a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Heaven in a Dressing Room April 1, 2009

Unfortunately, neither of my maids of honor (yes I have two) live in the same state as me. So when my best friend from college and I decided to meet in Pittsburgh which is about halfway between us to shop for her dress, I figured we should make the most of it! Drew and I are level two rewards members at Nordstrom, mostly because we bought his entire work wardrobe there last year, and the program comes with some perks. Some of them, like free shipping on all online orders I’ve taken advantage of, and others like the personal shopping service I hadn’t.

Let me just say, if you ever have the chance, a personal shopping trip at Nordstrom makes the best girl’s day ever! We arrived and were immediately ushered into a huge room filled with beautiful clothes, shoes, and accessories all in our size…of course we immediately zeroed in on the Jimmy Choo’s, and spent a blissful few hours mincing around in front of the floor length mirrors in all sorts of fabulous ensembles. Every five minutes, our man Stanley would knock on the door to bring more goodies or suggest other outfits. Heaven! Even though we didn’t end up buying her dress at Nordstrom, the experience was amazing and as always the staff was incredibly helpful. Here are some of the fun things we tried on:

One of the most gorgeous shoes I have ever tried on…the subtle tie-dye effect was so cool!


Robin Piccone makes very flattering bikinis. I still might have to take advantage of this one!

I couldn’t find the exact dress that was our favorite, but it was something like this – simple, a-line, classic, and gorgeous.


Net-A-Porter Wedding Boutique March 18, 2009

Filed under: fashion,gowns,jewelry,shoes,shopping,style — laragale @ 8:29 pm
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There is no better place for couture eye candy on the web than Net-A-Porter, and now they have a wedding boutique! I especially love that they have a stylish mother of the bride section, and a guest section split up what type of affair you’ll be attending. Of course a lot of the items are pretty pricey, but it’s worth a look all the same for fashion forward inspiration.

The deconstructed web-like look of this necklace is gorgeous and would be so pretty on an edgy bride.

A classic cocktail dress with unexpected metal detailing. I love it.

This dress is all about the back, and $895, it’s still cheaper than a lot of wedding gowns out there.

Of course I had to post some shoes. Beach wedding, honeymoon, rehearsal dinner, I could find so many excuses to wear these.




More Wedding Shoe Shopping February 2, 2009

Yes, I am addicted to shoes. And so far I think I’ve done pretty well by only using the wedding to rationalize  buying one pair of shoes for the the day of…but there’s still the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon to think about right? Here is my current shoe-lust list:

  • flat gladiator sandals (but nothing too bondagelike)
  • a new pair of Chucks, since mine from high school are getting a little worn out
  • a pair of high wedges 

The wedges will probably be the hardest to find since I want something that will be comfortable enough to walk to dinner on the honeymoon, won’t sink into the grass at the rehearsal dinner, and of course something with a high cuteness factor. So far I’ve found:

These Enzo Angiolini wedges come in a bunch of colors and are on sale for $42.90 at Nordstrom…too bad they’re out of my size.

I love Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. line, and you can find the shoes for a lot cheaper at Amazon including the Sandra for $100.

Chunky wood heels, two tone woven leather, what’s not to like? You can find these Colin Stuart wedges at Victoria’s Secret for $99.  

These I may just have to buy whether I wear them to the rehearsal dinner or not. I love the adorable ruffle and they’re only $29.99 at Target!


Deals at Net-A-Porter November 24, 2008

I’m giving you fair warning, if you love shopping and don’t want to be in serious danger of credit card debt don’t click on this link. I adore Net-A-Porter, but usually the four digit price tags are enough to discourage me from even entertaining the idea of buying anything. But just in time for the holiday season (when I should be looking for other people and not myself coincidentally) they’re having an enormous sale with designer items half off…and they have some gorgeous stuff.

Hello?!? Only the most fabulous something blue ever…you would have to wear a short wedding dress to do these beauties justice. The Louboutins are still $500 with the discount, but even just looking at them is fun.

Yes, I too have a love affair with damask. I could see wearing this to our rehearsal dinner or on the honeymoon.

Speaking of honeymoon…$70 isn’t bad for a silk and lace chemise.

Check out the sale for much, much more!


Satin Clutch Sale August 3, 2008

If you changed the wedding rhyme to “something bold, something blue, something fabulous, and something new” this turquoise satin clutch from Hayden-Harnett would take care of all four categories at once. Not only is it oversized, (ie right on trend AND you can can fit all of your wedding day necessities instead of one lipstick and a credit card) but it’s on final clearance for $44. Honestly I would be tempted to wear it with everything!


Blingtastic Flat Sandals July 10, 2008

I always post about sky high heels because I love them so dearly, but even I recognize that they are not always the most practical or comfortable thing to wear, especially at a wedding. I’ve been seeing the bejeweled sandal trend everywhere lately and I think it would be an adorable look on a bride for a summer wedding. I immediately thought of billowy grecian dresses and garden weddings, but honestly I think these would sweet with any style. These are just a few of the options I found…

Sigerson Morrison sandals, Unisa sandals, Steve Madden sandals, Sigerson Morrison beaded sandals, Giueseppe Zanotti sandals


Fashion as Art: Madina Vadache July 4, 2008

I remember being completely confused by couture runway shows when I was younger. While I was in awe of the theatrical make up, gorgeous colors and pulsing Euro-pop soundtracks, I couldn’t imagine people actually wearing the stuff…was Europe really a place where you could wander down the street in a flouncy chiffon cocktail dress with thigh high leather bondage boots and cyber doll make-up? Part of me hoped so.

