Saturday, June 28, 2008


2be Bridal


As many iof you know, the 2Be Bridal gowns have been featured on the TV show," Say Yes to the Dress."
So if you want that "say yes to the dress" experience, please stop in and visit us at Bridal Elegance, now at 2 convenient locations in Ottawa and Bloomington.

Well, I just got back from a buying trip of the 2Be Bridal line, and I have to say it is looking better than ever. I saw a design for almost anyone. Of course, the ever popular pick-up skirts are still with us, as well as an increase in halters, sleeves, and great necklines. I love this line because it has something for every bride, and don't forget if you are one of those girls who love silk as well as I do, then you need to know that you can get almost any 2Be Bridal gown in silk. I personally love the draping effect of silk, and also I love the luxurious feel of silk against my skin.

I also purchased some great new veil designs in all different lengths including some French net designs, short blushers to the longest cathedral lengths.

And now in our bag of tricks to make you your most gorgeous on your special day, we have a special undergarment like none I have ever seen before. This miracle worker can size down even the smallest waist by 1.5-2 inches, and also works on the hips. I don't quite know what construction feat this is, but it doesn't make you bulge out with back fat or muffin tops. I so totally love it!!!

The 2BE bridesmaid lines were completely fantastic. I particularly loved the short/tea length dresses. Very hip and trendy, yet chic!!

Well, enough for now, but if you need any info or have any ideas, please call either our Bloomington (309.662.8200) store or our Ottawa (815.433.3050) store. We are here for you!

Monday, May 5, 2008



Tabletop patterns cover a wide range of color palettes and unique designs. Some patterns reflect how artisans delve into traditions to create current classics. Decorative motifs such as florals, lace and imagery continue to be seen century after century.
What distinguishes the work of the best designers working today is their inspired use of history updated for the present. These timeless designs reflect the way we live today and yet connect the bride with traditional looks.
There is a large and varied selection for your choice. Many designers prefer white linen as the background for their designs. But don't be afraid to surprise your guests with unexpected settings. Select colorful linens that reflect shades from your china to provide a more informal look. Select compatible casual napkins and placemats to provide even more variety. It's fun to use formal china for a picnic. It's colorful to mix patterns and provide an eclectic look to your dinner table. Personally, I find a mix/match table much more interesting and inviting to create and watch my guests' responses. I love to create a different placesetting for each guest, mixing colors and patterns between the dinner plate, salad plate, goblet, etc. Though I rarely go too wild, I try to find a common theme for the table and go from there. Another perk by using this method- I get to use many of my different china patterns for the same dinner. I don't tell my husband how many different sets of china we have. He's never asked, which probably helps us to still be married after all these years.
Another recommendation- Register for your good china now. You may not use it now, but you will in the future. Also your guests like to buy nice gifts for you, and after all, selecting your own china pattern is just more proof that you are truly ready to be married and set up your own home. Also, don't be afraid to register for beautiful crystal wine glasses. Nope, you can't put them in the dishwasher, but they certainly dress up a table, and as you get older and entertain more, you will definitely need them. Besides, I just enjoy looking at them!!
I alway recommend registering for a good, heavy flatware for every day use. You need to not skimp here. Make sure you get good flatware that will not easily bend when you scoop the ice cream, or try to cut the meat that you as a new bride might accidentally burn a little.
I also recommend choosing a pattern with a design on the handle. This will camoflage those tiny little scratches that inevitably come with washing, storing, and general use.
Please keep in mind a few basic rules when setting the table- the knife is on the right side of the dinner plate with the serated edge facing the side of the plate. This is done so no one accidentally gets cut or nicked. The teaspoon sits immediately right of the knife. If having soup, the soup spoon sits immediately to the right of the teaspoon. On the left side of the dinner plate, the dinner fork is placed immediately next to the edge of the plate. The salad fork is immediately left of the dinner fork.
I personally like to put the dessert spoon and fork on the table immediately above the dinner plate.
There even used to an old rule of no candle light until after six o'clock, which of course, has given way to use candles anytime, though I still recommend unscented candles for the dining area. We don't want the candle smells mingling with your great dinners.
I encourage you to know the rules, and to know when to break them.
Remember, it is your house and your tablescape.
A Gift from:
Bridal Elegance and Bridal Elegance's Gift/Bridal Registry Division, My Favorite Things

Rehearsal Dinners


We know that the rehearsal dinner is a happy, relaxing time for family and friends. It is designed to get people together and set the tone for the ceremony and celebration to come. Traditionally, the groom's family hosts the party. Invited are immediate families, the officiating clergy and spouse, the complete wedding party and their spouses or dates. It is nice to include out-of-town guests as well. It is traditionally held immediately following the wedding rehearsal the night before the ceremony.
But local customs and travel arrangements may make that impossible. Plan to use place cards to help people break the ice and insure that they meet each other. The bridal couple and their immediate families usually sit at the head table, but more and more couples are choosing to mingle with their guests.
As the host, the groom's father makes the traditional toast to the couple, and he may take this time to introduce everyone if there is a chance that some guests are unfamiliar with all of those in attendance. This party is a perfect time to present gifts to the attendants, especially if the gift is to be worn at the wedding.
Whether it is served or buffet-style, elaborate or simple, the rehearsal dinner is a good time to visit with relatives and to make new friends as well.
A Gift from;
Bridal Elegance

Not the Traditional Wedding Venue???


