Wednesday Roundup: Bridal Market

It’s that time of year again..bridal market time, featuring the release of the 2016 Spring collections from all of our favorite wedding dress designers. Looking through photos of the shows it seems that curve hugging silhouettes and sheer panels dominated the runway. There was a lot of skin happening. It’s out there and personally, I like it. I’ve picked out a few of my favorite looks and can’t wait to see these in action over the coming seasons.

Loving the peek-a-boo panels on this simple Vera Wang . vera wang

I also loved this Vera Wang with a hidden mini skirt, crop top and illusion neckline. It’s just the right mix without going over the top.

vera wang 2

Monique Lhuillier is speaking to my girly side with these layers of blush tulle, not to mention the ultra feminine lace edges.monique lhuillier Jenny Packham brought in some bling and muted greige tones and I love itjenny packham The beadwork on this Jenny Packham is just so stunning and would fit right in with an upscale garden soiree.jenny packham 2 This dress from Pamella Roland really caught my eye. It is such a classic look but offers a lot of modern drama with the hint of peplum in the layered train.pamella roland Marchesa can do no wrong and this ruffled skirt is all kinds of right. marchesa Last but not least I am obsessing over the tailored stitch detailing on this fit and flare Nicole Miller gown. It is just so beautiful, can fit any style and would look amazing on its own or complimented with some bold accessories.nicole miller

Are you drooling over any must have gowns? I know I am!


Looking Good Mum(s)

I love flowers. I love seeing them. I love smelling them. I love receiving them. I love everything about them. But who doesn’t right? They are the finishing touch to any beautiful event and there is just something about a vase of flowers in a home that can brighten it right up.  To me, it is the perfect accessory.

For as long as I can remember, I have started every trip to the supermarket with a longing gaze at the flower display, eyeing the buckets and buckets of bright blooms. To me, they were always a “splurge” that wasn’t necessary. Sure they were beautiful, but other than sticking them in a vase and watching them die what was I going to do with them? I didn’t know how to style them, I certainly didn’t know how to care for them. Then, I became obsessed with weddings and I started working for a florist. I have since grown a great appreciation for the power of flowers. I have also learned that guess what, they aren’t that intimidating.

One of the other upsides to working in this environment is that I have begun to value the difference of truly quality blooms. I may sound like a flower snob, but there is a big difference between flowers you snag from the street vendor or your local grocery store and the ones you can get from a flower market. Some of the grocery stores in our area, such as Milam’s, Fresh Market or Whole Foods carry great product, but I don’t shop there.  I am a girl on a budget so Publix is where it’s at for me.

I have recently moved into a new apartment and decided it was time to add some life to the space (besides the breathing human I sleep next to every night). Off I headed to do my weekly grocery shopping and decided that this week it was worth the splurge. I wanted to make a few simple bouquets to place around the living area – nothing too big – but something easy to work with. Not wanting to go too out there, I also decided that a monotone, tight modern cluster was exactly up my alley. I ended up choosing some deep purple mums.

Purple Mums

These are easy to find and pretty easy to work with, plus, for a nice bonus, they are nearly impossible to kill and will last a long time. I may work for a florist, but floral designer I am not, so easy is my jam. Creating a small arrangement is super simple and I swear, anyone can do it. I started by pulling the flowers out of the bunch and separating the stems.

Purple mums 2

These mums also have numerous stems coming off of the main stem which can be a bit messy. When used in a vase, it basically translates to flowers going every which way. Again, I wanted something tight and compact, so I carefully trimmed off the extraneous stems so I just had the one or two longest and largest blooms at the top. I saved the smaller buds for later us. (In my laser focus I forgot to take pictures of the in between steps. I’m learning – next time I’ll get there)

Next, I had to select my vase. I have a few industrial/vintage style elements in my apartment, like my old wood palette coffee table and some iron bar stools, so I wanted something to go with that. For the vases, small mason jars were perfect. (Who doesn’t love a mason jar!) I filled them up with water and added the flower food from the wrapper for good measure. Any precaution to not kill these things is good for me.

