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At Labella Bridal, we are constantly honored by our brides and grooms for making our gowns and tuxedos look amazing on their big day. It never hurts to have an amazing photographer to make everything look absolutely magical. We want to take a moment and give a big shout out to Katelyn James Photography for their amazing work highlighting our dresses and creating beautiful scenes for Brad and Katie to treasure for the rest of their lives together.

We’re delighted to show off these wonderful photos. Labella Bridal was lucky enough to have provided the wedding dress, all the bridesmaid dresses, the mother of the bride dress, and the tuxedos for the amazing day. Check out the images below courtesy of Katelyn James Photography. Be sure to check out their site for more pictures from Brad and Katie’s beautiful ceremony.

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Bridal Gown

There is one thing most people can agree on when it comes to planning a wedding. It’s the simple fact that planning a wedding is hard work. In theory it seems incredibly easy. Invite guests, get food, reserve a venue, and enjoy the big day. Unfortunately there are a few more steps than that. Planning a wedding locally is hard enough but what about planning a wedding from the opposite coast or even another country? Think for a moment just how difficult it would be if you aren’t able to visit a location in person or talk face-to-face with a wedding planner. It seems like an overwhelming aspect but thousands of couples plan their weddings long distance each year. While it can be harder than planning the traditional way there are plenty of good steps to take in order to help your wedding day go smoothly once you arrive. Check out the tips below in order to make your long distance planning a little easier.

Find the Perfect Planner

This is crucial to making the whole long distance planning idea work. Having a wedding planner you trust with each and every step will make planning while away seem like you’re right there with the planner. Finding the perfect planner for your big day is more important than ever when you aren’t physically there to help figure stuff out. There are planners with experience helping brides with their long distance needs and finding a planner like this is always a great way to make the experience a lot easier. An experienced planner will be able to communicate effectively and efficiently. This means more pictures need to be shared, more conversations, Skype meetings, and a lot of other small things which make this type of planning much easier. The perfect planner for you will know how to get around certain obstacles, connect with the right vendors, and make the entire planning stage perfectly smooth. Start your planner search soon after getting engaged and make sure your find a planner you can trust without fear.

Be Extra Organized

Being organized for your wedding is almost a given. There are entire books dedicated to helping you get and stay organized when planning your big day. If you aren’t a naturally organized person in your everyday life then getting that way is extra important when it comes to planning a wedding long distance. Buy a large binder when you begin your planning and start adding whatever you need. Include a page for all the business cards or websites you find. Making a spreadsheet with important names and numbers can also be a major help. Just print it out and include it at the front of your book. There are a ton of iPhone or Android Apps ready and waiting to help you stay organized with a few pushes of a button. Being organized might not be the easiest thing in the world but when planning from afar the need to be organized is at the top of the list. Keep pictures, websites, important names, and notes of every last detail in a big binder and the minute you have a question – your binder will be there to save the day.

Finalize Details Before Arriving

At the end of the day planning your wedding in person or from afar comes down to a single idea. You want it all to be right before you walk down the aisle. The truth of the matter is that, if you’re planning a wedding long distance, you will have to make at least one trip prior to the wedding in order to finalize last minute details. If possible, try and make a visit a few months before the big day. That way you won’t feel nearly as rushed and most of the planning should be finished at that point in time. Duties like cake tasting and color choices require you to be present in order to complete. If you’re unable to visit a few months before the big day then do you very best to arrive a week or so before the wedding. Bring your planner and all the final details you need to go over with your wedding planner, family members, or your future spouse. Finalizing most of your details before arrival will ensure that the only things you have to worry about are the tasks you absolutely have to be there to accomplish.


If you have questions about wedding gowns or special occasion dresses, Labella Bridal is here to help. Call us at 703-494-2929 for more information.

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Wedding Couple

Choosing your bridal party is one of the best parts of getting married. More than likely your bridesmaids are friends you have known and loved for years, or sisters that you want to share your special day with. If you already have your bridal party in place before you even get the ring on your finger then a lot of weight is taken from your shoulders and your bridal party probably already knows their roles. On the other hand, some brides have a hard time narrowing down the lineup. It’s difficult telling one friend no and some friends yes. Hurting the feelings of someone you care about can cause a wide ripple of repercussions. So what do you do? Below are some tips to help you choose the best bridesmaids for your big day.

