Sincerely: Dream Designer Wedding Gowns at Dream Prices

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At Sincerely, you can find stunning ex-floor stock sample gowns available to purchase straight away off the rack at discounted prices! Perfect for the bride who is short on time to find her dream designer wedding gown.

What is Sincerely?

Sincerely is Helen Rodrigues Bridal sample gown boutique. The gowns in Sincerely have been used in the Helen Rodrigues Bridal boutique as the floor stock samples for brides to try on and may have been used in photo shoots and/or runway shows. 

There are gowns from current season and in perfect condition, past seasons and discontinued gowns/designers. The gowns are priced to reflect their condition so some may have 15% off the order-in-new price and others are up to 60% off to reflect the season and/or condition of the gown (these may require some 'love and attention' and/or dry cleaning). 

We have sample gowns available to sell off the rack from all of our designers including Inbal Dror, Alon Livne, Monique Lhuillier and Jenny Packham.

What is a Sample Gown?

A sample gown is a gown that has  been used in the Helen Rodrigues Bridal boutique as the floor stock samples for brides to try on and may have been used in photo shoots and/or runway shows.

As there is only ONE of each gown available to purchase, it is very important that brides fit the sample gowns relatively well as over-altering the gown can impact the gown's original design and integrity. For the brides convenience, all sizes and measurements are provided on the Sincerely website for each gown. 

If you are a size AU6-8 the gowns will be too big and you may end up paying quite a lot to have it tailored to fit and if you are a size AU14+, the gowns unfortunately will not fit. 

Gowns cannot be placed on hold and they are first come best dressed. 

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Why a Sample Gown from Sincerely?

If you have less than 6 months to go before the big day, a sample gown is a perfect idea for you as you can take the gown away with you!

There are times when brides are having a short engagement, would like a second gown, have not found the perfect gown or maybe have even had a mishap with the original gown...if this is the case, Sincerely can certainly help! If you fall in love with a gown at your appointment with us, you take the gown away with you that day and we can of course recommend a wonderful local tailor who can assist with altering your gown (as well as recommended dry cleaner, if required). 

Sincerely is also perfect for finding the perfect gown at the perfect price. As they are sample gowns, we can discount them 15% - 60% off the order-in-new prices! Prices are always reflective of the season and condition of the gown so if you are after a 2017 Inbal Dror sample gown, this may be discounted 10-15% off and if it's a discontinued Jenny Packham gown from 2005, you could be looking at anything up to 40% off for a sample. 

We also offer a select few gowns between $500 - $1,000 from older season gowns. Please note, these gowns would mostly require some 'love and attention' before wearing. 

Please note that all prices exclude all extras such as dry cleaning and tailoring and all gowns must be paid in full. 

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Before Arranging your Sincerely Appointment

We highly recommend that brides have started the trying on process prior to coming into Sincerely so that they have a good idea of what they are after, as well as making themselves familiar with the gowns we have available to purchase off the rack. We keep the Sincerely website very up to date for our brides to be able to pre-shop before coming in. 

At Sincerely, as the gowns are sold off the rack on a first come best dressed basis, we would see brides no earlier than 6 - 7 months out from their wedding date, ideally when the wedding date and venue has been booked in as this plays a big part in selecting the correct gown for your special day.  

Have your budget decided on as, in our experience, everyone has a limit as to how much they would like to spend on their gown. We can best help you keep within this figure when you are clear on your budget. Our goal is to help you find your dream gown and work within your specifications so you can leave with perfect gown for your special day. 

Come in with an open mind as if you close yourself off to certain aspects, you may miss your dream gown on the rack! Your stylist will b ring you through the gowns based on the phone conversation prior to you coming in and will suggest gowns based on your requirements (style, budget, venue, time of year etc.). 

We recommend that you bring along no more than two guests whose opinions you truly respect and don't forget, your stylist is there too to weigh in should you decide to come solo. 

The appointment fee for your time at Sincerely provides you with a one hour one on one styling session with one of our brilliant stylists as well as exclusive use of our boutique. This fee is fully reimbursed into the gown should you go ahead.

