a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Pink, Green, and White Wedding December 2, 2008

I had to share these pictures from a wedding featured on Weddingbee because they have some of the most innovative centerpieces I’ve seen yet, cute & spunky details, and a gorgeous bride in an Enzoani dress. Enjoy!

I absolutely love these, the apples in water are simple and graphic, and the calla lilies wrapped around the vases with rhinestone brooches are so pretty.

The bold letters and star details are adorable.


Pretty, Pretty Dresses November 16, 2008

I’m still astonished that after over a year of complete immersion in wedding planning and reading wedding blogs and magazines, there are still so many wedding dress designers I haven’t heard of yet. Like Sharon Bowen, whose site I randomly found yesterday when I was idly veil shopping. Her dresses are artistic and gorgeous, and range from princess to punk.


I don’t know if it’s just the lighting, but the pale yellow tones in this dress are soft and pretty, and I love the flower detailing in the front.


This reminds me of Marie Antoinette meets Bride of Frankenstein, but somehow in a good, fashion forward way.


Parachute Silk Wedding Dresses November 10, 2008

Drew’s mom was in town for the weekend, so of course we went to the art museum to give her a preview of where the wedding will be. The CMA happened to have an exhibit called “Objects of Wonder” which turned out to be the most random collection of oddities I have ever seen, all from the Ohio State archives….we’re talking scaly creatures in jars, next to old college scrapbooks, next to a machine for weighing jockeys, next to a row of vintage shoes.

It was pretty bizarre, but a lot of fun and even wedding related when we turned the corner and saw an absolutely gorgeous 1940s white silk gown. From far away it looked like just a classic antique wedding dress, but when we got closer to read all of the displays we found out it was made entirely out of parachute silk salvaged from WWII. Apparently this was fairly common practice because textiles were so scarce during the war. It just goes to show how resourceful brides can be in a pinch!


More Non-Wedding Wedding Dresses October 18, 2008

So far I’ve avoided the urge to be a two dress bride completely, but this gorgeous dress from the Nordstrom catalog almost made me reconsider. And for only $268? Buying a normal evening gown for your wedding dress definitely has it’s perks!

I had to put the picture of the back of this dress, because the origami pleating is so pretty. I also love the soft pale pink color. This dress is $405 at Saks.

This Nicole Miller dress would be so cool at a beach or outdoorsy wedding. From far away the fabric looks like lace, but it’s actually crocheted and beaded. It’s a perfect mixture of classy and crafty for $539 at Bluefly.


Spring 2009 Fashion Week – Wedding Gowns September 14, 2008

I feel pretty fortunate to be lounging in my basement blogging and watching the Steelers game right now (ok, more blogging than watching). Central Ohio experienced the remnants of Hurricane Ike today, which were much more forceful than most people here expected. Drew and I, completely oblivious, went out to Barnes & Noble where the power immediately went out, we were bombarded with leaf and dirt shrapnel outside, encountered at least a dozen downed trees on the way home, and arrived home to our patio furniture and grill tumbled all over the backyard. But we’re completely fine, snug and spoiled with our air conditioning and internet access.

Plus this lazy Sunday evening has given me the perfect opportunity to start finally trolling through the fashion week pictures. Of course there is limitless inspiration to be found, so I figured I would break up wedding and bridesmaid dresses into separate posts.

Not surprisingly, Marchesa showed one of the largest collections of wedding worthy gowns, including this sculptural pleated dress I think could be really striking on the right bride.

Badgley Mischka also had sleek silhouettes, but with softer fabrics including this simple delicate patterned lace dress.

Even though the feathered hem is a tad fussy, the short train keeps this L’Wren Scott gown from feeling too overdone, and I like the dotted veil although I would drape it differently.

Oscar de la Renta had so many beautiful gowns I couldn’t just one. Both of these are classic shapes, but I love how one plays with color and one with texture.

There isn’t much new about this Monique Lhuillier gown in terms of draping, but I do like the look of a long pendant worn over a sweetheart neckline and the slightly smoky color is very pretty.


