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Best Winter Wedding Dresses

Written by Ava Clara on . Posted in Ava Clara Blog

The temperature may be dropping, but winter bridal gown styles are heating up! Never before have brides had so many breathtaking choices. Check out some of the beautiful winter wedding options available at Ava Clara!:

1. Sleeves- With fitted silhouette and plunging illusion back adorned with crystal buttons, we anticipate that the Gabrielle gown from Sophia Tolli's new collection is going to be an instant AC fave.

                   gabrielle front gabrielle back

2. Add a Topper- A lace bolero like this one by Wtoo will not only keep you warm but add soft sophisticated style to many bridal looks.

                   lou lyle topper

3. Fur- If you ask us, you can never go wrong with a glamourous and cozy (faux) fur stole. Still don't agree? Just check out these gorgeous photos from AC Bride, Bradley.

 bradley clark cropped goode maids

 

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Brides Across America Gown Giveaway Nov. 13th

Written by Ava Clara on . Posted in Ava Clara Blog

          baa blog baa blog2 baa blog3

Congratulations to all of our military brides who are registered for our 6th annual Brides Across America gown giveaway event on Sunday, November 13th! If you haven't yet signed up, we invite you to REGISTER for this day of all-American fashion and fun! We are so excited to be hosting this event to show our appreciation for our service men and women.

Last year, our salon gave away a record number of 50+ designer gowns to deserving military brides and this year our goal is to at least match this number! Tops designers including Wtoo by Watters, Sophia Tolli, David Tutera and Casablanca Bridal donated beatiful gowns to our cause in a wide range of sizes starting at size 4 and ranging up to size 22. Our seamstress was also present to provide brides with advice for dress alterations, including taking in and letting out the side seams, hems and bustles.

Here's everything our brides need to know about this year's event:

- Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
- We will be checking ID and proof of deployment at the door
- Each bride will be issued a ticket with an approximate entry time at check in
- No appointments needed - the event will be first-come-first-serve, so we recommend that you arrive early for first pick of the gowns
- 3 brides and their guests will be invited into the store at a time
- Each bride will have approximately 30 minutes to find their dress with the help of one of our experienced bridal consultants
- Brides are allowed to bring friends and family to the event, however, we do recommend that you limit guests to 4 if possible
- Light refreshments will be provided, but there are many restaurants in the shopping complex including Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Citrus

To qualify for this event, Brides Across America does require that the bride and/or groom have had a deployment within the past five years or be scheduled for an upcoming deployment. A copy of the deployment orders must be presented at the door along with Military ID. 

For more information, please visit the Brides Across America website. We look forward to meeting you and helping you find your dream wedding gown!

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Bridal Word of the Week: Train

Written by Ava Clara on . Posted in Ava Clara Blog

Train
[treyn]

During appointments we often hear this called the trail, and while it is the beautiful portion of a gown's skirt that trails on the ground behind the dress, in the bridal community it is more commonly referred to as the train. The longer the train the more formal the feel of the dress.

Did you know?  Ava Clara offers endless custom options for your wedding dress, including the option to shorten or lengthen the train on the majority of our gowns! Below are the most common lengths:

Sweep/Brush: Extends approximately 6 inches on the floor. The most low maintenance of trains. Beautiful but unassuming, you can think of this as the girl next door of wedding dresses. Ideal for outdoor weddings and brides who want an easy going feel.

IMG 0217   wtoo inez
Willowby by Watters is all about easy-going elegance. Penelope and Inez, pictured above, are both available at Ava Clara!

Chapel: Extends 12-18 inches behind the gown. Although the most common train length, there's nothing common about these dresses. Chapel trains add loads of glamour without being too serious, making it the most popular length.

IMG 0214   IMG 0215
Chapel trains can vary in size from the soft one on the Wtoo Savannah gown on the left to the
dramatic train on the Sophia Tolli Trevi dress on the right. Either way, you can't go wrong!

Cathedral: Extends 22 inches or more behind the dress giving the gown a much more formal feel. You'll definitely want to bustle this gown after the ceremony.

tara keely bridal trumpet alencon lace sweetheart satin ribbon belt beaded natural scalloped tiered cathedral 2601 zm
The beautiful cathedral train on this Tara Keely style is three tiers of gorgeous!

Royal/Monarch: Extends a yard or more behind the dress. For royalty and the bride who wants maximum drama on her wedding day (think Kate Middleton). You'll need your own Pippa or at least a flower girl or two to help you down the aisle in this one.

