Olia Zavozina

Lauren describes her New Year’s Eve wedding celebration in downtown Seattle.

The Scene: December 31, 2013, SODO Park in Seattle, WA

We knew a winter wedding was in our future, and with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season what better way to bring 2013 to an end than a New Year’s Eve wedding surrounded by all our family and friends. The warmth of SODO Park was perfect for this event. We wanted all 300 guests in one giant room so they could celebrate every moment with us.

We also wanted the overall feel of the night to be elegant and classic—from twinkly lights and wine bottles placed on tables to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong during cocktail hour. We also wanted the night to have the liveliness of a NYE party. Yes, dresses with sequins and sparkles were encouraged! Party hats were passed out, the music never slowed down and neither did the dancing.

Our Invitations: We took up the challenge of making our own invitations because we wanted something personal and one of a kind. The design was inspired by our love for champagne and, of course, the city that we love. We spent countless hours at our good friends’ house printing, cutting, gluing and folding each invitation piece by piece. One might think this was a little over the top, but to us they meant so much more in the end.

The Ceremony: We had Alex’s good friend Robert marry us. Neither one of us wanted a stranger to stand beside us and perform one of the most intimate ceremonies we would ever take part in. It was short, sweet and incredibly special.

My Dress: ‘Allie’ by Olia Zavozina

I went to only two boutiques to find my wedding gown. At the first one I was overwhelmed. I’m a very simple person: I don’t like to dig through racks, I don’t like to be overwhelmed and I’m very indecisive. My second stop was the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Seattle. I immediately found the dress I had to have. I pulled a few others to try on, but my eye was on the Olia Zavozina ‘Allie’ Duchess Silk Trumpet Gown. It was everything I wanted: clean, sexy and classic. I felt comfortable and that mattered most.

My Wedding Stylist: Kerrene Buford, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle

My stylist, Kerrene, made everything incredibly easy for me. Having found my dress early on in the planning process, I was welcomed back many times to play dress-up and accessorize for the big day. Nordstrom is a one-stop shop for me and that’s what I love about it. From picking out my Vera Wang veil and Givenchy jewelry to finding the perfect sparkly gold kate spade flats, I always had someone there to help make my bridal dreams come true.

Photos by Kate Price 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.

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We’re kicking off the new year with a new feature: a swoon-worthy wedding image each Friday! This week’s bride wears Olia Zavozina‘s ‘Ebie,’ a silk charmeuse and Alençon lace ball gown, with a cathedral-length, embroidered-edge veil by Wedding Belles New York.

via Gorgeous Wedding Dresses on Pinterest

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After nearly a year of blogging about her wedding planning process, it’s finally time for Cara to share the actual big day itself! Read on for her Real Wedding story…

It’s bittersweet that I’m writing the big end-all post for my Brideology series, as my engagement and wedding have come and gone. It’s incredible how fast the time goes by, but the memories—and the marriage!—are even more incredible.

I’m so excited to tell the story and show photos by the awesome Sea Studio Photography. Because we share many Real Weddings from brides on our blog, I thought I’d tell mine in the same way…

The Scene: August 3, 2013, Treehouse Point, Issaquah, WA

Our wedding took place at the bed & breakfast at Treehouse Point, tucked away in the forest with a small meandering river, rocky beaches, wooded trails, a cozy main lodge and treehouses for our family and wedding party to stay in. It was the perfect place for us because we could all be together for the whole weekend in a gorgeous, peaceful setting.

We wanted the day to feel comfortable, intimate and fun for our 100 guests, so we included as many personal touches as we could. While it was a ton of work, it was worth it when it all came together. Our decor was eco-inspired with many recycled elements.

My mom created our welcome sign to match our invitations, and I drew the rest of our signage in bright colors on chalkboards with gold frames. Our friends helped us put up strings of lights (amazing how much just a few lights can glam up a space!) and decorated with succulents from our garden at home, river rocks, gold-painted branches and farmer’s market flowers.

Drew and I hand-wrote notes to our guests and tucked them in jars that were used for drinking glasses, also doubling as our place cards. We found funny, artsy little cards and wrote thank-yous to each person. We wanted to acknowledge the support, friendship and memories that every person has contributed to our relationship, seeing as these are the people who got us to where we are today!

My Look: I wore a gown by Olia Zavozina called ‘Delia’ that I found at a trunk show through the Wedding Suite. My Wedding Stylist Chelsea was incredibly helpful, sweet and patient, and after just one appointment with me, she knew my style better than I did. She had her eye on this gown and told me I should try it on, and she was right—I absolutely loved it in every possible way!