Monday - Friday appointments $50
Saturday appointments $75
Cancellation fees apply - please see Sincerely's T&C's 

Sincerely is strictly by appointment only and is opened for each bride specifically as we operate with the same small staff as Helen Rodrigues. We do kindly ask you give ample request time for an appointment and we will endeavor to work as much as we can around your requirements and schedule.

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What about Tailoring & Dry Cleaning?

We of course can recommend a wonderful local tailor for all of our Sincerely brides who is very familiar with working on our gowns. We cannot quote you on the day as to how much your tailoring will be and we can provide an estimate based on how well the gown fits, the gown's fabrics and condition. 

We also have a trusted local dry cleaner we can also recommend should you gown need to be freshened up before the wedding and/or for afterwards.

If the gown has any imperfections/damage we would be confident that these can be mended by a tailor.

How does Payment Work?

Should you find your dream gown at Sincerely we take payment in full at the end of your appointment and you leave with your gown and any accessories (we do offer a wide range of head pieces, earrings, veils and even shoes!) all bagged up with our preferred tailor and dry cleaner's details. 

We accept all cards (2% surcharge on AMEX) and cash payments. We do not accept cheques. If you would like to do a bank transfer, we can provide you the details and the transfer must be done at your appointment and once this has cleared into our account, you can collect your gown from us. 

There are no refunds, returns or exchanges for any reason whatsoever once your sales contract has been signed and payment has been made. All sales are final and we cannot be held responsible for anything that may occur to your gown once it leaves our boutique. 

Your appointment fee is of course fully credited into your gown (only - not towards accessories) should you go ahead. 

Arranging Your Sincerely Appointment

Should you feel an appointment at Sincerely is right for you, please request an appointment via the Contact Us page on the Sincerely website and one of  our team members will be in touch, during business hours Mon - Fri (excluding public holidays), to discuss and arrange.

You will have the boutique to yourself with one of our trained stylists for one hour helping you with everything from the gown to veils and accessories. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon and helping you find your dream gown at Sincerely!

Expert Bridal Beauty Tips from Jess Berg to Look Amazing and Still be You

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Every bride wants to look stunning on their wedding day with flawless, glowy skin, incredible makeup and gorgeous hair. But how do you achieve this and also stay true to yourself? 

We’ve already covered nutrition and fitness in the ‘Wedding Wellbeing’ three part feature for our Helen on Weddings (HOW) blog series, and now it’s time to talk beauty. We spoke with hair and makeup expert, Jessica Berg, for her top tips for the big day. A former model herself, for the last ten years she has been helping other women all over Sydney look their most beautiful for not only weddings, but also photo shoots, editorials, fashion week, and more. So when it comes to looking good she certainly knows a thing or two.

Less is always more
According to Jessica, it’s really important to stay true to yourself on your wedding day and not fall into the trap of wanting to overdo it or look completely different because it’s your one day to be a princess.

“I totally get that, so it’s my job to make the fairytale become a reality by giving brides what they want, but explaining that less is always more,” she explains. “Brides want to be looking at their wedding photos ten years from their wedding thinking they looked fresh, beautiful, like a princess and exactly like themselves, but better!”

The makeup artist gets brides to bring photos or show her pin or mood boards of the ideal look they’re trying to create, and always asks a lot of questions to make sure they get exactly what they want and aren’t thrown off by an image they see.

“What that means is, often celebrities have hair extensions in and many of the images are photo shopped, to give and unrealistic expectation of a look. It's my job to explain what they are seeing in an image and what it takes to get to that point,” she says.

By going through an extended hair and makeup trial though, Jessica says her brides always get the results they’re after.

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The perfect look starts with skin
It’s every bride’s dream to have flawless skin on their wedding day and Jessica has a number of great tips to help reach this goal.

