How can I get a retro look for my wedding?

By Jim Frank

There are many components to the look of your wedding and reception, from the attire to the décor, music and food that you can style to achieve that look of a bygone era. Weddings are a time for sentimentality and family, often honoring ancestors and cherishing the past. So, if you are one of those people, you should consider using retro components for your wedding.

First, let’s talk about attire.  Some brides will wear their mother’s or their grandmother’s white wedding dress, or their great-grandmother’s ivory wedding dress, the center of attention walking down the aisle and setting the vintage tone for the day.  For the bridesmaids and the flower girls, certain colors and color schemes evoke certain times in our history.  Pink and black and aqua blue and black were very popular in the 1950s.  Neutrals and champagne tones were all the rage during the Gatsby era, the 1920s.

We at Pegeen are cognizant of the desire of brides to have significant color choices, regardless of the reason.  We offer over 200 colors of silk for flower girl dresses, ringbearer suits and junior bridesmaid dresses, allowing brides to create the color palette they envision.

Our website contains thousands of images of dresses and suits in every color combination imaginable to help give brides and moms ideas on what is possible.  It is always easier to put together a plan if you have a blueprint readily available. We have 22 pages of Galleries and Testimonials featuring photos of real weddings with our outfits and over 5000 images of dresses and ringbearer suits that we have made in various color combinations.

We have traditional styling that lends itself to a classic or vintage look, a look that never goes out of style and the colors to achieve it.

Flower girl dresses can be used for Clara and Nutcracker Costumes

It has long been a tradition for us to turn our sewing factory over to making ballet costumes at the end of the year in time for The Nutcracker Production.  Many of our flower girl dresses have been adapted (even wider widths than our normal, full skirts) by making the dresses in shorter lengths and a puffier sleeve.  Quite a few ballet companies also ask us to make an adjustable back so that our Nutcracker Costumes can go from year to year with various children by adjusting an extra 2″ per chest.  And the colors!  Remember, we make our Nutcracker Dresses in 200+ luxurious colors of pure silk.  Why?  Because silk looks so beautiful from the stage and was a typical fabric to the period that The Nutcracker Ballet takes place.  We also show some of the boys costumes we have made which, although the shirt is atypical for ring bearer suits, they have been adapted for the boys costumes in The Nutcracker.  Lastly, we have even made Nutcracker Costumes for ice skating when they put on Nutcracker On Ice!

Here are some photos from this past season.  Enjoy!

Above, Ring Bearer Style 599 used for the boy’s Nutcracker Costumes and on the right, Ring Bearer Style 597 and below, the next two photographs.

And although the soldier costumes are not ours, we also make Nutcracker Soldier costumes.

The sweet flower girl dress style 409 above was also used as a Nutcracker Costume

Above, the ice skating dancers used Nutcracker Costume Style 701 for their Nutcracker dresses.  All together there were over 30 ice skaters!  Style 700 is really an adaptation of flower girl dress style 345 adapted with larger, puffle sleeves and an adjustable back.  It is priced accordingly because they are made so wide.

Above is a dress for Clara, a beautiful dress in cotton eyelet, lined in silk and accented with a silk sash. Clara’s Nutcracker Dress style 776.

Also appearing in the background are boys styles used for the Nutcracker Costume, Style 576 and the girls are wearing Nutcracker Dress Costume Style 701 (background)

Above and below, the red silk dress has matching pantaloons and the red silk dress is made for Clara’s Nutcracker Costume Style 745 and we added a more elaborate lace to the sleeve to help her stand out.  The periwinkle Nutcracker dress (below) and the blue Nutcracker Costume are also Style 745 above

Hey Congress If You Are Looking at Google Anti Trust Do Not Ignore This

How Google is getting away with making the consumer think they are getting the best result for their search. Instead the consumer is getting the highest paying websites results and this is OUTSIDE of the paid sponsors.

