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heidi elnora

Alison recounts her and Doug’s classic, elegant wedding (with a dash of shabby chic) in southern Illinois wine country.

Doug and I both live in Chicago and met through a mutual friend in 2008. It was a Friday night and once we started talking, we were inseparable. We’ve been together ever since. We go to Lincoln Park Zoo for Zoo Lights every year, and in December 2012, Doug proposed in a quiet area of the zoo under the Christmas lights and made me the happiest woman.

We fell in love with the southern Illinois wine country while driving home after visiting family in Missouri in 2009. We stayed at a couple B&Bs and enjoyed many of the wineries. We always said we’d be back and even then knew it would be a great place to get married.

The Scene: September 7, 2013. St. Joseph Church | Historic Bell Hill Bed & Breakfast, Cobden, IL.

Fast-forward four years, and southern Illinois immediately became part of our vision for our wedding. We found a beautiful B&B called Historic Bell Hill in Cobden. It is an old Victorian house on a 75-acre estate with a barn that predates the Civil War—all overlooking wine country. It was our blank canvas and it spoke to us. Doug is an artist and I am a girl with a vision. We set up a tent and tables in the gardens so guests could enjoy the glorious night. Chandeliers, lanterns, sparkling lights and candles were everywhere. There was a hint of shabby chic in the air but mostly it was classic, romantic elegance.

My Dress: ‘Coco Marie’ by Heidi Elnora

I’m petite, so I didn’t want anything overwhelming. This dress fit my body like a glove. For the ceremony I wore the ‘Addison’ Chantilly lace top by Jenny Yoo over the dress; I had fallen in love with the top even before I found the dress. It wrapped around my waist and I wore my late grandmother’s rhinestone broach on the knot. After the ceremony I removed the top and wore the rose-colored ‘Treasure Sash’ by Olia Zavozina and the ‘Melaney’ ribbon and cluster bib necklace by Nina. I had two totally different looks with the same gown, and guests even asked me if I had changed dresses.

I decided to not wear a veil. The back of the dress was so exquisite I didn’t want to take away from it. My hair was up, and I wore an ivory flower pin by Nina. My heels were Badgley Mischka and my late-night flats were Nina. My bridesmaids wore Monique Lhuillier one-shoulder taffeta dresses in navy with pink Franco Sarto wedges. My girls were beautiful and comfortable.

My Wedding Stylist: Caitlin Ritzema, Nordstrom Michigan Avenue

I went to a couple other bridal salons but came running back to Caitlin. She was amazing during the search for my dress. She found one that looked amazing on me that I never would have picked out on my own. It seemed very simple on the hanger, and I almost said no without even trying it on. But it was the only one that made me say “Wow” when she began to zip me up and add accessories. My sister referred to it as the “Audrey Hepburn dress.” Doug likes my curves, and the dress accentuated them oh so well—sexy in a classy way.

The lace Jenny Yoo bolero was so elegant and complemented the vintage, chic feel of our wedding. It was very important to me to be able to dance all night in my dress, so the change of accessories—switching into the sash for the reception—made for another beautiful look. Caitlin made my experience so comfortable, fun and pressure-free. She helped style my bridesmaids, and every time I went in for an appointment, I felt like I was going to go hang out with my friend. I am very grateful to Caitlin for helping make my special day so beautiful, stress-free and fun.

My Beauty Stylist: Iris Brostowicz, Nordstrom Topanga, Canoga Park, CA

My Beauty Stylist was Iris Brostowicz in the cosmetics department. She was wonderful. She took so much time with me on multiple occasions to make sure I had the right makeup that would look beautiful in person and in photos. She has a background in photography, so she knew exactly how to highlight my best features. I wanted to look like myself, and—after trying on many different colors and products—we found the perfect look for me.

Special Moments:

Our friends and family are very important to us, and since they were all going to be traveling long distances to be there, we wanted to make it a beautiful, relaxing and unforgettable experience for all. We danced with our guests all night and had the time of our lives. It was more perfect than we could have imagined.


Photos by Julia Noack Photography.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail 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.

