Friday, November 18, 2011

Introducing Ella by Essense of Australia!

While we're no longer carrying Impression, Davinci, Kitty Chen, and Moonlight, we've expanded deeper into some of our best-selling lines, so we've picked up both Ella by Essense of Australia and Sottero & Midgely by Maggie Sottero.  Ella's gowns are absolutely stunning- while affordable in price (ranging from $1000-$1400), they boast beautiful fabrics and exquisite design.  From their website:

Ella features affordable individuality for today’s unique bride. 

An enchanting collection accompanied with dramatic beading, lovely laces and beautiful fabrics, the Ella bride will walk down the aisle in elegance. With innovative designs catered for the destination bride in soft organzas, chiffons and charmeuses to the fairy tale princess wanting gorgeous satins and taffetas, the Ella collection will meet your design needs.

The designers at Ella are dedicated to producing the finest designs at a competitive price with careful attention to amazing quality, fit and finish.

Ella was gracious enough to send us some photos of their best selling styles to get your thoughts churning for what's to come from their 2012 collection.  While we won't have any of these gowns in stock, we've purchased from their Spring 2012 collection and are planning an Ella and Essense of Australia combined trunk show the weekend of January 13-15, 2012.  Here's just a taste!

Can't wait to show you all the 2012 images that will be on their way!  Don't forget to mark your calendars for that trunk show January 13-15.  We'll see you then!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kelly Archibald & Jeff Dudley's Elegantly Rustic Pungo Wedding

Kelly first came to Maya Couture in January in search of her perfect wedding gown.  She narrowed it down to the beautiful Casablanca gown that she wore down the aisle and ended up finding the perfect bridesmaids dresses as well.  Her bridesmaids wore long, eggplant chiffon Jim Hjelm dresses.  In lieu of tuxedos, her groom opted for our midnight blue suit with eggplant ties from Jim's Formal Wear, ordered right through our store.

From Kelly:

When I first got engaged, I was so excited about shopping for a wedding dress.  When I started going into shops, I realized that many of them were madhouses that were run by snotty consultants.  I began to get overwhelmed.  I decided to check out a little shop I had heard of called “Maya Couture.”  When I walked in, I was immediately relieved to see real people working behind the counters who were helpful and knowledgeable.  I fell in love with my dress consultant, Misty.  She immediately made me feel comfortable and really listened to me when I explained what I was looking for.  I could tell she was very good at her job, because she began picking out gorgeous dresses for me to try on.  She chose a few dresses that I would not have given a second glance, and they ended up looking amazing when I tried them on.  Misty had a great eye for detail and her taste was impeccable.  She was very compassionate to the friends and family I brought with me.  Everyone loved her and the store.  My mom, my bridesmaids, and I called Misty numerous times, always frantic about something.  She would offer suggestions and give great advice every time we called.  She is so dedicated that she took off work on my wedding day to help me get dressed and to arrange my veil.  I feel like I have gained a new friend in her.  It is obvious that everyone at Maya loves what they do.  The excitement in the store is contagious.  I recommend this store for your wedding dress experience not only for the amazing dresses, but also for your own peace of mind.

Kelly's vision was always a rustic one, particularly with her venue being the farm in Pungo that had been in her now husband's family for generations.  Working with Palette of Petals in Virginia Beach for the nitty gritty details of her wedding, she was able to bring elegance to her rustic reception.  Below, see photos from Leigh Skaggs Photography of the gorgeous details and the great ensemble that she and her bridal party wore.  If you'd like to see more of her photos, go to Leigh's blog at

Oh, and their dog made an appearance, too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Military Brides Say Yes to Free Dresses!


    Military Brides Say Yes to Free Dresses!

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Maya Couture is joining Brides Across America and giving away free designer wedding gowns to military brides-to-be!

Event Date: Wed. November 9th, 2011
Event Time:  9AM-7PM
Place:  Maya Couture  
12 Best Square
Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA—October 11, 2011, Brides Across America, a nationwide charity dedicated to providing free wedding gowns for military brides, announced today that Maya Couture, Virginia’s premier bridal salon, will be giving away free designer wedding gowns on November 9, 2011.  Bridal salons across the country are pleased to reward the military personnel who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya or Japan or whose fiancĂ©’s are on active duty in these areas with this special pre-Veteran’s Day event.

“Without organizations like Brides Across America, many military brides would not have the chance to have a wedding due to deployment, timing and economic constraints. Many soldiers come back injured and take severe pay cuts.  It makes it very difficult to make ends meet not to mention have a dream wedding”, said Heidi Janson, founder of Brides Across America.   This is our opportunity to give back and say “thank you!”

Brides Across America and its partners have given over 7000 wedding gowns nationwide since its inception and are striving to double that figure by the end of the year.  Participating bridal salons will be preparing a select number of gowns to be given away to qualifying brides on a first come first serve basis. Gowns are valued between $500 to $3,000 and range from size 4 to 22.