IMG 0211

Example of Train in a Sentence:

The train on the Augusta Jones Sophia gown is drop dead gorgeous!

IMG 0213

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Do You Speak Bride?

Written by Ava Clara on . Posted in Ava Clara Blog

As a newly engaged gal, you might start to pick up on a strange new language. What's the difference between Alencon and Chantilly lace? A mermaid and trumpet silhouette? A Traditional and French bustle? What is a bustle anyway? Alex is always saying that she could write a dictionary to help our brides navigate their bridal appointments and today we said, "Why not?!" For the next few weeks we're going to have some fun posting a bridal word of the week to help our brides in the search for their perfect dress.

Word of the Week:

Bustle
[buhs-uh l]
Tie/button/snap used to pull the back of a wedding dress off the ground, because let's be real, long trains are gorgeous, but after the ceremony it's time to party!
 
be295Dress: Felicity by Ella Rosa, available at Ava Clara

Did you know?   Most gowns do not come with bustles. They are added by a seamstress during alterations. Depending on the weight of the gown, 3 or more bustles may be needed to secure the train to ensure you can dance the night away with no mishaps. Not to worry, your Ava Clara recommended seamstress will help you choose the bustle option that is best for you!
 
Types of Bustle:
 
Traditional/American/Over Bustle: attaches the mid part of your train to the back of your skirt with buttons or hooks and loops

traditional bustle
 
French/European/Under Bustle: picks the train off the gown from underneath using ribbon ties

french bustle
 
Example of Bustle in a sentence:
 
Hustle your bustle to Ava Clara for the best bridals of Coastal Virginia! ;-)

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Elegant Calligraphy Inspired Styled Shoot

Written by Ava Clara on . Posted in Ava Clara Blog

Through the years we've had the opportunity to collaborate with many of Hampton Roads' finest wedding vendors to produce styled shoots that provide some serious wedding inspiration while showcasing their amazing talents. While we love all of the photoshoots we've been a part of, this one takes the proverbial wedding cake! :-)

We were so excited when Kelsey Ann Events invited us to be a part of their styled shoot at the Woman's Club of Portsmouth and even more excited to learn that their models were none other than beautiful Ava Clara Bride Shelby and her soon to be husband, Eric! To top it off, Shelby and Eric are set to wed this month at the same breathtakingly beautiful venue.

For the photoshoot, Shelby is wearing an off-the-shoulder, lace sheath style by Kenneth Winston accessorized with a vintage inspired hair vine of hand painted metallic flowers, freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals available at Ava Clara (as for her real bridal gown, stay tuned!).

Kimberly Florence Photography captured their genuine love and excitement as they enjoyed a preview of what was to come on their wedding day. Combine all of this with florals from Fluttering Flowers, vintage finds from Mad Hatter Vintage, sweet treats from Hummingbird Macarons, linens from Waterford Event Rentals, hair and make up by Hampton Roads Bridal Beauty, embroidered napkins from Mimmi and Bee, floral cart from Glass Gardens and the star of the show, calligraphy by Lauren Perry Studio (a former Ava Clara bride with serious talent) and the result is magical! The entire shoot was centered around the classic beauty and art behind calligraphy.

Check out some of our favorite shots below. Can't get enough? Check out the feature on the Every Last Detail Wedding Blog!

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4620 0 low

Beautiful ballroom at the Woman's Club of Portsmouth complete with vaulted ceilings, chandeliers and so much natural light. See the beautiful gold script on the table cloth? Lauren Perry hand painted the lyrics from a Dave Matthews Band song on the linens!

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4486 0 low
Beautiful blush bridal bouque designed by Fluttering Flowers.

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4643 0 low
The prettiest calligraphy by Lauren Perry Studio. She can personalize anything!

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4734 0 low
What couple wouldn't want to lounge on the prettiest furniture from Mad Hatter Vintage.

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4802 0 low
Shelby's beachy waves done by Hampton Roads Bridal Beauty looks oh so pretty styled with a hair vine like this one from Twigs & Honey. Check out more hair vines in store at Ava Clara!

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4947 0 low
Showing love to our home state is always in style, especially when it features this adorable floral pattern!

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4931 0 low
These Hummingbird Macarons are almost too pretty to eat... almost...

  KimberlyFlorencePhotography DSC4988 0 low
Sorbet + Champagne. It's a celebration!

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