Complete your look with these fab accessories. (photo by Jared Castaldi)
Pearl bracelet, $389, by Anna Biggs Designs, Greenville
Ironwork earrings with drop pearl, $89, by Anna Biggs Designs, Greenville
Triple-strand Akoya pearl bracelet with pavé diamonds, $10,350 at Stuart Kingston Jewelers, Wilmington
Flowerdrop pearl earrings, $82, by Anna Biggs Designs, Greenville
Rabbit and pearl necklace, $790, by Anna Biggs Designs, Greenville
South Sea pearl with pavé diamond flower pin, $4,850, at Stuart Kingston Jewelers, Wilmington
Pearl and diamond chandelier earrings, $895, at Stuart Kingston Jewelers, Wilmington
18-karat vermeil necklace with seed and rice pearls and heart pendant by Flying Lizard Design, $158 at Bloom, Newark
Blush coin pearl necklace mixed with blush Swarovski crystals on a gold chain by Erica Zap, $99 at Lady’s Image, Wilmington
Bird nest pearl earrings by Flying Lizard Designs, $95 at Bloom, Newark.
Sterling silver bud design bracelet enhanced with pale green freshwater pearls and a toggle clasp by Erica Zap, $189, at Lady’s Image, Wilmington
Cascade earrings in sterling silver with freshwater pearls by Erica Zap, $69, at Lady’s Image, Wilmington
Gold vermeil and pearl locket by Catherine W., $186 at Bloom, Newark
Freshwater pearls intertwined with gold and finished with a toggle clasp by Erica Zap, $189 at Lady’s Image, Wilmington.
Page 2: Something New | What lines are some of your favorite bridal boutiques carrying? Look here.
What lines are some of your favorite bridal boutiques carrying? Look here.
Want to look fabulously different than your other betrothed BFFs? Check out the new designers and styles in Delaware’s bridal boutiques.
Claire’s Fashions in Wilmington carries the David Tutera line of gowns inspired by his “My Fair Wedding” show on WEtv. “Each gown is based on a red carpet dress worn by a Hollywood celebrity,” says Colleen Wilson. For spring, Claire’s will carry La Sposa.
Casablanca Bridal is the new line at The Bridal Boutique in Milford, which Pat Davis says is unique. “If a bride wants the top of one dress, the skirt of a second dress and the beading of a third dress, Casablanca will do it,” she says.
New at Jennifer’s Bridal in Hockessin: the Robert Bullock Collection from Birnbaum & Bullock. The gowns, all made in Manhattan, are affordable versions of Bullock’s wedding couture line.
Marie Protokowicz says the new Allure gowns are very popular at Brides & Grooms in Newark, as are the frilly-skirted gowns by Rosa Clará. French design house Cymbeline creates chic gowns that are carried by Anastasia’s in Greenville. Other Anastasia showstoppers: Paloma Blanca’s line of bridal gowns, especially when topped by the designer’s bolero jackets.
How do bridal fashion pros decide which designers to carry? “Price point is an issue,” says Donna Keenan of Stained Glass Bridal & Tuxedo in Delmar. “I want to provide gowns that my brides can afford, without guilt.” Boutique owners also seek designers who create what Delaware brides want. “Our brides tend to be traditional in their tastes,” says Cathy Patterson of Louis Marie Bridal in Middletown. “For the most part, Delaware brides want conservative, tasteful, beautiful gowns.” —Melissa Jacobs
Page 3: The Real-Sized Bride | Fuller of figure? Never fear. There are more gowns for you than ever.
The Real-Sized Bride
Fuller of figure? Never fear. There are more gowns for you than ever.
The newest trend in wedding gowns? Designing them to flatter fuller figures. From higher backs to added boning, designers are creating more gowns specifically for plus-sized brides.
Other features include trumpet and mermaid skirts, ruching across the midsection, bodices with straps and halter-style tops. Strapless is fine, but requires the right foundation garments, says Hope Mitchell of Candlelight Bridal Shop in Millsboro. “You want support on top for the bust and structure on the bottom to make everything nice and smooth,” she says.
Many designers are now building that support into gowns, says Amy Hauser of Jennifer’s Bridal in Hockessin. “The impulse is to go baggy and big even in normal clothes,” Hauser says. “But fitted and tailored provides more of an outline. We see what is there—and what isn’t.”
To that end, Debbie Edwards of Jennifer’s suggests staying away from voluminous princess skirts. “The bride may think that a big skirt will provide camouflage, but on the contrary, all of that fabric will usually make her look even bigger.”
Mitchell offers this tip: “Try on every style that you can. You never know what will be flattering. This is true for all brides—big, small and in between. You never know what gown you’ll fall in love with.” —M.J.
Page 4: Grandmom’s Ring Redux | You can turn a keepsake into something uniquely your own.
Grandmom’s Ring Redux
You can turn a keepsake into something uniquely your own.
How can you turn Grandmom’s engagement ring into something he’s thrilled to give you and you’re thrilled to wear?
First, know what you are dealing with. Grandmom’s ring might not be what it looks like. “Many rings from the early 1900s were made of silver,” says Will Minster, a fourth-generation jeweler in Delaware. “Platinum became a widely used material in rings made in the 1930s. Then, in the 1950s and beyond, yellow gold was the standard.”
Have a jeweler inspect the setting’s structure. “Gold or platinum can be worn down after 50 years,” says Charlie Koskey, owner of Chardon Ltd. Fine Jewelry in Georgetown. “You don’t want to have a diamond in an insecure setting. Or the setting might be very old-fashioned and not the bride’s taste. We can remove the diamond and create a new setting, for which there are many choices. The options can be overwhelming, so I ask questions to help the bride and groom narrow the choices.”
