Wedding: Something Old, Something New, Something Different


Shelby recently wrote in with a few wedding woes, wondering how in the world to step outside the typical Utah wedding dress so a little bride she knows doesn’t drown in a sea of ivory conformity, or give up on the perfect-gown hunt altogether.

We la-la-love the looks pictured above. This season, designers are branching out with romantic lacey shrugs, mesh sheaths, voluminous sleeves and delicate boleros: inspirations to any bride dreading the not-so-unusual strapless or cap-sleeved getup.

According to Maeve, who is surrounded by wedding gowns all day, the trick is to wear the dress, rather than have it wear you. Truer words were never spoken.

A staple, it’s easy to forget that you can accessorize a wedding gown. We’re not talking pearl necklace, diamond earrings and classic pointy-toe shoes. We’re thinking more along the lines of a wedding outfit. A favorite bride from Martha Stewart recently wore a dandelion-yellow vintage cardigan to cover up her otherwise all-white ensemble. The gesture was endearing and casual, and totally acceptable since every other detail was rather polished.


The cardigan also meant that the dress beneath it all didn’t have to carry all the adornments on its own. Start with good bones (remember that Target’s dresses will debut soon), and rely on subtle embellishments to pull a look together. Ali adored the pearly-colored sweater Carly wore to cover up her shoulders for her December wedding and the lovely, gem-encrusted brooch that held Maeve’s light wrap around her waist last June.

Sometimes it’s an unusual necklace, sometimes it’s a cherry-red bolero worn over a marked-down J. Crew dress. Here are some places to start making your wedding look your own.

For covering arms:


For interesting jewels:


For topping it off:


We know that there are some experienced brides and knowledgeable brides-to-be currently reading; do you have any ideas for Shelby?

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14 Responses to “Wedding: Something Old, Something New, Something Different”

  1. Chelsea Says:

    Stick with natural, fabulous fabrics and fits that are flattering to you. Try to be the best version of yourself, not somebody else.

  2. Jamie anne Says:

    I love the bolero look. Lots of dresses in the Pronovias line come with their own elegant boleros. And these days it seems like its easier to cusomize your gown. More and more bridal companies are willing to change/customize design details to your liking. And I agree, unusual adornments that are still true to you are a great addition.

  3. kelsey Says:

    thanks so much for this info! as the soon-to-be bride shelby wrote in on behalf of, all of this stuff is so helpful…you have no idea! thanks again!

  4. Katie Says:

    I tried on that M.L. dress on the top center row and it was LUSCIOUS on. Really, if I had $5000 for a dress it would be MINE.

  5. Shelby Says:

    Thanks Ali and Maeve! I knew you would be a good source for my little sister.

  6. Lane Says:

    Love these gowns! So refreshing to see something aside from ball-gown skirts and strapless dresses. (And to be honest, it would be quite a feat for me to have the great shoulders, arms, and toned back to look great in a strapless gown if I wanted to)!

    Those styles look great on some figures, but one likes to branch out. I love these sleek silhouettes, too, since I’m a shorty and full skirts are not flattering on me.

    One good tip for the non-traditional bride is the Nieman-Marcus sale section on their Web site. Gorgeous designer gowns (Narciso Rodriguez, VW Lavender Label, etc.) in light pinks, chamapagne, light blues and yes, white, are often to be found for less than bridal designer gowns.

    Thanks Ali and Maeve!

  7. Beth Says:

    I love Carly’s pearl and satin head piece…so much more original than a veil!

  8. chronicler Says:

    We experienced three major weddings in four years. I recommend Casa Blanca gowns. They will make your dress you for only an additional $125! The last one they re-made had small cap sleeves added to a backless gown. Then they hand beaded it with matching sworovski crystals on the rest of the gown. The extra cost? less than $125, $65 to be exact! We used CB for the last 2 gowns, if I had known about them for the first, it would have been them too.

    This isn’t a commercial per se, just a mom that was very glad to nit have gnashing of teeth over the dress!

  9. Hannah Says:

    I love love love that first dress in the block of eight at the top of the page (the dress with the empire waist and silver belt). Anyone know who makes it?

  10. vintage dress Says:

    With the 70s and 80s back in style, I just loving vintage clothing from the thrift shops. You can find designers like Chanel and Armani for cheap there. Ebay is great too!

  11. fay Says:

    Hi i really like the wedding dress..its the second dress on the left up…
    could u send this to me in a better quality? i need to show my oncel,he is a designer..i want it for my wedding…plzzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. Erika Says:

    Can you please send me the name of the manufacturer for the dress Hannah asks about above? The first one in the block of eight. Thanks!

  13. carene Says:

    Can anyone tell me who made the dress on the bottom row, second one from the left? Its exactly what Im looking for. I love those delicate bolero lacey type tops. Please any info would help! Thanks. Carene

  14. carene Says:

    PLEASE!!!!!!!! Does anyone know where I could get these dresses shown above???? Or designers! KIllin me.

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