Happy February 17th, readers, or as P&V likes to call it, Virtual Wedding Gown Shopping Week! With Valentine’s Day being such a popular date for many (unimaginative) young lads to pop the question, it naturally follows that the days thereafter will be host to unprecedented levels of internet traffic courtesy of their eager brides-to-be. And what more fitting place to begin than the gown?
Truth be told, I found wedding planning to be complete and utter torture (and that was with a fabulous fairy godmother of a wedding planner). Chalk it up to the self-imposed pressure of wanting the event to perfectly “define” the hus-b’s and my style as a couple, which was both insane and completely unrealistic. But gown shopping, much as it, too, was subject to ridiculously high expectations, was an utter delight. Trying on one magnificent couture creation after another? Yes, please! Even my special brand of obnoxious perfectionism couldn’t ruin that experience. And while I ultimately purchased the very first gown I tried on (painfully cliché, I know), I actually spent several months being literally angry at that gown for being “the one” so early in the process. (Happy to report: we eventually made up.)
In the spirit of this week’s unofficial holiday and given our affection for all things wedding gown-related, P&V is embarking on a little virtual shopping for one of our favorite brides-to-be (and one of our sister’s dearest friends), the lovely Allyson. Currently planning an intimate summer wedding at the historic Hotel del Coronado, Ally’s vision aspires to combine beach-y chic with elements of French and Italian rustic charm. With a beach ceremony at sunset and a reception to follow at the Del, Ally’s gown needs to be both practical (read: no trains dragging in wet sand) yet formal enough to match the Del’s timeless grandeur. We must also consider the bride’s everyday personal style — classic with well-edited au courant accents, and always, always tasteful — as well as remain mindful of her impossibly petite frame (ball gown hunting we are not). With these parameters in mind, let’s get shopping!
When we first learned the details of Ally’s wedding plans, we immediately thought of this gown: there’s just something sweet and playful about it that reminds us of Ally herself. Ideal for a summer beach wedding, Amsale’s silk faille “Reese” gown simply screams “ease” with a high natural waistline and charming pocket detail. The bare back is alluring without being vulgar, something we know Miss Ally would especially appreciate. The sweep train would require some modification, though, and while we adore silk faille, it might be just a touch too heavy for the summer heat in Coronado.
We’ve always had a crush on swiss dot wedding gowns — does it get any more precious than layer upon layer of sweetly arranged dots? — and this organza “Lydia” gown by Christos is a lovely example. Only suitable for outdoor affairs (at least insofar as P&V is concerned), the summer-y lightness and classic styling of this swiss dot gown would be perfectly suited to a beach ceremony, and we can just picture an ethereal Ally sweeping around her rustic European-inspired reception. The slight sweetheart neckline and slim a-line silhouette would highlight Ally’s slim frame beautifully, but the bodice might be a bit sparse to suit our bride’s more modest sensibilities.
“Wow” is about all we can say when confronted with the lovely bateau neckline and fine lacework on this Lela Rose stunner. “The Woods” is not a dress that every bride can pull off — bias-cut silk doesn’t hide a thing, especially in sheath form — but it would look just dreamy on Ally. The sense of place is spot-on: the lightweight silk and lace would be perfection for a summer beach wedding (with a slight modification to the train), and the vintage style of this sheath would be well-suited to the historic Del. Wait until you see the back…
We know: amazing. Sultry yet completely covered up, modern yet retro, confident yet demure, this dress would be a bold choice that would speak oh-so-softly.
We are utterly enamored with the graceful silk tulle straps on this “Escocia” gown from Spanish designer Rosa Clara. We’ve seen various incarnations of this style by different designers (even the Crew got in on the action), and this is, hands-down, the loveliest tulle strap gown out there. Simply dreamy! The inspiration for this gown is plainly Grecian, but it also incorporates ballerina chic tulle layers and a lingerie-inspired bodice that are very, very current. The light volume of this skirt would be so comfortable in the summer heat (as well as be fabulous to dance in!), and the combination of the fitted bodice and sheer tulle straps would highlight Ally’s figure in a perfectly appropriate manner. However, those silly poufs on the shoulders have got. To. Go.
No wedding gown collection would be complete without a Vera, and we simply adore the origami pleat details on the “Erica” from the Vera Wang Spring 2011 collection. Feminine without being fussy and modern without being harsh, this silk organza gown is (to us) the very embodiment of Ally’s everyday style. While Vera’s layered pleats can tend to overwhelm a petite frame, the “Erica”‘s modified mermaid silhouette cuts down on the fabric and creates the illusion of height. (We would, however, ’86 that silly bow post haste).
So, what do you think of our choices for Miss Ally? P&V would love to hear if you have any other suggestions that might thrill our charming bride-to-be!
Photos courtesy of Amsale, Christos, Lela Rose, Rosa Clara and Bloglovin.