Friday Favorites

WEDDING GUEST ETIQUETTE 101

Tis the season for weddings! If you're anything like us, the majority of your weekends lately are filled up with wedding celebrations. It's such a joyous thing to celebrate! We've run into a lot people lately asking about some do's & don'ts for weddings guest so we thought it'd be a great idea to share some pretty standard etiquette guidelines for the modern day wedding guest. Here are our top 10 rules for being the very best wedding guest. Enjoy!


  Photo by  Claire & Barrett

- Do I have to get a gift?: Absolutely! The couple has paid for you to eat & drink on their dime so the least you can do to say "thank you" is bring them a gift to congratulate the happy duo!

- If I'm invited to multiple wedding/bridal showers, do I bring a gift to every single one?: The usual rule of thumb is to bring a gift to ONE shower and still also bring a gift to the wedding (or have it delivered to their house). 

- When it comes to gifts, should I stick to the registry?: We vote YES. The couple has spent a lot of time thinking through and registering for exactly what they want to make their home together. No need to go outside the lines and get them something totally random. Not to say heartfelt gifts are wonderful, if it's something personal & special to the couple then by all means gift it to them. However, for the most part, stick to the registry. It just makes everyone's life easier.

- Can I always bring someone with me?: Unless a "plus one" has clearly been stated on your invitation, then you're flying solo. Your invitation will say "Jane Doe & guest" if you've been given a plus one. If it is just addressed to you then they've only allotted for you to attend the wedding. If you have a serious significant other that came into your after the invitations have been sent out, you can always ask the bride & groom if you're allowed to bring them but don't ever make the assumption that you're free to bring someone with you.

- Can I wear white to a wedding?: That'd be a big NO! White is for the bride and the bride only. Don't be that girl. We would advise steering clear of "ivory, off-white, champagne, light blush" or anything in that lighter palette as well just to be safe. There are plenty of other colors to rock on that particular day so go with one of those. 

- What about wearing black?: Black is totally fine! Just as long as you're staying away from the wedding colors you're in the clear in our book!

- Is it rude to take pictures/videos during the wedding?: Most likely the bride & groom have spent a small fortune on paying a professional to do the photos & video of their special day so keep that phone away. Hate to break it to ya, but the professional photo/video are going to be 10000% better than anything you take on your phone or personal digital camera. ;) Let the pro's do their job while you just sit back and soak up all the sweetness right there in the moment.

- When is it okay to share photos of the bride & groom?: Do not EVER post photos or videos of the bride & groom until after the ceremony is over. You don't want to be that person that spoils the surprise of their wedding day looks before they've even officially tied the knot! That rule goes for bridal party members too, not just wedding guests.

- Are RSVPs really that big of a deal?: YES YES YES YES YESSSSSSS!! If you ask any bride two-three weeks, even one week, out from there wedding about what they're most stressed over and it's 9 times out of 10 the lack of RSVPs that have been sent in. Please please please don't make the sweet bride have to hunt you down for an answer on whether or not you'll be there to celebrate her special day. Promptly send in your RSVP & make the bride and groom's life that much easier.

- Can my kids come with me?: This kind of goes along with the "plus one" rule. If your kids/family are not addressed on the invitation then that's a big ole no. If your kids are welcome to the wedding the envelope will most likely say "The Family of Mr & Mrs. Doe" or "Mr & Mrs. Doe & Family." However, if the envelope just says, "Mr & Mrs John Doe" then sorry Charlie but you're going to have a find a babysitter that night. Some couples really want their wedding to be an adult-only affair so please be mindful & respectful of those wishes.


We hope those tips helped! We know the wedding world and all it's "rules" can be so confusing sometimes so hopefully we set your mind at ease a little more. Enjoy wedding season, friends!

The Joy of Heidi Elnora // Guest Post by Maria Montgomery

Hi Ladies! We have such a treat for you all today! Maria Montgomery, former Miss Kentucky, is guest blogging for us about her experience with Heidi Elnora. Maria was not only a Heidi bride herself but she's also the face of Heidi Elnora Build-a-Bride. We are so excited to have her share with you all the joy of working with Heidi and being friends with the amazing woman as well. Enjoy!! XOXO, The Twirl Girls

  Photo by Angela Karen

Photo by Angela Karen

As soon as I got engaged, my best friend Ashley Booth immediately suggested that she would take me to meet Heidi Elnora to get my wedding gown designed. I was SO excited! Heidi had designed some amazing pieces for Ashley to wear when she competed at Miss USA as Miss TN.  They had become close over the years, so I was honored to meet this little southern bell Ashley had spoken so highly about. I had watched Heidi on Project Runway, so I was thinking I was also going to be a bit star struck!

