Monday, April 30, 2007

“we should have PARTIES for ALL our leaps of faith!"

the above headline is shamelessly stolen from a post on this blog which was pointed out to me by the wonderful blog Offbeat Bride.

Summer, the original poster was lamenting how she felt she had to feel guilty about wanting to have a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles. All the negativity and admonitions not to “Go Bridezilla” had her hiding her excitement at marrying the man she was so obviously head over heels in love with. How sad.

If you read the entire post you can see that Summer sums up exactly why we celebrate weddings with the people we love around us: Marriage is the ultimate leap of faith.

Sometimes I think that the media has so flooded our conscience with the stunning, the spectacular, the amazing wedding vision that much of our culture has lost sight of why we have wedding celebrations in the first place. Today brides are pressured to choose between hosting a spectacle or turning their back on everything ‘weddingish’ and going indie. That is making the entire process about the appearance, not the reason behind it.

Ultimately a wedding is a chance to celebrate your leap of faith; a time for your family and friend to gather around you and support your choice. In some small way your guests are pledging to help you both stand strong in your leap and to cheer your courage. Now if that isn’t a reason to get excited about throwing a party, I don’t know what is.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I had an interesting discussion with a client today about alterations. In trying to figure out how to present some copy on alterations we began to wonder just what brides think really goes into altering a wedding gown. How much work does it take? How much skill does it require?

I do know what goes into it; on both the high end and the low end and I will be happy to share that with anyone. That is- anyone that first tells me what they think it takes.

Help me out. If you would pass this along to your friends I would really appreciate it. Newlyweds are welcome to join the discussion. Respond by leaving a comment here or by emailing me through my website,
Think Like a Bride

Thanks so much and wait until you hear the truth on this one. It will boggle your mind.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Ah Yes. And Then There was Disney.

Sunday night had several hundred buyers and members of the press waiting an hour for this much anticipated show to start. The Disney Princess Collection by Kirstie Kelly has been being buzzed about for months. The premise is to have an established designer create for Disney a line of Bridal gowns inspired by the Disney princesses. So what was the verdict? They were wedding gowns, nothing to shout about. It wasn’t that they weren’t beautiful, they were; but they did not begin to approach the hype. What did stand out in my mind was the taste they gave us of the yet to be released Maidens line. These were unique, beautiful social occasion gowns. The short ones would easily go for weddings or a cocktail party. The long one would certainly stand for a formal event. I look forward to seeing the rest of the collection.

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St Pucchi and Romona Keveza

After a quick lunch to catch up with some friends from the UK its up to do an informal viewing of the St. Pucchi collection. I am never sure which I look forward to more getting to see Rani and Tarsame or getting to Ohh and Ah over the gowns. It is proper etiquette to remain the passive observer at these things. There is just something about St. Pucchi that leaves me with all the self restraint of a child; I gush like a kid watching fireworks on the 4th of July. If you are a bride that is not afraid of being the center of attention, not undone by sheer exuberant opulence then this is the only collection you need to see. From ethereal a-lines to jubilant ball gowns everyone is more stunning than the next. The fabrics are luxe and the beading beyond compare.

Another trip up the elevator and we were at Romona Keveza’s suite. True to her style the gowns were studies in simple elegance with just the right touch to make them pop. There is one gown that was simple and chic with only a thin black velvet ribbon to set it off; until you saw the back! From the top to the hem was a perfect row of tiny black velvet buttons. Perfect. The fabrics are always a hallmark of couture and this line is no different. There were beautiful French silk taffetas, French alencon lace and Italian silk satins that would feel amazing on.

Be sure to check Enchanted Brides to see what Tony has posted today.

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The Beginning of a Very Busy Day

I guess the only way to report on all the doings from yesterday is to just take them in order.

The day started of with Justina McCaffrey’s new collection, Angelica Paradisium. True to her signature, the collection was all about the lines and the fabric; each gown more exquisite than the next.. The highlight of the show was the last model to hit the runway: Justina herself, on point in her gown, Sistina. That’s her in the image above. She is as beautiful as her gowns. My favorite was Cassia; deep v neck with spaghetti straps with a wonderful sheer shimmery overlay on the billowy skirt. Quite the eye catcher.

A quick dash from the Flatotel in the pouring rain to the new 5th Avenue digs of Reem Acra. Lots of silk taffeta and silk satin. Not as much emphasis on embroidery as in years past. Color was brought in velvet ribbon detail and silk and velvet flowers. Silhouettes ranged from sheaths to ballgowns with billowy overflowing hems.

