Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses

Your wedding is obviously THE perfect place to exhibit your individuality with the choice of your bridal gown. But what about your bridesmaids?

Unless you are BFF with identical quintuplets, you might struggle to find the one dress for your maids that suits them all. And that's where Dessy comes in. With over 100 colours, and more styles than you can shake a stick at, Dessy enables you to mix and match bridesmaid dresses so that you can find the exact style to suit each girl, and that can include the flower girl too, as you can see below. What a beautiful selection, all tied together by having the gowns in the same shade (turquoise) and material (lux chiffon).

mix and match bridesmaid dresses

You could decide to give some parameters when the girls are choosing their mix and match bridesmaid dresses, such as you'd like all the styles to incorporate lace; you can see from this next shot how fab that can look with these different styles all in Blush.

mix and match bridesmaid dresses

Or you could just ask that all of the dresses are the same length, like these Majestic satin gowns form Alfred Sung. I love the fact that the girls are all wearing the same coloured shoes but again, have each chosen the style that suits them.

Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses

These girls are all wearing Hunter Green and although the tops for each dress is different, the skirts are all similarly shirred so that there is still a cohesive affect.

mix and match bridesmaid dresses

But that certainly doesn't have to be the case: these mix and match bridesmaid dresses in Celadon are quite different in style and material but they look absolutely fabulous together.

mix and match bridesmaid dresses

There's no doubt about it, with Dessy, the world of bridesmaid dresses is your oyster!

The Best Places To Incorporate Fresh Blooms

The Best Places To Incorporate Fresh Blooms



Delicate, fragrant, and decorative, fresh flowers represent special characteristics that make them a guaranteed way to add beauty to any type of wedding. Of course there are the traditional places we expect to see blooms at weddings, but with a little extra preparation you can think beyond the bouquet.  Before you even settle on a color scheme and variety of flowers, you should consider your endless possibilities in terms of places to arrange those flowers. Top florists' proclaim these to be the favorites to incorporate a gorgeous arrangement in your ceremony or reception. With the right amount of inspiration, a trusty florist & good old bridal intuition, we’re confident you’ll end up making your guests feel as if they are enveloped in an enchanted garden.



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Bouquets

A bride's bouquet is probably the floral arrangement that stands out the most to you when you think of flowers in a wedding. With that being true, the bride needs to consider her bouquet as a statement as well as a part of her outfit. Pick a floral theme that compliments both the bride and bridesmaids' dresses.

TownCountryStudios

Boutonnieres

We love the idea of mini arrangements for the boutonnieres. Traditionally the boutonnieres are one large bloom, like a rose, but consider incorporating small herbs, buds, or succulents to the mix as well.

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A ceremonial backdrop

Flowers can be one of the most strategic ways to create a unique backdrop for gorgeous wedding photos. A floral backdrop, arch, or arbor can function in moments like the vow exchange, the first dance, or even the cake cutting. If having a florist design a lavish arch is not in your budget, then try your hand at a DIY version. Many plants like hydrangeas and vines can be easily foraged and attached to some sort of frame with floral wire.

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Lining the aisle

An aisle doesn't always have to be established by a traditional runner. If your ceremony is taking place outdoors, consider outlining your aisle with smaller renditions of your bouquet. The vases will let guests know the clear set lines of the aisle while tying in the rest of the blooms placed upon the wedding party.

heatherwaraska

Headpieces

Floral headpieces create a whimsical and ethereal flair to the bridal party. Remember that it's important to consult your florist and hairstylist to come together before the big day to test your vision.  You'll want the flowers in your hair to look effortlessly placed and not over the top.

heatherwaraska2

Centerpieces

Centerpiece arrangements for the wedding reception will most likely be the most expensive part of your floral plans. Centerpieces make a great statement to guests, just keep in mind that the bigger and more elaborate the design become, the more difficult it is for your guests to talk to communicate with each other around the table. Think about where else you are placing flowers in the reception as well when designing the centerpieces.

