Exclusive: Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress

Outside of a gay bar where else can you find giant hats, a queen, and a bunch of well-dressed men? None other than a Royal Wedding! We can certainly count on the British for pageantry and an elaborate celebration while we Americans prepare for more traditional less elaborate weddings where open bars and chocolate fountains are deemed formal.

Though no matter who, how, or where you celebrate the main focus is always on the bride (as it should be). Spoken like a previous bride!

The Big Announcement: WWKW?

What Was Kate Wearing?

  • All eyes were on Kate Middleton as she stepped out of the Rolls Royce in an ivory and white A-line dress with lace applique around the bodice and a sweetheart neckline.
  • The veil was a soft ivory made with silk tulle and hand embroidered flowers.
  • Her earrings envisioned a pear-shaped diamond set drop, a gift given from her parents.
  • Kate’s shoes were also one of a kind made with ivory satin and hand embroidered lace.

The dress, shoes, and veil were all designed by British designer Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen! (Note: After the suicide of designer Alexander McQueen in 2010, Sarah Burton was appointed as creative director for the Alexander McQueen British fashion label.)

For every bride a wedding dress should represent your personal style and personality. After watching what she has previously worn in public and how she’s acted in the public eye I believe this particular wedding dress captured exactly that!

Breaking 20 Something Fashion News: Vera Wang for David’s Bridal and SimplyVera Spring 2011

Maybe just maybe Vera Wang is my half-Asian cousin from Indiana or maybe not, but her clothes and attitude are certainly representing the 20 something girl from the Midwest. Who honestly can go from making Chelsea Clinton’s wedding dress to designing for Kohl’s?!

Simply Vera (sorry I couldn’t help the pun)!

Seriously though, her clothes are making me believe in not only designer humanity but the hope for reality chic! Her spring clothing line for Kohl’s makes me want to drool (it’s my job) and with the news of her David’s Bridal wedding gowns out on Feb. 11th it looks like I’ll be renewing my vows after 1 year of marriage (don’t worry invites will be in the mail next week)!

A Glimpse of SimplyVera Vera Wang Spring 2011 Lookbook

Why wear Vera Wang?

The real question is who wouldn’t want to wear Vera Wang? When it comes to designing wedding gowns she is kind of a big deal. Her David’s Bridal line titled White by Vera Wang brings young romantic modern wedding dresses at affordable prices. She’s amazing at accentuating the best features on different body types and playing with textures and patterns. It’s likely you’ve dreamed of having a Vera Wang wedding gown. And as an inbetweener with a “life after college budget” it was laughable. Thanks to Vera…Now is your chance!

I know I sound like some sort of spokesperson, but I believe the SimplyVera Vera Wang line at Kohl’s, is the perfect opportunity for a girl in her 20s to get fashion trends, quality and affordable pieces, and bonus they always go on sale! You don’t want to buy something that literally lasts one week. Take a look at these spring trends that will indeed last such as the popular orange attire, Anarok jacket, draping, and floral prints. You can look young and stylish along with an easy transition from young professional to dinner with friends.

It’s a brand Reality Chic thinks is worth buying to enhance your style and your life after college wardrobe!

Check out some of these practical fashion ideas and looks:

A 20 Something Wedding Dress Style Guide

Shopping for wedding dresses is kind of like shopping for a husband. You’re not sure how many you’ll have to date before you find “the one”.

Shopping for “the dress” can be a bit confusing. After all, it’s not every day a girl purchases a wedding gown (we can’t all be the Kardashian’s). With many designs, multiple styles, and no clue of what to expect here is a guide for the first time bride!

A 20 Something Style Guide for Finding Your Wedding Dress

Do Your Homework.

Dress shopping online before going to the store is very important. Figure out what you like based on your personality. Ask yourself these simple questions: Am I conservative? Am I traditional? Do I want to look sexy? Do I want to look like a princess? Am I edgy? 

Be Open.

Because it’s not every day that a girl goes bridal shopping, be open to trying on a couple different shapes/styles. Plus it will please your wedding posse that tagged along!

Friend or Foe? 

Deciding which people to bring while shopping for “the dress” is pretty important. Big groups bring big opinions, so choose wisely. Of course, honesty is key but being rude can ruin the experience. Choose friends and family who will help make your choice easier and at the end of day, will respect your decision.

Have a Budget

Tell your consultant the price range, but be clear that trying on dresses from all points below the top price is a must. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a dress that you can’t afford or having guilt after buying.

Think About Your Style

Whether you like it or not the wedding dress will end up representing your personal style! Every day you get dress in an outfit based on your personality. Why would your wedding dress be any different? Why would you want your wedding dress to be any different? Ask yourself these questions:  Are you a girly girl? Do you like something unique? Is Audrey Hepburn your style icon? Do you lean toward the simpler things? Each of these questions helps in determining your dress style.

