"What kind of shoes would you wear with this dress?"

I hear it a lot... and honestly, my answer will vary depending on your wedding location, theme, and colors, as well as your own personal style. If you walk in wearing the cutest Vans sneakers, planning your rustic barn wedding, I'm probably not going to suggest four-inch stilettos to you - unless you explicitly mention them before me. There are so many great options out there, and I'm an advocate for wearing whatever you want!

But today, a bride brought these shoes (below) in with her, and I LOVED them. 
Well - hers were a different color, but when I saw them in watermelon, I simply couldn't resist.
Emma Go - Juliette in Watermelon
I was so inspired by these sparkly beauties, I thought maybe I should share some of my favorite shoe options with you...  {click on each image to shop from their source}

**Please keep in mind the following: I was a barefoot bride. I thought I was going to have a blast finding an awesome pair or statement shoes, and then I remembered that I kinda-sorta hate shoes, and take mine off at every chance I get. I had always said that I would get married barefoot, in the woods. So, while I was technically in a clearing, I was outside, so opted to go shoeless. In summation, most importantly: do YOU.

(as if I haven't said that enough already...)
Sychelles Nimbus
I had found these kick ass Sychelles T-straps in black for myself via Anthropologie (ugh, I LOVE T-straps!), and then saw they were available in web. Urban-terrace-garden-party perfect.
Seychelles Portrait Heels
Also Seychelles, these offer a more stable, slightly shorter heel. But just as much sass.

Speaking of Seychelles... they're what I recommend the most to my brides. They're insanely comfortable, and very reasonably priced for the quality with which they are made. So here are a few more great options from them:
Seychelles shoes
Clockwise, from top left: Most Likely, Gypsy, Turning Point, and Twirl
I'm a strong advocate of  flats, metallics as neutrals, and bold colors in wedding shoes!

I also strongly suggest wedges for anyone dealing with grass on their wedding day. Here in Pittsburgh, we don't have a lot of places to go when looking for fancy shoes, but Nordstrom is tried and true. Here are some options from there:
J. Renne
J. Renne "Chrissy"
Carolinna Espinosa
Carolinna Espinosa "Collins"
Pelle Moda
Pelle Moda "Windy"
Lastly, don't forget about all of the online options! A lot of brides order a selection through Zappos VIP (free shipping and returns!) and keep only the shoes that are a perfect fit. You can find a collection of shoes by Betsy Johnson ("Blue by Betsy Johnson") that are really fun, among - well, I'm sure you know - infinite other options!
Clockwise, from top left: Wed, Joy, Gown, Mesh

What kind of shoes are you rocking for your wedding? Share in the comments!
Ask anyone, anywhere, in the wedding/bridal industry what the biggest trend in dresses is right now, and I guarantee it will involve the backs of dresses. Low back, no back, criss-crossy-strappy back, illusions with lace or beads and embroidery.... the list goes on. But one thing remains the same: you ladies like there to be some interesting detail on the back of your wedding dress. And who could blame you? With options like these around the market, who needs a train?!
clockwise from top: The Lady Vanishes by Elizabeth Dye, image by Mandy Fierens Photography; Willow by Janay A Handmade; Fin by Daughters of Simone; Elizabeth by Nicole Miller; Clara by Nicole Miller, image by Veronica Varos Photography; Helena by Elizabeth Dye
They're all gorgeous, right?!? Great, in theory, but one we're trying these dresses on, and thinking about spending a day in them, often, the question comes up: what kind of bra do I wear with this?

I hear it a lot. So I thought I'd round up some great options for you, because I don't see, or want, this trend going away any time soon!

Sometimes, if you're lucky, there's enough structure in the dress itself that cups or a bustier can be added directly to it, for support and/or shape. But what if that's not the case? A lot of these dresses with fabulous backs are loose and light, and you're left to fend for your ladies, yourself. The awesome part is that there are lots of great options, depending on your needs and the dress.
First up: there's a strap that you can attach to a bra that you already own, to make it wrap around your waist, and sit a little lower on your back. In the case of the Fin by Daughters of Simone, this may be all you need! How awesome would it be to wear your best, hardest-working bra that you already know and love on your wedding day? This option pictured here is by Nordstrom Intimates; similar items are available at Victoria's Secret, Kohl's, ASOS... um; just about anywhere!
So, those are all great if you can use straps on your bra on your wedding day... the chance of that? Pretty slim, sorry.

Now we need to look at low-back, strapless bras. Getting full support, with a low back and no straps, may be a little difficult, but the Dominique braselette could come in handy.
The next plan of attack is adhesive bras, which have really come a long way in the last few years! There are SO many options here. The U Plunge backless strapless bra is a great option that, because of the adhesive band, provides a good amount of support under your dress, plus you get the added bonus of  the plunging neckline. That makes this a great option for the Nicole Miller Clara or the Helena by Elizabeth Dye, both pictured above. Victoria's Secret also makes one of these.
And, lastly, when you just need a little bit of coverage, there are adhesive cups. For the Elizabeth Dye dress pictured above, The Lady Vanishes, this is a fantastic option; the open back and draped bodice of the dress make it basically impossible to even have the side-band adhesive bra without it being visible. From what I've heard, NuBra kills it with their push-up design, which at least keeps the girls together. There are many, many of these out there,depending on what you prefer!

