Posted by Shira Savada, Real Weddings Editor
As a bridal boutique owner, Carine had to make a tough decision when choosing between all the talented wedding dress designers she carries in her store. She was looking to have a dress with texture and dimension, and she loves lace, so she started there. She gave her designers a description of what she had in mind, and at Spring 2008 Bridal Market they showed her some gown options. She finally chose a Monique Lhuillier mermaid-cut gown. Months later, she decided to add a ball-gown skirt over the mermaid dress for the ceremony.
Carine in her ball-gown dress, and then with her husband RJ in her mermaid silhouette and skinny sash belt.
Carine has noticed that accessories have become a large part of the wedding day ensemble. She always wanted to make her own veil, so the salon created a cathedral-length, hand-appliquéd Alençon and re-embroidered lace veil. A 4-inch ribbon belt was added to the dress for the ceremony, and a narrower belt with embroidery was worn during the reception. There was also a bolero, worn midway through the reception “just for fun and to create a whole other look in the photographs,” said Carine. All in all, this fashion-forward bride had three looks, each customized to showcase her personal bridal style.
Since Carine runs a bridal salon and has now experienced being a bride, I thought it only fitting to ask her for some tips for those of you embarking on your own dress hunts:
• Only bring people with you that will give you their honest opinion and who know you best. You have to pick the ONE dress based on what you LOVE. Don't let others pressure you into a dress that isn't for you.
• Try on different shapes and fabrics despite what you think you want. You never know what shape may look best on you until you try. The dress will pick you based on your body type.
• Give yourself enough time to enjoy your dress shopping experience. Waiting until the last minute will create unnecessary stress. Carine’s Bridal recommends starting nine months before your wedding and placing an order no later than six months before your wedding.
• You can always modify your look with accessories. Between the ceremony and reception, brides are adding jewelry, belts, sashes, accessories, or different shoes.
Inspired by Carine's unique use of accessories to create three different looks? How will you accessorize your dress on your big day?
Mark Ingram, of Bridal Atelier Mark Ingram,
was also there. He and Carine have been friends for four years. He’s also been a mentor to
Carine for all things bridal fashion. "Carine, RJ, and I truly bonded
during our business trips to Barcelona,” Mark said. “In fact, RJ
proposed to Carine in Barcelona. So, I was very pleased to be invited to
their wedding, but especially honored to be asked by Carine to assist
her with her gown on her wedding day. I truly felt like a member of the
bridal party, laughing, crying, 'oohing and ahhing' as each layer of
her ensemble was added. I remember my hands trembling as I fastened
each button at the back of her gown. Placing her veil on her head,
putting the blusher over her face, and watching her mother’s expression
as all of this was happening was one of the most memorable moments of
the day for me. Carine was calm and collected throughout, as the rest
of us dissolved into tears."