Wedding Series

Tuesday, March 11th 2014

Weddings on Location: A Formal Affair

Model in a glamorous Reem Acra gown (similar).

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think outside the box when it comes to bridal styling. We’ve featured alternative wraps for winter weddings, edgy wedding day make-up, and dresses for those among us who would rather skip the ceremony and go right to the party. This time, I’m challenging myself to take a fresh look at the gal who truly wants the fully realized, classic take on her wedding.

Jenny Packham earrings and a DANNIJO necklace (similar) provide rich elegance.

I’m picturing the old-world cathedral, the grand ballroom glittering with candles and crystals, and estate grounds replete with peacocks and stone fountains. This is the event of the season, a sparkling soiree, the crème de la crème of refined revelry. There will be a feast fit for royalty, dancing ‘til dawn, and cascades of champagne.

A Jenny Packham jeweled veil adds effortless grace to the classic bridal look.

I whipped together all the glamour, drama, and extravagance I could muster—I even threw in a veil for the first time! Our bride may be going for a classic look, but she is still sexy, chic, and romantic. I looked to Reem Acra for the exquisite dress and to Jenny Packham for the glitter. Kayla from Daffodil Parker created an enchanting and regal bouquet of deep red roses, seeded eucalyptus, bay leaves, and acacia foliage. It’s a fresh take on the classic bride, Shopbop-style!

Hair and makeup look created by Khloe Sweeney. Styling by Elise Hunt. Photos by John Ladwig.

Floral styling by Daffodil Parker.

—Elise

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Thursday, January 23rd 2014

Polar Vortex Winter Wedding

Theia Gown (similar), Jenny Packham Belt, Band of Outsiders Jacket.

If you are getting married between December and April in a place that doesn’t rhyme with “Malifornia” or “Fawaii,” there is a strong chance that the slinky slips of fabric usually worn over wedding dresses just won’t cut the cake. Never fear! There’s no need to sacrifice any limbs to frostbite to look fabulous on your big day. I’ve put together some chic options to wrap up in during the ceremony-to-reception dash. The best thing is, you’ll be able to work these pieces into your winter wardrobe after the rice and confetti has been swept away.

Fur is a very seasonable, cozy option. It creates elegant texture and sumptuous warmth.

An oversized tuxedo jacket in a complementary color is an unexpected twist on formal wear, lending that certain je ne sais quoi to your ensemble.

A buttery leather bomber jacket is a chic and modern alternative to a wrap.

—Elise

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Monday, December 23rd 2013

Shopbop Weddings: Picture Perfect

There are a lot of decisions to be made while planning a wedding, with one of the biggest being the photographer. This was the case for Shopbop photographer John, who married his wife Heather in a beautiful farm setting. We talked to the newlyweds about their amazing wedding—seriously, there were chickens!—and got a few insider photography tips for brides-to-be.

SHOPBOP: Congratulations you two! Tell me about where you got married.
JOHN & HEATHER: We got married on John’s parents’ country property, under an arch that Heather and her aunt made from cedar trees, surrounded by wildflowers.

SB: That sounds beautiful. Did the weather hold up?
J&H: It was perfect—sunny with a slight breeze. But exactly when the ceremony was scheduled to start, it started raining. We delayed by 30 minutes and our guests waited under the tent and had a few drinks. The best part was that with the rain came a double rainbow that stayed through the ceremony.

SB: You’re kidding! That’s incredible. Ok, on to wardrobe. What did you both wear?
H: I wore a strapless ivory lace dress and some hand-crafted jewelry made for me by a friend.
J: I wore grey pants with a white long-sleeve shirt and suspenders. We added color with ties. All the men had a different print.

SB: The dress is gorgeous. John, you also looked very handsome. I have to ask about the hair. (Check the pictures—John has some enviable locks.)
H: I guess we both did braids! I had an updo, with multiple braids woven throughout. And my sister-in-law pulled John’s hair back into a french braid.

SB: Love it! So, what was it like when you saw each other for the first time?
J&H: It was very emotional seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle! We both could not look at each other without crying.

