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HitchSwitch vs. The Name Change Conundrum

One of the common headaches for a bride after getting married is changing her name. I can name on 10 fingers brides that I know that have been married for 6 months to a year and still have yet to change their name because it can be a hassle. Not everyone has extra time to spare to bounce from one government office to the next. As much as it is a first world problem, we are living in a time where everything can be yours with a click of a button. If only there was a way to get everything you need to finally take the last name of your beloved. Enter: HitchSwitch! HitchSwitch is an online service that gathers information and all of the necessary paperwork and sends it to your home for you to complete.

In the mail, you receive a personalized package filled out by the HitchSwitch team with all of the basic and redundant information that you may not want to fill out over and over again (i.e Name, Date of Birth, Your new married name). Each set of documents will come with a set of easy to follow instructions and the appropriate envelope and pre-stamped for your convenience. Co-founders Josh Gelb and Jake Wolff designed three different packages to choose from based on need and price point. The least expensive is the Print at Home Package that pays for the team to put together everything you need but you do the rest. This package is good for someone who understands the process but just wanted someone to do the dirty work for them to save time! The Full Service receives all of the paperwork and instructions in the mail and in a few minutes, you are ready to send your info out one by one! The Platinum package is the full service package that includes ready-to-ship passport photo and a personal concierge that can help you each step of the way. So, if you are like me and have no time to fuss with paperwork and you will need some guidance, The Full Service Package is the most beneficial.

After getting married, I decided that HitchSwitch would be an easy to use and fun way to kickstart my married life. HitchSwitch is also partnered with the Knot, the most popular online wedding planner to date. I felt comfortable knowing that one of the most trusted companies in the bridal industry gave HitchSwitch their stamp of approval. I received my package in the mail that said “Out with the Lopez and In with the Johnson (my married name).” As promised, the team had filled all of the redundant information and had step by step instructions for me to carry out my name change. The very next morning, I was off to the Social Security office for my new card. It is necessary to carry out this step first before doing anything else, as you will need the card for every document afterwards. After that, I was sending out my paperwork to their respective offices. It has been such a far less stressful process than I had been lead on to believe.

One could say that anyone could do this all by themselves, and although 100% true, it doesn’t hurt to have a little help right? Brides all over are using HitchSwitch in order to quickly get on with their lives with their sweethearts. There is some legwork needed by the customer such as presenting paperwork to the Social Security office. The paperwork could be mailed out but, with identity theft and scams that plague our everyday, HitchSwitch strongly suggests that you go to the office in person for safety purposes. HitchSwitch is a service meant to provide convenience. There will be some things that will need to be carried out by the customer to protect confidential information. So, whether you are getting married for the first time or waited to change your name to avoid the tediousness of procedure, visit www.hitchswitch.com to see if this service is for you!

#Say Yes: Atlanta for #SOARD

As you know from previous posts, Bridals by Lori is no stranger to philanthropy. In continuing with our commitment to Sunshine on a Ranney Day (SOARD), the Bridals by Lori staff got “down and dirty” to construct a princess-themed room for four-year old Peyton, who is battling Stage- 4 Leukemia. The process took several weeks of planning and countless hours  of construction, but the results were rewarding.

Peyton was very sweet and grateful that the Say Yes crew were able to aid in creating a comfortable space for her to play and relax. The room was complete with a dress-up station, a princess tiara over her bed, and custom princess sketches created by designer Lazaro!

A special thanks to Sunshine on a Ranney Day and Mohawk Flooring for making this possible. SOARD is a non-profit organization that works to create dream rooms & home makeovers for children with long-term illnesses.

Check out the gallery outlining our experience:

  • Peyton was thrilled to be in her new room!

 

 

BBL: 2015 Wedding Recap!!

At Bridals by Lori, we play a huge role in preparing our clients for the “Big Day.” We not only help brides and grooms find their wedding dresses/ tux, but we assist the entire wedding party in looking and feeling great for the wedding. Often times, the wedding party will send us pictures to show their appreciation for our assistance. We take great pride in helping them through this process, so it is amazing to see their vision come to reality on this special day. Here is a recap of some of the weddings that have taken place this year. All of our brides and grooms look amazing and we are indeed proud. Enjoy!

