Bridal Hairstyle and Accessory Trends

Once you’ve found the perfect wedding gown, it feels like your look is complete. But don’t forget the full bridal look is all about the details. The right hairstyle, makeup and accessories tie everything together. When thinking about your hair for your upcoming nuptials, choose a style that flows with your dress, your venue and your personal style.

One of the biggest mistakes brides make is that they get too far away from their authentic style. Of course you want to look your best on your wedding day, but you also want to look like yourself. If you usually wear your hair down, keep it down. If you usually wear it on the top of your head or closer to the base of your neck, this is not the time to change it up.

The latest trends in bridal hairstyles help you show off your fundamental style with a fresh twist. Try these details to take your look up a notch.

wedding hair photo
Photo by Bellafaye Garden

Florals

Flowers and floral details are always a classic look for brides. Create a floral crown for a rustic look, or don a bold, vibrantly colored flower for a Spanish influence. Flowers like baby’s breath give a soft accent or add color and greenery, complementing any of the other hairstyle trends going on this year.

Braids

Braids have been popular the past few years and don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Fishtail braids, braided buns and loose plaits are among the most popular. Use small braids to tie back hair or big ones as the foundation of your look.

The Un-Do

The more natural-looking, slightly undone hairstyle is making a big show this year. Looser styles add extra texture to your look and prevent you from looking too formal or overly done up. Have your stylist create a look that is beautifully messy.

Soft Waves & Single Bends

Soft waves and loose curls are another trend that is sticking around. Soften your look with natural-looking waves. Sweep them up into an up-do, put up only half of your hair, or leave it all down. This style flatters any face for a feminine, ethereal look. The half wave or single bend is also gaining popularity. Instead of a wave throughout the hair, brides are choosing a semi-straight style with a single bend for a more bohemian look.

wedding hair photo
Photo by Oferico

Low or Side Chignon

Buns, knots, wrapped braids and coils. These styles are dominating the competition. Wear your hair to one side or leave it looser at the nape of your neck.

Metallic Accents

Add some sparkle to your hairstyle using headbands, barrettes or crowns with metallic or jewels. These details elevate your look and are especially shown off on brides who prefer not to wear a veil. Bronze and gold are big this season, so feel free to accessorize on your wedding day.

Whichever trend you’re looking to try, look around for inspiration. Bring your stylist some ideas that will complement your full bridal look, and be sure to schedule a practice appointment for the best results. Mix a few trends or favor one that lets your beautiful hair shine through on your big day.

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The Truth Behind Popular Wedding Traditions

Couples come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of backgrounds, cultures and traditions. Some couples believe a wedding is nothing without its traditions, while many others feel that rules are made to be broken. Whichever side you find yourself on, take a step back and think about why you are following these common traditions and how some creative alternatives might suit you better as a couple.

wedding rings photo

The Ceremony

  • It’s bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony. With this tradition, the groom sees the bride at the same time as everyone else. Many couples, however, are opting to see each other in a private reveal. You have both worked hard on your relationship and on your special day, so this pre-ceremony meet-up is your opportunity to take a good look at each other before the mayhem begins.
  • Weddings are a formal affair. From the programs, to the music, the vows and the venue, many couples stress about getting all the details perfectly right. We’re here to encourage you not to take things too seriously. Maybe a religious institution is the perfect place to exchange your vows, or maybe a funny yet heartfelt speech in a rustic barn is more your style. Plan for details that fit you as a couple, not the tradition.
  • The bride’s father should escort her down the aisle. Not only does your escort not have to be your father, but it’s also becoming more common for brides to walk down the aisle solo. Maybe you were closer with your mother or an uncle is the leading man in your life. Maybe you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable asking, or maybe you’d like to be the main focus. This is your day, so make it the way you want it.
  • Bridesmaids are females, and groomsmen are males. If you have six close females in your life, and your groom has six close males in his, then go for it. Have an even number of men and women standing on each side. But many couples have siblings, best friends, family members, etc. that may not fit this tradition. Have those who are most important stand with you, no matter whether they are male or female.