Choose Quality over Quantity

It’s a common theme in fashion. You’re always supposed to choose quality over quantity. Instead of buying several cheap dresses which may not last until the next season, buy a couple dresses that will turn heads and always keep their shape and color. The same thing can be said for choosing your bridesmaids. Don’t pick your bridesmaids just because you don’t want to leave anyone out. It may end up costing you more money in the long run. Choose quality bridesmaids you want in your party. These bridesmaids will be the ones helping you through it all and you should trust them enough to hand over the steering wheel if things get tricky. Having a few close friends or family members as part of your bridal party will help you feel at ease and calm when the big day comes.

Choose People you Trust

Your big day has been planned, packaged, and perfected over the course of months or years. The checklist is ready and you have everything under control. Unfortunately a checklist doesn’t mean things will go according to plan. In fact, things may very well go the exact opposite of your polished checklist. That’s when you’ll be glad you have a gang of bridesmaids you can trust to get in the trenches and figure out how to fix any problem which may arise. Having a group of friends you can trust to help you get through your big day smoothly is extremely important. Being able to trust your bridesmaids to get any assigned task accomplished will save you a lot of stress on the day. At the end of the day it’s all about having your best friends at your right hand to both help you through the tough parts and celebrate the amazing parts with you.

 Choose a Steady Group

There are a lot of opinions about weddings but one thing should be true – your big day should be about you and your new husband or wife.  So why not choose a group of people you know will stick with that focus and help make sure the day is special for you? We’ve all heard horror stories about bridesmaids. They want to be the center of attention, they dislike another bridesmaid, the dress doesn’t fit right, and they should be the ones getting married! Having a bridesmaid like that can make or break your big day. Why not look ahead and choose the most cohesive group? Steady bridesmaids will make sure the day is all about you and help out when needed. Having zero drama with your bridal party is one of the best presents they can give you.

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Welcome to Labella Bridal Shop

There are some items that you automatically think of when it comes to weddings. Such items include beautiful dresses, suits, friends and family, and wedding rings. A wedding ring is one of the most important parts of the ceremony. It bonds two people together in matrimony and stands as a symbol of love and unity. Not to mention it can be an extremely expensive piece of jewelry. While diamonds are tough stones and wedding bands aren’t known to break when dropped, there are a few things you can do to make sure your wedding ring or band remains as shiny as the moment you received it. Below are some tips on caring for your ring and advice on the best treatment methods.

Professional Cleaning Works

There are times in life when we can get away with not going to a professional. Computers can be fixed at home, easy DIY projects can be handled via YouTube, and even basic car troubles can be remedied. Then there are tasks which need an absolutely professional to handle correctly. One of these tasks includes getting professional cleaning for your wedding ring. This task is a great way to make sure your stone is set correctly and also retains its sparkle. A professional will be able to use the best tools and products around to get that gunk and dirt off your ring. They will also be able to make sure your ring is in good shape and the setting is strong. A professional cleaning a few times each year can save you the worry and stress over whether or not you’re treating your ring properly.

Don’t Risk Your Ring

There might be some times where you might forget about your ring. It’s been through so much so having it on your finger is something you might forget about. Taking your ring off for certain activities is the right call. Consider just how dirty your ring might get if you’re outside gardening. All that dirt will work its way into the crevices of your ring and settle until the next cleaning. Stones in the soil might also end up scuffing or damaging your ring if enough force is applied. Another reason to slip your ring off and into a safe place is the risk of having it fall off outside or in the dirt. While your ring might be tight, with enough knocking and spinning it might end up being planted or dropped on the ground. Taking off your ring might seem like a pain but keeping it safe is worth it at the end of the day.

Get Your Ring Insured

This tip might not be at the top of your list when it comes to your ring. If anything should ever happen then having insurance will be a huge lifesaver. Sadly nothing can ever really replace your original ring but you will have the ability to get a replacement. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the ring if it’s ever lost, stolen, or damaged. Always remember that if you do get insurance on your ring, have it appraised every few years to make sure you are fully covered. If the metals and stones in your ring increase in value and you haven’t increased the insurance to match, your ring won’t be fully covered if something happens. Don’t look at having insurance on your ring as a jinx. Consider it a safety net that will soften the blow if something were to ever happen to your ring. You and your partner will be thankful if that time ever comes.