 

 

#AMA: ASK LORI

Now it’s your chance to get up close and personal with Lori Allen. Watch Lori answer your questions on EVERYTHING from fashion advice and the bridal industry to the latest trends and everyday tips. Just email your questions to asklori@bridalsbylori.com with the hashtag #AMA (Ask me anything) in the subject line. Lori’s answers  to your questions will be posted on You Tube!

Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions to date:

  • Is it important for brides to wear a veil?
  • Is it acceptable for a bride to wear a color other than white?
  • What styles do you suggest for busty brides?
  • Who was on your best-dressed list for the 2015 Emmy Awards?
  • Which celebrity couple had the best wedding this year?
  • How long did it take to start Bridals by Lori?
  • What are your favorite products in your makeup bag?

As you can see, NOTHING is off limits! Start emailing your questions now!

 

Mother of the Bride/Groom Blowout Sale

Bridals by Lori is hosting a blowout sale for Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom all September! This sale offers some the most exclusive special occasion gowns, including designers: Montage by Mon Cheri, Vm by Mori Lee, Jovani, Ivonne D, Kay Unger and many more. Check out the gallery for a look at some of the samples offered here in the store. For further details, call or stop by the Bridesmaids Department. 404.252.8767 Ext. 192

 

 

Mother of the Bride-Designers- Bridals by Lori

 

2015 SOARD GALA: Sunshine on a Ranney Day

Recently, Lori Allen attended the  2015 Sunshine on a Ranney Day Gala. Sunshine on a Ranney Day (SOARD) “is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit approved organization based in Atlanta, Georgia that creates dream room & home makeovers for children with long-term illnesses.” It was founded in 2012 by Peter and Holly Ranney, who were adamant in creating a foundation that would allow children to have their own space to be comfortable, free, and imaginative.

Lori believes in the mission this organization represents because it asserts hope and courage in such a critical stage of the child’s life.  Events such as this gala is needed to generate support– as the organization relies 100% on donations. Community involvement is one of the best ways to stay connected to social issues and create a positive impact. When asked why she chose this particular organization to support, Lori replied, “SOARD has a done an amazing job to build self-esteem and confidence in these children. To see active participants in the community brings such gratitude and humility and I’m proud to support a organization  such as this.”

Check out the gallery below to see snapshots from the event held on September 12th, 2015 and former projects designed by the members of SOARD.  If you wish to get involved, go to www.sunshineonaranneyday.com for volunteer and partnership opportunities.

  • Stacy Halstead, Lori Allen, and Mollie Allen at the 2015 Sunshine on a Ranney Day Gala.

 

 

 

 

Bridals by Lori Goes to Market: New Season, New Dresses!!

Bridals by Lori has a reputation for having the latest and most exclusive styles in the bridal industry. However as a full service bridal salon,  it is important to extend that image in every department of our store, i.e. Bridesmaids, Special Occasion, Black Tie, etc. This season, many of our designers are introducing a new line in the Special Occasions department.  Special Occasion dresses encompass unique style and intricate bead work that allows for sophistication and chicness at any formal event. The dresses are timeless and come in an amazing selection of colors, sizes, and brands. Managers Krystle and Ashlen were there to see the exclusive styles and hand-pick several from each collection.  Take a look at what goes on behind the scenes at Atlanta Market!

First up: Kay Unger

Representing clothing for a wide range of special occasions, each collection includes glamorous evening wear, bold cocktail creations, and even demure day dresses, all of which are fashioned with luxury fabrications that include exquisite detailing, signature fabric combinations, and original artistic prints.

  • Kay Unger

 

Mon Cheri: Montage, Ivonne D, Cameron Blake, Social Occasions 

Designed with the sophisticated, fashion-forward client in mind. With a wide selection of full-length and tea-length dress suits, elegant ball gowns and chic formal dress sets in silk chiffon, silky crepe, taffeta, lace, shantung, satin and organza, Mon Cheri provides styles for both informal and formal affairs.

  • Mon Cheri

 

Teri Jon 

This line includes distinctive style, excellent quality and unequaled craftsmanship, all combined with genuine value. The finest fabrics in the wildest spectrum of colors with extraordinary detail and embellishment to create beautiful and distinctly feminine silhouettes.

  • Teri Jon

 

Adrianna Papell 

This brand offers an exquisite sense of style, quality craftsmanship, and superlative fit. Adrianna Papell breaks age barriers creating a style of elegance and flair for ALL women. They model their clothes for the “everyday women” appeal—transitioning from one event to the next.