Bridal Accouterment

  • Engagement rings should be a diamond. Diamond engagement rings are a relatively new convention. If diamonds are your favorite gems, then by all means look for that style. But if not, don’t be afraid to look at other gems that catch your eye. There are plenty of beautiful alternatives to diamonds out there, including sapphire, emerald, opal, morganite and more.
  • The bride and groom should have matching wedding bands. While we’re on the topic of rings, it is also becoming more common not to have matching wedding bands. This break from tradition allows both the bride and groom to express their individuality, which undoubtedly attracted you to each other in the first place.
  • The bride wears all white. With so many beautiful colors and prints, why opt for white? Bridal fashion — like all good fashion — is pushing the boundaries on what is expected. Your dress should reflect your personality, so be fearless in blush, black, prints or any other look attire that expresses your style.

The Reception

  • Save the top tier of your cake for your first anniversary. Think about it. You would be eating year-old food. Even though it’s frozen, we don’t find that idea particularly appetizing. Instead, serve the fresh cake to your guests and take a photo of your top tier. Have your original cake baker recreate a new top for your first year celebration.
  • Toss the bouquet and garter. Instead of throwing things at your single friends, think about using that opportunity to recognize the couple that has been married the longest or the couple that most inspired you to get married.

wedding reception photo

What it all comes down to is deciding what is right for the two of you. Your friends and family have — and usually share — their own opinions, but only you and your groom know which traditions fit for you and which ones don’t. Feel free to mix and match the ones you want to follow and the ones you’d rather leave behind. More and more couples are learning to make their own new traditions, touches and moments that make their wedding unique and customized to reflect the type of relationship they have. So feel inspired to step out of the box a bit and get creative!

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10 Fun Guest Book Ideas

The idea of a guestbook may seem rather traditional, but many couples are using their creativity to make sure messages for their marital bliss stick around. Couples are choosing works of art, memorabilia and objects with more meaning as a way to commemorate all of those who were there when they said “I do.” Here are some clever ideas on how to have some fun with your guestbook:

wedding reception photo

  1. A Map: Frame a map to have guests sign with a Sharpie. This idea is especially good for couples who have guests attending from all over the world.
  2. Fingerprints: Have your guests leave their mark. Make a family tree that blends the groom’s side with the bride’s side. Create flowers, balloons or fill in other shapes that are significant to your region, your family or an activity you love as a couple.
  3. Quilt: Cut up fabric squares for your guests to write messages or marital advice. When it’s finished, you’ll have a wedding quilt that brings everyone together.
  4. iPad Videos: Use technology to your advantage. Have guests leave their message in video form.
  5. Puzzle Pieces: Set out a full set of puzzle pieces. Once your guests are done signing them, put it together and have it framed for your home.
  6. Time Capsule: Guests can leave messages for you in any vessel of your choosing. Wait for your first anniversary to open it and read them.
  7. Photo Matte: Have guests sign the matting. You can use the matte when you frame one of your favorite wedding photos.
  8. Wine Bottle: Set out a bottle (or more, depending on how many guests you have) and a metallic sharpie. Save the wine for your first anniversary when you can review the messages.
  9. Old Window: This idea is ideal for those rustic, vintage style weddings. Have guests sign the panes and hang it in your home.
  10. Vinyl Record: Have guests sign a vinyl album, a set of skis or any other object that represents your vibe as a couple.
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Hampshire House Mother’s Day Brunch

This Mother’s Day, thank your mother for her unconditional love and support. Mothers are a special kind of person, so take some extra time to honor and celebrate your mother with a lovely brunch at Hampshire House.

mothers day photo

Join us on Beacon Hill 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday May 8th for a relaxing, enjoyable brunch. Bring the whole family and give special attention to your wonderful mother while you enjoy gourmet dishes. For $55 per person, you can enjoy a three course meal. Your choice of appetizer includes Sunday Lobster Bisque, Gulf Shrimp Martini, Grilled Asparagus & Portobello Mushrooms and more. Select your entrée from a selection including Smoked Salmon & Spinach Benedict, Grilled Beef Tenderloin Medallions, Stuffed French Toast, New England Lobster Omelet and more.

Please note, the ticket price does not include tax, gratuity or beverages. Perk up with a coffee or indulge in our delicious Bloody Marys. Validated parking is available in the Boston Common Garage for easy access to Hampshire House. To ensure your family has a table, call (617) 227-9600 to make a reservation.

