Tag Archives: Wedding dress

Short and Sweet…

The snow has finally melted and the weather is slowly but surely heating up.  When it comes to fashion, scarves are being shed and hemlines are rising.  Though a short wedding dress may not be for every bride, if you’re planning a spring or summer wedding, it may be a viable option.

There are so many choices out there when it comes to finding a great wedding dress that shows off some leg.  There are also many advantages to going short.  Short styles may save you some cash, will keep you cool during a hot, outdoor ceremony, allow you to show off your shoes, and give you plenty of room to kick up your heels and dance.

Pnina Tornai offers a sexy mini dress with a dipping neckline, single shoulder strap, and plenty of ruffles.  For a more modest bride, Michelle Roth’s fifties-inspired belted tea length gown may be the perfect fit.  If you’re feeling in between the two extremes, Ines Di Santo makes a stunning short appliquéd gown with a sweetheart neckline and removable train so that you don’t have to choose between short and long.

If you love the idea of a short gown for dancing but aren’t sure you want to forgo the more traditional full-length feel, perhaps spring for a short dress to use as a reception look in addition to your ceremony gown.  Take a look through the slideshow to get some short and sweet gown ideas!  Designers include Badgley Mischka, Ines Di Santo, Michelle Roth, Jenny Packham (who is also the featured image of this posting), Jewel by Priscilla of Boston, Maggie Sottero, Oscar De La Renta, Pnina Tornai, and Reverie by Melissa Sweet.

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Love Is A Small Word

As many of you may know, I have been granted the opportunity to work with the lovely NYC wedding officiant, Sarah Ritchie, on her latest endeavor: an online wedding magazine called “Love Is A Small Word.”  I have written a number of stories for the site including “En Pointe” and a feature on “Get Married” magazine, among others.  This has been a great opportunity for me to expand my bridal horizons and get some real experience in the industry.  It even allowed me the opportunity to have a story posted on “Closet Diaries,” a fun fashion blog.  It’s a wonderful feeling to Google my name and find it attached to bridal stories and sites as opposed to just this blog (though I do take this very seriously) and my various social media accounts.

What I think sets “Love Is…” apart from other bridal sites is the heavy focus on the wedding ceremony itself, not just the fashion and decor planning side, which is typically my focus here on “Unbridaled Passion.”  Sarah is a celebrant and essentially, a master of all things ceremonial.  She writes personalized ceremonies for her couples that really go above and beyond what a typical ceremony may be like.  On “Love Is…”, she shares readings, vows, and loads of great ceremony ideas that will set your wedding apart from the rest and make it just right for you.

So, if you haven’t checked out “Love Is A Small Word” yet, check it out (www.loveisasmallword.com)!  We fuse the spiritual and ceremonial side of weddings with bridal fashion as well as planning ideas and beautiful real stories of Sarah’s many happy couples.




Run for the Rosettes


Gown by Claire Pettibone


Spring is finally here and soon gardens everywhere will be filled with colorful blooms.  But, you don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy the beauty of spring flowers.  For their Spring 2011 collections, bridal designers have embraced the season’s natural glory and created a number of stunning styles embellished with floral elements.

If you love the feeling of spring’s natural beauty, a dress infused with flower power could be the right one for you.  From fun rosettes to elegant floral appliqués, this season’s gowns fit every wedding style.  Whether you’re having a casual outdoor garden ceremony or a more formal affair, there is a look that will suit your desires.

If your bridal style is contemporary and minimalist, take inspiration from Casablanca Bridal Couture’s sleek-chic strapless gown that incorporates figure-flattering ruching with a cluster of fabric rosettes at the hip.  For an ethereal bohemian feel, Claire Pettibone’s floaty empire waist confection features three-dimensional blooms that climb up the gown on elegant vines.

Fun floral styles aren’t just for brides.  There are a number of looks out there for bridesmaids as well.  To subtly complement a blooming bridal gown, one shouldered bridesmaid dresses with rosette details on the strap fit the bill.  Designer Bari Jay offers such a look in a menagerie of delightful spring colors.

To see the gowns mentioned above or have a glance at some other great flowery options, check out the slideshow below.  Designers shown include Jim Hjelm, Kenneth Pool, Casablanca Bridal Couture, Claire Pettibone, Mori Lee, Amsale, Kittychen Couture, Paloma Blanca, Tara Keely, and a bridesmaid look by Bari Jay.

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Project Runway for Kate Middleton: The Good, The Bad, and The Crazy

Like many who are interested in fashion, or even just reality television, I am a huge fan of Project Runway.  I always love to see what kind of challenge they’ll come up with next.  Recently, Project Runway challenged its alumnae designers to sketch their fantasy wedding gown for princess-to-be Kate Middleton.  This was right up my alley, of course, and I was so excited to see the resulting creations!  So, for your viewing pleasure, here are the best, the worst, and the just plain insane.


This look by Sweet P is clean and simple.  It is youthful and sexy while still classy and elegant.  The designer says, “The veil is an homage to the feathered hats she likes to wear.”

Shirin Askari’s gown incorporates the illusion neckline that I love, a stunning veil, and a classic meets modern feel that encapsulates Miss Middleton’s aesthetic.

Everything about this sketch by Nick Verreos seems right to me.  The low back shows skin, but not too much.  The cap sleeve is, at the same time, classic and current.  The Swarovski crystals, floor length veil, gloves, and crown make the look all the more regal and beautiful.  There is nothing I don’t love about this one!

Simple and sophisticated, Daniel Franco’s feminine look features an 11-foot shirred lace train that makes a statement while not being over-the-top.