“In recognition of those who serve our country in these challenging times, 2011, our fourth year participating in the bridal gown giveaway, will be our biggest yet”, said Maya Warburton, owner of Maya Couture.  “We have a responsibility to find as many ways as we can to support our troops and show appreciation for the service and sacrifices our military families make.” 

Maya Couture will be donating a portion of the accessories sales generated during the Brides Across America event to support the Navy Seal Foundation.

To qualify, brides must be engaged, be on active duty in the military, or have a fiancĂ© on active duty, and deployed to either Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya or Japan within the last five years.  All military brides must show ID, copy of deployment papers, orders or other qualifying proof. Brides do not have to reside in the area where the giveaway is taking place. The gowns are pre-selected, and each event has limited amounts of gowns, and size ranges. The event is on a first come first serve basis.

About Brides Across America

Brides Across America, a Massachusetts based charitable organization focuses on providing free wedding gowns to those military brides that have not been able to have their dream wedding.  Brides Across America is connecting with bridal salons across the nation to help spread the military spirit.  Since 2007, Brides Across America and its partners have given away more than 7000 wedding gowns nationwide. 

For military brides who are ready to take part in this bridal opportunity of a lifetime on November 9th visit Maya Couture, 12 Best Square, Norfolk, Virginia, 757-461-1690.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Let's Not Forget About Our Other Half!

At Maya Couture, we often find that tuxedos are the part of the equation that is left until the very last minute.  While brides have their gowns, their maids have their dresses,  and their flower girls have tulle coming out of their ears, the men's attire is left by the wayside.  This is usually for one of two reasons:

1. "I told him he's in charge of tuxedos."  Great!  We love when men come in the store and they take charge of what they're going to wear on the most important day of their lives.  95% of the time, grooms are wonderful at picking out exactly what they want and trying to get their guys measured and paid in a timely manner.  The downside is that oftentimes their groomsmen haven't been married and don't understand the urgency of getting measurements and payment out of the way in order to guarantee your tuxedo order.

2.  Lack of knowledge.  Whether it's not knowing the time needed to order and get a tuxedo in, the value of the product that you're renting, or what vest and tie will match, lack of knowledge can cause brides and grooms to shy away from picking out the men's attire for the wedding.  Thus, the tuxedo blog is born.

There are a few key points to remember in choosing and ordering your tuxedos:

1.  Please be aware that tuxedo/suit exchanges are often necessary.  Because these are tuxedo rentals, they are not a custom fit.  Tuxedos and suits have to go through a tailoring process just like bridal gowns and maids dresses, and we have a very small window to do all the alterations and exchanges within.  You and your party should be prepared to come in more than once if adjustments and exchanges are necessary, and be patient with the process.  This is to ensure you are properly fitted and look perfect for your special day.

2.  Please understand that we are very limited in what alterations we can make to rental items.  We can only let out or taken in jackets and pants if time permits.  If time does not permit us to make alterations, we will order you a new item which will arrive the next day unless we call in the exchanges after 5:00pm - then there could be a 48-hour turnaround.

3.  If anyone in your party lives out of state and is arriving the day before or the day of your event, it will be difficult to ensure that they are properly fitted.  To make sure we have plenty of time for exchanges and to make it more convenient for your out-of-state groomsmen, we can ship their rental to them directly the week of the wedding at their request.  Any exchanges can come to the store and be picked up by another member of the party or shipped to your wedding location.  There is not an additional fee for this service.

4.  In an ideal world, your groom, groomsmen, ushers, dads, ring-bearers and all the wonderful men in your life will have been measured and paid at least two months prior to the wedding so that we can ensure the accuracy of your full order.

Jim's Formal Wear, our tuxedo provider, offers a great service in their "Build a Tux" program on their website at  Check it out with your fiancee, then make an appointment to come see one of our consultants to start the tuxedo process today!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Strapless Alternatives

Ever since the epic wedding of Princess Kate & Prince William, brides have been inquiring as to the trend changes that we've been seeing in wedding gowns.  While a strapless gown looks great on any bride, we're seeing more and more styles come out that have straps, whether it be a one-shoulder strap, beaded spaghetti straps, sleeves, jackets, or cap sleeves.

Essense of Australia just sent the store some beautiful gowns that I'm going to use as examples.  The first is one of my personal favorites, Essense of Australia D1210:

 The bodice of the dress is beautifully beaded with small floral appliques throughout.  What I love about the gown is the sheer straps- they're beautiful and delicate, but still substantial.  The gown can also be altered to be strapless if requested.  This dress is perfect for a girl who isn't very busty due to the shallow bust-linen and deeper v-neck, and the cummerbund waistline is perfect to show off the smallest part of your silhouette.  Additionally, keeping things modern, the gown has pockets!

