The neckline frames your face and is probably the feature you'll most concentrate on when choosing your gown. It’s the part of your gown that's going to give your face some wow! FYI: Front and back bodices are not always identical. For instance, the front could have a Sabrina neckline, the back a deep V; whereas another gown could have a scoop in front as well as back.
Turtleneck-Once a classic, the high neck or turtleneck can be a plain band of dress fabric or lace. Especially popular in the Edwardian gown craze of the 70s when cotton ‘granny gowns’ reappeared.
Mandarin-Like the high neck collar only it’s notched in front
Cowl-Pictured below, the cowl is draped either as an attached piece or integrated into the pattern. Lots of retro styles of the 1930s use this effect.
Ron Greystar Photography
Jewel-Aka crew neck, round and higher neckline. Not seen too much these days except in an over bodice of all-over lace.
Boat or Sabrina-Straight across the neckline
Scoop-Pictured directly above, the scoop is a low rounded neckline.
V or U-Pictured below, the U or V point down just like the letters they are named after.
Off-the-Shoulder-Neckline extends horizontally across and sits below the shoulders.
Portrait-Wide band that extends from shoulder to shoulder
Ron Greystar Photography
Square-Pictured below, the square is one of my personal favorites, conveying a real open look, square necks look great on long and A-line silhouettes.
Ron Greystar Photography
Halter-Pictured below, straps either wrap around the neck or neckline is high with deep armholes.
Strap-Usually holds up a strapless bodice.
Asymmetrical-Neckline falls diagonally-one side strapless the other either with sleeve or sleeveless.
Queen Ann-High neckline curving into a sweetheart around the decolletage area
Sweetheart-Plunges into an open heart shape.
Strapless-Pictured below, the strapless is typically cut straight across or sweetheart shaped, the strapless is held up by boning inside the bodice.
Ron Greystar Photography
There’s plenty out there about going green for your wedding but what about after? Whether you’ve had your gown custom designed out of green fibers or special ordered it through a salon, now what? Some brides are going to be sentimental and preserve the gown for generations. That’s okay. This posting though is for all those wanting to pass on what they wore to someone else and help make our world a better place through recycling. I found the following blurb on the I Do Foundation’s website and couldn’t agree more, “If storing your dress in a box under your bed, or in a hanging bag in your closet is not your idea of a good cause, then keep the pictures, but put the dress to good use and help support the I Do Foundation.”
Your gown is a very special and powerful piece of clothing. With it comes (or goes) a certain psychic energy that carries your joy and promise to the next wearer.
PLACES TO DONATE YOUR DRESS AFTER THE WEDDING
BRIDAL CONSIGNMENT- More of these places are cropping up for two reasons: Brides-to-be who won’t spend over 2000k on a designer gown, and former brides who don’t mind parting with their gown. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s little difference between second-time-around bridal consignment and the higher end salons. Owners are persnickety about what they take in and nothing goes on display unless it’s in top condition, cleaned and pressed like new. These shops have standards they follow too. They won’t take any Four Weddings and a Funeral style cast-offs, over altered or trashed gowns.
DONATE TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY SHOP-Donating to a bridal consignment will earn you a share of your gown’s percentage. Donate to a shop like The Bridal Garden in New York City and fees will benefit NYC school children. Now wouldn't that make you feel great? Few charities have a whole store exclusively devoted to bridal like the Bridal Garden though. Most will have a section for gowns and formal wear.
DONATE TO A FOUNDATION-Believe it or not there are several foundations set up just for donating bridal wear (including bridesmaids gowns). Great! Gowns are such a big biz that whole organizations distribute them to others. Here are a few to check out:
Brides Against Breast Cancer: Donate your gown here and you’ll be giving a bride-to-be a great chance to get a discounted gown while helping grant the wish of someone with breast cancer. http://www.makingmemories.org/
I Do Foundation-Through I Do you can donate to the charity of your choice. http://www.idofoundation.org/
Heavenly Angels in Need-This one makes me well up with tears. Once your gown is donated, seamstresses use the fabric to make children’s burial garments. Having a SIDs baby in our family I understand the needs of grieving families and just how much a little satin and lace can make. http://www.heavenlyangelsinneed.com/
Wedding Dress Ministry-Christian women leaders rent wedding gowns to women in Kenya who are not able to afford gowns to marry in. Profits collected from rents are used in the women’s ministry outreach. www.icmusa.org/donate.php
Don’t forget your bridesmaids. There are foundations like the Princess Project that have a selection of prom and bridesmaid dresses that help young women get out to that big night in style.
Ever wondered what happens to all those bridesmaid dresses once the wedding is over? I was in my neighborhood charity shop yesterday when I spotted one: the proverbial shiny triple tiered pink that looked as if all the air had been let out of the ruffles. This, like countless other once-worn pastels hang in many a thrift shop or stuffed away in the back of a closet. More resourceful bridesmaids have been known to make pillows and patchwork throws out of them.
