A recent survey showed that weddings and wedding-related activity account for 41% of the rhinestone industry’s business.
Unbelievable? Well, that’s because I made it up. But my complete statistical fabrication aside, I’m sure many of you didn’t bat an eye at that statement. Sometime in the last few decades, bridal attire morphed into a bling-fest that would put Flava Flav’s pimp cup to shame. From rhinestone-encrusted gowns to sparkling tiaras to necklaces that look like they could give you 3rd-degree iceburn, glitter is the go-to staple for any bride.
Perhaps the diamond ring starts a slippery slope phenomenon. Or maybe we’ve simply got it into our head that diamonds (or diamond impersonators) are the only acceptable adornment for a wedding gown. After all, “sparkling white” isn’t just used to sell Crest White Strips.
But then what about the lame cousin of jewelry metals: gold. And I don’t mean “I-can’t-afford-platinum-so-I’m-using-white-gold” gold. I mean regular old, run-of-the-mill yellow gold. Periodic table element Au. I cannot recall a single wedding where the bride wore gold jewelry.
It’s not that gold is fundamentally incompatible with white. In fact, Ancient Roman nobility are often depicted in paintings wearing the combination of white robes with gold jewelry. And if you never went to history class, just think of that slutty Cleopatra costume you wore last Halloween: Gold and White.
So why not take a leaf out of the ancient’s book (or scroll), and try to spice things up with a little gold. Gold offers the advantage that it is unique and unexpected in the bridal world. Plus, it won’t outshine that fancy rock sitting on your left hand.
A word of caution though: not every gold adornment is wedding appropriate. And if you’ve already bought a rhinestone encrusted dress, it’s too late for you. But if you are going with ivory fabric or antique lace, this could be the perfect opportunity to give your wedding look a little dash of color and originality. Gold jewelry is a particularly strong option for outdoor or casual weddings, where too much bling would be incongruous with the natural environment. In particular, look for gold pieces with a burnished hue, rather than a bright yellow. There are many shades and style of gold, and for those who love to dress outside the box, it’s the perfect alternative to Ice, Ice Baby.
Beach wedding anybody?
Celebs rockin’ the look
So apologies for the long delay in posting. I have been in the proces of preparing to graduate in a few weeks (woo!/eek!), and will then hopefully lure some unsuspecting employer into hiring me. But this blog isn’t about me (alas). It’s about you.
And by YOU, I mean that bride that decides for whatever reason, that her wedding need fall on the most inconvenient date possible. When brides would come into the boutique, we asked them to provide the date of their wedding on their paperwork (yes, shopping for a wedding dress involves paperwork).
This served a couple of purposes:
1) It told us what type us what type of wedding it would be (a fall wedding often suggests a different dress than a summer one…unless of course you are getting married in Tahiti)
2) It told us if you were that bride that show up a month before her wedding expecting to order a dress (yah, that’s not happening)
3) It told us if you thought the world revolved around your wedding.
How did we figure out that last one? Simple: you chose to schedule your wedding on a national or religous holiday.
Now, I don’t mean you picked Earth Day or you decided it wouldn’t matter if you Christian wedding was on Yom Kippur (let’s hope his side isn’t Jewish in that case). I mean you knowingly chose to schedule your wedding on Thanksgiving. Or Christmas for your Christian wedding. Or Yom Kippur for your Jewish wedding.
At first I thought it was only a rare bird who did such a thing, but I was consistently amazed by how many brides listed these famed days as their wedding date.
(Tom doesn’t care about your day. He’s got bigger worries.)
I’ve heard a few feeble arguments in favor of this trend, and as you’ve probably gleaned, I found them a bit underwhelming:
In fact, the only really good reason I can think of for holding your wedding on a holiday is that you are more likely to get the day off work for your anniversary. No one will remember it’s your anniversary, but you’ll have lots of time to seethe over it while you’re not at work.
So please, dearest bride, for your sake and ours, don’t schedule your wedding on a preexisting holiday. Pick some random Saturday. Perhaps the shifting seas of the calendar year will cause you to be forced to share your special day with a holiday, but at least then it will only be your anniversary, so the rest of us are spared the obligation actually being there. Everybody can win if you heed this advice. You and Baby Jesus can spare your special day, and I don’t have to change out of my pajamas on Christmas morning. Win-win.
Oh, and for those of you who scheduled your wedding on Valentine’s Day…well, let’s just say that’s a whole other blog post.
….then I guess Urban Outfitters is entitled to make wedding gowns. Rather than rehash the issue, check out Women’s Wear Daily’s take on the launch of the new line, Bhldn (perhaps not the catchiest of names).
The line is set to launch on…wait for it…Valentine’s Day, with prices ranging from $1000-$4000.
We used to have this system at the store. When a bride came, we handed her a sheet of paper with a list of adjectives. There were probably fifty or so adjectives on it. It read something like this:
The list went on. But you get the general idea. Our hope was that whichever adjectives the bride circled would be indicative of her taste in gowns - thus enabling us saleswomen to better assist her in finding the perfect dress. It was a great idea, really.