LumaWeddings

The cake

The cake is another great place to have two of your vendors work together. Let your baker and florist brainstorm what might be a beautiful solution for the cake to also become an arrangement. Think about adding in mostly edible flowers if possible so you won't have to remove them when cutting the cake.

mpphotographie

Pets' collars

We love those cameo appearances at weddings of that beloved member of your family...your pet! Including your dog or cat in the big day is becoming more of a common practice nowadays. If your furry friend is definitely making their way down the aisle then make sure they also have a fresh arrangement to glam out their collar.

NykCaliWeddingPhotographers

Chandeliers

Floral chandeliers are the perfect way to add drama and personality to any venue. If your space already has light fixture chandeliers think about how you could add fresh flowers into it. If your finding your space's ceiling to be a little bland, create opulence by creating chandeliers made entirely out of hanging flowers.

RhythmPhotography

Cocktails & beverages

Perched on the rim, or bubbling in the glass, flowers are very unexpected way to spice up a glass of champagne or signature cocktail. The pleasant surprise in the beverage will surely have guests smiling at the beauty in the little details.

mef photography

The place setting

While flowers are almost always somewhere on the reception table, they aren't always expected to be on the actual plate. Small sprigs and leaves work best when tying together a menu or a napkin to create a polished place setting.

If you love fresh flowers but also want to incorporate some alternative options, then shop our collection of fabric flowers!

Photos by  MP Photographie, Black & Hue Photography, Town Country Studios, Heather Waraska, Luma Weddings, Nyk Cali Wedding Photographers, Rhythm Photography, and MEF Photography. 

A round up of 2015 Celebrity Fashion

It was interesting looking through the papers this weekend and seeing the fashion pundits giving a round up of 2015 celebrity fashion. I agree entirely that this has been a fab year for gorgeous design and it is interesting to note how Dessy has many gowns and outfits that would allow you to wear the look at a fraction of the price.

Take for example Mollie King arriving on the red carpet wearing a reverse black trimmed with white full length gown not dissimilar to Dessy Collection 8163.

a round up of 2015

Then there was the 50 Shades of Grey star, Dakota Johnson choosing a backless, full-length gown from Prada in Blush. Shop that look with Social Bridesmaid 8164 (left) or Alfred Sung D719 (left)

a round up of 2015 celebrity fashionKendall Jenner, the 20-year-old model from the Kardashian family, now has more Instagram likes than anyone else in the universe partly because her dress sense is calm, understated yet glamorous and partly because she is such a babe; she loves high-necklines, figure-hugging gowns and jewel colours, so if I were going to copy her look, I'd choose something like this Dessy Collection 2937 in Jade:

a round up 2015 celebrity fashion

Who cannot love Jennifer Lawrence's fresh-faced look and youthful energy? She suits so well the cocktail length dress with a full skirt and fitted bodice, like this gorgeous Lela Rose 209 in ivory gazar, a super-stiff gauze-y material that just makes you feel so special:

a round up of 2015 celebrity fashion

And lastly the beautiful French actress Lea Seydoux who wowed us all in Spectre, who wore a primrose-yellow Prada dress to the Baftas and looked truly awesome. To shop her look I'd go for either Jenny Yoo JY504 in Buttercup (top) or Dessy Collection 6693 in Buttercup (bottom).

a round up of 2015 celebrity fashion

a round up of 2015 celebrity fashion

Who would you like to dress like?


 

 

 

Two Tone Bridesmaid Dresses

Think Audrey Hepburn in the Royal Ascot scene of My Fair Lady and you immediately see a white and black outfit that is the perfect blend of sophistication and beauty. When that iconic outfit was last sold in 2011, it set the new owner back $3.7 million dollars - thank goodness they threw in the hat too!

Fortunately you can purchase two tone bridesmaid dresses that are superbly glamorous for a mere fraction of the price from Dessy.com and I've collated a few of them here .

This first one is Social Bridesmaid 8162 , a full-length, strapless dress (although spaghetti straps are optional) with a pretty marquis lace bodice and a sweetheart neckline. The scallop-edge detail at the empire waist sets off the trumpet skirt wonderfully creating a stylish hourglass shape that is SO elegant. But the dress doesn't stop there! There is a fabulous cutout detail at the back making it bang on trend for 2016!