The gown was covered in rosettes that gave it an amazing texture, and it had an almost ombré effect in the way in which the fabric was layered. I would wear it every day if I could (but seeing as that’s crazy, I’ll probably just stick to the whole watching-TV-drinking-champagne-eating-popcorn-in-my-wedding-dress-on-my-anniversary thing).

I wore the same flower crown that my mom wore at her wedding almost 30 years ago, although I added a few fresh flowers to it. For jewelry, I kept it simple with small kate spade new york floral earrings that happened to perfectly match a bracelet my mom found for me at an antique shop.

My Groom: Drew looked amazing in his suit, if I do say so myself! He wore a grey BOSS suit with a white shirt and cognac monk strap shoes, all from Nordstrom. I got him a polka dot pocket square as a day-of surprise.

Our Wedding Party: My bridesmaids wore strapless ‘Morgan’ dresses by Donna Morgan. (A popular bridesmaid style for a reason: They’re so flattering on different body types!) I loved how the peach color looked with the bright flowers and all the green scenery. My girls looked beautiful and were so amazingly supportive and fun all weekend long. My sister Haley was my maid of honor.

Drew’s five groomsmen wore light-blue Calibrate shirts, plaid Ben Sherman ties and grey pants. Drew’s dad was his best man. The guys worked hard to set up for the wedding and then took a break to skip rocks in the river and make a few whiskey toasts before the ceremony.

The Ceremony: One thing I really wanted in our wedding was live music, so we had Drew’s brother play the guitar and his friend play the violin for the processional—”The Stable Song.” They also played “Can’t Help Falling in Love” when I walked down the aisle. It was a tear-jerker for sure! Our ceremony was personal, sweet and funny, officiated by Drew’s aunt and with readings from our families. Incorporating our families was very important to us.

Although the day had been cloudy, the sun broke through literally right as I took my place at the arbor. You hear people say that even on rainy days, the sun comes out for the wedding, and I couldn’t believe it really happened. I looked up and practically shouted, “The sun!” I was so excited, I couldn’t contain myself!

The Party: We kicked off the party with local beers and wines and popcorn, and we followed that with a delicious dinner catered by Portage Bay Café. We had a shortcake berry bar for dessert—one of my favorite parts!

We skipped many of the reception traditions in favor of more time to mingle and dance with our guests. Drew had a friend bring hula hoops to the reception—something I initially thought he was kidding about—and it turned out to be so much fun! People were having hula-hoop competitions on the dance floor!

Our Special Moments: There are so many, it’s overwhelming! I do think one of the best moments was when Drew and I were alone for a few minutes after the ceremony. I would definitely recommend taking this time to just be together—it’s so emotional and memorable!

We were surprised with some hilarious and heartfelt speeches during dinner from my dad, my sister and Drew’s dad. They were a major highlight of the night, and people have been talking about them ever since.

Our first dance was also really special because Drew’s brother played the guitar and sang Ryan Adams’ version of “When the Stars Go Blue.” The small space filled with lights felt intimate and cozy. Everyone loved the mini-concert and wanted more!

We stayed up late with our overnight guests before going to sleep in the trees. It truly was the best day ever.

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Thank you for following my journey! It’s been a great experience!

xo,
Mrs. Lommen

Images by Sea Studio Photography

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Fall is here, and with it comes a new season of weddings inspired by nature. We’re jumping into the autumnal theme, using fresh ideas that go beyond the typical black and orange. See our top five here, and then get pin-happy on our Fall Wedding Ideas board!

1. The New Dress: ‘Britt’ from Olia Zavozina
It’s all about the unique texture and pattern of this embroidered lace. And we love a trendy peplum, of course. Plus, there’s even more to love: Ms. Zavozina’s gowns are customizable: switch the lace, remove the peplum, change the underlay color—it’s up to you!

2. The New Accent Color: Green
Yes, we know leaves lose their color in the fall, but green still has a place in an autumn palette! Think: succulents, leafy bouquets, green pumpkins and shades of emerald, soft jade and kelly green bridesmaid dresses. Mix these with traditional fall colors to create a modern, earthy look.

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via Brides

3. The New Shoe: Pointed pumps
We’re head over heels for the ruched fabric and sparkly teardrop decor on these Badgley Mischka wedding shoes. But the classic pointed toe and elegant, soft taupe color really make them feel right for fall.

4. The New Decor: Chic pumpkins
Those two words may seem like an odd pairing, but it can be done! Painting them in metallic tones or filling them with flowers are two ways to make pumpkins wedding-ready. (Easy tip: White pumpkins are already dressed in their big-day attire!)

via Ruffled

5. The New Dessert: Salted caramel pears
Move over, apple—there’s a new fruit in town. These caramel-dipped pears are pretty to look at and even better to eat, plus they’re kind of healthy. (Right?!)

via Fresh

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Our bridal buyer Sharon sums up our feelings for designer Olia Zavozina perfectly: “We are really proud to carry Olia’s designs in our suites. They offer brides a twist on traditional dresses, with unique fabrics and customization options. Plus, Olia is incredibly sweet—we love her!”

