I paid $220 for my wedding dress. My colleague Jennifer? Got hers for $125. Since we were both footing the bill for our own weddings, there was precious little in the budget for our gowns (I had to make sure there were enough offerings at the pasta bar to satisfy my Italian relatives!). We both looked lovely, by the way, even without spending two months’ rent on our wedding attire.
* Jennifer had no problem shopping a sale at Macy’s; though not designed specifically for weddings, her long, white Battenburg lace dress was a lot less pricey! So if pretty-and-white will work for you, check out the formal wear at your favorite department store.
* I wanted my wedding gown to be sexy and glamorous—and when I tried on a certain chiffon Watters & Watters bridesmaid’s dress, I couldn’t imagine letting my gal-pals steal the spotlight in that red-hot number! Shopping the ‘maids catalogs is a great way to save. Find what you like and then order it in white or ecru (or maybe like me, you’ll decide to walk down the aisle in living color!) Hint: Designer Siri has darling bridesmaid dresses which you can order in your choice of fabric and color—for under $400!
* Sure, maybe you’ll get lucky and find a once-used Reem Acra silk wedding dress in size 6 on eBay…but what if you don’t? Reputable, quality bridal resale stores offer more options with less risk.
* Shopping Sample Sales or Salon Outlet stores can yield pretty amazing designer bargains. For example, Lili Bridals in Tarzana, CA, has a “back room” with designer gowns starting at just $99, and Glamour Closet has boutiques in LA, San Francisco and Chicago San Francisco that carry deeply discounted designer samples.
A Moveable Feast promises exactly what its company name implies. This is not your everyday catering company. Don’t believe me? Just 24 hours after returning to the States from my own adventure in Tuscany and Rome, I, along with the rest of the Here Comes The Guide ladies, had the privilege of being treated to Chef Michael’s 5-course culinary adventure (as he so dryly referred to it), along with 12 different appetizers and dessert. (Chocolate and sea salt, anyone?)
After savoring the last bite, I can confidently report that this meal could easily surpass some of the best food I encountered in Europe.
For me, food isn’t just about eating. Being a wannabe gourmet chef, I believe understanding a dish’s origins and preparation just makes the meal that much more delicious. Chef Michael was more than happy to tell me about the origin of his dishes, and even his techniques. In fact, many of the ingredients came from the Monterey and Carmel area—which explains why everything tasted so fresh!
And when each dish is so delectable, it’s hard not to devour everything that’s placed before you. As I started running out of room in my stomach, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to do justice to Chef Michael’s entire menu. He, however, was very understanding, repeating, “No pressure” as he saw the look on my face each time another of his creations arrived. But of course, pressure wasn’t the problem; it was the fact that I knew that if I stopped, I might miss a morsel even tastier than the last!
Tip: At your wedding or special event, don’t feel pressured to clean your plate. While I had trouble leaving any of A Moveable Feast’s delicacies behind, keep in mind that you will probably want to hit the dance floor after your 3- or 5-course dinner. So no matter how fabulous the food is at your reception, leave a little room for dancing!
P.S. Michael’s got one of the sharpest wits and quickest senses of humor I’ve seen in some time. He’s like free entertainment!
Remember Rami Kashou, the runner-up fashion designer in Project Runway Season 4? He was all about “the art of draping,” and occasionally took some flack from the judges for the overuse of his signature style. Well maybe Rami has a future in bridal, because the Goddess of Gown trends, Vera Wang, features draping in one of her romantic 2010 creations, “Dinah.”
Vera builds on a new definition of romantic. This week’s featured wedding dress, Dinah, captures the art of draping and showcases a classic symbol of romance: the bow. Vera offers her insights on the design inspiration behind Dinah.
Dinah looks and feels soft, feminine and romantic. In fact, I describe this wedding dress as grand romance!
With this wedding dress, I sought to create fullness and lightness in the skirt by tucking the fabric into soft layers. The result is a rich, cascading effect. I chose to offset the volume in the skirt with a fitted bodice. Lace is quintessentially romantic. With Dinah, I have used it only on the bodice to add but not overpower.
In wedding fashion, I love to use ribbons, buttons, bows and blossoms to add whimsy and eccentricity. These design elements introduce fantasy and establish an optimistic tone. For Dinah, I chose a bowed sash tied at the natural waist of the wedding dress. The sash is in grosgrain, one of my signature fabrics (I named my first Vera Wang china pattern Grosgrain in tribute).
While I have embraced color in my collections, I chose to design Dinah in white and ivory to underscore the innocence that I believe this wedding dress conveys.
Keep in mind, a strapless neckline strikes the delicate balance between propriety and flirtation. Strapless is not for every bride, however. When choosing a neckline for your wedding dress, consider weight, height, bone structure and age. Select a neckline that is most flattering to you; don’t feel held to what is perceived to be sexy or in fashion.
Bows add femininity and grace to any wedding dress. The size and placement of bows serve different purposes in wedding fashion. On Dinah, the large bowed sash is a more dramatic statement. On other wedding dresses, I use small bows to cover up hooks on a bustle. The bow detail on a wedding dress can be carried through other aspects of the wedding, from the wedding invitation and bridesmaids’ dresses to the fastening on the backs of the chairs at the reception.
The A-line shape is always elongating. I appreciate this silhouette for its versatility: In a fuller form, like here with Dinah, the A-line can be extravagant without sacrificing slimness. In a more fitted form, it can be sleek and sensual. On a wedding dress, the A-line can be dressy, or informal. Regardless of form and function, the A-line is always a classic and refined choice.Make an appointment with a Vera Wang consultant.
—Excerpted with permission from Vera Wang’s RSVP Club newsletter. Want to read more of Vera Wang’s newletters? Click here to subscribe.