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Wedding Dresses

September 25, 2014

Real Weddings: Vanessa & Jon

Vanessa recounts her and Jon’s May wedding at the Renaissance D.C. Downtown Hotel in the nation’s capital.

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My Vision: The reception venue was modern and sleek but still warm and inviting. This modern look lent itself well to the D.C. vibe we were trying to achieve, as well as a less formal feel to the reception. For example, we did not have a traditional sit-down dinner; rather, we incorporated live-action stations in our reception ballroom, which included a mashed potato bar, a crêpe station, and a crab cake station. Finally, we had a photo booth that was a hit with our guests—such a fun experience, and it also doubled as our wedding favor. Overall, we wanted our guests to enjoy a great party with delicious food and drinks and have FUN!

The Scene: When we were planning for our wedding, an issue was that my family was scattered across the Northeast, while Jon’s family was situated in Seattle, WA. Our closest friends live in the D.C. metro area. Ultimately, we decided to have the wedding in Washington, D.C., as it is a location that both families could travel to and one that our friends could easily get to. Moreover, we hoped that our out-of-town guests would take advantage of their D.C. visit to check out the monuments and other historic sites!

St. Dominic’s is a breathtaking church that provided a serene setting for us to exchange our vows. We visited many potential reception sites to follow up the ceremony with before deciding on the Renaissance D.C. Hotel. However, after our first meeting with an event coordinator at the Renaissance, we felt excitement: something we hadn’t felt with the other venues we’d visited. As the event coordinator showed us around the hotel, Jon and I could see our wedding playing out, details and all.

We loved the modern yet inviting feel of the hotel as well as its central location in D.C., for both out-of-town and local guests. The coordinator was also inviting—her warmth was evident, as was her love of planning weddings. Jon and I knew we wanted to work with a coordinator who saw our wedding as unique and would put as much care into it as we were.

Special Moments: Our favorite moment took place right before the ceremony began. Jon was in the back with our priest, Father Schommer, talking through the ceremony logistics and running down the list of items to check off, as they were waiting for the clock to hit 2pm. They heard Jon’s sister singing and the organ playing, and then Fr. Schommer asked about our cantor (the chief singer employed by the church). He asked if Jon had seen him around. They discovered that neither of them had actually called the cantor. When they did, they found out that he was sitting on his couch at home! The chief singer who we had worked with for 8 months had forgotten about our wedding. Fr. Schommer made a quick announcement to the congregation that there was a 5-minute delay, and that we were “waiting for one of the musicians.” He asked the organist to please continue to play music. This was at 2:01pm.

Fr. Schommer was a quick thinker, and he went through the ceremony songs and figured out which of them he could sing and which he couldn’t. In a minute or so, we had it figured out, and were ready to go. At about 2:05pm, Fr. Schommer walked out of the sacristy (the area behind the altar), onto the altar and quickly came right back. He said to Jon, “Vanessa is coming down the aisle!” The wedding party and I didn’t hear Fr. Schommer’s announcement of the delay, as his microphone speakers didn’t reach the vestibule (the area that the wedding party and I were lined up ready to process in). On top of that, the filler music being played by the organist was the processional music I was meant to walk down the aisle to. With all that confusion, the wedding party started to process in… without Fr. Schommer or Jon at the end of the aisle.

Fr. Schommer asked Jon to wait for a minute so that I could get down to the end of the aisle, and then waved Jon out. There was a roar of laughter, and made this moment truly memorable and unique to our wedding.

My Dress: I found my wedding gown at the Tysons Corner Wedding Suite in McLean, VA. There couldn’t have been a more perfect gown to suit my style and my wedding day in the nation’s capital. My wedding stylist, Maria, called me for my first consultation in June 2013. Knowing I was petite with curves, she suggested designs by Matthew Christopher. His ‘Moet’ gown was the second gown that I tried on when I had my first appointment with Maria, and I immediately fell in love. I tried on a few more gowns just to be sure, but each one couldn’t compare to ‘Moet’—it sealed the deal for me. I purchased my Nina wedges, Nadri earrings, Nina veil and Nina clutch from the suite as well. I also found the bridesmaid dresses and flower girl dress at the suite!

