Nov 082017

Personalized, One-On-One Experience at Rachel Ann Bridal Boutique

Attendents in Your Wedding, Bridal Fashion, Bridesmaids Comments Off on Personalized, One-On-One Experience at Rachel Ann Bridal Boutique


Rachel Ann Bridal & Formalwear is a bridal boutique located in Flemming Island, Florida that offers a personalized hour and a half one-on-one experience for each and every appointment made. It all started with a mother and daughter duo who both have a passion for beautiful gowns and more importantly, bridal gowns. They understand the importance of finding the bride’s dream wedding gown, which is why each of their consultants is well-informed and knowledgeable of all things bridal. We spoke owner, Rachel Ann Walker, about her boutique and love of bridal gowns and here is what she had to say……

What made you decide to work in the wedding industry? I’ve always had a passion for bridal gowns since I was a little girl. I dreamed of becoming a wedding dress designer all my life.

What do you love the very most about what you do? Finding that perfect dress and seeing the new bride-to-be fall in love with her dress.

Tell the brides-to- be your best wedding advice. Just remember it is only 4 hours of your entire life. Things will go wrong but just enjoy yourself and don’t stress or try to micro-manage every issue.

What is your most favorite wedding trend right now? Colors for a wedding gown.  I love brides who are willing to step away from tradition and wear something unique to show their personality.

What do you do that makes you stand out more so than others in your industry? I don’t just sell you a wedding gown. I give you a dress shopping experience for you to remember. I also help my brides with any planning issues they may be having.


How far in advance should a bride to be contact you before the wedding? I would recommend a bride allow 4 – 6 months to purchase their gown and allow time for any alterations that need to be made.

What are 5 adjectives that describe you and/or your business? Elegant, personable, friendly, helpful, stress-free


Name of Business:  Rachel Ann Bridal & Formalwear

Category of Business:  Bridal Boutique, Bridal Attire & Accessories

Contact Information:

  • Phone Number: 904-458-4244
  • Address: 4465 US Hwy 17, Ste 8, Fleming Island, FL 32003
  • Website:
  • Facebook Link:



Aug 162017


Gown and Garter Bridal Boutique is a custom styling studio; specializing in Bridal and Special Occasion Gowns. The boutique is located on Jacksonville’s Westside, providing a unique experience in Bridal shopping. Gown & Garter’s mission is to ensure you have the wedding gown or special gown of your dreams. We spoke with the owner, Pam Wilcox, about her boutique and here is what she had to say.


What made you decide to work in the wedding industry?

I fell in love with the wedding experience as a preteen and it never left. I was 12 or 13; my uncle had a very large southern wedding. Here is his bride wearing this white gown and all these ladies (my mother & aunts and her friends) are dressed in these beautiful long lavender pleated gowns and tea cup hats surrounding her. I was hooked on the glamour of weddings.


What do you love the very most about what you do?

I have a deep love and appreciation for the beauty in wedding gowns. In my humble opinion, a wedding gown is a representation of love. My goal is for every Bride to walk away feeling and saying, “I love me in this gown!”


Tell the brides-to- be your best wedding advice.

Breathe. When it gets down to that magic hour, the only thing that matters is the look on your significant others face and second you’re able to hold their hand and say, “I do!”  That’s it, nothing else matters. Remember to breathe and take it all in. Be present.


What is your most favorite wedding trend right now?

What I am finding now Brides are straying away from traditional gown and going creative. I love it!! I am working with a bride who wants a yellow gown with a unique silhouette.


What do you do that makes you stand out more so than others in your industry?

Gown & Garter is looking at the present, the OtisJames Bride line, focus is to embrace and love all Brides’ beauty and curves.  In an industry where women are made to feel that they must confirm to the dress, let the dress be made to confirm to you. It’s all about you. It’s just that simple.


What is your favorite product or service that you offer brides? Please describe it.

I love gowns from weddings to special occasions. I love the way the right dress makes you feel wearing it. The topper is the look your significant other gives you when they feel your confidence.


Do you offer any other products or services?

Not only do we offer designer and custom gowns, we offer special occasion gowns, flower girl dresses, men’s dress shirts in array of colors, custom garters, lingerie, veils and accessories.We also host OtisJames Bride. This is a bridal gown line almost exclusively for curvy Brides. Gown and Garter also host a monthly Wedding Planning Workshop. It’s a 4 hour intensive workshop on focusing your Bride Style throughout your wedding.


How far in advance should a bride to be contact you before the wedding?

A Bride or anyone desiring a special made gown should reach out to Gown&Garter at least 4 to 6 months. If it is a designer gown, delivery will take 8 to 12 weeks. With custom gowns the process is similar but usually 8 to 10 weeks, which includes the consultations.


