Wedding-Worthy Oscar's Dresses

Ready to steal a little bridal inspiration from the Oscar's Red Carpet Celebrities?...

There were so many wedding worthy looks at the 2011 Oscars, it’s hard to narrow down my favorites. These are my top choices for bridal dresses inspiration from the red carpet. Which dress is your favorite?

Halle Berry in Marchesa  

Hilary Swank in Gucci 

 Mila Kunis in Elie Saab

Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa 

Anne Hathaway in Valentino

Camila Alves in Kaufman Franco

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy

Michelle Williams in Chanel 

Mandy Moore in Monique Lhuillier 

Jennifer Hudson in Versace

Anne Hathaway in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci

Sandra Bullock in Vera Wang 


The Ultimate Wedding Planning Showcase


E Session ~ Palmer and Joseph

These images of Palmer and Joseph sent to us by Glass Jar Photography are as adorable as the story of how they met. The story goes that Joseph wanted a reason to talk to and get to know Palmer, so he created a book club that met at their favorite local pub. Luckily for him his planned worked and now the happy couple are getting married in Franklin, TN at Carnation Plantation. For their engagement session the couple took some vintage inspired images at the plantation curled up on a blanket and with a bundle of books wrapped in twine to represent their courtship. Later they headed to their favorite local pub where it all started. To see more of Palmer and Joseph's engagement session and to see the beautiful video shot by Glass Jar Photography, visit their blog!



Vintage patterns are tres chic right now.  If you're intrigued with past patterns and plan on finding a designer/seamstress who can whip up your creation, here are a few things you should know. Unlike today's patterns that include many sizes in one package, those from yesteryear are a one size only deal.  Not only are silhouettes reminiscent of an era, did you know overall cut, types of darts and dart lines are as well?  With all the changes in machinery over the last thirty plus years as well as hemming products, range of notions available and faster techniques, whoever is making your dress will have to know how to adapt instructions provided by the original pattern.


Want to do a Gatsby or roaring twenties theme?  The 1920s was about women's freedom and it played itself out most dramatically in fashion.  It was one of the first times in history the female body was comfortable.  Typically wedding dresses were short with loads of lace and  a graduated hemline forming a train in back.  Most headpieces were cloche-like and worn low on the forehead.  The above pattern is for an informal affair . . .
 True bias cut, body-hugging, gowns made their way into bridal wear in lightweight satins and crepes.  Hollywood had a great influence on fashion during this time and many brides to be looked to the cinema for inspiration.  This is also the era Brides magazine premiered its first issues, not only featuring gowns and veils but ideas for trousseau and setting up home as well.

Alines with sweetheart necklines and puffed sleeves in bridal satin were typical till wartime when fabric was rationed.  During wartime, brides married quickly before sending lovers off to war.  Often they'd marry in their best dress or more often, best suit.  Once restrictions were lifted on fabric after the war, even wider poufier skirts returned . . . 
  The era of Christian Dior was all about yards of skirt and nipped in waists.  Slimmer silhouettes celebrated the female form as well. Synthetic fabrics were all the rage, even in bridal wear.  Many dresses that have survived this era either home made or manufactured are rayon, acetate or Dacron.  No Polyester; that was the miracle synthetic of the 1960s . . .
The early sixties of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy's influence on fashion was radically different from the Mod swinging late sixties.  The styles on the above right pattern envelope show a Mary-Jane and lace child-bride look so prevalent in fashion by the youthquake years . . .

Though this was an era of funky fashion we were still stuck with the cookie-cutter bridal image like the one above.  Nina Ricci did great with this bride's boho veil and headpiece though and the lines of the dress are flattering.  What we lacked then that we have now is brides brave enough to step outside the box and do something really earthshaking . . .

Yuck!  Okay so I shouldn't be so judgmental especially since this is the era I began designing in, that of pouf and paste, millions of glued on sequins and overdone puffy veils.  And the ones in the images above are the tamer versions done by Vogue.  You shoulda seen the schlock out on the racks back then.  The result was, most brides looked consumed under all the layers of frippery . . .But . . . this was the look 

If you're imaginative, you know you don't necessarily need a pattern that says, bridal on it or have a dress pictured in white. Any design or color shown can be created as a wedding dress.

A last word here.   I don't believe in the theory bodies change from era to era but I believe foundations do.  In the twenties women wore binders to flatten their boobs into chests; in the fifties rubberized armor-like girdles and long-lined bras to achieve a Dioresque ideal.  Studying the underwear of the decade you're going for could be very helpful

All images courtesy So Vintage Patterns


Little Black Dress
What an inspiration!  Black and pink do something awsome when combined, don't they?  This gorgeous board is the work of Shana via SMP Style Circle whose blog, Baubles and Bubbles is  loaded with chic and novel ideas for the bride . . .

A Cast of Cocktails for your Oscars Celebration!

The Sweet Taste of Victory – THE FIGHTER

2 oz Bourbon Whiskey
3/4 oz Chambord Liqueur
3/4 oz Vanilla Syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s® Bitters

Method: Shake all ingredients and serve in a Coupe glass. Garnish with any three of brandied blackberries, brandied raspberries or regular blackberries.

