Posts Tagged ‘bride’

Bridesmaid Couture

November 18, 2008

All too often the bridesmaids are placed lowly on the totem pole.  They are instructed to find a dress that blends into the background so as not to take away from the bride.  Lunacy!  The bride will certainly steal the show, so the maids might as well have a little fun keeping up. 


Bari Jay, an Uptown Bridal designer, offers a selection of fun and affordable bridesmaids’ dresses.  Take this taffeta number for example (Bari Jay 507).  As is common in fashionable bridal gowns, this bridesmaid’s gown carries a lot of its detail in the back.  There is a large taffeta obi sash that extends from the top of the dress to the hem.  This Japanese touch gives the wedding guests a little something to gaze at while dreaming about the buffet to follow.


Vera Wang, never asks a bridesmaid to leave her style or her brains at the door.  Her maids’ designs, found at Mariée, are anything but run-of-the-mill and are frequently an acquired taste.  One such lamé dress is a study in design throughout the entirety of the garment.  First, the lamé itself is actually the reverse side of a satin.  So, Vera Wang is already thinking outside of the box when it comes to fabrication.  She also uses black elastic in order to add a bit of modern, industrial edge juxtaposed against the saccharine sweetheart neckline and bubble hem.  The selling point on this little dress, like Uptown’s Bari Jay, is the back detail.  What can only be described as an extra “flap” of fabric is folded up over the black elastic to create, again, a Japanese detail much like a kimono. 


Ever the leader when it comes to bridesmaids, Watters and Watters knows just how to flatter the figure and appeal to an edgy design aesthetic.  Available at Brides by Demetrios and (newly) Mariée, Watters and Watter’s design 9826 has a risky and risqué element with its plunging neckline.  Then again, this style perfectly mirrors the most commonplace bridal designs seen first with Monique L’huillier and recently extending through David’s Bridal.  It takes a certain girl to pull off this cotton lace halter.  If a certain group of bridesmaids have just the right attitude and body confidence, then they should go for it with this dress and let that confidence shine through.


If asked to spend a lot of cash as well as several Saturdays on this wedding, maids deserve their time in the limelight too.  They have a certain style that deserves to shine.  Still, the bride need not worry about any show stealing.   After all, she’s the bride!


Bridal Couture

November 18, 2008

Coordinating the Bride and Her Maids

Finding the right bridesmaids dress to match the gown is like pairing a fine wine with a gourmet meal.  A sommelier wouldn’t pair a Riesling with lamb or a Cabernet Sauvignon with light seafood; so, a bride wouldn’t pair a slinky slip dress with heavy duchess satin bridesmaids dress adorned with pickups.  The Valley’s bridal salons come to the rescue with a wide offering of bridesmaid dresses to match their bridal selection. 


Old Town Scottsdale’s Mariée bridal salon offers a wide variety of artistic gowns that can be difficult to pare with the perfect bridesmaids dress.  One such challenge is the Christina by Bonaparte NY.  The Christina is several tiers of Chantilly lace and silk chiffon cut up and sewn back together in strips to form its own unique fabric.  This is delicately finished with a silk ribbon around the ribcage.  For more than a splash of drama, the Christina’s train can be untied to let its lace spill out onto the floor forming an art deco rectangular train that was more common in the 1920s. 


To match this lacy drama, a subtle lace ensemble will do the trick.  That being said, lace is a difficult fabric to find when it comes to bridesmaids.  Uptown Bridal in Old Town Chandler offers a particular Bari Jay bridesmaid gown (#317) comprised of soft, re-embroidered lace perfectly accompanying the soft lace and chiffon Bonaparte NY gown.   Picking lace does not mean giving up the wedding’s theme colors.  This Bari Jay comes in a variety of colors for the lace as well as the satin ribbon.  Also to be noted about this dress is its a-line silhouette.  The Bonaparte NY Christina is such a subtle mermaid that it is practically an a-line.  In every respect, these two gowns are a perfect pairing. 


Uptown Bridal also carries the Mon Cheri line of wedding gowns.  One such gown, the Karol, is both traditional and non-traditional calling for a bridesmaid’s dress that is also the balance of the two.  The Karol’s traditional white or ivory satin faced organza is made a bit more daring in its use of blue, embroidered illusion and a low back topped off with a blue ribbon.  The “something blue” is more than a little “something” with this gown.


A daring bride calls for a daring bridesmaid.  To match this streak of white and blue, Azteca Bridal in downtown Phoenix offers a Jim Hjelm bridesmaid with a blue sash to match the Mon Cheri gown at Uptown Bride.  To go that extra daring step, the Jim Hjelm maid’s gown comes in a very taboo white with the only contrast being the sash. 


The modern bride no longer has to put up with a tacky and mismatched bridesmaid gown.  One can match silhouette, fabrication, and accent color perfectly from bridal gown to bridesmaid like Syrah and chocolate.

Zadie Knows All

September 29, 2008

Dear Zadie:

I am a thirty-one year old woman, all set to marry a forty-four year old man.  Each of us has been married twice before, so what is appropriate for a third wedding?  Both of us have been through a lot in our past marriages, and we have come to the conclusion that our union is a lasting one.  I would like to have an elegant church wedding of any size, because I have yet to enjoy that experience.  My fiancé would like a large reception for the same reason.


My fiancé feels I should have the wedding I want, but what is truly appropriate?  Could we have the wedding and reception in the style and size we want without being frowned upon, or am I worrying too much about the opinions of others?


