Photo by Getty Images
Runway diva extraordinaire Miss J of America's Next Top Model imparts his fierce wisdom on how to walk in a dress with a train.
1) Stretch your body from the waist up, and walk with pride. Don't take long strides, just graceful ones.
2) For the walks up and down the aisle, use your dad and your groom as handsome crutches. At the reception, you're on your own, but having small weights attached to the bottom of the train will prevent it from sliding under your feet. Otherwise, hike it, hook it, or bustle it. And choose shoes with a comfortable heel—they make maneuvering a train so much easier.
3) Be sure he's the right man first, so you don't waste a good dress and a good walk!
Just got this sweet Valentine's Day card from Kathryn Murphy Calligraphy and wanted to share if with you. I love Kathryn's modern, whimsical style and I was thrilled to work with her on the newest issue of Brides New York, which just hit stands. You'll find her beautiful calligraphy on page 60 in our "Find Our Wedding Style" story. —Leigh Crandall
See more calligraphy examples in our Invitations & Stationery gallery.
Photos: Andre Maier Photography
We know—reading wedding magazines and blogs can leave you feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities. But what if weddings were your job? Knowing all the options—and how to execute them well—could be paralyzing. We talked to some recently married wedding experts to find out how they focused their efforts, and their responses were surprisingly refreshing (even the pros have to deal with budget restraints and suffer from DIY project-induced stress attacks!)
Case in point: Celebrity event planner Jes Gordon of jesGORDON/properFUN. She's designed super fabulous, money-is-no-object bashes for A-listers like Sting and Elton John, and planned the nuptials of Las Vegas actress Vanessa Marcil and CSI: NY actor Carmine Giovinazzo, but when it came to her own wedding, her and her fiance's budget ruled out a few of their choices. "I knew we wouldn't be able to afford things like a 15-piece band or a formal sit-down dinner," says Jes. "So, instead, we did a cocktail party menu." Jes also admits she had to hold herself back from going crazy with the details. "I caught myself thinking about doing all these little touches," she says. "But then I would remind myself that it wasn't realistic for me to take those projects on, since I work full time."
To find out more about what Jes did for her own wedding, along with nine other wedding pros (including a stationery designer, a florist, a cake designer, and a wedding gown designer), click here to read our article. —Lauren Matthews, editor
For more wedding planning advice, visit our Basic How-Tos Index
Courtesy of Net-A-Porter.com
Clearly, Jason Wu loves designing white dresses—his most famous gown was Michelle Obama's ethereal one-shouldered look from the Inauguration. So the fact that he's launching his first bridal collection on Net-A-Porter.com should be no surprise, but we were still pretty psyched to see the five simple, but still completely gorgeous styles. Ranging in price from $795 to $4,000, the styles range from a classic Audrey Hepburn-inspired silk faille number with a black bow belt, to a modern, relaxed chiffon skirt paired with an embroidered tank. And check out the feathered skirt and ruffled tank—how cute would that be for a rehearsal dinner or reception dress? The collection won't be available until January 2011, but you can check out (and buy!) the rest of Net-A-Porter's wedding collection online, where you can purchase wedding gowns by designers from Lela Rose to Lanvin. And don't forget to visit our gown gallery for the newest wedding dresses. —Kim Forrest
Painting: Carlos Ramirez
If you've ever dreamed of being immortalized on canvas, here's your chance. During bridal market, we met with Carlos Ramirez, the designer of Liancarlo. Turns out Carlos is an artist in every sense of the word—designing a line of gorgeous and flattering wedding dresses and painting on the side. Here's where you come in: If you purchase a Liancarlo gown and then send Carlos photos from your wedding day, he'll (digitally) paint your portrait, then post it on his new blog Art Reflects Life. And if you want, you can even purchase the image on canvas. We were blown away by Carlos' work, like this portrait of a Georgia bride wearing a custom Liancarlo creation (above). To see more Liancarlo wedding dresses, visit our dress gallery.—Kim Forrest
Courtesy of monicaanddavid.com
Finally, some reality television about weddings that can be described as heartwarming and inspiring: HBO is premiering the documentary Monica & David tonight at 8 p.m. EST. The film explores the wedding of two adults with Down syndrome and the unique challenges they (and their families) face as they start building an independent life as a married couple. Monica and David's story is even more poignant given the fact that marriage for adults with Down syndrome is unusual, in part because until fairly recently people with Down didn't live long—in 1983 life expectancy was 25, but today it's 60, with some living into their 70s. The film is full of humor, romance, and everyday family drama—relateable topics for any engaged couple.