How long have your been doing what you do?

For over 4 years I was a wedding planner and it was a great experience but I always seem to focus more on the details of the gown and what everyone was wearing. I decided to focus on wedding gowns! I was always curious about the design and construction of the gown.


What are 5 adjectives that describe you and/or your business?

Custom, Unique, Customer-Centric, Fashion Forward and Passionate


Contact Information:

An array of gorgeous gowns for many occassions

Beautiful shoe selection

Large Selection of dresses for many different body types

Flower Girl dresses available

Large Dressing Rooms

Sep 212016

Special Gifts for your Bridesmaids

Attendents in Your Wedding, Uncategorized Comments Off on Special Gifts for your Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids are the special forces of Operation Wedding. They are the members of your bridal party that have been there for you through the years, and you have shared numerous precious memories together. Your Bridesmaids are the elite crew comprised of your very best friends and family. They have been with you through the thick and thin, your highs and lows, never wavering from your side. To show your love and appreciation for them, give fun and creative bridesmaids gifts such as personalized bracelets or monogrammed clutches. Everyone loves receiving a beautiful gift that holds special meaning to reflect the special feelings you have for your friends, sisters, and loved ones. Here are a few ideas we thought were all of those things and wanted to share!




























Aug 192016

Mismatched Bridesmaids; Find Dresses That Suit Each Girl’s Body

Attendents in Your Wedding, Beauty, Bridal Fashion, Bridesmaids, Wedding Trends Comments Off on Mismatched Bridesmaids; Find Dresses That Suit Each Girl’s Body

You’ve asked your best girls to be your bridesmaids — and they said “yes!” Now for the tricky part: dresses. These ladies are your dearest friends, sisters, and sisters-to-be; you chose each for her own special reason, so why put them all in the same exact cookie-cutter dress? Nowadays, it’s on trend to work with your bridesmaids to find dresses that suit each girl’s body type, skin tone, hair cut, signature style, and personality…..Not to mention, this generally makes for a very happy and comfortable bridesmaid!

The Basics of Mixing and Matching

The idea behind mixing and matching up your bridesmaid dresses is that all your girls will coordinate, but not match. In general, you could mismatch in terms of color, style, or length. Changing up one or more of these in each dress not only adds visual interest to your bridal party in photos, but your bridesmaids will be ever-grateful to you for letting them have a say in how they outfit their own body. However, it is definitely imperative to lay down some ground rules. These rules could be as open-ended as “Find a dress with some type of lace on it” or as refined as “Here are two dresses; pick one.”

Though each girl will be dressed differently in some capacity, you’ll still want these ladies to look like they belong together. Make sure each dress has at least one common element for a cohesive overall look. To maintain this togetherness, your bridesmaids might:

•           Wear the same fabric

•           Wear the same color or color theme (ex: shades of blue for an ombré effect)

•           Wear the same dress with different necklines or waistlines

•           Coordinate the length of their dresses

•           Stick to a certain style (ex: bohemian, 1950s silhouette, etc.)

•           Wear accessories to tie them together (ex: shoes, necklaces, etc.)

Making the Trend Your Own

So what do you envision for your bridesmaids? Reach a firm decision before letting your girls know; you don’t want to tell them one thing, then switch directions after they’ve already started shopping. Once they hear what you have in mind, get some feedback — but stand firm as needed. Know when to say “no” and when to be lenient. After all, these are the most important ladies in your life — this should be a fun experience!

If you want things to be a bit more structured, there are some big-name bridal shops all over the country that offer many dress options in the color of your choice. Decide on a color, then have each girl visit her local shop to pick out a dress in that color. This is particularly helpful if your bridesmaids-to-be live in different cities; each can do her own thing on her own time, and unity is still guaranteed. If you’re in Jacksonville and looking for a bridal salon to help with this task, you should definitely visit Bridals & More, located on Beach Blvd. They have a wonderful selection of wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses…..Their staff is amazing also!

If you’re open to a more eclectic look, give your bridesmaids some loose parameters such as color, length, or vibe (more casual day dress vs. elegant eveningwear). A fun way to approach this is to create a group Pinterest board. Each girl can pin potential options and you can all weigh in and see how the dresses look side-by-side. If not a Pinterest board, at least have your girls run their options by you before they finally decide on a dress. And, if you feel strongly about it, make it clear up-front that you have the power to veto. In the end, you have to do what works best for you: your style, comfort level, venue, and your bridesmaids as a whole.

Jacksonville Wedding Coordinator, Cindy Vallely, owner of I Do…Wedding by Cindy featured this wedding on her blog. To see more gorgeous photos from this wedding click photo below.