The next gown is Essense of Australia D1245:

The beauty of this gown is that it's the perfect fitted gown for a girl of any size- whether you are a 2 or a 20, the way the gown is rouched will be gorgeous on your figure.  The sleeves are just an added bonus- because the detail work goes below the bust-line and wraps around the shoulder, it highlights the bust, again, great for girls who aren't very busty, or for girls who are busty and want a gown that has straps without a deep "V" to over-accentuate their cleavage.

Maggie Sottero's "Bernadette" offers a beautiful alternative with lace cap sleeves, a higher neckline, and a gorgeous cut-out in the back:

Bernadette is made with gorgeous beaded lace, with beaded embellishment under the bust.  This gown is great for shorter girls- the lines of the sleeves and the placement of the embellishment will elongate your body.

A lot of brides lately are looking for a more "fun" look.  Pronovias' "Alison" is a great way to mix classic and fun with it's flirty one-shoulder ruffle:

 Alison has beautiful clean lines, and is even more beautiful with an accenting beaded sash of your choosing.  We also have two other gowns in the store that mimic this ruffled one-shoulder look.  If you don't like the ruffled look, flowers are also very "in" right now, and Val Stefani has created this beautiful gown (D79793) for an alternative:

Made out of a beautiful silk, this gown boasts a removable floral strap that complements the floral accents at the skirt.

There are a ton of brides lately that are looking for a short gown, and Moonlight has the perfect one with straps- with a lace bodice and a bow at the waist, the gown is full with pockets.  The most crucial part is finding the right pair of shoes!

There are much more where those came from... we've made an effort to stock the store with beautiful alternatives for those brides that don't want a strapless gown, and new gowns from our Fall 2011 collections are coming in daily.  I'm excited to continue to share them with you via the blog and Facebook- be on the lookout!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jennifer Wood-Adams: A Beautiful Beach Wedding on a Budget!

Date: March 26, 2011 at 5pm
Location: Marshes Lighthouse, Manteo, NC
Reception: Adrianna’s Restaurant, Manteo, NC
Photographer: Matt DeJesus Photography
Planner: that would be me
Florist: The Embellishers, Outer Banks, NC

My theme was elegant Moroccan with the colors of eggplant and amber. 

Nick and I met on January 2, 2010 on a day trip to NYC. I was living in Rye, NH and he in Chesapeake, VA. He had a friend in Boston that he was visiting over the holidays. I had a photographer friend that organized the day trip and he had friends from NH and MA that were coming. Nick’s friend happened to be in the group and invited him to come. We met on the bus trip from Boston to NYC, hit it off the entire day and the rest is history.  There are many more details on our wedding website: 

Planning tips:
1.       Try to purchase used decorations. Websites like the and are fantastic! I found them very useful and have sold almost all of my decorations through them!
2.       Think outside the box.  Try to design centerpieces that will put money back in your pocket after the wedding is over OR create them as gifts for your guests. 
3.       DIY. Design your own tags, reserved seating signs, place cards, etc. It will save you so much money. It’s also a great excuse to have friends and family over to socialize and help with the process.
4.       Communicate with your vendors and make sure they truly understand what you are looking for and are willing to work with you and your budget.
5.       Don’t feel cornered by all the “wedding etiquette” rules. Be brave and be non-traditional. 

I chose Maya Couture because of the variety of dress selections. My sales assistant, Misty, took the time to really help me find my style. I could not have been happier with my dress. 

Jennifer wore Maggie Sottero's "Annalise" and Nick wore the Alfresco suit by Jim's Formalwear.  Jennifer is a local photographer with "Shine with Jennifer Leigh" at  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"My Maya Couture Experience" Advice From a Bride: Kim Parham Grubb

Every woman dreams of her wedding day and finding that perfect dress.  It is one of the most important aspects for the bride when planning her wedding. I too envisioned finding the perfect wedding dress for the perfect wedding day.  To complete this important objective, I visited the premier bridal studio in Hampton Roads, Maya Couture, to find the dress I had always dreamed about.  When entering the beautiful showroom, I was overwhelmed by the countless and amazing bridal gowns to choose from.  The consultant really took the time to find out exactly what type of gown I was looking for down to even the smallest detail.  After trying on a variety of gowns, I found the wedding gown that was made for me.  The gown was an ivory and satin, A-line dress dazzled with crystal accents on the straps, a creation by designer Jim Hjelm.  The theme of the wedding was simple elegance and this dress encompassed that vision. Maya Couture features other services for all your wedding planning needs. In addition to finding my wedding gown, I was also able to get all of my bridesmaids dresses, save the date cards, programs, reception menus and invitations.  It is one stop shopping at its best! Maya Couture’s commitment to making each bride, like myself, feel special made my wedding planning experience memorable and truly enjoyable! I would like to give a special thanks to the staff at Maya Couture and Maya for helping in making my wedding day so special.