SB: I can imagine. Next up is the reception. How did you decorate?
J&H: With the help of family and friends! As a group, we did all of the decorating and prep, from growing our own flowers to cutting placemats out of burlap. Heather’s mom even made the cake. We had really cute cake toppers too—a hen and rooster, of course!—but we forgot them.

SB: Oh no! I’m sure you’ll find another place for them. What was the vibe of the reception?
J&H: It was very laid back. We wanted our guests to feel comfortable, to just be able to enjoy dinner and each other’s company. From our first dance—Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”—to the last, people were having a great time. At about 4am we could still hear music playing from our “honeymoon suite”—a.k.a. our tent—about 500 yards away.

SB: Sounds like a wonderful day. It’s hard to narrow it down, but try to describe the whole day in 5 words or less.
J&H: Perfect, amazing, real, love, fun!!

SB: Lovely. Now John, you are a photographer here at Shopbop. How did that influence the process of selecting someone to shoot the big day?
J: As a photographer, many of my friends are photographers too. I had worked with Cory many times and we are pretty close. Heather and I both knew he would be the perfect fit.

SB: How involved were you on the day in setting up shots and asking for pictures of things?
J: We let Cory do his thing—he is very talented.

SB: Did you take any pictures that day?
J: Yes, I took a few pictures before the ceremony while getting ready, and then busted out the camera later that night on the dance floor.

SB: Awesome. Did you learn anything from being on the other side of the lens that would be helpful to future brides?
J: Yes, I realized how hard it is to smile for a million pictures, when there is so much going on around you. My advice is to try to relax and stay in the moment. It all goes by so fast, and you want to be able to remember it all.

SB: That’s so true. All right, last question. What is the most important thing to look for when picking out a wedding photographer?
J: Compatibility. You will spend so much time with them on what is such a huge, important day. You have to be comfortable with that person.

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Tuesday, November 5th 2013

Weddings on Location: To the Courthouse!


J. Mendel dress, Paul Andrew heels, Noir Jewelry bracelet (similar), Elizabeth Cole earrings. Styled by Elise Hunt. Floral design by Daffodil Parker.

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, with unique needs for every different location. This week, Bridal Stylist Elise shares her tips for a fashion-forward courthouse wedding.

This look is for the gal who wants a lickety-split, no-frills ceremony so she can get right to the main event—dinner, drinks, and dancing! Look for a dress that is sexy and modern. I love the J. Mendel Crew Neck Blouson Dress , not only because it will look great in pictures, but because it’s a silhouette made for all-night partying. Edgier, glam jewelry and killer shoes give a hint of attitude and can be worn again and again. To finish, add a bold ruby lip and sexy, tousled hair. Basically, style for a fabulous party instead of thinking too “bridal.”

No bridal look is complete without a bouquet, though. To match the location, Kayla from Daffodil Parker designed an arrangement that is fresh, simple, and modern. She used anemones, star of Bethlehem, spray roses, roses, and silver ball brunia to create the perfect accessory for an urban courthouse bride.

--Elise

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Thursday, October 24th 2013

Shopbop Weddings: A Ceremony on the Hudson

Having wedding is a very involved task. Some parts are fun: yay, the wedding dress! And some parts are not: boo, the seating chart. But all of it is necessary to organize the important event. To get a little insight, we’re talking to some of our stylist staffers who’ve recently been hitched. This month, Assistant Buyer Jessica shares the details of her special day.

SB: Congratulations! Your wedding was absolutely beautiful. What an incredible view.
JESSICA: Thank you! We were so lucky. The weather that day ended up being perfect. I kept checking the forecast, and rain was predicted every day leading up to our wedding. I wanted to have the ceremony outdoors so badly—our venue had an incredible view of the Hudson River—and I was nervous we’d have to hold everything indoors. But the skies cleared the morning of, and it was a gorgeous, sunny day.

SB: That is lucky. Ok, on to the important stuff: what did you wear?
JESSICA: I wore a Monique Lhuillier dress and Valentino shoes. And though I hate wearing my hair up, my hair and makeup artist convinced me to go with a sided-swept updo, complete with a sparkly Jenny Packham headband, so the lacy back of my dress was visible. Toward the end of the reception, I changed into a hanbok (a traditional Korean dress). My husband is Korean, and I wanted to honor his heritage.