This sketch by Keith Bryce makes it look like the bride’s skirt is a giant globe or that it is being overtaken by oozing lava.  It is hard to tell exactly what he’s going for here.

While quite beautiful, Kara Saun’s crimson gown in no way says bridal.  It is, however, an elegant choice for a formal gala or similar event.

Ben Chmura’s geometric design seems too futuristic for the classic and simple Kate Middleton.

This macabre gown by April Johnston may be appropriate for a funeral, but for the royal wedding, it just doesn’t make sense.


This look by Nicolas Putvinski just doesn’t adhere to Kate Middleton’s clean and simple style of dressing.  The outpouring of feathers and avant garde silhouette bring the wrong kind of drama to the ensemble.

What on earth is this crazy red design by Malan Breton?!  All I can think of is Stephen King’s “Carrie” when I look at it.

Sorry, Joe Faris, but denim, leather, and stripper heels do not belong anywhere near the royal wedding.

James Troisi’s look says Xena the Warrior Princess, not princess-to-be Kate Middleton!

Emmett McCarthy’s look brings to mind the wedding gown of an 80’s pop star, not the modern Kate Middleton.

Shopbop: For the Bride Who Breaks the Mold


A selection of Shopbop's wedding dresses -- imgs courtesy of shopbop.com

Not every bride wants to look like a princess on her wedding day.  In fact, many lovely ladies consider themselves to be “unconventional brides” and hope to set themselves apart from the rest.  For these newlyweds-to-be, Shopbop has just launched their wedding boutique.

Shopbop offers plenty of fashion forward options for the non-traditional bride ensuring that there is something for everyone.  The website also features accessories, bridesmaids gowns, honeymoon looks, and bridal lingerie, making it a one-stop shop for their customer.  They even offer up the expertise of “wedding specialists” who vow to “assist with every fashion-related aspect of your wedding experience.”

The list of wedding dress designers whose wares are sold on Shopbop is quite lengthy.  From Rachel Pally to Temperley London, from Jenni Kayne to Max Azria, there are so many options to choose from.  Interesting looks include an utterly minimalist v-neck gown from Halston Heritage, a collared halter gown from 3.1 Phillip Lim, and a clingy round neck dress from Herve Leger.

Accessories include jewelry from designers such as Dannijo and Rachel Leigh, headbands and hairclips from Ban.Do, Deepa Gurnani, and more, and tights from Falke.  Gifts offered include jewelry, watches, charms, and adorable “survival kits” for bridesmaids, mothers-in-law, and the bride herself.  The wide range of price points ensures that there’s something for everyone.

If you’re thinking of going the less traditional route or just need a good idea for a bridesmaid gift, Shopbop’s new wedding boutique is worth a look!


Thakoon adds a touch of draped Grecian flair to a strapless gown -- img courtesy of shopbop.com

Also available in white, Rachel Pally's off-the-shoulder "Midsummer Dress" offers comfort and laidback style -- img courtesy of shopbop.com

This maxi dress by Shoshanna would be perfect for a beach or destination wedding -- img courtesy of shopbop.com.


Tying the Knot

Though also used for men’s ties, bows are still one of the prettiest and most feminine ornamental details in fashion.  This spring, bow details are all over the runway.  Many brides will also be donning them for their trip down the aisle.

There are all sorts of ways to incorporate a bow into your wedding day ensemble.  They can complete any wedding gown as a charming belt detail or a more casual sash.  A bow accessory can also add a dose of cute to your look.  Be it on a headband, shoe, or clutch, this sweet ornament will shine.

Bows can truly suit any mood you are trying to achieve on your special day.  Pattis makes bows sexy by using a row of them at the center of a bustier bodice on a pick-up skirted gown.  For a relaxed feel that infuses beachy and Grecian styles, Jenny Yoo uses a bow sash to tie together an elegantly draped floor length dress.  Demurely polished, Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal provides an affordable option with a short strapless look with rosettes on the bodice and a tailored bow belt.

Accessorizing a bow-adorned gown is just as important as selecting the gown itself.  For a chic polished look, pearls will complete your Jackie O. inspired ensemble.  If you’re going for laidback bohemian, a series of fun bangles will create the right feel.  A sweet and traditional look may be perfected by a sentimental piece such as a favorite locket or a special piece of your mother or grandmother’s jewelry.

In the slideshow below, you can take a look at the many moods that a bow detail can exude on your wedding day.  Designers shown include Allure Bridals, Jenny Yoo, Oleg Cassini, Pattis, Pronovias, Vineyard Collection, St. Pucchi, Amsale, and Alvina Valenta.

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Sheerly Stunning

Sometimes the best fashion statements are the ones that we borrow from the past.  The currently trendy illusion neckline is a look that was popular in the 1950’s and now seems to be sticking.  Created using a sheer fabric, often organza or tulle, the illusion neckline shows skin without being overtly and brings to mind a classic, antique feel.

This vintage style has been updated by bridal designers to fit the needs of the modern brides while still maintaining the elegance of its original incarnations.  The look has been adapted to suit a number of gown silhouettes including v-necks, one-shouldered looks, or even three-quarter sleeved gowns.  Some more provocative gowns even include sheer backs, carrying over the illusion style.

While many brides opt for the traditional unadorned illusion neckline, there are also plenty of options for those with a more contemporary aesthetic.  For a touch of whimsy, the Christos collection offers a v-neck style with polka dots coating the sheer straps.  On the sexier side, Monique Lhuillier created a figure-hugging off-the-shoulder gown with sheer, ruched three-quarter length sleeves.

So whether you’re interested into paying homage to antiquity or adding a fresh twist of modernity, take a look at the options that are out there and see if an illusion neckline could be the perfect detail for you.

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