Yellow gold? Platinum? Choosing the setting’s metal is the next step, says Ami Leaming, a fourth-generation owner of Forney’s Jewelers in Dover. She has seen many engaged couples return with rings their grandparents purchased at Forney’s. She says many couples bring magazine photos of styles they like. Sometimes Grandmom’s diamond doesn’t take center stage in the new ring. “If Grandmom’s diamond isn’t large, it can become one of the side stones,” Leaming says. “Or we can keep it as the center stone and build around it.”
Redesign and remounting takes about two weeks. “That doesn’t sound like a lot,” Leaming says, “but for a woman who has just gotten engaged, the last thing she wants to do is take that ring off of her finger.” —M.J.
Page 5: Flatter Your Bridesmaids… | …By choosing the right cut and color in dresses. These are the trends.
Flatter Your Bridesmaids…
…By choosing the right cut and color in dresses. These are the trends.
Love your bridesmaids? Then give them dresses they’ll love to wear. Forget frou-frou and frumpy. New bridesmaid dresses are chic, figure-flattering and colorful.
“Claret. Eggplant. Royal blue.” Colleen Wilson of Claire’s Fashions names the jewel tones that are popular for bridesmaid dresses. “For winter, it’s about vibrant colors—and black, which can be very, very elegant. For spring, we’re looking at vibrant pastels in colors like pale pinks, Tiffany blue, and a very pretty cactus green.”
“Green is huge for bridesmaid dresses,” says Donna Keenan of Stained Glass Bridal & Tuxedo in Delmar. “Sage, celadon—moss green is the newest color. And for spring, salmon, coral and yellow will be the big colors for bridesmaid dresses.”
“Deep purple, like the bridesmaids wore in the Kardashian wedding, is the hot color,” says Marie Protokowicz of Brides & Grooms. “For spring weddings, I’m seeing floral prints from designers.” As for silhouettes, Protokowicz says “the latest styles are long with a drop waist or a mermaid-style skirt, or above the knee by an inch or two.”
“One-shoulder dresses are very popular for bridesmaids,” Wilson says. “I’m also seeing a lot of pleating and ruching and cinched waists.”
Flowers are another bridesmaid trend. “Rosettes are all over the dresses, from sleeves to jackets,” Keenan says. “Larger, fabric flowers are on the shoulders, the front of the lower hip and the waist. They are very flattering.”
Which is exactly what a bride wants for her maids. —M.J.
Page 6: Itty-Bitty Cinderellas | The prettiest flower girls keep it simple.
The prettiest flower girls keep it simple.
“Little girls love swirly, twirly dresses.” So says Joan Calabrese, the designer behind her eponymous couture line and Calabrese Girl by Mon Cheri, which is distributed nationally and sold in Delaware at Claire’s Fashions in Wilmington and Bridal + Tuxedo Shoppe in Newark.
Calabrese’s flower girl fashion tips? Color is great, she says, but beware of dark shades. “My philosophy is that dark hues like chocolate, burgundy and purple are fine for bridesmaids. But for the child? No. If the bridesmaids are in a dark color, have the flower girl in ivory or off-white and incorporate the color with a sash, flower or trim.”
Beading and appliqué are other unique elements. “The embellishments follow the trend in bridal gowns,” she says. “The beading is very tastefully done, and the bride should take care not to over-accessorize the girl. But oomph isn’t what every bride wants from her flower girl’s dress. Ivory and off-white dresses are still the standards.”
Jamie Russ, of Hansel & Gretel Children’s Boutique in Wilmington, says brides should understand that length matters. “Tea-length is the way to go, so that the girls don’t trip on their way down the aisle. Plus, it adds an innocence to the dress.”
Kathy Patterson, of Louis Marie Bridal in Smyrna, says brides should consider the flower girl’s body type. “Some girls are petite. Others are huskier, so consider what looks best on what kind of body,” she says. “You want the girl to feel comfortable, confident and pretty.” —M.J.
Page 7: Dress for Less | Why pay thousands for your gown, when some crafty local retailers can help you spend far, far less?
Dress for Less
Why pay thousands for your gown, when some crafty local retailers can help you spend far, far less?
On a budget? There’s no need to sacrifice style for savings, especially at one of Delaware’s best-kept secrets: The ReSale Boutique in Wilmington.
Imagine 300 wedding gowns from top designers—Vera Wang, Kenneth Poole, Maggie Sottero, Alfred Angelo, Jim Hjelm and Christina Herrera—selling for less than half of their retail price. “I hate to price a dress at more than $700,” says ReSale owner Meryl Pottock.
How does she get great gowns for gosh-wow prices? “They are samples, or from stores that closed,” Pottock says. “Perhaps a woman bought two gowns and wore one. Maybe a wedding was canceled. Why shouldn’t the gown get a second chance to walk down the aisle?”
Other affordable gowns can be found at clearance sales, like the semi-annual events at The Bridal Boutique in Millsboro. “We have over 100 designer gowns for under $200,” says Pat Davis. “There isn’t anything wrong with the gowns. They have simply been discontinued by the manufacturer.”
Used or once-worn gowns are another option and can be found at ReSale and on websites like woreitonce.com and oncewed.com. Once-worns are so popular that Louis Marie Bridal in Middletown now offers a small selection, sold on consignment.
Louis Marie’s Cathy Patterson says that buying a mint-condition, once-worn gown is better than buying a bargain basement dress. “Quality matters,” she says. “If the gown is well-made with expert tailoring and beading, it will look more gorgeous than a cut-rate garment.”
“So what if the gown has been worn once?” Pottock says. “Now, someone can afford the dress of her dreams.” —M.J.