(RECIPE CREATED BY: United States, Hal Wolin – El Cobre, New York, NY)

King’s Treasure – THE KINGS SPEECH

2 parts Chambord Flavored Vodka
1 part Cognac
1 part Pineapple Juice

Method: Shake well with ice and strain into a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Billionaire Margarita - THE SOCIAL NETWORK

2 oz Casa Noble AƱejo
1 oz Grand Marnier 150 Year
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Method: Serve shaken over ice 



Fill Me Up, Buttercup
Another board that's perfect for getting into spring!  When I was a child, yellow was my favorite color, so invariably this medley reminds me of the joyful and happy images of my youth.  Thanks again to Shana over at SMP Style Circle for inspiring us all.  More inspiration can be found on her blog, Baubles and Bubbles.

The Nichols ~ Austin, TX

Based in Austin, TX Jennifer and CJ Nichols are the talented husband and wife team behind the spectacular imagery of The Nichols. Inspired by the meaningful memories they hope to create for generations to see their photography is natural and real. Their unique perspective combines a creative stylized portrait approach with the photojournalistic ability to capture the feeling and emotions that happen as the day unfolds. Their stunning images have made them one of the most sought after photographers in the South and their work has appeared regularly in our Real Wedding features on Completely Unveiled. Read on to learn more about Jennifer and CJ and the inspiration behind the lenses of The Nichols.

The Nichols is based in Austin, TX. To contact The Nichols, visit their website here.

Weddings Unveiled: Tell us a little bit about The Nichols.

Jennifer Nichols: My husband, CJ, and I have both been photographers for over 15 years and shared a love for photography when we meet in 2000. We met while working at a summer camp for kids near Yosemite, and it didn't take long to discover that we shared a mutual love of photography. I never would have imagined that 10 years and two kids later, we'd be making a living doing what we love most! We truly enjoy working together and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

WU: How did you become a wedding photographer?

JN: We both have backgrounds in fine art photography, but any artist will tell you how difficult it can be to support yourself in the art world. After our oldest daughter was born 6 years ago, I stumbled upon some wedding photography blogs. I discovered that couples were now looking for creative, artistic wedding photography rather than the stiff, traditional wedding photography style of the past. After shooting just a few weddings, we discovered what a perfect fit it was for us and we never looked back.

WU: Digital or film or both? Why?

JN: Unlike many of our peers in the industry, CJ and I both learned the basics of photography shooting film and developing our images in the darkroom. We're both so thankful for that experience, but I couldn't imagine shooting film now, not weddings anyhow. We take so many images, and weddings are such fast-paced events with lighting situations that are constantly changing, that I couldn't imagine shooting film under those circumstances. Some wedding photographers shoot film, and do it very well, like Jose Villa. But for us, digital is the only way to go! I always daydream about setting up a darkroom and shooting film again, when our kids are in college and we have more time in the day, but for now, we're so very thankful for digital technology!

WU: Describe your wedding photography style.

JN: Bright and fresh! Our style is a mixture of photojournalism and creative portraiture. We love capturing all of the real moments that happen throughout the day, weddings are such emotion-filled events! But what I think makes us really stand out is our ability to create stylized portraits that are at same time, very natural and real.

WU: Show us your favorite wedding image and tell us why it represents who you are as wedding photographer.

JN: Wow, it was really hard to pick one! But this is definitely one of my favorites. A beautiful couple in love, gorgeous light, and genuine happiness, right after they said their "I do's." What's not to love?

WU: What inspires you?

JN: My family is what inspires me on a daily basis. I can't believe how fortunate I am to be able to work side-by-side with my husband, and to spend every day with our two beautiful girls. I'm a lucky mama!

WU: What inspires your photography?

JN: Our amazing clients, who really put their own stamp on their wedding day, from the little details to their vows. And I'm pretty sure I tear up just a little at every wedding we shoot. It's usually the father/daughter dance that gets me! Weddings are such a special occasion and the fact that our photography will potentially give our clients' children and grandchildren a glimpse into the past of such a meaningful event is always an inspiration.

WU: How do you keep your wedding photography fresh?

JN: We're so very lucky to have the opportunity to work with fun, creative couples who really trust our vision. Having that trust enables us to create images that not only capture our clients in a unique way, but is also a representation of who we are and how we see things.

WU: What makes you different from other wedding photographers?

JN: Gosh, there are so many amazing wedding photographers out there! I'm not exactly sure what makes us different, but couples that book with us generally say that our images stand out as being bright and natural.

WU: What would be your ideal wedding assignment?

JN: Mountain landscapes are my very favorite. We were married in a little chapel in Yosemite Valley almost 7 years ago, so I would love the opportunity to shoot a wedding in a beautiful mountain setting!
WU: Tell us three things you can't live without.

JN: 1) my adorable family 2) morning coffee 3) my camera

WU: What is the best advice you can give to an engaged couple?

JN: Hire vendors who you trust and enjoy being around and then let them what they do best! That way you can relax and enjoy your wedding day to the fullest.


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