SB: What a great way to incorporate tradition. How did he react as you walked down the aisle in your wedding dress?
JESSICA: He had a big smile on his face! I wanted that to be the first time he saw me, so we skipped the “first look” that a lot of couples do prior to the ceremony. I teared up a bit as I was walking down the aisle, but really lost it when I saw him wipe away a tear as the ceremony began. In the years we’ve been together, I’ve only seen him tear up once, so seeing him get emotional really moved me.

SB: That’s so sweet! What was your favorite part of the ceremony?
JESSICA: Our vows. We wrote our own, so I lost it again when he got a bit choked up reading his. I should note that it was unfortunately ugly crying, not the kind where a few tears roll down your cheeks. I’m talking runny nose, red eye crying. Thankfully, I was able to pull it together.

SB: Alright, let’s talk reception. How was it?
JESSICA: The reception was honestly a giant blur! It went by so quickly. Leading up to the wedding, several of my married friends told us to make sure to eat, which I thought sounded crazy—of course I was going to eat! But they were right. We were so busy that we barely had a chance to eat anything. It was so much fun though! I was overjoyed seeing everyone I love in one room enjoying themselves.

Once the music started, my nephews and cousins went crazy on the dance floor! At one point, they formed a circle around Danny and me, which helped us loosen up because neither of us really likes dancing. Toward the end of the reception, as much as I hate the song and did not want it played, my cousin did an incredible performance to “Gangnam Style.” Our guests loved it, so that’s all that matters!

SB: That’s awesome. Sounds like you had a great time! Any advice for brides-to-be?
JESSICA: Try to relax and enjoy the experience. Don’t sweat every small detail. if it’s not done the week before the wedding, it doesn’t matter, and no one will know the difference. Even during the wedding, Danny and I found ourselves getting stressed over things that didn’t go as planned. But once we reminded ourselves that hiccups are bound to happen, we let go and were really able to enjoy our special day.

SB: That’s really smart. Ok, last question. Describe your wedding in five words or less.
JESSICA: Best day of my life.

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Tuesday, August 13th 2013

Shopbop Weddings: Monica’s Windswept Wedding

Planning a wedding tends to become an all-consuming task. From the dress to the location, deciding the details of such a big day is exciting, but sometimes just a touch (ahem, sarcasm) stressful. So, we thought we would tap some of our wonderfully wedded staffers to share advice and memories from their special day. First up, Merchandiser Monica. She was married to her husband Danny this summer on what ended up being a beautifully breezy day.

SHOPBOP: First of all, congratulations! It looks like it was a beautiful day, but I heard you were a bit nervous about the weather.
MONICA: Thank you! Yes, we had such a rainy spring and there was an 80% chance of rain both Friday and Saturday of the wedding weekend. I was refreshing my phone constantly, driving my friends and family crazy, shouting “the chance of rain is at 75%! Now it’s at 60%!” It never rained, but it was extremely windy and my veil had a mind of its own. The entire ceremony it was blowing everywhere, and as we were pronounced husband and wife, it wrapped around Danny’s head. We couldn’t stop laughing!

SB: Too funny! Speaking of your veil, let’s talk about your look. What did you wear?
MONICA: I wore a Reem Acra gown with delicate jeweled sleeves and a subtle twist at the bodice.

SB: You looked stunning. Your jewelry was also sparkling. Was there any special meaning behind it?
MONICA: I wore bracelets from both my grandmother—something old—and from Danny’s grandmother—something borrowed and blue. Everything else was “the new.”

SB: What was your favorite part of the ceremony?
MONICA: Our vows. We wrote some of it together, but then each wrote something individually. I loved the surprise of hearing what Danny wrote to me and seeing his reaction to mine. Then, after the ceremony, the two of us took pictures as a couple. It was so nice to take it all in and spend quality time together celebrating with just us.

