Straight out of a Jane Austen novel, this gown by Wtoo has a feel of couture antique lace but without the couture price tag. For under a $1000 at most stores, Style Jasmine is sweetly sophisticated. Toss some flowers into your hair and wander off into the romantic English countryside.
We’ve all heard a bride exclaim that the fuschia taffeta bridesmaid gown you just coughed up $300 for is TOTALLY re-wearable. We also all know that’s a lie. But it’s not all bad news. While that bridesmaid dress is going in the next charity pickup, there is at least one member of the bridal party who can wear her dress again.
Helloooo, flower girl. It’s amazing how much brides are willing to spend on a seven-year-old’s outfit, but it needn’t be a one-time-wear. If the stars align in your favor, that pretty little number can be used as a First Communion outfit (or vice versa). Sure, chances are she won’t be the right age or you aren’t Christian or somebody’s drunk Uncle spilled wine on the smallest member of the bridal party, but if somehow none of those things are true, you are in luck! The dress codes for First Communion and Flower Girls are shockingly similar, so keep that in mind if your little one will be heading down the aisle twice in the upcoming months! And brides: it never hurts to ask if your flower girl has something suitable to wear. Just think - that’s cash saved to fund the open bar (there is an open bar, right?)
Repeating outfits is only taboo after puberty
With the average size woman in the U.S. wearing a 14 or 16, those size 10 wedding dress samples just aren’t cutting it. I distinctly remember the paltry selection of “plus-size samples” the bridal boutique I worked at stocked back in 2006. They looked like white tents rather than beautiful gowns. It was a slap in the face to larger brides everywhere - the implication being that if you are large, you won’t be beautiful on your wedding day anyway, so you might as well just throw a white satin bed sheet on yourself and call it a day. I sympathized with the frustration my plus-sized customers felt. EVERY woman deserves to feel like a beauty queen on her wedding day.
Yet while thinner brides had a plethora of options to pick from, the more voluptuous woman was reduced to a pathetic three or four options - and most of them hideous.
But five years later, the skies look like they may be ready to lighten. Shows like “Say Yes To The Dress: Big Bliss” are casting a spotlight on the growing number of plus-size options available to women. Still, there is a long way to go before the breakdown of dresses really reflects the bridal demographic. Just check out what CNN has to say about it: http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/06/21/full.figured.fashions/
A more recent plus-sized option from Lazaro (Style: 31734189, $3200)
Photo courtesy of Kleinfeld’s
For those of you looking for a dress with a bit more coverage (especially for more traditional ceremonies), just check out this stunning gown worn by Singaporean singer, Stephanie Sun. Modesty doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style - a lace overlay is the perfect solution. And if you are having trouble finding a sample in the bridal boutique, just remember that a seamstress can easily custom make a lace jacket to go over a strapless or sleeveless gown. And as an added bonus, you have the option of taking the jacket off for the reception. Many bridal designers even offer lace jackets that can be ordered - be sure to ask you bridal consultant if that is an option!
You’ve probably never heard of her, but don’t write off this under-the-radar designer. Her hand-made gowns utilize some unique designs I’ve never seen before in a wedding gown (and I’ve seen a lot of wedding gowns). While Shum displays a number of corset bodices in her collection, I think the true winners are the whimsical romance of her gypsy-esque “The Spanish Gown” and the painted effect of the embellishment on her ballgown “Lady Catherine.” The gowns can be ordered in any length (so no worries if you love some of Shum’s chic tee-length numbers) on www.etsy.com/shop/joanshum and you can contact the designer directly at 562-212-2170. Although Ms. Shum’s designs might not have quite made it to the big leagues, the designs are no amateur work. I hope to see more from Joan Shum in the future. For now, check out some picks from her current collection!
The Spanish Gown by Joan Shum
Lady Catherine by Joan Shum
I love a good ballgown, but what about the bride who wants that same “wow” factor without being weighed down by petticoats and poof? Well, not to worry: you can still get that dramatic entrance in a form fitting bridal gown. No one proves that point better than designer Romona Keveza. This gown from her Fall 2011 boasts minimal embellishment and clean lines, but nonetheless has just as much drama as any of its ballgown contemporaries. You definitely won’t go unnoticed in this sexy, modern number.
Unless you are somehow related to royalty or have an invite to the Oscars, it’s a rare day that you get to wear a ballgown. So why not make it your wedding day? As they say, go big or go home. And you can certainly do that with any of these fabulous bridal ball gowns.
Pnina Tornai #4067
Weddings aren’t all tulle and fairy dusty, especially for the Maid of Honor. Bridesmaids from producer Judd Apatow and starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph opens in theaters May 13, 2011.
I tend to be a traditionalist when it comes to gown color - white, ivory, etc - but the soft blush tulle of this Monique Lhuillier gown “Candy” from the Spring 2012 collection stifles any of my objections. Not only is the hue incredibly flattering against a range of skin tones, the sweetheart neckline and natural waist give the dress a touch of innocence that makes up for its nontraditional color. I love the lightweight embroidery of the corset bodice, a nice and needed break from the heavy beading and embellishment of many winter bridal collections. A standout piece amongst a truly strong overall 2012 collection from Monique Lhuillier.