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Shows & Events

Good Deed of the Month: Donate Your Wedding Dress to a Military Bride in Need

Operation Wedding Dress happens July 11 at Rockville’s Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring boutique.

By Sarah Zlotnick Photo by Jan Michele Photography

You’ve said your vows, danced your heart out at the reception, and already returned from the honeymoon. Now your wedding dress is taking up valuable space in your closet, and you’re not quite sure if you’re sentimental enough to hold on to it forever. Here’s an idea: why not share it with a deserving bride-to-be?

In partnership with Brides Across America, Rockville’s Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring bridal boutique is participating in Operation Wedding Gown on July 11. On that day, Fairytale Brides is committed to outfitting 30 military brides with wedding dresses and accessories free of charge, and they need your help to make it happen. The boutique is currently accepting pressed and cleaned dresses from the last five years for the event, as well as accessories such as veils and sashes. Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring is a nonprofit wedding boutique, so donations do qualify for a tax deduction. Also cool: The boutique is run entirely by volunteers, and when dresses aren’t given directly to brides, net proceeds from sales go to organizations that empower women.

Donations can be mailed to the boutique or dropped off directly. For more information on how to donate, head here. Military brides interested in receiving a dress during Operation Wedding Gown can call the shop directly or pre-register here to be added to the list, which is being filled on a first-come, first-served basis. When we spoke to Fairytale Brides founder Donna Vaccarezza Tuesday afternoon, 19 slots were still available. This is Fairytale Bride’s second year in business, but first participating in Operation Wedding Gown, and longtime Maryland resident Vaccarezza is very excited about making sure all 30 get filled.

Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring. 154 Congressional Lane (lower level of Congressional Plaza); Rockville, MD; 301-468-2000.

Shows & Events

July Trunk Shows and Sample Sales in Washington

Visit these local salons this month to find deals on the dress of your dreams.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy Watters.

Stock Blowout Sale

Potomac Bridals stocks Allure Bridals, Casablanca Bridal, and David Tutera for Mon Cheri, and throughout the entire month of July, the salon with have gowns from these lines up to 50 percent off, with bridal gowns as low as $99. The store’s collections of special occasion, mother of the bride, and prom dresses will also be on sale. Potomac Bridals. 710 Dual Highway, Hagerstown; 301-665-1070. July 1 through 31.

Sample Dress Sale

Take the liberty to buy a discounted dress at Love Couture Bridal’s Sample Dress Sale during the Independence Day weekend, when 20 to 70 percent off will applied to certain samples from designers such as Lazaro, Matthew Christopher, Watters, Wtoo, and Jim Hjelm. Love Couture Bridal. 12500-B Park Potomac Ave., Potomac; 301-610-5683. July 3 through 5.

Pronovias

Stop by the TLC-famous Maryland store for plus-sized selections from Pronovias’s lacy and sometimes preppy collection of gowns. Curvaceous Couture. 9130 Red Branch Rd., Suite T, Columbia; 410-740-7052. July 9 through 11.

Accessories Trunk Show

Head to the Georgetown salon for accessories to match your gown from designers such as Peter Langner, Liancarlo, and Cheryl King, and receive up to 15 percent off your purchase of jewelry, belts, veils, and bridal clutches. Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. July 6 through 10.

Marisa

With lots of lace bodices and a bit of blush among all the ivory, there’s plenty of slim, fit-and-flare dresses for the modern bride. Shop the trunk show and receive ten percent off your purchase. Love Couture Bridal. 12500-B Park Potomac Ave., Potomac; 301-610-5683. July 10 through 12.

Karen Willis Holmes Pop Up

The Australian designer’s collection of modern and fashion-forward wedding gowns will have an extended stay at Hitched, giving brides a chance to try her crop tops on for size. Hitched. 1523 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-6162. July 10 through 18.

Christos Pop Up

Check out the visiting collection for delicate spaghetti straps and illusion necklines, and a splash of champagne for the non-traditional bride. Hitched. 1523 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-6162. July 10 through 22.

Marchesa

The romantic, dramatic collection features everything from a feather hem to bold 3-D floral applique, so brides looking to make a statement will love these dreamy dresses. Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. July 16 through 18.