 What I learned about organic searches (SERPS) in Google for my flower girl dress company, Pegeen.com was appalling. I conducted a study that shows how consumers are being lied to and directed to companies that have large Google advertising budgets and do not appear as sponsored ads. <Insert groans from SEO experts here>

I have been fighting an SEO war for years and please, before you criticize me for my lack of knowledge know that I am not professing to be anything more than a novice in SEO,  frustrated because my once #1 ranking on Google for flower girl dresses for many, many years has plummeted to somewhere around pages 7 to 11 and we all know what that means – near death of a company.  I am not an seo company, or even a web developer.  I am just an ordinary entrepreneur with an eCommerce site, with over 60k photos of my company’s main product, pages devoted to flower girl dresses, posting for years (age of the site approximately 25 years old).  I am a US manufacturer and making flower girl dresses is pretty much all we do.

These are strictly my observations based on having a website since 1996 (which was supposed to be an important factor for ranking in SEO).  I have talked to many an SEO companies and they tell me, although they do not want to be mentioned because Google WILL penalize them, that what I have long suspected but never knew how to find the absolute truth until last week.

Let me explain.  Until about a week ago, I really thought that some of the ever changing factors for ranking well were legitimate. Content, speed, back links, age of site, optimization and so forth; I truly believed what was written we should pay attention to, albeit the ever changing factors.  Because I have long felt that a powerful company such as Google can toy with your livelihood, so I continued to research every time an article or someone in the SEO blogs pointed me in the right direction of completing my quest:  What is wrong with my site, Pegeen.com, because it is the largest US manufacture of flower girl dresses, the largest site devoted to flower girl dresses, the first site registered about flower girl dresses, heck – when I first had my site, way back then in early 1996, we had to explain to the bank that we needed a way online to charge customers.

A year later, we found GoEMerchant.com to help us process our sales and although I moved on from them since, I still am grateful to them for getting me started taking credit card sales online, becoming the first to do so for flower girl dresses in a newly title industry called “eCommerce”.  Mind you, eCommerce was very new and we started our site a full year before David’s Bridal, two years before companies like PayPal started, 10 years before Etsy and although our goals were different it still shows that Pegeen’s age should account for SOMETHING.

In it’s infancy, again several years after we were on the scene, Google was pretty fair and true to it’s mission of producing good “organic search results”.  But then, complaints I made to my then-web-developer must have drove him crazy enough to believe my quest because he even wrote to SEO-BOOK. He wanted the answers too!  That drop was from #1 on google for flower girl dresses since inception to dropping to #6 in 2008.  (link).  I wrote everyone, including Matt Cutts of Google, like the novice I was, to say “huh”?  In that period Google considered age, and depth of website and everything else that was “law” as stated by the great “Google God of Search Results”, Matt Cutts.  But still no answers.

An article I read in 2018 by Charles Duhigg in the NY Times called “The Case Against Google” put more fuel on my fire and in the article he writes about Foundem which made my eyes pop out of my head. Duhigg writes: “Shortly after Foundem.com went online, one executive <at Google> issued an order: Henceforth, Google’s own price-comparison results should appear at the top of many search pages, as quickly as possible, even if that meant disregarding the natural results of the company’s search algorithm.”  Was this the beginning of spilling the truth to what I long suspected – that Google Search was an illegal scheme of Pay for Play which I THOUGHT almost put out the record business years ago (think for us newbees, “Dream Girls”).  Now this fight really was because of work that Foundem did with vertical search results but the smashing by Goliath was only just beginning to be written about.

Fast forward to 2019, still “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” I did a lot more investigation.  First, I was pointed in the direction of checking speed etc on a new site I didn’t know about previously (remember, this is NOT what I do for a living) called GT METRIX.

I was pretty happy at first with what I saw – I got fairly decent rankings:  B rating for page speed (84%) and a C (77%) for YSLow.  I also did a check on our mobile performance.  And while I know there are some mobile things we have to improve quickly, I wanted to see what the competition on page 1 for flower girl dresses were fairing, thinking I would find them to be near 100%.  I was astonished at the results.  NOT A SINGLE ONE HAD GOTTEN ANYWHERE CLOSE TO OUR SITE SPEED.  The number one (David s Bridal) was a mere 38%!   (Insert Eye-Opening sound effects here).  I dug down some 5-6 pages – same thing.  My speed in most cases were faster, a lot faster.