  1. Prepare early – Start looking after your skin at least three months out (if possible six months is better).
  2. Start on the inside – Up your water intake for hydration and add a good amount of Omega 3’s to your diet (tablets or oily fish) to help your skin maintain a healthy glow. Probiotics will also keep your gut healthy (healthy gut = healthy everything) and add an apple a day for fibre to aid digestion and keep everything flowing nicely. You can also look at a skin vitamin combination such as A, C, E which all help skin, hair and nails to look their best.
  3. Invest in a good skincare brand – Enlist the help of a beautician or makeup artist for advice on the best brand for your skin type. If you’re less than three months out from the wedding though, don’t change your skincare regime as your skin won’t have time to adjust.
  4. Get facials – Regular facials allow your skin to slowly resurface and regenerate, but go to a professional rather than trying to do them yourself at home. Jessica personally gets Glycolic peels from her beautician and finds her skin’s texture improves each time.
  5. Use sun protection – Make sure you protect your skin all over and not just on your face, because areas like the neck and décolletage also really feel the effects of too much sun.
  6. Don’t pick your face – If a pimple comes up don’t panic. Keep your hands clean and resist the urge to pop it, and if necessary see your beautician who has the knowledge on how to extract it carefully. You don’t want to risk scarring.
  7. Go the natural look – For the actual wedding day you don’t want cakey foundation. Skin should look natural, glowing, beautiful and flawless and your makeup artist should be able to help you achieve this. A bit of natural dimension can be added with highlighters.
  8. Keep hydrated – To maintain your glow throughout the day remember to drink water in between each alcoholic beverage. Your skin will love you for it and you’ll be radiating beauty all day!

Enhancing beauty with makeup
In Jessica’s experience, the best style of makeup that suits most brides is again a natural look with emphasis on the eyes.

“Brides want to look like themselves, but in a better version, and so do their grooms,” she says. “I find by giving brides a very natural finish on the skin and bringing out their best features (usually the eyes or lips if they have amazing lips), then I’m keeping them true to who they are and enhancing their natural beauty.”

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Consider more than one hairstyle
When it comes to hair, Jessica believes it’s best to start by looking for photos of other brides or celebrities who have the same hair colour or close to what you have.

“I often get brides coming in with jet black, straight hair and they show me images of a blonde with curly hair,” she says. “It’s my job to interpret what they want though, so we always get there in the end.”

Her other key tip is to consider a second hairstyle option in case the weather is terrible on the day. For example, plan for a ‘hair down with curls’ style if that’s what you really want, but consider an ‘updo with soft curls’ option if on the day of the wedding it’s blowing a gale with torrential rain. Because sometimes a ‘hair down’ style might be really tough to achieve, no matter how much of a  guru your hair stylist is.

Remember to enjoy yourself
Jessica’s final advice to all brides is to relax and enjoy the process, because getting hair and makeup done is so much fun and a really important part of a bride’s day.

“Make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable with the person doing your hair and makeup and remember that it’s about YOU, not them,” explains Jessica. “No matter how good someone is and how experienced they are, no one knows you better than you.”

Do your research and find someone who adds value to your day and contributes to it in the most positive way possible, because as Jessica says: “This is your one day to shine, so get the best people around you and it will be your dream wedding day.”

For more information on Jessica Berg, please visit her website imagineyourself.com.au or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.  

Helen on Weddings: After 16 years in the bridal business fitting thousands of brides personally, Helen Rodrigues certainly knows a thing or two about weddings. Follow our Helen on Weddings (HOW) blog series as Helen and her team share their knowledge and stories to help make your big day as beautiful and memorable as possible.
 

Get the Look: Classic Bride

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Modern, edgy or casual looks can be gorgeous, fun options for wedding styles, but nothing really beats a classic bride.

A timeless, princess shaped gown like this stunning dress from Elie Saab, is the perfect centerpiece for this luxurious look. Add a sheer veil to emphasize the traditional feel and then accessorise with other classic items for a cohesive ensemble.

An elegant drop gold and pearl earring is simply stunning, and nothing is more classic than iconic Chanel No. 5 fragrance to help capture the essence of the look.

When it comes to bridal heels, Manolo Blahnik is one of the go-to brands. This elegant pump with a covered toe is a fitting choice and the crystal blue-encrusted embellishment is a nice subtle nod to another wedding tradition.

Adding to the ‘something blue’ touches, you could opt for a soft blue bridesmaid dress like this long, silk taffeta Monique Lhuillier gown which features an asymmetrical twist on a classic style. A garter, an old tradition in itself, is a sweet addition that can also feature this hue.