Starting with the largest blooms it was as simple as just plopping them into the vase until I got a nice “fluffy” shape. I then took the loose buds and smaller stems I had clipped off earlier and filled in the gaps. Done and done.



If the “plop them in” method is causing some struggle, a great trick is to take some scotch tape (or floral tape if you are a friend of the craft store) and tape a grid across the top of the container. By placing the stems in between the grid it helps to keep them in place. This is especially helpful for shallow containers or anything with a wide opening at the top.

I especially liked the contrast of the bright green stems visible against the deep purple of the blooms through the glass. The Mason logo adds a little fun twist as well. These arrangements weren’t anything extravagant (in fact my boss would probably shake her head at the use of bloom), but I love the simplicity and the colorful addition to my living room. I placed one on my coffee table and one on my bar. I did this after work one day so the setting sun was just coming through my windows. Cue crazy photo shoot:





Something like this would be super simple and easy to create for a small dinner or cocktail party. Place them around your house or run a row of them down a dining room table. A series of vases like this could even make for a DIY rehearsal dinner decor. For me, they are the perfect compliment to appetizers at my next book club!

Any other tips or go to flowers you like to use around your house?




Today I Love… {7.22}

I have a strange relationship with bugs. Most of them freak me out, but some of them I find absolutely beautiful. I’ve always wanted a stunning butterfly or beetle to frame and hang on my wall, and thus these textile sculptures are just calling my name…




These are fabric textile sculptures of moths and butterflies created by Yumi Okita on the etsy shop Iro hand bags. While their shop is currently on vacation, I will just have to stare lovingly at their creations and wait my turn to snag one of these beauties.

Hello World. I exist.

So hey, remember that time two years ago when I wrote a blog post? Me either, its been a while. So long in fact that I even let my personalized web address expire. Oops! I’m even surprised to still see I have site visitors. Right, about that…
I have come to an epiphany and realized that I need to refocus my energy on this blog and shift directions a bit. Lately I have been feeling in somewhat of a funk and I think it’s because I have let most of my hobbies and joyful activities slip by the wayside. I haven’t been photographing, I haven’t been sharing events that inspire me, I had stopped reading (thankfully I can cross that off the list), the list goes on.
Obviously, weddings are what I do. I do this job day in and day out and I love it. But sometimes, thinking and breathing weddings 9-5, M-F leaves me feeling lackluster and overwhelmed. I’ve decided that this blog, byLeahMichelle, will be more of a creative space. It will be my outlet to inspire myself and keep myself motivated to work on side projects and things I enjoy.
I am still going to share those beautiful events that I do day in and day out. I am still going to share inspiring weddings I find across the internet. I’m still going to have a focus on my work, but I’m going to start peppering in some of my photography, some of my inspirations (no matter what they may be) and will also share a bit of whats going on in my life. Ultimately, I am no longer focusing on writing this for my clients and for the industry, but rather, for me.
I may lose some readers, I may gain some, but I’m not going to think about that. I’m going to start slow and see how this goes. I’m setting a goal for myself and thats what matters.

Wednesday Roundup {Dress Code}

Wedding dress codes are always a tricky thing. Casual. Cocktail. Dressy Casual. Semi-formal. Black Tie Optional. Beach Chic. What does it all mean?!? Sometimes it feels like you need a translator just to go shopping. Most often the required attire (say that 10 times fast!) is intended to match the wedding style. While it may not be practical to call up the bride and groom to ask them what they mean, you can look to clues in the invitation to help understand their “definition” of dress. For example, is the wedding in a church or house of worship? Is it outdoors or indoors? Is it at a country club or reception hall?  These hints can help clue you in to what “semi-formal” really means.

In the meantime, here is a quick roundup of common wedding attire dress codes to help you along the way:


Anything goes with this dress code, though depending on the time of day and the venue, guests should still be weary of donning jeans, shorts or tank tops.

Him: Business casual, polo and khakis or even a sport coat or sweater Her: casual cocktail dress, sun dress, separates

Beach Formal/Beach Chic

A dress code with the word “beach” included can be intended as a warning to dress for the elements. Beach formal implies that while you are outdoors, and in the sand, the couple still intends to have a more formal atmosphere for the event. In some locations, especially here in Miami, Beach Chic can also imply a “dress to impress” atmosphere for the guests.