Girly girl? It’s likely your dress will resemble that of a princess. Unique? Go for something non-traditional, maybe with a splash of color, sheath, or corset. Audrey Hepburn-esque? Look for something elegant, lace, but nothing too bulky. Simple? Try on an a-line shape detailed with buttons, ruching, or ribbons. Lose the beading.

Bring a Photo

If you have an idea in mind, bring a photo to show your consultant. This will help her choose a dress that better fits you, not her.

Ivory or 10 Variations of White

The typical white as a wedding dress color has changed from back in the day. However, I highly suggest trying on both white and ivory! Depending on your skin tone, one might compliment you slightly better than the other. Note:  Most dresses can be ordered in both, but be sure to ask your consultant.

Know Your Body Type

A-line, Ball-Gown, Fit and Flare, Mermaid, and Sheath are the common styles of bridal gowns. Take a look at the dresses you currently wear and pick out the things you like and don’t like about them. Then apply these same rules to your wedding gown. There are all sorts of tricks of the trade to pulling off your best wedding day look.

No Bust?

Don’t worry about it! You can either build in a bra or look for ways to add a little something extra. Pay attention to dresses with a detailed bust line or ruffle. Still not loving it? No worries. There is always alterations.

Headpieces, Veils, and Accessories

My advice to you is to NOT buy a veil, headpiece, or jewelry on the day you purchase your wedding dress. These pieces are extremely overpriced at a majority of bridal stores. There are plenty of other more affordable options such as looking for locals who make these items, internet retailers, department stores, or previous brides. I found my veil for $40 online when it was marked for $300 in the store. Need I say more?

Big City Brides

It seems there is love in the air again with couples such as Kate Middleton and Prince William, Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minillo, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, and Jessica Simpson and whatever her dude is named. However, it’s possible the air in Hollywood is semi-polluted which would explain a heck of a lot in the marriage department!

Even though the heart of wedding season is in much warmer months, it’s no time to slack off as a bride. In fact, it’s time to start the full on planning! Are you already stressing, having arguments with your mom, and thinking Vegas looks better and better? Congratulations, and welcome you have officially entered wedding mania.

As imperative as it is to learn and flash your ring to the dance and lyrics of  “Single Ladies”, it’s a minor detail when considering all the other things you must plan. From table arrangements to printing invitations it’s easy to become completely overwhelmed. And that is surely the understatement of the year!

I thought it would be important for all my life after college Big City Brides to take a look at these four upcoming wedding events and a style guide with all the vendors you would ever need along with top experts such as Mindy Weiss (who planned Jessica Simpson’s first wedding not to be confused by this upcoming one) Colin Cowie, Vera Wang, Bobbi Brown, and the list goes on…I’m not gonna lie. It’s kind of a big deal. The Wedding Salon also has an array of resources, and if you’re stuck on what to do next bridal tradeshows are the way to go!

Even if you can’t afford the top services it’s a great way to find unique ideas and do it yourself tips for your big day! And as a previous bride I know what it’s like to need all the help you can get outside of medication!

Event dates:

The Wedding Salon – West Hollywood, CA

Show date: Monday March 21, 2011
Show hours: 4 PM to 9 PM
Venue: The London West Hollywood
Address: 1020 N. San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

The Wedding Salon – New York, NY

Show date: Wednesday April 27, 2011
Show hours: 4 pm to 9 pm
Venue: Manhattan Center Studios
Address: 311 W 34th St.
New York, NY 10001

The Wedding Salon – Miami Beach, FL

Show date: Monday June 13, 2011
Show hours: 4 pm to 9 pm
Venue: Ganesvoort Miami Beach Hotel
Address: 2377 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Wedding Salon – New York, NY

Show date: Monday November 14, 2011
Show hours: 4 pm to 9 pm
Venue: Manhattan Center Studios
Address: 311 W 34th St.
New York, NY 10001

Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride Dresses 101

Everyone knows someone who knows someone who at one time or another had to wear an awful bridesmaids dress, and as a bride this horror lingers over your head when choosing bridesmaids dresses for your own wedding. After all keeping your friends after the free cake is kind of important!

What to Look for in a Bridesmaid Dress?

One-shoulder, cinched belted waists, and strapless dresses are the top trends to look for when shopping. It’s important to remember things such as bust size (we’re not all so blessed as others), style, and price. Bridesmaids dresses will most likely be worn only once so keep a friendly budget in mind. David’s Bridal is a great option for affordable wedding dresses! And last but not least an important reminder that Prom is not a wedding theme so avoid dresses that look like it!

5 Rules to Remember

5. Don’t forget about the added extra costs such as: extra length, alterations, shoes (especially with tea-length dresses), jewelry, and of course the bachelorette party!

