Wedding Dress Dilemma

Every little girl dreams of what her wedding dress will look like,adorable

but very few consider what size it will be. In an America where the average size is no longer a 6 and is now closer to a 16, many shops are growing to accommodate the “curvy” customers yet bridal stores seem to have fallen behind the times.



When I knew I had to start looking for bridal gowns I was terrified of not being able to fit in a gown. I knew I wanted to see with my own eyes what the dress would look like and not have to “imagine” it in my size. I don’t know if you have tried to imagine what something will look like 10 times bigger and fitted to your curves, but it is impossible! Trying to squeeze into this tiny bit of fabric that doesn’t budge when you try and tug it over your hips feels like defeat. You feel fat and upset when you are supposed to feel radiant.



In order to avoid this overall feeling of despair, I researched bridal shops that catered to different sized women. Luckily, I found out one of the VERY few plus size bridal shops in the U.S was located right here in the Reading Bridal District. Belle Bridal carries every size dress in store from 0-33. Walking in to the store, you are welcomed and offered champagne. Beautiful dresses line the walls as consultants flit around helping brides find their perfect dress. There is a dress in every shape, size, and budget to meet a girl’s needs.



I myself found my big day gown at Belle Bridal and never once did I feel ugly, fat, or defeated. Their staff made me feel like a beauty queen as they helped me into various dresses as I searched for “the one”. So, if you are looking for top notch customer service and don’t fit in a runway sized dress then Belle Bridal is the shop for you!

( This is not a photo of Belle Bridal Shop)


Happy Gown Shopping……..


Robin Rager, Associate Planner                    Elegant Whims



Groom & Mom

Almost every aspect of a wedding centers around the bride… but what about the groom? Welllllll, his big debut is twirling around his new bride followed closely by twirling around his mother on the dance floor. Trust me when I say that for most fellas this mother-son soiree is awkward. It is awkward because, not only do they hate dancing, but because the song choices are atrocious.  I don’t know if you’ve Googled mother son songs lately, but good lord someone help us!

dsc_4170     mother-son     i-hhgv83h-xl

Not only are the songs old, but the lyrics also drone on and on about baby boys with scraped knees turning into grown handsome men. While the sentiment is adorable, the vocals and composition fall devastatingly short. To help our grooms, we have compiled a list of 10 non-traditional mother son songs for your big day. Hopefully, these help make it (slightly) less awkward because lets face it, even if the songs rock you still hate to dance!


  1. Simple Man- Lynard Skynard
  2. What a wonderful world- Louis Armstrong
  3. I hope you dance- LeAnn Womack
  4. Because you loved me- Celine Dion
  5. Child of Mine- Turley Richards
  6. Up and over the mountain- Iron & Wine
  7. I’ll be there- Mac Miller
  8. A song for mama- Boyz II Mend
  9. I turn to you- Christina Aguilera
  10. Never Alone- Lady Antebellum
  11. He gets that from me- Reba
  12. Arms wide open- Creed
  13. Don’t blink- Kenney Chesney


What song are you going to choose?  Let us know ……


Robin Rager, Associate Planner                                                                                                             Elegant Whims


2016 Wedding Trends

What Trends are on the way out and What Trends are becoming popular?

Part One of a Four part series

Hello from Patti & Melinda your Savvy Planners of Elegant Whims Certified Wedding Planners.  We are excited about a  new year with new trends and clients.   It is always exciting for us to create the decor for our clients, as they all have different taste.  What is your style?  Read on and be a Trend Setter with Elegant Whims.                                                                                                                                                                                   Elegantly,

Patti & Melinda


Pottinger Photography

Dessert Trends

* Large Wedding Cakes are giving way to a small 2 tiered wedding cake complimented by different desserts.  Couples still want to have pictures cutting the cake, but they want more variety and specialty items for their guests. Couples are having desserts bars that can consist of cupcakes, mini cupcakes, cake pops and tarts.  (If pies are your thing, please consider having only small individual pies – tarts. They are easier to handle and we have noticed that pie slices go uneaten).

