Wedding Fashion Chat with Julia Lichtman Kepniss and Carin Rosenberg Levine, Thursday, February 14 at 11 AM
So, you're planning a wedding. Do you have questions about your dress? Your bridesmaids'? Thursday, February 14, we'll continue our weekly online wedding chats by bringing in Julia Lichtman Kepniss and Carin Rosenberg Levine of Hitched bridal salon. Submi Host Julia and Carin

Editor’s Note: Washingtonian Online moderators and hosts retain editorial control over chats and choose the most relevant questions; hosts can decline to answer questions.

Published February 7, 2008
Thanks for all the terrific questions Ladies. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at Hitched. All the best with your wedding planning! - Carin and Julia
About five years ago, former New York City roommates Carin Rosenberg Levine and Julia Lichtman Kepniss had a vision of creating a bridal store that would be trendy and friendly. They already had the dress sense (each searched long and hard for her own wedding gown) and store-owner smarts (Carin went to Yale business school, Julia to Georgetown law), so—after two years of meeting with designers and stores around the country—they opened Hitched in Georgetown in December 2005.

Silver Spring, MD
I have a vintage couture gown that despite restoration has stains on the skirt, and the bustline is too generous. I need to find a great tailor or seamstress to rescue my diamond in the rough, and not break my wedding budget. HELP!
Vintage couture gowns are an awesome way to go. You should take the gown to a cleaner and tailor that really knows about wedding gowns, so as to not risk damaging the delicate fabric and vintage quality of the gown. We recommend using Parkway Custom Dry Cleaners in Chevy Chase, MD. They have been in business for over 30 years and are experts in cleaning and preserving wedding gowns. They also have tailors on staff, so you can do everything in one place. Their phone number is (301) 652-3377 are located at 8402 Connecticut Avenue.
Bethesda, MD
2nd wedding for both bride and groom, morning ceremony--what do you suggest?

These days, brides and grooms are planning the ceremony and reception that they want (less rules and more fun!) The most important thing is to create an event that is personal and special to the couple. Whether that is an intimate event or big bash with everyone they know, the key to memorable event is crafting the event that will make the bride and groom happiest.
Pittsburgh, PA
Hi Julia and Carin, I'm getting married in DC in March & still have not found my veil! I am wondering what the average price of a lace cathedral veil costs? The ones I've tried on in NYC and PGH were all over $2000 & I wasn't sure if this was normal b/c no one I know has ever spent that much on a veil nor can I find any information on the internet about veils. I'm stuck in medical school in the midwest until the wedding & my choices are buy a random one off the internet (seems sketchy) or just order the one I tried on back home. Is this the average price and/or do you have any lace cathedral veils at your store available?

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Lace can be a pricey component of a veil. The same cathedral-length veil that is $300 without lace, would be $750-$1200, with lace depending on the type of lace used and the quantity.  Certainly, the cost will depend on the quality of the lace as well.  A beautiful French alencon or chantilly lace veil, with significant length can definitely begin to add up. Our lace cathedral-length veils range between $750-$1200.  We'd love to have you in for an appointment if you’d like more information about specific veil options.
Washington, DC
I'm on a tight budget and am assembling my wedding day outfit on my own. So far, I've got a gown from J Crew and shoes from the Isaac Mizrahi bridal line at Target. Do you have any tips for me on how to select a veil and accessories so that I don't end up looking like a mismatched, piece-meal bride. Are there local stylists that I could work with who could give me suggestions on completing my look?
It sounds like you are well on your way to a fabulous look for your wedding day. Our veils start at $150 and you are welcome to schedule an appointment with us. You could also comb the internet for great deals.  If you were open to a gently loved veil, you could try craigs list or a consignment store, because then you could visit the veil, before purchasing, and make sure it coordinates with the rest of your wedding day ensemble. There is a bridal consignment store in Rockville, called I Do I Do. Alternatively, if you or someone you love is the crafty type, there are lots of great patterns at G Street Fabrics, with a wide range of tulles and trims to choose from.
Washington, DC
What's the most popular shade of white wedding dress? I'm planning to go for an off-white.

Every designer has their own array of whites, ivories, etc. One designer's ivory can look like another's white. It's always best to choose a gown based on its design and style, and then look at the color options. Almost all gowns can be ordered in multiple colors. At Hitched, ivory and soft white are very popular with our brides. 