When it comes to other wedding features it’s best to keep the classic theme going too. For florals you don’t want anything overly bright - think English roses, blush nudes and ranunculus. A minimalist white tiered tower cake is very traditional and eye-catching, and a special wedding guest book with smart type font is a lovely keepsake to help capture the overall theme for the day.

Leah Simmons on How to Feel Fit and Fabulous for Your Wedding

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Getting in the best shape of your life is a very common goal for most brides. But there’s a lot more to it than just hitting the gym twice a day, because all bodies are different.

This is the second article in our new three part ‘Wedding Wellbeing’ feature for the Helen on Weddings (HOW) blog series (following on from our nutrition guide with Jess Sepel), and to get the best advice for all you brides-to-be we spoke to fitness guru, and former Helen Rodrigues real bride, Leah Simmons from Body by Leah Simmons.

Set a goal and start early
According to Leah, it’s important to allow enough time to reach whatever goal you’ve set yourself.

“Planning a wedding is a lengthy and involved process, and it’s easy to neglect certain things like your own health and wellbeing,” she says. “You definitely don’t want to leave your fitness regime to the last minute – especially if you have fairly specific body goals.”

Leah recommends at least 12 weeks (3 months) of consistent training and good nutrition to see real results. She also suggests enlisting the help of a qualified trainer/nutritionist to help assist you in reaching your goal as they can not only design a program around your requirements, but will also help you stay focused and on track.

Tailor your workout to you
All brides have different goals, and women come in all kinds of amazing shapes and sizes; which is why Leah believes that it’s up to the individual to determine what areas of their body they’re going to focus on and what fitness regime they’re going to follow.

“In my experience, I think that strength training (when guided correctly) yields the best results – you’ll build lean muscle tissue as well as get that all important cardio workout to strip fat. Throw in some mobility training (yoga/pilates) for good measure and you’ll be on your way!” says Leah, who is also a big yoga fan and a pilates instructor. 

She advises that it’s best to focus on a combination of exercises that work for you. And whether you’re going for a general tune up or a total body transformation, just be sure to leave enough time to reach your goals safely.

“At the end of the day you should also choose something that you enjoy. You’ll have more luck sticking with something you love than slogging through something you loathe. Be flexible and be creative!” adds Leah.

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Work with what you have
If you can’t easily get to a gym or dedicate a lot of time to workouts, don’t worry because according to Leah it’s all about working with what you have.

“Any amount of exercise is better than none,” she says. “The time-poor bride can still focus on nutrition which means you’re already off to a flying start, and there are loads of great ‘at-home’ workouts you can try on the net.”

If you’re really struggling for time, Leah recommends brides try this simple morning circuit that will take no more than ten minutes.

20 x bodyweight squats
20 x leg raises
20 x alternating forward lunges (10 each side)
30 x sec plank
3 x rounds

Things to be mindful of
In a bid to achieve a complete body transformation, some brides might be tempted to go too hard and fast. Leah recommends not attempting something you’ve never done before without professional guidance.

“I would suggest seeking the advice of a trainer as soon as you know when your big day is to discuss your goals and what is actually achievable in the time you have,” she says. “It’s also not uncommon for a bride to lose weight in the lead up to their wedding day just from the sheer stress of it all – so make sure you have several dress fittings as close to the day as possible.” 

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Wedding day tips
On the actual day there’s usually an early start, heaps of preparations, a few jitters, lots of things happening and a fair amount of standing; so it’s important to be fighting fit.

As hard as it may be with nerves, Leah believes the best thing you can do is remember to eat on your wedding day. Good carbs are ideal to see you through – think oats with some protein powder mixed in or a serve of brown rice, veggies and some protein (meat, fish, tofu), for a sustained energy release.

Her other tips include:

  • Not drinking too much alcohol (easier said than done!)
  • Making sure to drink plenty of water
  • Doing some deep breathing and have a moment on your own for a little meditation to re-centre yourself 
  • Packing a spare pair of flats so you can really kick up your heels and enjoy yourself!