4. Remember not everyone is a size zero. Have a couple of the girls try on the dresses to check out the real life version or if sizes are too varied choose one color and let them decide on a flattering style for their body type.

3. Whether the dress is tea-length, formal, or casual, A-line is the universal flattering style for bridesmaids dresses. Also, a side drape or separates are often appealing on most body types.

2. Look for an accessible store that all bridesmaids can easily go to or call in their order.

1. Trust me they won’t wear it again, so don’t worry about that lovely myth!

Mother of the Bride/Groom

Now that you have the bridesmaids figured out, it’s time to remember fashion tips for your mothers. You officially have two! Help them coordinate colors with your wedding party. Unless you would appreciate your mom showing up in white I suggest giving her some options.

Don’t be matchy, matchy!

As a mother of the bride it’s important to look elegant but not old and to blend but not match. Just because the title is “Mother of the Bride” doesn’t mean it entitles you to wear a frumpy boxed dress with a sparkly bolero. You can still look modern with a tea-length, formal, or detailed one shoulder dress.

If you have a good relationship with your mom and mom-to-be, give them a few pointers. They will probably appreciate it.

For more options:

Check out these affordable mother of the bride dresses.

Always a Bridesmaid Never a Bride

“Do you realize Fran has chosen teal for her brides maids? Teal, the color of gang-green. My last bride who chose teal ended up getting her marriage annulled in 12 days! You might as well commit matrimonial suicide right now!”- Wedding Planner

It’s too bad the Greek Prince’s bride, Tatiana Blatnik, didn’t get the memo last week before she wed Prince Nikoloas of Greece. Or did she? That we might not ever know, but what I  am sure of  is that dressing your bridesmaids up as Little Mermaid isn’t nice or pretty. But then again, with every friends wedding is another friends wedding which only means….Payback!

So let’s discuss! Colors, Shapes, and Sizes..Oh My!

When choosing your bridesmaids dresses be mindful of your girls and their shapes. Trying to accommodate for everyone can yes…be difficult, but not accommodating for anyone can be detrimental! So take these steps to making your oh so dear friends happy and your wedding beautiful!

Colors That Work!

  • Black is classic. Not to mention it hides a heck of a lot!! If you insist on having color try using a sash or colored flowers.
  • Other great colors: deep/dark colors like navy, plum, deep red etc.. They have the same effect as black.
  • If your girls are sticks- don’t be afraid to be daring but remember to stay classy! Try champagne, pastels, pinks, or baby blues. However keep the silhouette chic!

Material Girl!

  • When overwhelmed with materials don’t lose focus! Material can be essential when choosing a dress. Note that jersey materials will show absolutely everything. So if choosing this type of dress be sure the bridesmaids gifts involve a pair of Spanx!
  • Be mindful of polyester! Something that you might think is a pure material could have been mixed with nylon or polyester leaving the garment looking or feeling cheap.

Shaping Up!

  • Don’t be afraid to play with shapes! If one girl isn’t shaped like the others have an open option dress but the same colors. Also, add straps if needed. It’s more distracting to have someones boobs hanging out than having tiny straps that actually support her!
  • Know who your friends are! Silhouettes such as an A-line dress can be the simplest solution to difficult shapes.
  • When choosing a tea-length dress, plan for alterations unless every girl is standing at the same height. Tea-length dresses need to fall at the appropriate length for each girl. This is most likely right at the knee or a little below the knee.

Pay Much?

  • It’s important to keep your friends after the wedding is over. In doing so don’t make them pay mega bucks for a dress they will only wear once!
  • See if the store in which you made your purchase from allows two payments. Check for sales or discounts. Check for details such as extra costs. Don’t expect more gifts because they probably are traveling and buying a dress for you! Pay them back with gifts and hotel costs! Be very thankful!

Last But Not Least!

  • While you may love the Little Mermaid, Mickey Mouse, Aladdin or have fond memories of  Prom 2002 (woo!) this does not give you permission to dress your bridesmaids in such outfits! You’re grown, you’re elegant, you’re getting married so keep hokie themes to a minimum!

Tis’ to the Wedding Season

If you’re in your 20’s you’ve most likely reached that time in your life where from April to August vacation revolves around who’s wedding you’ll be attending, which one’s have an open bar, and how many weekends you actually have free. There is also the age old question of “What am I going to wear?”.

Now this question could be avoidable if  you could wear absolutely anything to a wedding. As we all know that is merely impossible!

Check out these wedding guests looks and more!

Express at ShopStyle

1. http://www.express.com/home.jsp

2. http://www.hm.com/us/

3. http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/default.aspx

4. http://www2.victoriassecret.com/collection/?cgname=OSCLODRSVIL&cgnbr=OSCLODRSVIL&rfnbr=2667

Rules for Attending: Absoulutely NO WHITE, most likely a dress or skirt, spend less than $80 on a dress unless it will be worn more than twice, and buy some comfortable yet stylish shoes (for all the dancing of course).