Arlington, VA
On average, how early in advance of my wedding do I need to buy my wedding gown?
At Hitched, we assist brides who have varying time lines for their wedding planning. It is optimal to order your gown 6-9 months before the wedding. Generally, the designer take 4-5 months to produce your gown and we like to have about 3 months to do alterations. This schedule allows for a stress-free and more flexible process. We can almost always order a gown on a shorter time frame, however, one thing to note, is that many designers will charge a rush fee if you purchase the gown less than 6 months from your wedding date. 
Washington, DC
I'm having a morning wedding with a brunch reception. I love very traditional, elegant gowns, but I'm worried this will look too over the top for a morning wedding. What do you think?
Go for it! This is your one day to be the bride you want to be and to create a wedding that is uniquely you. Nothing could be worse than looking back at your day and wishing you had made a different choice. Don't feel constricted by random rules, if you want to wear a ball gown on a beach you should, if you want to wear a red short frock at your ceremony, you should. A morning wedding can be elegant and romantic - we have no doubt you'll choose a fabulous gown!
Arlington, VA
My fiance and I tell each other EVERYTHING, and I really want to show him my dress. How big of a deal is it to do this? Do most brides stick to the him not seeing the dress beforehand?
If you haven't noticed by now, we are not sticklers for rules. Yes, the convention is still to keep the gown a secret from your fiance and the majority of your wedding guests. That said, we have plenty of ladies shopping at Hitched who want to share every part of their wedding planning with their fiance. We welcome it and you should do what you are most comfortable with. 
washington, dc
is white my only option for shoes??
Not at all. One big trend we've noticed has been the use of fun and funky shoes as part of the wedding day look. Some brides are using blue shoes to incorporate their 'something blue', while others are using the wedding as an excuse to buy a pair of their favorite Manolo's (you won't just wear those once). Don't forget, most of the time, you can hardly see your shoes under your gown. 
Bethesda, MD
I'm 5'2" and wondering if there are any dress styles that are better for shorter women. Thanks!
We have lots of gowns at Hitched that will work well for you. There are lots of tricks in the ordering process that can help give a bride an elongated look. Many designers will allow you to order their gowns with a custom hollow to hem measurement, which helps keep everything in proportion. One fun idea we have for you is to attend a trunk show where the designer is on hand to help you think through the best design for your figure, and customize measurements accordingly. 
Washington, DC
What do you think about adding a little color to a dress? Like, maybe a colored sash or bow to match the bridal party?
Great. Lots of brides are incorporating color into their wedding day look -- whether it be through a sash, shoes, hair accessories or jewelry, there are lots of creative and fun ways to use color. Some brides opt to keep a more traditional look for the ceremony, then add color for the reception to contribute to a more festive party look.
Washington, DC
I'm not a huge fan of my arms and was hoping to find a pretty dress with sleeves, but all the dresses I like are sleeveless. I feel like 99% of the dresses out there are. Do any designers do sleeves? Help!
It is true that there are a lot of strapless dresses out there. We have even been surprised to learn that strapless gowns look better than strapped gowns on more people than you would think. That said, we have a large collection of strapped gowns and plenty of strapless gowns that can be 'built up' to have straps or sleeves. Many of our designers are open to customizing a gown to your specifications. PS. Nobody likes their arms : )
Chevy Chase, MD
I'm thinking of wearing a gown for the ceremony and changing into a short dress for the reception--much easier to dance in! What designers could I look at for a short dress that still says wedding?
This is a fun idea that lots of brides are doing these days. One of our favorite designers, Anna Maier/Ulla-Maija www.ulla-maija.com, has a fabulous new collection of short bridal gowns. We are hosting an Ulla-Maija trunk show at Hitched, next weekend (Feb. 22nd and 23rd). Feel free to get in touch to make an appointment. 
Washington DC
Who are some of your favorite wedding gown designers?
All of the designers we work with are terrific and each one really speaks to a different style bride. We love Judd Waddell for his fabulous fit and timeles design element. Ulla-Maija is one of the most couture designers in the bridal industry -- their architectural draping and made-to-measure gowns are so original and make the ordering process incredibly special. Modern Trousseau has romantic and beautiful designs and the company works hard to customize to almost any specification. 

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