Breanne shares her and Mike’s big day–an island wedding full of romantic elegance.
Breanne shares her and Mike’s big day–an island wedding full of romantic elegance.
The talented designer Joanna August is in the business of dreaming up beautiful and innovative bridesmaid dresses. With a wide range of colors, styles and silhouettes, there’s something in Ceremony by Joanna August to make any bridesmaid happy (even jumpsuits!). Read on to see more dresses and some sage advice from the woman behind these pretty, romantic bridesmaid dresses.
Your journey into bridal designs began with your own wedding in 2008 because you couldn’t find dresses you loved for your bridesmaids. What was missing from the market and what defines the look and style of your dresses today?
In 2008, everything on the market for bridesmaids looked like a bridesmaid dress! Even the pretty ones would have some sort of detail, like a satin sash or satin piping–something that marked the dress “for weddings only.” Then, if you looked for “regular,” off-the-rack dresses, you would find the perfect dress but not in the colors you wanted. From the beginning, the look of my dresses has been romantic, ethereal and most importantly, wearable! Nothing about my designs limits the dresses to the bridesmaid category. The only thing real “bridal” about them is that they are available in many colors, so the bride is able to customize the look to achieve her overall vision for her wedding.
Now, in 2015, there are a lot more options for bridesmaids, so, while I continue to put out fashionable, wearable looks, I also focus on pushing the envelope and introducing new and unexpected options for bridesmaids. I was one of the first to design separates and jumpsuits for bridesmaids, and I continue to search for unique options for the fashion-forward bride to express her taste and creativity through her bridal fashion choices.
We’re loving all the gorgeous dresses coming to life while we’re flipping through the pages of this digital magazine from Donna Morgan. What can we say? Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. So, we’ll just leave these beautiful images featuring the Serenity Collection right here…
Download and browse the entire Donna Morgan Serenity Magazine.
Photos: Carla Ten Eyck
We love seeking inspiration and things to covet from designers and other blogs, and we’re particular fans of checking out Lauren Conrad’s Friday Favorites feature. Last week, she brilliantly shared one of her Paper Crown bridesmaid dresses that doubles as her favorite holiday party dress (see below). We can always get behind a bridesmaid dress that you actually want to wear in the first place, let alone wear again. Bonus, she turned us on to the gorgeous beading detail on ‘Isla’ from the Naeem Khan Fall 2016 Collection (pictured above).
Lead image via The LANE
Now online and in selected stores: a new line of bridesmaid dresses from bridal designer Amsale Aberra. Created as a more affordable option to the original Amsale collection, nouvelle AMSALE bridesmaid dresses and wedding gowns are available at a lower price point–without sacrificing an ounce of beauty.
We love the muted tones and flowing lines of these pretty chiffon dresses. Check out our six dress styles in six different shades–perfect for flattering a variety of body types and color palettes. $190–$220.
Check back mid-April here on the Wedding Suite blog for more from Amsale!
SHOP: nouvelle AMSALE
A lot goes into planning a wedding, including finding the perfect gowns for your bridesmaids. Here, two unrelated brides—Krista and Danielle—share their inspiration and the paths that led them to choose bridesmaid dresses from Donna Morgan in beautiful shades of green.
The Bridesmaid Dresses: Like most brides, I leaned on Pinterest for inspiration throughout the planning process. After we selected our venue, I knew I had to choose a color palette. Pastels were something I was really drawn to, since they are so soft and romantic, and that’s how we envisioned our wedding. Since we loved the pastel color palette, we thought that having mint green as the main color of the wedding would be unique. Once we had decided on that, it was easy to narrow down the bridesmaid dress color, since the Donna Morgan line has so many shades available.
I knew I wanted to mix and match the colors, because we had decided to mix and match ties for the groomsmen as well. I really liked the idea that everything at our wedding would tie together but not necessarily match perfectly. I was also able to get color swatches of the dresses from a Nordstrom store, which was so helpful in making my final decision on the color, and I ended up with a mix and match of the colors Apple Tart and Spearmint.
I was very flexible with my bridesmaids. I told them the colors I liked and then let them choose whichever Donna Morgan neckline they preferred. There are so many necklines, which all look different on different body types. It was really important to me that my bridesmaids felt comfortable and pretty on our big day, so I wanted them to pick what they felt confident and pretty in!
Your Wedding Suite Experience: I chose Nordstrom for a number of reasons. First, not all of my bridesmaids lived in the area, so coordinating a shopping trip was not going to happen for us. Choosing Nordstrom would let them all go and try on dresses and choose their style on their own, or receive free shipping if they didn’t live near a Nordstrom location. Also, I knew that if there were any issues with the sizing, they could return them without a hassle—or the girls could get them altered in store and they would be treated well.
Final Thoughts: Looking back at my pictures, I can tell that each of my bridesmaids felt as pretty as I did!
Location: The Foundry by Herban Feast (Seattle, WA). My vision actually came together after I booked my venue. The Foundry is in the more industrial area of Seattle (SODO) and had that nice romantic, urban feel. It was the only place my fiancé and I could agree on (we loved it!). For me, it had the romance (wine barrels, soft lighting, etc.), and for him, it had the Northwest masculine feel (concrete floors, wooden chandeliers and a fireplace); it just matched our vision. I incorporated a lot of soft, romantic colors (coral, mint and gold), beach wood, air plants/succulents and soft metals—including a gold sequin runner at the head table. We also did a romantic Italian light wall and candles for the ceremony. It was heavenly. 🙂
The Bridesmaid Dresses: I wanted a color to complement coral (my first color choice) and gold (my accent color). I started to see this color combo (mint + coral + gold) early in 2014 and LOVED how it looked!
