Baby It's Cold Outside

Be stylish even when it's cold outside! 


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Happy Holidays!

Photo Courtesy of Ginny Au. 

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Wedding Planning 101: Wedding Traditions

When planning your wedding, a tradition is always a major part of the day. Whether you have had one in your family for ages or you are starting one for your children/grandchildren/great grandchildren to use, a tradition is meaningful and could be a huge part of your day. Here are some wedding traditions from around the world.


The “Date”: Usually early Sunday morning. Saturdays were reserved for widows getting hitched to husband number two {or three, or four..} :)
The Brides’ Attire: The blushing bride would be wearing pure white. Along with a veil that hid the brides face. For when the rising of the veil, instead it would be torn by the groom for good luck.

Special Activities: The Italian bride and groom would walk on foot to the chapel. After the ceremony, the smashing of the vase would take place (doing their best to shatter the vase, since the numbers of broken pieces are to be represented on how many years they would be happily married).
The food: Even many years ago, food at an Italian wedding is a huge and important deal. Course after course of antipasti, calamari, pasta, fish, pork and more were accompanied by a liqueur or wine.
Added Perks: $$$$$ {and that’s supposed to mean a lot}. Guests would place cold, hard cash in a satin bag called la borsa carried by the bride.


The “Date”: Usually spring or fall {Due to the Climate}
The Brides’ Attire: The Japanese bride-to-be is painted pure white from head to toe, which is a white kimono and an elaborate headpiece covered with many ornaments to invite good luck to the happy couple. A white hood is attached to the kimono, which the bride wears like a veil to hide her 'horns of jealousy' from the groom's mother, who will now become the head of the family.

Special Activities: As the couple exchanges their wedding vows, the families face each other instead of facing the couple. After the couple is done with their vows, the newlyweds and families all drink 9 cups of sake {this is a sign that the family in now united as one}.
Added Perks: The Reception is a huge part of the day. The bride can now change out of her all white gown into a fiery red kimono and then again into a western-style gown. The wedding party and guests are highly encourage to engage in karaoke, games and skits at the reception. Money freely given to the newlyweds, is also highly encouraged {show me the $$}.


The “Date”: A summer evening {aka in paradise}
The Bride’s Attire: The bride's attire would vary greatly depending on the region, from simple white cotton to a colorfully embroidered huipil. Spanish-inspired mantilla veils were common as well. She might also wear a blue slip or sew three ribbons (one yellow, one blue and one red) into her undergarments to symbolize food, money and passion in the years to come. The groom would usually wear a lightly colored guayabera, a loose-fitting shirt perfectly suited for the Mexican sun.

Special Activities: During the ceremony, the groom would give his bride 13 gold coins, called arras, which symbolized Christ and his apostles. Following the vows, the priest would wrap a lazo/lasso {a large rosary}, in a figure eight around the couple's necks to represent their eternal unity.
The Food: Spicy rice, beans and tortillas. The traditional Mexican wedding cake is made with nuts and dried fruit and soaked in rum {yummy}
The Music: A mariachi band would provide the day's music. La Marcha -- a dance similar in appearance to an elaborate game of Follow the Leader – would serve as the couple's reception entrance. Two lines, each led by a family elder, would weave around the room, eventually meeting to form a bridge with their arms before breaking apart to form a circle around the bride and groom for their first dance.
Added Perk: Bridal attendants called madrinas {godmothers – a high role in Hispanic culture} helped the bride by making the plans, arranging bouquets and keeping a general handle on the day's events.

As you can see traditions have played, and are still playing, a huge part in weddings. Since these traditions are centuries old, of course they have been tweaked and twisted to be more “up to date” and “in-style” {leaning towards the style of the dress & reception} with today’s outlook.  

Section One: Photo & Info
Section Two: Photo & Info
Section Three: Photo & Info
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An Unplugged Wedding

What is an Unplugged Wedding? It's where you (the bride) ask your guests to not use any electronic device (smartphone, camera, etc) during the ceremony.

