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Darcie and Tony's Wedding at the Perry House

Bridal Group  

Darcie and Tony's beautiful wedding took place on November 23, 2013 at the Perry House overlooking  Monterey Bay.   The weather was perfect  making it a  beautiful setting for their wedding. It was my pleasure to attend and share their special moment with them.

The Bride  was beaming the  "glow" of happiness and there was excitement in the air on November 23, 2013.

 I met with Darcie at my bridal boutique, Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals several months before her wedding date. With a special dress in mind in the color "blush", which is a soft rose/beige color,  I found the dress for her.  On the day of her appointment, a comparable dress by another Bridal Couture company arrived in the color ivory.    Darcie tried it on and it looked absolutely gorgeous, however, since she had the blush colored dress on her mind,  I encouraged her to try the dress on just to be sure, before any decisions where to be made on her selection and in no doubt, she said "yes" to the blush colored silky organza over satin bridal gown with a sweetheart neckline inspired by a well known designer made by "Allure Couture". She did not want to take the dress off at her appointment and was forever thankful I encouraged her to try the dress on again!
Darcie came dancing out of the dressing room saying "yes" to the dress !  The dress indeed complimented her figure, and made her feel like a "beautiful Princess!"

The Bride was escorted by her Father, John down the stairs of the Victorian backdrop of the Perry House.   The exchange of the wedding vows,  were personally written by the Bride and Groom stirred  emotion in everyone. There were tears of joy in everyone's eyes which words could not express.  The exchange of wedding vows was performed by Darcie's best friend, Katie Raquel  did a wonderful  presentation.

wedding vows exchanged by the bride and groom

The Bridesmaids wore  elegant black cocktail dresses, which look beautiful against Darcie's blush colored  wedding dress. The flower girls dresses were white accented with a blush pink belt.  The flowers were in a blush pink, ivory, peach tone which were done by Melody at "Fleurish Floral Designs", and brought the color palette together of Darcie's wedding theme colors beautifully!  Peri Basseri of "Big Time Video" did an amazing job of the videos of the wedding.  The Professional Photography was done by "Love Life Studios."   Richard, the Event Coordinator at the Perry House made certain the day of the event went smoothly!  Freedom Bakery baked the most delicious wedding cake. One piece was not enough.   The food the wine, the candy table, everything was excellent!

After dinner, everyone put on their dancing shoes, and took pictures in the Photobooth.

It was the most beautiful wedding I attended.
Everyone had a wonderful time and it was a wonderful day to remember by everyone! 

Congratulations  to  Darcie and Tony! Wishing you both tons of love, luck, and happiness in the years to come!


carmel-valley-ranch-wedding-ideas-36, christina cater floral designs, collezione fortuna wardrobing the photoshootwE HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN RUFFLEDBLOG.COM, CARMEL VALLEY RANCH WEDDINGS, WWW.RUFFLEDBLOG.COMWe have been published in "Ruffledblog.com."!!   

I met with Christine Cater of Christine Cater and Events a few months ago, and the search was for a unique, whimsical wedding dress for a photoshoot  at  Carmel Valley Ranch.

We met with the model for a fitting and we voted on a gorgeous blush and ivory hand beaded organza wedding dress by the "House of WU".   The dress was made out of silk organza with soft layered pleating. All the bead work on the dress was sewn by hand and fit the color theme of orchids, greens, pinks, peach and other pastels on the color palette.  All these colors together with this amazing wedding dress by Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals in Carmel-by the- Sea,CA  made a beautiful "marriage" .
blush and ivory satin organza pleated wedding dress with beaded detailing, Ruffled.blog.com, Carmel Valley Ranch
I am thrilled to share  the images with you!

blush color organza wedding dressesDon't you love the image shown below?  It shows the closeup detailing of the beaded bodice of the dress!  It has organza floral petals and beads all detailed to perfection along with the delicate pleating of the layers of the skirt of the wedding dress.  The blush color is so romantic!!

bridal gown, blush, beaded details, whimsical wedding dresses, 93921 Read more about our blog feature on Ruffled.com.   Here is the link:

Photography by Orbie Pullen Photography, www.orbiepullen.com

Suggestions for BRIDES TO FOLLOW-Your Bridal Appointment

wedding bouqet of white, peach roses
OK girls..the "2014" Engagement season is already here and shopping for wedding dresses has started earlier than usual.  We LOVE working with our BRIDES and we have a lot of fun and share tears of joy, but there are guidelines to remember when you are ready to book your Bridal Appointment..