_Q6CVKkr0-L9_0gjNPgQHHikO2sRwlmxOAtid2bu20w,24N4Rf-CqByjPKTmR37ZxPiwJabheqL32CUgis4uDqQ2 tier cake
*The Wedding Cakes, although smaller are still spectacular. Brush strokes are popular. The watercolor effect on a cake is very beautiful.  Also, “naked cakes” are making a showing.  These are cakes that typically only have frosting in between the layers.  The cake is then dusted with powder sugar.  Chocolate Fountains have also seen their day.  Very few couple chose to have a fountain due to sanitary reasons and the mess. They are a recipe for disaster.

cakes       BLK_0680            cake 1

* Another way couple are customizing their wedding is to have signature drinks at the bar.  This is a great choice for those couples who want a little more than beer and wine bar but not a full open bar.  The idea of a signature drink is to showcase the couple.  It can be one or two drinks that are meaningful to them.


wedding wednesday_signature drinks2

* Requests for food stations are on the decline with the sit down, “plated”, dinner is on the rise.  There is a new “customized” service making it’s way onto the wedding scene — Gueridon Service.  This is a “trolley service”. A small guest count works best for this.  Food is mostly prepared in the kitchen with the finial assembly (flambéing, carving, tossing) being done on the trolley at tableside. In restaurants you will see this when you order dishes like Cherries Jubilee, Crepes Suzette, or some Caesar Salads. As additional, specially trained staff is required and this service still being very new to wedding receptions, most caterers don’t offer this yet.

Guerdian servide

plated meal

In the March edition of, “Tips & Trends” we will explore the newest in Wedding Attire and Floral for all your Wedding Needs.

Be sure to email us and let us know if there is something you would like to see in our upcoming Blog post.  Or if you are beginning, in the middle or at the FREAKING OUT point of your Wedding Planning, call Elegant Whims Wedding Planners.

330-261-2532  We work from the Greater Cincinnati area, but travel where you need us.


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It’s almost New Year’s here at Elegant Whims.

Welcome and Happy New Year from Melinda, Patti & Meredith.

At our Christmas Dinner we presented Meredith with her new Elegant Whims Name Badge.  ( She always says, with the Badge comes power).  We are so thrilled that she is a part of our Team.

meredith bdge 2   Meredith & her official name badge.Meredith badge





What does the New Year mean for Melinda and I?   Our monthly Blog will be joined by a monthly Newsletter titled,  The Savvy Planners ( yes Meredith came up with that).  We have added Event Planning  and are very excited that we have booked our first event.

Wedding Planning is our LOVE and we are excited that we will be attending  the  Wedding MBA  ( Merchants Business Academy) conference in  Las Vegas this October, to learn, network and come home to our clients with AMAZING hot off the presses ideas!

Wishing you an Elegant Year


Patti & Melinda


Pottinger Photography



What does that mean for this intern?

Well a few things.

1.) I’m not an intern anymore! I am a full fledged Planner-in-Training. My badge has my name and everything. Patti and Melinda were kind enough to offer me a position for next summer/fall as well – so if your wedding is in those months, you might see me!

2.) This coming semester (January – May 2016) I will be studying in Scotland. What does this mean for you? Patti and Melinda thought it would be fun to have blog posts that have to do with where I am and what I’m doing that relates to weddings. How would my academic exchange relate to your wedding you say? Well, Glasgow (I’m studying at Glasgow Caledonian University) just happens to be regarded as the fashion capital of Scotland, and some argue, the world. I’m sure I’ll be able to find some bridal boutiques that will spark your interest.

Let’s not forget the scenery either – so many castles, cliffs, and moors – perfect for your destination wedding. Remember that Elegant Whims not only serves the greater Cincinnati area, but also wherever your wedding takes us!

Scotland countryside

Be sure to follow our Instagram (@elegant_whims) for pictures of my adventures abroad, and for our favorite Sassy Planners’ adventures here in the states.

That’s about it for us until after the first of the Year!

Have a blessed holiday season from our family to yours.


Meredith Russell

Elegant Whims Planner-in-Training

P.S. Shameless plug: If you want more detail of my time abroad, aka a lot about the coffee shops that I can walk to, and the food, go follow my personal blog (



My Friend Can be the D.J. at our Wedding Right? They have an iPod…….


Welcome back to the Wednesday Blog with Elegant Whims Tips & Trends from your Certified Wedding Planners, Patti & Melinda.     Today we are excited to introduce you to the fabulous D.J. Dayna.  We enjoyed a fun lunch interview a few weeks ago and learned about how she got started in the business, do’s and don’ts for our readers.

As Planners we cringe at the words, “We will be using our iPod for our Wedding Music”.  Trust us when we give you the reasons, that this is not a good idea.  It is your Wedding Day, you don’t want something to happen to the music during the ceremony or your first dance, and with that piece of advice, I turn it over to our capable intern, Meredith…..


