The much-adored bridal designer Amsale Aberra spent some time telling us her top five favorite things about New York City, tips for brides on selecting bridesmaid dresses, where she finds inspiration and more.


What is the one question you always get asked by brides-to-be, and what do you tell them?
The modern-day bride doesn’t ask too many questions. They are so well informed and prepared when they start gown-shopping that they know exactly what they want.

What do you love most about the spring 2016 collections?
My favorite part about the spring 2016 collections is that they all have a clear point of view. Seeing the collections continue to evolve and take on their own identity is what truly excites me.

What are five favorite things about New York City that you’d share with a visitor who’s never been, to show them ‘your’ New York?

  1. Times Square. When you drive through the city, particularly Times Square, seeing all of the people and bright lights just says “New York”.
  2. The Hudson River. Getting away from the city and seeing the nature that surrounds; you can see the natural beauty New York has to offer.
  3. Madison Avenue. For people who love fashion it’s exciting to see an entire avenue filled with luxury fashion. For the non-fashion crowd, they can’t believe a pocketbook cost $20,000!
  4. The Statue of Liberty. To see how strong a symbol the Statue of Liberty is for such a tiny island can be very compelling to any traveler.
  5. Food. You can never run out of ideas. You can get whatever you want, whenever you want.

You started your career after designing your very own wedding dress. What did you learn and/or believe at the time that stays with you even until today, as you continue designing gowns and dresses?
How important a wedding dress is for a bride. This is a momentous occasion that only happens once in a woman’s life. I take pride in the ability to be part of her day and take designing such an important gown very seriously.

As a designer and creative individual, where do you find yourself going for inspiration?
My mind is always going. Just living in New York City, I’m inspired everyday by everyone. It’s a big source of inspiration. I’m also creative under stress, so an intense environment can sometimes be helpful. Whether it’s developing a new collection or planning our next fashion show, the stress can be exciting and brings out my creativity.

What are your most important tips for brides selecting dresses for their bridesmaids?
Bridesmaids set the tone for the entire wedding—they are the first people your guests see at the ceremony and they are one of the most significant elements of the entire event. They also bring a lot of life to the party. That is why you should dress them in gowns that make them feel gorgeous and confident.

Shop Amsale online and in our Wedding Suites.


Lauren shares the story and details of her and Richard’s classic, elegant wedding.




June 13, 2015 | The University Club, Pittsburgh, PA


The venue: Neither of us had ever been to the University Club prior to touring it for our wedding. Once we saw the restored club (which belongs to the University of Pittsburgh), we knew it was the right place for us. It is a stunning venue, classic and elegant. We really wanted to keep everything in one place so that our guests wouldn’t have to travel, and there were several rooms for us to choose from, each one prettier than the last!

Our theme was refined elegance with a modern twist. Family is very important to us, and we incorporated a lot of familial touches and traditions. My family is Scottish and my husband is Jewish, so we used a family tartan as the accent with champagne as our main color. We had a bagpiper, and my brother and oldest nephew did a handfasting ceremony for us. We had a traditional Jewish ceremony with the chuppah, breaking of the glass, et cetera.

To honor our grandparents, I wore my grandmother’s wedding rings on my right hand and had my grandfather’s wedding band pinned to my bouquet. Richard wore his grandfather’s tie clip.



Favorite moment: Richard and I saw each other before the ceremony, when we signed our ketubah. It was a very special moment for us. There had been so much buildup to the day that it was nice to take a step back and have a private moment together to smile and say, “Let’s go get married.”


The dress and the Wedding Suite: When I started looking for my gown I came across Rosa Clara and knew that I had to try on some of her creations. I searched for where to find them and saw that the Nordstrom in Beachwood, OH, was the closest (she is not sold locally in Pittsburgh). I wanted a gown that was clean and classic—I told my stylist Dana to think Grace Kelly. I never wanted a “princess look” but certainly a refined one. Our wedding and venue would be formal, so the gown had to have a big impact.


When I tried on the ‘Delicia’ gown I knew that it had everything I wanted. It was so classically beautiful. The low back with the bows was an unexpected twist and made the gown feel very modern. The long train had the punch that the ceremony space needed and could be removed for the reception. The gown was so comfortable I never wanted to take it off.

Dana and the rest of the Nordstrom Wedding Suite staff were wonderful to work with. They really knew their inventory, and Dana worked to understand what I wanted. The alterations staff were incredible. I wanted the gown to fit like a glove and they made sure that it did.

The overall attention to detail paid at the Wedding Suite is what set them apart.



Advice for other brides-to-be: It is easy to get caught up in all the excitement. Your wedding day is so important, but it is one day. Let yourself enjoy it. The best part is that you get to marry the person you love, with everyone who you love and who loves you there. Soak up every second of that!



Final thoughts: Richard and I were so excited to marry one another. We would have married the day after he proposed with no one else with us. But we also had a very clear vision of what we wanted our wedding to be. We stuck with it throughout the planning process. Our amazing wedding planner, Deb Waterkotte, made sure that our dream day was executed flawlessly. It was such a special day, one we would do over and over again. We are so happy to have found each other and to be building our lives together.