Designer Bridal Sample Sale

Over 60 designer gowns will be up for grabs, with prices as low as $850. While trying on dresses, check out the discounted veils, shoes, and jewelry as well. The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel. 5510 Wisconsin Ave.; 301-652-2250. July 17 to 18.

Watters and Wtoo Bridal and Bridesmaids

Grab all your girls and head to Betsy’s to shop for bride and bridesmaid gowns, from the romantic blush and illusion bodice gowns to Wtoo’s selection of mix-and-match dresses for your maids. Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. July 17 through 19.

Pronovias

Take advantage of the Barcelona design house’s second trunk show this month and try on the bow-accented and eye-catching lace dresses. Love Couture Bridal. 12500-B Park Potomac Ave., Potomac; 301-610-5683. July 17 through 19.

Stella York Spring 2016 Preview

An abundance of embroidery and sheer illusion necks, backs, and sleeves makes for a very glam first look at Stella York’s new collection. Ellie’s Bridal Boutique. 225 N. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-8697. July 24 through 26.

Lazaro

The collection puts an emphasis on strength and sensuality with it’s pastel colors, big tulle skirts, and intricate beadwork. Love Couture Bridal. 12500-B Park Potomac Ave., Potomac; 301-610-5683. July 24 through 26.

Augusta Jones Bridal

Off-the-shoulder lace necklines and open backs make this contemporary collection pop with a blend of traditional beauty and modern drama. Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. July 31 through August 2.

Shows & Events

To Do This Saturday: Renew Your Vows Before the Capital Pride Parade

Stand up for all love by reaffirming yours!

By Sarah Zlotnick Photo by Maggie Winters Photography

Marriage equality, heck yes we can! And celebrating the commitments of couples both gay and straight, heck yes we can do that, too. Having recently acquired GayWeddings.com, Chevy Chase-based WeddingWire is joining in on the Capital Pride fun in a pretty big way this year—by hosting a gigantic vow renewal right before Saturday's parade. Together with Pop! Wed Co., GayWeddings.com president Kathryn Hamm and WeddingWire will be leading couples from all over the area in reaffirming their love for and commitment to one another at Dupont's Embassy Row Hotel. The event is taking place June 13th on the hotel rooftop between 10 AM and 12 PM, with the vow renewal beginning promptly at 10:45 AM. Couples of all sexual orientations are invited to attend.

From there, you can start staking out a spot for the afternoon parade, which kicks off at 4:30 PM at the intersection of 22nd and P Streets, NW. #WedWeCan and Happy #PrideWeek, everyone!

The Embassy Row Hotel; 2015 Massachusetts Avenue, NW; 855-893-1011.

Related: This DC War Memorial Wedding is Everything That is Wonderful About Getting Married in Washington

Shows & Events

11 Trunk Shows in June to Nab Deals on a Designer Wedding Dress

Don’t miss this month’s lineup of salon-hosted sales.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy Romona Keveza.

It’s one of the most excited shopping trips you’ll take—the one to find “The Dress.” This month local salons are welcoming everything from the classic and always-elegant Carolina Herrera to the edgy, modern Galia Lahav to town, and offering discounts for brides hunting down their dream wedding gown. Make your appointments now, and happy shopping!

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Shows & Events

"Knot to Miss" Bridal Charity Auction at the Dandelion Patch

Book your vendors at this event benefitting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Image courtesy The Dandelion Patch.

Recently engaged? Planning your big day? Why not book your vendors and nab some amazing wedding-day goods while giving back to an important cause?

Thursday, May 28, The Dandelion Patch in Vienna is opening its doors for a bridal auction benefitting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Join some of the area’s top vendors for an evening of bidding wars and bites from a great gathering of local vendors who have donated their services—with everything from a cake to feed 100 guests K. Rose Cakes to an engagement photo session from Love Life Images to $600 towards your dream dress of $2,500 or more at Love Couture Bridal up for grabs.

