Wedding Dresses

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.

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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.

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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.

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Or should we say dresses? Bridal Designer Hayley Paige gives us a sneak peek at the details of what she’s designing and what she and her maids will be wearing during her upcoming July wedding.

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1. Not a single dress has been made yet for my July 11th wedding. Gulp! I am kind of approaching the wardrobe like I would a typical bridal season: one style at a time and fresh off the pattern table. It’s nice to have a design room at my disposal, but it also gives you that added panache of fashion show pressure.

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Samantha shares the story of her October wedding in Ohio, where loved ones scattered across the country met in the middle at the church where she was raised.

The Ceremony: Church of St. Rita in Solon, Ohio
From the very beginning of our planning process, we knew we wanted our wedding day to be a fun gathering of family and friends. We focused on having great food and great music, knowing that our loved ones would be on the dance floor all evening.

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Cai shares how her Vera Wang dress dream came true and the importance of bringing family together—even when separated by two languages and an ocean.

The Ceremony: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Strongsville, Ohio
I’m originally from China and my parents still live there, so they couldn’t help much with the wedding planning. Instead, my amazing mother-in-law, Kathi, stepped in to support me along the way. I felt so blessed by the love of my husband’s family throughout the process.

My parents flew in for the big day, and even though they couldn’t understand what was said at the ceremony, they did participate by walking me down the aisle. It was so special to have them there and to have the wedding of my and my parents’ dreams, since they were only able to have a simple ceremony 30 years ago at their own wedding.

The Dress: Louisa by Vera Wang
I’ve always known I wanted a Vera Wang gown to get married in—they make a bride look like a princess. When shopping at Nordstrom at Beachwood Place, I met my Wedding Stylist, Dana, and she really helped make the whole process easier for me. She’s the one who found my dress, and I instantly fell in love. It’s a strapless ball gown with 16 layers of draped tulle and crystal embroidery accents at the hip—a dream come true.

Dana was so helpful by accommodating my busy schedule, finding a perfect seamstress to help with fittings, and really going out of her way to help me with everything.

My Favorite Moments:
At the reception, my friend Yan gave a beautiful toast in both English and Mandarin. Like me, she came to the United States alone from China. She perfectly articulated how much strength it gives me to have the love and support of another family here in America.

I also felt so beautiful during my first dance with my husband in my Vera Wang dress; it was a wonderful evening that will stay with me forever.


Photography by Mydi

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.

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Maureen tells us how a timeless location, a bicoastal wedding party and some personalized touches made her and Ben’s September wedding a perfect one for them.

Our vision:
To create an elegant, classic feeling that stayed true to certain traditions while making our big day feel like “us.” Most importantly, we wanted it to feel like a celebration for all and a night to remember forever.

The location: University Club of Chicago
We saw this historic building, and it was love at first sight. Cathedral Hall, our ceremony/reception room, was like a castle with high ceilings and stained glass windows looking out over Lake Michigan. For cocktails, we transitioned into the charming library and then back to Cathedral Hall as the sun set for a gorgeous, candlelit reception.

The dress: Spring from Lela Rose
This gown was simply perfect: classic and timeless with the lace detailing, the soft and simple silhouette, and a higher neckline. My favorite part was the unexpected detailing in the low back.

I completed my look with new Jimmy Choo silver sparkly shoes that I can’t wait to wear again and a Nina veil and jewelry. My bridesmaid dresses were also Lela Rose in a beautiful color. I loved the pop of magenta (my favorite color) in the sea of black and white.

Ben looked so handsome in his tux from Hart Schaffner Marx! Our groomsmen wore suits and ties from Hugo Boss.

My stylists:
I found my gown at the Downtown Seattle Wedding Suite and my bridesmaid dresses at the Michigan Avenue Wedding Suite in Chicago, since most of my bridesmaids live there.

Heather was my amazing Seattle stylist—both attentive and honest. The entire team was so helpful, warm and caring whenever I stopped in to visit the dress and add another piece to my look. Heather partnered with Toma, my extremely talented fitter, to ensure my dress was exactly what I envisioned.

Taylor and Allison were my stylists in Chicago who took care of everything with my bridesmaid dresses. They communicated directly with my bridesmaids, which made a stress-free experience for me.

Favorite moment: Sitting at our king’s table, surrounded by so many friends and family who had traveled from both coasts to support us on our big day. My parents, Ben and I planned a lot of this wedding virtually. It was a celebratory moment when we realized we accomplished exactly what we wanted, and it was amazing!

We placed wedding photos of our parents and grandparents in the library for cocktail hour. It was a special way to thank our parents and honor our grandparents who are no longer with us.

Last and certainly not least, we loved the dance party! Our DJ was amazing and the dance floor was packed all night!

Photography by Laura Witherow.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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