So, you’ve finally been wooed by your boo. You’ve been through the first steps of bliss, have keys to his home and his heart and have even taken his occasional mantrums as he eased into acceptance that 'this is really love’. Beyond dreaming of the perfect moment, reality now sets in. How do you get ready to get ready, and on a humble budget, no

Carlton Jones
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Carlton Jones

less?? The first place to shop for wedding ring designers and dress designers for the big day is likely right in your neighborhood. That’s right. What if it’s not only easy but local? Designer and Celebrity Stylist Carlton Jones and Melanie Harris, owner of FEMbot cosmetics, are pretty convinced that niche, upscale artisan markets have price-friendly finds especially for destination bridal dresses and

FEMbot Cosmetics
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FEMbot Cosmetics

honeymoon gifts. The two of them launched Mommi-POP, a spring/summer destination shopping experience that celebrated fashion, motherhood and emerging fashion, accessories, jewelry, spa and even micro-fashion brands. Stylized artisan markets are great because they can often offer perspective with no strings attached and ideas on color and texture in a relaxed atmosphere. The 2 day event housed over 20 designers and sponsors complete with a dj, mini-rejuvenation sessions, hors d’oeuvres and a special guest performance by a Neo Soul sensation by the name of Esnavi.

Melanie Harris, the founder of FEMbot Cosmetics commented on how personable markets like Mommi-POP can be, "smaller brands can offer unique items like hand crafted jewelry that can be personalized when meeting makers in person which adds that personal touch to the shopping experience, a designer can personally explain to you the thought process in designing a piece, the feeling and inspiration behind its design, as well as a few tips regarding its care. The casual atmosphere at a pop up such as Mommi-POP takes the high pressure sales feeling out of the situation. When you go to bridal showroom you are usually presented with a salesperson that is working on commission, and not a designer who is looking to build a long lasting relationship and who wants the client to find what she really feels inspired by, those brides and moms usually feel more relaxed in their decisions."

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Pierre Laborde

A preemptive visit to the stylized holiday market also meant it was time to select a new handbag. If he had to throw out the old and tattered, it’s only fair. Don’t fret, however, a Pierre Laborde original made that all better.

 

wooed Gwyneth Shoes
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Gwyneth Shoes

Gwyneth shoes, a niche brand with the upper hand on the seasonal colors and shoe trends, provided a treasure for every occasion. When feet begin to throb, though, you’ll want to pop them in ShoeAlong, a bag with a built in section just for shoes.

wooed Shoe Along
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Shoe Along

 

wooed Damselfly
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Damselfly

When hunting for natural handmade items we found local artisans like Damselfly and NPO Creations to be most beneficial for skincare bootcamp before the wedding and honeymoon - their spa must haves use all natural products. Speaking of natural, FEMbot owner Melanie Harris showed off her incredible shadow kits, brushes, lip gloss and organic lip balm. Melanie suggested that natural brides should use the lip balm months in advance to replenish moisture to lips. Try out Caiparinha, Blood Orange or Thai; organic lip balm are made in small batches and keep kisses sweet. Let’s be candid however, FEMbot’s brilliant red is for brides that want to go bold. After all, color, as it has taken us many lifetimes to know, is a part of the beauty we have inherited.

This was just the first round to let the magic set in. It was a great event to shop, have fun and dream a little. Brides to be should enjoy relaxing atmospheres while they can, there’s time enough for steamy idea sessions with the wedding planners and in-laws over details down the line.

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