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Dresses | Manolo for the Brides - Part 5
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Don’t Go To Extremes For a Dress… Even a Wedding Gown

Trigger Warning: If you suffer from an eating disorder, you might want to skip this one. It could be detrimental to your recovery.

So. Dieting to fit into your wedding gown. Can we talk about this for a minute?

Since I write a wedding planning blog, I do see a lot of articles about how best to lose those unwanted pounds, because really, who wants to be fat on her wedding day? At least, the common assumption is that you want to lose weight for your wedding. In fact, I remember having several people tell me when I got engaged that there are two things every bride in the world does: grows her hair out and goes on a diet.

Wear What You Want

(Illustration via Wedding Dress Online)

The other day on the Huffington Post wedding page, in the Ask Amsale column, a bride asked what to do if she doesn’t look good in white.

Amsale tells the bride to look into a gown in ivory, blush, caffe, or champagne.

Those are all good suggestions… as far as they go. But there’s an important thing to keep in mind: what color you wear makes no difference to the legality or spiritual significance of your wedding, or the commitment you feel in your marriage. White or a neutral color is not required to be a bride.

So pick a color you like, look and feel good in. You are still a bride whether you wear white, pink, bright orange, ice blue, kelly green, or purple like the woman in the photo at top of this article. My own beloved mother wore scarlet from head to toe – including her stockings! – at her 1959 wedding to my father. When she died more than thirty years later, they were still in love.

That’s the part that matters. Not what color the dress is.

Hey Bebe!

The first ever Bebe bridal collection, designed by Project Runway alumnus Rami Kashou, has come out. And while I have a deep and abiding love for Mr. Kashou’s work… I’m kind of wishing it had stayed in the closet.

The gowns range from the messy (see above) to the merely expected:

to the frankly kind of tacky.

On the further downside, these gowns are available in sizes from 00 to 12. Yeah, that’s right, size 12. Just for reference, the average woman in America wears a size 14 when last I heard. The model shown in the gowns is – according to the text – 5’9″ and wears a size 6. I like the fact that there is a reference in that regard, but couldn’t they have shown something on a shorter or heavier model? Or one who isn’t white? Or something?

On the upside, the most expensive gown in the collection, the Kate Middleton homage, runs only $2,500, making it the most expensive gown in the collection. Designer gowns for under two grand are pretty rare. In this case, there are several under $1,000, and even a couple under $500.

All in all, I’m kind of disappointed. I didn’t expect Bebe to be much of a bastion for elegance or size acceptance, but I have really loved a lot of Kashou’s designs in the past and was hoping to be able to sit up and applaud a bit more. The designs are scattershot without a real point of view. The design work is some of the weakest I’ve seen from this designer.

Still, I’ll keep a weather eye on the experiment. Who knows? Perhaps if things go well the next collection will make more sense and look less random yet uninspired.

PS: There’s still time to enter the drawing for the gorgeous tiara from USABride. Get your entry in now to have a chance to win something sparkly for your wedding!

I See the Train a Comin’

It’s quite possible you didn’t know there was a category in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest train on a wedding gown. Until quite recently – as in Tuesday – the record was held by someone in the Netherlands. On Tuesday, though, their record of less than a mile was shattered by The Andree Salon in Romania gown which features a 1.85 mile long train.

Of course a train this long isn’t very practical for your average wedding. The materials alone cost over seven thousand dollars, and the length would fill four football fields.

So how does one make a getaway in a gown with a nearly two mile long train?

In a hot air balloon, natch!

LOVE/HATE Where Do You Put a Bra?

Let’s take a look at this bridesmaids’ dress.

Attractive color, check. Pockets, check. Choice of knee or floor length, check. Rewearable? Pretty decent chance, check. Comes in sizes up to 24, which is great.

But that’s a mighty low plunge in front. Well, maybe if I find a plunge bra with a transparent front closure…

… whoops! I guess that won’t work, either. Better hope all the maids are A cups who don’t fear a wardrobe malfunction! Either that, or give all the girls wedding cardigans to cover up the dresses you chose.

So while I love nearly everything about this dress, I still have to go with HATE here, because of the impracticality and strong probability that at least one girl will spend the entire wedding desperately trying to rein in her girls.

Spring 2012 Bridal: Sleeves Start Sneaking Back In

For the past couple of decades, it’s been nearly impossible to walk into a bridal salon and find a gown with sleeves. No matter the season, no matter the preference of the bride, sleeves have been a dirty word in bridal couture for some fifteen to twenty years.

Then, last year, something happened.

Kate Middleton wore a wedding gown with sleeves, and the world stood up and cheered at the style.

Cries went up for copies. And then the last Twilight film came out and Bella wore long sleeves, too. The knockoffs started hitting the markets nearly immediately.

So one popular royal bride and one pop culture fictional bride made headlines for wearing sleeves… and suddenly they’re starting to show up on the bridal couture runways again.

Inspiration: Neon

When thinking about wedding colors, many of us tend toward pastels or deep jewel tones. Neutrals also have a strong following. But what about neon?

I know, it struck me – child of the sixties and Yellow Submarine fan though I am – as possibly a bit scary and OTT… until I saw it done right.

The key, as shown in this fabulous photo of a real wedding featured at Design Sponge, is restraint. Keep the backgrounds to stark white or black, and use the neons sparingly. Stick to just a couple colors, but don’t fear them.

As you can see here, a bright white background and carefully considered touches of neon pink, neon orange, and lime green make for a festive, fun, yet surprisingly sophisticated look.

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