Lela Rose

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Courtesy of Lela Rose

With a bridal collection, a line of bridesmaid dresses and a bridal shoe collection for Payless, Texas native Lela Rose is definitely a triple threat. We got the wedding dress designer (pictured here with her faithful companion Stitch) to take a break from her busy schedule to chat with us about staying cool at a summer wedding, bridesmaid dress tips and the fashion item she thinks brides should economize on. —Kathryn Papanek

What qualities do you think brides should look for in a wedding shoe?

Good price. I think the wedding day shoe is a place that a bride can save. I have never worn my wedding shoes a second time and do not believe that many brides do. That is why I think a bride can save money here and go with a classic beautiful style and not break the bank.

We're in thick of the summer wedding season. Do you have any advice for a bride who wants to keep her look fresh and photo-ready during a hot summer wedding?

I would stay away from...

There's more!

a heavy satin dress if you are not inside in an air-conditioned venue. I love silk chiffon, cotton faille and silk and cotton tulle for summer weddings. These fabrics allow the bride to feel the summer breeze. I would also keep your make-up artist close to your photographer—a little blotting goes a long way.

You designed bridesmaid dresses in different colors for Jenna Bush's wedding. Do you like the idea of brides dressing their bridesmaids in a variety of different outfits or do you think it's better for the bridesmaids to wear the same look?

I absolutely love the style and color scheme that we did for Jenna Bush's wedding. Jenna was very interested in having each of her "house party" members be able to express their own style within the dresses that we offered and having different style and color options was a great way to achieve this. In the Lela Rose Bridesmaid collection, we offer a few different shapes in each group. The group will have the same details (rosettes, camellias, ruffles), which allows the bride to pick the best shape for each bridesmaid.

Unforgettable Moments, your collection of bridal shoes for Payless, is a great resource for brides looking for inexpensive wedding shoes. What was your inspiration for the line?

I had been wanting to design and offer product at great price and the shoe collections was a great way to do this. The Unforgettable Moments collection offers beautiful classic styles in 64 different colors, and the price is between $35-$45. I love the being able to design a shoe that is so affordable and also is really needed in the market. The dyeable shoe market needed a good dose of style and this was the perfect way to offer it. A bride can also have her shoes dyed in her wedding color—I think this is always fun to have a little color peeking out of her wedding dress.

What are your tips for a bride who is trying to create a glamorous wedding-day look for less?

Always stay true to your personal style—you want to look like a radiant version of your everyday self when you look back on your pictures. The Lela Rose Bridesmaid collection offers each short dress in the collection in a long white version. This is a perfect way to get the look for less.

See wedding dresses by Lela Rose.

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