 

Two tone bridesmaid dresses

two tone bridesmaid dresses

 

Dessy Collection 2956 is a very striking two tone gown which you could have predominantly in white (left) or black (right). Or perhaps you'd have your bridesmaids in a combo of them both! The full-length, strapless lux chiffon dress has a sweetheart neckline and draped bodice and skirt, providing a very relaxed, easy style to wear.

two tone bridesmaid dresses

 

For a similarly bold but totally different look, check out the sateen twill Alfred Sung D724P with its slightly shirred black and white chevron skirt (below left). Again, this full length strapless dress has optional spaghetti straps included.

Two Tone bridesmaid dresses

I think that possibly my favourite of all has got to be the dress on the right above, Dessy Collection 8163. This full-length, nu-georgette dress has a graceful halter neckline with a framed trim at the bodice and inset waistband. And the back view? Just check this out!

two tone bridesmaid dresses

How beautiful is this bow detail at the neck closure and gorgeous pleated detail on the back skirt?


two tone bridesmaid dresses

Equally as fab has got to be the dress above on the left - Dessy collection 8164 - with its super cutout back framed in black trim:

two tone bridesmaid dresses

There's no doubt about it, these two tone bridesmaid dresses from Dessy are giving Cecil Beaton's original a run for his money! I wonder which one the divine Audrey would have chosen?

White Flower Girl Dresses

Flower girl dresses traditionally are designed to be a simplified version of the bride's dress. However, if the bride is wearing a fitted, more figure-hugging gown like the one below, it's far more appropriate to choose a dress for the flower girl that just has echoes of the bride's dress. So the bride here chose an outfit for her flower girl that utilised that fabulous tulle kick-skirt element of the bridal gown.

 

White flower girl dresses

 

Dessy has a wide selection of sweet white flower girl dresses that will give you plenty of scope to tie the little girl's dress in with your own. Like the uber-adorable FL4020 with its matt satin bodice, spaghetti straps and ballerina tulle skirt. The hand worked flower detail with Swarovski rhinestone center at the empire waist just finishes it off to perfection and you just know that your little flower girl will be as happy as a lark on your wedding day.

white flower girl dresses

Obviously with illusion necklines, lace and tulle being so in for 2016, it's only fitting that Dessy should offer those options for the little ones! I love these two: on the left is FL4051, a sleeveless flower girl dress with a jewel neckline and fleur embroidery lace bodice. Its sheer yoke and fleur embroidery applique is set off delightfully by its full tulle skirt.  On the right is the sweet FL4046 with its florentine lace bodice overlay, flutter-lace sleeves and modified circle skirt.

white flower girl dresses

So if you've got a little daughter, niece, young cousin or goddaughter the right age, let her feel like a princess on your wedding day with one of these gorgeous white flower girl dresses from Dessy - there are over 20 to choose from so you'll be able to find the perfect one.

white flower girl dresses

White and Black Lace Bridesmaid Dresses

It is always the perfect time to get married, no matter what time of year you choose, and there are always the right dresses out there for the bride and her bridesmaids. But I have to say that if you are tying the knot in 2016 you are in for a bonanza choice of new style gowns from Dessy to choose from! Take this selection of white and black lace bridesmaid dresses, for instance, all from the new Spring 16 collection.

white and black bridesmaid dresses

First up is the pretty Dessy Collection 6746 (above) in the appropriately named Starlight with black Fleur lace embroidery overlay. This dress is made of a sheer fabric called mousseline, which, like its culinary counterpart, is light and delicate.  The Starlight colour is almost luminescent rather than brilliant white which makes it beautifully easy on the eye. I love the 3/4 length sleeves (which is possibly the most flattering length) and the attractive deep V at the back. The modified circle skirt will give you plenty of swing and its hi-low hemline gives it a youthful, contemporary feel - an absolute winner all round.

These next two dresses both feature the most beautiful, intricate Regency lace with scalloped edging and again the lovely hi-low hemlines.

White and black bridesmaid dresses

Regency lace is denoted by its 'Vandyke points', the deeply indented, pointed edging named after Sir Anthony Van Dyck, a 17th-century Flemish painter (and popular portraitist for British royalty and the upper crust), who was known for painting elaborate V-shaped lace collars and scalloped edges on both his male and female sitters. (The pointed vandyke beard was also named after him.) It certainly does ooze class and sophistication, there's no doubt about it!