Another quick dash through the rain to the Milk Gallery (thank you Bruce) for the Monique Lhuiller show. Monique’s collection was all about lightness and air. Lots of twisted frayed silk tulles and organza. Tiered shirts, a recurring theme this market, were very well done in this collection. Missing was her usually abundance of lace.

Then it was back to the Waldorf to take in a seminar and visit old friends. I had to laugh when I went to visit TigerLilly. I was raving about how all their pieces did double duty: tiaras turn into necklaces, bun covers convert to bracelets and NOW jeweled headbands become purse handles. I was saying what a great value that makes and they just looked at me and said” That’s because we Think Like A Bride! No wonder I love these girls.

That puts us up to lunch!

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday In The Rain

We had breakfast with Justina and Bruce was at the curb…it must be Sunday.

If you have been reading the Dish for a while you know that for the press, Sunday morning always starts with a very tony buffet at the Justina McCaffery Runway and because of the days schedule, we make sure that we hire a car and driver. I have seen seven collections today. I am going to have to wait until the exhaustion induced fog in my brain clears to really tell you about it.

I did want to post a link for you though. My traveling companion, Tony Williams, publisher of Enchanted Brides is posting the photos EB's photographer has taken to his website. He, like I, is running on exhaustion, so he is only posting a couple of teasers while we are on the road. Look for a more complete posting later next week.

I promise a full report tomorrow morning, schedule allowing. And all the Dish..teehee!

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

New York Market is, well, New York Market

I have been here for just over four hours and have already seen three wonderful, very different collections. We hit the ground running, literally. The first show of the day was Badgley Mischka. All the usually suspects were there; the Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings and Grace Ormond. The real story is the gowns, the hallmark of this collection was the beautiful delicate beading. Every bit of embroidery, beading and crystal work was as delicate as a whisper. One of the few gowns that wasn’t embellished with this stunning beadwork was a slip dress of Morocain silk crepe with a matching bolero. The two pieces together were a triumph of understated sophistication.

We dashed across town to Amsale’s flagship salon to see the press only show for the Kenneth Poole line. Austin Scarlett (yes from Project Runway) has come of age as a designer. This collection also uses a good bit of beading, but here it was notable for it’s contrast. Scarlet used a lot of subtle color variation to great success. The absolute stunner of the collection is “Bottecelli” a strapless ball gown in tulle with beautifully embroidered scallops each perfectly graduated from the row above. Too gorgeous! Even with all that embroidery it still had the feeling of being light as a feather.

At Michelle Roth we were treated to the witty antics of her brother Henry Weinreich. What I wouldn’t give for his energy! The collection was beautiful and very traditional. The slender tiered gowns were the best of the lot. Delicate crystal pleats were everywhere.

I’ll get a report on the Amsale show for you a bit later.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

The Wedding Dish Is Off to Market Again

I’m taking the blog on the road again. This time it is to New York for the Fall WeddingChannel Couture Show at the Waldorf-Astoria. As always, I will be joined by long time friends Tony & Gipsy Williams, publishers of Enchanted Bride and Karen Kaforey of Signature Events. I will also be joined this year by my UK editor Susi Rogol, the brains behind Bridal Buyer Magazine and the British Bridal Exhibition at Harrogate. So here is the Dish..

Already scheduled are: Badgley Mischka. Kenneth Poole, Henry Roth, Michelle Roth, Ramona Keveza,, Reem Acra, Monique Lhullier, Justine McCaffrey, and St. Pucchi.

That is the list to start. You know we will also catch Rivini, Youlin and Janell Berte. I don’t know if old friend Ivonne dela Vega will be in town yet, but if she is I’ll keep you posted on what’s up with her.

Also on tap is a new company I want to check out for you, Pearlmere, a shoe company I recently heard about. Yikes!! That sounds like an incredibly full 4 days. Chances are good your Wedding Diva will be taking a much needed break after this!

Oh and let’s not forget the Disney Princess Collection!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wedding Dish: The Column

On a personal note, I now have a monthly column on the website Franklin Is. It is a wonderful site about a thriving local community with wonderful historic roots. It just so happens to be the baby of a dear friend one of my editors Julian Bibb. Because of that he has also posted quite a few of the feature articles I have written for him over the years. If you do a search for “Christine Boulton” on the site you will find more of my musings on weddings, from trends to how to handle Mother Nature. Happy reading and thanks Julian.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Did the iPod Kill the DJ?

