Front of the Dress…or Back?



Front of the dress or the back?  Where will you choose to place your emphasis?  When you select your wedding dress, some component of it will be making a statement.  Will you want it to be on the front of your gown or the back?  When I was married almost 33 years ago, I chose to have the back of my dress be the “wow” factor.  Was it a big “WOW”?  No…but I liked it.  It was the era of the bow.  Remember that, ‘ladies of a certain age’?


I was married before Fergie, (then, HRH, The Duchess of York – now, just plain old Sarah, Duches of York.  She lost the HRH, style and “The” before Duchess, when she divorced Prince Andrew), so one can not claim I was a copy cat with the bow.  But I’m pretty sure “the bow” was a common fashion statement. After a tiny nipped in waist, (I was a petite little bride), my dress had a massive bow in back.  I loved it.



The advantage of a “Statement Back”?  Your guests get to admire it during the entire wedding ceremony, and it makes for fabulous pictures.


But what if you go with a dramatic front, like the ones above and below? Well, then your guests get to admire you all of your wedding reception.  I do believe the dress above is a little daring for a bride, but who am I to judge…


And this applicae number above?  Well it is nothing short of a work of art.  Would I choose it for myself or one of my girls?  No… I tend to favor the more traditional.  But that’s the wonderful thing about weddings.  There is no right or wrong, just your vision…

Printed Wedding Dresses

Printed Wedding Dress ?   Yes, according to “The Knot’s” recent webinar targeting 2016 hottest wedding trends, printed wedding dresses are the hot ticket.  But then…if you’re getting married in 2016, you better already have your dress.  Shall it be a continuing trend for 2017?  Only time will tell. I’m not sure what the draw is to a printed wedding dress.  Although the photo below is GORGEOUS!  But maybe as a bridesmaid’s dress, not a wedding gown?


It doesn’t say “Bride” to me, and this isn’t a World War II rationing era, where you just may want or NEED to wear your wedding dress again.  But it’s the latest rage.  Or are designers TRYING to make us think so?


Instagram, Lady Kitty Spencer

Looks like the South Africa wedding where Lady Kitty Spencer, (niece of Diana, Princess of Wales), was a bridesmaid this year was ahead of the curve.  The bride in the center of the above photo is wearing a printed gown.  But except for being in the middle of the picture, what defines her as the bride?  No white gown, no veil.  Is this the point?  I enjoyed being the center of attending and HOPEFULLY standing out at my own wedding. And I truly believe most brides do.


The bride above would surely stand out, however, in this bold print, especially if her maids were dressed in a solid pale color.


Maybe if you want to choose a printed gown, your pick could be something like THIS photo.  The bride’s gown is white, but its floral flare is three-dimmential.  I rather like it!  Not sure if I’d have the guts to wear it, or that I’d support, whole heartedly, the choice for one of my daughters, but it IS stunning!

While lovely, I don’t think this trend will have a big impact.  Sometimes…women just put their feet down.

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




Two in One Wedding Dress

Two in One Wedding Dress — Why buy two when you can buy just one? With the great extravagance weddings have taken in the last twenty years, is it surprising that brides want more than one dress? One for the wedding ceremony, and one for the reception? If you’d like to read about the bride who desires THREE dresses… click on the link: Three Wedding Dresses


As with anything, the more an item is desired, the more options become available. When my daughter, Maggie, was married two years ago, the choices for a 2 in 1 weren’t as plentiful as when my oldest was married last year. Kathleen had no desire for a “convertible dress” but Maggie’s head was turned by one.


There was one particular gown that she was drawn to, in fact we went to see it a couple of times. It had a very slim silhouette with appliqués, and an off the shoulder neckline, that looks amazing with the best strapless bra that will allow her to wear this dress. Lovely, just beautiful, but not quite proper for a young woman, an ingenue if you will, in a church wedding. But wait… it had an exquisite filmy glossier overskirt for the ceremony. I never would have believed that they were separates if I hadn’t seen it removed myself.


Both combinations looked gorgeous separately and as one. It’s definitely something for a bride to consider. I have seen similar dresses to these in a Chicago wedding boutique I visited a few weeks ago. They were stunning!


The dress above is my favorite of these photos. I adore the full, delicateness of the “skirt” AND the edginess of the cocktail type dress. Because, hey, you want to move, dance and have a good time at your reception, don’t you?


Feeling a little edgy? Maybe you may wish to choose a gown like the one below. Still bridal, but with the lovely pale shade of just a hint of color. And the convertible dress really does look like two different gowns. Maybe the key to the perfect gown is white on top, and color beneath for the reception??