The Wedding Suite: Maria and the Wedding Suite team made my shopping and alterations experience incredible, from the day I purchased my gown to my last fitting. Not only were they organized and detail-oriented; they were also warm and caring, making my wedding experience that much more memorable. I didn’t feel like just one more bride walking through the suite. Rather, I felt my experience was unique to Maria and the team.

Photos by Rachel Naft

Erin-Fetherston-Dresses

This just in! New styles from one of our most obsessed-over bridal designers are now in stock at the Wedding Suite. This latest collection from Erin Fetherston is full of forward-thinking fashion that’s awash in the signature fairy-tale romance found in all of her designs.


ERIN erin fetherston ‘Phoebe’ Ostrich Feather Hem Chiffon Shift Dress

This season, Erin offers some seriously stunning reception dresses that will offer the bride a second chance to dazzle without risking injury to her extra-special gown. “It’s giving girls the freedom to balance fashion and tradition on their wedding day,” Fetherston tells Nordstrom. “Brides opting for a timeless wedding gown can look to a ‘cut the cake’ dress that will allow them to incorporate a trend or element of their own personal style into their wedding day look. It’s one aspect of the wedding where she can really get creative and bend the rules.”


ERIN erin fetherston ‘Lucielle’ 3D Floral Organza Dress

Blush pinks and prints (!) abound in the bridesmaid department, making for a thrillingly unexpected statement. “With blush being a personal favorite color of mine,” Fetherston explains, “this trend is near and dear to my heart and truly embodies the ERIN erin fetherston collection, both for bridal and my main line. The bridal assortment really lends itself to the ability to add subtle print or texture into your bridesmaid grouping.”


ERIN erin fetherston ‘Isabelle’ Print Chiffon Gown

For those seeking a more hands-on Erin Fetherston experience, look no further: this week, the woman behind the designs will be making in-store appearances at a few of our locations sprinkled across the country. Brides are invited to bring their bridesmaids along to try on this new collection (as well as a few Nordstrom exclusives thrown in for good measure), all while Erin offers her expert style advice, personalized for each bride.


ERIN erin fetherston ‘Sandrine’ Embellished Chiffon Gown

The one-on-one sessions will last 90 minutes apiece, and while you’re waiting your turn, you’re invited to enjoy a glass of bubbly, nibble some light bites and take advantage of a beauty service provided on site (manicures, hairstyling or makeup touch-ups, depending on which event you attend). And we won’t let you leave empty-handed—every guest will get to take home a trio of Nordstrom Makers chocolates as a parting gift to say thanks for attending.


ERIN erin fetherston ‘Chloe’ Foiled Chiffon Gown

See more from Erin Fetherston in our Wedding Suites, and for even more inspiration, see Erin Fetherston’s very own wedding photos from last spring on our blog.

The new spring/summer 2014 Amsale collection is now available in our Wedding Suites—and here’s a sneak peek! All gowns are available in plus sizes and can be made to measure, so you are guaranteed a perfect fit for your big day.

A659/Carson: A combination of timeless and current, this French alençon lace fit-and-flare gown is truly feminine. The layered tulle adds lightness and soft structure, while the delicate French lace long-sleeve bolero allows the bride to create a more formal look. $5,950

A655/Cameron: This fresh and modern lightweight ballgown has a silk taffeta corseted bodice with straps, a full skirt, signature pockets and a sash that accentuates the natural waist. Elegant and effortless, with a sheer back and touches of French alençon lace for added femininity. $3,950

A643/Lenox: Classic Amsale, this silk magnolia fit-and-flare gown has glamorous beading and a keyhole back. With sophisticated, clean lines and luxurious fabric, the gown is simple, chic and effortless with a touch of shimmer. $4,800

