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Now that the temperatures are dipping, I would imagine that many brides would want warmth and coverage, which strapless dresses simply cannot offer. Thankfully, with a return to retro modesty and a current obsession with Bella Swan, sleeves are returning to bridal wear in a big way. Below: a slideshow of some favorites for inspiration. What do you think?

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Any bride (or woman, for that matter) would tell you that they have imagined their dream wedding dress at least once. Now, on Brides.com, you can test-drive that dress to see if it can be a reality.

The new Wedding Makeover tool on Brides.com has an extensive library of wedding gowns that you (or a virtual model that shares your shape) can “try on” before you head out in search of your dream gown. You can also get a head start in dressing your bridesmaids for the big day.

No makeover is complete without a little hair and makeup-and, the Brides.com Wedding Makeover delivers with a plethora of hairstyles and makeup shades you can test out. Then, print out your complete look and hit the stores (or salons).

Whether you’re mapping out your wedding day look, or simply looking to have a little wedding fun, the Brides.com Wedding Makeover tool is a surefire way to make sure that, on this day, you look absolutely fabulous.

Here's my bride! Click here to create yours.

 

With a few gorgeous exceptions, the latest looks from Kevan Hall were body-conscious sheaths that incorporated a variety of lovely textures while maintaining a body-conscious silhouette. Despite-or maybe due to-their overall simplicity, a sense of glamour came through in each one. I especially loved this sweetheart sheath that took draping and ruching past practicality into sincerely sexy.

Click here to see the full collection.

Back to Nature

Hair extensions have recently been touted as a must-have for brides who don’t have locks rivaling that of Rapunzel. However, modern brides are kicking this expense to the curb and rocking their everyday shorter ‘do on the big day. To keep it polished, consider using a sculpting pomade or thin curlers. As for accessories, a thin headband, a birdcage veil, or a pretty brooch is just enough. After all, bridal beauty isn’t about a big transformation; it’s about being the best possible version of yourself.

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Photos taken from Brides.com

Tastefully Tropical

Despite our best intentions to stay on budget, some brides can’t help but make a splurge purchase for the big day. With that being said, what better way exists to spend a little extra cash than on a special pair of designer shoes? I’m already a fan of the work of esteemed designer Stuart Weitzman, but when I saw his new bridal shoe collection I nearly hit the roof. Each shoe is gorgeous in its own right, from classic pumps to daring stilettos, some sprinkled with rhinestones for extra glamour. Weitzman’s bridal collection are sure to make classic and modern brides alike fall head over heels in love.

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Click here to view the collection on Zappos.com

Black and White Delight

The dessert bar has become a welcome alternative (or addition) to the wedding cake served during the reception. However, not all of us are able to hire a professional such as Amy Atlas to build a display out of color-coordinated macaroons that match perfectly with swirly lollipops and the table runner. So, here are the basic DIY steps steps for building your own dessert bar without breaking the bank.

The Set Up: Apothecary jars have made a comeback as the ideal containers for candy at the dessert bar. They can be found on several specialty sites at moderate prices. They can also be found cheaper still in the home decoration sections of various stores such as TJ Maxx or Marshalls, along with retailers such as Target. For candies, make sure you have candy scoops available so that guests won’t be so inclined to use their bare hands for loose, unwrapped sweets. You can also use more traditional cake stands and trifle bowls for your bar to display smaller baked good such as brownies, blondies, and cookies. If you’re still bent on having a wedding cake, use it as the centerpiece.

Apothecary Jar with Lid, $26.99, SaveonCrafts.com

Anchor Hocking Trifle Bowl, $9.99, Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Tiered Pedestal Serving Plates, $24.99, Target

The Decor: Your dessert bar will most likely be inspired by your color palette, which will help it serve the purpose of further decoration. However, make sure you add touches of decor to it to avoid a sterile effect. This can be done by adding a table cloth and runner in colors that are in line with your overall scheme. Use flowers, but minimally so they don’t detract from the display. Candles are a no-no; the heat may melt some of the goodies (especially chocolate) and over-eager guests may burn themselves. Even if your dessert bar is a carnival-inspired kaleidoscope, still add a pop of color found within the overall palette-just, don’t use them all, as doing so would be sensory overload.

This Amy Atlas creation uses a trendy color palette of yellow and black along with vintage-inspired vessels to display the dessert.

This Amy Atlas creation mixes a modern color palette of yellow and black with vintage-inspired pieces.

Colin Cowie mixed sweet pink, sophisticated black, and full-blown glamour for this decadent display.

Monochromatic candy bars such as this are perfect for minimalist mavens.

The Goodies: Candy is a relatively easy thing to buy in bulk, even old-fashioned favorite such as whirly pops or rock candy swizzle sticks. For items that are more of a novelty, several web sites that sell old-fashioned favorites are available. Otherwise, put that Costco membership to good use and stock up. If you have a bit more money to burn, personalized M&M’s in your wedding colors will be a fool-proof hit.

Bulk Candy Sites:
Candy Warehouse
Candy Direct
Candy Favorites
A Candy Store

As for baked goods, don’t look past your local bakery, as large quantities of cookies or brownies may be cheaper than you think. Even bakeries that specialize in wedding cupcakes or cookies could offer reasonable prices for their products. If all else fails, your local supermarket or bulk shopping superstore will gladly provide the baked goods you need you need with a professional touch and a low price.

These three basic steps will help you start brainstorming on how to build your dessert bar. If you’re in need of more inspiration, visit the following sites:

Amy Atlas
Hostess with the Mostess
Swank Sweets
The Celebration Shoppe Blog

…or, just type “dessert bar” in the search engine of your favorite wedding/hostess blog. I’m sure they too have something to say on the matter.

Old School Glamour

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