Him: Summer suit (no flip flops or shorts) Her: formal sundress, dressy flats are OK

Semi Formal/Dressy Casual

Semi Formal attire is the most often used in the wedding scene, and when in doubt, use this style as a guide for any event. As the name states, Semi Formal is a more casual take to dress attire, offering a wider range of style options.

Him: A casual suit is appropriate, or think business casual: dress shirt and tie Her: Cocktail dress, formal sundress for daytime events, even a formal take on separates is fine

Formal/Black Tie Optional

This dress code indicates that the event is still a very classy affair, but doesn’t require quite so much etiquette as the forms below. It allows guests to go a bit more casual if they wish. Sometimes, you may even see “Creative Black Tie” which allows the guest to, well,  “get creative” with their color choices and accessories.

Him: Full suite or tuxedo if so desired Her: Long dress or dressy cocktail dress. A dressy suit is also appropriate

Black Tie

I often consider black tie as the jazzed up version of formal wear without the stuffy extras of white tie. Black Tie dress codes are also a good indication of an evening event and vice versa.

Him: A tuxedo is appropriate, or a dinner jacket, black accessories (tie, cummerbund) Her: long gown or a very dressy cocktail dress, neutrals are the way to go

White Tie

This long forgotten style is the most formal of all dress codes. While we don’t see it too much in everyday affairs in the states (think White House, Formal Award Shows), a White Tie dress code tells the guest they need to dress their fanciest of fancies!

Him:  Tuxedo, coat with tails, white accents (vest, shirt, bow tie, gloves), shoes without laces  Her: floor length formal gown, be weary of loud colors

If you’re still left in the dark, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. When in doubt, I advise leaning towards a dressier edge – it is better to be over dressed than under dressed! Plus, you can never go wrong with Semi-Formal attire!

sources: Emily Post, Emily Post WeddingsThe Knot, Martha Stewart

Simply Bridal

To follow up our guest post last week the lovely folks at Simply Bridal are offering an online discount for all of our readers. Simply Bridal is a great resource for all things wedding: gowns, jewelry, bridesmaids dresses, you name it! Use the code below at checkout to receive 15% off your order (shipping not included); discount for my readers is available through the end of the month (September 23).

Code: SBL38LM
As promised, I have some eye candy from the beach wedding this past weekend – check out this beautiful west coast (of Florida that is) sunset!

Perfect Fit Flowers {Guest Post}

This weekend is all about relaxation for me as I am headed across the state to celebrate the wedding of one of my good friends from college and lay around on the beach for a few days. Sounds like heaven! In honor of a few lazy days I am also stepping away from the blog, but don’t worry my dears I have a fabulous guest post for you!


Natalie from shows us how to pair the perfect bouquet with the dress of your dreams. Simply Bridal is an online resource for custom made wedding gowns at great prices; taking the middle man out of your wedding dress experience. Their products have been featured on blogs such as Rock’n’Roll Bride, Style Me Pretty, and Wedding Chicks.

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.”
~Henry Beecher

It comes as no great surprise that when a bride is planning her big day, she plans
everything so that they coordinate with each other.

Wedding dress? Check! Earrings? Check! Veil, shoes and other accessories?
Check, check and check!

You’d be surprised then, when it comes to the flowers, and suddenly, her favorite
flowers — pink roses — don’t match her favorite kind of dress or her favorite earrings.
In fact, altogether, the ensemble is nothing less than a mess.

Did you know, that certain flower arrangements match certain dresses and body
shapes? Let’s take a look at the 4 most common bouquet types (that I just learnt
about!) and see what’s best for you!

Cascade: The cascade bouquet is the most formal and traditional, with a rounded
top and a stream of flowers flowing in the bride’s hands, giving it a waterfall effect.
Larger flowers such as roses and orchids are generally the popular choice for
cascade bouquets. Cascade bouquets generally match sheath dresses.