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Wedding Feature: Kelly and Ben’s Big Day

Kelly Torlone and Ben Abbott were married on December 12, 2015. After exchanging vows in their church, the couple joined us at the Hampshire House for a lively reception fitting for such a charming couple.

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Photography By: Christy Lynch Designs

When they arrived, the couple started by taking photographs throughout our magnificently and classically designed hallways, staircases and rooms. The couple was caught canoodling on the spiral staircase. Because of the timing of their nuptials, Hampshire House had recently been gilded and donned with greenery in preparation for the holidays. The couple was able to take advantage of our extra décor during the holidays for a reception feel that is cheery and bright. The couple enjoyed ornaments, wreaths and decorated Christmas trees.

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Photography By: Christy Lynch Designs

The couple’s wedding reception was held on two floors. The couple and their guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dessert on the third floor while dinner and dancing were held on the third floor in The Library, our classic style room with rich, built-in wooden shelves and walls lined with books. We prepared with room with long tables and golden rail chairs to accommodate all of their guests. The room was also equipped with microphones for speeches, and we made sure there was plenty of room for the band and dancing.

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Photography By: Christy Lynch Designs

We are honored that Kelly and Ben chose Hampshire House to celebrate this joyous beginning to their marriage. We are glad the beautiful couple would enjoy the holiday decorations as an added touch to our special venue.

 

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2016 Spring Wedding Fashion Spotlight

Bridal fashion may seem far from our everyday fashion, but the latest runway looks from the top bridal designers show how trends in street fashion are influencing what you could be wearing down the aisle. Designers are demanding our attention this wedding season with their experimental looks and play on dimension. This year’s looks are all about volume, optical illusions and trendy details. We take you from runway to aisle with a closer look at this season’s wedding fashion trends.

Sheer Perfection
This year’s bridal runways were overflowing with sheer silhouettes and elements to the gowns. Sheer fabrics are being used to create a more sensual look without being too overt. Illusion bodies and sheer shoulders show off more skin, and designers are using the ethereal fabric as overskirts for a flowing bottom with more volume. Designers like Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Theia and Vera Wang featured sheer fabrics in their lines for 2016.

wedding dress photo
Photo by …love Maegan

The Front Cut Is the Deepest
Demure is done. Dramatic cuts are extra chic this season, carrying over to bridal fashion to stay on trend. We’re seeing a deep-V in the front as a way to show some skin without too much cleavage. Exposed backs are also giving brides the opportunity to surprise guests with a less expected — yet fabulously sexy — part of their bodies. Designers featuring these deep cuts include Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera and Pamella Roland.

Crop Top Pop
Crop tops are no longer limited to the casual ensemble. Paired with high-waist skirts, a crop top is a fun, unique take on the traditional wedding gown. Grace Loves Lace, Houghton Bride, Elizabeth Stuart, Theia, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and plenty of others are including this cut in their collections.

Whatever (Pant)Suits You
For some brides, the big, poufy, floor-length wedding gown doesn’t reflect their individual style. Designers are creating looks with the less traditional bride in mind. We’re seeing asymmetrical hemlines, knee-length and pantsuits. These looks are perfect for city hall weddings, more casual affairs, reception dresses and brides who break the mold in all the right ways. Check out Vera Wang, Pamella Roland, Houghton Bride, Theia, and Carolina Herrera for beautiful alternatives to the traditional gown.

Special 3D Effects
Floral appliques and accents are not new to bridal fashion, but designers are taking a new approach to adding these elements to their gowns. Three-dimensional flowers, feathers and lace are trending to create more volume and visual interest on gowns from Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier, Marchesa, Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka and others.

dramatic wedding dress photo
Photo by Wedding Dress – Factory Outlet

Beneath the Surface
Volume and dramatic skirts are dominating the bridal runways this year. We’re seeing designers play with layers of lace, organza and tulle to reach unforgettable dimensions. One of our favorite trends is the overlay skirt. A column dress is made voluminous by an overlaying skirt of a lighter fabric to turn this sleek silhouette into a voluminous princess cut. Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka and Monique Lhuillier are mixing other trends into this layering effect.