I liked the classic look of one color for bridesmaid dresses (mint), but I ended up doing shades of sage and mint for my flowers and design details of the wedding. I ended up doing shades of coral/peach/pink-orange for my flowers to add depth.
I knew what I wanted from the beginning—Donna Morgan was my designer of choice. She’s a great designer and the dresses are great quality. After that, I let my bridesmaids decide on style; I just requested that it be something long and have a “hint of mint,” because I loved how it looked in the sample I saw. The gals ironically all went with the same dresses and neckline because they just loved the style.
Final Thoughts: Looking back at the photos, I love seeing how the bridesmaid dresses brought the whole picture together. The color (deeper than my white dress) gave a fresh, romantic look to our wedding. I can’t begin to rave how much I loved the color and overall look of my bridesmaid dresses.
And a note about Nordstrom. I knew I would get service, quality and style there. I have been a loyal Nordstrom shopper since I was born. 🙂 My mom (since retired) worked for the company for 25 years. Nordstrom is still my go-to department store for basically everything I wear!
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.
To celebrate the arrival of the spring 2015 collection for BLISS Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses, we caught up with the designer behind the brand. We just couldn’t miss an opportunity to chat about her gorgeous bridal gowns (and bridesmaid dresses!), the risk she recommends brides take and her favorite thing about being in the bridal business.
The Wedding Suite: Tell us three things we would be surprised to know about you.
1. I started my bridal business after looking for my own wedding dress almost 20 years ago, because I felt there was a void in the marketplace for fashion-infused dresses.
2. I love the outdoors. I am from California, and I love hiking and spending time with my family in the sun.
3. I’m half French and half Filipino.
What’s the most important thing about designing a wedding dress?
For me, my bridal gowns must emanate romance and fantasy. I offer all different types of dresses that will make a bride feel glamorous and alluring on her wedding day. When designing, I focus on the gowns feeling very feminine, marked by exquisite workmanship and luxurious fabrications.
What’s distinctive about your new BLISS collection; what sets it apart?
I subtly infused color into this collection. I wanted a beautiful pastel color palette including tones of pale blush and latte all mixed with soft silk layers, white tulle and lace. You’ll find exquisite design details: beautiful combinations of Chantilly lace with overlays of draped tulle and delicate embroidered lace appliqués in addition to cascading hemlines edged with horsehair trim.
How does BLISS differ from your namesake collection?
BLISS Monique Lhuillier is inspired by a feminine, elegant and youthful bride. This collection provides a curated collection of romantic dresses that are punctuated with fresh styles that embody my signature design aesthetic. I provide distinct silhouettes—from stunning trumpet-shaped gowns and ethereal sheaths to whimsical ballgowns—all at an accessible price point.
What is one bridal fashion risk you would recommend to brides?
Experiment with color on your wedding day. I love pale pink or blush for a touch of the unexpected; it can be quite enchanting for brides who are looking for something nontraditional.
What’s different about designing a bridesmaid dress versus a wedding dress?
The process is quite different, and I actually look to my ready-to-wear line for inspiration. Bridesmaids want to feel beautiful, comfortable and even a bit fashion appropriate when they are walking down the aisle. I try to provide dresses they could wear again for a special occasion and offer colors that will complement them.
What advice do you have for brides as they choose their bridal parties’ wardrobe?
The process of choosing your bridesmaids is hard, but finding a dress they will all agree on is sometimes even harder. As the bride, I think it is necessary to set the direction for what you want your bridesmaids to look like on your big day. The more guidance they have, the less likely they are to go astray. This means giving them hair and makeup direction, accessory parameters and, most of all, very specific information on what you want in their dresses. It’s important to select a bridesmaid dress that fits into your color scheme, but it’s most important for your bridesmaids to feel beautiful and at ease. Selecting one color is the easiest way to have a cohesive look; then allow the bridesmaids to select the style they are most comfortable with.
What’s your favorite thing about being in the bridal business?
The bridal business is rewarding because it all revolves around such a special day. To have the opportunity to make a bride feel beautiful, confident and glamorous on this momentous occasion is such an honor.
SHOP: Monique Lhuillier
Back in December, we gave you the scoop on why co-founders Lauren Conrad and Maura McManus created their gorgeous line of bridesmaid dresses, Paper Crown. And now, seven styles in a number of muted pastels and neutrals are ready to ship and outfit your equally gorgeous maids.
When planning their own weddings, real-life besties and Paper Crown co-founders Lauren Conrad and Maura McManus were having a hard time finding the perfect bridesmaid dresses. Their solution? Design a bunch they love themselves! So was born Paper Crown Bridesmaids. We love them too, and these dresses full of flowy romance are now available for pre-order.
On her motivation and philosophy, Conrad tells us, “Designing the Paper Crown bridesmaids collection was a dream! My goal was to design dresses that flatter a variety of body types. This way, a bridal party can look cohesive but not necessarily have to be wearing the exact same style. Everyone should feel great, just not better than the bride, of course!” A bride’s supporting cast should definitely look and feel great—we think you could say that about these ladies and their gorgeous dresses in action.
We have Paper Crown by Lauren Conrad in six silhouettes and a number of pretty pastels and muted tones. Dresses will be available to ship the first week of February.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Nordstrom! Here’s to happily ever after!” — Lauren Conrad & Maura McManus
Pre-order: Paper Crown Bridesmaids