If you have questions about wedding gowns or special occasion dresses, Labella Bridal is here to help. Call us at 703-494-2929 for more information.

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For some people delegating is an easy skill to handle and master. These people are able to assign tasks without so much as a blink of an eye and make dividing work look like second nature. Then there are people who view delegating as a completely foreign concept. When people ask if they can help, the answers they receive are usually variations of the same sentiment. “I can do it myself,” or “No, don’t worry about it,” and these phrases are usually similar. Delegating can be a hard skill to acquire and even harder to master. Brides are especially bad to view delegating as a disease they want no part of. A bride likely has a vision for her wedding and she wants is perfect. That is to be expected. But getting ready for your big day can try even the most organized bride. Delegating tasks for your wedding is a lot easier than you might think. For example – when it comes to your wedding dress, a stylist at Labella Bridal can help make the task much easier than going it alone. If you still have fears about handing off your wedding details to someone else, read below for some tips to help make the transition a little easier.

Learning Strengths

Your friends and family members all have strengths. It doesn’t matter if they are goofy most of the time and like to joke around. When it comes to your wedding, more than likely they will show up ready to help and a whole new side of them will come out. You may not know their best strengths and weaknesses until you begin working with them. Once the wedding planning begins it might be a good idea to sit down with your group and go over things. Find out what would be easiest for your friends to do. If one friend has amazing handwriting skills then leave RSVP’s and notes to them. Some friends might be business savvy and have a gift at negotiating. This sort of thing can come in extremely handy when you’re shopping for vendors and accessories. No matter what the strength is, you’re most likely to find a task which will fit your friends perfectly. Don’t look at them as your goofy friend. Instead, consider their strengths and see them as co-workers on this important task.

Letting Go

Let it go is a pretty popular phrase these days. Taking a page from the song might also help you learn to release a little control and delegate tasks to other members of your family or wedding party. In your life apart from the wedding you might be able to do it all. If you’re the type of person with endless energy and the drive to do everything yourself, that’s wonderful. It’s a gift and a skill to have that sort of drive. But realize that your wedding isn’t just another task you need to finish in your daily life. Your wedding is something which requires a huge amount of focus and detail to the little things. It’s a task which might not be suite to your skillset. That’s when you have to learn to let it go. Realize that just because you can’t get it all done, it doesn’t mean you have failed. Giving tasks to other people, be it family members or professionals, is a good thing. It will keep your stress level down and give you more time to keep the other parts of your life in check.

Be Bold

One odd thing about delegating tasks for your wedding might be the idea of having to actually assign tasks to people. Sometimes your friends or wedding group might not feel it’s their place to rush up and throw offers of assistance to you all at once. If you’re the type to do it all yourself, then friends and family might take a seat until their name is called. This is doubly difficult if you’re a Type A person. Actually setting your desire to do it all aside is the first step in all of this. If you’re embarrassed to do it in person, send a nice card to your chosen friend or family member and request their help with getting everything in order for your wedding day. Sometimes people simply need to be asked to help out. It doesn’t mean they aren’t willing and wanting to help you out. Sure, the idea of going out and having to recruit help might feel weird, but at the end of the day it isn’t such a bad thing. Your wedding helpers will feel like they were truly wanted on board and you will have hardworking help to make sure you get your wedding day just the way you want.

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Eva Harrison, one of our beautiful brides, has shared some of her wedding pictures with Labella Bridal! We loved helping Eva find the perfect dress for her big day. These shots are gorgeous! We would like to congratulate Eva and her new husband on their wedding, and wish them years of happiness ahead.

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Your wedding day is a finely tuned event. For months, probably even years you have been diligently trying to get every moment of the day perfect. There is a lot you can control on that day. You can make sure your guests are comfortable and happy. The color of your dress, decorations, and table linens has been perfected to your specifications. Your dress looks amazing and all your bridesmaids are perfect. So while all of those things you can be certain about, there is a whole mountain of issues that can arise on your wedding day. Guests can get lost, stains happen, sickness sets in, allergies flare up, and a lot of other random ‘what-if’ moments. To prepare for that cut shin or Scope on your wedding dress, all brides need an emergency kit packed with the essentials. Below are some tips on preparing your perfect emergency kit and being ready for all the randomness that goes down on your big day.