Except for one thing. Despite the fact that the bride-to-be was on the verge of making a decision that would impact her for the rest of her life (unless of course her married name was going be Mrs. Charlie Sheen), she consistently displayed a pattern of behavior that I’m sure Freud would be tripping over himself in eagerness to psychoanalyze.
We’d get back lists with combinations of adjectives that looked like this:
Sophisticated, Sexy, Antique, Modest, Daring, Sleek
Classic, Chic, Cinderella, Understated, Ballgown, Elegant, Simple
Now I don’t know what version of Cinderella these brides grew up watching, but I can tell you the Disney classic was far from “understated.” She might as well have walked in with a sign around her neck that read, “Hi! I’m going to try on every dress in your store because I can’t make up my mind!” I almost appreciated the one bride who took her pen and drew a giant circle around the entire page. At least she was up front about it.
(nothing says understatement like singing mice)
However, even I can sympathize that finding a wedding dress is difficult - and it IS important to try on a diversity of styles. So while it was frustrating to try to find a sexy yet modest dress for a bride, I came to terms with it as part of the process. Far more challenging though, was the “Other” category.
The “Other” option is dangerous territory - an unnecessary indulgence into the terrifying inner workings of some brides’ minds. Most brides are completely sane, relatively together individuals that fill in this category with things like “off-white” or “lots of embroidery”. But at the same time, there are also those brides that write things like “gothic princess” or “existential” or “that dress that Christina Aguilera wore for her first wedding but with blue instead of pink at the bottom.”
Okay. First of all, lady, that was Gwen Stefani, NOT Christina Aguilera, and second of all, what the hell is an existential wedding dress?? As far as I’m aware, bridal fashion did not fall high on Camus’ list of philosophical priorities.
The adjective list did not last particularly long at the store, despite its good intentions. The romantic interpretation of all this is that the perfect wedding dress simply can’t be summed up in a few words. It’s certainly better than the alternative interpretation anyway: that becoming engaged somehow induces behavior that looks suspiciously like multiple personality disorder. But it’s your call.
When I first entered the wedding world, I viewed the veil as a sort of background accessory - a piece of tulle you tack on without too much thought. But while the dress takes center stage, brides-to-be mustn’t forget the importance of choosing the right veil to accent their gown, their hair, and their face.
And believe me, there are hundreds of options when it comes to veils. So let’s break it down:
Length - most Brides realize that veils come in a variety of lengths. Specifically, shoulder, elbow, fingtertip, waltz, chapel, and cathedral. Not to mention some intermediate lengths and the ever so daring half-face veil. Of course, not all veil vendors sell veils in all of these lengths, while some will make custome-length veils. When you buy your dress, make sure to ask your sales assistant about what length veil will complement the dress best. You don’t want the end of the veil to hit at any of the dress’ horizontal seams or to interupt a corsetted back. The goal is for the end of the veil to blend seamlessly with the back of the dress (unless you are going for va-va-voom cathedral length)
Color - Yes, veils come in different colors. This is particularly important if you chose to order your dress in an ivory or champagne. Although a white veil can work with an off-white dress, remember that an ivory veil is also an option.
Layers - To blush or not to blush? That is the question. The debate rages about whether or not blushers are outdated. I personally consider it a question of personal taste. Not to mention, there is no rule that dictates you have to actually wear the blusher over your face as you walk down the aisle. So pick what you feel most comfortable with and wear it how you deem appropriate. It is your day after all!
Embellishment - So many to pick from! The plain tulle veil is always a classic, but it never hurts to consider some of the more “jazzed up” options. From floating pearls to embroidery to rhinestone edging, some these babies are a work of art in their own right.
Materials - Not all tulles were created equal. And not all veils are made of tulle. Although tulle is the most commonly used material, veils can also come in netting, organza, and chiffon. Each type of fabric has a different weight and effect. However, if you think you might want a non-tulle veil, you may have to venture beyond your local neighborhood bridal boutique to find it. But it could be worth it depending on the look you are going for.
Having trouble scraping up a wedding guest list? I suppose you could take this couple’s route and give the people what they really want. Talk about incentive (and getting straight to the point)!
Am I getting married? Well, maybe. But more importantly: open bar! Come get raging drunk with me and then stumble home to contemplate your own empty singleton lives.
Well, there is a solution. You may not like it, but the good news is, you don’t have to tell anyone where you got your dress. Not to mention you walk away with thousands of dollars still in your pocket.
Economical Bride: Meet the white bridesmaid dress.
Okay, before you start sputtering in indignation (ME??? Wear a bridesmaid dress on my wedding?? NEVER!), keep in mind that many wedding dress designers also have bridesmaid collections - and high end bridesmaid collections at that. The more formal bridesmaid gowns are quite elegant and most can be purchased in white, ivory, or some eggshell/off-white/snowy-splendor equivalent. Gone are the days where you had to select a bridesmaid dress with puff sleeves and wads of tulle coming out your rear end (although, if you are into that, you can probably still find it). Not only are these dresses beautiful in there own right, they are hundreds, instead of thousands of dollars. Plus, just like a regular wedding gown, you can order it to your size and specifications.
This is perfect for a bride with more minimal taste. Don’t expect to find sequins, beading, embroidering, and the works if you pursue this option. But DO expect a tasteful, elegant alternative to the designer gown with the pricey sticker.