Image via Style Me Pretty // Image by Lauren Peele














Image via Image via











Mar 232015

Gifts for Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Attendents in Your Wedding, Tips and Opinions, Traditions Comments Off on Gifts for Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Being a gracious bride and groom means taking care of your wedding attendants!

They’re the friends you have known for years or perhaps soon-to-be in-laws who you admire and cherish for their special words of love and laughter.  Wedding attendants play a large part in weddings and it’s no surprise that brides often languish and toil over the perfect wedding attendant gift.

It’s no wonder that you want to give these special people a gift and long-term memory of how important they are in your life.  If some of your attendants are traveling in from out of town how about holding a luncheon for them the day before the wedding?  Local attendants can also be treated to a nice lunch, however in this case you can do it several weeks before your big day.

In regards to the luncheon you might also want to include your mother, the groom’s mother and a few of the other participants who are helping to round out your day.  This could include singers, organists, attendants at your reception and even parents of important people who have helped your day come together in such a unique way.

A special gift is also in order and you might even want to present it to the attendants at the luncheon if you desire.  More than anything the gift is a thank you for all their hard work.  Many times gifts are engraved and can range from a jewelry box to a key chain to a toasting flute.  Jewelry is another gift that just about any woman can appreciate. It has become customary for brides to give the bridesmaid jewelry as their gift or for the bride to pay for the hair and/or makeup to be done!

It used to be the rule, that when giving,   make everything identical with the exception of your maid/matron honor and, for the man, his best man.  However, there are no rules to weddings anymore and if you would like to customize your gifts…go for it.  Just so feelings don’t get hurt….try to make each gift appear of equal value and significance.

Wedding albums are also becoming quite popular since it is a wonderful way to keep your special day in mind.  Perhaps an album engraved with the name of the couple and the date of the wedding might be a nice change of pace for your attendants, both his and hers.  If you don’t just want the professional pictures think about asking your guests to download an app or use a hashtag to capture your wedding images.   Also, ask your wedding planner for ideas and companies that make customized gifts!

Tried and true gifts include:

•           Silver or gold bracelet

•           Silver picture frame

•           Silver engraved compact

•           Silver or crystal engraved jewelry box

•           Wine bottle stopper

•           Wine accessory set

•           Toasting flutes or gold rimmed champagne flutes (perhaps even engraved)

•           Candle with verse

•           Handkerchiefs

•           Engraved key ring

•           Wish pearl and necklace

•           Silver notepad and pen set

•           Compact mirror

•           Roses that are 24k gold

•           Personalized wedding cake topper

•           Silver-plated lip stick case

•           Silver-plated makeup brushes and pouch

•           Silver heart shaped bookmark

•           Bridesmaid bookmark with silk ribbon

•           Engraved bud vase

•           Ribbed glass trinket box

Men also have the responsibility of giving their groomsmen and ushers thank you gifts for their time and loyal friendship.

For men, thoughtful gifts include:

•           Key rings

•           Corkscrews

•           Cuff-links

•           Engraved beer mugs

•           Personalized wallets

•           Business card holder


However, for every tradition in the world there is an opportunity to break it and nowadays some couples are getting more than just a little creative with their attendant’s gifts.  A good way to have the entire group together while enjoying one anothers company is buying concert tickets to Veterans Memorial Area, Ponte Vendra Concert Hall, or St. Augustine Amphitheater  or sporting event tickets to Everbank Field  or even host a dinner for the wedding party after the bride and groom return from the honeymoon.

If it’s a destination wedding you might also opt to pay for your attendant’s airfare or hotel accommodations in order for them to be able to attend.  While some of the attendants you choose to be part of your special day might be able to afford a trip to the South Pacific, others might have to say no.  An excellent gift in this case is just offering to get them to the destination at no charge or offer them a discounted room rate.  Once there, it’s certain that your attendants will also be able to relax and enjoy your special day with you.

Whatever you decide make sure it reflects the fact that these special attendants realize how much you appreciate their time and efforts spent on your behalf.

May 192012

What Does Your Maid of Honor Do?

Attendents in Your Wedding Comments Off on What Does Your Maid of Honor Do?

Your Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor, if she is married, is the point women for the bridesmaids. Here duties include;

– She helps you plan your wedding and assists on the details
– She helps you pick out your wedding invitations
– She goes with you to help find your wedding dress
– She is in charge of the bridal shower
– She is in charge of the bachelorette party plans
– She coordinates the dress fittings
– She goes with you to bridal shows
During the wedding she has responsibilities too;
– She will help you dress
– Hold your flowers during the ceremony
– She signs your marriage license as a witness
– She provides you support on your big day

Maid of Honor

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