Lovely Bride

Blogs for a popular wedding apparel retailer.

Travel Spotlight: Amsterdam
October 2, 2013
As some of you know, I spent the year abroad in 2011, working as an au pair for a Dutch/Caribbean family. It was one of the best experiences of my life to date, and I can’t help but feel nostalgic about my experience once in a while. Amsterdam is a truly unique city, and Dutch culture is something to be marveled at.
The Dutch are humble people who take joy in simple pleasures. A “biertje” canal-side on a sunny day, a bike ride through the countryside, and a colorful bouquet of tulips are prime ingredients for the perfect day. There is definitely a sense of freedom in Amsterdam – freedom to be who you want to be, and live life as you believe it should be lived.
Amsterdam has a lot to offer any kind of traveler, as the city has a rich historical culture, and yet a very modern take on cuisine, design, and transportation. Recently, Amsterdam has reopened two museums (The Rijksmusem and The Stedlijk Museum) and there are several new hotels on the scene, including the luxe Conversatorium hotel, and the creative Andaz hotel.
Read on, as I share some of my favorite Dutch things with you!
Fashion on the Negen Straatjes
Dutch designers tend to favor simplicity, and clean lines, with a hint of drama and rawness. Stylish, edgy Amsterdammers can be found wandering the small, intimate streets of the Nege Straatjes, where independent boutiques and stylish shop owners reign supreme. The Negen Straatjes (the nine little streets) reside in the neighborhood of the Jordaan, also home to the Noordermarkt, which is arguably the best vintage clothing market in the city.
A cousin of apple pie that is a little thicker around the middle. In my opinion, this is one of the best desserts in northern Europe: fresh apple slices, yummy brown sugar, and a thick doughy crust that leaves you smacking your lips. The best part about Dutch appeltaart is actually the heavy whipped cream (slagroom) that accompanies it. This is a heavy, luxurious, hand-whipped cream that tastes nothing like Reddi-whip. I want to book a flight to Amsterdam just thinking about it.
Vonelpark and the great outdoors
Vondelpark is a vast and beautiful place to feed the ducks, drink a bottle of wine, and take in the carefree Dutch atmosphere. If you get a chance, take a trip out of the city to visit Keukenhof, land of the tulips!
Visiting Kuekenhof is like going to the garden of Eden. The entire place is just so happy; tulips in every color possible lay in beautiful patterns on the grounds, there are fragrant trees at the peak of their bloom, and birds sing as if on cue.
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Vermeer was not only a painter of Dutch still life and portraiture; he could express intense human emotion through his paintbrush. He captured expressions, interactions, and relationships magically. If you look hard at his work, you can see secrets and solitude, disappointment and joy, and that slightly seductive, somewhat innocent look of The Girl with a Pearl Earring. I think she is quite similar to the Mona Lisa in this way: she’ll be forever intriguing, but we’ll never know her secret. The painting is coming to New York City’s “Frick Collection” on October 22nd, so this is on part of Dutch culture you can see stateside.
If you need any more tips on traveling to this beautiful city, leave your comments below!
Lovely’s Engagement Photo Tips
July 3, 2013
If your loved one has recently put a ring on it, and you’re getting ready to send out save the dates, well, you know it’s time to get serious about engagement photos.
What now, you ask? Time to get busy researching. Nobody wants to end up on Buzzfeed’s list of 20 worst engagement photos. Choose a photographer carefully and think about your theme – do you want to be funny, vintage, relaxed, surreal, or uber-romantic? Look at their style and blog closely, so you’ll know what to expect. Next steps are deciding where to take your photos and what to wear; having a stellar location will set the bar high (and so will some new shoes!)
Now comes the fun part – choosing props! Flowers are obviously a big theme, but boats, balloons, wine, scrabble letters, instruments, pets and ice cream can be fun too.
As the time gets close to the actual date, you’ll want to be looking pretty and fresh, so book that hair appointment, paint those nails, and splurge for a spray tan if you so desire.
One overlooked tip is brushing up on your posing techniques, posture, and expression before the big day. If you are nervous around cameras, watch some You Tube tutorials. The experts say to keep your back straight, relax your shoulders and bend slightly at the waist. Doing the “Princess Diaries” foot pop always makes for the cutest old school romance. If you start becoming stiff, just give your fiancé a big hug and shake out the jitters.
In order to nail that perfect kissing shot, photographers say to keep giving each other little kisses, rather than full on snogging. Don’t pucker your lips, keep it light! In closing, the best advice is to be yourself, and have fun with it. The most flattering photos happen when you forget you’re even being photographed.
A very special engagement, starring Leslie and Fronnie
September 4, 2013
This Wednesday is a wonderful one, as I get to bring you the stunning engagement photos of Leslie Dievendorf and his fiancé, Fronnie Lewis! Their photos demonstrate a level of romance little seen these days.
The couple met at church in Burbank, California; Fronnie said Leslie was hard to miss, as he was “tall, handsome, and distinguished looking.” Leslie was impressed with Fronnie’s dedication to the church’s gardening efforts, and after all, who could resist that wonderfully warm smile? Well, it seemed that he couldn’t. Leslie and Fronnie grew closer as they started volunteering at the church’s outreach breakfast on Saturday mornings in the latter part of 2011.
Leslie is a landscape architect, and Fronnie is currently the publisher and editor of a news-based website for Burbank. They both hoped to find someone with similar values and as you can see from the love that radiates from their photos, it was well worth the wait.
I’ll leave you with Leslies description of his proposal to Fronnie:
“I was at Fronnie’s apartment one evening in November of 2012. We had been talking the whole time, but then she sat down at the dining room table opposite me. I had been seeing her for about a year and thought this was a good time to pop the question. So I got down on both knees. I looked into her beautiful face and asked: “Will you marry me?” Happily, she said yes. The rest is history.”
The beautiful photography is courtesy of Emily and Justin, at Chaffin Cade Photography.


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