November 29, 2016

Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique

Published by WicksnCandlesticks at 3:16 PM

Vanessa Hicks Photography | Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique 
Recently, we had another opportunity to interview this wonderful bridal shop owner that offers high-end eveningwear. The Owner, Cathy Montante of Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridal.

When Cathy first started in the bridal industry, she purchased dresses available in that area from a boutique that went out of business. She had started with racks of dresses inside her living room. Eventually, she started to look for a place to open her boutique.  After relocating to Carmel, California eight years ago, she stated they are one of the most successful Bridal and Social Special Occasion Boutiques in the area with a focus on Bridal, Mother of the Bride, Bridesmaids, and all Social Special Occasion Fashions.  


Cathy has years of experience in the wedding industry. In the very beginning of her career, she was offered a full scholarship to attend a prestigious Fashion Institute in 1969, however, because of the times, she had to refuse it. Coming from an “old school” Sicilian family, this was an “absolute” no-no” for any women to leave home and go to a big city.  


However, she never gave up on her dream, she always had the drive and passion to design many “Haute Couture” fashion.  She had been sewing since she was seven years old with training from her Grandmother and Great-Aunts who were all seamstresses and the best teachers anyone can have.  They did this for a living and her experience and training was “hands on.”  She learned how to work without patterns, measure properly and that was only the beginning.   Years later, she did attend San Francisco Art Institute where she earned an MBA in Fashion Design, Art and Business.  


What makes Cathy’s Carmel, California boutique different compared to others would be that she buys distinctive Bridal Fashions that are very different, yet elegant.  Her gowns are extremely beautiful and unique for Bridal Fashion houses. Another way her store stands out among her competitors, she earned her Certified Bridal Consultant with training in specific qualifications in styling, measuring, accessorizing and works directly with the Bride and her Bridal party.  She provides her years of experience and she assures her brides that they will find and fall in love with the dress of their dreams!


Cathy has worked runways with Bridal Fashion shows as a stylist, not excluding stylized photo shoots with world-renowned photographers in published work. Many of my clients travel from far distances and many clients are celebrities.  


She has the best customers and the have provided wonderful recommendations for Cathy and Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridal. One Bride stated on WeddingWire, “Excellent customer service and beautiful wedding gowns to choose from. I love working with the Owner, Cathy! What a wonderful person with her heart in the right place. She is very Professional and knows the business!”  Another Bride Vanessa stated, “There is an extensive selection for every style and more importantly, every type of bride. A very kind lady who knows her stuff. Cathy owns and operates this shop herself and STILL somehow manages to respond to every single question and concern in a warm yet professional and timely fashion. A true class act. Make an appointment, you won’t be disappointed.”


Cathy states the Wedding Trends for 2016 and 2017  are that many Brides wearing sequins. Bridesmaids dress trends are showing the Brides want her Bridesmaids to stay away from the “traditional” Bridesmaids dress.  Usually, Brides provide a color palette and the Bridesmaids will buy a dress that flatters their figure, yet stay within those colors.   Another trend we have seen are the “mismatched” dresses falling into a pastel muted color palette.   She also has stated that some Brides are eliminating Bridesmaids altogether. However, it all depends on the Bride, the venue, and the destination of the wedding.


Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals do take and schedule appointments.  Cathy suggests the Brides bring any undergarments they plan to wear with the dress (strapless bra, Spanx, and wearing underwear is always necessary).  Shoes in the height they plan to wear with the dress just in case they do find the dress and we have to measure them for getting the dress in the proper length.  Even though they are just starting to look for their wedding dress, there always will be a possibility that Brides will find the dress of their dreams at the very first appointment.  Brides should always come prepared with a deposit, having a credit card with at least $1500 in available credit to put a deposit down “just in case.”


Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridal offers a variety of styles in Bridesmaids dresses that can be worn as formals or evening gowns because styles are very versatile. The Bridesmaids and Bridal Dress Designers are Bill Levkoff, Bari Jay, Alberto Makali, Rina di Montella and a couple of other private lines exclusive to our boutique only. The other designer lines she carries are LaSposa by Pronovias, Luna Novias by Rosa Clara, all the Kitty Chen Collections, Amare Couture, and Sincerity by Justin Alexander and a couple of private lines.  


Her dress sizes usually start at 10, 12, 14, 16 and sizes depend on the style of the dress. However, all styles are available in Plus Sizes and Special Orders.  She offers customization for dresses and that will be available for extra charge and the cost does depends on the designer. In addition, she does offer dresses available for purchase
“off the rack.”  In her opinion, she feels there is absolutely no reason why a Bride should not walk out of our bridal boutique with a bridal dress. She has something for every Bride and their wedding budget.


To find the one and only  Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals, please visit them via the web at Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridal and you can find her boutique on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and WeddingWire.