I never dreamed I would be able to wear a custom gown for my wedding, so I was just blown away at even thinking about the process! I had worn several different gowns through my year as Miss KY and while modeling, and so I had learned a lot about what I wanted. However I was unsure of what to do to make it look right without it going over the top. That’s where Heidi came in. I love SO many different aspects of several very different gowns, that it came to the point that I literally said…”Heidi… how can I keep from making this look like a gown that’s just way over the top, with too much going?” It was a bit overwhelming to have an endless amount of options and I was so relieved she was such an expert to help through the process. She wanted to know all the details of my wedding and to really get to know me so she can make a dress that was 100% Maria. Taking the time to do that really showed that she cared about each and every bride’s big day, even though she does this day after day.

Instantly when I walked into Heidi’s Atelier in Birmingham, I could feel the southern hospitality. Heidi’s warm heart just completely filled the room! I felt at home even though I just met her! After lots of laughter and immediately feeling like I had known Heidi for my whole life, I tried on several different body styles from her Build a Bride collection. I instantly knew I wanted a trumpet skirt. I wanted something fitted, but not tight all the way to my knees like a mermaid style - but something that was still body shaping with a flowy bottom. So we had decided on the bodice, called The Mary Margaret dress (all of Heidi’s dresses have doubles names to stay true to her Southern brand). We then moved onto lace. Here is when I began getting amazed at just how much Heidi listens and truly reads bride’s minds. She knew the exact lace I would want for my whimsical outdoor wedding. I LOVED the lace she showed me, The Mary Lace. I have never seen lace look so soft and not-over the top formal, just as I wanted. Even after looking through the other lace options I realized she was right! That was the perfect choice!

Lastly, I wanted to add a little bit of natural, organic looking texture to the bottom of the dress because I LOVE texture on gowns. Once again – she knew EXACTLY what I meant. She had a skirt named the Sophie skirt which had bits and pieces of lace and organza organically hand sewn on it. This gives the skirt natural movement and beautiful texture. However, it was made to sit on a transparent, flowy A-line skirt. I instead was picturing these pieces attached to the form-fitting bodice. When I brought this up to her, she responded “Oh absolutely!” She was thrilled at my idea of changing one of her pieces from the Build a Bride line! I loved her enthusiasm! Even though it was going to require more hard work, she wanted to do it because it was ultimately my dream gown. The whole ‘designing’ process literally took about 5 minutes. I’ll never forget Heidi saying “I really wish I could make it more of a process for you, but I think we are done!” Haha! And she was right! That’s the benefit of the Build a Bride Collection. I had the pieces to choose from right in front of me, which took out the guess work of designing my gown because I could see them! That’s why I fell in love with the Build a Bride line! And plus, when a designer just knows how to design so well and listens to the bride as she does, it makes designing your gown so much easier!

When it came time to do my fitting I was blown away by how much of ‘the most important dress of my life’ was made before my eyes. I watched two of the sweetest ladies ever, Karen and Elizabeth, hand sew each tiny piece from the Sophia skirt onto my dress. I even got to help a little! (which is not mandatory for all brides of course! But I had grown close with the Heidi Elnora family and was excited to jump in for sewing one tiny triangle…which I’m sure Karen had to re-stitch after I left). It was coming together beautifully. I really loved the fact that yes, although the Sophie Skirt was hand made in Paris, the bodice was made in Alabama, and they were sewn together before my eyes. That is just an example of how pure hearted Heidi is. She wants to take care of Birmingham, her hometown, by keeping as much instate as possible while adding exquisite quality from Paris. She also never left Birmingham, even after being on Project Runway & having her own TV show, Bride by Design, on TLC.

I’m usually a pretty introverted person, but when I finally got to put on the dress of my dreams…. I was brought to tears! So unlike me! As I stared at myself in the mirror, Heidi put a dreamy, cathedral length, simple veil in my hair and then she literally hoped to sit on the floor to continue fidgeting with the pieces that hung off the skirt herself. She wanted each one placed non symmetrical on both sides, so that it had the outdoorsy, whimsical look I wanted. She really contemplated the placement of each one and started repining a few of them. I just loved how much she poured her heart and soul into making it just right, even after it was ‘done’!

The strapless, sweetheart cut dress fit like a glove! But yet the fabric was so light weight, and ultimately proved to stay light weight in the 85 degree weather we had at our Danville, KY outdoor wedding! The gown even completely stood in place, although it was strapless. Again, I have probably worn thousands of strapless gowns through my years of modeling and many of them eventually fall down and need pulled up on top. Not mine! I danced the night away with it secure as can be thanks to the boning Heidi places in each gown for ultimate shaping and security.