Leah’s big day
Leah was married in Mykonos, Greece in September 2016 and wore a gorgeous Inbal Dror gown and an Oscar de la Renta veil.

Although already fabulously fit, in the lead up to the wedding she admits she did step up her normal fitness regime by a few notches – the core reason being that she was going to be overseas for a month and didn’t want to train much whilst away.

“I really worked on getting my body to a place where I could pretty much do what I wanted for a month and it wouldn’t really change that much,” she says, although offers a word of caution for other brides who might be thinking of doing the same. 

“I had been strength training for a couple of years prior to my wedding so my body was used to that type of volume. I did a combination of strength and circuit training mixed with pilates and some sprint training. It was pretty intense!”

Have fun with friends
Leah’s final fitness advice to brides is to remember to enjoy yourself and consider teaming up with others for extra motivation.

“Exercise is meant to be fun so make sure you don’t lose sight of that!” she says. “Maybe even get your bridesmaids together and start a little fitness club with them. Training with friends is always easier because you motivate each other to keep going.”

And don’t be surprised if you find yourself post-wedding still doing a version of your bridal workout (even if it is slightly reduced to accommodate your busy life)! Because from Leah’s experience brides are usually so thrilled with their results that they want to keep up their fitness regimes for life.

For more information on Leah Simmons, please visit her website bbls.com.au or follow her on or Instagram or Facebook. Any brides wanting to speak with Leah directly regarding their fitness goals for the big day can also email her directly on leah@bbls.com.au.   
 
Helen on Weddings: After 17 years in the bridal business fitting thousands of brides personally, Helen Rodrigues certainly knows a thing or two about weddings. Follow our Helen on Weddings (HOW) blog series as Helen and her team share their knowledge and stories to help make your big day as beautiful and memorable as possible.
 

Essential Nutritional Tips for Brides-to-Be from Jessica Sepel

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All brides want to look and feel their absolute best on their wedding day, but what many don’t realise is that it starts with what you’re putting into your body. Good nutrition can improve everything from your skin and hair to your mood and energy; so a healthy mind and body is what all brides should be aiming for.

As the first article in our new three part ‘Wedding Wellbeing’ feature for our Helen on Weddings (HOW) blog series, we’ve gathered the top tips and tricks for you from one of the best in the business: expert nutritionist, blogger and author, Jessica Sepel. Jess herself was also a Helen Rodrigues real bride not long ago and so we’ve even included some of her own personal nutritional tips for the big day to help you out as well. 

Begin with a healthy food relationship
According to Jessica, the assumption is that all brides are trying to lose weight, with many guides and programs all geared towards dropping weight fast in time for the wedding.

“I get it. As a bride-to-be you can feel enormous pressure to look and feel perfect for the special day...but I also know that the complicated relationship with food that results from this doesn’t make you or your body good,” she says.

This is something Jessica knows firsthand. Her previous unhealthy relationship with food and subsequent recovery journey is what actually prompted her to start her JSHealth blog. Letting go of this controlling and restrictive strive for thin perfection also ended up being the key to making her wedding amazing.

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“It’s my secret to being a stress-free bride. I know that if I was still caught up in that mentality I would never have gotten to where I am now,” she says. “Because when we’re trying to control our food and diets, we’re inevitably trying to control other parts of our lives too.”

Jessica believes that our relationship with food has a huge impact on our emotional and physical health – and the relationship with everyone around us too.

“Healthy eating is the key to healthy and happy living. If you know you are taking care of your body and giving it what it needs, it is so good to you in return,” she says. “Don’t try to look or eat perfect – eat in tune with your body and I promise you will see results. And most importantly, you will feel the best you ever had.”

Pre-wedding preparation
Jessica believes it’s important for brides preparing for their wedding day to realise that real and everlasting beauty is from the inside out.

“That, after all, is what your future spouse truly fell in love with!” she adds. “To be a healthy bride, we have to care of what we’re putting into our bodies.”