Kathlin Argiro has put out a line of bridesmaid dresses I’d get into in a minute if I were going someplace special. Here you’ll find designs you can customize that will work for all your bridesmaids. She has a three step process: 1. Choose a silhouette. 2. Select a fabric. 3. Pick a treatment (i.e. bows and belts). I particularly like this designer because she offers cotton and cotton in almost any style is something a woman can actually wear again. In addition, her styles lean toward the Audrey Hepburnesque with refined and classic lines. You can see and put it all together yourself at her websitte http://www.kathlinargiro.com/
Hair by Gayle Parker
Brides say the best thing about wearing a shorter veil is, they don’t have to do any adjusting in that switch from the solemnity of ceremony to big time partying hearty. Short veils are easy to maneuver around in and stay put whether you’re exchanging vowels, cutting cake or dancing,
Typically they are made out of either tulle, the standard light weight bridal veiling, or, netting—wider and crisper, offering a more structured and chic look
Photo by Ron Greystar
Blusher or Flyaway-Typically the length veil worn over the face during the ceremony. Can also be worn shoulder length in layers. Although considered informal, this is the choice of some chic, formal-gowned brides.
The Petal Veil-Pictured right is above the shoulders and the front curves something like flower petals opening.
Scarf-Great option for the bride going informal. Some scarves though would pop and rock with the right formal gown as well.
Nose Veil-Typically worn over the face and attached to a headpiece or hat like the one pictured below.
Henley Photography Hair by Kathie Rothkop Make-up by Rob Ward
I think the only predictable thing about fashion is its so unpredictable and bridal fashion is no exception. If less was more a few years back, 2008 is all about adornment, daring silhouettes and flashes of color. Designers this season rocked the runways with gowns all done up in feathers, skirts layered in rumba ruffles, shorter hemlines and yards of unusual fabric. While those strapless A-lines and slinky evening numbers from seasons past are still with us, 2008 marks the year more brides are willing to take chances with their look. What once would have been considered too theatrical or indecent for a proper wedding is not only becoming fashion xxxxxnorm, it’s changing the bridal scene entirely. Read more
I’ve spent most of my life in blue jeans so I have no idea what to look for in a wedding dress. I like the idea of wearing a long, white dress on my wedding day but I’m finding it confusing to know what I’m going to look good in. I’m 5’9” and slender. Can you help?
How lucky can you get? You’re going to hear it again and again—tall women look best in any style (well, just about) whether it be ball gown, A-line or sheath. Some words of caution though: There have been some tall, svelte, otherwise lovely brides of late who went way over Niagara with the frou-frou and piled on drapery. Yes, you certainly can carry around more weight and bulk than most but still need to keep scale and proportion in mind even if you are tall.
*Sheaths and evening gown silhouettes. They really compliment your body if you’re in shape.
*Two-piece dressing like a floor-length suit or coat and dress combo. It’s original and takes someone like you to really carry it off.
*Shrugs and boleros. You’re one of the lucky few that can wear them.
* A ball gown. Talk about drama! You’ll look like Giselle!
*You can go all out and carry off all those beautiful back details: florals, bows, big and intricate bustles, etc.
*Heavier fabrics like brocade and velvet, you can carry them..
*a wide belt or sash in a contrasting shade or color if you want to appear shorter.
*Bouffant hair-dos and high headpieces. Unless, that is, your groom has the proportions of Wilt Chamberlin.
*Victorian gowns with high necks and long tight sleeves. All that elongation puts you over the top.
*Long panel trains. You’ll come off even thinner.
*Flats or ballerina slippers if your hem is above the floor and your feet are long and narrow. You’ll come off looking like Olive Oil.
Model: Sarah Ashton
Admit it, this cotton eyelet dress is about as hourglassy as you can get. Whether you go flared or straight up and down, the silhouette you choose is going to be the foundation of your look—the first impression you create once you make your entrance, dance your first dance, cut the cake. The right silhouette creates a positive visual chemistry. Something like a light turned on, illuminating the unique beauty of your female form. There are three basic silhouettes: the sheath, the ball gown and A-line. Within each of these big three derive a few variations deserving closer examination. Read this article . .
Top: 1930s glam look. Rhinestone studed Stephanotis blossoms decorate Kellie’s marceled and wrapped sweep.
Middle: Florals add romance to Sarah's bun. Below and Bottom: Braids wrap and fall loosely as stephanotis is placed along this hair roll.
. . . . .Over on One Wed introducing you to Nha Khanh of Dallas who designed the above gemmie. Nha not only creates swell bridal, she d...
Harper Collins Here’s something to add to your Christmas list. For any bride who is a fan of Princess Di or want’s a closer look at the mak...
In the South, oyster roasts are a time-honored tradition and each year, we can't wait for the Lowcountry Oyster Festival at Boone Hall P...
Are you a lace-loving bride? Or are you looking for a wedding gown with a romantic twist on the traditional? Then these masterpieces are you...
Living the Fruity Life
Does the word ‘consignment’ scare you? Conjure images of Goodwill cast-offs in a store run by darling little old ladies? Walk in any bridal ...
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there’s no better time than now to Think Pink ! Since it’s beginning more than 20 year...
Something inspired from the last issue of Belle the Magazine! Credits: Docuvitae , Raya Carlisle Photography , "BEVERLYWOOD" by D...
When it comes to inspiring wedding blogs, we instantly think of Style Me Pretty , known to those in the blogosphere as SMP. Creator Abby Lar...
Legends by Romona Keveza Bridal Fall 2012 Images courtesy of Romona Keveza.
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