Patti & Melinda

Pottinger Photography

Pottinger Photography

A couple weeks ago, Elegant Whims was lucky enough to interview a promenade DJ in the Cincinnati area: DJ Dayna. Go check out her website!

Dayna got her start in College while pursuing a BA in Mass Communications at Miami University (oxfrod). She had friends who were DJs and eventually started trying it out herself. She had her own radio show on the school station and thought that might be a good fit for a career – however the days of radio shows were on the decline and she was advised to not get stuck in that particular profession. She went on to be a local TV producer, but still DJ’d on the weekends.

She moved to LA to pursue journalism, still DJing on the weeekends where she got more into the wedding business. In fall of 2013, Dayna got offered a position to work as a celebrity DJ on cruises. She’s back from the cruise life for now, which gave us the perfect opportunity to talk to her about what we really want to know: Weddings.

dayna 2013 1

dayna disney

dayna 2013

What was different about LA weddings compared to here?

No cheesiness. In LA they were strictly against anything like the chicken dance, or line dances, or anything like that. Absolutely no country music. At. All. There also wasn’t a whole lot of dance floor lighting, or excess lights or anything.

LA has also been doing photo booths for forever. A lot of DJs started offering that in their wedding packages before it was even a real thing back here.

How do you pick songs for a Wedding?

Based off of the requests from the Bride and Groom I know what I’m going to play. It will change according to the crowd of course, but I can usually get a good sense of what kind of crowd it will be just based off of the Bride and Grooms requests.

People always ask what our favorite part of weddings are – but what’s your LEAST favorite?

When people wait until the last minute for requests. It just makes my job easier, the earlier I get those must have/must not have songs from the couple.

Or when the bar is in a totally different room than the dance floor – it majorly cuts down on how much people dance!

What would be your advice to engaged couples? 

*Definitely look at least two to three different DJs before you decide. Compare and contrast, shop around, unless you just  KNOW at first sight that it’s the perfect DJ for you – make sure you look at your options.

*Bring Questions to the DJ!

You will feel so much more comfortable if you’re leading the discussion and getting a feel for who I am instead of me just asking you the regular questions and just giving you a spiel. That way we can both know if we’re right for each other.

*Any DJ you talk to, make sure you ask about Liability.

Have a do-not play list. Unless you don’t care if Cotten-Eyed-Joe plays at the request of your uncle, make sure you tell me what you don’t want to hear.

The biggest advice I can give you is don’t try to DJ yourself OR have a family friend do it. I know that cash is tight, but you will just have a less stressful day if you hire a DJ. You don’t need to worry about why your iPod is freezing up during your first dance!

Be sure to check out DJ Dayna’s article in the upcoming November Issue of Mobile Beats!

dayna 2015     dayna rockin dayna

Until next time,



Elegant Whims Intern


You’re Engaged! Congratulations! Next Step Gift Registry

  I know what you are thinking, “One more item to add to the ever growing “To Do” list.

It’s true this is one more item that needs to be taken care of and the sooner the better.   Sit back a moment, this is a FUN task, but one that needs a plan.  This is a short list of how to have fun and register for awesome gifts to fill your new life together.

Brides: 10 Items Couples Forget to Register For—But Shouldn't | Wedding Registry:

  1. Choose your stores wisely.

Who makes up your guest list?  Will guest want to travel to a store or purchase online?

When choosing your two stores (make it easy for guest and you!), be certain you are aware of the return policy.  Online stores are great, but don’t you really want to see , feel, and touch the item to check it’s quality, before you add it to your home?

  1. Take stock of what you have.

If I walked into a store and registered without some idea of what I needed/wanted, the list would be very, very long!

Remember you are or may have already combined two households.  This is your chance to throw out that old crappy pizza pan and register for a brand new improved crust crisper pizza pan.

Make your list, include color choices, amounts, and sizes of the items you would like to register for.

