Monday, January 9, 2012


As the most popular months for weddings – June through August -- fast approach, I wanted to share these 10 tips for pulling off a FABULOUS wedding.

1. Your invited

Once you have selected your date and chosen a venue for your reception and ceremony it’s time to start sending out your notification cards. The style and look of your invitations will set the tone of your entire wedding. The invitation gives your guests an idea as to the type and formality of your wedding. Your invitations’ colors should also reflect the colors that you will use for the wedding.

2. The Wedding Gown

Many brides have had visions of wearing a sumptuous wedding gown since they were little girls. Whatever their vision - from a fairy princess to a sleek starlet - choosing the perfect wedding gown can be hard work. You must know your wedding style, date and budget.  Be open to trying different style that what you envisioned.  Maybe you cant find the perfect mermaid gown after trying on over 100 different styles is because that’s not the best fit for your body type. Remember- every bride finds a dress- some just take a bit longer than others!
3. Outfitting the Moms & Bridal Party

Gone are the days of pastels and tea-length gowns.  Color and fabric are now cross-seasonal.  Want to do navy in the summer?- go right ahead.  When you look back at your pictures you should love the dresses you choose.  When it comes to formalwear- colors are season-less!!

When bestowing the honor of “Bride’s Maid” or “Maid of Honor” on a friend or family member, keep in mind that this is not just an honorary title, there is lots of work that goes into it- including looking good!  Be realistic when selecting a great gown.  Remember this is your wedding- select a gown YOU love.  If it’s a tad over the budget- think about pitching in the difference.  After all- these fabulous ladies are a staple in the wedding.

4. Your wedding program

Your wedding program is considered to be the guide or map of your day’s celebration. The information you print on a program gives a record of what the event entails. Be thorough in the items you include in the program. Also, if you are have a very religious ceremony, include some background on what is going to transpire as all of your guest might not have the same religious beliefs as you.


In the few days before and especially the day of you must  remember –Its all about YOU!!  This is your chance to be pampered and treated like a princess.  Hire a “beauty team” to come to your home and style you in the comfort of your bath robe while you sip champagne.  Why wake up and fight traffic on your way to a salon? Day of Wedding Coordinators can assist you in ensuring your day runs smoothly and on time.  The last thing you want to do is yell and scream…. Hire someone else to do it!

6. Your wedding shoes 
As with any new shoe, you have to break them in a little before your wedding day. The last thing you want to be thinking of while you’re standing at the altar is how uncomfortable you are in your shoes. You may also want to consider having a more comfortable pair of shoes for later in the reception, especially if you are going to be dancing late into the evening. NEVER take them off!! NEVER!

7.  Its all in the details

Remember – This is your wedding, Your party.  If you want to serve mini-burgers, go ahead.  A wedding should be a reflection of YOU and your soo to be hubby!!  Think of unique ways to leave a lasting memory for your guests.  This can be thru unique d├ęcor, favors or a dessert bar. 

8. Wedding Insurance

This insurance is like an umbrella that can cover you when things go wrong. It might not cover every possible incident, but it will give you peace of mind and less to worry about before your big day. In most incidents where wedding insurance is used, it is because of postponement. Perhaps there was a death in the family or somebody became very ill. This will allow you to recover most of the monies spent on deposits and payments.

9. Groomsmen and Bridesmaids gifts

As gifts for the groomsmen and the bridesmaids, if you cannot afford to spend a little more money and give a physical gift or unique wedding present, another option is simply to spend time together. Whether it be in the bar with the boys or pampering yourselves in a spa with the girls. These can far outweigh the traditional gifts, for memories are much more precious than any physical gift.

10. Reception locations

Think outside the box. Times have changed since the old day where your parents would get married at their local church or synagogue and then have a reception in the back yard or at a local hotel. There are endless options for your venue. From private estates or vineyards to countryside castles and beach houses to a destination wedding. Being creative in planning your reception will create memories that will last a lifetime for everyone involved. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Laying the Fashion Foundation

For years I have been helping women look and feel fabulous at my boutique Diane & Co in Freehold, NJ.  I truly love my job and love making women feel glamorous.  At Diane & Co we follow one famous quote by Yves Saint Laurent, “ What is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” We call it like we see it and never sugar coat it!  The last thing this world needs is a “Fashion Diva” that says everything looks great.  If your not looking like a million bucks in a garment, we are going to tell you.  There are far too many options to settle.  As I start my journey with Bella I want all my readers to know that I will be honest and truthful and help you navigate thru the world of fashion.  As we start this glamorous journey, what better topic to kick off our fashion love affair than with undergarments.  Undergarments are Fashions’ Foundation.

