HOW - Helen on Weddings

2019 Bridal Trends

British Bridal Designer Suzanne Neville’s sleep and modern designs will be available in Helen Rodrigues Bridal from January 2019

British Bridal Designer Suzanne Neville’s sleep and modern designs will be available in Helen Rodrigues Bridal from January 2019

Following Helen’s recent International trips to NYC Bridal Week and Paris she provides her insight into trends we can expect to see in 2019.

Are there any definitive bridal trends you are seeing for 2019?

After visiting NY in Oct and Paris in Dec there is a definite trend to the more classic gowns. The Clean lines and silhouettes and more simple fabrics give the modern, chic and elegant feel. However, the most important trend for a bride is to wear a gown that they love and makes them feel the “best of themselves” on their special day.

When it comes to accessories what can we expect in 2019?

As we see bridal gowns becomes more streamlined it allows for more dramatic accessories to be worn to complete the wedding look. A dramatic pair of earrings can always complete the look. A statement headpiece can also be added! Again, these pieces can become heirloom pieces and be passed down, or can be worn on another special occasion.

We are also seeing many of our gowns being teamed with different belts. This is always a signature of Mr Saab’s ready to wear bridal collection. Lee Petra Grebenau has also launched some stunning leather belts to take your look to the next level and also highlight your waist!

Keren Wolf’s statement Pearl Crowns on the Inbal Dror runway

Keren Wolf’s statement Pearl Crowns on the Inbal Dror runway

Keren Wolf’s exquisite pearl and flower crown available in store

Keren Wolf’s exquisite pearl and flower crown available in store

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Do you find celebrity weddings influence this industry? Did Meghan Markle’s wedding gown noticeably influence or inspire bridal gown requests?

I think to some degree celebrities do influence the industry. However, my brides are woman who know their own minds and know what makes them feel good. So they are more influenced by that and quality rather than celebrities. I certainly believe that the simplicity of Meghan’s gown has inspired many designers. There was already a nod to have more simple gowns, but Meghan’s made brides feel it was chic to wear simple – “less is more”.

Which bridal designers are the ones to watch in 2019?

To be honest all of my designers are currently producing amazing collections! I loved Inbal Dror’s latest collection that she just launched – it is perfect for the Australian bride as it is very light and airy. Lee Petra Grebenau always produces unique gowns for the discerning bride. These often inspire other bridal designers but can never be re-created to the same detail and quality!

Exceptional details of the Lee Petra Grebenau ‘Karlie’ Gown

Exceptional details of the Lee Petra Grebenau ‘Karlie’ Gown

What can we expect from Helen Rodrigues Bridal in 2019?

As we enter into our 18th year of trading we plan to do continue sharing brides wedding journeys with them and delivering them their dream gown.

We are excited to extend our stable of designers to include British Designer Suzanne Neville. Suzanne is renowned for the exquisite fabrics she uses. Her gowns are simple, clean lines with amazing corsetry.

We are also excited to extend our accessory collection to include a collection of Daphne Newman’s handmade silk robes and slips. These are all made to order and will become a family heirloom.

We have extended our collection of Keren Wolf jewellery including more earrings and headpieces to create your entire bridal look

We have an extensive range of veils from Peter Langner in addition to our beautiful Helen Rodrigues Signature veils.

Welcoming Daphne Newman’s handmade silk robes and slips to the hand selected accessories available at Helen Rodrigues Bridal

Welcoming Daphne Newman’s handmade silk robes and slips to the hand selected accessories available at Helen Rodrigues Bridal

Newly Engaged? Where do You Start!

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The Australian Summer is often when a large number of engagements take place during the Christmas and New Year period.

Helen shares her knowledge to help make your wedding planning journey as stress free and enjoyable as possible!

Where would you suggest a newly engaged bride start her wedding planning journey?

I believe it is always important to start with the key big ticket items to help the planning journey begin.

This would be to set a date, book your venue, set a budget and then of course the most exciting of all, to start looking for your gown! We are here to guide you through and style your entire wedding look.

What tools does one need?

Things have certainly changed since I got married nearly 20 years ago when you would buy a few bridal magazines and create a physical scrapbook of torn out pages that we have loved!

The major tool that brides use today is Instagram for inspiration. Create a mood board using Pinterest, screen grab some of your favourite weddings, gowns and beauty looks as this will help guide suppliers and also assists our team when you visit the boutique so we have an idea of your style and what you are trying to achieve. That said, it is always important to have an open mind as well!

HR Real Bride Tiarne’s cliff top wedding in Positano in her Inbal Dror gown

HR Real Bride Tiarne’s cliff top wedding in Positano in her Inbal Dror gown

Where is the best place for brides to seek wedding inspiration for photographers, venues etc

Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. Social media is king!