Special Guidelines

1.  Always make always an appointment. Contact the store in advance to inquire . They always do their best to accomodate.

2.  Keep the appointment and call the Bridal Salon 24 hour in advance if there is any need to reschedule or cancel.

3. Regarding “no Show's” at your appointment..life gets in the way, however it's only common courtesy to call the Salon and tell them you can't make your appointment so they can schedule another Bride in your time that was reserved for you.

4. Be considerate of your Consultant's time..they may have only 1-1/2 hours reserved t work with you and it may be necessary to reschedule another appointment to move forward with your needs.

5. Please be honest with your Consultant. If you have another dress you love in mind at another salon, say so. We always appreciate honesty and are always available to help. Be upfront with the budget for your wedding dress and  the accessories.  Alterations will always be an extra cost.

6. Most Salons will not allow you to hand pick the dresses you wish to try on and set them aside and return another day.  You will always be welcome to look, however, to try the dresses on an appointment will always be necessary.

7.  Always expect the "unexpected".  Most Brides find their dress when they are not ready to buy.  When shopping/looking for your dress, it's suggested you bring funds with you to cover at least your deposit to order the dress.

8. Please respect the "no photos" policy. If the Bridal Salon has one, that's exactly what they mean, "No Photos".   Each store is different, ask what their policy is.

9. Bring friends that will give you positive feedback at the appointment. Most brides bring their Mothers t.o share the experience which is emotional and exciting.   

.10.  If you really love the dress you are trying on and you want to say "Yes" to it...do it.  If you really love it, you are the one that is going to wear it..that is what counts and matters.

When following these guidelines I guarantee you will have the best "VIP" Bridal Gown shopping experience! 

By  Cathy Montante, Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals,(c) 2013 All Rights Reserved, 


Trunk  Shows and Sample Sales-there is a difference

  As  the new 2014 Spring Bridal Season is approaching, many new engaged Brides over the Holiday Season will be looking for the perfect wedding dress at Trunk Shows and Sample Sales.

There is a big difference between the two of them and I would like to address them.


Trunk Shows are held at the Bridal Salon over 2-3 day period, usually over a weekend.  They are usually Promoted by Invitation only to the Brides by the Bridal Salon and will feature a specific Bridal Gown Line.  The Designer may or may not be present, however, the Consulting staff should be educated on the new styles and time frame availability of your order and of course the cost of the wedding dress and any accessories.

Sizes and styles available to try on may vary during this event, and usually the most popular styles in demand may be featured.  The Bridal Salon may or may not offer a "Special Discount" during the Trunk Show Event .

You will be able place your order before the actual collection reaches the store for the general public.  

Be prepared to pay a deposit at the time of your order is placed.  You will received a NEW GOWN that has never been tried on that is ordered from the featured collection.  The store usually does not honor the incentives once the "Trunk Show" is over..so don't expect to receive one later.


"Sample Sales" are what they really are....a SALE on "Sample Dresses".

Sample dresses are made to give you an idea what the actual wedding dress is in it's finished production.   These sales are usually held at "Warehouses" and are deeply discounted.  

The dresses have been tried on many times by the General Public.  Expect them to be soiled, with broken zippers, loose beaded, torn fabrics, missing buttons, ect.   The wedding dresses are by well known designers, however, the cost may be under $500 or less, but the gown is damaged and not in the same condition you will find at Bridal Salons.  One cannot expect a wedding dress in perfect new condition to be sold in this dollar amount. 

These are the  extra costs to bear in mind when you purchase a dress at a Sample Sale which may have to be done before you will want to wear it on your Wedding Day...so think about this carefully:

Cleaning....Approximately  $200-$500.00 depending on the dress

Repairs-  Aproximately $100.00-$1500.00

Alteratons-  $200-$1000.00

When you add all the extra costs above to restore the dress, it makes more sense to spend $2500.00 on a Brand NEW dress ordered to fit you with just some minor alterations, which are not uncommon, and are always extra in cost.

(c) Nov, 2013, Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals,
All Rights Reserved

Alterations, alterations, who do you believe?

Alterations..the truth or a lie?

Here we go again......the "engagement season" is here again for 2014 with weddings to happen in 2015,  and many Brides will be on the hunt for their wedding dress of their dreams.

As a Professional in this Industry with over 30 years of experience in Couture Design,  and Alterations, I share this experience with many others.  This is a business where one should not be in it unless they have experience on what I just stated.

When you plan on visiting a Bridal Salon, please follow this advice to the letter.  It will provide you with a positive shopping experience and help you build a relationship:

1. Always call in advance and schedule your appointment.  If you cannot keep your appointment, please call the Bridal Salon to reschedule. This is just plain courtesy.