While planning the wedding of your dreams, having an unplugged wedding might be a bright idea. Especially, since almost everyone that you know loves social media, I mean who doesn't?! Considering the idea doesn't make you sound prejudice or have unfounded hatred towards Facebook. It's only convincing your guests to have respect for you and your significant other on your wedding day! Besides, we don't want to see iPhone in the gorgeous wedding pictures, now do we?
Your ceremony is the most intimate part of your wedding. Its the glue that holds the whole day together. This is where you and your significant other are becoming one. Sooooooo, technical devices need to be silenced and to be put away during this time. Your guests need to have their full attention on the stars of the show. A super easy way to get your point across for devices to be put away, is by adding a sweet and simple line in the invitation. This shows each of your guests this is something you expect and wish for them to respect! Then on the day of the wedding, if you have programs, just simply add a reminder. If you don't have programs, just let the officiant announce the expectation you have from your guests.
The reception is the time where you celebrate and have fun! Transitioning from ceremony to reception can be super easy. There are creative ways for your etiquette request to smoothly shift gears and for your guests to still have their technical devises out!
Here are some examples:
1. Create a Sign that your guest will see entering the reception area. Many many cute ideas could be found on Pinterest.
2. Place a note on the tables! You could say something along the lines like, Thank you for being present for the this special time in our lives! Please feel free now to bring out your technical devices and continue celebrating with us by taking pictures and using the hash tag, #oliviaandchriswedding.
3. Let the DJ/Musician announce the request! Sometimes, people just aren't visual learners :)
Either you are for an unplugged wedding or not, this is all your decision. Your wedding day is all about you, just really consider all the details (with the wedding and with guests) that come along with it.

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Food Corner: Holiday Treats

Halloween is over, which means the Holidays are right around the corner! Here are a few simple recipes that we thing will help put you in a festive mood! 

1. Mini Brie and Apple Quiches

  Ingredients - 
     30 mini phyllo shells
     1/2 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
     5 large eggs
     1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
     1/4 teaspoon salt
     1 pinch freshly ground pepper
     1 pinch ground nutmeg
     1/2 of small wheel of Brie, cut into 30 squares
  Directions - 

     1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
     2. Arrange phyllo shells on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide apple among the shells.
     3. Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture
         over the apple (do not overfill the shells). Place a Brie square in each shell.
     4. Bake until the egg is set, the Brie is melted, and the phyllo is starting to brown around the edges,
         about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

2. Jumbo Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

  Ingredients - 
     2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     1/2 cup sugar
     1/4 cup packed brown sugar
     2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
     1 teaspoon baking powder
     1 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     2 eggs
     1 cup canned pumpkin
     1/2 cup buttermilk
     1/4 cup canola oil
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     1/2 cup chopped pecans
     1/3 cup packed brown sugar
     1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
     1/4 cup all-purpose flour
     1/4 cold butter, cubed
  Directions - 
     1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin,
         buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in pecans. Fill six 
         greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups three-fourths full.
     2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle
         over batter.
     3. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool
         for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. 

3. Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

  Ingredients - 
     2 cups all-purpose flour
     3/4 cup sugar
     1 teaspoon baking powder
     1/8 teaspoon salt
     3 eggs
     1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
     1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
     1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
     1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
     1 teaspoon shortening 
  Directions - 
     1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a
         small bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla; add to dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in walnuts
         and cranberries (dough will be sticky).
     2. Divide dough in half. On a greased baking sheet, with lightly floured hands, shape each half into 
         a 10x2-1/2-in. rectangle. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
     3. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with 
         a serrated knife into 1-in. slices. Place cut side down on un-greased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 
         minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
     4. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over biscotti. Let 
         stand until set. Store in an airtight container. 

1. Recipe & Photo 
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Style Crush: Happy Halloween

Nail Polish
Table Decor
Bewitched Poster  Pin It

Color Crush: Teal and Copper


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A Year of Memories

{Finery: A Year of Memories}
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What an extraordinary year of "firsts"! As we reflect back on "A Year of Finery" we can't help but smile behind joyful tears.

When we opened Finery's doors last year, we envisioned becoming more than just a bridal shoppe-we wanted customers to feel at home and for bride's to have an opportunity to "tell their story" and to bring to life all of the visions dancing in our clients heads. Finery's concept of offering "one-on-one" appointments was foreign to business consultants who {in all fairness} are here to keep us "in business". However, this simple throwback approach to retail and personal shopping has become our mission. We think if we can get back to REAL human connections and interaction then we have fulfilled what we sought out to do in the the bridal boutique market.  We are proud to say that since inception, we continue to build phenomenal connections friendships with everyone that cross our threshold. I mean, who wouldn't be humbled by that? We get to go home every day and tell our family's about "the new friends" we met that day! Sure there have been challenges and growing pains but no one ever said it would be "easy", they said it would be "worth it". We couldn't agree more.