Washingtonian Bride & Groom’s editor-in-chief Sarah Zlotnick, and assistant editor, Caroline Cunningham, will be on hand to offer insider tips to the brides and grooms-to-be as they browse the selection of goods from over 40 of DC’s best caterers, makeup artists, photographers, entertainers, cake bakers, and videographers.

Swing by this “Knot to Miss” event for champagne, shopping--20 percent of all in-store purchases will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society--and Spilled Milk Catering hors d’oeuvres, and check some things off your planning to-do list while you’re at it. Make sure to RSVP here to attend May 28, 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Dandelion Patch (111 Church St., NW; 703-319-9099).

Shows & Events

"Curvy Brides" Premiers on TLC on Friday

The new television show will feature local bridal salon Curvaceous Couture.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy TLC.

“Say Yes to the Dress” meets “Sister Sister”—that’s how sisters Yukia Walker and Yuneisia Harris describe their new show on TLC, “Curvy Brides,” which premiers on Friday night. The show follows the business owners throughout their day-to-day life at their bridal salon Curvaceous Couture in Columbia, where fuller-figured brides can find gowns sized 14 to 44.

The salon, which opened in 2008, was born out of Walker’s frustration at the lack of plus-sized options when shopping for her own wedding dress. Unable to find a gown that fit her curves, she ended up purchasing a gown that was too small on top, and as a result she felt uncomfortable and unhappy with how she looked throughout her entire wedding day.

Not wanting other brides to experience what she did, Walker called up her sister and asked her to start a salon that would cater to plus-sized brides who want high-quality, couture gowns for their wedding day.

“We found that we needed to find designers that have dresses with great structure in them—that is really important for a plus-sized bride,” says Walker. “A lot of the high-end designers tend to use softer fabrics and softer structures underneath, so it’s been a challenge.”

But Harris and Walker have filled their salon with designers who appeal to curvy silhouettes, from Ian Stuart to Maggie Sottero to Enzoani. As soon as the designers added Curvaceous Couture to their online lists of retailers, the phone started ringing.

“Our store wasn’t ready, but girls were calling us,” says Walker. “They said, ‘I don’t care—we’ll try them on in a bathroom!’”

And it wasn’t just the brides who were interested. Television producers who knew a good idea when they saw it started ringing the sisters up, asking to chronicle their story on a show. At the time, Walker was newly married and having kids, so they turned the producers down. But a few years ago, Walker and Harris received an offer that was too good to pass on.

“You cannot say ‘no’ to TLC—they are the forefront of TV and bridal,” says Walker.

They shot a pilot episode in March 2014, and it aired on August 1. After a positive reception, they filmed the rest of the 12 30-minute episodes in October.

As with any reality television show, the episodes will be as much about the dynamics of the sisters’ relationship as it is about the salon, and rather than being contained to the store setting, the cameras follow Harris and Walker into their lives outside of work and even up to New York Bridal Market. Though reality television shows can have a penchant for over-dramatizing scenes, Walker says “Curvy Brides” is true to what actually happens in the day-to-day life of a family-run business.

“I’ve looked at a lot of reality TV, and a lot of the time, I’m thinking, ‘No, no, that’s not real,’” says Walker. “But from watching our pilot episode and the little bit that I’ve seen of the series, it truly is a representation of who we are here as Curvaceous Couture and how Yuneisia and I are as sisters running a business.”

The show is set to premier on May 1, and both sisters are excited to share their story with viewers.

“I’m looking forward to the world seeing how beautiful any bride can be on their special day,” says Walker.

Tune in to TLC on Friday at 9:30/8:30c and 10/9c to watch the premier of “Curvy Brides.”

Shows & Events

14 Can't-Miss Bridal Trunk Shows to Find Your Wedding Dress

Shop for your gown at these local salons this month.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy Theia.

They say that all of the wedding planning stems from the style of the dress that you'll wear down the aisle, so don't hesistate to start hunting down the dress of your dreams. There's an amazing lineup of bridal trunk shows headed to the region this month, and the experts at these local salons will help you figure out which style and designer is right for you. From the ultra-romantic Claire Pettibone collection to the more adventurous Inbal Dror, there's a gown out there for every girl, so schedule some appointments, and happy shopping!