Further, I found that ALL of these so called SERPS ahead of my site (we do not advertise) ALL performed with failing or near failing grades for speed optimization – which is supposed to be THE highest factor for ranking high in google. I am not saying I don’t have work to do improving my website – but Bing (and others) show me dramatically higher for the keyword phrase ‘flower girl dresses’.  And if things weren’t bad enough as it is, we spend a ton on money with a new launch two summers ago that I still have to revamp though monetizing the website would make it easier so yes, to all the critics out there I get what you may be about to say but that doesn’t take anything away from (for instance) the two pages of POORLY performing websites and how much between them they are spending on pay-per-click that helps improve their ranking.

So, last week, remember what I said previously, last week was a dozer for me.  Another company that we decided to work with (unmentioned to protect them) gave me SPYFU.com – and I laugh about the name because that F/U represented what I think Google thinks of small businesses and consumers using Google to find organically what we want.   (Language I know, sorry.) This is exactly what I felt when I started to do research on my competition from there.  Although the money they are paying for clicks are estimates, I have found that all that I knew to be true concerning organic search results are now to be false. My competitions are spending tens of thousands, some even HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars in pay per click PER MONTH …. Yep, I said it, true SERPS are false, phoney, fake, slanted to Pay For Pay.  And although they are not specifically targeting “flower girl dresses” for their sponsored ad, there are even some spending an estimated $600k a MONTH on click ads.  What I HAD thought was, again expressed by Charles Duhigg, that Google was “effectively an advertising system that prominently features links only from companies that pay for the promotion” but they would clearly marked as sponsored results.  Might I add that this should be better phrased as Google slants their pay per click revenue across all of their advertising platforms as an Organic Search Result outside of the sponsored links.
So, I pose this to congress and a few of the contacts I have in Washington DC (yes lobbyists) and a few other bloggers – even though I get how paying for clicks does raise your rank, isn’t this unfair, as in Pay Per Click?  I implore you too to read an interesting blog post by Rand Fishkin, June 4th, 2019, on Rand’s Blog “Sparktoro“.  I am sure he is just one of a few not afraid to speak out.  His post, entitled “AS THE ANTITRUST CASE AGAINST GOOGLE KICKS OFF, HERE’S WHERE THE DOJ SHOULD START” argues some powerful points in the place for the DOJ to start.  It comes from a writer I very much admire. I still add my problem with the pay-for-play argument as well.

On Monday, June 3rd, The House Judiciary Committee wrote: “The committee said it is concerned that a handful of companies wield “extraordinary power over commerce, communication, and information online,” and have claimed an unfair competitive advantage in the market.”

Again, Congress, lawyers working on the Google Anti-Trust case, et al who is out there screaming about it,  I humbly ask that you give this thought.  If SERPS are supposed to be clear results of a search without regard to advertising spent at Google, then is my research misguided?

Are we, small businesses, getting further sent to desert wasteland of search results by Google, and most importantly, has Congress in their hearings last quarter asked the wrong questions of CEO Pichai of Google?  Well we know some of their questions were pretty dumb.

“Is the American public being cheated out of genuine search engine results in favor of Pay For Play by Google?”

Well, this article will probably cause my company to drop even further but I refuse to go quietly into that good night.  If you would like to see all those pretty graphics to support my claim please contact me though our contact page.

Marg Hyland, Founder/CEO

Pegeen.com

Walking Down the Aisle Since 1982

 

 

See this beautiful Lebanese Inspired Juniors Gown

As a designer, I have few things that excite me – beautiful fabrics are one of them, especially beaded and embroidered laces. I have long wished I would have the place to go and the money to buy one of those magnificent creations made by Elie Saab, just to name one of my favorite designers.  Inspired by some of the greatest Lebanese designers and fabrics, we were asked to do a similar gown for a mom who will be having a special First Communion party for her daughter.  (We did that gown too but won’t show it until the event!)  Imagine too what this material would look like in a flower girl dress or a Bat Mitzvah dress.  What a pleasure to work with our customer!