BLISS Monique Lhuillier Lace Low Back Wedding Dress

Wedding dresses with eye-catching backs are very of-the-moment! And it makes perfect sense—most of the time, a bride is facing away from her guests during the ceremony, so why not make the back of a gown just as beautiful as the front? More and more designers are thinking beyond straight-across strapless or traditional buttons on the train and adding unexpected details like architectural shapes, low scoop cuts, illusion detailing and embellishments.

Whether it’s a dramatic keyhole like the BLISS Monique Lhuillier dress above or an intricate illusion design like Lela Rose’s ‘Tompkins Square Park’, we know one thing for sure: in these gowns, baby got back!

Find your favorite from our selections below, or browse our in-store wedding gowns for more ideas!

Two by Rosa Clará ‘Delicia’ Wedding Dress

Heidi Elnora ‘Rubie Joe’ Wedding Dress

Kelly Faetanini ‘Georgina’ Wedding Dress

Lela Rose ‘Tompkins Square Park’ Wedding Dress

Nouvelle Amsale Bow Detail Wedding Dress

Caroline DeVillo ‘Cassidy’ Wedding Dress

Hayley Paige ‘Mila’ Wedding Dress

La Fleur by Anne Barge ‘Chantal’ Wedding Dress

Brides, grab your gals and a glass of your favorite fizzy beverage and get ready to view some gorgeous gowns! Our Fall 2013 Lookbook is here!

This is always an exciting time of year, as we get to share all of the new images from our recent photo shoot and unveil the gowns just hitting our in-store Wedding Suites. It’s also a great time to see trends from bridal fashion week coming to life!

Here are a few of our favorite trends from the fall selections:

Statement backs: Whether a low open scoop or a decorative illusion—like Lela Rose’s ‘Tompkins Square Park’ or Heidi Elnora’s ‘Rubie Joe’—the focus of many new gowns is on the back.

Hero

Tiered skirts: Draped layers of fabric on ball gown skirts come in soft, like Rosa Clara’s ‘Cava,’ or structured, like Hayley Paige’s ‘Pearl.’


Lovely lace: From full Alençon lace gowns to dainty lace trim, gowns from Anne Barge and Bliss Monique Lhuillier are romantic and feminine.


Browse more wedding dress lookbooks here. To make an appointment with a free Wedding Stylist, call 1.888.300.1295 or book online.

Sarah and Derek tell us the story of their colorful, love-filled Texas wedding.

 The Scene: June 8, Boerne, Texas

Our vision for the wedding was to have a small and intimate gathering of our families and close friends. The entire wedding took place at one location, the Nelson City Dance Hall, where the style was traditional mixed with rustic country flair. We had red and other brightly colored accents everywhere you looked!

HeroThe ceremony was administered outside in the courtyard, on a beautiful sunny day. Huge, vibrant, green oak and cedar trees made a canopy over the courtyard, and rays of sunlight peeked through, casting a beautiful glow over the ceremony.

Afterward, the reception was held in the wooden-floored dance hall, with dinner, first dances and cake-cutting. People were laughing, having a great time and filling up the dance floor! The entire evening was seamless and came together perfectly.

One of my favorite times of the day was having my bridesmaids in the room with me as I got ready. As I put on my lovely dress and special wedding-day perfume, then completed the look with my blue shoes, blingy bracelet, earrings and veil, the moment began to sink in. I was going to marry my best friend, lifelong companion and love of my life!

My Look: I wore a Heidi Elnora wedding gown called ‘Coco Marie‘—a simple strapless gown with a perfect sweetheart neckline and train. I added blue Glint heels and a mid-length veil with rhinestones.

As for jewelry, I accessorized with a gorgeous floral rhinestone bracelet and teardrop earrings to complement the neckline of my wedding gown.

My Wedding Stylist: Odilia Avalos, Nordstrom Wedding Suite in San Antonio, Texas

My Wedding Suite experience was fantastic. Odilia was sweet, attentive, excited and truly authentic. Her happiness and personality were infectious, and she always made me feel special!

Each employee in the Suite was helpful and showed attention to the brides who came in. When I went to pick up my dress and veil a week before the wedding, I was alone, and it would have been hard to carry everything out to the car by myself. Odilia offered to carry the dress out to the car with me. This kind of service and thoughtfulness is what keeps me coming back to Nordstrom and the Wedding Suite time and time again!

