Matthew Christopher pretty much embodies the American Dream. After growing up in rural Iowa on a pig farm, Matthew swapped swine for sewing and moved to the Windy City to pursue his passion for design at school, subsequently making a splash on the NYC bridal scene. Now, with over a decade of owning and designing his eponymous couture label under his belt, Matthew Christopher has designed countless collections of gorgeous wedding gowns for brides around the globe—and he’s still going strong. We caught up with Christopher to get a peek inside his world.
Vanessa recounts her and Jon’s May wedding at the Renaissance D.C. Downtown Hotel in the nation’s capital.
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
Happy Friday, friends! This week we are sharing the Matthew Christopher ‘Sofia’ wedding gown. We love the overlay of lace over chiffon, with dainty flowers, small dots and diagonal stripes in the lace all creating a unique visual pattern. Positively angelic!
See this stunning gown in real life, on bride Nikki in our Real Weddings feature.
Image via Here Comes the Bride on Pinterest
Nikki & Rene share the story of their romantic Texas country wedding. We love this sweet, grateful and happy couple!
The Scene: September 21, 2013, Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas
My family and I have been visiting the Hyatt Hill Country Resort since I was a little girl. It has always been my dream to get married on their beautiful grounds, so when Rene popped the question, there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted our special day to take place.
Making it even more unique, the Hyatt Hill Country Resort is where we experienced our first kiss and decided we wanted to be a couple after almost fifteen years of friendship!
Our vision was a sweet, romantic, elegant wedding nestled in the heart of the Texas hill country. Our day could not have been more wonderful! After a long, rainy week, we awoke to a crisp, but sun-filled wedding day…the first day of fall!
With the help from our parents, family, friends, and Country Sugar Events, our big day was all we imagined, and more!
Our reception took place in the Luckenback Pavilion under hundreds of swag lights that lit up the rustic beams. Our guests dined on a variety of foods, which included a fresh avocado bar, custom mac-n-cheese, and of course Texas barbeque!
A stunning floral chandelier was the focal point of our reception, which our guests danced underneath all night long.
The little details we included in our wedding were so special to us. I was honored to include my great-grandmother’s vintage bluebonnet broach attached to my bouquet. I was also gifted with my grandmother’s vintage gold and opal ring that has been in our family for many years.
Other amazing details: adorable tissue paper flowers for our flower girls, custom-made program fans, my handsome groom’s sweet baby blue and navy striped bow tie, and even a doggie biscuit bar in honor of our beloved dog, Lola!
My Wedding Stylist: Emily Nichols, Nordstrom La Cantera Wedding Suite
What a blessing Emily was! She made the dress shopping experience so enjoyable and relaxing for my mom and me. Emily listened to exactly what I was looking for and pulled a number of dresses into a dressing room so I could choose what to try on. The moment she drew the curtain back, I knew the center dress was “the one!”
My Look: My Matthew Christopher ‘Sofia’ gown was perfect: a trumpet gown with floral lace overlay. The sweetheart neckline and distressed, unfinished edges were a perfect fit for our Texas country vibe.
I finished off the look with a crystal and satin sash by Nina, which complemented the dress perfectly.
Our Special Moments: Oh, where to begin! Our beautiful ceremony on the main lawn was just so breathtaking; I could hardly believe my eyes as I rounded the corner to walk down the aisle to my groom.
Our first dance to David Gray’s “This Year’s Love” gave us the chance to really take in the stunning decorations of our reception, and to connect as finally being husband and wife. And our sparkler send off was the perfect way to end our magical night!
Rene and I are aware that never again will we have the most special people in our lives all together in one place. The smiles on every face, and knowing that they truly enjoyed their day with us…that is what we will treasure most.
Photographs by Loft Photographie
Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email 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.
From demure to dramatic, ruffled details are a charming way to give texture to a wedding dress. Ruffles are often made of silk organza, a sheer fabric that varies in thickness and has a crisp trim to help it hold its shape. Depending on the cut and amount of fabric, ruffles can appear in voluminous layers or as light, feathery accents.
We’ve handpicked our favorite crinkly confections here. Find your favorite from the selections below, or browse our in-store wedding gowns for more ideas!
Love the look of a cupcake skirt? These four gowns are examples of wavy ruffles building into big shapes.
Looking for a more modern version? We love the gauzy accent strips on the two styles below.
Want an extreme look? Vera Wang may be the queen of major ruffles, with many of her gowns blooming into impressive skirts.
Prefer the little details? Look for airy accents like on the ‘Lou’ shrug by Caroline DeVillo or the simple ruffled peplum on Olia Zavozina’s ‘Britt’ dress.
For our 9th day of gowns, we bring you the very talented Matthew Christopher. His mermaid and trumpet strapless silhouettes are awe-inspiring, and get us giddy just looking at the photos. The details are beyond inspiring and so unique–you simply have to see these in person. Our favorite right now is the Sofia. Uh-mazing!
‘Coco’ | ‘Veronique’ | ‘Sofia’
Loving these gowns as much as we are? Check out all the dresses available right now in our Matthew Christopher lookbook.