To list everyone who helped us make it to this very point would be queuing the music during those lengthy Oscar speeches, so we will just say this: "THANK YOU SO MUCH."

We can't wait to see what comes next. We love and appreciate you all...

Love & Luck,
Madeline Boswell and the "Fillies" of Finery

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Gifts Given

Hello dear friends of Finery! We hope that you all get to see your name up here on our {Gifts Given} blog! We are so happy that y'all are able to help us celebrate Finery's One Year Anniversary: A Week of Giving Back. We cannot find better words than "thank you" to express our gratitude to all of you who have helped us reach this week of celebration. {Here's to many more!} And now, the Gifts Given...

Monday's Gifts:

2 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine 
Given to Beth Pryor Hamilton & Sarah Johnson

 A Gift Certificate to Personal Couture
Given to Sarah Pearse

Makeup done by Professional Artist Stacey Spearman
Given to Amy Price

A Boudoir Shoot with Sweet Roots Photography
She's Keeping it a Surprise to her Groom!

Tuesday's Gifts:

2 Gift Certificates to Personal Couture
Given to Chelsea Mitchell & Savannah L. Smith

2 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine
Carrie Bilyou & Brianna Gail Bolden

Vintage Vows Weddings, with Christy Nunnelee
Rebecca Harmon

Gift certificate from W*ink for handkerchief, bags, & invites
Katie Swann

Wednesday's Gifts:

"Tying the Knot" Gift Set from Fantastic Elastic Co.
Erin Teal Elliot

A Mini Secession with The White Rabbit Studios
Stephanie Koesters

 A Gift Certificate to Personal Couture
Lauren Steele

Something special from Eva Ziegler Jewelry
Nicole Emerson Arsenault

Thursday's Gifts:

Goodies from Lynn's Gracious Goodness
Kate Breitbach

2 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine along with a gift bag & CDs
Anna Prescott DiPlacido & Cynthia Stack Harmon

A Gift Certificate to Personal Couture
Kelley McCormick

$300 gift certificate for products/sessions, fees, or a wedding package from Kerry Brooks Photography
Tristan Lane

An iPod nano from Steve Metz, {aka DJ Stevie Mix}
Court McFadden

Friday's Gifts:

Discount on Vintage Rentals from Fete & Riot
Nancy Kate

A sweet gift from Mo's Bows

4 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine

An amazing Facial with Dr. DeGraaff

Fringe Gift Cards!

...more to come tomorrow!
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Style Corner {Burnt Orange}

Some things are better burnt. One of this fall's "must" colors: burnt orange.

Photo Credits:
Shorts Pin It

Save the {Wedding} Day

What does a glass of red wine, a muggy September afternoon, and an entree flavored with a bit too much garlic have in common? They all have the potential to wreak havoc on your big day. Not to fear, we have a list of items that are here to save your wedding day from these mild catastrophes. {You might want to pass this along to your MoH...}

Photo Credits:
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His & Her: Packing for the 'Moon

The week of your wedding is one of the most hectic weeks you'll ever experience. Every vendor wants to touch base, friends and family are arriving in town, last minute this, that, or the other are happening, and somehow in the middle of all of this you're supposed to pack for your honeymoon. Whether it's being done by you, the MoH/BM, or your future mother-in-law, we've got a checklist to ensure ease through packing. Before we get to the checklist, here are some things you'll want to ask yourselves:
- What is the weather forecast at your destination?
- Do you have reservations to any nice dinners/events?
- Are you planning on doing any outdoors activities?
- Are you going to be walking around a lot?

With this checklist, you'll want to tailor each of these items  to your own trip...