Not the Traditional Wedding Venue- How About Alternatives???
When a bride asks us about a non-traditional wedding site, we usually ask her "How brave are you?"
If you are planning an outdoor event, an alternative site is a necessity.
The weather has been known to ruin many original plans. But don't let that discourage you from picking the spot of your dreams-- just have a back up plan in place. An outdoor site can be a perfect spot for those of different religious faiths or other complications like a divorce or annulment delay. The intimate setting of a chapel, beach, park or backyard allows the freedom to add personal touches to the ceremony.
For a summer wedding, guests could be greeted with glasses of a cold beverage, umbrellas or fans. Canopies, tents and gazebos may be rented and needed! The location choice will set the theme for your wedding celebration, and once selected, make many subsequent choices much easier. Once you have covered weather, shelter and the number of guests you plan to invite, all other decisions seem to flow more easily.
Please stop in and discuss your plans with one of our trained consultants. It's good to have another viewpoint and advice on this unusual celebration you have planned. We hear so many fantastic ideas from our brides-- we love to share!
A Gift to you from:
Bridal Elegance



We have brides who truly want to have a formal evening wedding. They know they can control the apparel of the wedding party, but aren't sure how to insure that their guests get the message.

Our advice is to put the phrase "black tie optional" or "place tie invited" on your invitation. This will help your guests be clear about the level of formality of your wedding. Some invited guests may be confused about this, so expect some questions. Whether they ask you or your mother or the groom's mother for clarification, women wear long gowns, cocktail dresses or dressy evening suits. Men should wear tuxedos or dark business suits. If you are getting married anytime between May and September, or in a hot weather state or resort, white dinner jackets with black trousers are also appropriate for men. A truly formal evening wedding can be a special and memorable evening for everyone-- the newlyweds and guests as well. We live in a very casual society, but once in a while, I still love getting all dressed up!!
A Gift from:
Bridal Elegance, now at 2 locations
205 W. Etna, Ottawa, Il. 61350 Phone:815.433.3050 &
1329 E. Empire Street, Bloomington, IL. 61701 Phone: 309.662.8200

Friday, May 2, 2008



According to most historians, the Egyptians were the first to use wedding rings in their marriage ceremonies. They believed that the circle represented eternity; so the ring was a perfect symbol for a lasting marriage. The same historians also credit the Egyptians with seeing the third finger of the left hand as the ring finger. They believed that a vein from this finger went directly to the heart and so if this finger were circled with a gold ring, the love was captured and would not escape. Whether they know the history behind it or not, this is the reason many women never remove their wedding rings.
Another part of this lovely ring tradition is thqt the third finger of the left hand is considered to be the "weakest" even though it is not the smallest. Because of its perceived weakness, it is the most dependent on the others for help in lifting and holding. For many couples over the years, this has become a symbol of their combined strength as a couple. Alone they can do many things, but together they can conquer many more.
Our ancestors believed that if the wedding ring didn't fit perfectly, it was sign that the couple was incompatible for married life. While rings have been important to many generations of brides, there has never been a law requiring their use. It is the strength of tradition that today's couples aren't likely to consider marrying without one. Stop in for more traditions and ideas on how to adapt them to make your wedding unique.
A gift to you from:
Bridal Elegance and Bridal Elegance's Gift/Bridal Registry Division, MY FAVORITE THINGS



We urge our brides to come in to register soon after they have become engaged. This allows time to make careful selections and gives guests the option of making purchases for pre-wedding events like bridal showers. The key decisions you make about china, silver and crystal pieces and designs will provide the focus for your registry.
As you begin to think about your registry choices, remember these pointers:
*Standard five-piece place settings of dinnerware include a dinner plate, a salad plate, bread and butter plate, and a cup and saucer. Other pieces are always available to be added. Soup/cereal bowls, mugs and serving pieces in your pattern choices are excellent additions.
*Five-piece place settings of flatware include a knife, fork, salad/dessert fork, teaspoon and a place spoon used for either soup/cereal or dessert. Many other additional and functional pieces are available. We suggest that you register for either eight or twelve place settings of dinnerware, flatware and stemware.
*Times have changed and it is no longer a problem to mix formal and casual settings. You can pair crystal with your stoneware or accent fine china with great pieces of pottery. Do let us help you explore the possibilities.
We invite you to visit us and look at the new as well as the classic patterns. Ask questions about our registry. Register for the patterns that appeal to your sense of style. We can show you how to pull it all together for a look that is uniquely yours. Mix and match patterns, stripes, colors- individualize your tablescape to make it say "YOU".
A Gift to you from :

Bridal Elegance and Bridal Elegance's Gift/Bridal Registry Division,