Underwear- Under There 

“ I feel like a stuffed sausage,” this is a quote that is often spoken by women when trying on undergarments.  Undergarments are the foundational garments that all other clothing is layered upon.  Unfortunately it is one of the most dreaded and usually the last item that a woman thinks about when shopping for new clothing. Undergarments are what make your clothes not only look, but feel better.

The fact is that underwear give us the structure we need beneath our garments. You shouldn't consider building anything without the proper foundation, and your wardrobe is no exception.

When we talk undergarments we are not just talking Spanx.  We are talking about all the undergarments that will rid you and the women around you, the embarrassment of falling victim to some of the worst fashion faux paus.

VPLs: Visual Panty Lines           

VPLs have been affecting women as long as underwear has been in existence. Before a woman walks out of the house, she should check for 3 things: Wallet, Keys and most importantly the absence of visual panty lines. This is especially important when wearing those snug pants or the arch nemesis the white pants.  VPLs can be avoided with these quick fixes. 

·       Wear a thong. Get rid of the bottom line by eliminating it instead of trying to hide it.

·       Invest in underwear or undergarments that hold in fat. Body-shaping undies usually run from your thighs to your mid-waist, so there's no need to worry about visible panty lines.

·       Go seamless-buy panties that have a subtle hem- line, smaller stitching or are fully seamless.

The Muffin Top            

The term ‘muffin top’ not only refers to the best part of that delicious pastry, it also refers to the bulge created above the waistline when jeans hug love handles too tight.  The unsightly and unflattering muffin top all too often has nothing to do with your body, but the size and rise of your pants. 

If you are faced with the ‘muffin top’ problem, here are a few quick fixes:

·       Go up in size. If you can see your cellulite through your pants, it's time to go up a size. Only you know the size on the labels in your clothing.  In today’s fashion world, you may be a size 10 in one designer or label, then an 8 or even a 4 in another.  You must try pants on and go for the size that fits (without creating the muffin top) rather than sticking to your standard or what you think is your standard size.

·       You may need to switch from a low-rise to a mid-rise.  Although a certain pant rise may be in style, it may not be stylish on you. Go with a cut that fits your body type.  A mid or even high rise can flatter your mid section and eliminate all muffins.

Hike up the girls- Get a great bra….. that fits!

Clothing should not - let me repeat: should not - be a second skin and that goes for your bra as well. An ill-fitting bra, not only causes the cup spillage (when your boobs seep over the edge of the bra cup), or sometimes a uni-boob (mostly caused by the overuse of a sportsbra- sports bra’s are not for everyday wear) but also causes oozing back fat from a too tight strap and back fat that seeps out from underneath an armpit. The wrong bra can eliminate a waistline by allowing  your breasts to hang!! Well not in my article!!  Call those girls to attention!!  I like them up and perky!

·       Go for the Magic Bra- This long line corset bra cinches the waist and lifts the boobs.  Gone are the days of constant tugging at your top to keep lifting that strapless bra. It also smoothes the waistline and elongates the mid-section.  This is the bra you have been searching for. 

·       Your still not a 34C- Just because you have a 34C bra doesn’t mean that that’s your proper size- Get fitted for a bra. You can go into any lingerie store and ask to be fitted properly for a bra- FREE OF CHARGE!  Gone are the days of back fat and boob ozzing- what a feeling!

·       Don’t buy a low back dress and think its ok to wear a regular bra.  The whole point it to NOT see your straps.  There is nothing worse that bra straps falling down a woman’s shoulder or peeking out from under an evening gown.  They are called undergarments for a reason and should be kept UNDER your garment!

Stockings with Open Toe Shoes
Stockings with open toe shoes?? REALLY???  How many times have you been to a wedding and sat next to a woman at cocktail hour and locked eyes on a set of toes that clawed over a shoe and was capped off with an unsightly stocking seam.  This is horrid.  Now some may be thinking- who still wears stockings.  The answer is many women.  Stockings can actually serve many purposes.  You can wear stockings with a control top waistband, which will provide tummy control.  They make your legs a bit tanner and hide unsightly veins and now thanks to modern technology can be worn with open toe shoes thanks to the toes-less version! 

Another painless option to eliminate the toe disaster is to get a spray tan- your legs will look sun kissed and youthful.  Next time you reach into your lingerie drawer and attempt to wear those stockings with your sexy sandals- Stop and think- Do I really want to be the lady people are talking about?? The answer is NO!

Maybe the reason why people don’t think about the importance of undergarments is because all too often it is thought of as a boring item to shop for, which doesn’t have to be the case. Undergarments can be purchased in an array of different colors and styles that can give them a sweet or flirty feeling, depending on the look you are going for.  Be patient and know that if you find the perfect undergarments it will only make your favorite cocktail dress , or that great top only look better!!