Hitched owners Carin Rosenberg Levine and Julia Lichtman Kepniss, with designer Jorge Manuel and the "Eternal Flame" gown. Photograph by Ralph Alswang
The words “free” and “wedding gown” usually do not appear in the same sentence. That’s why we were so excited to hear about a recently launched contest from rising-star designer Jorge Manuel in conjunction with Hitched bridal salon in Georgetown. The winner of the “Wish Upon a Star” contest will win, yes, a custom-made wedding gown by Manuel valued at $4,730, plus a stay at the Fairmont Hotel in DC on Friday, May 18, and a party in her honor at Hitched on that day. Manuel, known for his architectural, gorgeously detailed gowns, has created a brand new style for this contest (see gown above).
All you have to do to enter is fill out the application here, include a photo of yourself and your fiancé, and write an essay of 600 words or less about your love story, your wedding plans, and why the contest gown would be a perfect fit for you. The deadline for entries is March 17, 2012. Six finalists will be selected, and the public will vote for a winner.
Sound amazing to you? Head over to Jorge Manuel’s website and start working on your entry.
Jenny Yoo's patent-pending convertible bridesmaid dress. All photographs courtesy of Jenny Yoo
We’ve said it before, but we’ll keep saying it: Do not pick bridesmaid dresses your girls cannot wear again. Even though they’ll be smiling on your wedding day, inside they’ll be stewing. Luckily, Jenny Yoo makes some of the most wear-again-worthy bridesmaid dresses around, and we’ve got the new collection to share with you (check out yesterday’s post to view Yoo’s simple-but-gorgeous wedding gowns). While Yoo’s dresses come in a wide variety of colors, her featured hues are more muted shades such as grays, blues, rich purples, and barely-there nudes—again, the types of universally flattering shades your ’maids are more likely to wear again. And for your pregnant bridesmaids, there are some maternity styles as well.
Yoo has also introduced a collection of (patent-pending) convertible bridesmaid styles. The Keira style, shown above, can be worn as a one-shoulder, halter, or strapless dress with two different skirt drapings—an easy way for your bridesmaids to personalize their look without going too rogue. Oh, and PS: We just had to include her two new flower girl styles at the bottom of the page—too cute, right?
If you’re interested in checking out any of these styles, call up your girls and schedule an appointment with Fabulous Frocks in Alexandria, which is having a Jenny Yoo trunk show this weekend. Click the jump to view the rest of the new Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dresses.
Two of Jenny Yoo's newest wedding dresses, the Bella (left), and the Sandrina (right). All photographs courtesy of Jenny Yoo Collection
One of the biggest complaints we’ve heard from brides about wedding dresses is that they’re just too . . . much. Too heavily beaded, too poofy, too over the top, just too fussy in general. That’s why we’re so happy to present the new wedding gowns from Jenny Yoo, a name you might recognize from the world of bridesmaid dresses (don’t worry, we’ll be sharing her newest bridesmaid styles tomorrow).
Yoo’s 2012 bridal collection features gowns that are ideal for a bride who wants a simple but gorgeous gown; you could always add a sash or a statement necklace if you want to add more sparkle. Our favorites include the Bella (top left), which would be lovely at a less formal wedding with a vintage feel, or as a dancing dress for the reception; and the Sandrina (top, right), with its form-fitting silhouette and totally modern feel. Oh, and best of all, each of these gowns retails for under $3,000.
If you’ve fallen in love with these no-fuss dresses, you’re in luck! Turns out Fabulous Frocks in Alexandria is hosting a trunk show this Friday, February 17, through Sunday, February 19, featuring the entire new collection of both bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. Plus Purple Onion Catering will be on hand to provide refreshments for shoppers. Call 703-683-2306 to schedule your appointment, and click the jump to view the rest of the collection.
The sketch (left) and finished product of Anne Bowen's JFK Rosa gown. All photographs courtesy of Anne Bowen
A few weeks ago, we showed off the new modern and glamorous collection from designer Anne Bowen. The collection, which will be featured this weekend at a trunk show at Chevy Chase Bridal, includes one design with a very special backstory.
The inspiration for the “John F. Kennedy Rosa” gown (sketch and finished product shown above) came from a hybrid tea rose that was named after JFK in 1964. The dress’s layers of raw-edged ombré organza fabric echo the rose’s layers of petals. It feels architectural and contemporary, but would certainly work for a classic DC wedding—especially with the history involved.
Two of the newest gowns from Monique Lhuillier. All photographs courtesy of Monique Lhuillier
Monique Lhuillier is known for creating gowns that feature both classic and trendsetting elements. Her feminine lace sheaths are perennial favorites; this season, she showed new versions of this silhouette (above, right). And her princess-worthy ballgowns are always grand and romantic. The designer also presented wedding dresses that featured some of the top trends of the season—sleeves, asymmetrical hemlines, new textural elements, and leg-baring slits—as well as some fun and flirty short dresses.
Check out all of the new Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses after the jump. If you fall in love with one of them, head to Carine’s Bridal Atelier in Georgetown this weekend for a Monique Lhuillier trunk show.