Off Beat Bride pointed out an interesting article today about the demise of the DJ.

Many couples are opting to forgo the band or DJ and put together their own playlist. Some venues even seem to be catching on to to this trend and upgrading their sound systems to accommodate these iPod couples. Cool.

Here is where my rant comes in; check this quote from the executive director of the American DJ Association. "An iPod is music, and what brides really want is an eloquent spokesperson that can represent them at their event in front of family and friends to create a once-in-a-lifetime, memorable experience," Drax said.

That strikes me as more than just a little arrogant and presumptuous. Let me rephrase that for you a bit there Drax: An iPod is music and what brides that choose DJs really want…” Could it really be that every single bride that has ever or will ever plan a wedding really longs only for an “eloquent spokesperson” to represent them?

Why is it that some wedding professionals think that theirs is the only way to do something? Will they never get the message that every couple is unique and the old cookie cutter formula no longer works? Sigh. What are your thoughts?

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Wedding Photography

I had an interesting discussion with a wedding photographer friend of mine recently. Lesli Emmets of Divine Images was telling me about an album she had created purely for her own pleasure and self expression. As anyone that earns their living on the creative front will tell you the pieces we to for ourselves are often not the things that our client wants. Understood, that’s why we do it for ourselves. This album told a different story.

Lesli had left it on the table in her studio and the brides fell in love with the edgy, artistic style. Several brides booked her for their wedding because they wanted an album just like it. Here’s the kicker, when the time came to select the images for their album they were pulling the artistic images and putting in more traditional posed shots. For all the talk of hip edgy wedding pictures, when the rubber hits the road they are still picking more traditional shots! Very interesting.

If you are looking for something non-traditional, maybe you should consider it for your wedding portrait. Rather than a photographic record how about a unique work of art. You know I am a nut for fine arts photography. David Wright over at The Artist’s Eye has been playing with a technique called computerized fine art painting. The above image is what he has done with a picture he did recently for a bridal fashion shoot. Love it. Want it.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Official Talk Back to The Wedding Industrial Complex Forum

Well I did it.

I have been following bridal forums for as long as they have existed. They all have one thing in common; they are either for brides or for the WIC. How about we try talking to each other instead?

Putting a forum on Think was a no brainer, I love good conversation and I want to know what people are thinking. Where to put it was the problem. I made the Think Like A Bride website subscription based for the sole reason that I wanted to be able to speak freely about the business of weddings. But bigger than that is the underlying reason I started the site in the first place. I hate the way the wedding industry is being bashed in certain corners of the media. People like Stephi Stewart and the Fields get way too much press by merely bashing wedding professionals. Enough. I have been in this industry for over 20 years, most of my closest friends are in this industry and they are not the predatory scum the media often portrays them to be. After having worked with brides for the same length of time I have a pretty good idea that they aren’t bridezillas; they are just trying to find their path through a very complex process at an emotional time in their lives Because of that I have always wanted to get a dialog going across the aisle, so to speak.

One thing I have discovered while researching articles over the last couple of years is that so much of the knowledge that wedding insiders take for granted brides don’t know. Simple things like why a gown takes so long to arrive or why caterers just can’t afford to do a sample tasting of everything on their menu. Once they know the why they understand. On the other side, vendors often forget the things that brides are going through in their decision making, things like Mom and Aunt Sally and budgets. Nothing good has come from this confrontational environment.

The Official Talk Back to the Wedding Industrial Complex is a place to ask your questions. Somewhere to get real answers from people that are on the inside, that know what the heck is really behind things. One thing I want to be very clear on, THIS IS NOT A PLACE TO MARKET YOURSELF. I have put a category up for you to introduce yourself and you are encouraged to put up links to your website and a blurb about yourself and your business there. You are welcome to add your url to your signature, but anyone that starts trolling the boards for brides will be banned in a heartbeat. Believe me, in a heartbeat! Likewise I can’t tolerate the overt bashing of any business by name; my pockets just aren’t deep enough to fend off that kind of lawsuit. My friends on the industry forums know exactly what I am talking about. Since this forum in public, I have to be careful.

Other than those two things I am really not concerned with what you say. Again, this is all about the free and open exchange of ideas in the hopes of finding some common ground. I think you will find I am not easily offended.

I will do my best to get the word out. You know as well as I do I can not do this by myself. Jump into the fray and get things started; be as controversial as you wish and tell everyone you know. Here is an easy to cut & paste link to email to everyone on your list.

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