SB: So, the ceremony is over, you’re officially married, on to the reception! How did you decorate?
MONICA: We were married in a barn and went with a casual-glam vibe. Since the setting was so rustic, we liked the juxtaposition of mixing in some fancier elements, like chandeliers. We added bistro lights and two chandeliers, then decorated the farm tables with Mason jars and candles. The food was a major priority for us. We based our appetizers and food stations on our favorites: tacos, sliders, and mac & cheese. What can I say, we live in Wisconsin—cheese was a must!

Danny’s sister also made signs with quotes: “You are my sunshine my only sunshine,” “Home is wherever I’m with you,” “You are the milk to my cookies.” My dad and uncle made the birch arch that we stood under for the ceremony, and a friend made all the groomsmen’s boutonnieres and cocktail table floral arrangements.

SB: You did a lot yourselves. I understand dessert was also a family affair.
MONICA: It was! We served chocolate chip cookies and milk. Danny’s mom is an amazing baker and she made around 450 cookies. They were a huge hit!

SB: What a fun idea! What was the biggest surprise of the whole day?
MONICA: No rain! But really, it was just how quickly the day goes. Everyone tells you that, but it truly felt like I blinked and it was over!

SB: It’s so true. Ok, last question. Describe your wedding in five words or less.
MONICA: Best day of my life.

Stay tuned for more wedding features!
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Wednesday, August 17th 2011

Fashion Your Big Day: Shopbop Wedding Boutique

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Planning a wedding when you are a procrastinator is even worse. I’m getting married this Saturday, and my to-do list for tonight is a mile long: write my vows, finalize the reception music, and more. My life vest in this sea of stress? The Shopbop Wedding Boutique. I’ve already placed two orders this week!

Bridesmaid Gifts
How can you express your thanks to the women who have put up with your insane demands, trekked to  multiple dress fittings, and looked at endless table settings? You shower them with amazing gifts, naturally. The Gift Collection has oodles of options for your lovely ladies. I wanted to get everything, but decided that a cosmetics bag, like this one from Tory Burch, filled with a personalized Gorjana necklace, Band-Aids, and an energy shot would best show my bridesmaids how much I appreciate them.

Rehearsal Dinner
Jealous of the gorgeous navy dresses my bridesmaids will be wearing on the big day, I shopped our bridesmaid dresses category for a colorful show-stopping outfit for the rehearsal dinner. Twobirds dresses can be worn over fifteen ways and come in beautiful, rich colors.

Honeymoon
We’re going on two honeymoons. (Hey, you only get one wedding!) For our city escape, I’ll rotate through a uniform of smart, sexy Equipment blouses and skinny trousers, like the latest arrivals by L.A.M.B. Once the snow starts to fall, we’re heading to the beach. I stocked up on Diane von Furstenberg cover-ups and Indah dresses and can already taste the daiquiris. 

Save yourself the stress of procrastination and bookmark the Wedding Boutique now. Trust me. It’s never too early to start planning.


--Libby S.

Thursday, July 14th 2011

Shopbop Wedding Series: The Bride Wore BCBG


A few months ago, Stephanie Gardella posted a little note on the Shopbop Facebook wall, saying she wore a BCBGMAXAZRIA dress for her recent nuptials, purchased a mere two days before the event. Naturally, we immediately got in touch and asked for photos. A gorgeous bride with a pretty dashing husband, we recently chatted with Stephanie about her dress and the big day.

Photo at left: Stephanie Gardella with her husband Peter on their wedding day.

Shopbop: How did you go about selecting your dress?
Stephanie Gardella: Pete and I have been together for almost seven years. He proposed in late December, and we didn’t really want to wait to get married. (I had already waited long enough!) So at the end of March of this year, we set a date. I planned our wedding in about seven weeks. We didn’t want the big, traditional wedding. We were looking to do something small and intimate, and most importantly, we wanted our guests to have a great time.