Siri Mothers

Just in time for Mother’s Day, take the mothers of the bride and groom shopping for their dresses from Siri, who designs with the fashion-forward MOB in mind.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. May 1-3.

Watters, WToo, and Love Marley

Shop sister brands Waters and WToo, as well as their more garden-party, boho cousin, Love Marley, at this tri-collection trunk show.

Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. May 1 through 3.

Accessories Trunk Show with Thomas Knoell and Toni Federici

Shop for everything but your dress at this accessories trunk show with renown designers Thomas Knoell’s jewelry and headpieces and Toni Federici’s stunning collection of veils.

Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. May 1 through 3.

Claire Pettibone Romantique

The soft and ultra-feminine line will be up for try-ons during this weekend trunk show that features both the Claire Pettibone main collection and the Romantique couture line.

Hannelore’s of Olde Town, 106 North Lee St., Alexandria; 703-549-0387. May 1 through 3.

Bel Aire

Plan a trial hair appointment, then head to Ellie’s to play dress up with the veils, tiaras, combs, jewelry, and more that will complete your wedding day look.

Ellie’s Bridal Boutique. 225 N. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-8697. May 1 through 3.

Modern Trousseau Trunk Show

Shop this American-made collection from Australian-born designer Callie Tein for highly customizable bridal gowns. Like the top of one and the skirt from another? Your wish is their command.

Hitched Bridal Couture. 1523 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-6162. May 2 through 3.

Mira Zwillinger

This designer’s fashion-forward line will appeal to the bride who wants a unique look to take her down the aisle.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. May 7 through 9.

BLISS Monique Lhuillier

Shop the ever-romantic and elegant sister collection of Monique Lhuillier for brides who want a designer tag at a lower price point.

The Wedding Suite at Nordstrom. 8075 Tysons Corner Center, McLean; 703-761-1121. May 8 through 10.

Kenneth Pool

This collection is all about the drama with its gorgeous ball gowns and luxurious embroidery for the bride who won’t be put in a corner on her wedding day.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. May 14 through 16.

Amsale

This Ethiopian-born designer has been rocking the runway of late with her chic silhouettes. Check out her collection for classic bridal gowns that are anything but boring.

Hitched Bridal Couture. 1523 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-6162. May 15 through 16.

Naeem Khan Best of Bridal

All of the stunning embroidery on Naeem Khan's collection is done by hand, and the quality shows in the impeccably tailored gowns.

The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel. 5510 Wisconsin Ave.; 301-652-2250. May 15 through 16.

Sareh Nouri

Local designer Sareh Nouri’s fairy tale, illusion-neckline gowns will cast a spell on any brides hunting for their perfect gown.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. May 22 through 24.

Theia White

The modern designer mixes in pops of the unexpected among traditional looks to appeal to brides of all different tastes.

Ellie’s Bridal Boutique. 225 N. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-8697. May 22 through 24.

Oscar de la Renta

Is there a bridal designer more iconic than Oscar de la Renta? His legacy lives on in the Fall 2015 collection, available for the weekend at Saks Jandel.

The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel. 5510 Wisconsin Ave.; 301-652-2250. May 28 through 30.

Shows & Events

You Don't Want to Miss This Sample Sale

Shop designer gowns at serious discounts at Carine’s Bridal Atelier.

By Caroline Cunningham Gowns from Monique Lhuillier and other top designers will sell for 30 to 75 percent off.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier is hosting a sample sale, and with their line-up of high-end designers, this is not one brides-to-be will want to pass on. From Monique Lhuillier to Marchesa, the boutique is filled with dreamy designer dresses. Quality comes at a price when you’re talking wedding gowns, but April 28 through 29, that price will be a lot lower.

With discounts between 30 and 75 percent on off the rack gowns, brides can score an amazing deal on a designer gown. All 14 of the lines carried by Carine’s Bridal Atelier will be up for grabs, so whether an iconic Carolina Herrera gown or a fashion-forward frock from Berta fits a bride’s aesthetic, there’s sale dresses for all. The salon only hosts two sample sales a year, so newly engaged brides-to-be will want to book their appointments ASAP.