2. Be honest with your Consultant.  Are you planning to buy at the appointment, or just playing "dress-up?"  How serious are you?  A consultant's time is valuable, and furthermore, the are not charging any money for the Appointment.  Please be considerate.

3. If you have been looking, say so. If you have another dress in mind at another Bridal Salon, say so. We won't get mad at you.

4. This is another matter every Bride needs to be EDUCATED UPON:
Always factor in an extra $250-$900 for Alterations on your wedding dress.  The salon is not going to absorb this cost.  Larger salons have seamstresses that do work for them and they are on their payroll. Someone has to pay these Professionals for their expertise.  These fees are non-negotiable.  Other salons have a Alterations Team they will refer you to. These people work independently and you will have to work with them directly. We don't know how much they will charge.

5. Free Alterations are never free.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true...be careful.  The cost of the dress is always inflated to cover the cost.

6. Don't demand anything or feel you are "entitled" to whatever you think you are entitled to.   If you want a discount..go to the "sale section".  You can't ask for discounts at other major Bridal retailers or Department Stores. Prices of Wedding dresses are set by the designers.

7.  Prices vary demographically.  This does not mean you are being "over charged."  Just because a dress is on sale doesn't mean the salon has to take off extra to cover your expenses for alterations. This is always your responsibility.

8.  Always bring your credit card with at least $1200 to leave as a deposit on the day of your appointment.  You never know..Brides find their dress when they are not looking to buy and always buy what they do not expect as their vision.

9.  Going to a "Sample Sale"?????? Trust me, you are never going to get that wedding dress in pristine new condition.  It's been tried on countless of times, the zippers are damages, beads are missing and the dress may have makeup, and dirt on it.  That's why that $3,000 dress is now $200.  You have to pay at your expense to have it fixed and cleaned which can add up to the exact price of the dress, and you could have purchased a new one. THINK!

10.  Shop when you are feeling well and rested.  You will be glad you did.

These are some of the expectations to follow when you go shopping for your wedding dress.  

Need to book your appointment with us?  Feel free to contact us on the form on our website under "Contact US"(please no spam).  Give us some times you are interested in coming in.  Also, call our Bridal Salon (831)626-1287.  Calls are returned within 24 hours and we always do our best to accommodate.


Your Bridal Appointment is going to be the most important factor in finding your Wedding Dress.

Every independently owned Bridal Salon or Bridal Boutique will set their own policy in servicing their customers.  This includes their scheduling of your "Bridal Appointment."  Their procedures are different from "chain store" Salons.  There is no comparison, including the services they offer which may include:

1. Private Consultations, this includes one and one private meetings with the Bride within a 1 hour or 2 hour time frame.

2. Private Appointments and Customer Service, which you do not find anywhere else, include shopping "online".

3. The knowledge of style and fabrics and how to fit you properly.

4. Timing of your order and when it will arrive in time for your wedding.

5. Couture Fashion design, and custom order knowledge

6. A well trained Bridal Salon and their staff will know exactly what style of wedding dress will look stunning just by looking at your body shape.  This comes from  many years  of experience  working in the Fashion Industry, including  as Showroom Models, Couture fashion design, Bridal Alterations , and Merchandising, They will know how to take your measurements to determine your proper size of your wedding dress.


Congratulations!   You said "yes" to his proposal of marriage.  It's the most exciting time of your life..and there is so much planning ahead!

It is highly recommended that you start shopping for your wedding dress no later than 1 year before your actual wedding date. Concentrate on your dress first..then take care of your Bridemaids.(more on that later).

Go thru some Bridal Magazines and see what is out there to get some basic ideas.  Set your budget for your wedding dress and accessories.  Alterations are NEVER included in the cost of the dress. This should not surprise you. Factor in approximately $300-$900 for Bridal Alterations.  This is a reality, and these costs are usually done independently by a professional expert in Bridal Alterations.  There is no "negotiation" of  any of these charges.  They are what they are as the cost of your dress!

Shop locally for your wedding dress. This is convenient in most cases, and you will be supporting independently owned businesses.

Call in advance for your appointment at the Bridal Salon you wish to patronize.  "Word of mouth" is the best referral.   Make the most of your appointment when you attend.   Bring shoes, any undergarments you need to try on with the dress, as these are usually not supplied, and will be required to purchase what you need at the appointment.