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Here are Jessica’s top nutrition tips for the lead up to the wedding:

  • Load up on veggies – add more greens and other vegetable to your plate as the nutrients will feed your skin and hair cells.
  • Include protein at every meal – to help with energy levels and other functions.
  • Eat lots of good fats – so many women are afraid of healthy fats and avoid them, but this is great for your skin and hair, so embrace and enjoy things like avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds.
  • Take care of your digestion – more detail can be found in her book, The Healthy Life.
  • Drink plenty of water – stay hydrated by drinking two litres of filtered water a day to achieve healthy skin and hair, flush toxins, aid digestion and generally feel better.
  • Cut out processed sugar – also consider cutting back on fruit (two pieces a day is great)
  • Add supplements – such as zinc, fish oil and vitamin C.
  • Make time for sleep – Jessica herself has a non-negotiable commitment to eight hours of rest every single day for a healthy mind and body, and believes sleep is even more vital for brides.

 “I really think it’s so important for brides-to-be to take care of themselves in this way. Tuck yourself into bed early so you can recharge,” she says. “Wedding planning can zap your energy and be totally exhausting. You don’t want to look and feel tired when you’re planning, and you certainly don’t want this on the big day either!”

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Tips for the actual wedding
According to Jessica, most brides do their best to move and eat well in the weeks and months leading up to the big day, but it shouldn’t stop there.

“The way you fuel your body on your wedding day is just as important as the preparation you’ve put in during the planning process. And it can be challenging – you’ll be excited, nervous and BUSY,” she says.

“It’s easy to reach for sugary sweets brought in by your granny, champagne with your girls, or for some brides, nothing at all due to nerves. But in order to feel and look your absolute best when you walk down the aisle, it’s essential to eat.”

On the big day ideally Jessica recommends brides eat clean, real whole foods – mainly fruits, lean protein and veggies – but in small amounts to avoid bloat and dehydration, and boost that bridal glow.

Jessica’s ideal meal plan for a bride on her wedding day looks like this:

Pre breakfast: Upon waking, sip warm water with the juice of one lemon squeezed into it along with some ginger. Both lemon and ginger are detoxifying on the liver and prepare the digestive system for the food to come. As tempting as a mimosa might be, it can cause a blood sugar spike on an empty stomach.

Breakfast: For a bride who loves her java, one cup of black coffee – no milk or sugar added – is good. Too much more could cause extra jitters and there’s no time for that on your big day! Follow this with fresh papaya (which contains an amazing enzyme that soothes the digestive system) or grapefruit with a drizzle of lime juice.

Lunch: A piece of grilled fresh white fish with lots of herbs and spices and small green salad, or some steamed greens drizzled with lemon juice – no salt added – are great options for a light lunch. Avoid salt to prevent fluid retention and opt for herbs and spices instead which are anti-inflammatory and natural detoxifiers.

Snack: A light snack before the festivities begin is a great way to keep your blood sugar in balance – but what you nibble on is key to avoid a sugar crash. Munch on fresh celery and cucumber sticks which are natural anti-diuretics (which means they help rid the body of excess fluids). And add a small handful of raw almonds or walnuts – the healthy fats give skin an amazing glow!

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Dinner: For most brides this will be at the wedding. It depends on your menu of course, but lean protein with veggies will give you major energy to dance the night away with your groom. And when it comes to the wedding cake? Go for it! Bloating will no longer be an issue and you deserve to celebrate.

Drinks:  While loads of water is encouraged in the lead up to the wedding, it’s best to stick to small sips on the big day. This will prevent bloating and extra fluid retention, and mean fewer trips to the bathroom (great for all those brides in a more elaborate dress!). Bubbly is likely to be flowing all day, but try to only have one or two glasses after the ceremony and stay well-hydrated out on the dance floor so you can thoroughly enjoy your wedding night with your groom.

Jessica’s magical wedding
The renowned nutritionist married her love Dean back in December 2015 in Thailand on a beautiful sandy beach with 170 of their closest family and friends watching on. Jessica wore a stunning Anna Maier dress from Helen Rodrigues and their ‘healthy wedding’ retreat-like celebrations lasted four magical days.