This was really one of the most challenging things I did because we had to fit our mom from afar and we did a really great job 0 in fact we were only off on the hips and bust during the first fitting because the person who did her measurements up north di the first set wrong.  But, after the muslin set came back to us we were able to make the pattern and then finally, the dress.  We are going to be SO excited to see our mom in her beautiful lace and embroidered gown.

#embroidery #pegeen #handmade #sewing #inspiration #designerdress #handmadeembroidery #juniorsgown #eveninggown #swarovskicrystals #embroideredlace

Pretty First Communion Dress for a Plus Size Girl – treated with Dignity

When we receive a call from a frantic mom still searching for a dress late in the season for a plus size First Communion dress for her daughter, we are still here to help, even late in the season.

Such a mom called us maybe 3 weeks ago, and we made one of the loveliest dresses and we were happy to receive her review today.  But something more rewarding for us than praise was in creating something for this lovely little girl.  Apart from the privilege to help design a dress, this the little girl was so worried they wouldn’t be able to find a dress for her to be receiving one of the holiest of sacraments for Roman Catholics.  You see, this little girl, with a 35” chest and was the lucky recipient of a transplant.  This meant she was also on steroids making her face and body swell. In any event, she chose Style 970 from the Heavenly White Communion Dresses, with silk, Swarovski crystals, appliqued flowers, tulle and organza.

When she felt better and the doctors gave her the ok to go out in public to shop for her Communion dress, her mom Audrey had dreamed of a special shopping day with her daughter and a trip afterwards to the American Doll store.  Her mom took her to that big box store of a bridal store chain and no sooner then they stepped in the store, the clerk spoke to the mom and said “Oh, we can’t serve her kind here”.  IN FRONT OF THE LITTLE GIRL!!!  Can you imagine a little 8 year old hearing a sentence like that out of some random sales clerk?  When we told the customer that we, like her, were disgusted by that remark, the mom went on to tell us that while looking for a flower girl dress for her plus size daughter a month earlier, when she first went on steroids. she got a similar remark from a local bridal shop.

Then today, as we sat down to write this blog post, a new mom looking for a First Communion and an Easter dress, also for her daughter on anti-rejection medication complained that she went the the same chain where the sales clerk tapped her on her shoulder to say they wouldn’t be able to help.  Could you imagine?  Her life is one day at a time enough as it is with her daughter’s illness that she needs to be trampled on by some insensitive sales clerk. The new customer (from today) and I discussed this to some depth. She ended with my favorite line about karma.  All I could think of after our phone conversation was how easy it would be for store clerks to be like the Macy’s Santa in “Miracle on 34th Street” – you remember – he recommends to go to Gimbel’s down the block.

Woah! Shame on you these bridal stores for their insensitive remarks. And you wonder why stores like this go out of business!!  Lack of compassion yes, but what about arming your sales clerks with some couth and maybe the name of a few vendors who specialize in plus size clothing for children!

Well, fast forward 6 days and our customer, now with her new First Communion dress in hand wrote us today “Tears of joy ran down my daughter’s face.  Thank you for a darling dress, your help throughout the process and one of the most magnificent pieces of workmanship I have seen in my lifetime. To hell with that (big box) bridal store chain.  They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Pegeen.com has a special way of treating all special fit and plus size girls for communion, flower girl and Bat Mitzvah dresses.  Call us or chat, 7 days a week, from 8am to 11pm EST at 407-928-2377 Shipping Worldwide Since 1982.