Stain and Rip Repair

Attending a wedding doesn’t automatically make accidents and mistakes stop. In fact, it usually invites them in for a drink and a dance. There is a lot that can happen fashion-wise. Have you heard the story of the bride getting wine on her gown? Or the one about the bridesmaid ripping her dress right before the show gets started? That’s because those things actually happen. One minute you’re laughing and drinking a little wine to calm your nerves. The next you’re dribbling wine down the side of your dress. You’ll immediately panic and then be forever grateful for your emergency wedding kit. In your kit you should always keep miniatures of items you will definitely need. A Tide pen is perfect for getting rid of stains. You’ll also want to keep a needle and some different colored thread on hand for when there’s a snag or a tear. If you aren’t too handy with a needle or thread, there will more than likely be someone in the crowd who knows how to sew decently enough to get your dress back to looking lovely.

Lotions and Potions

Your wedding day is a pretty nervous occasion. No matter how much you prepare or how confident you are in everything you’ve planned, there’s still a little side of you that’s nervous for the entire day to go off without a hitch. This can lead to that awkward occasion known as massive sweating. Yes, it’s something you don’t really want to think about on your wedding day. As a bride you are supposed to be the shining example of grace in your beautiful dress. Sweating has no part to play in your big day. Unfortunately your body doesn’t actually know it’s supposed to be on its best behavior so it sweats as per usual when you get nervous. To combat this issue, keep a mixture of lotions and your favorite scents. It will come in handy not only for you, but also for any bridesmaids or family members who may fall victim to the sweating curse. Deodorant, perfume, baby wipes, and lotion are always good to have in your emergency kit.

A Snack

This is one item in your emergency kit which you may never think about. Keeping a snack in your emergency makes a little more sense when you consider how stressed out some brides get on their big day. Sometimes in order to have a beautiful dress, you have to be a tiny bit uncomfortable in the process. Purchasing your gown from a specialty boutique like Labella Bridal will help you choose the right gown for your body type, but for some women a gown may still be uncomfortable. Discomfort can lead to nerves; nerves can lead to lower blood sugar and by the time you’re about to talk down the aisle you are feeling a little on the wrong side of faint. A quick snack will help alleviate any worries you might have about getting too hungry while preparing for your big walk. Try to include a snack you really love. It might be a little on the unhealthy side, but a little treat will help you calm down for a few minutes and also keep your blood sugar from dipping too low.

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All brides know the importance of keeping costs down when it comes to the big day. There are areas where you’ll need to stretch your dollar in order to stay on budget. Flowers, accessories, linens, and even catering can all be managed and shifted to fit your wallet in one way or another. On the flip side, there are also certain areas where skimping and penny-pinching might not be the best way to go. One such area is your actual wedding dress. Sometimes the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best bargain. Getting a hugely discounted dress could wind up ruining your day or even cost you more than if you actually just bought the dress without the bargain. There are several scenarios in which you might want to avoid making the purchase. Below are some of the highlights. Just remember – if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.

Buying off Etsy Without Research

Etsy is crafting heaven. You can go on the site and find anything you want. Earrings made from stones mined near a volcano? The site has that. There is also a plethora of wedding-related items on the site to fit your needs and budget. One of the more unique sections on the site comes in the form of wedding dresses. You can find a huge number of dresses on the site. They range from handmade locally, to beautiful gowns all the way from Paris and Japan. Unfortunately this is where it gets a little dicey. What you see in the picture is more often than not a fake. It might look similar to the dress you get in the mail, but it won’t be the same. It will probably not fit you that well either. Like Pinterest, the photos aren’t exactly what you might end up with. The dresses from other countries are made in mass quantities and when it arrives, you might be a little shocked to find that it either chokes you or falls off of you. Sure, that dress may half the price as the one you found in the store, but shopping on Etsy for your wedding dress is a huge risk. Visiting a boutique, such as LaBella Bridal Boutique in Occoquan, Virginia, is a much better option.