I was realistic enough to know that I was crunched for time as far as finding a dress. We live in a super cute little town, but it’s not exactly a shopping Mecca. I knew that my dress was probably going to be purchased online. I bought six dresses. One was even black. When I mentioned to my future husband that I may not be wearing white, I could see the look of disappointment on his face, so I went back to the internet in hopes of finding something that I liked in white. Two days before my wedding, I went to the Shopbop Wedding Boutique, and there it was: a BCBG dress that I could tell was PERFECT. I don’t know if I overlooked it before or if it was just added to the site, but I HAD to have it! I had it overnighted and it arrived at 2pm THE DAY BEFORE our wedding. I had been pretty relaxed about the whole wedding until waiting for that particular dress because I wanted it to fit perfectly. No time for alterations, it had to work. And when it arrived, it fit like a dream. Pete had no idea that I was in the process of waiting for yet another dress. He just assumed I was coming down the aisle in black, and when it was time to walk down the aisle, he was shocked (in a good way).

Pete is a man of very few words but for the two weeks following our nuptials, he complimented that dress almost every day! And everyone else said that I looked like a Greek goddess!

SB: Describe your wedding day. If you had to pinpoint one moment, what would you say was the best part of the day?
SG: The whole day was fabulous, but the best part about it (besides marrying my best friend) was the guest list. We had about 45 people. We got to spend time with each and every one of them that night. The district magistrate that married us was a very close family friend of my husband, which made it even more emotional for everyone. Just a very sweet night.

SB: Let’s talk about the planning process. How did you select the venue? The menu?
SG: Hahaha! The “planning process” was fast! Since we only had a few weeks to plan, we picked several venues and just prayed that one of them was available. Low and behold, our number one choice was. And as for the menu, I did not want a sit down dinner. I wanted the guests to be greeted with a drink as they walked into the venue (the wedding ceremony was there too), and right after the ceremony we had heavy appetizers.

SB: Did you have a color palette or theme?
SG: We had a heck of a theme! We had set up a hookah lounge on the back patio of the venue, and it was a hit! The guests loved it, and it was a great ice breaker for people to quickly get to know one another. The highlight of the evening was the belly dancer. Even our fathers got out there and belly danced! Quite the sight! My sister and my mother helped me out big time with keeping true to our theme. My aunt brought hookahs and fabrics from the Middle East to decorate the tables, and my father made limoncello to hand out as favors. Definitely a family affair.

SB: What is the best advice you can offer a bride planning her wedding?
SG: The same advice I was given: It’s YOUR day. Incorporate your groom’s opinions, but don’t let everyone else get under your skin with comments and opinions. Have a good time! Everyone who saw our pictures after the wedding assumed that it was a destination wedding because everyone in the photos looked so relaxed (including me) and like they were having a ball!


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Tuesday, June 21st 2011

Shopbop Wedding Series: Advice from Celebrity Wedding Planner Colin Cowie


Known the world over as an arbiter of style, Colin Cowie has been planning parties for the world’s elite for more than 20 years. He counts Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, and Hugh Hefner among his list of celebrity clientele; makes regular appearances on The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Live with Regis and Kelly; and is the author of eight bestselling books. We talked with Mr. Cowie about how he got into the business and asked him to share some advice for brides in the midst of planning a wedding.

Shopbop: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into the party planning business?
Colin Cowie: I started as a one-man show—chief chef, waiter, and bottle washer. I used to wake up at 6 a.m. and go to the flower market, arrange the flowers, do the marketing, then head home to cook the meal. I’d set their table, cork the wines, pour drinks, serve the meal, and do the cleanup. And I put 120 percent into everything I do. It’s kept me at the top of my field. I never set out doing what I’m doing now. One step led to another, and the dream has come to life.

SB: If you can whittle it down to just one, what would you say is the most important thing to think about when planning your wedding?
CC: The comfort of your guests is most important. Your wedding is a statement of style. True style has nothing to do with what you wear or how much money you spend. It’s about how you treat your guests. Your wedding is your first joint statement of style and an opportunity for you and your fiancé to function as the quintessential host and hostess. How you treat your guests and make them welcome is more important than the food you serve or the dress you wear.
 
SB: There are many moving parts. How do you approach the planning process so as not to feel overwhelmed?
CC: Stay organized in a way that works best for you! Being organized alleviates stress and tension that might be brought on from feeling overwhelmed with the idea that things are consuming you.
 
