies more than once! There is something really intriguing about not knowing the ending to a story and once that is already figured out what’s the point in watching it again?!

D: Megan and I are on the same page on this one, but if I had to choose it would be "When Harry Met Sally".

BB: Everyday wear item? ie: pair of earrings, fave cardigan, scarf 

Bradley Cooper via People
M: Diamond or pearl studs - even with grubby clothes I always wear a simple earring!

D: Maybe not everyday, but I love skinny jeans.
BB: Celebrity crush?

M: Bradley Cooper hands down

D: Ditto!

BB: Favorite quote or expression?

M: It may sound simple, but “No Pain, No Gain.” I think my dad told me that from an early age and I think it applies to a lot of areas of life.

D: Don't laugh, its from Oprah's show… "When someone shows you who they are, believe them." 

Now for This & That...

Danielle & Megan with Amsale
Bridal Market 2011

Thin Mints or Samoas? 

M: No idea what Samoas are so Thin Mints. However they're best out of the freezer!
D: Thin mints

Sun or Snow?

M: Thats a hard one because I love both. I'll have to go with sun.
D: Sun!

Dine out or Home cooked meal? 

M: I cook almost every night so Dine Out for sure if I have the option :)
D: Home cooked most of the time

Vogue or Cosmo?
M: Vogue
D: Neither, besides wedding magazines I only subscribe to Bon Appétit. 

Rock n Roll or Country? 

M: Country - especially as we go into summer. I love country while sitting at the lake or by the pool (if I find time to do either of those things!)
D: Rock n Roll

                                  Thank you ladies!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2013 Collection

Fun floral prints, figure flattering designs, soft spring colors, and just the most lovely fabrics a girl could ask for. Clearly this collection has made us Bella's so thrilled to share with our brides! Enjoy taking a look at all the pretty one can dream of...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

En Trend with Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry

We are thrilled to begin our new series "En Trend" with fellow blogger, and fabulous jewelry designer Meg Galligan of Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry. We asked Meg to create a trend based inspiration board coordinated around a bridesmaid dress from one of our wonderful designers. Let's see what special inspiration Meg came up with for our Bella brides...

Hi Bellas! Meg here from Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry. We're so excited to be working with the lovely ladies of Bella Bridesmaid on this post! We absolutely adore working with brides to come up with accessories that match the style, theme, and colors of their special day. One trend that we're seeing a lot (and really like!) is the mixing & matching of colors and textures. In this look we have a fun Ivy & Aster social dress- and we've paired it with several different accessories, so that there is one unique piece for each bridesmaid. The thing we like about this look is that the palette of the bridesmaid dress stays the same, but having each girl in a slightly different piece of jewelry adds a bit of variety and personalization. Thanks for having us on the blog!

Dress: Ivy & Aster "Sparkle" / Jewelry: Margaret Elizabeth

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Guest Blog!

We are excited to have a guest post on Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry's blog. If you love our Bella dresses and some oh so gorgeous jewelry, then you must take a peek at the fun outfit we put together!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Meet & Greet: Leigh Flood, owner of Shreveport

Since opening up her Shreveport, Louisiana boutique in September of 2009, Leigh Flood has not only helped brides find some fabulous dresses for their wedding day, but has mastered the art of re-wearing a bridesmaid dress. Leigh knows that there is always an occasion to wear a Bella dress! More notably when she recently wore a Coren Moore dress to a charity function that involved her holding a python snake! We wanted to hear more about Leigh’s fun experiences since owning her own Bella Bridesmaid…

BB: What was your career before becoming a Bella Bridesmaid owner, and what attracted you to the franchise?

Leigh with her gorg bridesmaids!
L: Before Bella, I worked at Enterprise Rent-a-Car as a manger for 4 years and then at Paychex as a sales rep for 2 years. I always knew I wanted to run my own business, but never really knew what direction to take or how to get started. My mother-in-law saw how unhappy I was at my current job and told me about Bella Bridesmaid and I fell in love with the entire concept.  Having been in several weddings before, I knew what it felt like to wear a bridesmaid dress that you just didn’t feel pretty wearing. So I worked with the Birmingham store for my own wedding, and they helped me find fabulous bridesmaid dresses. Soon after the wedding, I found out the Shreveport location was available. I knew immediately it was the path for me.  It took about a year and a half before I took the plunge, but it was worth the wait! 