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Remember, at WicksnCandlesticks, we love celebrating all of life's events and special occasions! For more information on designs, ideas, inspiration and styles for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions, please follow our blog at WicksnCandlesticks. To shop on our website, please visit http://www.wicksncandlesticks.com/.

Kind Wishes,







Carla Lowery is the Owner of WicksnCandlesticks that is an International Business. Her website launched in 2009 
and her store is the 'go-to' store for beautiful, exceptional and exclusive products for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions.


November 26, 2016

Share the Charity Cause, Share the Link & Share the Love

Published by WicksnCandlesticks at 12:59 PM

 
Winston Churchill was quoted, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” A wonderful quote…and a beautiful gesture to incorporate charitable giving to others in need at a wedding reception.  We conducted online research this weekend regarding new ways couples handle the wedding favors or wedding gifts. 

We have found within the last few years, couples are making technology available at weddings where wedding guests can provide the act of charitable giving.  There are many
ways that 
couples can incorporate charity giving even before their wedding day, such as; 

the bridal shower, bachelorette party, bachelor party or engagement dinner. Going even further than that a wedding couple can rent venue space for the wedding reception at a non-profit space museum, historical site or botanical garden. If the venue space would not be your cup of tea, then couples can choose a charity of their choice with either the Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Accredited Charities. 

 We found that two websites that provide complete charitable giving with no shopping or registry options available.  The websites we liked the best were “Plumfund” or “Deposit A Gift.” Each company provides different options available, so please review each website carefully before making your final decision.   Plumfund website does offers a free set-up and does not charge extra fees to your wedding guest, but Deposit A Gift website offers the very lowest and transparent fees, but has more options available to the couples. Whatever couples choose to use at their wedding reception, the gift of a monetary donation will be made to the charity of choice by the couple in lieu of wedding favors or wedding gifts.  Will you be hosting a charitable giving at your wedding reception?  If so, what website have couples chose for your charitable giving? We would love to hear from you!

At WicksnCandlesticks, we strongly believe in charitable giving with our own charities and with a few others we donate monetary funds to each year.  We wanted to provide couples with our free complimentary charity printable to Share the Cause, Share the Link and Share the Love for your charity of choice.

Download Your Free Charity Printables:
Charity Binder


Would you love more free printables and other free items from our website?  Sign up for our Newsletter...Click on the 'Subscribe to Our Newsletter' button. 


Remember, at WicksnCandlesticks, we love celebrating all of life's events and special occasions! For more information on designs, ideas, inspiration and styles for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions, please follow our blog at WicksnCandlesticks. To shop on our website, please visit http://www.wicksncandlesticks.com/.

Kind Wishes,






Carla Lowery is the Owner of WicksnCandlesticks that is an International Business. Her website launched in 2009 
and her store is the 'go-to' store for beautiful, exceptional and exclusive products for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions.


November 17, 2016

How To Create an A5 Wedding Planner

Published by WicksnCandlesticks at 9:59 PM


One of the things we love to create are 
printables! In order to get started with this wedding planner project, a few things are needed. The items you would need would be a planner (Preferred Filofax, Kikki-K or Franklin Covey), Clear Zip-Up Plastic Pouch (A5 Size) for pens and pencils and a few pocket folders.   As stated, we recommend the Filofax, Kikki-K or Franklin Covey Planners because we like the quality of the leather planners. 

What are pocket folders anyways?  They are A5 pockets folders to be used in your planner.  Things brides need to collect in their pocket folders would be ideas and inspiration for the wedding, such as wedding theme and wedding colors.  We collect items like fabric and pattern swatches (name, color, and fiber) Pantone colors, paint swatches, and magazine photos. 


To help with pocket folders, you need tab dividers to keep organized with vendor categories.  The primary categories we use are attire, beauty, budget, catering, ceremony, cake, contracts, decorations, florists, hair and makeup, guest list, honeymoon, invitations, jewelers, music, musicians, photographer, reception, registry, rentals, stationary, transportation, wedding schedule videographers. 

The final items to include are some checklists, lined paper, monthly calendar, wedding planning timeline checklist, to-do checklist, notepad, emergency contact numbers.  We have a Pinterest board Dedicated to Filofax Printables
& Sitckers
! Needing something more custom for printables and stickers, we can always design it at WicksnCandlesticks!

Would you love more free printables and other free items from our website?  Sign up for our Newsletter...Click on the 'Subscribe to Our Newsletter' button. 


Remember, at WicksnCandlesticks, we love celebrating all of life's events and special occasions! For more information on designs, ideas, inspiration and styles for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions, please follow our blog at WicksnCandlesticks. To shop on our website, please visit http://www.wicksncandlesticks.com/.


Kind Wishes,






Carla Lowery is the Owner of WicksnCandlesticks that is an International Business. Her website launched in 2009 
and her store is the 'go-to' store for beautiful, exceptional and exclusive products for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions.