White and Black Bridesmaid dresses

Above on the left is After Six 6747 in Starlight and Black and on the right is After Six 6748, with the 6747 featuring an open back and optional spaghetti straps. Again, both skirts are modified circles with plenty of movement - perfect for hitting the dance floor later on.

And lastly, I couldn't resist the sweetest little Flower Girl Dress FL4050 with its jewel neckline and Regency lace detail at the waist - simply adorable!

White and Black lace bridesmaid dresses

 

Roll on 2016!

Winter wedding photographs

Winter Wedding Photographs


What fun to get married when the snow is deep and crisp and even - not something that you can rely on down in the South or West of the UK, but travel further North and into the hills and more likely than not you'll be able to have some gorgeous winter wedding photographs of your big day! The images here are all from the talented Anne Edgar Photography and it's almost enough to make you travel to Canada where Anne is based to have some of your own snow-flurried shots!

Winter Wedding Photographs

How sweet is this snap of the page boy? Bless! And as you probably know, I do love purple in the run up to Christmas so these bridesmaids and ushers just hit the spot in my eyes!

winter Wedding photogaphs

Part of the charm of winter wedding photographs is that the light is always so fabulous - and then throw in a little creativity and you really have some charming shots to remember your big day by...

Winter Wedding photographs

And clearly a winter wedding is the perfect opportunity to choose some funky footwear!

Winter Wedding Photographs

And one of the best things about snowy weather is that it hides a multitude of sins! A grey, cloudy backdrop might look a bit dismal if it were wet and windy, but suddenly with a bit of snow in the foreground, cloudy skies look beautiful!

Winter wedding photographs

And this one actually takes the biscuit - the perfect combo of snow, sea and furry boots - way to go!

Winter wedding photographs

I am indebted to Anne Edgar Photography for the amazing, wonderful winter wedding photographs and I hope that if you do get some snow at your wedding, your photographer is as talented as Anne at capturing the joy of it all.

Anne Edgar Kissing in the snow

 

keyhole dresses

 

keyhole dresses

I love the look of keyhole dresses - whether the opening is in the front of the dress or at the back. There is a rumour that they were created in the 1960s as a way of showing a tantalising bit of cleavage whilst still retaining one's modesty!keyhole dresses

These two examples by Alfred Sung, above left D449 in Sangria Dupioni and D441 in Apricot Peau de Soie, are too glamorous to be considered a tease. They are both actually halter necks with a very pretty pleated neckline which is particularly suitable for those with a slightly flatter chest. The wide waistband and pleated skirt again suit the thinner girl and create the illusion of a more shapely figure.

keyhole dressesThis delicate shade of yellow (left) is called Maize and here it shows the elegance of a keyhole back to a dress - all so important given how often the bridal party will have their backs to the congregation during the ceremony. Another Alfred Sung, this style D693 is made of a delightful chiffon knit which has a fabulous flow to it as you walk. The shirred midriff is good for girls who are perhaps a little pear-shaped.

Meanwhile, this heavenly Alfred Sung D690 is almost the essence of sophistication with its peplum frill, modified halter neck and slim skirt.

Keyhole Dresses

The short version, Alfred Sung D687 (below left), shown here in Azure, is perfect for a smart, daytime reception, rather than a more relaxed affair:

keyhole dresses

The Social Bridesmaid 8150 (below right in Cornflower) is an unusual design with a keyhole front and a pretty side bow detail at the left side of the neck. keyhole dresses

And last, but obviously not least, is the Social Bridesmaid 8149, shown at the very top in fabulous Sangria, and below in Majestic - what a stunning dress.
keyhole dresses

The Top 10 U.S. Towns for a Destination Wedding

The Top 10 U.S. Towns for a Destination Wedding

So you've decided you want your wedding to be an adventure away from home, but which destination will suite all your fantasies for the special day? It's amazing to know that you don't always have to take a 10 hour flight to escape to an island oasis or desert retreat. Your dream destination may just be a few states away! From charming ski towns to coastal coves, these are our top ten wedding destinations located right here in the good ol' US of A:

emilydelamater

10. Bar Harbor, Maine

There is something rugged and peaceful about the coastal stretches of natural beauty that are hidden in the east coast's most northern state. Venture to the charming town of Bar Harbor for the rustic-chic wedding of your dreams. The town is conveniently nestled right next to Acadia National Park for wildlife sightings and wilderness activities. Summer and early fall are the most popular time for ceremonies because of the cool breezy days and gorgeous waterfront views.