Of course as I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser I’ve realized that while the odd socialite personality or celebrity will wear the more over the top looks straight off the runway, for the most part fashion shows are like a living breathing art gallery. Which is a really cool concept, especially if you enjoy the spectacle of it and can read between the lines. I love perusing all the shows online trying to pick out what colors were most popular, what overall trends might be coming back, deciding whether anyone will actually be brave enough to pull off the minuscule sequined hot pants or whatever the “it” item of the season happens to be.

So where is all this coming from you ask? I can sum it up with this picture.

I came across Madina Vadache’s site unexpectedly and was immediately intrigued by this picture (how couldn’t you be?).  Aesthetically the picture is beautiful I think, I love the set, the pose, the delicate lace, the lighting etc. However, would I want my nipples showing on my wedding day? I think not. But if bridal couture is subject to the same rules as regular couture, this picture should be generally inspiring, not necessarily a realistic depiction of what a bride would really wear. Unless she is a seriously gutsy chick.

After my initial surprise wore off, I continued through the rest of the site and fell in love with her designs almost immediately. Her wedding gowns are intricate and ethereal with a definite vintage feel. However, I have to say that my all time favorite is her ready to wear collection. It’s a mix of all my favorite elements from other designers, the tweed of Chanel with the ruffles of Dior with a sort of dark Parisian theme. Needless to say I will be keeping an eye on her upcoming collections, especially the bridal. Instead of the usual rustic field of flowers or plain white backgrounds, it’s nice to see someone pushing the envelope a little with bridal photography even if it does raise eyebrows at first.

* I have to add that after writing this I realized that Madina is working out of Seattle and all the fabulous photography was done by La Vie Photography which one of the founders of Junebug Weddings runs…I love it!


In Honor of Mother’s Day May 12, 2008

Sadly, most manufactured “Mother of the Bride” dresses are sack-like and unflattering, which is a disservice to the woman wearing it more than anything else, because a wedding day is almost if not more emotional for a mom as her daughter. I understand the urge not to overshadow the bride, but I think my Mom deserves to look fabulous too. I completely accept that we have different styles and that ultimately I want her to pick what makes her happy, but I plan to have her try on more than just floor length pastel chiffon sheaths with matching beaded boleros. I have no idea what we’ll end up with, but here are a few ideas I love...

Badgley Mischka, Diane von Furstenburg, Donna Karan, J Crew, JS Collections


Another Ode to the Nordstrom Catalog May 10, 2008

Every time the Nordstrom catalog shows up I find myself brainstorming different reasons why I might need whatever fabulous things are featured on the shiny pages. It isn’t the most productive occupation in the world, but this time I did manage to scout a few (somewhat) wedding related items.

I think this necklace would make an adorable bridesmaid gift, and at $58 you wouldn’t break the bank either. There are several varieties with messages like “peace”, “love”, “cherish”, and “accomplish great things” if you want to personalize the gift for each girl, although my favorite is wish with the less kitchsy shape.

We’re planning to honeymoon in Greece, and I’m already bursting with excitement although we have plenty of time to wait. At least a year will give me lots of time to conjure up images of sightseeing in Athens, late night dinners in Santorini, and lounging by the pool. A cute cover-up is definitely on my shopping list as well as the perfect bikini which is another of those elusive shopping items.

I have a deep love for Stella McCartney but am far from being able to splurge on her designs, so I was thrilled to see that she is collaborating with Le Sportsac for a line of handbags and luggage. I think the Small Camera Bag would be perfect for toting my new laptop around town, although that would bring the number of bags I own with chains on them to three…this may be a little overboard but I love how they balance an otherwise feminine look. And the purple-gray color is so pretty. Even though this isn’t wedding related I thought it was well worth sharing!


Monique and I meet again May 5, 2008

Somehow in my frenetic weekend schedule I managed to squeeze in a Monique Lhuillier trunk show to try on a few more dresses. Even though I’m mostly decided on my final two contenders it never hurts to exhaust all your options…and I’ve made it a point to do just that. Who doesn’t love trying on dresses?

Since I can never get away from my English major tendencies, let me sum up my experience with an analogy: Monique Lhuillier is to Wedding Dresses as Apple is to Technology. I adore Apple products. They always look adorable and more streamlined than anything else on the market, have relevant advertising with sweet music, and I will put it out there that I’m pretty much addicted to my I-Pod. The issue with Apple is that once you start, it’s hard to go back especially if you’re a sucker for packaging like I am. Of course as Drew very reasonably points out to me, their products cost much more than an equivalent, though less adorable, options do.

The Monique Lhuillier dresses felt the same way to me. Judging on advertising and reputation alone, Monique Lhuillier dresses are top of the line. Her fabric is gorgeous, the details exquisite…I can attest to all of this. However, they do come with an enormous price tag, starting just under $4,000 but most of the dresses running from $5,000 to $8,000.

So really it comes down to priorities. Especially with the style of dress I’m attracted to, there wasn’t anything stellar enough for me to justify the price tag. But at the same time, I’m 99% sure I want to buy a Mac Air so if there had been a dress that felt like the one, I may have been powerless to resist…

This dress is stunning in the picture and on the rack, just not on me. Maybe the sizing of the dress was just too off, or maybe it wasn’t fitting right after so many people trying it on, but the pleating on the bust stuck straight out. I mean, really straight out. I looked like one of those lizards with a neck ruff. Whatever it was, it was more funny than flattering.

There weren’t any parts of this dress I didn’t like. The billowy effect was Grecian and pretty (although I know I would snag the side panels on something almost immediately). It just wasn’t love…

This isn’t the exact dress I tried on, but it’s very close. The bodice on the one I tried on didn’t have beading, and had a slight frayed edge right around my waist, which was a subtle unexpected detail I loved. But again, it didn’t have that little something extra I’m looking for.