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Wedding Dresses | Manolo for the Brides - Part 30
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As lovely as it is short lived

How do I miss the Cheap Chic Weddings TP dress contest every year? I’m actually rather surprised that I heard nothing about it, as it appears the event is becoming somewhat famous. This year’s competition was sponsored by Charmin and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, and the three finalists were flown to New York where they participated in a live judging event at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum in Times Square.

Want to see this year’s winner? No prob! Here’s the front:

And here’s the back:

The winner, Katrina Chalifoux of Rockford, Illinois, took home a $1,000 gift card for her sheath dress with a raised flower pattern crafted from molded toilet paper. I am astounded at the level of detail she achieved using TP — is it just me, or do the dresses get more elaborate each year?

The second place winner, Terri Glover of Marlin, Texas, took home $500 for her gown embellished with intricate “lace” and delicate “beads,” and Ann Kagawa Lee of Honolulu, Hawaii took home third place (and $250) for her elegant and princessy entry.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m tempted to enter next year’s contest!

Pnina Tornai in two sentences or less

Pnina Tornai is an Israeli designer with a flair for over-the-top bridal fashion. She eschews both convention and proofreaders — the best sentence on her site has to be “In the last to years Pnina has expended herself over seas.” Is there anything left? Let’s have a look!

I, too, would adopt a sullen expression if I were forced to walk a runway with a bouquet of dahlias affixed to my skull. A similar bunch of blooms appears to be sprouting from the model’s right shoulder.


You can get everything else on Amazon, right?

There are wedding favors, reception centerpieces, bridal jewelry sets, and wedding shoes for sale on Amazon, so I thought I’d poke around in their gown selection. Searching for ‘wedding gown’ net me plenty of results, but it appears that Amazon’s commitment to carrying everything under the sun does not yet extend to nuptial garb.

I know there are some perfectly serviceable gowns on Amazon, but looking at those is no fun. Plus, there are way more wacky wedding dresses for sale than there are the sort that most right-minded women would consider buying. Here’s a sample set for your amusement:

Hit by the shredder

Home shredders are so convenient, right? Just be sure it’s nowhere nearby when you’re trying on your wedding gown, lest you end up with something that looks like this. But, hey, it’s no worse than this, right?


You win some…you Wang some

It’s been said that the reason most people love to watch acrobatics soar through the air is that they’re hoping to see at least one tights-clad performer go splat. If that’s true, it would explain the glee I feel when looking at some of the dresses in Vera Wang’s spring 2009 collection.

Oh, some of the frocks are lovely — this one, for example, is beautiful but rather boring — but many are absolutely horrid. Most, however, would look right at home in an episode of classic Star Trek. I’m looking at this one, in particular.

Now this gown covers the midsection with a big ol’ scrunched up mess of fabric, and if there’s anything ladies like, it’s embellishments that emphasize (and add girth to) their midsections. Wait, I have that backward — that’s precisely what 99.9% of brides-to-be DON’T like. But maybe I’m being too hash… Is this dress in the process of spawning? Is that how new gowns come into the world? Ah, the miracle of life!


A piggybacking post for the BBBs

The beautiful Francesca has been celebrating BBB — that would be “big beautiful brides” — over at Manolo for the Big Girl as of late, and I thought I’d hop on the bandwagon. Two posts, both inspired by reader questions, sparked the convo, and I thought I’d put in my two cents.

The first inquiry came from a bride-to-be who feels slighted by the salons she’s visited, but is afraid to buy her gown online because of the rigid no-return policies many online bridal shops have adopted.

Goddess of Love Ivory Chiffon Wedding Gown

She also wants to look like a princess while spending less than $500. I’d recommend this ivory chiffon gown from Torrid Bride. Mind you, the princess I’m picturing is the dignified Audrey Hepburn sort rather than the poufy Cinderella sort, which isn’t really what the reader had in mind. But it’s lovely, it looks comfortable, it costs a mere $220, there’s not a halter in sight, and as far as I can tell, it’s returnable as long as it’s sent back unworn before 45 days have passed.

Hey, there are all sorts of princesses out there! And I always tell my engaged galpals that they should try on all sorts of dresses because the most unexpected gown is sometimes the most beautiful one.

The second inquiry came from a bride-to-be planning a daytime courthouse wedding followed by a small reception. Unlike the first reader, she is “not given to froufrou” in her attire.

The color, it POPS

Is this frock froufrou? I have not a clue, but I do know that the defined waist and dipping neckline will emphasize what she wants emphasized while the full-ish skirt will hide what she would prefer remain hidden. I can imagine it paired with a large hat in black, pink, or white, and a small bouquet of loosely tied roses. The best part? It costs a mere $70!

PS — I was recently interviewed for an article about online wedding planning for Smartmoney.com and for an article all about iDo for the New York Daily News! Once the former hits the airwaves, I’ll link to it here, and I’ll do my best to scan the latter when it comes out.

Two gowns of note

What does £240,000 of wedding gown look like? A little something like this, apparently:

Some gals dedication a huge slice of the budget to their day-of frocks. This is a dress for brides-to-be for whom money is no object! It was designed by Mauro Adami, who — according to the Daily Mail — once made Keith Richards a platinum jacket.

Wait, wait, wait. Is that an impressive credential? No matter. The gown, which I personally do not find particularly attractive, was crafted from fabric spun from threads of silk and platinum. That may sound pricey, but it’s actually not actually the MOST expensive wedding gown in the WORLD. Take, for example, the diamond-encrusted $12 million gown created by jeweler Martin Katz and dressmaker Renee Strauss!

What is it with blah (or even bleah) wedding gowns that cost more than my house? Personally, I’d much rather have Jerry Hall’s white lace Anthony Price wedding dress:

The former model put a whole mess of her clothing up on the auction block to benefit Emmaus . Sure, this frock a little dated, but all-in-all still serviceable. The best part? It was only expected to fetch around £400. How’s that for reasonable!

LOVE/HATE: the short stuff edition

I got all excited as I was preparing for this post because, hey, it’s finally Thursday and that means it’s time for LOVE/HATE and I have a picture of an uber gorgeous short dress that I’ve been sitting on for weeks now! At least I thought it was so gorgeous as to be beyond reproach.

Maybe I just wanted to love it so badly that my mind played seamstress?

You see, this dress has so much going for it: It hails from the gray matter of Ramona Keveza, who I utterly adore. It’s short, and I like when bride’s switch it up with something abbreviated. Plus, it’s sort of ruffly but not too ruffly, if you know what I mean.

And yet I just can’t shake this weird feeling that if the camera angle was just a tad different, we’d all come face to face with the model’s right nipple. I mean, where exactly do bosoms go in a dress like that? Once they get to wherever they’re supposed to go, are they in danger of falling out during bouts of serious boogying?

In conclusion, there’s a part of me that does love this dress, along with its more colorful cousin. There is, however, an even bigger part of me — a part that measures in at 36DD — that hates this dress and all dresses like it for being a forever unattainable ideal.

FYI: My book, iDo: Planning Your Wedding with Nothing But ‘Net (Paperback) is arriving on people’s doorsteps! This is neat both because it is happening slightly ahead of the June 10 schedule and because, duh, it’s my first book! I’m just a tad excited, and I do hope you’ll check it out…whether that means buying it or asking for it at your local library.