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9. Scottsdale, Arizona

Think red hues, sky-scraping cacti, and a prevalent Native American culture on a retreat to the southwest. Arizona's desert landscape is unique to say the least. Scottsdale is a western-style little town with a lively nightlife scene and a number of quaint boutique hotels. Plus, no one will be able to complain about the weather. The days are always mildly warm and the evenings presents the most brilliant sunsets.

kristimidgette

8. Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is comprised of miles and miles of long sandy shores and a number of family-oriented beach towns. Your wedding invitations should promise lighthouse tours, a good surf, and lots of sunshine. The most unique sighting of this tranquil destination will definitely be the wild horses. They still roam near the northern beaches which is the one of the only places left in the country where they can be seen regularly.

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7. Nashville, Tennessee

Even if you're not a country music fan, you'll be sure to fall in love with this entertainment capital. Allow your guest to enjoy all kinds of music and shopping experiences. Besides its sheer southern meets urban appeal, it is considered one of the most affordable and accessible wedding destinations in the country.

wscottchesterphotography

6. Newport, Rhode Island

Who knew that the country's smallest state could boast a town with all of your wedding necessities and more. Newport is a quaint town located just 30 minutes from Providence that features historic architecture and an enormous amount of culture. The New England Colonial style mansions scattered along the famous cliff walk create an elegant setting for ceremonies, receptions, or photos.

codyhunterphotography

5. Charlottesville, Virginia

Virginia is for Lovers, and that's exactly how you'll feel once you visit the college town meets art hub of Charlottesville. With the perfect amount of southern charm and romance, this town has a very wide range of venues to choose from. From Chapels, to wineries, to horse farms, its a rural location with a bustling downtown spot for a party to remember.

givingtreephotography

4. Sonoma, California

If you and your fiancé consider yourself food and wine connoisseurs, then Sonoma Valley will take the term foodie to the next level. Vast vineyards set atop rolling hills will be the perfect pairing to your chef-prepared gourmet cuisine. Remind your guests to bring a little extra cash, because they'll be sure to bring a few cases of wine home with them.

fildakonecphotography

3. Key West, Florida

The Keys promote a laid back island vibe with crystal clear water and white sandy beaches comparable to those of the Caribbean. The major perk of staying domestic is that it will likely be cheaper and easier to get to for your guests. From snorkeling, to fishing, or even just relaxing on the beach, everyone will feel as if they are honeymooning.

james christianson

2.Aspen, Colorado

Mixing mountain town charm with first class luxury places Aspen at the top of most couples' lists for scenic weddings. Each season presents a completely different atmosphere for your ceremony. Whether you envision a winter wonderland or autumn oasis there is so much to see and experience within the breathtaking Rockies.

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1. Kauai, Hawaii

America's 50th state is sometimes hard to imagine as part of our country. Kauai, nicknamed "the garden island" is the oldest and least commercially developed of the archipelago. The gorgeous terrain offers dramatic waterfalls, lush rainforests, and famous black sand beaches. Couples getting married in this sunshine mecca, don't like to miss out on incorporating a bit of Hawaiian culture into their ceremonies. Fresh orchids leis and traditional luaus are a must when making the trek to this tropical paradise.

Shop our twist dress! So versatile, it can transform to accommodate any destination of your choice.

Photos by Emily Delamater, Kristi Midgette, Rachel Moore, W. Scott Chester Photography, Cody Hunter Photography, Giving Tree Photography, Filda Konec Photography, James Christianson, and Holladay Weddings.

How to look the radiant bride

I wrote before about getting yourself in perfect shape for your wedding with a 20-minute a day workout but if you really want to know how to look the radiant bride on your wedding day, there's a lot more to it than just planking!

how to look the radiant bride


Here, ILU Ambassador, Julia Hubbard, reveals her holistic approach to help you look your absolute best on the day.