And you will, too. We asked Olia to share everything, from her early-age designs to her own wedding to her favorite Saturday activity. Read on to get to know this designer and see her gorgeous gowns!

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The Wedding Suite: Hi, Olia! Take us back to when you first started designing wedding gowns. 

Olia Zavozina: The first wedding gown I ever designed was for a Barbie doll when I was a little girl. I always liked love stories and fairy tales. In 2008, when I was getting married, I realized that there were not that many options out there, so that was the start of my line.

You recently celebrated your 5th wedding anniversary—congrats! Tell us about your wedding.

Olia: I was busy attending MBA classes at the time, and my parents told me in April that they could only come to my wedding if it was in June—so I had two months to plan a wedding!

When Robbie, my husband, told me that he was going to have 14 groomsmen, I almost had a heart attack. This is when I had to come up with the ladies on my side. I came up with eight bridesmaids and had him cut it down to the same amount!

We got married on June 7, 2008. It was an outdoor wedding on a lakeside. I had my friend Ochi do my flowers, and they were wonderful.


One of the unique things about your gowns is that they are customizable. What does that mean exactly?

Olia: The choice is yours! That is the beauty of it. We can do any length, neckline or fabric you would like, from any gown in our line. Brides often want to take a gown we already have and put their own twist on it.

For example, we had a bride who used the ‘Treasure’ fit model; however, she wanted to add in pieces of her great grandmother’s gown from nearly 100 years ago. So I took her grandmother’s gown apart by hand and pieced it together to lay it over a silk duchess. It turned out beautifully, and the bride was really happy with it. It is one of my favorite gowns we have done.

My goal is to make sure the bride feels beautiful in her gown and that it is everything she dreamed it could be. If I can help make that dream come true, I have done my job.

‘Treasure’ gown, double-tiered Alençon lace with silk charmeuse underlay & chapel-length train

Speaking of fabric, you have some of the most interesting fabric we’ve seen! At what point in the design process do you choose fabric?

Olia: Fabrics are very important in a design of the gown. Most of the time, before I start designing, I have to see, touch and feel the fabric.

‘Britt’ gown, embroidered lace overlay with blush-colored silk charmeuse underlay & peplum accent

‘Ann’ gown, fit & flare floral lace with sweetheart neckline & keyhole back

Do you have any tips for brides who are shopping for their gowns?

Olia: Be open-minded and trust your wedding stylist. Be honest and let your stylist know what your concerns are. What is important on your wedding day? Do you want to be comfortable? Do you want to be different or traditional? Try on dresses for fun, preferably by yourself first, before you invite your friends.

Now a tell us a few fun things about yourself! What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?

Olia: Take my two dogs to the park! It’s great exercise, and the dogs love to swim in the creeks.

What’s your favorite city?

Nashville is my American home, but New York has become a second home to me. I like the city because you can feel like you are part of the world: everything is close, all of the nations within in a couple of blocks.

What was your last vacation, and what’s your next? 

Olia: Cabo, Mexico, was fantastic! My brother-in-law was getting married and we all got a chance to have a mini mandatory vacation; how can you not love it?

My parents have a beach house on the Black Sea in the south part of Russia. In preparation for the Sochi Olympics, we’re all thinking about going to visit and stay in the mountains by the Black Sea.

How many weddings do you attend a year?

Olia: Traveling over 100 days a year, I attend fewer and fewer weddings, but I would say I attend four to six weddings a year. I love weddings! Usually, I sit in the back and cry at how beautiful everything is. The thought of something beautiful like two people getting married makes me so happy, especially when I become a part of the big day.

See more of Olia’s gorgeous gowns in our online lookbook, or in select Nordstrom Wedding Suites!

Photos courtesy of Olia Zavozina

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Bride-to-be Cara shares a major wedding milestone: finding her wedding dress!

I have been meaning to share this post for a while now, but all this darn wedding planning is getting in the way of my writing! Even though it’s long overdue, I still have to share my excitement about saying YES to my wedding dress!

I’ll start off with my shopping experience. I know I’m a bit spoiled because I see really gorgeous gowns every day via my job. I am also lucky to work with a team of very knowledgeable and stylish people, including the lovely downtown Seattle Nordstrom wedding stylists. However, all of this wedding amazingness was a bit overwhelming, and made it really hard for me to choose a dress. There are just so many styles, and I found myself loving more of them than I expected!

I also had the added option of wearing my grandma’s or my mom’s dress. I really struggled with this—I loved the meaning behind the concept, and they are both beautiful and unique—but every time I tried on one of their gowns, I felt like I was playing dress-up. They didn’t feel like ME. I eventually decided I wanted a dress to call my own.