HR Real Bride Tiarne, planned her entire Positano wedding herself drawing inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest

HR Real Bride Tiarne, planned her entire Positano wedding herself drawing inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest

Do brides usually have their wedding venue booked when they visit the boutique for the first time?

In the most part yes, but sometimes brides do not have their wedding venue. They are so excited and for them the gown is the most important part of their day. After all, it does not really matter where your venue is, it is all about how your gown makes you feel. If you are having a formal wedding with hundreds of guests or a small intimate wedding as long as you love your gown it will work everywhere!

How long does it usually take between first visit to Helen Rodrigues Bridal and final gown collection?

It really depends on how far in advance brides book their gowns from their wedding. We usually require 8-10 months production time for our designers and like to receive gowns at least 8 weeks prior to the wedding date so we can schedule appointments to look at accessories if need be to complete their wedding look and then also to book all fittings and alterations appointments.

HR Real Bride Louise, at The Grounds of Alexandria in her Monique Lhuillier gown

HR Real Bride Louise, at The Grounds of Alexandria in her Monique Lhuillier gown

Do most of your brides have skincare and fitness regimes in place in the lead up to the wedding?

Yes, I am sure they do have skincare regimes in place. They certainly seem to have health and personal training regimes in place. They often are eating really healthy and working out to be and feel their best on their day. They want to feel physically and mentally strong, which is important in life not just their wedding day.

From your experience, what area of the wedding planning journey do brides usually find the most stressful?

Seating arrangements seems to always create a heightened level of stress! Who should sit next to who, or more often who should not sit next to each other. Sticking to the budget also creates a little stress. Usually just before the wedding is stressful for brides, as so many suppliers are wanting final decisions from them. They are also having to work extra to ensure everything is wrapped up for when they take time off for their wedding and honeymoon. Nowadays, with Instagram brides want perfection. But as far as I believe, perfection does not exist. To strive for it will wear you out, it is just important to enjoy and live in the moment!

The best piece of advice I usually tell my brides is “if things don’t go to plan, no one else knew what the plan was anyway!” to relax and enjoy every moment. That family and friends are there to support you and enjoy your special day and share your love!

HR Real Bride Montarna Pitt at Redleaf, Wollombi in her Inbal Dror gown

HR Real Bride Montarna Pitt at Redleaf, Wollombi in her Inbal Dror gown

“I love these wise words from Helen Rodrigues at my final wedding dress fitting,” shares the bride. “Don’t worry if some things don’t go to plan, as nobody knows the plan!” Montarna Pitt, #HRRealBride

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.

The Top Wedding Dress Trend Predictions for Next Year

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Amid the stunning new Spring 2018 collections from New York Bridal Fashion Week in April, there were definitely some key trends appearing which gives us a good indication of what brides will now soon be wearing.

Using her keen eye for luxury bridal and years of experience in the industry, Helen Rodrigues recently gave her top predictions for next year’s wedding looks to Doltone House – the popular Sydney wedding venue space which also featured many of her boutique’s international designer gowns in their wedding showcase event last month.

Helen’s key bridal predictions for 2018 are:
1.    Fuller skirts
2.    Clean lines
3.    Romantic
4.    Floral appliqué
5.    Capes and capelets
6.    Not white
7.    Pantsuits

To read more of Helen’s predictions for next year’s bridal styles you can view the full article from Doltone House here.

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.

An Appointment to Remember – Finding Your Wedding Dress

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Welcome to the first article in our new Helen On Weddings (HOW) blog series – where Helen shares her unrivalled wisdom and stories on all things bridal, starting with the all important initial appointment to find your dream wedding dress. 

An exciting event in itself, at Helen Rodrigues your first appointment is for an hour and you have the boutique to yourself to ensure you receive personal service with our utmost attention.

Here are Helen’s five top tips on how to make your first bridal gown appointment as special and successful as possible.

Have your date and venue already set – although not always possible, ideally it’s best to have your wedding date and venue locked in prior to commencing your dress search. This really helps with selecting the perfect gown for your setting.

Decide on your budget – know how much you have to spend and be sure to check the price range of dresses on offer prior to your appointment. This way you can stay within your budget. At Helen Rodrigues, most (but not all) of our dresses start from $8,000 and we always help our brides to stay within their budget.

Come as you are – don’t wear any fake tan or too much make-up to your appointment as you could be trying on a lot of dresses.

Don’t bring too many guests – it’s a good idea to have someone with you to provide feedback, however only bring a maximum of 2-3 guests whose opinions mean the most. Too many different views can be overwhelming and possibly even stressful or confusing. 

Come with an open mind – feel free to bring some pictures or screen shots of styles you like but be open to new possibilities. There might be other styles you haven’t thought of which could be recommended to you, one of which might end up being the perfect choice.

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 new Helen on Weddings (HOW) blog series as Helen shares her knowledge and stories to help make your big day as beautiful and memorable as possible.