- One Outfit for every day, plus one extra {include days of travel}
- One Outfit for each evening, a bit nicer if you plan to go to a fancy dinner {maybe just a change from jeans to slacks}
- Undergarments & Socks
- Shoes for each activity {Tennis Shoes, Hiking Boots, Walking Shoes, Snow Boots, Loafers...}
- A Swimsuit & Hat {or a couple depending on your destination}
- Light Jacket and/or Coat {depending on where you're going}
- PJs
- Accessories {Wrist Watch, Ties, Bow Ties, Suspenders, Cuff Links...}

- One Outfit for every day, plus one extra {include days of travel}
- One Outfit for each evening {some nicer dresses if you plan to go to fancy dinners}
- Undergarments & Socks
- Shoes for each activity {heels, tennis shoes, sandals, hiking/snow boots, good walking shoes}
- A Swimsuit & Cover-up {or a couple depending on your destination}
- Cardigan, Light Jacket, and/or Coat {depending on where you're going}
- Cosmetics & Makeup Remover
- Hair Products & Accessories
- PJs
- Lady Products {especially if you're traveling over seas}

His & Her:
- Passport/Driver's License
- Toiletries:
  - Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  - Deodorant
  - Shampoo & Conditioner {although sometimes hotels will provide these}
  - Face-wash and Moisturizer 
  - Hair brush/comb
  - Hair products
  - Razors & Shaving Cream
  - Glasses or Contact-Lens cases
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses 
- Umbrellas or Ponchos
- Small bag or backpack for excursions
- Medicine {headaches, allergies, stomach aches, bandaids, motion sickness, etc...}
- Electronics & Chargers {and convertors if going to another country}
- Travel Guide & Any Tickets or E-Confirmations

Just in case anything happens, it is always wise to leave a copy of your trip itinerary and phone numbers you can be reached at during the trip. Other than that, bon voyage and enjoy the well deserved vacation!

Photo Credits:
Girl with Luggage
Street Scene
Red Luggage
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A {Gift} for You

For the past month you've heard us get more and more excited about our upcoming One Year Anniversary. We let you know that if you made appointments with the shop, checked in with us or shared certain posts on Facebook, retweeted us on Twitter, or just simply stopped by our boutique you'd be entered to win some gifts. We folks, it's finally that time! Finery's One Year Anniversary: A Week of Giving Back begins tomorrow. Each day you have the opportunity to win, so get to liking and sharing! May the odds ever be in your favor...

Monday's Gifts:
2 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine
 A Gift Certificate to Personal Couture
Makeup done by Professional Artist Stacey Spearman
A Boudoir Shoot with Sweet Roots Photography

Tuesday's Gifts:
 2 Gift Certificates to Personal Couture
2 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine
Vintage Vows Weddings, with Christy Nunnelee
Gift certificate from W*ink for handkerchief, bags, & invites

Wednesday's Gifts:
"Tying the Knot" Gift Set from Fantastic Elastic Co.
A Mini Session with The White Rabbit Studios
 A Gift Certificate to Personal Couture
Something special from Eva Ziegler Jewelry

Thursday's Gifts:
2 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine along with a gift bag & CDs
A Gift Certificate to Personal Couture
$300 gift certificate for products/sessions, fees, or a wedding package from Kerry Brooks Photography
An iPod nano from Steve Metz, {aka DJ Stevie Mix}

Friday's Gifts:
Discount on Vintage Rentals from Fete & Riot
A sweet gift from Mo's Bows
4 subscriptions to No'Ala Magazine
An amazing Facial with Dr. DeGraaff

Big thanks to all of our generous donors! Please share the love with them by visiting their businesses and "liking" their Facebook pages!

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Posh in {Purple}

Photo Credits:
Skinny Jeans
Sweater Jacket
Men's Look
Bow Tie
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On the Runway - Off the Rack

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No Budge in the Budget

Rule of thumb is that you should always go with your instinct. That initial feeling always turns out to be right in the end, but it's even more important when it comes to something like a budget...especially a wedding budget. When planning for an event there are so many aspects and (not to make you blood pressure rise) planning for a wedding might be the biggest thing you ever do plan. From the venue to your dress, you can make everything you need for a perfect wedding fit into your budget, so the key is knowing what is necessary to making it happen and what can be tossed. Here are a few pointers to help you stay right at {or under} your planned budget...

1. Have a Plan: Before you start purchasing anything dealing with your wedding you must plan a budget. How will you do this? You will get in touch with anyone who is helping pay for anything and politely, yet bluntly, ask them for their price points. Once you've got their budgets, you can figure out yours. Next, look at how long your engagement is and your monthly income. How much can you {reasonable} save each month to put towards everything? Do not lie to yourself and overshoot, because nothing is more depressing than interest rates on a credit card.

2. Sample Sale Season: You're in luck if your shopping for dresses right now, because this is when many boutiques {like Finery}want to make room for their favorite designer's new Fall collections. You can find amazing deals on some fabulous gowns.