What should the #groom add to the wedding registry?: 7 wedding registry tips every couple should know.. read this, gives some insight that you probably haven't thought of, especially #7.:

  1. Registry is not just for the Kitchen & Bath

I love the fact that couples have the opportunity to register for a ladder, garden tools, power tools, or any kind of tools.  This is an enormous help, especially if you are purchasing your first home

Outdoor grilling tools are an essential for every man who loves to cook! Check out our favorite groom gifts on our newest blog post! #DonnaMorgan #GroomGifts: My Toolbox: Great article on what tools to have on hand, plus links to tutorials & videos on how to use power tools!: Step ladder 4 tread - Now £79.50!!:

  1. Over Register

Remember you can always return items.   It may sound like a lot to register for twelve place settings, but take it from me, it isn’t.  (I have age on my side)  Those extra plates will come in handy one day.

Wedding Registry Tips She seriously has the best tips ever.: Every time I go to pull out my nice china, I kick myself. Because its not there. It never was. I have my great grandmother's floral patterned china which is perfect for Easter, but no wedding china of my own. That is the number one item I wish we'd registered for. 9 Things I Wish We'd Registered For via Macy's wedding registry items you didn't realize you needed! #macys #weddingregistry #weddingchicks

  1. Make it a Date Night

You have your list ready; your appointment at the store of your choice is scheduled.  Now make a dinner reservation.  Allow a few hours at the store to start registering, then go to dinner and relax.   You can always go back to add items if you do not finish.

Remember, This is a FUN task!

We plan, package and ship date nights right to you. All you have to do is open and enjoy!: Top 20 Stay-At-Home Date Night Ideas -- just for grown-ups! If you can't make it out of the house for a "date night" some fun at-home ideas to keep your relationship with your partner strong and connected.:

  1. Thank You

I see you rolling your eyes!   This can be another one of those tasks that can be made easy.  When you receive a gift, pull out that Thank You that is already addressed and write it. (HINT: When addressing your Wedding Invitations, address the Thank Yous as well).  Mail it; check it off the guest list, DONE!

4806_afabf3011276fe4dThank you Pink Fashionistas! This week's theme is pink pumps! Enjoy!!!: Thank You Cards with Envelopes / Wedding / Shower / Engagement / Set of 10 on Etsy, $14.95:

These are just a few helpful hints to making Registering for your Shower & Wedding Gifts FUN.

Enjoy and make room on your shelves for all your awesome gifts.

Thanks for joining us today, be sure to share with your friends.

Follow us on Twitter& instagram  @elegant_whims


Patti & Meinda

Pottinger Photography

Pottinger Photography

2016 Wedding Trends

It’s never too early to start looking into the new year’s trends! 

We are slowly but surely coming to the end of the year.

What this means for us is that most of the weddings we are planning are no longer taking place in the great year of 2015.

As Planners we always have to be several steps ahead with designs to offer our clients for their events.  We are coordinating Fall and Winter 2015 Weddings, but creating and planning for the 2016 season.  What’s cutting edge and will be the next trend.  Be a trend setter with your Wedding and Even design with the help of Elegant Whims.

Take it away Meredith…..


Patti & Melinda

Pottinger Photography

Pottinger Photography

So what can you expect pinterest and Bride Magazine to have in store for you in 2016?

We got you covered. 

According to, weddings are will shortly become the lavish feasts they were in the past. As in, waay in the past. What do we mean by lavish?

Live Music.   We are seeing more and more live music for the Ceremony. But in 2016 we will see Live Reception Music grace the Reception venues, giving guest a wonderful evening of live music and dancing.

live_music_detail live bandband

Desserts & Food

Think  pudding cakes, Tiers of Cheese Wedding Cake, little tarts, and pies savory mini pies. Multicultural foods served on multi colored dinnerware. Different but wonderful flavor combinations, rubbed meats, food stations and a show stopping menu of  hor d’orver platters. Forget the lighted cake table, be a trend setter and light an appetizer station for a 2016 Wedding statement.

2016 trnds apps2016 trend32016 trend

The biggest design element is the instragramable (yes, it’s a word. I just made it up.) factor. Brides and designers have been more and more focused on the idea that whatever they choose will end up on the social media site. So everything is starting to be arranged so that the size and filters of Instagram will show it off to the best advantage.

Read more of their predictions here:

What else is new?    Well it’s not new, but a continuation of this year’s trend. Vintage. 

Who doesn’t want an old world feeling to their big day? This year we saw it in the form of rustic, and shabby chic. in 2016 there will more of an emphasis on the elegant vintage whimsy.

candelabras Vintage 3 Vintage1 Vintage old hollywood gatsby 1

As always, make your wedding your own. Don’t be swayed by what’s the latest trend. Instead, be inspired by them!



Elegant Whims Intern