bridal dresses

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.

amsale-aberra

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.

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We fell in love with the Reem Acra dress that Zooey Deschanel wore to the Emmys. For a bride who likes to think outside the box (we know we do!), that sweetheart neckline and full, flowy skirt would make for a stunning walk down the aisle. Plus, it’s a perfect way to get both your something new and your something blue.

Check out our own exclusive collection of Roses by Reem Acra gowns. And, if you’re a non-traditional bride, book a chat with one of our Wedding Stylists–they’re experts at making sure your wedding is as unique as you are.

Via Vanity Fair

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A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose…unless it’s created by an internationally renowned bridal designer. We’re so excited to announce the newest addition to our Wedding Suites: Roses by Reem Acra.

“I had a lot of brides with smaller budgets come to me wanting to wear my dresses. Now I am able to reach more brides.” –Reem Acra, via WWD

We can’t resist sharing a preview of the gowns that will be coming in mid-June to all of our in-store Wedding Suite locations (with more six new styles arriving in November). They’re sophisticated, fresh and exquisite—all showcasing Acra’s signature attention to detail and aesthetic with intricate beading, embellishments and floating tulle skirts.

We think they’re all heavenly, but which would you choose to make your wedding-day dreams come true?

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Let us help you find the look of your dreams with four curated boutiques to suit any wedding style.


A dash of old Hollywood and modern-day luxury: Classic Affair.


Trendsetting gowns and showstopping accessories: Fashionable Fête.


A touch of whimsy to complement your alfresco festivities: Garden Soirée.


Breezy gowns and comfy sandals for destination nuptials: Beach Party.

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Our Weddings team just returned from the spring 2013 Bridal Market (think Fashion Week for weddings), and while they saw plenty of beautiful white gowns that would captivate any bride-to-be, one of their favorite things coming down the runways was all color: red.


A traditional color for Hindu brides representing good luck, red was especially popular at the Vera Wang show, with hues—from carmine to cabernet—that would make any wedding a true red-letter day.

Our National Bridal Director, Andrea Wasserman, was particularly taken with the above one-shouldered, ‘Dahlia’ mermaid gown, which will be available at Nordstrom in time for next spring. If you can’t wait that long, check out our Vera Wang Bridal lookbook, with gorgeous gowns available now at selected Wedding Suite locations.

And just for a little more eye candy, here are a few of the other Wang gowns that caught our eye on the bridal runway. Stunning.

Images: Dan Lecca via Vera Wang

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Our National Bridal Director, Andrea Wasserman stopped by our Nordstrom Merrick Park Wedding Suite in Florida to share some of her bride and bridal party favorites with NBC Miami.

Browse all our wedding gowns and bridal lookbooks, and check out Andrea’s second segment on honeymoon attire essentials.

Last but not least, wedding beauty products and tips (including details about our exclusive partnership with Laura Mercier) from our Regional Beauty Director, Karen Delauro.

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We’re so excited to announce the upcoming addition of a little southern sparkle to select Nordstrom Wedding Suites across the country—heidi elnora bridal gowns, arriving March 26. The sweet and charming Alabama native spent a few minutes chatting with us, sharing everything from her tips for finding THE dress to her advice for planning the perfect day.

Tell us about the woman you design for.
A heidi elnora bride is a romantic at heart. She loves clean lines and attention to detail. She isn’t afraid to step out of the box while maintaining a classic and timeless day.

Why did you go into the wedding industry?
That’s a long story. Just know that it has to do with falling in LOVE!

What is your design philosophy and what sets your gowns apart?
My design philosophy is “simple sophistication with a touch of whimsical flair that creates a vintage vibe”—that’s a whole lot of something, but it pretty much says it all.

A heidi elnora gown is different because it isn’t screaming, “I’m a bride.” Yet, you feel and look like one.

What is the biggest trend you’re seeing right now for weddings?
Trends come and go, but currently a big trend for bridal is simple dresses with some type of WOW—for instance a peplum, capelet or neck/sleeve adornment.

What are your tips for finding the perfect dress?
After working with hundreds of brides, I would suggest you get on Pinterest and start tagging things you like. This will help you to see what you are leaning toward. This is also an easy way to share your ideas with your friends and family. I love my Pinterest page. I often use it for inspiration for the upcoming collection.

You recently visited our San Francisco Wedding Suite. What did you think?
Brides in California are so lucky to have such talented and knowledgeable stylists at their Wedding Suite. These ladies really take their time to learn about their bride. It reminds me of being back in Alabama; it’s just comfortable.