November 12, 2016

Add Pop, Pretty and Pizzazz with Postage Stamps

Published by WicksnCandlesticks at 10:52 PM

Custom Postage Stamps are a wonderful way to add that pop, pretty and pizzazz to cards or postcards for life’s events and special occasions! Create postage stamps for just about any occasion, such as or birthday, holiday, birth announcements, Christmas or even your own business. Either select a photo or upload your own.

The United States Post Office recommends
a couple of independent vendors licensed to offer stamps and the companies are PhotoStamps and
Picture It Postage. On each of the websites, it has the Official United States Postal Service logo with the text that reads "Approved Licensed Vendor."


Other postage options include checking with
your local post office to inquire about Charity Stamps.  Charity Stamps are really wonderful because the U.S. Postal service will donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. Acts of kindness like that go a long way to help others in need and customers will feel good knowing that they helped others too.

Customers can also order custom wedding invitations or personalized invitations from WicksnCandlesticks and we can match your stamps to the wedding invitations.

If you are looking to add a little-personalized touch to your event or special 
occasion, stamps are a nice little cost-effective way to personalize your communications to others.

Remember, at WicksnCandlesticks, we love celebrating all of life's events and special occasions! For more information on designs, ideas, inspiration and styles for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions, please follow our blog at WicksnCandlesticks. To shop on our website, please visit http://www.wicksncandlesticks.com/.


Kind Wishes,





Carla Lowery is the Owner of WicksnCandlesticks that is an International Business. Her website launched in 2009 
and her store is the 'go-to' store for beautiful, exceptional and exclusive products for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions.


November 5, 2016

Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire

Published by WicksnCandlesticks at 5:02 PM

Recently, we had the opportunity to interview this wonderful bridal shop owner Jennifer Ricciardi-Thompson of Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire. It was not only a privilege speaking to her because she has a background and education in fashion as a fashion designer and in bridal and formal attire owner. 

She has expertise knowledge with draping, illustration and design, pattern making, threads, sewing, along with cutting patterns, samples and finished garments, color schedules, material types and accessories and fashion design ideas and inspiration. Customers drive from all over the world to her store and to us that speaks volumes about her a business owner, a fashion designer and a shop owner. 


Jennifer got her start in the bridal and formal industry years ago and she has been in the business for over 19 years. She chose to be in the bridal and formal industry after college when she met her husband and then moved to the Tulsa area after she was married. She felt with all of her experience she wanted to open her own shop named Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire. P.S. The business name stems from her grandmother’s maiden name. 


She stated she was a Kleinfeld bride. She purchased her bridal gown at that store and she felt she wanted to give everyone that “Kleinfeld” experience but designing her very own store. She personalizes her shop for all brides. Furthermore, they have experienced bridal and formalwear consultants who provide the very best customer service. 


What makes the Facchianos Bridal & Formal Attire experience unique would be the fact she specialize in wedding parties offering bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, mother’s dresses, flower girl dresses, and tuxedos. The store offers a variety of sizes from sizes 6-22; however, we can order 0-28 and they do pride themselves on their size selection. At Facchianos, Jennifer carries well-known designers like Maggie Sottero, Casablanca, Rebecca Ingam, David Tutera, Phillipe Matthews, Franssical, B2, Belsoise and Bill Levkoff. Since she does have a fashion degree, what makes her store even more attractive would be her private line that no one else has to offer brides, which are her beautiful wedding gown designs. The wedding dress and formal industry trends she has been selling are a very low back gowns and lace gowns. 


Jennifer treats brides like family and assists couples with planning the entire wedding from assisting brides with bridal gown selections, wedding dress delivery to wedding day coordination. In addition to the bridal dresses and wedding attire, she offers many formal dresses for proms and many of those women remember the experience from her store from prom or other events and come back to shop with Facchianos when they are asked for their hand in marriage. 


Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire are by appointment only, but they do not turn away any walk-in customers. What would be helpful for any brides before an appointment to bring a tote bag in of the following items; undergarments such as shoes, body smoother and pantyhose. Basically, anything you plan on wearing underneath your wedding gown. 


A helpful wedding tip from WicksnCandlesticks before arriving for your appointment at Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire. Create a simple A5 wedding planner (see related article for information on how to create one for yourself). This way there will be information available for Jennifer or her sales staff to view, so they has a general idea of what you are looking for in the way of wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos. To find the one and only Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire, please visit them via the web at http://www.facchianos.com/ and you can find her business on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. 


Remember, at WicksnCandlesticks, we love celebrating all of life's events and special occasions! For more information on designs, ideas, inspiration and styles for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions, please follow our blog at WicksnCandlesticks. To shop on our website, please visit http://www.wicksncandlesticks.com/.



Kind Wishes,






Carla Lowery is the Owner of WicksnCandlesticks that is an International Business. Her website launched in 2009 
and her store is the 'go-to' store for beautiful, exceptional and exclusive products for weddings, events, celebrations and special occasions.