Buying a Mistake

We’ve all been there. You see a clearance or damaged rack and it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to dig around to find out if there are any good deals. A small stain can always be removed, and a tear in a shoe can be hidden by jeans. These are simple mistakes and shouldn’t hold you back from making a purchase. But what about making a large purchase? Buying a wedding dress with a large tear, bad sewing, or a stain could be a dangerous move. If you have someone in your family who works on dresses, or know how to repair, then it probably isn’t such a bad thing. Otherwise you might end up spending a lot of money to have the dress fixed. Dresses, unlike other items of clothing, need to be incredibly specific when it comes to the wearer. If a dress isn’t right to begin with, it may take a lot of time and money to get it to the perfect point. Removing stains from a dress may also be dangerous unless a professional is dealing with it. Buying a mistake might seem logical for your wallet, but consider who you have in your corner and how much time and money you can devote to the repair.

Buying From the Unknown

As mentioned, buying from a reputable dealer like LaBella Bridal Boutique in Occoquan, Virginia is advisable. While looking for the best deal, you can often find deals that are too good to be true. These are the sort of deals that you’ll need to avoid at all cost. Shady boutiques or stores can leave you with an ill-fitting dress and nothing else. There have been stories of brides purchasing expensive dresses and being unable to contact the maker, shop, or anyone else in order to have the dress sewn or return it due to it being a mistake. The key to finding the right dress for you and avoiding the so-called ‘snake oil shops’ is by doing the appropriate legwork. Research different shops in your area and read the reviews provided. If the reviews are mostly negative, it might be time to step back. Another powerful way to find the best shop to fit your needs is by asking around to friends and family members. They may have bought a dress from a great store or know someone who did. Either way, getting a solid review from someone you actually know is much better than taking a chance on a bad product.

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When you think of your wedding day the first thing that comes to mind is your dress. It’s the biggest part of the wedding for most brides. For months, even years, you dream of the perfect wedding dress and you obsess about it up until the day before the wedding. Family members and friends want to see your dress the minute you pick it out. Beyond the dress are some other pretty important members of the bridal family. One such item is incredibly important and is often left off the list when it comes to important parts of the outfit. Shoes are the one thing which might seem like an afterthought. You slip them on and, for some brides, nobody ever sees them. But just because they are hidden doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make sure you have the right shoe for your big day. Remember, you have to walk around in these shoes for a pretty long time. Your honeymoon shouldn’t involve limping due to the wrong shoe on your wedding day. Below are some tips on picking the shoe for you.

Choose a Shoe for Your Location

We’ve all seen the photos of a bride unsteady on her feet. It might be due to the slick floor she hasn’t had much practice on, or it could be because she’s walking on ground wet from a rainstorm the night before. Whatever the reason…it never turns out well. No bride wants to trip and fall as she’s trying to get down to the front to meet her mate. There is nothing graceful about taking pictures with the front of your gown stained with mud or a huge red mark on your chin from knocking it on the concrete floor. That isn’t something you want to remember on your wedding day. Instead, choose a shoe that’s right for your environment. If you aren’t a bride accustomed to wearing heels then purchasing high heels and trying to talk gracefully on a slick floor will only lead to feeling unsteady the entire day. Heels aren’t ideal for outdoors either. More often than not they tend to sink down into the ground and cause your elegant bridal march look akin to wading through a swamp. Always consider your location when choosing your shoe.

Comfort is Key

You don’t realize it until you’re there. You’re up on those beautiful heeled shoes that you couldn’t resist. It’s the day of your wedding and you just can’t wait to show off your shoes to friends and family after the big day. So the ceremony isn’t too bad. The straps are kind of digging into the side of your feet a little…but oh well. They always say beautiful is sometimes painful, right? Success! The ceremony is over and you’re walking down hand-in-hand with your new mate. Congratulations! Dang, these shoes are killing your feet now that you think about it. Maybe you can pop over and give your puppies a rest. Nope. There are pictures to take, guests to talk with, bridesmaids to have fun with, and a big dance number with the love of your life. By now your feet have started to wave the white flag for mercy. It might be a little insane but your wedding day will be extremely hectic. You’ll be on your feet for a large part of the day. That being said, it would be a wise move to choose a show which gives you comfort for your day. Yes, they might not be as slick as those heels are. But at the end of the day your feet will be praising your name and your new mate won’t have to carry you to the car because your feet are howling.