What does she mean by holistic? As Julia says, there are three components to successful holistic health - physical, nutritional and psychological.

How to look the radiant bride


Physical

If you have the time, money and inclination Julia advises you to seek help from a qualified, experienced Personal Trainer who can set out a sensible timetable which they will guide you through until the Big Day, offering support and motivation along the way.

Show your Trainer a picture of your dress so that they can tailor the programme to work on the parts of your body that will be in the spotlight, as it were!

If you haven't the time for a trainer, just start walking! It sounds a little underwhelming but 30 minutes of brisk walking (just fast enough so that you can still talk but can't sing!) is brilliant for your fitness AND for your mental health - just what you need when you've got the stresses of a wedding on your mind! Equally, swimming, team sports, dance classes - any activity that you enjoy, makes you smile and gets those endorphins going is going to help. Drag your partner or bridesmaids along and make it social as well as functional, aiming for 30-60 minutes three times a week.

Track your progress and set reasonable goals.

Nutritional

Start your day with lemon and hot water or green tea with lemon; it will help kickstart the detox process, is great for your skin and digestive system, and what's more, is delicious!

DON"T SKIP BREAKFAST - just make sure that you have wholegrain or wholemeal toast, eggs or porridge and avoid sugary cereals like the plague!

For lunch and dinner, just watch your portions - your plate should contain a third protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetarian protein), a third carbs (rice, sweet potato, pasta, quinoa, couscous, potato) and a third vegetables (raw or cooked).

CUT OUT PROCESSED FOODS - take your own lunch to work so you know exactly what you're eating. I find that cooking a little more the night before provides me with a fab, wonderfully balanced packed lunch ready to go the next day.

Feel free to snack, but make it delicious nuts, seeds and fruit rather than sweets, chocolate or crips.

STEER CLEAR OF 'DIET' OR 'FAT FREE' FOODS - often these are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners which don't help you at all. Far better to eat a smaller amount of full fat, natural foodstuffs that fill you up and provide you with the nutrients you need rather than loads of 'diet' produce that makes you feel (a) deprived and (b) hungry!

how to look the radiant bride


If your digestive system is playing you up, you won't absorb all the required nutrients and you might experience bloating and water retention. If this is the case, discuss  taking probiotics and digestive enzymes with your doctor to get your gut in working order.

Whatever you do, DON'T EMBARK ON A QUICK FIX DIET - your skin, hair and energy levels will suffer and you are likely to replace the lost weight plus more once the diet is over.

Psychological

As Julia reminded me, your mind is extremely powerful so it's critical not to neglect what's going on in your head. If you struggle with over-eating, it's important to address what is triggering your eating habits if it's not hunger.

Stress can be a major factor in weight gain as many women turn to comfort eating when their cortisol levels rise and, as Julia points out, few things are more stressful than organising a wedding. So take a look at what's getting you stressed and deal with the reasons. Have back-up plans in place to avoid last minute stress over things you can't control - like the weather!

Stress can affect other hormones too making it even more difficult to lose those pounds so find ways to relax - take time out to have a long soak in the bath; find time to sit in a comfy chair and read for half an hour or so; join a yoga, Thai Chi or meditation class. The key is to address any underlying issues that are causing you to overeat or get worked up.

When you do your exercise, whether it's a brisk walk, calming yoga or manic dance class, make sure that you're wearing clothing that is comfortable, feels good and lifts your spirits. Julia recommends ILU Fitwear as its seamless technology smoothes the lumps and bumps whilst the pops of colour provide you with the psychological energy and zest to get you going.

Here's Julia herself wearing some of the Active Range kit ready to face the world!

 How to look the radiant brideAnd Julia's last piece of advice? Make sure you arrange a last minute fitting so that your dress will look as perfect as you on the day.


If you want to know any more about how to get yourself looking the radiant bride, why not contact Julia directly via hubbard.fitness@gmail.com , Facebook: Julia Hubbard - Athlete, Figure Competitor, Coach or Twitter: @jules_athlete


With thanks to Pinterest for all of the fab images of Dessy Real Weddings and to Julia Hubbard for her brilliant advice and photos.