What advice would you offer to our Nordstrom brides?
For all of the brides planning your big day, I would advise you to do your research and not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Remember that too many opinions can make you crazy, so only bring one or two super-supportive and positive people. It will make the experience that much more enjoyable.

Find heidi elnora wedding gowns at select Nordstrom Wedding Suites.* Visit our Wedding Suite online for more gowns, inspiration and information about creating your perfect wedding.

*Available at Brea Mall, California; Garden State Plaza, New Jersey; Houston Galleria, Texas; Michigan Avenue, Illinois; NorthPark Center, Texas; San Francisco Centre, California.

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We’re inviting you behind the scenes at the 2011 National Bridal Market with Nordstrom Weddings Site Merchandiser Deniz Anders and National Bridal Director Andrea Wasserman as they share what they loved on the runways—and what’s coming to the Wedding Suite at Nordstrom this spring.

Annie Sokoloff is the chief designer and founder of Anna Elyse Bridesmaids as well as Annie Girl, her line of little girls’ special-occasion dresses. Friendly and fashionable (not to mention a hugger), Annie has designed a vast collection of bridesmaid dresses in almost every bodice and skirt shape, color, and fabric imaginable; we love the quality and accessibility of poly-dupioni—a Nordstrom exclusive.

Annie, who lives in Pasadena with her family, told us how she often makes a trip to shop our Nordstrom Topanga store—including a recent visit to get a firsthand look at the Wedding Suite, where she will introduce her collection this spring.

Boasting an array of want-to-wear-them-again bridesmaid dresses, Annie’s collection features artful details like sweet kick pleats and 16 different bodices—including sweetheart, scoop and V-necklines as well as trend-right one-shoulders and flattering ruffles.

We loved all the options for skirts, available with any hem length you could desire and hidden side pockets—we saw these everywhere at the Bridal Market, including wedding gowns.

Some of our favorite colors from Annie’s show? The silk dupioni in royal blue, garnet (such a gorgeous red) and violet, as well as the charmeuse in bright yellow, teal and purple.

Check out the Anna Elyse bridesmaid collection, available online and in stores beginning in February, 2012.

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We’re inviting you behind the scenes at the 2011 National Bridal Market with Nordstrom Weddings Site Merchandiser Deniz Anders and National Bridal Director Andrea Wasserman as they share what they loved on the runways—and what’s coming to the Wedding Suite at Nordstrom this spring.


One of our most exciting new partnerships is with Jenny Yoo—a Parsons grad who first started designing for Anne Taylor, and then created her own company in 2001. Her bride and bridesmaid collection is a perfect fit for a bride looking for beautifully minimal dresses that blend the modern and the timeless.

Jenny is soft-spoken but has a clear point of view about what makes wedding style come together. For instance, her bridesmaid dresses all may come with the same skirt but a choice of necklines, allowing a touch of personal style while maintaining a cohesive look for the bridal party.

Unique to Jenny is her hammered satin dresses in lovely colors like barley and rosewood. We also loved a convertible chiffon style that can be worn multiple ways.

Her bridal gowns are simply to die for; amongst our most-wanted is ‘Sophie’ with a gorgeous inverted pleat in the back and scalloped, overlay lace bodice.

In store for special order February 2012. Bridesmaid dresses available online February 2012.

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We’re inviting you behind the scenes at the 2011 National Bridal Market with Nordstrom Weddings Site Merchandiser Deniz Anders and National Bridal Director Andrea Wasserman as they share what they loved on the runways—and what’s coming to the Wedding Suite at Nordstrom this spring.

We were honored to spend time with Amsale Aberra herself, the Ethiopian-born designer of a namesake collection of wedding gowns as well as Little White Dress, Christos and Kenneth Pool—her chiffon bridesmaid dresses are amongst our most popular.

We took a tour of Amsale’s New York headquarters, including the workspace where the magic happens. There, we saw her team hard at work cutting, sewing and embroidering right before our eyes.

Amsale walked us through her latest collection. Everything is done by hand, because no machine can capture the kind of detail that is her signature. It’s amazing to reflect on the hard work, skill and love that goes into creating a collection like hers—e.g., three weeks to hand-apply layers of feathers to one skirt.

Amsale told us that without her team, “to the very last person, the dresses are just a sketch.” She had some advice to pass on to our brides when it comes to picking the perfect white for your wedding: always take the dress or fabric over to a window to ensure it has a natural tone to it. In fact, that advice applies to ivory and even blush. According to the designer, it’s important the color looks “natural.”

Bridesmaid dresses available now online and in stores. Exclusive Bridal Collection available for special order in stores February 12.

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