Photos by Mango Photography

I got to know Heidi better as time went on as I joined her and my friend Ashely modeling in photo shoots. They are without a doubt some of my favorite pictures of my whole career! Brittany Massey is amazing with hair and makeup, and Angela Karen just takes the prettiest pictures! Not to mention the gowns are of course…to die for! The Heidi Elnora family is truly one of my favorite blessings of my life. But at the end of the day, I’m still just amazed that Heidi stays as humble as can be despite the fact that when we walk around in AL, New York, or anywhere else that people never stop requesting photos with Heidi and being star struck themselves. She is without a doubt one of the most down to Earth girls I know, and will make you feel like she is your big sister. I couldn’t have received a more beautiful, comfortable, custom-gown, at a great price, for the biggest day of my life. Thank you Heidi & all your team!

Photos by Angela Karen

Designer of the Month: Tara Keely by Lazaro

HAPPY FRIDAY FRIENDS!!

If you follow us along on social media you might have noticed that we've been getting some beautiful deliveries lately from Tara Keely! We are over the moon excited about our new arrivals from this amazing designer and it inspired us to encourage our future brides to fall in love too! Walking into the bridal suite can be an overwhelming experience. You walk into a sea of white and are blinded by all things pretty. Designers & dress designs all start to blend together and it's hard to distinguish one from the other at times. Well, let us help you get to know Tara Keely and perhaps you'll fall in love at first sight when you spot it in the bridal suite when you come to shop with us!

Tara Keely has been described as, "inspired by feminine silhouettes and soft alluring fabrics. With a mix of detailed laces, lush tulles, and accents of shimmering sparkle, this collection offers brides the ideal romantic vision. For the graceful and elegant bride who embodies an effortless beauty and timeless sophistication."

Doesn't that sound lovely?! We sure think so!

Photography by The Malicotes

Tara Keely is my (Liz) personal favorite collection here at Twirl. Each dress is timeless, elegant, and has a sophisticated yet chic feel to it. One of my dearest friends got married in one of my all time favorite Tara Keely's, style 2357, and I thought she looked like the embodiment of grace & beauty as she walked down the aisle to her groom and danced the night away with all her closest family & friends.

Photography by Whitney Knutson Photography

Our brides that choose a Tara Keely gown as their wedding dress are never disappointed. They will look back on their wedding day photos when they're old & gray and still be so happy with how timeless and beautiful their dress was. These gowns are ones, that, I believe, can be passed down as heirlooms for generations.

Photography by: (Top Images) Nina & Wes Photography and (Bottom Images) Whitney Neal Photography

We're offering a special deal for future Twirl brides that purchase a Tara Keely gown from now (September 18th) until October 17th! Tara Keely is officially our "featured designer" for the next month and we'll be offering $200 off their dress to any new Tara Keely bride within that time!

How exciting, right?! Call us to book your appointment to come & shop this beautiful collection! We hope you love it as much as we do! 859.309.2493

XOXO

Liz Cox + the Twirl Girls

Friday Favorites: A Little White Dress

It's been a week and a half and the wedding of the year is still being talked about & swooned over! The images of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding have been flooding our computer screens for days now and we're still drooling over Amal's bridal beauty!! 

While we adored Amal's gorgeous Oscar de la Renta wedding dress, it was her amazing Giambattista Valli Couture day-after dress that us Twirl Girls are obsessed with! Can you blame us?!

This inspired us to post about some sweet "little white dresses" we have in the store that are absolutely perfect for rehearsal dinners, receptions, or your own day-after looks! So for our Friday Favorites this week, here are some of our favorite "little white dresses"!

Our first look resembles Amal's with the long-sleeve laced look. This is from our Jenny Yoo collection. It's super comfortable and looks adorable on everyone! The sleeves can work for any season and the sweet floral lace pattern still gives you a bridal feel.
Our second look is from our Donna Morgan line. It's a really cute strapless option and is incredibly flattering. With a cute cut out in the sweetheart neckline, it gives a touch of personality to a classic lace option. We love this dress!
Our third look is one from our Dessy Collection. It's also really comfortable and is just a really classic look. It's great for any season and will make any girl look & feel like a million bucks! With an illusion lace neckline over a champagne colored dress, it's a great option for still looking bridal without having to wear all white!
So if you're looking for that perfect "little white dress" come pop in & see what we've got for you! These are just three of our favorites, there are plenty more where they came from & they're all just as fabulous! With lots of designers, and over 200 options in the store, we will be able to find you something for any look you're going for!

We hope you guys have a wonderful Friday & enjoy your weekend! :)

XOXO,

The Twirl Girls