Nosegay: The nosegay bouquet is a popular bouquet for bridesmaids. They are
simple and less dramatic as the cascade effect, but are great for brides opting for
the big ball gowns, so that it’s just not ‘too much’ with the big dress, big flowers

Arm Sheaf: An arm sheaf bouquet is cradled in the brides arms, and is made up
of long stemmed flowers such as orchids or long stemmed roses, perfect for taller
brides, or brides wearing empire or mermaid gowns.

Flower Bracelet: Although not as common as the others, the flower bracelet is
also known as a wrist corsages and are made of small bunches of flowers that are
then attached to an elastic band and slipped around the wrist. Although not very
common, it’s great for brides who’d rather not be holding a bouquet all day, and are
a great accessory for the short and flirty wedding dresses.

The cascade bouquet via Snippet and Ink. The nosegay via Snippet and Ink. The sheaf via Love Heart Weddings. The white corsage via Polka Dot Brides. The ribbon corsage via Wedding Chicks.

So whatever dress you have, there’s the perfect flower arrangement for you.

To pick out your perfect gown to match your flowers, check out our range of gowns All dresses are courtesy of SimplyBridal.

The bridal bouquet is all about complimenting the dress and Natalie’s advice is perfect for brides! Thanks Natalie!

I’ll be sharing some sneak peaks from the wedding weekend on the beach so stay tuned! Happy weekend!

Summer Spritzer

Hurricane season is in full swing which means summer is almost coming to an end. If you’re like me and itching to savor every last minute of summer sun you can, then I recommend plopping your lawn chair outside, grabbing a good book and one of these yummy cocktails to soak it all in. For serious though, I’ve been rounding up some delicious, last-summer-fling worthy cocktails (yes that exists!) that will end your season on a high note!


Frenchy Cocktail Yum! Courtesy of Intoxicology

Lemonade never tasted so good with this Petite in Pink spotlighted by Cosmopolitan

Fruity Frozen Vodka Slushy perfect for September heat via EAD living

The Clever Carrot makes this appealing White Peach Cooler

Torn between liquor and beer? A Ginger Shandy solves everything thanks to Delish.


The only thing missing now is a fabulous Caribbean backdrop. Wouldn’t that be nice!

Gold (Medal) Worthy Decor

If I knew how to make this post sing when you read it – I would have done so. What tune you ask?

Ba, Ba, Ba da ba da da, ba ba ba da, da dada dada da da.

In case you can’t tell that’s my (awful) interpretation of the Olympic march. I believe it is officially titled “Bugler’s Dream.” Save your eyeballs and treat your ears here. Regardless, I’m sure this song will be blasting from the TV set of anyone who knows what’s good on a Friday night. Or at least this Friday night.

I am on the verge of obsessed with the Olympics. I love them so much I have already registered all of my electronic devises for  24 hour streaming of every event online. Yes that’s a thing. Why you ask?

1. I love the Olympics because these athletes possess skills that I will never in this lifetime have a chance of attaining. That would require me getting off the couch.  Any athletic talent I had went out the window LONG ago.

2. Any opportunity to sneak a peak into some of the greatest cities on this planet is a fantastic excuse to me to park my butt in front of the tv and not feel guilty.

4. How can you not love a sandy beach volleyball player or the half naked men in the pool? Eye Candy. All day. For two weeks.

5. Who isn’t amazed at competitive speed walking or professional canoeing? Yes those are also things.

But I digress. The impending festivities have my inspiration swirling and the next best thing to throwing an Olympic viewing party (yes this thought actually crossed my mind. I even went so far as to consider decor. It’s insane. I know) is to pretend to throw an Olympic party, or at least something similar.

In honor of the gold medals that will be handed out in the upcoming weeks I give you the gold wedding inspiration:

These first images were collected via Style Me Pretty. The gold can come through in small details whether it be a metallic cake, menu cards, studded shoes or soft tones in the flowers.

If you’re looking to make a bigger statement take a cue from the boards at and go bold with your invites, dress, or sequin linens:

I feel like I could even make a dress out of that linen it’s so beautiful. Either way you spin it, gold is glamorous and you can’t help but feel like a winner! Now, I must go make myself comfortable – it’s going to be a long, but glorious, three weeks!