Activities and aspects of their inspiring nuptials included: healthy gift bags for guests, fresh healthy wholefood buffets and snacks, vitamin juice shots, sunrise yoga, organic wine and day spa massage and beauty treatments for the girls. Jessica also even managed a refreshing personal meditation for herself just before the ceremony – something she highly recommends for all brides on their big day.

For more information on Jessica Sepel, her wedding, her JSHealth program or books, please visit her website jessicasepel.com or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.  

Helen on Weddings: After 17 years in the bridal business fitting thousands of brides personally, Helen Rodrigues certainly knows a thing or two about weddings. Follow our Helen on Weddings (HOW) blog series as Helen and her team share their knowledge and stories to help make your big day as beautiful and memorable as possible.

Focus Feature: Angelina Le from Style Me Wedding

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Recently, Angelina Le from Style Me Wedding came into the boutique and created a stunning window display to complement the gowns on display in our windows. We sat down with Angelina to find out more on where she gets her inspiration and advice for brides when it comes to styling.

Tell us how you began making your gorgeous flower arrangements for weddings and events?
I have always loved styling and transforming an empty space into something beautiful and magical. I love working with flowers may it be fresh or silk, I just find them so uplifting and can bring a smile on people’s face. 

The first time I styled up an event was for a friend’s photo shoot. I remember that day to be crazy and pretty busy however I enjoyed every minute of it. Just seeing my work on display at my client’s wedding and the appreciation on their faces makes it all worth the work involved. 

How long have you been styling weddings?
I have been in the wedding styling industry for about three years now. 

Where do you get your inspiration for your installations?
This might sound a little peculiar considering I am the stylist, but I get my inspiration form talking to my brides. Through our conversations where my brides would tell me the things she likes, the location of her ceremony, the venue and even the grown she has picked for the day, I would use all these things to inspire me to come up with a design that is personal to them. 

What advice do you have for brides regarding styling their weddings?
My advice to brides regarding styling for their wedding is to have a budget. By having one, your stylist can help you achieve your dream wedding without comprising your budget. This keeps the brides happy and a stylist’s job just that little bit easier. This will in turn minimise or even eliminate the stress that is associated with styling for your wedding.

My other advice is to consider the location of where their wedding ceremony and reception will be held. Consider the kind of atmosphere they would like to be surrounded by on their wedding day. Once the brides take all this into consideration, it will help them take the first step in styling their wedding. 

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What are your favourite styling trends of 2017 so far & any predictions for 2018? 
My favourite style trends of 2017 would be all the gorgeous floral ceiling installation and I love how they are couple with stunning chandeliers. 

My predictions for styling trends in 2018 is more ceiling installation of different styles. I believe that the style trend for 2018 is to the imagination of the stylist and their bride. 

You created a wonderful installation for our windows which we adore – what was your inspiration for this?
Thank you for your lovely comment. All the beautiful gowns you have in your store was my inspiration for your window display. I wanted to create a river floral effect running from one window to the next to complement the stunning gowns you have on display. 
 

Sami - A Real Bride Story

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Sami’s story

Who: Sami & Stephen
When: 3 March, 2017
Where: Centennial Vineyards, Bowral
Dress: Inbal Dror from Helen Rodrigues Bridal

Many brides have the idea of getting their wedding dress designed especially for them in a desire to have something unique, personal and very special. But like our real bride Sami found when she walked into Helen Rodrigues, the reality is that the incredible gown of your dreams is probably already out there and just waiting for you to try it on.

“Initially I wanted to get something made, so I met with a designer and the first piece of advice she gave me was, go try some dresses on and come back to me!” says Sami. “So I made an appointment at Helen Rodrigues, which was the first and last bridal shop I went to! I instantly fell in love with all of their gowns and knew I would find my dream dress in there.”

She ended up selecting a divine gown from Israeli designer, Inbal Dror, after discovering her at Helen Rodrigues and becoming besotted with all her designs.

“There is something just a little bit different about her gowns, they aren’t your conventional ‘wedding dresses’ which is what I loved,” says the newlywed.

The style of gown Sami chose however was not something she would have picked herself had it not been for one of her friends.

