By Phillip B. Crook, BRIDES
From Queen Victoria's 300-pound showstopper to Charles and Diana's towering confection, see the lavish wedding cakes from England's royal nuptials.
By Phillip B. Crook, BRIDES
Giiiiiiirl, you better hurry. Gilt Groupe's Wedding Shop debuted last Thursday, and, in true Gilt Groupe style, some of the top items sold out within hours. The deeply discounted sale includes off-the-runway dresses from familiar names like Reem Acra, Temperley, and Vera Wang, as well a slew of accessories, beauty products, bridesmaids dresses, and even groom options. The shop runs through this Wednesday, April 20, but we're betting everything worth having will be gone in, oh, three more hours. Hurry!
Would you buy a discounted designer dress from Gilt?
Photo: Courtesy of Gilt Groupe
More from BRIDES:
• The Ultimate Wedding Dress Guide
• Celebrity-Inspired Wedding Hairstyles
• The Most Affordable Engagement Rings
• The Best Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses
• 10 Shocking Secrets of the First Year of Marriage
Want to keep the bride-to-be's spirits up? Don't say these 4 things. By April Winchell, BRIDES guest blogger
I think we can all agree that brides are nuts-they are, by and large, an irrational, over emotional, volatile segment of the population.
But what you may not have considered is that they rarely get that way by themselves. Often times, it's the people closest to the bride who contribute to her hysteria-usually without even realizing it, and almost always in the service of saying something they think will be incredibly helpful.
Here then, are four things to avoid saying to someone on the verge of being on the edge.
1. "IT'S GOING TO BE THE HAPPIEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!"
Well, aren't you helpful? The bride is already overwhelmed with ridiculous expectations, so by all means throw another log on the fire. Then she can spend her whole wedding day thinking that the best is already behind her, and she has nothing to look forward to. Hopefully she's registered for gas appliances, so she has a place to stick her head when she gets home.
A wedding should
Photo by Dan SaelingerBy BRIDES
Snacking up a storm? Can't focus to save your life? Don't worry, you aren't going cuckoo-you just have an acute case of bridal brain. Months of stress, detail-wrangling, and heightened emotions can temporarily change your brain's biochemistry, leaving you distracted, indecisive, and irritable. Here are some common symptoms and how to deal cope with them:
YOU CAN'T DECIDE ON A DRESS
WHY Your brain is able to process seven new options at a time (give or take). So when you're faced with an infinite number of necklines, you're on a one-way road to Indecisionville.
WHAT TO DO Find ways to reduce your options: Tear photos of gowns you like from magazines, and make mental notes of styles you dislike. That way, you can give salon staff some direction so you'll all focus on your best options.
Related: The Best Places for Him to Pop the Question
YOU'RE BEAT, BUT YOU CAN'T SLEEP
WHY If, each time you lie down, you envision a big-day disaster, you're going to feel fearful and
Photo of Peonies by Diane FieldsBy BRIDES
Purple and turquoise, sequined tablecloths, bite-size tacos-what else is hot this year? We asked 10 influential party people to predict the next big things.
1) Bite-size fish tacos
2) Mini gourmet-mac-and-cheese tubs
3) Baby lobster rolls
4) Zucchini fries in cones
5) Asian slaw salad with mini California rolls
2) pool decks
3) fields and meadows
1) aubergine (eggplant)
3) deep turquoise
FLOWER OF THE YEAR
Related: Wedding Budget Do's and Dont's
It's all about showpieces. They are supercreative and personalized to the max: printed on fabric, styled like movie posters, mimicking vintage postcards-you name it.
Call it lavender, grape, lilac.... Brides are gaga for the royal hue in all its tonal variations.
A single type of flower in multiple containers of all sizes and shapes.
INVITE COLOR: Pink
This year's shade is a
By Phillip B. Crook, BRIDES
And you think your wedding is complicated? Try being a member of the British royal family. From the centuries-old rules and regulations to the pint-sized "bridesmaids" and post-wedding "breakfast" served at noon, we dissect the pomp and circumstance of a traditional royal wedding.
Illustration by Edwin FotheringhamBy Barrie Gillies, BRIDES
Every bride wants to save. But there are good ways-and bad. For those in doubt, BRIDES magazine has the playbook.
DO print a single card with both ceremony and reception details.
DON'T text the invites.
DO decorate with potted bulbs, herbs, or fresh produce instead of just-cut stems.
DON'T skip centerpieces altogether: Bare does not equal beautiful.
DO give your guests a limited menu for drinks, such as a signature cocktail, beer, and wine.
DON'T have a cash bar or, worse, make the reception BYOB!
DO serve a pasta buffet for an informal wedding.
DON'T do chips, pretzels, and baby carrots and hope that people will show up having already eaten.
DO order a cake for just two-thirds of your guest list. (Some people will skip dessert or leave before you cut it.)
DON'T ask Mom to make her Jell-O molds. Everyone may have raved about them when you were growing up, but this is a wedding, not a playdate.
Conde Nast Digital StudioBy Phillip B. Crook, BRIDES
Tutus, bubble gum, a piggy bank, some breeds of unicorn, and now...Reese Witherspoon's wedding dress. While everyone's still guessing as to the style, we can report that Reese's strapless Monique Lhuillier gown was pink-and not ombre hot pink ala Gwen Stefani, but a head-to-toe pale hue.
Designers like (clockwise from top left) Oscar de la Renta, Jenny Lee, Romona Keveza, and Claire Pettibone often look to blush tones as a soft, romantic alternative to white. There's no rule barring second-time brides like Reese from wearing white (and we'd ignore it if there were), but brides looking to change things up from the first dress can't go wrong with pink. As with white, the range of pink options offers subtle variations to best match different skin tones. Was pale pink right on fair-skinned Reese? Unless she leaks (or sells) her wedding photos, we'll have to closely eye those paparazzi helicopter shots to find out.
To see more pink gowns, visit our Wedding
Photo Courtesy of the Ritz Carlton, Washington, D.C.By Mary Beth Somich, BRIDES
If you're obsessed with the royal wedding (like us!), but weren't blessed with blue blood, check out the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.'s Royal Wedding Experience.
Couples who purchase this package will plan their nuptials with an award-winning wedding coordinator, Amal Zaari. The bride-to-be will also receive a custom sapphire and diamond engagement ring like Kate's, as well as a diamond tiara, from D.C. jewelry mecca Tiny Jewel Box. Additionally, all wedding attire will be chosen by a personal Carine Krawiec of Carine's Bridal Atelier, and each guest will take part in an individual shopping session at Saks Fifth Avenue in order to ensure they are properly outfitted for such an occasion.
Event designers will be transform the Ritz-Carlton into Westminster Abbey for the ceremony, Kensingston Gardens for the reception, and then Buckingham Palace when it comes time for dinner. As if that weren't enough, the details will be determined according to royal