Each Salon is different. You will have an assigned a Consultant to work with you. She will have experience and the proper training in working with Brides and their Bridal Group. The  duration of your appointment  and the number of bridal gowns you will be allowed to try on during is up to the salon and their policy.  They will ask you several questions. Be honest and do not waste their time. This also means if you have already selected a gown at another store, but have not made your deposit or your final decision, say so.  Tell your Consultant you are "still looking".  There is nothing wrong with that. This is an important decision to make and an investment, and you will know instinctively when you have found your wedding dress.

 If the Bridal Salon does not allow  taking pictures during the appointment, please respect that policy. This is quite common and no reason to act surprised.  However, you will be allowed to take pictures of your wedding dress once it's purchased. Please always ask before you start "snapping" away  assuming it's OK.

Keep an open mind and feel free to go thru the inventory with your Consultant.   Try on the wedding dresses that "speak" to you. Limit yourself to 6 dresses at each appointment. If you want to try on more, you can always reschedule another appointment a few days later. Be rested, leave pets, small children at home to avoid distractions.  Also, bring along just one person that can give you positive feedback.  I have had many Brides say "YES" immediately to the first dress they try on. You never know what will be flattering on you and make you shine!

It can take anywhere from 6-9 months to order your wedding dress.  You will be required to sign a  Purchase Agreement , and make a non-refundable deposit  before your order is placed. This is not uncommon. Add extra time for custom orders with special changes.   Bear in mind, all RUSH ORDERS, and CUSTOM Changes will cost extra and are not included in the original cost of the dress, which is always priced as marked.  Don't expect discounts. Chain store Bridal Salons don't give them, so don't expect "privately owned" salons to do so either.

Furthermore, be courteous and gracious with the Salon.   If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment, call them and cancel your appointment at least 48-72 hours prior.  It's rude to not show up, and the appointment can always be replaced with another Bride. Some salons will take your credit card to secure your appointment and charge a fee for not showing up, or not calling within the time frame specified to cancel or reschedule.  Bridal salons and Consultants are rendering a Professional Service to be respected.

These are some of the basics on what to expect.  If you need more information, please give us a call at (831)626-1287.  You can schedule your appointment by calling us or by completing the "Contact US" form on our website, www.collezionefortuna.com. We are here to help.

We look forward working with you! Happy 2014 Wedding Season!

(c)July 19, 2013, Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals, All Rights Reserved

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, golden wedding dresses, desstination wedding gown, sandy and jis digirolamon, love after 50,
sandy peckinpaw digirolamo, melissa gilbert, wedding in southern california, out of town  bridal eventSANDY and JIM'S Wedding

It's is never too late to find true love after age 50!  Sandy and Jim are perfect examples. 

 Both were members with the singing group in the late 1960's "UP with PEOPLE" and traveled all over singing songs of enlightenment all over the United States..and more. 

 Dating in their early youth, fate brought them to different paths, meeting again at an "UP with People Reunion" 30 plus years later..and they started dating..which led to wonderful relationship! 

 Living in Southern California, Sandy bought her Wedding dress by Rina Di Montella at Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals.

 I had the pleasure of meeting her fiance' Jim, and they make a beautiful couple and I knew they were meant to be together!  They were married in Southern California early October, 2011.  Congratulations to Sandy and Jim, and may you share many happy years together!

Sandy's Testimonial of her shopping experience at our store is: 

"Cathy...thank you for helping me find "The One!" "Your selection made it easy!"
'I found such warmth, knowledge and care in you! I felt you really wanted to help me create the magic on such a remarkable day. You were patient and had an eye for selecting gowns that suited my style and the ambiance in which I was getting married. Because of your careful selections, I didn't have to try on too many before finding the perfect gown! And you were right! The proof is in the pictures!"

Thank you Sandy for your Testimonial and selecting our store for the most special dress for your Wedding Day! 

"Bridal Couture" Blog is here!

blush wedding dresses, blonde bride, beaded bodiceWelcome to Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique and Bridals

Are you ready for the 2013-2014 Wedding Season?   We have started the new year off by "re-vamping" our website.  If you haven't  seen it, you need to get on it now, at www.collezionefortuna.com, and our mobile website is www.m.collezionefortuna.com.   You don't want to miss out what we have to talk about, including all the new wedding trends, our Brides that have been "Collezione Fortuna Fashion Boutique "Bridal Couture Brides", and a lot more.  This is going to be "short and sweet" so stay tuned..and don't forget to call us to schedule your appointment with us (831)626-1287 and become one of our newest Collezione Fortuna Fashions Boutique and Bridals "Bride."
(c)May 22, 2013 by Cathy Montante, All Rights Reserved