Our Special Moments: When I made my entrance to walk down the aisle, carrying a bouquet of red intuition roses, the look on my soon-to-be husband’s face was wonderful. He looked so sure and had a huge smile on his face. He whispered to me once I made my way to the front how beautiful I looked and that the dress was perfect. He couldn’t imagine a different look, and that I had picked one that was made for me.

One of our favorite weeks of the year is here! Bridal Fashion Week kicked off in New York City and we’re like kids in a candy store, so excited about all the newest gowns from our favorite designers. During this week, we attend runway shows and meet with designers to pick the wedding dresses we’ll carry in the Wedding Suite for the next season.

While we could talk for days about all the details, we also know a picture is worth a thousand words—so follow our fashion week journey through the photos below (with more to come this week!). You can also follow the action on Twitter @NordstromWed where our bridal director, Andrea Wasserman, is live tweeting throughout each day!

Mt. Rainier greets us along the way to the airport in Seattle.

At the hotel, laying out the week’s shoes. The flats will come in handy!

Central Park view from our hotel. We could get used to this!

First meeting with the lovely Kelly Faetanini, with a gorgeous lace back dress.

Next to the runway at Vera Wang. Seeing lots of black and white!

Buyer Sharon examines the Vera Wang gowns up close.

At Nicole Miller, checking out a favorite gown, now in lace!

Sharon and Lisa looking through options. Decisions, decisions!

Andrea and designer Heidi Elnora ending the night at dinner–in matching jean jackets.

Check back this week for more coverage of Bridal Fashion Week including our favorite new trends!


Audrey Moon, one of the Wedding Stylists at our suite in Lone Tree, Colorado, shares her favorite wedding dress du jour and tips on how to style it with a sweet and feminine touch.

Hi! I’m Audrey from your Nordstrom Park Meadows store. One of my favorite wedding dresses right now is the “Erin Cooper” gown by designer Heidi Elnora. It showcases the feminine figure at its best! I love the beaded bodice, the phenomenal bow and the low back that lets you be flirty yet sexy.

Pictured: Heidi Elnora Wedding Gown

Shoes | Headband | Necklace | Bracelet

The Erin Cooper is a stunning gown, but it will still allow you to fully accessorize. Soft, romantic bridal jewelry like Majorica Pearl Necklaces and Majorica Baroque Pearl Bracelets are the perfect complement. Instead of a veil, I’d recommend our new Crystal Branches Headband from Halo & Co. to complement the natural details found in the bodice of the dress. To finish the look, I’d put you in the natural colored ‘Cissy’ sandals by Badgley Mischka–those chiffon rosettes are so sweet and whimsical.

The Erin Cooper encompasses what it means to be a truly feminine and beautiful bride. For all you newly engaged ladies: congratulations…let’s find you a gown! Book a complimentary appointment online, or come see me at Nordstrom Park Meadows, and we will put together YOUR dream look!

Project Runway alum Heidi Elnora dazzled us for spring 2013 with her illusion necklines, fine keyholes and strands of lace that brides can only dream of donning on the big day! With our ’12 Days of Gowns’ feature in full swing, Heidi comes in at number two: her gowns, carried in selected Wedding Suites, are absolutely exquisite, and certainly garner two thumbs up for her quality craftsmanship and detail.

Heidi Elnora is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and her Southern sensibility adds to the charm of her creations.

L to R: ‘Lace Keyhole’ and ‘Rubie Joe’

‘Mary Margaret’

Browse all the current bridal collections we have in The Wedding Suite, and check back here for more glorious gowns!

Hi, everyone! It’s Molly, your Nordstrom Weddings Site Merchandiser here. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know one of our wedding designers, Heidi Elnora, since we launched her brand seven months ago. Let me just tell you that she is a fantastic human being and a brilliant designer. She has enough energy to fill the Superdome, the ability to make you smile so big your cheeks hurt and is one of the best huggers I’ve met!

I recently asked Heidi if she could name a favorite wedding dress from her collections. She told me, “The Coco Marie is one of my all-time favorite gowns.” I couldn’t agree more. The Coco Marie is a dream dress. It’s beautiful all on its own but can be complemented with many different pieces and styles. Here’s what else she had to say about the dress and how to style it.