BB: What is the most memorable moment so far in owning your boutique?

L: It’s so hard to pick just one! I guess my first Saturday I will never forget, we were so busy all day and I felt a little like a deer in headlights.  My very first bride that day was so patient with me as I had to look up all the questions she had for me! I still keep in touch with that bride today.

Wearing the Coren Moore "Skylar" dress
with the infamous python!

What is your idea of a perfect night out on the town? Which one of our dresses would you wear, and how would you style it?

L: I love going to black tie events and most recently wore a fabulous Jim Hjelm Occassions gown to a Mardi Gras Ball. This past weekend I wore my LulaKate 'Zoe' dress in hot pink seersucker to a Kentucky Derby party, complete with a big white hat of course! I also recently “accessorized” the Coren Moore Skylar dress with a 15-foot python at a charity fundraiser!

BB: Fave celebrity wedding dresses?

L: Ivanka Trump – L O V E her dress! 

BB: How would you describe your own personal style?

Santorini, Image via Trip Advisor
L: Casual, Comfy, and Chic!

BB: Favorite place traveled?

L: The Greek Isles! I got to travel there when I spent a semester abroad and I’m dying to go back. Santorini is the most beautiful place I have ever seen!

BB: Favorite movie that you can watch over and over?

L: Gone with the Wind – classic!

BB: Everyday wear item? ie: pair of earrings, fave cardigan, scarf

L: I love playing with fun jewelry. You can totally change an outfit by the way you accessorize. I love getting a new statement necklace, and then finding clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn in a long time to put with it! It’s a great way to spice up your wardrobe each season, without having to buy a whole new closet.

Alexander Skarsgard,  Image by Carter Smith via GQ

BB: Celebrity crush?

L: Ohhhh, if you have seen True Blood then you understand this one…Alexander Skarsgard.  He was in Shreveport last year filming a movie and yes, I was a complete stalker!

BB: Favorite quote or expression?
Leigh (L) in LulaKate "Zoe"

L: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Now for This & That…

Thin Mints or Samoas?  Neither, I’m a Do-Si-Do’s kind of girl.

Sun or Snow?  Sun…I HATE to be cold…which is why I live in Louisiana!

Dine out or Home cooked meal?  Right now, home cooked meal – I love to grill out this time of year.

Vogue or Cosmo?  Vogue

Rock n Roll or Country? A little bit of both!

                             Thank you Leigh!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wear it Again...

Jessica Ciarla was nice enough to show us how she would re-wear her Antoinette dress, a personal favorite of hers, after the big day…

One of my favorite little white dresses from the Ciarla collection is the Antoinette dress. It has a modern silhouette with unique, embellished sleeves, a chic, flattering fit and a silky charmeuse fabric that feels so luxurious against your skin. Little white dresses aren't just for brides-to-be anymore; they are fabulous cocktail dresses that look great when worn in the summer. It's easy to transition this LWD from bridal to cocktail appropriate by adding pops of color and edgy accessories. We love this bright yellow necklace by Herve Van Der Straeten and this Ostrich denim clutch in blue for subtle contrasts. The gold and blue Yves Saint Laurent metallic sandals ties it all together for an edgy look… perfect for date night or an evening out with the girls.  

Dress: Ciarla "Antoinette"/ Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent / Cuff: Marc by Marc Jacobs / Necklace: Herve Van Der Straeten / Clutch: Miu Miu

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ivy & Aster Spring 2013 Collection

At last! We get to share the loveliness that is Ivy & Aster's beautiful Spring 2013 collection... and yes, it is everything wonderful and more. It's impossible not to fall head over heels for these whimsical and ever so dreamy frocks... just take a peek!