As the store owner, there is nothing more rewarding then hearing stories like Kim's.  At the end of the day, what we want for our brides is for their visions to become a reality, and for our "One Stop Shop" to help them achieve that seamlessly.  Kim was nothing short of gorgeous on her wedding day, and it's testimonials like these that make our job as rewarding as it is!

Have a story for Maya and the girls at Maya Couture?  E-mail us at with photos and testimonials!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Beauty of a Quirky Winter Wedding & The Ideal Bridal Consultants!

Even though we live in Hampton Roads, where in January it can be 10 degrees or 75 degrees, brides planning winter weddings still grace Maya Couture to find their dream dress.  Megan Taylor was one of those brides.  She came in the store and worked with Hannah and Misty to search for her perfect New Years Day wedding dress last August.  Because of time constraints and being an out-of-town bride, she bought a beautiful sample gown that we'd just gotten in.  She was all about the atmosphere of the event, and with snow on the ground and her girls in red, the scenery was gorgeous for their wedding day.  See her photos below, with a review that she wrote later:

I just wanted to send out a special Thank You to you and your staff...especially Hannah and Misty.  I was in the shop last August, and ended up purchasing a sample dress on a whim.  It was the PERFECT dress for my slightly unconventional wedding.  Our wedding was held in Vermont on New Year\s Day (1.1.11).  We were married by our good friend who was ordained online, we had a flowerboy, groomsmaids, and the actually ceremony was in pub.

Again, please thank Misty and Hannah for their help.  And let Misty know that we ended up with a Dave Matthews song.


One of the great things about being a bridal consultant is being able to help with all aspects of a bride's wedding.  We can help you visualize the full outfit, and each consultant has "specialties" in different areas.  Misty and Tyler are our more alternative consultants with tattoos and indie music tastes.  Felicia and Patsy give great perspectives as former mothers of brides and grooms while still being in touch with what's current today.  Melinda is from Australia, and is getting married this weekend, so knows what it's like to be in that very moment!  Sarah is our resident fashionista, who also works at a modeling agency on the side.  Laura and Anzen see things from a design perspective- Anzen is our in-house designer with a degree from VCU, and Laura is new on board with a fashion degree from Virginia Tech.  Courtney is the ultimate "girl next door".  No matter what, you're guaranteed to find the perfect consultant to help you plan your dream wedding- whether it be a quirky Vermont winter wedding at a pub or a traditional wedding in a cathedral!  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Maya Couture Selected as a Top 50 Best Wedding Salon Nationwide

Maya Couture was honored to learn we were voted as one of the "50 Best Independent Wedding Salons" in the April 2011 Issue of BRIDES Magazine. We were chosen by real brides and industry experts across the country based on product selection, service, price, ambiance, and more!! BRIDES Magazine is the number one bridal magazine in the world, so this is quite a feather in our cap!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big Trunk Show Weekend - Gifts and Goodies for You and Your Bridal Party

I had to Blog about the weekend of events we're having beginning tomorrow (April 14th) because we have something for everyone!!  For brides who are still searching for the perfect gown you need to come see the new Pronovias bridal collection.  I think it goes without saying that Pronovias offers some of the most stunning and unique bridal gowns you will ever see.  Incredible fit, great fabrics, and intricate details make this line our best selling collection.  Our brides just can't get enough of these gorgeous gowns.  Here are two I love.

If it's bridesmaid dresses you're seeking, look no further.  We picked up the Belsoie and B2 lines last season and they are quickly becoming our #1 requested line for the bridal party.  With the flexibility to change fabrics, and lengths (knee, tea, and floor lengths), plus loads of colors to choose from, it's impossible not to find the perfect dress for your bridal party that's affordable and stylish.

We can't forget about accessories.  Searching for the perfect statement piece to wear with your gown, or a whimsical piece to accessorize your bridal party?  And, speaking of the bridal party, what are you going to get them for attendant gifts?  I have the solution for all of the above, and it's a HUGE bridal trend right now - bold, chunky,colorful bobbles for everyone.  Stella & Dot has the perfect jewels for every bride and her maids.  You can come in and try on these goodies all weekend long or view the selections and purchase online.  Want a unique way to kick-off a bridal shower or bachelorette party?  Host an in-house trunk show with our jewelry guru and stylist Tammy Medalis.

Here are some of the hottest items in the new collection - available for preview and purchase at Maya Couture through Sunday April 17th.

To pull all the pieces of your wedding looks together this is the time to visit Maya Couture.  Enjoy goodies, prizes, and perks all weekend long!!  Call 757-461-1690 to book your appointment today!