“Like most brides, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to suit my shape, but surprisingly one of my bridesmaids actually picked the gown off the rack,” she says. “I was sure it wasn’t me, but as soon as I tried it on... I knew it was the one. I felt excited, emotional and a little relieved.”

After finding her dream gown, Sami then also found the process of having fittings and other dress preparations extremely enjoyable.

“The experience at Helen Rodrigues was seamless from start to finish and the team have a way of making you feel super special,” she says. “Nothing was too hard for them. I must say I do miss popping into the shop to see them.”

When the big day arrived Sami’s magical vineyard wedding was everything her and husband Stephen had dreamed of, with not even a little bit of rain dampening their spirits. Her favourite memories from the day include getting ready with the girls and her mum, putting her dress on, walking down the aisle, seeing Stephen for the first time and dancing the night away.

And when it comes to sharing tips for other brides-to-be looking to make their day perfect, Sami has two pieces of wisdom: 

“The first piece of advice is to make sure you try dresses on even if you think they might not necessarily suit you. The last is to make sure you have spent some time walking in your wedding shoes!”

All photography by Lara Hotz Photography

Designer Focus Feature: Alon Livne

 I always try to keep my gowns timeless and fashion forward - Alon Livne

I always try to keep my gowns timeless and fashion forward - Alon Livne

Helen Rodrigues is renowned for its carefully selected, exclusive collection of exquisite luxury bridal gowns from the most innovative and sought-after international designers around the globe. One brand which has become a highly desired favourite among Australian brides for the past year is Alon Livne White, and so we decided to speak with the designer himself for some exclusive details about the inspiration behind his designs and what we can expect next. 

He’s Israel’s most prestigious fashion designer and is favoured by celebrities and fashionistas worldwide; but according to Alon Livne, it was just something that has always been a part of him.

“My mom says that ever since I was a little boy I would draw models in gowns and that absolutely nothing has changed,” he says. His inspiration however, appears to have come from a few different sources.

“On the one hand, I absolutely adored old Hollywood starlets and icons like Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth and Katharine Hepburn. On the other hand, I was always fascinated by the women of punk-rock like Siouxsie Sioux and Grace Jones. I think this strange, contrasted, mix of inspirations made me the designer I am today.”

At the age of 17, Alon Livne began working in premiere luxury European fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen in London and Roberto Cavalli in Florence, before winning first place in the Israeli version of Project Runway. In high demand following this, he then went out on his own and since 2013 has regularly shown collections at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week which attract much attention far and wide.

“I always try to keep my gowns timeless and fashion forward, never relying on trends and what other people do,” he says, with regards to what defines him as a designer. “When you come to see my designs, you come to be unique and original.”

This is probably why celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Lea Michele, Beyonce and Lady Gaga are all firm fans of Alon Livne and wear his luxurious gowns often. When asked if there are any other stars he would love to work with, the designer is quick to answer:

“I would absolutely love to work with Solange Knowles, I just love her style and overall attitude.”

His outstanding bridal line ‘Alon Livne White’ has also been a global sensation and something that came about quite naturally for the designer.

“I think that ever since I started designing ready-to-wear collections I had white gowns that were really focused towards bridalwear, it was just something I always felt I needed to do,” he says. “I'm now seeing the two lines coming closer in terms of aesthetic, vision and design.”

In the designer’s own words, the Alon Livne bride is “stunning, timeless, bold and original” and we couldn’t agree more.

“I love getting to design gowns that are basically dreams-come-true for women. A lot of girls come up to me and say that they imagined how their wedding gown would be ever since they were little, and that my designs make their childhood fantasy a reality.”

And so what can we expect next from the talented designer?

“With my new 2018 collection I'm really trying to focus on clean, simple designs with unique shapes and details. Kind of stepping away from the over-the-top, sexy-sheer look that has been taking over the bridal scene lately. I think you can expect something truly original and authentic.”

Well we certainly can’t wait and bet our brides can’t either. 

Alon Livne White is available exclusively in Australia at Helen Rodrigues. A special Alon Livne Trunk Show will also be taking place this November. Appointments are essential so to book your place, or for any enquiries, please phone the boutique on 02 9904 5700.

For more detail on Alon Livne and his designs visit his website here.