Fuzzy sweaters and giant inflatable snowmen aren’t the only things that go on sale at the end of the year. Bridal salons also put on year-end sample sales, and it’s a great time to pick up a wedding dress bargain.
Sample dresses are those off-the-rack gowns, usually sizes 10-12, that brides try on to see which one is “the one.” Some samples may show slight signs of having been pulled on and off a few times. Usually, though, all that’s needed is a pressing and at most a dry cleaning to get it aisle-ready. And where else can you find a Reem Acra or Maggie Sottero wedding dress for up to 70% off??
We’ve got some of the hottest sample sales, from San Francisco to San Diego, listed on our Trunk Shows & Special Sales calendar.
(And isn’t dress shopping more fun than finding a Santa Claus tie for Uncle Frank?)
It’s one of the first elements that greet your wedding guests—the guest book, where they’ll inscribe their name, address (for those thank-you cards!) and loving sentiments. Texting may have replaced snail mail in casual communication, but such graceful traditions as the wedding guest book still have their time-honored place.
Sure, you can grab something cheap at the local stationery store. But when you’ve gone to so much trouble with every other detail of the wedding, why not welcome friends and family with panache? Perfect Details online shop boasts a huge selection of guest books in a range of colors and styles.
We love the Victorian-era beaded guest books, like the one in antique gold silk with chocolate and turquoise trim that’s reminiscent of an exotic peacock. Other retro beauties include the Great Gatsby books, which boast a dazzling band of rhinestones and platinum beads. Add ethnic flair with the Cherry Blossom, decked out with a bold Thai silk band and ribbon. Contemporary selections include the dupioni silk book glammed up with a removable silver and crystal brooch. Coordinating pen stands and other accessories tie the entire look together.
Another reason to choose carefully: Your book makes a gorgeous keepsake to brighten up your book shelf or coffee table, a constant reminder of your wedding day!
I had the privilege of attending my first legal gay wedding on September 20, 2008 for my friends Dan Joraanstad & Bob Hermann. Since this was a same-sex wedding, I’d been especially curious about how my friends’ marriage ceremony would play out at the rather traditional Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. I was delighted to see that the adorable (female) pastor at the church wholeheartedly blesses these unions.
Throughout this charming and touching service, there was much laughter and wild applause from the gay contingent as well as us straight folk upon announcing the official union. Surrounded by the inspired Rose window architecture, the music from dual pipe organs and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (Dan is a singer in the chorus), I felt tears of joy for this momentous occasion streaking down my face. Looking around, I discovered that almost the entire congregation was moved to tears—or maybe it was relief at the fact that this couple could finally express love openly. This particular church believes that opening oneself to the creativity of music or artistic inspiration leads one to the divine. I love that concept.
Whatever it was that stirred my soul that day led me to think about societies that disallow some people to fully express that which is most vital to life: love. What if I couldn’t publicly express my love for my husband?
Thanks to Mark Rogers Photography for this darling photo, and to Dan and Bob for allowing me to share this most personal experience with our readers. You inspire us.