 

 

Simple rules the mother of a flower girl needs to follow

When I was growing up, my father gave me a book on Emily Post Etiquette. I didn’t read it then, some 30 years ago and I still won’t even look at it. I was, or at least I thought I was, a non-conformist. When I married, I had my niece as my flower girl and my cousin, who was five at the time, as the ring bearer. Stephanie, the cousin in question, still chides me today about the job choice, but she had the most beautiful ringlets down her back I ever saw. Maybe it was Shirley Temple envy but I wanted to use her for this special position in my wedding, that and the fact that she was the daughter of my all-time favorite Aunt. So, being a designer of Pegeen and able to create whatever formal clothing, flower girl dresses and ring bearer suits,  I wanted for the children in my wedding, I created (as if I were just a bride shopping) what I loved most. I loved antique laces and the color blue and created my first Bridal Wear before Pegeen was as well known for their children’s bridal wear as they are now. My niece wore a beautiful silk plaid dress with insets of lace, but my cousin Stephanie wore velvet knickers and jacket with a fancy lace jabot. Very Victorian.

Blue and creme theme flower girl dresses and ring bearer suits

Today’s reality means that many flower girls are the step-child or children of the bride or groom. What they wear or their function in the wedding ceremony is really immaterial. These are children of the people you love and Emily Post’s rules are long forgotten. We have designed flower girl dresses for 13 year olds and Jr. Bridesmaids dresses for 9 year old. What I always suggest as a designer is that you do for your wedding what you are most happy with as choices for YOU and your INTENDED and no one else.

That said here are some common sense rules of etiquette, or rather rules of guidance for bride and/or the moms of the children in the wedding:

RULE #1 You are the bride, you make the rules. If the children asked in your wedding are not your own, the parents must follow Rule #1. This means that if you say wear RED they have to quit complaining about how bad the color looks with their kid’s hair and do as you wish. They are obliged to do what the bride wants regarding color and style. See silk fabric choices.

RULE #2 This is not the child’s coronation, it’s the brides wedding. Give her the same respect to be the boss as you had or wish you had, at your own wedding. If you are the mom, and the bride has no opinion, find out what color is going to be in the wedding theme. Perhaps flowers can give some color guidance, but whatever is done, do not have the child compete with the bride.

RULE #3 Forget about the correct age of a flower girl….or the sex of the ring bearer, whatever feels right for you (and yes, sometimes the children have a strong opinion) this is really a time when the children you love are participants. It’s not like you are asking them to drive the limo for you, you are asking the children to accompany you down the aisle. So, if a 6th grader has her heart set on being a flower girl, then so be it. It’s just a name.

RULE #4 You can negotiate the budget with the bride, but if it’s more than you can afford INCLUDING out of town costs, etc., step out gracefully.  You have to discuss this from the start. Remember, there are some moms like myself who are worried about the lessons at the gym, the cost of private school and the multiple tasks of a home budget so this should be something you need to discuss with your bride.

RULE #5 Be flexible. It’s a good idea as the bride to involve older step children what they would like to wear too.  Make it a fun date in the bridal salon or with us, you can have her design her own with our virtual tool – the Pegeen Dress Dreamer.

RULE #6 Spend whatever you want as the bride but be realistic. (Assuming these are your children/step children then) we encourage you to get exactly what you want but please refer to rule 4.

RULE #7 Coordinate the look for a cohesive look.  Style choice does depend on what you & your maids are wearing – for instance if your gown is ivory and the bridesmaids are wearing dresses in shades of pink with a V-BACK then I suggest you try to pick up some of these same qualities in the dresses for the children. A pink dress for the children with an ivory sash and a v-back would be my first choice.

At Pegeen, we encourage the bride to give us the style number and manufacturer for her dress or the bridesmaid’s dresses, so we can complement the children’s attire. This really gives the entire wedding party uniformity that I believe, helps to keep that photograph that is going up on the wall later from being too distracting. Yes, the wedding is not about the picture on the wall but if you close your eyes and envision how that photo will look, I truly think you will come up with the best decisions for YOUR WEDDING.
Have a look at some of the flower girl dresses others have ordered: CLICK

What is interesting for me as a designer now is that brides are very creative in their decisions. Each bride that we do a wedding for is encouraged to send us photos after their weddings for two reasons: inspirations for others and because we are excited to see how we looked walking down the aisle with the children.