“The Coco Marie was named after one of my first brides, Nicole Marie Richter. Her husband is a DJ and a very dear friend of mine, DJ Coco–therefore, the Coco Marie. This gown is simple yet has a perfect fit, which is the key to a great wedding dress. It can be worn with the Katie Grace cover-up, the lace bodice, by itself or with a great sash.

“The best thing about the Katie Grace cover-up is that it is reversible. You can wear it with buttons in the front, giving you a very traditional look and a low V-shaped back, or you can reverse it so that the V gives you a cap-sleeve feel and a see-through lace back. This option looks great with full covered buttons down the length of your Coco Marie. By adding a ruched waistband, you complete the look while cinching in your waist at the same time. What girl doesn’t love a tiny waist!

“Another great option for the Coco Marie is our lace bodice. This bodice is used as an overlay on the Coco Marie and finishes at the natural waist. The Coco Marie is one great gown that is as versatile as my brides!”

Want to try the Coco Marie or any other dresses in our Heidi Elnora lookbook for yourself? Head to one of our Wedding Suites where a Wedding Stylist can help find the perfect way to customize this gown just for you! –Molly

JoAnna recounts her vintage-inspired wedding and everything that helped make it special.

The Scene
: Fall 2012, Four Mounds Inn, Dubuque, IA
I wanted our wedding outside, close to water, and to have a vintage feel. I wanted old objects and memories to be carried throughout and for it all to feel comfortable for guests. The theme was “Vintage Romance,” purely based on my taste and my love for my fiancé.

I wanted the venue to feel private and secluded, so we chose Four Mounds Inn, which sits atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi in our hometown of Dubuque, IA. It’s an old estate built in the early 1900s with many charming vintage features and a large grass lawn in between the two mansions–perfect for a tent! It’s very wooded, and I knew my vision would be perfect there. It was relaxed, private and easy.

My Wedding Stylist: Amie Kesler at Nordstrom Michigan Ave., Chicago.

I bought my dress from the Wedding Suite at Nordstrom, and I am so happy I did. Not only do I love my dress, I loved my experience. I never once worried about quality or service; I was well taken care of. My stylist was amazing throughout everything, and we’ve even developed a relationship. I’ll be sending her my photos from the wedding with a thank-you for being so amazing and making me feel so special.

I sent Amie a few ideas of what I like and a link to my Pinterest account; we talked about everything before we even met to try on dresses. When I got there, she had everything pulled for me, and her choices were dead-on. Thank you, Nordstrom—and thank you, Amie!

My Dress: The dress was called ‘Coco Marie’ made by Heidi Elnora, with a Katie Grace lace vest on top. I also wore a Caroline DeVillo cathedral veil and champagne sash. Luckily, the lace from Caroline was the exact same that Heidi used, so it went together perfectly. I wore Judith Jack earrings and satin wedges from BP. shoes. I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

I loved that I had options within the same dress and with the vest, which had buttons going down the front to give it a very classic, traditional look. I could also turn the vest around for a deep-V in the front, which had a very “me” look, and then taking it off gave me the option to cool down and dance!

Our Special Moments: Two old doors to the entrance of our tent provided a special touch. They were the doors to the home where my mother grew up, and everyone was amazed to hear about them.

We danced all night long and got surprised with fireworks. I also surprised Aaron with a song by The Cure sung by my sister with music played by his nephew and his girlfriend. We did everything ourselves, so it was a complete and true reflection of the two of us—from each song selection for our playlist, right down to the labels for desserts.

No stress that day, just anxiousness and happiness…everyone was glowing, and the event was dubbed Love Fest 2012.

It was the most magical day we’ve ever experienced, and we will cherish it forever.

Photography © 2012 Eric Yerke.

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

We first mentioned our love of designer Heidi Elnora back in March when we announced the arrival of her bridal collection at the Wedding Suite. We still adore the carefree, romantic spirit of her dresses—not to mention that signature Southern sparkle.

Here’s something more to love: Heidi will be guest blogging, writing a series of posts for the Wedding Suite Blog on everything from her incredible wedding (and her many dresses) to her daily life as a designer and at home.

Check back soon for her first post, and in the meantime, here’s a glimpse at her gorgeous Alabama wedding. Lavish!