The documentary will be playing throughout October
(Down Syndrome Awareness Month) on HBO. And if the doc inspires you to take action (which hopefully it will!), you can donate to the Accessibility Fund
(who will make the film available to individuals who are deaf, blind, or visually impaired) or join Best Buddies International
. View the Monica and David trailer
and find more ways to take action at monicaanddavid.com
. —Lauren Matthews, editor
Courtesy of Princess Lasertron
We've been huge fans of Princess Lasertron ever since coming across her amazing felt flower bouquets a few years back. Our love affair with her work continues as she just released her very first 11-look dress collection. Some of the looks, like the sunny yellow "Ashley" dress, shown here, would be fabulous for a low-key, vintage-inspired wedding, while others (check out the "Jamie") have "rehearsal dinner" written all over them. I love how our dear Princess Lasertron creates fun, brightly-colored petticoats that peek out from under her dresses—such a cute touch! Visit Princess Lasertron's dress website to view her entire collection, or check out her blog for more on the Princess herself (including photos of her darling baby girl).—Kim Forrest
Courtesy of Rina di Montella
I'm really looking forward to viewing Rina di Montella's new bridal and evening wear collections up close and personal in October, but the lovely Rina provided us with a sneak peek— sketches of her two favorite designs. Rina told me that her new social occasion line will feature gorgeous gowns for mothers of the bride and groom, and wedding guests in her favorite shades like iridescent purples, mauves, and aquas.
As for her bridal line, the new collection will contain about 30 looks. Rina's favorite, shown here, is adorned with reembroidered French lace and a touch of sparkle. "It's very simple, yet very different," Rina says. "I could see this dress being really fresh at a garden or ballroom wedding." Check out Rina's website to see more of her current collection. We'll bring you photos of the new collection as soon as it hits the bridal fashion runways!—Kim Forrest
Courtesy of TLC
Celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham not only has created dramatic works of art for stars like Eva Longoria and Janet Jackson, he is becoming a star himself! His new show Flowers Uncut with Jeff Leatham premieres on TLC this Wednesday and documents his move to New York from Paris. Here he talks to us about working on weddings, his floral personality and reveals his celebrity dream client. —Cari Wolfert
What is the first question you ask brides and grooms when you meet with them about their wedding?
I ask them to close their eyes and envision their wedding and tell me exactly what they see. Everyone has their dream in their head. After that I ask them what colors they want to incorporate.
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The boudoir photography trend has been gaining popularity over the past few years, but Heather Stumpf of Vavoom Pinups has a new take on this sexy groom's gift. The Chicago-based photography company offers brides -- and their 'maids -- a unique experience to express themselves in a cheeky vintage or sexy look with their Vavoom Boudoir division. We spoke with Heather about what her company offers clients and how you can create a pinup photo if you don't live in the Chicago area. Here's what she had to say: —Anne Chertoff
Boudoir photos have been popular for several years, why did you decide to shoot pinups?
There's something terrific and iconic about women embracing their fun and flirty sides in classic pin-up hair, make-up, clothes and poses that I think women don't get to celebrate nearly often enough in their day-to-day lives. We wanted to show them how fabulous they could look in this mode.
You also offer vintage-style boudoir photos—can you tell us how your boudoir pictures are different than others we've seen?
Originally our idea was to concentrate on pin-up photography, but we quickly realized that there were many women who wanted to explore and embrace their more sultry and sensual sides through...
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Thayler Allyson Gowdy
Kristen* is the Coco Chanel and Eddie Van Halen of wedding photography all in one. She brings an elegant, couture look to the once mundane field while also adding an documentary-like rocker vibe. With her company, Bliss Video Productions, she has had the opportunity to work with celebrity clients such as Molly Shannon, Rachel Nichols and KaDee Strickland on their wedding videos.
