Yesterday, French president Francois Hollande signed a bill making same-sex marriage legal in France. To mark the occasion, we’re revisiting our celebration of French wedding customs. The tone is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but our love of small, elegant weddings is real. Raise your glass of champagne and join us in a toast to croquembouche and dragées Read
Category Archives: Wedding Dress
DIY brides and Kate Middleton fans: Butterick Patterns has released a pattern for a Kate Middleton-inspired wedding dress. The design features the high lace collar, tight bodice, and pleated skirt we know and love from the Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding.
Sizes: Misses 6-20
Difficulty Rating: Advanced
Pattern Number: B5731
Photo credit: http://butterick.mccall.com
Thank you, Butterick!ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT:
Yesterday the BBC reported that French couples increasingly are abandoning traditional French wedding customs and adopting American and British-style wedding details. I find this alarming.
As a champion of small weddings, I like to know there are pockets of the world holding out against the big, bridezilla-inducing wedding machine. Traditional French weddings are intimate and elegant. Until recently, French couples typically have forgone bridesmaids, groomsmen, and the budget-straining trimmings that have become customary for American and British celebrations. That the French in particular, who generally are known for taking pride in their national culture, would now abandon their long-standing allegiance to elegant simplicity seems a fair reason for concern.
The BBC credits last year’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton for making the first significant cracks in the cultural defenses of France’s brides. When those blushing mariées saw Kate’s wedding dress of English lace, they deserted their silk dresses. Since then, French couples have been waving wildly in welcome as save-the-date cards, personalized wedding favors, and tiered cakes veritably march in victory along the Champs-Élysées.
Surely, this development is a net positive for France’s wedding vendors and the British vendors who are marching on Paris to take advantage of the trend. But couples around the world who want a small, elegant wedding are losing a style ally.
This was going to be the paragraph where I compared the traditional French wedding to an endangered species and made the case for the importance of preserving biodiversity in our wedding planning ecosystem. But at this point, I think we all want to move on to the pretty pictures.
So, like scientists who gather and protect species in danger of extinction, let us preserve here the details of a traditional French wedding, so they can be enjoyed by future generations — even if not in their native habitat.
Traditional French Wedding Details:
|Wedding Dress: Silk.
(Source: Alexandra King on Etsy, Bristol, England, United Kingdom.)
|Le Vin d’Honneur: A mini reception directly following the ceremony. Many of the ceremony guests, such as work colleagues and friends of the couples’ parents, attend this vin d’honneur but not the main reception. The expected beverage: Kir Royale.|
|Drinks: Champagne, coffee.||Dessert: Croquembouche
(Source: Fancy That Wedding Cake. Oxfordshire, England, UK)
Favors: Dragées (sugared almonds).
(Source: Milena Bertarelli, MilenaSupplies on Etsy)
It’s only March, but I’m calling Huppah.com’s top huppah of 2012: the Organza Huppah. Organza always places among the top wedding fabrics, but this year it’s pulling away from the rest of the pack early. Organza’s light weave lets light diffuse through, creating a soft, romantic aura. The fabric has more drape than tulle and more body than chiffon, making it a great choice for dress overlays, fabric flowers and huppah canopies. Huppahs.com’s Organza Huppah features a thin ribbon scrolling across the fabric, to add texture and play gently with the light that filters down to the ceremony below.
In celebration of organza, I’ve gathered these organza wedding dresses, accessories, and decorations from some of my favorite Etsy designers:
“Acacia”, vintage-inspired tea length bridal gown from Ellana Couture.
“Floressa” organza flower bridal hairpin by PowderBlueBijoux.
Silver organza favor pouches with navy and white scalloped circle thank you tags by WeddingsBySusan.
Pale pink satin, organza flower girl dress with cascading vertical ruffles. For babies, toddlers, and girls, from Daisies + Damsels.
Organza chair sashes, custom made in a rainbow of colors by GiftsForHer26.
Whimsical organza bridal headband with rhinestone accents by TKDesignsetc.
“The Lucille”, Ivory organza bridal or bridesmaid satin sash or belt by Ted Zeppelynn’s Fine Wedding Accessories.
Jean Paul Gaultier unleashed a sartorial tsunami last week when he released his Spring 2012 couture collection, a very literal interpretation of the personal style of Amy Winehouse, the troubled, soulful singer who died last June. In addition to clothes that channeled the singer’s eclectic vintage style, the models wore Winehouse’s signature cat eyes, beehive hairstyle, and beauty spot. Gaultier called the collection an overdue tribute to a fashion icon. Many fashion commentators, as well as the singer’s family and friends, called it exploitative.
Whether the clothing and styling were a tribute or a rip-off, Gaultier did show us a whole lot of original with a fashion accessory that ran through the collection: the dramatic veil.
The designer’s veils, mostly shown in black, evoked the dark drama of Winehouse’s final troubled years and the iconic video for her track, “Back to Black,” but they were original. Their boldness and the novel techniques used to finish them will likely inspire wedding veil designers for many years.
The veils were draped simply — no gathers or poufs. They were long, some chapel length, and they sported dramatic details.
Here are some of the details that we will likely see cross over into mainstream bridal fashions in the coming seasons:
- Widely-spaced pin tucks creating substantial graphic edges,
- Edges finished in wide swaths of bias-cut fabric,
- Overlays of large baroque patterns, and
- Large head pieces on top of the veils.
And specific details aside, Gaultier’s veils have renewed brides’ license to bring on the drama.