When it comes to designing a wedding, it all starts with the dress! And for a bride looking for the perfect dress, the process can be a lot like finding a husband. Meaning, a bride will try on many dresses, but she’ll always choose the one that makes her feel most beautiful.
As a designer, I see the dress as the centerpiece of the entire wedding. I use the dress for design inspiration as well as a way to understand the personality and taste of the bride I am designing for. For example, when a bride comes to me with a picture of a poofy ballgown, I know that I am dealing with a bride that wants to be a princess on her wedding day. This type of bride typically wants something more conservative that makes a statement and is usually in love with big centerpieces and lots of bling. However, when a bride shows me a picture of a sheath dress or something a little more sexy, then I know that I will have some room to be a little more playful and the opportunity to push the envelope a little more.
Above is a picture of my sister’s wedding dress… I went to the textile show at the fabric mart in downtown LA and ordered the fabric for her myself. It came from Milan and then she had someone in Austin make her dress for her. It was so much fun choosing the fabric that created her wedding dress, which then inspired the design for her entire wedding.
Here are some dresses I found online that inspire me:
I also found this helpful silhouette guide by Brooklyn Bride, which can help you get your dress jargon down and better explain what you’re looking for:
Lastly, don’t be afraid of color! The color of a bride’s dress helps in determining the other accent colors that we will be using in the design of the wedding. The bridesmaid dresses also help to play a secondary roll in determining the colors of the wedding, what colors the invitations will be, the flowers, the linens, etc. Some of the most stunning brides I’ve ever seen have worn ivory, cream, champagne, or beige, as opposed to a traditional, stark white gown. As of late, it also seems like a lot more brides have embraced the idea of wearing a gown in pale pink or blush (see below). My advice: Try on dresses based on the silhouette and fit—not the color.
As far as wedding dress designers go, I love Monique Lhuillier for her creative styling and timeless designs that are true works of art. Plus, I pass by her store on La Cienega almost daily and I always find incredible inspiration from her window displays and use those to help me expand the design ideas I use when designing an event or wedding.
I think that Vera Wang is a master of creating beautiful gowns that are nothing but elegant and classy. Her designs are tasteful and I love when I get to use one of her dresses to create a stunning wedding. In fact, my cousin is getting married in July and wearing Vera Wang and just the thought of her wedding dress has given me so much inspiration to be creative.
Reem Acra is another one of my top picks for wedding dress designers. Reem Acra’s designs are eclectic and dramatic, and I love the way they style a bride for a photo shoot in a Reem Acra dress. They always look so bold and powerful.
Lazaro also tops my list. His dresses are carefully extravagant while giving a vintage nod through the use of floral embellishment and embroidery.
Who’s your favorite wedding dress designer? Let me know in the comment section below.
I hope this post was helpful for any of you searching for your perfect dress. Remember, you had to kiss a lot of frogs before you found your prince… and unfortunately, the same thing goes for finding your dream dress! Try not to compromise and have faith in your vision. I know you’ll find what you’re looking for!