You deserve a wedding look as unique as you are. With adventurous cuts, materials and styles, designers are giving brides plenty of choices. Choose soft and romantic, modern and minimalist, sleek and sexy or vintage and rustic. Whatever your personal style may be, express yourself with the top looks from our favorite designers. Keep these trends in mind when you’re on the hunt for the perfect gown.

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Hampshire House’s Swiss Social Soiree – Hampshire House

Everything’s coming up Swiss! Join us 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, April 16th for our special event, the Swiss Social Soiree. Bring family, friends, acquaintances and whomever else you think would enjoy an evening of fun, fine food and conversation in our intimate Hampshire House setting.

cocktails photo

At just $55 (including tax and gratuity), a ticket is just the beginning of an evening enjoying cocktails, wines, hors d’ oeuvres, rösti station and raclette table, prepared for you by our Swiss Corporate Chef Markus Ripperger. Take this opportunity to get a taste of the flavors and experiences Switzerland has to offer. Delicious food and drink pairs well with our Swiss/American trivia wheel, magic act and general fun and frivolity. Try your luck to wine any of our fabulous prizes. The evening promises to be a warm, unique experience, as is to be expected from Hampshire House.

switzerland photo
Photo by Kecko

This event will sell out quickly. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis, so order yours today to be a part of this marvelous event.

Click here to purchase tickets.

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Engagement Celebration Success and Wrap-Up

Photography By: Bharat Parmar

We’re still glowing with the great success of our 2016 Engagement Celebration, and we’d like to thank all of our newly engaged guests and esteemed vendors who took part in this wonderful event. We would like to share some more gorgeous imagery that captured the fun and beauty of the day, courtesy of award-winning Bharat Parmar Photography.

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Photograpgy By: Bharat Parmar

Our sophisticated garden party open house was a unique opportunity for engaged couples to experience the lavish elegance that is Hampshire House. They became acquainted with our beautiful mansion, our dedicated staff and the area’s finest wedding vendors while enjoying our delicious food, cocktails and traditional New England hospitality.

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Photography By: Bharat Parmar

With our online, always connected world, one can research and learn about wedding professionals by visiting websites. But to be able to personally meet, in a relaxed and enjoyable environment, all those who contribute to make a special day magical — that is a rare occasion indeed. Our guests mingled with our specially selected wedding officiants, florists, performers, photographers, designers, bakers, make-up artists and other vendors, and were able to check some items off their wedding planning lists. We were honored to host this event to assist future brides and grooms in bringing their wedding dreams to life.

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Setting Up a Personalized Wedding Website for the Big Day

Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married! There’s a lot of exciting information that you need to share with family and friends, but the logistics of planning a wedding can be overwhelming. With all those details and everyone’s busy schedules, calling everyone with every piece of information just isn’t practical. The Internet to the rescue! Keep your invited guests up-to-date with a personalized wedding website.

wedding bouquet photo

The Do-It-Yourself Wedding Website
These days, you don’t have to be a professional web developer to have a great looking website. There are many online tools that you can use to easily design a wedding website. Some of them are completely free! Here are some to consider:

  • NearlyWeds – offers templates that match their wedding stationery, unlimited photos, online RSVP, online registry linking, blog, guest comments, music, video and more.
  • WeddingWire – free tablet and mobile friendly wedding websites, with a choice of styles to match your wedding invitations. Guests can post photos from their mobile device.
  • The Knot Free Wedding Website – free easy-to-build wedding website, personalized URL, hashtags and streaming from Instagram and Facebook.
  • AppyCouple – wedding website and mobile app. Features include instant messaging and RSVP, many different designs and easy-to-use widgets.

But What Do I Put On There?
If you think you don’t have enough wedding information and items of interest for your guests to fill a website, think again! The style and content of a wedding website will vary greatly from couple to couple, but here are some ideas:

  • About Us – the story of how you met and fell in love, shared interests, goals and dreams.
  • Meet the Bridal Party – photographs and brief biographies of everyone in the bridal party, including the mother and father of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, maid of honor, groomsmen, best man, flower child, officiant, pages, ring bearer, and ushers.
  • What, Where and When – all the details of the wedding ceremony and the reception, including directions.
  • Gift Guide – the shops and websites where you are registered.
  • Photo Gallery – this can include engagement photos, trips the two of you have taken, family outings, pets and much more.
  • Guest Book – so everyone can write their personalized messages.

wedding cake photo

For an out-of-town destination wedding, you might include information about accommodations, restaurants, things to do and other details about the location.