Honeymoon? The honeymoon was in Costa Rica. It was wonderful!

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Photography by Beth Kukucka at Kukucka Photography

Did you find your wedding gown or bridesmaid dresses at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.



Our weddings buyer, Sharon Wikstrom, has been rushing around to runway shows and buying appointments all across New York City during Bridal Fashion Week. We don’t envy her heels, but we’re glad she’s been sending us sneak peeks of all the dresses and trends that’s she’s loving along the way. Check out what’s on Sharon’s radar.

Berta Bridal Gowns Nordstrom

Berta Bridal


Lace overlay on a simple, classic silhouette at Heidi Elnora (pictured left)



Stephanie and Michele share the story of their Los Angeles County wedding—all about good friends, good food and making memories to last a lifetime.



Location: Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas, California


The Venue: Nestled in the stunning and world-famous Malibu Canyon, Saddle Peak Lodge offers a rich history and old-time setting that many venues in Los Angeles can’t come close to. At one time, the building served as a Pony Express station; there are incredible historical photos of the location, giving off a feeling of the palpable narrative within the actual space. The inside is cavernous and spacious, with interesting decor—including antique books, lamps and taxidermy, resulting in an incredibly unique style. Outside, the patio extends offering a gorgeous backdrop.

The selling point for us, however, was the food and food service. We both agreed: It had to be stellar. The Saddle Peak Lodge is a four-star Michelin-rated venue with an out-of-this-world menu, we knew we were in good hands.



Maybe you’ve been planning this day for as long as you can remember. Or perhaps you’re in a swivet about what to do or how you’re ever going to get it done—it’s a lot of work!

Sit down. Breathe deeply. Then allow these supremely gorgeous North American wedding venues to transport you. A little daydreaming could inspire the direction of your dream wedding. Or you may just find a new happy place to mentally retreat to for a dose of zen.

The Surf Lodge

The Surf Lodge

Montauk attracts Brooklynites looking to put sand between their toes and waves beneath their boards. Although the town draws crowds (it’s sometimes referred to as the Hamptons for hipsters), it maintains a tranquil cool that befits any wedding. The Surf Lodge offers both indoor and outdoor spaces to stage your ceremony or soirée. Whether on a sunny deck, beachside or in their clapboard restaurant, your partnership will benefit from good vibrations.


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What to wear?! Brides, help your friends and family out and share this story over on our sister blog, The Thread, which features four inspiring guest-of-wedding dresses. Read more to get to know our real-woman model, Kathy, and see our stylist suggestions for the perfect dress (hint: it’s all about rich, beautiful color) and accessories–no matter the occasion.

MIDNIGHT SHIMMER – Evening Wedding

guest-of-wedding-dress-daytime-wedding-1Adrianna Papell sequin mesh dress


Stuart Weitzman ankle strap sandal | Minaudieres | Stackable rings | Crawler earrings

On dressing for weddings: “I love that you can really dress to the nines for a wedding! For events like this, my philosophy is that it’s always better to overdress than under.



You’ve thought of everything: a beautiful venue, stunning flowers, the best music for dancing the night away, perfect shoes. Don’t forget that you’ll actually want to be able to enjoy it all, and making sure that pair of wedding shoes is comfortable will make all the difference—think blisters, chafing and all-day pressure on the balls and heels of your feet. No, thanks! Slip in these Foot Petals cushions and protectors to turn any shoe that suits your fancy into something dreamy.

Shop: Foot Petals Bridal Collection

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Nikki shares the story—including its muddy beginnings—of marrying her fiancé, Chad, in his mother’s garden off the waters of the Pacific Northwest.


Date and Location: August 30, 2014, at Lakebay, WA

The Venue: We wanted an outdoor wedding on Chad’s folks’ property. My mother-in-law has a gorgeous garden, and the scene was perfect for an intimate ceremony and reception.

Nikki-Chad-Amy-Kiel-Photography-05 READ MORE


Brace yourself. We’re getting a little sentimental—but in the best way. We can’t help sharing some of our favorite quotes and sayings that are perfect for signs at your wedding or anywhere else you might want to add an extra, personal touch.

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Wedding signage ideas and inspirational quotes.2



Hayley shares the story of her real-life fairy tale—marrying her fiancé, Ryan, in a Scottish castle—brought to real life with photos and a beautiful wedding video.

Real Wedding Inspiration from Nordstrom Blogs: Hayely and Ryan.

Date and Location: January 28, 2014, at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

The Venue: We visited the seaside town of Crovie in 2011 and fell in love with Scotland. We wanted to have our wedding during the winter and in a beautiful location, so Edinburgh seemed ideal. It’s an amazing, historic city, and Edinburgh Castle is absolutely breathtaking.

Real Wedding Inspiration from Nordstrom Blogs: Hayely and Ryan.