A654/Quinn: A beautiful, quintessential bridal gown. Channeling timeless sophistication, the French alençon lace bodice meets a silk ribbon bow accentuating the natural waist. This gown is perfect for a summer garden wedding, as the full skirt and lace underlayer create a fresh, airy fit and provide movement. $4,500

A657/Preston: This gown has a formality that makes it ideal for a black-tie wedding with the right accessories. The silk magnolia fabric is luxurious, and the cut is architectural and spare yet modern with a sheer neckline and sexy, low, bow-detailed back. $4,200

To see even more Amsale gowns, take a peek at this behind-the-scenes video from the spring 2015 collections.

Last month, Racked hosted an Instagram contest for one lucky engaged couple to win a totally free Brooklyn wedding. The catch? They’d have to plan it all in less than one month. We were thrilled to be a part of this event and offer the bride the dress of her dreams. The winning bride, Jacqueline Berman, wore a gorgeous Heidi Elnora ‘Coco Marie’ gown, and she looked absolutely stunning. It was incredible to see the wedding coordinated on such short notice! See how the entire day unfolded over at Racked’s Wedding Week feature.

Photos by: Daniel Silbert

It’s no surprise that designing intricate clothing fit for royalty (sometimes literally!) comes naturally to Naeem Khan: The Indian-born designer developed his talents for textiles and beautiful lines alongside his grandfather and father, both well known in India for their designs. His childhood fascination with their handiwork carried him to his first apprenticeship and beyond; he has since refined the art of clean, elegant silhouettes with modern restraint, all while growing in his own signature aesthetic and style. His runway shows are among the most anticipated during New York Fashion Week, and his gowns are seen on stunning world figures such as First Lady Michelle Obama and Queen Noor of Jordan, as well as red-carpet royalty Beyoncé, Sarah Jessica Parker, Penélope Cruz, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, to name just a few.

Khan’s foray into bridal gowns does not disappoint: his signature figure-tracing lines, swirling patterns and subtle, delicate touches translate into gowns with gorgeous, unique personalities and big movements that never overwhelm. If you’re going for detailed and unforgettable, Naeem Khan’s styles are worth trying on.

Speaking of trying on, stop in at selected Wedding Suites to do just that*, after swooning over these looks.

Vienna (Style FB012): In this new vision of the ballgown, a modern, beautifully beaded strapless bustier tops subtle pleats that define without overwhelming. We see this gown making a statement at big venues. $6,495.

Santorini (Style FB047): The Greek gods never had it this good. Draping creates beautiful, airy lines on a gown defined by a wide, crystal-beaded waistband. Perfect for outdoor and destination weddings—maybe to the islands? $5,750.

Paris (Style FB050): Sometimes simple is the most beautiful. Flattering bandage-style wrapping and a floating skirt (with pockets!) highlight the intricately detailed traditional veil. $5,495.

Agra (Style FB033): Delicately embroidered with florals and swirling curves, this romantic gown drapes down to a silky chapel train—a truly sophisticated bridal look. $8,395.

Naples (Style FB014): Modern caviar beading gives gorgeous, subtle detail, with a flattering deep V-neckline and high seams. $5,995.

*Naeem Khan is available in selected in-store Wedding Suites. Make a complimentary appointment with one of our Wedding Stylists to see these beautiful styles in person.

The newest collection from Watters strikes the perfect balance between laid-back elegance and sophisticated chic. Discover more dramatic ballgowns and delicate dresses now in our Watters lookbook and firsthand in our Wedding Suites.

The spring 2014 collection from Badgley Mischka takes inspiration from Old Hollywood and the 1930s French Riviera. See more of the gorgeous beadwork and embroidery firsthand at our in-store Wedding Suites.

Silk mermaid ‘Audrey’ dress with embellished illusion neckline and sleeves. $3,850.