And, of course, if you're comfortable flying free ( but want your photos to be nipple-free? Petals are the way to go.
i have  a confession: i found planning my wedding to be an incredibly isolating experience.

being an introvert, i'm very much not comfortable with being the center of attention - and that includes things WAY before standing in front of our friends and family last june. it's hard for me to talk about myself or even, good god, asking OTHER people to talk about me - even my very, very nearest and dearest.

i didn't want my wedding plans to dominate conversations with my best friends or family, and so i held back and held in a lot of what was on my mind - making me feel pretty alone, even when i knew i was doing it to myself! of course my besties would have gabbed for hours about every last detail if i asked them to! and rob (my now-husband) would have indulged me, but all he was really concerned with was the act of getting married to me, and maybe the food {wink, wink}. knowing that, i didn't want to "burden" him with talks of flowers, hair accessories, and table arrangements.

photo by hot metal studio
in retrospect, of course, all of that up ^ there ^ is pure crazytalk.

but, i've been thinking... i can't be the only person in the midst of wedding planning to have felt that way. as i want my shop to be a safe space for those that aren't necessarily the typical bride, i want to create a safe space online for those of you who might feel a little like i did: wary of over-sharing, obsessing or complaining too much, or "burdening" the people in your life with your wedding planning. let's just acknowledge that  feeling that way is a little ridiculous, but totally. freaking. normal. and then do something about it.

i present you with {drum roll, pleeeeeease} :

the glitter & grit gathering: a safe space for gabbing, gloating, and griping about all things wedding.

here you can ask for advice, recommend vendors, and discuss details. you can talk traditions - honoring or bucking - and blow off steam about having to make decisions about so many tiny things that you can barely see straight
. you can admit that working out has now come second to hand-making your decorations, share tips for writing your own vows... the list goes on!  and i'll be there too, contributing in any way i can to help you shine your brightest and making sure that it remains a safe and useful place in your pre-wedding life.

here's what you get when you join the glitter & grit gathering:

  • an online extension of the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the brick-and-mortar store, that is open to all lifestyles and wedding concepts; this is a no-judgement zone!
  • access to a private members-only facebook group where you can ask questions, get support, and reclaim romance with other brides - and grooms! - to- be.
  • personal encouragement to make your wedding your own, and advice and support to help you do so, from yours truly
  • tips, tricks, and resources catered to your specific wedding ideas and needs

So, join me - and let's reclaim romance together!

Have questions
about the Gathering? Ask away in the comments, or shoot me an email at glitterandgritpgh@gmail.com
hello friends! i've been a little quiet on the blog lately but i'm going to spend november refocusing on connecting with you here. so first, here's a new series: "so tell me," where i answer, in greater detail, some of the more common questions that i hear that are not addressed on the faq page.

since this month is packed full with trunk shows, i thought i'd tell you a little more about what, exactly, a trunk show is... and p.s. you're totally not expected to already know. none of us have actually been shopping for our wedding dresses for years, so being unfamiliar with phrases and terms and events is more than okay!

the full 2014 Elizabeth Dye collection during the trunk show at Glitter & Grit

alright, so. the phrase "trunk show" goes back to when vendors traveled with their wares in a trunk to present to buyers. because boutiques often don't have the space or resources to buy an entire collection, a trunk show creates an opportunity for customers to view - and purchase from - the full collection. additionally, it gives the shop an opportunity to gauge the interest of their clients before fully committing to the line.

occasionally, the designer will travel with their collection, to be present at the trunk show to meet the clients and answer questions about their designs. also, there will often be an accompanying discount available on orders placed during the trunk show. both of these factors vary, based on the designer, but may be a little extra incentive to attend and purchase during the show!

the fun selection of dresses during the Janay A Handmade trunk show at Glitter & Grit {photo by Nicole Jarock Photography}

there are so many win opportunities to scheduling your appointment during a trunk show: exclusive access to the full collection by a specific designer, opportunity to meet the designer, discounted prices, and the chance to influence the future offerings of the shop. it's a great way to make your wedding dress shopping even more exciting.

you can see the upcoming scheduled shows over here - and don't forget to book your private appointment!
one of the most-asked questions at glitter & grit is where to find bridesmaids dresses that aren't a nightmare of crappy fabric or provided with terrible customer service... a lot of people end up at david's for their bridesmaids because it makes things easy when your ladies are spread out all over the country. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. seriously. there ARE other options! since i have no immediate plans for offering bridesmaids dresses in my little shop, i thought i might send you in the right direction.

first up is bella bridesmaid. with over 40 locations around the country - and growing - you can easily choose dresses for your friends to check out in their area. bella bridesmaid was created to fill the overwhelming need for chic, stylish, and wearable bridesmaids dresses. with collections including joanna august, jenny yoo, and ivy & aster, your 'maids will be able to select a beautiful, modern dress to wear as they stand beside you on your big day. what i really love is that this is a store catering specifically to your bridal party, so you won't be sifting through prom dresses to find more appropriate options. visit bridget at pittsburgh's location to check out the selection!

photo via joannaaugust.com
next, i want to share something truly awesome with you. let's all just admit that pretty much no matter how much you want your friends to find something that they're so comfortable with, they'll actually wear it again, it's pretty rare that, in fact, happens. i'm not saying never-ever, but most of us love the excuse to buy something new to wear to each event we attend! {guilty. so very, very guilty.} so let's be real and give your bridesmaids a change to borrow their dresses for your wedding. what!?! little borrowed dress is awesomesauce. browse their online collection and email, tweet or pin your favorites to get your party’s opinion.  bonus: order a free fabric swatch to ensure a perfect color match! double-whammy-bonus: they'll include a second size with every rental - free of charge, just in case!
photo via little borrow dress
and lastly? free-for-all's are pretty damn good. if you truly want your ladies to wear their dresses again, get rid of the label. shop out of the box. it totally works... i asked my gals to select something that was in one of the colors that we were using to decorate; and left the rest up to them. and they looked awesome.
photo by hot metal studio