The Shoe of Debt

This just might be more painful than wearing an uncomfortable shoe. Some brides go all out for what shoe they are going to be wearing on the big day. Some brides could care less. If you are in the first category then it might be time to sit down and truly consider how much you’re willing to spend on shoes that you’ll probably only be wearing for this day. If you’re willing to stretch your budget, those shoes can be yours. But if you are looking over your wedding finances and realize that spending that much on a pair of shoes is a no-go, then it’s probably best to look at a cheaper option. If you go online you will more than likely find a similar pair in terms of looks for more than half the price of that designer shoe. Just think – that price savings can give you an extra day or two on your honeymoon!

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Getting engaged and beginning to plan your wedding can be one of the most stressful times in your life. There are a million things to concern yourself with and not a lot of time to focus on your wellbeing. When this happens there are certain parts of your life that can get cast off to the side along with that entire pack of misspelled wedding invitations. This part just happens to be your figure. When the waves of stress begin piling up those boxes of chocolate doughnuts and bags of chips tend to look pretty great in light of all the craziness going on. This can lead to any number of things. Your face might pay the price with a sudden flare of acne. That energy you once had to handle all the plates twirling around in the air suddenly vanishes. The worst side effect this issue could have on you is gaining a lot of weight and finding yourself unable to fit into your wedding gown. Yikes! If this has happened to you, or you want to prevent it, here are some tips to help you get into shape.

Walk The Town If You Are Able To – Why Not Walk Occoquan, VA? 

If you have little time to go pump iron at the gym and can’t stand to sit in your living room trying to sweat to the oldies, there is nothing like stepping outside and getting your walk on. Walking for any length of time will burn calories. The speed in which you walk increases your calories burned. For example, walking for 30 minutes at 4mph will burn 150 calories. That’s enough to get off that breakfast of jelly doughnuts! Walking doesn’t just help you to burn calories, though. Walking can also be used to tone and shape your legs and arms. More than likely you have seen people walking and swinging their arms with great gusto as they pass you by. This is a prime example of speed walking and, while it looks hilarious, it can actually help you burn more calories and tone those arms for your wedding day. What bride doesn’t want toned arms?

Avoid The Candy

Stress eating can happen to the best of us. That bowl of Oreos sitting on the counter, jar of jellybeans next to your bed, and your future husband bringing you home candy because he feels it will relieve the stress. It’s easy to fall into the unending cycle of gorging on sweet treats to keep your mind off all those table arrangements and patterns you have to get down pat for the big day. Completely forgoing eating any candy is probably not the best method either. Figure out your happy medium when it comes to all things candy. If you have a small size candy bar in the evening, that’s perfect. If you end up eating half the bag of those small candy bars, that’s bad. Keep the candy stashed away and try to forget about it. Allow yourself a piece every now and then but keep it out of sight and hopefully out of mind for the most part.

Buy Some Cheap Weights

Finding time to go to the gym is going to be pretty difficult if you’re the captain of planning the wedding. You barley have time to sit down for a few minutes much less pack up and head down to the gym for an hour or two. For this reason you should invest in a pair of cheap weights for your living room. These weights can be used even if you don’t quite have the time to sit down and pump iron. Weights can be used while you discuss ideas and plans with your family members, while you’re on the phone with vendors, while you’re looking over plans and notes you have written down, and when you have a few spare moments to sit down and watch your favorite show.

Diet For The Big Day

This tip should be used correctly. Going on a crazy crash diet that is likely to leave you feeling terrible is not going to help anyone. Choose to go with a simpler sort of diet when it comes to preparing your figure for the big day. Stick to eating a lot of fruit and drinking water. Don’t overload on big meals and eat until you are stuffed. Your diet should include smaller meals than you would usually eat that are high in protein and energy-giving foods. Whenever you feel hungry it might be smart to pick up an apple or some celery to knock off your hunger. Going on a diet should not lead to starvation. To keep things in order with your wedding you need to have energy to do so. Keep your diet safe and you’ll look fantastic in your dress!

Contact us a Labella Too for your alteration needs at 703-494-2929. We are experienced fitting specialists, dedicated to giving you the best alterations and tailoring you will find. We are located in Occoquan, Virginia and we have over 40 years of experience in fine custom sewing and alteration of bridal gowns, prom dresses, men’s suits, as well as a host of other clothier services. 

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