Along with fellow videographers Bruce Patterson of Cloud Nine Creative, Jason Magbanu and Julie Hill of Elysium Productions, she is part of the Re:Frame Collective, a one-stop resource for education, leadership, community involvement, and referrals for the event filmmaking industry.
Here, Kristen* talks with us about the easiest way to personalize your wedding video, new trends in the industry and what to ask when shopping for a videographer. —Cari Wolfert
What are some new trends in videography that you hope more brides will want to incorporate into their wedding videos?
Super 8 & 16mm film is becoming more and more popular. Many brides want a more atmospheric memory of their wedding rather than a literal cinematic film. Film is perfect for this reason because
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Courtesy of Justin Alexander
On the heels of the launch of PURE, wedding dress company Justin Alexander's eco-friendly dress line, we sat down with the company's head designer Tony Mentel to chat about the new collection and what it really means to have a green wedding. —Cari Wolfert
What makes a wedding dress eco-friendly?
Our philosophy is to think about the whole process of making a dress and ways which we can reduce the carbon footprint and the harmful pollutants which could be used in the making process. We use 100% organic fabrics...
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Courtesy of Aria
Tak Hau launched Aria in 2001, a stylish line of dresses that can easily be customized for both wedding parties and individual bridesmaids. The complete line of classic dresses and accessories are crafted from fine fabrics and manufactured in California. Aria dresses are sold direct to the consumer via online try-ons and ordering as well as at three showrooms in Los Angles, Boston and Washington, D.C. Tak began designing women's fashion in 1989 and supplied clothing to Entertainment Tonight and a variety of movie productions. His affordable line of bridesmaid dresses has now expanded to include silk satin wedding dresses that sell for less than $400! We asked Tak to explain how he developed his unique retail model as well as his tips for shopping for bridesmaid dresses and how to make both bridesmaid dresses and wedding dresses unique to reflect your wedding and personal style. Here's what he had to say: —Anne Chertoff
Why did you create Aria? What makes Aria unique?
Having been in the dress business for many years, I'd noticed that there weren't many affordable modern, sophisticated clothing choices for bridal parties. Dress buyers were telling me how their customers were purchasing my dress designs to be worn in their weddings.
The business model favored by many lines today is to pre-manufacture overseas a limited selection of dress size/style/color combinations. When your preferences are sold out—they are often not available again for quite some time, which is unfortunate when trying to coordinate a larger bridal party. Since Aria produces our dresses locally in California we are able to offer brides and bridesmaids the ability to truly customize their dresses, with all our colors, neckline and skirt silhouette choices always available at a very competitive price.
When designing dresses, I am always thinking of the wide range of women and their various body types. It is very important as a designer to remember that we are dressing real women and not runway models.
In what ways can a bride make her bridesmaids' dresses more personal to her wedding as well as each girl?
Aria understands that everyone is unique and no two women ever have the exact same body. Since we offer about 90 different fabric and color choices, brides have the luxury...
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Courtesy of Bravo
Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger has finally found love! The reality TV star got engaged last month to businessman and long time boyfriend Andy Friedman. Here she shares some of her post-marriage relationship advice and what style element you can expect on her big day. —Cari Wolfert
You have a lot of relationship rules for before you get married. Do you have any for after?
My number one rule for after you get married is to not forget what it was like when you were dating. You should always have "date night" once a week, when phones, computers and the TV are turned off. Breaking out the vino and a good meal in a quiet place can reconnect a couple better than crazy glue.
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Courtesy of Éclat Chocolate
When the word "chocolate" is part of someone's official title, you know he has an amazing job. In his deliciously enviable work as Master Chocolatier for Éclat Chocolate, Christopher Curtin has created everything from custom beer-flavored truffles to an 18-tiered wedding cake for the Prince and Princess of Belgium. Here, he chats with us about creative ways to include chocolate in your wedding, the best way to store your treats and what to do if—oops!—you spill any on your white dress. —Kathryn Papanek
Why is chocolate meaningful for special occasions?
Almost everyone loves chocolate. There are few people who don't, so it's something that people can enjoy instantly. And in this economy, people like the affordable luxury. Brides and grooms are rethinking buying little trinkets that guests might just throw away as favors.
What are some fun, unique ways to serve chocolate at a wedding reception?
You can include differently shaped-chocolates...
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