See more Badgley Mischka dresses in our Wedding Suite lookbook. We offer this dress at our Seattle, Michigan Avenue, Oakbrook Center, Topanga, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Valley Fair, Roosevelt Field and Tysons Corner Center wedding suite locations.

We can’t get enough of these new Hayley Paige gowns. We adore her unique aesthetic, which encompasses everything from traditional ball gowns with whimsical layers of tulle to subtly glamorous stripes and opulent crystals. Hayley’s 2014 gowns just hit our Wedding Suites; check your local Nordstrom store to see which beautiful styles are available for you!

Leighton (6302): Silk stretch-satin fit-and-flare gown with ruched bodice and strapless sweetheart neckline. Silk organza manipulated skirt and open back with tulle detailing connected by crystal cluster and chapel train. Detachable crystal embellished bolero, sold separately. $3,355.

Guindon (6315): Striped organza natural-waist ballgown with sweetheart ruched neckline, full flounced skirt, taupe raw-silk ribbon at natural waist and chapel train. $3,160.

Emeryn (6411): English net fit-and-flare gown with ruched detailing on bodice, double horsehair trim flounced skirt, alabaster and crystal encrusted keyhole back with chapel train. $3,850.

Star (6412): Alabaster tulle A-line gown with crystal-encrusted bodice and skirt, sweetheart neckline and chapel train. $3,585.

Kadence (6410): Alençon lace fit-and-flare gown with strapless jewel-encrusted neckline. Ruched detailing along sides of bodice and center back, crystal and alabaster detachable bolero and chapel train. $4,400.

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Locklyn (6407): Sweetheart neckline, jewel-encrusted waist, fit-and-glare gown with ruching at waist and full, tulle skirt. $2,860.

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Announcing gorgeous new wedding gown styles from Bliss Monique Lhuillier, now available in store at selected Wedding Suite locations.

Silk, white Chantilly lace and re-embroidered lace strapless sweetheart neckline trumpet gown with tulle skirt. (Style: BL1401, $2,990)
Available at Seattle, Oakbrook, Topanga Plaza, Tyson’s Corner, North Park, Houston Galleria

Ivory silk, satin strapless sweetheart-neckline trumpet gown with hand-tufted skirt. (Style: BL1403s, $3,960)
Available at: Paramus (Garden State)

Ivory re-embroidered-lace strapless sweetheart neckline trumpet gown. (Style: BL1404, $2,850 | Bolero Jacket, $880)
Available at: Seattle and Oakbrook

Blush tulle and Chantilly lace gown with sweetheart neckline and full A-line skirt. (Style: 1412, $2,750)
Available at: Seattle, Oakbrook, Fashion Square, Paramus, Tyson’s Corner, North Park, Houston Galleria

Silk and white chiffon strapless sheath gown. (Style: 1429, $2,700)
Available at: Seattle, Oakbrook, Fashion Square, Paramus, Tyson’s Corner, North Park, Houston Galleria

Silk, white crepe satin sheath dress with low back. (Style: 1430, $2,300)
Available at: Seattle, Topanga Plaza

Silk, white crepe back satin sheath dress with low back. (Style: 14030, $2,300)
Available at: Seattle, Topanga Plaza

Ivory organza scoop-neck gown with tufted skirt. (Style: 14200, $2,300)
Available at: Fashion Square, Paramus, Tyson’s Corner

Ivory re-embroidered-lace strapless natural-waist gown with full A-line skirt. (Style: BL1322, $3,900)
Available at: Tyson’s Corner

We’re so excited about the lineup of gorgeous gowns and amazing designers that we’ll be welcoming to our 2014 Bridal Trunk Shows! These shows offer brides a chance to see a featured designer’s full collection of wedding dress styles firsthand. Call ahead to book your appointment, and then head to a Wedding Suite near you. See the full list of participating stores and featured designers for our Bridal Trunk Shows.