Call the salon to reserve a spot, then grab your strapless bra, heels, and girlfriends to make the shopping trip a success.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier, 1726 Wisconsin Ave, NW; 202-965-4696, April 28-29.

Shows & Events

11 Bridal Trunk Shows to Score Deals on Your Dress

Try on designer gowns for size at these April sales.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy Angel Sanchez.

Liancarlo

See the latest from designer Carlos Ramirez with his ultra-feminine designs—lace sheaths, tulle ballgowns, and illusion necklines aplenty.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. April 9 through 11, by appointment only.

Caroline DeVillo

Take a couture gown for a twirl in one of Carline DeVillo’s modern designs, such as the drape top Ginger gown or the knee-length Jane lace dress.

The Wedding Suite at Nordstrom. 8075 Tysons Corner Center, McLean; 703-761-1121. April 10 through 12, by appointment only.

Justin Alexander

Shop this timeless collection, featuring preppy bow accents, art deco beaded tulle, and simple silk chiffon a-line skirts.

Blush Bridal Boutique. 15125 Washington St., Suite 212, Haymarket; 703-753-8303. April 10 through 12, by appointment only.

Veil Trends Luxe Retailer

Find the perfect compliment to your gown at this veil trunk show, featuring every kind of cut and shape from Veil Trends Bridal Veils, and receive ten percent off your purchase.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. April 10 through 12, by appointment only.

Bliss by Monique Lhuillier

Hints of peach, barely-there blue, and light lavender all make an appearance in Monique’s 2015 collection. Fall in love with her lacey constructions at this Baltimore trunk show.

Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. April 10 through 12, call for appointment.

Accessories Trunk Show

Once you’ve got your gown, you need the gems to go with it. Shop the latest in bridal accessories at Carine’s, from jewelry to combs, veils to bird cages.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. April 13 through 17, by appointment only.

Heidi Elnora

Shop this Project Runway-veteran’s collection of beautiful ball gowns and receive ten percent the purchase of your dream dress.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. April 17 through 26, by appointment only.

Romona Keveza

Try on the modern, belt-loving Keveza collection at Alexandria boutique Hannelore’s in this exclusive trunk show.

Hannelore’s of Olde Town, 106 North Lee St., Alexandria; 703-549-0387. April 23 through 26, by appointment only.

Angel Rivera

See this contemporary collection in person, including statement embroidery, illusion backs, and perfect fit-and-flare silhouettes.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. April 24 through 26, by appointment only.

Leanne Marshall

This west coast designer brings her romantic gowns with their unique tiered skirts out east for this weekend trunk show.

Lovely Bride. 1632 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-735-0674. April 24 through 26, by appointment only.

Eve of Milady

For brides who have a flare for the dramatic, Eve of Milady’s sweeping ball gowns will work perfectly to create a dreamy, princess aesthetic.

Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. April 24 through 26, call for appointment.

Shows & Events

Deal Alert! Wedding Dress Sample Sale Happening at Hitched Next Week

Score Lela Rose, Amsale, and Modern Trousseau gowns for under $2,000.

By Sarah Zlotnick Image courtesy Hitched.

The opportunities to score serious discounts on wedding dresses are few and far between—especially when they’re as beautiful as the gowns sold at Georgetown salon Hitched. So when word gets out that a sample sale is happening, we consider it our duty to let the bridal public know!

Hitched’s spring sample sale is happening Tuesday, March 24 and Wednesday, March 25 of next week. The salon is taking appointments for both days (call 202-333-6162 to book yours), but you can also send an email to info@hitchedsalon.com to RSVP for open house shopping, which is happening between 7 and 8 PM on the 25th.

Brands represented in the sale include Lela Rose, Amsale, Christos, Anna Maier, Modern Trousseau, and Johanna Johnson, and all merchandise will run between $500 and $2,000 (a great discount considering some of these gowns can run upwards of $4000). Gowns are being sold “as is,” so you’ll take home the actual gown you try on as opposed to waiting for a new one to be delivered.

If you attend the sale and get your dress, tweet at us (@washbridegroom) or let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear your tips for shopping a sample sale.

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