Wedding Season Continues August 11, 2008

Back to back weddings in two weeks means lots of ideas are coming as soon as I get a chance to organize all my pictures! This weekend we were in PA for a gorgeous ceremony at Westminster College (the school bells started chiming as soon as they were announced man and wife, which wasn’t even planned) and next weekend we’re back in PA for another stint at the Riverside Inn. Stay tuned for all the details!

Of course since we’re at that time of life, I wasn’t too surprised that almost everyone at the wedding has either just gotten married, is getting married within the next year, or just got engaged. So naturally, anything and everything wedding was the hot topic of conversation, especially among the girls. One of the brides to be mentioned that during her dress shopping, she spent a lot of time looking at Encore Bridal, which has pre-owned couture gowns for more affordable prices. I perused the site for fun, and even though so far resisting the temptation to be a two dress bride has been fairly easy, I could see how some of these gowns would make it much more difficult. I love this limited edition Monique Lhuillier; even though I usually don’t like pick up skirts, the pleating on the bodice looks incredibly flattering and the bold floral print is so unique. If you have your heart set on a couture gown but don’t want to pay boutique prices, this site is worth a look.


White Dahlia July 29, 2008

I have a serious love affair with shirtdresses. Any girl who wears them knows how fabulously versatile they are, from the beach, to work, to dinner, and even, thanks to Joan Shum, to your wedding. The word iconic comes to mind when I look at this “White Dahlia” dress; the structure of the bodice is chic and timeless, while the textured tulle peeping out of the skirt keeps the look young and fresh. With everyone going strapless for their wedding gown, it’s nice to see how even a more covered look can be sleek and sexy in a grown-up glamour kind of way. To ogle some more gorgeous gowns, check out Joan’s Etsy site.


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!


Melissa Sweet Trunk Show April 21, 2008

I went to a Melissa Sweet trunk show this weekend to check out the new line and continue my dress quest. There were definitely some gorgeous options, although nothing that I had to have. Honestly the highlight of the visit was the sweet and bubbly representative from the company who talked about all the dresses as if they were real people. Granted, they are named after girls but I couldn’t quite get used to her chirping to the other saleslady “oh, her bottom is just beautiful!” or “I just love her, she’s so dreamy!” Was she talking about me or the dress?

Had this dress come with a different bottom, I might have been seriously tempted. The bodice (which I couldn’t find a decent picture of) is incredibly gorgeous with a draped sweetheart neckline and tucking around the waist. The pleated bustle was also surprisingly flattering. What I couldn’t get used to though, was the seam right around my knees where the dress suddenly exploded with tulle, mermaid style. The top was so structured, I felt it visually chopped you off at the knees…I think I can count mermaid dresses out for sure.

This was one of the dresses I fell in love with in my very first stack of post-engaged bridal magazines. I love the fringed sweetheard neckline and the lace is so pretty and delicate looking. While I did like it in person, the skirt was a little full and fluffy for my taste. However, the rep said she knew a bride that hemmed the dress to make it tea-length and wore it with ballet flats to a garden wedding. How adorable is that?

This dress is fairly stunning, I will admit. The silhouette is simple but the lace itself is layered in a way that creates depth and movement as do the inset panels of more lace at the bottom. It is also apparently, the Cadillac of an army of similar looking gowns you can buy, priced at approximately $7,000. I would have had to like it a lot more to not flinch at that price tag.


Carmen keeps me coming back for more March 20, 2008

I’ve always thought Carmen Marc Valvo made beautiful gowns, and the fact that he doesn’t have a specifically bridal line almost makes his dresses more appealing to me. In fact, I already featured one of his gowns in the post “Non-Wedding Wedding Dresses,” but his website just keeps me coming back for more. Both of these dresses have an elegant structural look about them that seems very high fashion while still being simple and wearable. I’m in love with the hint of lace and the overall look he has created, and I think you would really get as much bang for your buck in either of these as in a Vera Wang or Monique Lhuillier. Can you tell I’m a little tempted?