The designer with two of her creations (left), and the White Swan gown. All photographs by Moshe Zusman Photography
Even though she now lives in New Jersey, wedding gown designer Sareh Nouri is a Washington girl at heart. She grew up in Springfield and Ashburn, and attended George Mason University, studying graphic design. When she was planning her own wedding in 2009, she had trouble finding a gown she liked, so she worked with a seamstress to create one that was more her style. Even after her wedding had long passed, she still missed the planning process.
“I know a lot of people get the ‘post-wedding blues,’” she says. “But mine never went away.”
She started working at a bridal salon, and became deeply immersed in the world of wedding dresses. She started sketching gowns, and created her first bridal collection last year.
“I love timeless gowns. I try not to do anything too out-of-the-box,” she says. “Most of my gowns are very soft and really lightweight—my main goal is to create gowns that are not heavy at all.”
The designer also likes to mix traditional bridal fabrics, such as silk tulle and silk organza, with modern silhouettes. But keeping things classic is important to her, in part due to her DC upbringing.
“DC is a very conservative city, so I try to keep my gowns elegant and the fabrics traditional,” says Nouri. “But I like to mix a little New York City trendiness in there, as well.”
One of her favorite gowns from the Fall 2012 collection (her second) is the White Swan (shown above).
“I love the pairing of the traditional lace top with the craziness of the skirt,” she explains. “I could imagine a bride wearing it at a ballroom venue, like the Willard or the Mayflower, but the gown is so lightweight that it could also be worn at an outdoor wedding.”
Nouri’s gowns are currently sold at Love Couture Bridal in Potomac (where she’s hosting a trunk show this weekend) and Soliloquy Bridal in Herndon. Click the jump to view more of her Fall 2012 collection.
Friday, February 3, through Saturday, February 4
The wedding gown collection by Modern Trousseau is a favorite among DC brides looking for a classic dress with a modern twist. The newest gowns will be featured at Hitched in Georgetown at a trunk show. Call 202-333-6162 to schedule your appointment.
Friday, February 3, through Saturday, February 4
Looking to glam up your wedding gown with a sparkly brooch, headpiece, or necklace? The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel is hosting a trunk show featuring the gorgeous jewelry of Siman Tu. Call 301-652-2250 to schedule an appointment.
Friday, February 3, through Sunday, February 5
Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection in Baltimore is hosting a trunk show of James Clifford’s classic, elegant gowns. Call 410-484-4600 to schedule your appointment
Friday, February 3, through Sunday, February 5
Tara Keely wedding gowns are feminine and stylish; check them out at a trunk show at Chevy Chase Bridal. Call 202-363-9301 to schedule your appointment.
Saturday, February 4
R&R Catering is hosting an open house at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia. You’ll be able to taste the caterer’s appetizers, entrées, and sides, and other wedding vendors will be present to answer your wedding planning questions. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Visit R&R Catering’s website to register.
Maintaining your friendships with your bridesmaids should be an important goal of wedding planning. Ergo, it’s probably not the best idea to make them spend half their paycheck on a dress they’ll only wear once. We promise you, they’ll be bitter. So of course we’re super-psyched about a new diffusion line from one of our favorite bridesmaid dress designers, Ivy & Aster—all of these super-cute dresses are under $220.
The Love Lane Collection, available exclusively at Bella Bridesmaid stores (including the shop in Bethesda), features dresses available in either crinkle chiffon or charmeuse, and in about 20 color options. We’re particularly loving the chiffon Kate style (shown at right)—it’s just so flirty, swingy, and fun. For more-formal weddings, full-length gowns are available, as well.
To view the full collection, visit Love Lane’s website, and if you’d like to see these dresses in person, give the Bethesda Bella Bridesmaid a call at 301-664-6436 to set up an appointment.
Two of Romona Keveza's newest wedding gowns—including a major "something blue." Photographs courtesy of Romona Keveza
Designer Romona Keveza has become a staple on the Hollywood red carpet, dressing the likes of Angelina Jolie, Lea Michele, and, just last night at the SAG Awards, actress Kaley Cuoco—but she’s perhaps even more well known in the world of wedding gowns, creating feminine dresses with a whimsical twist.
One of our absolute favorite gowns from October bridal market was the Romona Keveza Couture gown shown above left, a corseted bodice with a Swiss-dot skirt that shows off a little leg—just the right mix of sweet and sexy. She’s also known for her use of color, especially a Tiffany blue shade (shown above, right).
While Keveza is certainly adept at creating more-classic silhouettes, she turns out stunning examples of the little white dress or destination wedding gown variety, too. Keveza also designs a diffusion line, called Legends by Romona Keveza, which has a lower price point.
If you’re in love with these gowns, they’re sold at Rizik’s in DC, Hannelore’s in Old Town Alexandria, and Jeanette’s Bride ‘N Tux in Manassas. Check out the full Romona Keveza Couture Fall 2012 collection after the jump, and let us know what you think of the gowns in the comments.
Arrangements by the Enchanted Florist (left), and H.Bloom (right).
Your love may be like a red, red rose, but to be honest, we’re kind of over the dozen of them that’ve become the Valentine’s Day standard. We asked local florists to share their favorite non-rose arrangement for a more creative—and no less beautiful—addition to your beloved’s desk or kitchen counter this February 14.