 

  • Adrianna Papell

 

Rina diMontella

The design sense of this brand commands a sophisticated look with an acute sense of taste for elegance and glamour. They featured streamlined silhouettes in luxurious fabrications with elaborate beading and embroidery. The gowns are at the front line of special occasion with emphasis on high fashion. 

  • Rina diMontella

 

VM by Mori Lee

A brand embodies the 3 C’s of fashion: Contemporary, Confidence, and Couture. It captures a timelessly elegant and sophisticated look. The result is a series of figure-flattering evening gowns that are at once sexy and reserved, classy and daring, shockingly simple and attention getting.

  • VM by Mori Lee
Counterfeit wedding dresses

Shopping Online: Steal or Scam?

Planning a wedding requires a healthy budget. There are numerous expenses including the venue, catering, flowers, music and so on. Not the least of which is the wedding dress. In fact, for most brides, the No. 1 item on her budget is the wedding dress. After all, she has dreamed of this day all of her life, and she wants to walk down the aisle in the dress of those dreams.

However, sometimes it proves difficult to find that dream dress in the price range that meets the bride’s budget. So when she comes across that dress on an online wedding dress site for a very reasonable cost, she can’t help but jump at the deal. Unfortunately, more often than not, when that dream dress arrives, it turns out to be quite the nightmare.

In fact, the purchased dress doesn’t even come close to resembling the designer dress advertised online. Investigations by Good Morning America and Inside Edition show just how prevalent – and damaging to the bridal industry – these fake wedding dresses can be. For instance, in the “Inside Edition” investigation, bride Candace Burch thought she ordered a $4,000 Justin Alexander wedding gown for just $300 from Peridress.com.

Counterfeit wedding dresses

The dress from the online retailer (left) is vastly different from the designer gown advertised on the site.

However, the dress she received looked nothing like the original dress. Instead of elaborate hand beading on the bodice, the dress featured plastic silver sequins. Plus, the gown material was cheap and thin, and felt like “a white trash bag,” according to Burch. When contacted, these online sellers either ignore the customer’s inquiry or flat-out refuse to return the purchase price to the bride.

To combat these scams, the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association sued a number of online retailers that were allegedly selling counterfeit dress. A judge sided with the industry and ordered more than 1,000 sites to cease all sales and to shut down. FYI, when you go to Peridress.com, it now goes to IDreamMart.com, an online retail site based in China that also sells wedding dresses.

Eve of Milady

The best way to make sure you get the dress you want is to shop at an authorized bridal retailer.

This is why it’s SO important to shop for your wedding dress at a brick-and-mortar store. Seeing the dress firsthand, trying it on for friends and family, and having an actual salesperson to speak with provides not only reassurance that this dress is the dress, but also peace of mind that you will get what you pay for.

Plus, savvy shoppers can still find good deals when it comes to shopping for their wedding dresses at brick-and-mortar retailers. For instance, many wedding boutiques offer special savings for dress purchases during a designer trunk show. Others offer discounted or even free accessories with a gown purchase. Talk with sales consultants to see what incentives they can offer before closing the sale.

Although it may be cliché, when it comes to purchasing wedding dresses online, if the deal looks too good, it probably is not true. Think twice before hitting “send” on that payment button.

Take Five!

5 Things…Monte never leaves home without!

1_Monte

With a busy schedule that keeps him on the road, Monte has traveling right down to a science. Traveling extensively can take a toll on your mental and physical health, but Monte knows how to handle whatever comes his way. Here, he shares the five items that he cannot leave behind when heading out for a new adventure.

1. Traveling is always made easier when loved ones are near. However, because they can’t always travel with me, I bring mom and dad’s photo along for the trip.

2. Everyone needs guidance, comfort and encouragement, both at home and on the road, so I always bring my prayer book.

3. You know I always want to look my best, and that’s why I always carry black shoe polish with me. You never know when you need to buff out the scuffs!

4. Traveling can rob me of much-needed rest and recuperation, but I don’t have to look bedraggled. To fight the effects of no sleep, the dry air on planes and the ever-changing climate of going from one locale to another, I make sure I have my favorite mud mask  to heal and restore my skin.

5. Of course, staying on the road frequently can play havoc with my internal clock as well as my memory, so my Daytime planner is essential to keeping me on track and in the right place.