3. Fresh Faces: There are always up and coming musicians, photographers, videographers, bakers, caterers, etc. that have much lower price points than the established and extremely experienced veterans of their trades. If you find someone with a strong portfolio/resume/recommendation and who is very talented and passionate about what he/she does, it could save you {literally} hundreds in your budget.

4. Know Where to Cut: Do you remember the favor from the last wedding you went to? What even happened to it? Sometimes it's okay to not give your guests favors. Sometimes it's okay to order the cheaper under fabric on your dress, because you couldn't even tell the difference. It's certainly okay to only serve wine or beer...or neither if your friends and family aren't big drinkers. The point is, there are things that you can cut, and whatever you choose, it will be totally okay.

5. Stick to the Plan: Can we put an emphasis on this "plan" thing? Yes, while you are doing all your shopping and meeting and swiping of your credit card you're thinking, "Well, I'm only going to do this once! Go big or go home!"; however if you have to take a second mortgage out on that "home" to pay for an extravagant wedding, you might want to reconsider. Stick to your plan, because after the honeymoon you are starting a new life together, which should be a happy time and not the time to worry about debt.

Photo Credits:
Bride Pin It

Heidi Elnora Sample Sale

Get excited...the time has come to make room for the new Heidi Elnora collection! 
Our sample sale is on now through September 27th, the beginning of our Heidi Elnora Trunk Show. 
Appointments can be made by calling 256.429.3429 or emailing
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Yaki Ravid Trunk Show

We feel that no words are really needed to describe the amazing gowns of Yaki Ravid, so we'll let these pictures do the talking. Excited for this trunk show which will be at Finery the first weekend of December {12/5-12/7}! 

It's never to early to schedule your appointment... | 256.429.3429
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Time for a {Celebration}

We are so happy to announce that Finery will be turning ONE a month from today! This calls for a big ole' celebration, so for the time leading up to September 12th any bride who schedules an appointment with us, or patron who checks in to the shop, will be entered in to win some fabulous gifts. (We're talking great vendors from the area, as well as little ditties from yours truly.) The gifts will be raffled off the week of our Anniversary, and we invite all of our beautiful brides (past, present, & future), friends, and family to stop by the shop for drinks, treats, and fun.

For any questions or interest, please call us at 256.429.3429 or email us at

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Know Your {Timeline}

Congrats, you’re engaged!

...Now what?

Figuring out the timeline leading up to your wedding is the key to a successful and seamless event. There is so much to plan and numerous small details to figure out to make your big day perfect, but where do you even start? (This is of course where we recommend working with an experienced Wedding Planner and/or studio like Finery.) Just to give you an idea of what needs to happen, here is a typical timeline after the proposal...

10 to 12 Months Before the Wedding

- Decide on your budget
- Start your guest list
- Reserve your date, venues, and officiate
- Start meeting with bands/DJs, florists, caterers, and photographers
- If you plan to have an Engagement Party it should be held within 2 to 4 months of the proposal
- Hire your wedding planner

8 to 9 Months Before the Wedding

- Hire your band/DJ, florist, caterer, and photographer
- Purchase your dress and start looking at bridesmaid’s dresses
- Register for gifts
- Set the dates for the rest of your parties (teas, showers, bachelorette, etc.)
- Order Save-the-Dates

6 to 7 Months Before the Wedding

- Block off hotel rooms for out of town guests
- Select bridesmaid’s dresses
- Send out Save-the-Dates
- Order wedding invitations and wedding cake
- Send a guest list to the host(s) of your bridal shower, tea, and/or bachelorette 

4 to 5 Months Before the Wedding

- Schedule your hair and make-up artist
- Your Bridal Shower should happen around this time
- Start writing up your timeline for the wedding weekend
- Get together with your band or DJ with song selections

2 to 3 Months Before the Wedding

- Have the bachelorette party
- Finalize all orders (flowers, favors, programs, etc.)
- Send out invitations

4 to 6 Weeks Before the Wedding

- Send the newspaper your wedding announcement
- Review all orders with vendors
- Touch base with band/DJ and the photographer
- Send out rehearsal dinner invitations
- Begin the list of RSVPs

Week of the Wedding

- Have a list of tasks that can be given out to those wishing to help
- Double check with all the vendors on pick up/drop off/arrival times
- Send your final head count or guest list to the caterer
- Have your Bridal Luncheon
- Oh and...get married!
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