For matching children’s fashions, direct from the Manufacturer & Designer, from Infants to Plus Size, & seeing what other Brides have done, visit our website. Walking Down the Aisle with Brides Since 1982.

Design your custom flower girl dress in our Pegeen Dress Dreamer

Our company always strives to use the latest web innovations and we developed a fun way to create your own flower girl dress online much in the same way you can customize a car.  Today we announce that we have added a new section of “bling” that you can drag and drop to your custom flower girl dress then get an instant update on pricing. “We have created a very practical and simplistic approach in order to sell our custom designed clothing in the easiest and most forthright presentation so that customers can now buy our dresses at Direct-from-Manufacturers pricing. This includes custom bodice fitting, guaranteed sizing, virtually any color combination a bride or mom can think of, and easy, fast delivery right to their doorsteps in record time. We produce everything in our own factory here in the US and we are very proud of it. Our success rate is fantastic and 100% – we know it by the amount of referral and repeat business we do! Imagine, customers who were once wearing our dresses as flower girls themselves are now ordering for their children.

By using our exclusive Pegeen Dress Dreamer, we have made it rather easy for a bride to create an exquisite look for the children in your wedding.  For now, we only have the ability to custom design your flower girl dress however sometime in the future, we will add a separate area to create your own ring bearer suit.

 

Our customers love it, saying: “If you were traded publicly, I would buy stock” and most recently, “I swear, you must have elves in your factory! How you made these dresses and delivered them so quickly – you have exceeded my expectations” and “You are a rock-star”. Pegeen’s customer loyalty is apparent by viewing their ever-changing Testimony Page.
http://www.pegeen.com/rave.php

Visit our Pegeen Dress Dreamer to create your own custom dress in over two hundred colors which works out to over 2 billion possible combinations of skirts, bodices, sleeves and of course our newly added “bling” sections.

Pegeen.com Adds Toy Soldiers to their Nutcracker Collection

Orlando, Florida – Oct. 3, 2018 – The Design Team at Pegeen Designer Children’s Wear has added a few new styles including a Military-style  red jacket with optional pant to their Nutcracker Collection. This collection was also updated to includes pancake tutus for The Snow Queen, The Dew Drop Fairy and the Sugar Plum Fairy as well as Romantic Tutus for the Corps de Ballet.  Party Scene dresses are constantly updated each season as well.

After ballet company director’s requests, we added a bright red military style jacket with plenty of braid trim and buttons starting at $155.  These bright and fun jackets are available in size 2 through size 14.  The stage glows with her creations for the ballet and ice skating clubs as well.

Other boy styles for the Nutcracker Party Scene in 200 colors of silk in any combination can be seen on the following page including: click

The Party Dancer Collection prices start at $255, are available in over 200 silk colors and are used by up and coming or well-established companies. Typically, local dance schools will hold an audition for children to appear on stage with sometimes the most famous of all Ballet Companies. “I would liken winning an audition to NYC Ballet or ABT Company as the pinnacle of a young New York ballet student’s career. When I was a young dancer, I remember seeing Mikhail Baryshnikov or Suzanne Farrell appearing in The Nutcracker and could not help but be envious of the student who won the part of Clara”.   The Tutu Collection for this season is made for the everyday dancer and although several dozen are made of each style (for traditional Pancake Tutus), prices are under $1000.  Commissioned pieces can run as high as $5000.

In the past several seasons, Marg Hyland’s designs for The Nutcracker Ballet have appeared all over the country including the prestigious The San Jose Nutcracker and Norwalk Metropolitan Youth Ballet.   She has also expanded to include other ballet costumes for Giselle, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Midsummer Night and even How the Grinch Stole Christmas among others.

 

Visit the full line at Pegeen.com – Nutcracker Dresses or visit the SHOP TUTU link.