When all is said and done…buy a new dress, toast to the happy couple, and remember that one day they will do the same thing for you!

Steve Madden at ShopStyle

Ways to Choose Bridesmaids Dresses and Still Keep Your Friends

The time when flowers rule your life, friends become cut (due to lack of seating), and money slowly starts disappearing. It’s the glorious event known as your wedding! Along with this comes stress, happiness, anger, and nerves medically known as bipolar, others describe it as the bridal meltdown. One of many situations calls for you to choose not only your long and faithful friends known as your bridesmaids, but also a dress for everyone to wear.

That’s right you’ve suddenly become a stylist as well as a bride! While fashion or styling might not be your thing it is still something that you have to do when choosing a bridal party, this is unless you happen to be marrying a metro sexual. Which in that case I suggest having him take over! The task can be overwhelming, and frankly just not fun! How are you suppose to please all your friends at once when everyone has their own opinion and personal style?! 

Tip of the Day: Prom is not the cousin of the bridesmaid dress. Fru-fru and neon colors should be avoided at all times!

When choosing a bridesmaids dress remember not everyone is built the same! If you have two girls that are completely opposite shapes rather than forcing both of them into the same dress, let them have two choices in the same color.  Another way to avoid this situation would be choosing a simplistic style dress such as an A-line wrap around or separates (skirt and top) that most everyone would look good in. Dressing up a simple style can be done by adding a sash or bright-colored flowers. Many bridal stores give discounts to those who buy all their bridemaids dresses at the same place they buy their gown. This can help in saving some money for your maids…after all they will only be wearing their dress for approximately 7 hrs.   

No matter how beautiful your choice of a bridesmaid dress is  THEY WILL NOT CUT THE DRESS OFF AND WEAR IT AGAIN, so don’t fret about it! It’s not often that this is done because unless you live in the movies and have fancy parties to go to on a regular basis there isn’t many other places you can wear a semi-formal dress. Also, many people avoid going to tailors because stores are often more convenient.

Tea-length dresses are cute and in style; however, if your choice is a tea-length dress it leaves your bridesmaids with one more purchase that must be made, SHOES!  Take into consideration the difficulty of finding a store where everyone can buy matching shoes. Is it worth it to add another bullet point to your list? If so, I suggest finding a department or bridal store nationwide so every maid can get there as easy as possible without having to rely on your support!  

Also, your friends are not made of gold! So don’t forget that even though it’s your day they are technically paying a price for it. Don’t be mistaken your bridesmaids will support you and buy whatever it is you choose, but also don’t be naive to think they won’t talk about it behind your back!

Instead of stressing yourself out and turning into brideszilla remember it’s your day and your friends.  If you’ve chosen the right ones they would probably wear a green sack down the aisle just to support you and if not…well there are always replacements!

Bridal Guide 101

Bridal fashion can be about as overwhelming as it can get for a newly engaged girl.  Every bride wants to look her personal best on the day of her wedding, but figuring out how to accomplish this mighty task could be daunting.

As for most brides this isn’t a task you take on too often (or let’s at least hope not) so you might need all the help you can get! Of course we would all love to have Vera Wang mold the perfect dress to our body, but then again I’d also like to meet Edward Cullen.

So if you’re a bride, one might ask for guidance and help on how to find the perfect dress, and I’m here to give you the skinny as to how to WOW not only your guests, but that man standing at the end of the aisle.

Tip of the Day: Don’t freak out, bridal gowns run at larger sizes.

Bridal Guide 101… there are 4 basic styles you need to know, then I will go over which style is best for what body type.

Style 1: Ball Gown- This is your typical barbie doll dress.  If you want the poof and have dreamed of looking like a princess on your big day this gown is for you! This style of gown looks best on girls with a smaller frame  due to the volume of fabric that is in a ball gown.

Style 2: A-Line- Picture an A (hint A-line) and that’s the shape you will receive. It’s tighter around the bust and stomach and flows down, leaving you with looking similar to an A figure. This type of dress truly can be worn by anyone! It also can help girls who might want to cover up curves or a figure they aren’t satisfied with.  A style like this will leave you looking classy and elegant!

Style 3: Modified A-Line- This type of dress has the same elements of an A-line but instead of  a fit around your bust the Modified A-Line has a lower fit around the hip area. This dress adds a little more curve without suffocating your body!  If A-Line is what you had in mind, I suggest slipping on a Modified A-line and see what you think!

Style 4: Mermaid- Curves, Curves, Curves! The mermaid style is fitted down to your knees then flares from your knees down.  If you want to show off your curves this style of dress is made for you!

These styles are simple to remember and will help you and your bridal consultant leaps and bounds when searching for the perfect dress. So what are you waiting on …. GO SHOP!