The Unembellished Wedding Dress

There are more wedding dress styles than I can count…but my favorite, when I was young. was the unembellished wedding dress. No lace, beads, pearls or sequins for me.  If I had it to do over again, I might possibly enjoy a little bling.  And what about Pippa Middleton’s entire lace dress?  Exquisite!


All that being said…there are so many fabulously beautiful dresses that would have met my desire for an unembellished wedding dress.  Love the dress above, although strapless is not my favorite bodice.


A common theme in “unembellished wedding dresses” is a large bow, either in the back OR the front.  I am a fan of them as well.  There is something so romantic about a giant silky bow.


It appears that another common component to the “plain” wedding dress is an aspect of ‘sexy’.  I think this is a miss, as a young bride does herself a disservice when she tries to make her wedding dress cocktail attire.  But what about an older bride, or a second marriage?  Well, then, it would be just the ticket.  The dress below would be a perfect choice for a second marriage, perhaps in more of an ivory shade?  For a young bride, it would not be my choice, however – too low cut.


The next two dresses are just my dream wedding gown.  I love the elegance, the simplicity, the BOWS!  The full skirts of both dresses add to the “princess” effect.  But take heed.  One must be in terrific shape to wear such a gown.  Note how fitted the bodice on both gowns.




And what gown did I choose for my big day?  Well, take a gander of my dress below.  Would I choose something a little different today?  Yes, I think I would.  But I sure loved it then.  🙂


Would You Consider A Bespoke Wedding Dress?

Would you consider a ” bespoke wedding dress “?  And what exactly do I mean by “Bespoke”?


According to Wikipedia,

Bespoke is an adjective for anything commissioned to a particular specification. It may be altered or tailored to the customs, tastes, or usage of an individual purchaser.[1]

Sounds expensive, doesn’t it?  But actually…not so.  I had the opportunity to speak to the most lovely lady from the UK Saturday morning.  She is starting her own custom wedding dress design company.  It wasn’t a conversation by chance, we planned the business call.  But it was enjoyable, and thought provoking. And no, it is not the company above.  I am going to be receiving a press release from her soon, and I will share it with you.  Yes, I know I’m being a bit of a tease, but it’s worth the wait.

I had been under the impression, as I bet you have been, that a custom dress was just out of my price range.  That is not the case.  And think of the possibilities!  If you’ve been dress shopping recently, as a bride, a mother of the bride, sister or friend of the bride, you know the dress choice often comes down to a compromise.  It may be cost, it may be design, but ultimately, something has to give.  That’s where a bespoke wedding dress designer can be your best friend.  She will help you choose your favorite fabric, color, design and make it fit your figure perfectly.


Rock My Wedding

The above photos show some of the stages a designer goes through to create the perfect wedding dress.

When daughter # 2, my first daughter to marry, purchased her wedding dress, I was shocked at the mandatory fee attached for alterations – $ 700.00.  This fee was whether only a simple hem was required , or a total make over of the dress.  Unacceptable.  We had our own seamstress  do the simple alterations for a fraction of the price – to great results.  But with my new designing friend, all alterations are included in the price of the dress.


Alexandria Events

Think a dress like this is out of your price range…well perhaps…  🙂  But your own custom gown is not. I can’t wait to share this phenomenal find with you.  Stay tuned!

DIY Wedding Dress

I was missing my grandmother today, my mother’s mother.  How she would  have love to have danced at my daughters’ weddings.  Besides our memories, my family and I, (and this includes my extended family), are the recipients of her beautiful crochet work. Did I ever tell you that she won first place for a crocheted blanket in the California State Fair?  And California is a BIG state!


My grandmother’s speciality was not bulky afghans, however.  Oh we have plenty of those!  Her love was the delicate lace doily style, that, while old-fashioned, is beautiful none the less.  Below is the “thread” that is used in such art… because that’s what it is, art.  Just seeing this photo brought back so many memories.



While not my grandmother’s work, an example is above.  Do any of you ladies remember these?  I admit… we still  have a few around my home.  And her tablecloths!   They were truly exquisite.  But…she never attempted a wedding dress.  I have no doubt my grandmother could have done it, but she never tried it.  The lovely bride in the first photo did, however. Yes!  She spent $ 30.00 on a crochet hook and “thread”.  She then made her own fabulous wedding dress during her train commute to work.  (according to

The photos below show the intricate craftsmanship on the manicans.  I’m not saying everyone could do this…I know I couldn’t…but kudos!


And here she is, our own little artisan hard at work on her dress.  You better believe THIS dress will become a family heirloom!


And I couldn’t end this post without showing you some of my grandmother’s work, could I?  Below is a photo of a doily my grandmother made eons ago, which my mother handed down to me.  I washed it lovingly, starched it, and took it to the local craft store to be framed.  It was give to my daughter, Maggie, at her bridal shower.  And yes, KK, I know I owe you yours!  It has been washed and starched. Just needs the run to the store…

If you’d like to read a little more about my grandmother, (my daughter, Kathleen, per family tradition, is the proud owner of her engagement ring, and my youngest is named after her), click on the link: MY GRANDMOTHER


Photos 1-6

Photo 7 Mary P. Karnes




Wedding Dresses Through The Years

Wedding Dresses Through the Years … Each decade seems to have a wedding dress “Look” that characterizes its era. I was married in the 80’s, and the drawing below for that decade was spot on for dresses worn by my contemporaries similar to what you could find at The Volte. I believe the style was influenced by Diana, Princess of Wales’ choice of gown.

A bride’s dress should fit her venue, theme, season of year, and of course, her budget. Diana was married at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. An enormous structure, much larger than the traditional royal wedding site of Westminster Abbey (location of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding). Thus, Diana need a BIG gown. While I wasn’t a great fan of the dress, I think it suited the Cathedral, the balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace, and her statuesque frame. Her designers chose well.


Found on

If I had to pick an era that is my favorite for wedding gowns, I’d chose the 50’s. There’s something so romantic about a cinched in waist and a full skirt. According the the above chart, a common hemline for the 50’s era was the “ballerina length” (right at the ankle). This…I do not like. I believe it could make the bride look stumpy, although guests could get a good look at her shoes. This may be an incentive to have such a hemline, provided the shoes were cute! If you’re interested in reading a few older posts about wedding shoes, click on the following links! Wedding Shoes – Flats Blue Wedding Shoes Pink Wedding Shoes Let’s Talk Wedding Shoes!

The gown below, I’m sure is inspired by Grace Kelly’s when she become the Princess of Monaco. It is one of my favorites. I’m not crazy about the hat, however. For more drawings of royal brides…keep scrolling…


Found on


Found on