Delight your wedding guests, keep them in-the-loop and have a lasting online remembrance of your special day with a wedding website!

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12 Month Wedding-Planning Checklist

checklist photo
Photo by o.tacke

If you’ve just become engaged and are imagining your dream wedding, your head may be spinning with all that you need to do. This 12-month wedding checklist calendar will ensure that everything comes together beautifully.

12-plus months before your wedding day:

□ Choose a date and time, with several options.

□ Visualize your ideal wedding and plan the budget.

□ Check date and time with venues, special guests and hired help.

□ Research and book ceremony and reception sites.

□ Assemble a planning team.

□ Begin your guest list.

□ Ask relatives and friends to be in your wedding party.

At 8-10 months:

□ Shop for and order a wedding gown.

□ Decide on reception entertainment.

□ Plan reception food.

□ Select décor and floral arrangements.

□ Interview and hire vendors (musicians, DJ, florist, videographer and photographer).

□ Reserve hotel accommodations for guests.

□ Contact rental companies for chairs, tables, tents, etc.

□ Join a gift registry.

At 6-8 months:

□ Order bridesmaid dresses.

□ Book musicians.

□ Send out save-the-date cards (for a holiday or destination wedding).

□ Plan your honeymoon.

At 4-6 months:checklist photo

□ Order wedding rings and wedding invitations.

□ Research wedding cakes and hire a cake designer.

□ Purchase formal wear.

□ Acquire passports, if needed.

At 3 months:

□ Address invitations (or hire a calligrapher).

□ Order the wedding cake.

□ Rent men’s formal wear.

□ Book transport (cars, limousines).

At 2 months:

□ Write wedding vows.

□ Mail invitations.

□ Purchase gifts for your wedding party.

□ Book hair stylist and makeup artist.

At 1 month:

□ Apply for marriage license.

□ Have final bridal gown fitting and bring it home.

□ Confirm with bridesmaids that their gowns are ready.

□ Confirm arrangements with vendors.

□ Create a wedding program for guests.

□ Order in-room welcome baskets for guests.

At 2 weeks:

□ Review RSVPs and call anyone who hasn’t responded.

□ Check in with wedding vendors.

□ Go to beauty salon for wedding haircut.

□ Send song list to band or DJ.

□ Deliver instructions to photographer and videographer.

At 1 week:

□ Give caterer and reception site final head count.

□ Give vendor requests to ceremony and reception sites.

□ Give site managers a schedule of deliveries and setup times with contact numbers.

□ Contact vendors to confirm details and make any necessary changes.

□ Create reception seating chart and print table and place cards.

A few days before:

□ Pick up men’s formal wear.

□ Plan wedding party positions and processional.

□ Give table cards, place cards menus, favors and centerpieces to site manager or caterer.

□ Connect with wedding vendors for final confirmation.

□ Make arrangements to pick up guests, if needed.

□ Deliver welcome baskets for guests to hotel.

□ Give locations and pickup times to car rental or limousine company.

The day before:

□ Give photographer, band and others an emergency phone number for wedding day.

□ Write checks for wedding services; confirm any final balances with hosts.

The night before:

□ Meet with officiant, wedding party, family and other participants at ceremony site and review/rehearse ceremony. Bring necessary accessories.

□ Give marriage license to officiant.

□ Attend the rehearsal dinner and present gifts.

On your wedding day:

□ Give each other and your parents their gifts.

□ Give wedding bands to the maid of honor and best man to present during the ceremony.

□ Give officiant’s payment to the best man.

□ Introduce reception site manager to a contact person for any issues that arise.

□ Assign someone to assist the photographer.

After the wedding:

□ Arrange for rentals to be returned and for bridal gown to be cleaned.

□ Send thank you notes for gifts that arrived on the wedding day.

It’s a long list, but being well-organized will make the best day of your life run smoothly, so everyone can concentrate on having a wonderful time!

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