Dear “Third Time is a Charm:”

While Zadie is generally amazed at the serial marriages of the Twenty-first Century, she thinks maybe you have answered your own question.  You can and should have the wedding and reception you and your fiancé desire.  You ARE worrying too much about what the opinions of others. 


Begin your life with this man in the manner that makes you both happy.  Those who care to comment on the style and size of your wedding will do so whether you have the wedding you want or the wedding they prefer; so go ahead and do what is right for the two of you.  It is your wedding, so follow your heart.  Everyone else is a guest.



Dear Zadie:  Here is a situation I would love to diffuse BEFORE my wedding, but which will require great sensitivity.  I am having nightmares about this and hope you can help.


My mother has remarried – for the third time.  I’m not close to my natural father, her first husband; in fact, we haven’t spoken for three years.  This distance is not due to any hard feelings, but has to do with his new wife and his desire not to be a part of his ex-wife’s new family.  My mother’s second husband is the one who was present for most of my childhood, but it is for him I hold the hardest feelings, since he caused so much heartache for my mother and me.  While he has tried to play a role in my life since he and my mother divorced, I am nervous when left alone with him.  My mother’s third and current husband is wonderful; he is thoughtful and kind, and I’m sorry that she didn’t find him sooner.  I feel closest to him, although he has not been in my life for long.


My dilemma is who should walk me down the aisle?  And, also, that these three men will have to interact with one another for an extended period of time since we have chosen a destination wedding that will last five days.  I don’t want any episodes, scenes or hard feelings.  I would also like to honor my mother’s current husband at the reception, but I am uncertain how.  Should I just keep quiet and hope for the best or speak up?  HELP, Zadie!


Dear Thoughtful Daughter:  You do have a sensitive situation on you hands requiring tact and diplomacy.  Here’s what Zadie thinks.  First, you and your mother have traveled a long road together – why not honor HER by asking her to accompany you down the aisle.  Instead of giving you away, she can affirm that she “supports this union.”


Destination weddings are sometimes difficult simply because people who only slightly know each other are thrown together in a place and at a time when the sole purpose is to be happy and to spread good cheer and feelings.  Speak to each of your dads alone, ideally in person, and explain your goals for the wedding and the parties.  Explain to each of these men that your wish is for everyone to get along for five days, and that each should make this his goal.


As for honoring your stepfather, how about asking him to read something at the wedding or maybe a special toast at the reception?



Dear Zadie:  My fiancé and I sold our condos and bought a house together.  Now we have two of everything – dishes, silverware, computers, linens, etc.  How do we tactfully let our guests know not to buy us anything else?  If we do not mention a gift registry at all, do you think the guests will automatically know to just give us cash or a card?  I have received invitations that say “wishing well reception,” which translates to money only, but I wonder if that is appropriate.  Currently, I am leaning toward not mentioning gifts at all.  What do you think I should do?


Dear Leaning:  Zadie approves of your final direction.  There is nothing more tacky than asking for money.  My suggestion is no mention of what you want.  When the gifts arrive, write your thank you notes.  Who knows – you may decide some of the gifts are much nicer than what you already have.  In that case, I would donate old usable items to a charity.  They are always grateful.



Dear Zadie:  I am in the midst of planning my wedding and am looking for the perfect venue in Savannah, Georgia – a lovely place with a courtyard.  I have two boys, ages five and seven, and I wish to include them in wedding.  The problem I am encountering is the best Bed and Breakfasts do not allow children for fear of disturbing other guests.  I want my boys in the ceremony and the reception.  They will not be staying overnight.  Can you give me some advice?


Dear Savannah-Bound:  Zadie agrees that Savannah is one of the most romantic places in our whole country and lovely weddings are held there.  My advice is to not mention to the B&B owners who your guests will be.  If they children will not be staying overnight, they should not even come up in conversation.  (Note to Bride:  Do not take the boys with you when you actually visit these establishments.)



Dear Zadie:  My oldest daughter, aged twenty-four, is getting married this spring.  She would really like for her two sisters to participate in her wedding.  One will be six – she will be the flower girl.  The other sister is twelve – her role is causing the dilemma.  We want her to feel involved and important as well.  We have considered having her be a junior bridesmaid, but there are no junior groomsmen.  This is all getting so complicated.  Can you help us simplify?


Dear Mother with a Dilemma:  You must be a talented woman, indeed – to raise three daughters of such disparate ages and interests.  Here are a couple of ideas for the wedding and its important participants.


The twelve year old can certainly be a junior bridesmaid, and she does not need an escort.  She can walk in just ahead of the flower girl or just ahead of the maid of honor.   She can also be the second maid of honor and share duties with the first maid of honor.  She can do a special reading on behalf of the family at the ceremony, as the family representative.  She can also light the candles before the processional.


She can be (this is the latest rage) the bell ringer, and ring a silver bell to announce the arrival of the bride.  (If she wishes, she can cry, “The bride is coming, the bride is coming!” as she rings her bell.  Get a silver bell and have it engraved with the wedding couple’s name and wedding date for her to keep.  The bell ringer waits for the flower girl to reach the altar before she starts down the aisle ringing the silver bell and announcing the bride.  Then the bridal march begins, the doors open to reveal the bride and her father.


Whatever the girls do in the wedding, make sure they understand their roles and are thoroughly rehearsed.  Good luck – this sounds like a wonderful family wedding.



To my readers, here is a toast to a happy new year.  This is the season of new beginnings and as Zadie settles in to celebrate with some very fine bubbly, she wishes all of you, dear readers, a wonderful new year and many happy, beautiful weddings.


Your mannered friend,