SB: A wedding is such a personal event. How do you recommend incorporating personal touches into the big day?
CC: Make it as personal as possible: the food you serve, the music playing, the vows you read, the colors you work with are all elements that should be personalized. Start with the invitation and weave a consistent thread of style throughout the entire celebration. From the wording on the invite to the color of the ink, it’s the first thing your guests will see and sets the tone for what’s to come, right down to the thank you notes you will write your guests after the wedding. At the end of the day, when you walk down the aisle it’s that single thread of well-edited ideas that will create the look, feel, and spirit of your wedding story.
 
SB: A wedding can be a really stressful time. What is your best advice for brides looking to keep their stress level at a minimum?
CC: Exercise! Instead of sitting on the sofa in front of the TV with a box of your favorite chocolates, get up and move! Get those endorphins flowing, hit the gym, get on the treadmill, hit that punching bag, and when you’re done, your endorphins will be up and your stress will be down!
 
SB: What was the best wedding you worked on, and what made it so special?
CC: The next one I’m working on, that’s really how I feel. Each is so different, I’m able to start with a blank canvas and go from there. Bringing a vision to reality and seeing it all come together is like weaving a thread through a needle, there are so many moving parts that must come together seamlessly, with only one take. It’s like live TV.


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Friday, May 20th 2011

Shopbop Wedding Series: Bridesmaid Dresses, by Style Me Pretty

When we polled our soon-to-be or recent bride friends about where they turned for wedding inspiration, every last one of them said Style Me Pretty. A blog that specializes in all things bridal, Style Me Pretty looks at the hottest trends in the wedding world. We asked editor and founder Abby Larson to share her insights into selecting bridesmaid dresses.

Brides spend hours choosing exactly the right flowers, a space that reflects their style and personality, a perfect white dress, details that will make guests swoon. They choose their menu carefully and spend days going back and forth on cake flavors and first dance songs. At Style Me Pretty, we think the bridesmaid dress selection should be at the tippy top of that to-do list. Aside from the fact that happy maids equals way less stress for the bride-to-be, a well-frocked bridal party is also the perfect accessory to your wedding day style.

Let’s talk trends. The biggest trend we’ve seen lately is mismatched dresses. Not the standard one designer, different cuts mismatching. Instead, brides are choosing a palette and allowing their bridesmaids to choose a gown that represents one of the hues within that spectrum, all in different styles. Some may be long and jewel toned, others may be short and accessorized. Each is beautiful in its own right, and yet stunning as a group.


Different dresses in the same color palette. Photo by Erin Hearts Court.

We’re also seeing dresses that totally buck the bridesmaid dress tradition. Dresses that can and WILL be worn again. Whether it’s a collection of little black dresses, a fabulous printed frock, or a Pippa-style white gown, the goal is to give your girls something they are excited to wear.

As for colors, we’re obsessed with Pantone’s pick for the 2011 color of the year, Honeysuckle. Mix it up with pale pinks, champagnes, and nudes—gorgeousness defined.


Honeysuckle promises to be a bridesmaid favorite this wedding season.

And last but not least, don’t forget the accessories! From the whimsical to the sweet, accessories are the perfect way to take your bridesmaid looks to a chic new level.


Don’t forget the accessories! A pretty hairpiece can take your bridesmaid look to a new level.

See what we mean? Bridesmaid dresses are a perfect place for you to add a pop of color, spunk, and style to your wedding day. And don’t forget to look to your girls for ideas as well. After all, they know what looks good on them better than anyone else. If you trust your maids to select their own gowns, make sure to do a final review once everyone has their dress. You want to make sure the colors complement each other, and the styles don’t compete. We always suggest that you listen to your bridesmaids’ ideas, and then use their thoughts as a launching pad to selecting the perfect collection for your girls. It’s a win-win for all.

So there you have it. Bridesmaid Dresses 101. Just remember that you should gift your girls two things on your big day: confidence and style. If you follow those rules, you will have one very happy bridal party.

--Abby Larson
Style Me Pretty


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