And so I tried on SO MANY DRESSES. I started out not really having a specific idea of what I wanted. I just knew I wasn’t a sparkle or pouf kind of girl! I was open to trying on different styles, but was still surprised by a few that I didn’t love when they were on the rack but that I liked when I tried them on—and vice versa. (Brides, take note: be open minded! It’s hard to tell what sample dresses will look like until you actually try them on.)

I ended up finding that the best dresses for my 5’4’’ frame are A-line or a trumpet skirts and sweetheart necklines. And of course, there were tons of those to choose from! Below are a few of my runners up. These were all such pretty dresses in different ways, but at the end of the day, none of them were The One.

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One day, I stopped by trunk show at the Wedding Suite, where designer Olia Zavozina was showing her dresses for the weekend. (Brides, take note again: check out trunk shows! They’re a great opportunity to see gowns that are not normally sold in the store, and often you can meet a representative from the brand as well.)

I got to meet Olia in person, which was such a treat—she’s an enviable combo of cool and adorable at the same time. And clearly so talented! The wedding stylists knew my style very well and pulled out a dress they thought I’d love. And, oh, I did! The color, the shape and the fabric were all perfect.

I tried the dress on, texted a couple pictures to my mom and decided to go for it right then and there! I was so excited. (And I was definitely ready to decide, with only three months until the wedding!)

I’m thrilled with my choice. The dress is light and comfortable, and I feel like myself in it. Of course, I can’t share the photos quite yet… but here’s a sneak peek at my favorite part of this unique gown: the fabric!

Now I have the dress in my possession—hanging in my bedroom with a sticky note saying “Do not look or else!” to my fiancé—and it all feels so real!

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Danielle Oxford, a Wedding Stylist at our suite in San Jose, California, gives us her ideas for how to customize a gown for your personal style and wedding theme.

My name is Danielle, and I’m a stylist at the Valley Fair Nordstrom Wedding Suite. I have to tell you about a new gown we’re carrying at the Wedding Suite—one of my all-time favorites!

At first glance, the ‘Britt’ gown from our new designer, Olia Zavozina, may not be what most brides picture themselves donning on their big day, but stay tuned. This chameleon is totally customizable!

As sampled, this showstopper features a perfectly structured mermaid silhouette, a soft pop of blush satin under a modern ivory lace pattern, genuine pearls that trail the whole back train, a classic sweetheart neckline and a fun and flirty peplum. To me, that peplum’s the icing on this delicious cake! With the perfect mix of vintage and modern, ‘Britt’ has that Old Hollywood vibe, with an updated twist.

The ‘Britt’ gown is available as a made-to-order gown in Nordstrom Wedding Suites.

Are you not a peplum type of bride? No problem. Order this dress without it, and define your waist with a simple ribbon or a crystal sash instead.

Is this type of lace too modern for you? Easy fix. Olia provides her brides with several different lace pattern options; options range from a classic floral pattern to a shimmery metallic one.

Not crazy about being a “blushing bride” with that pink satin under the lace? Choose ivory or white for a more traditional bridal look.

Were you hoping for a more modest neckline on your perfect gown? Done. With five different necklines to choose from, an adjusted sweetheart is the perfect solution.

The possibilities with this dress are so endless that it can virtually work for any venue or wedding theme. The difference is mostly in the type of lace you choose as well as in your accessories.

For a vintage-themed wedding, brides should choose a more classic lace pattern, pearl jewelry, and a birdcage veil or fascinator. A bride whose wedding is going to be very formal should choose the silvery, shimmery lace, with a statement necklace, crystal headpiece and cathedral veil. If your nuptials will be held outdoors, choosing a softer, lighter-weight lace is key for both comfort and practicality. Outdoor weddings have a more natural feel, so go lighter with the jewelry too, and wear flowers in your hair to tie it all together.

With so many ways to wear this marvel of a wedding gown, it’s no wonder ‘Britt’—and its designer, Olia Zavozina—are my new favorite additions to the Nordstrom Wedding Suite! Come visit me and see it for yourself!

This is me with designer Olia Zavozina herself at our Wedding Suite!

Could this be your dream dress? Call to make an appointment with Wedding Stylist at 1.888.300.1295 or book an appointment online. To find a Wedding Suite near you, see our NEW locations page.

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For our tenth day of gowns, we bring you a new designer to the Wedding Suites: Olia Zavozina. She has so many options for brides-–like peplum, pearl details and a classic ball gown. We’re head over heels for this lady.

And she’s full of inspiration. She told us that you can remove the pearls from the front of her gown after your wedding to create a bracelet or necklace that you can wear forever. We love a reusable story!

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