Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ashley and Ben: July 16, 2011

As we take a small breather from our packed September schedule, we would like to celebrate Ashley Ninness and Ben Sanders, married July 16, 2011. This beautiful summer wedding at the Contemporary Art Center in Virginia Beach was photographed by Eleise Theuer Photography. Other amazing vendors included Catering Concepts, Botanique, Digital Dreammakers, Live Love Paper!, and Carrie's Cakes. We hope you enjoy Ashley and Ben's wedding as much as we all did!

Is your wedding next? We would love to be there for you.

The Emily Weddings Team

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A "Something Blue" Hue

Traditionally, wedding gowns are found in various shades of white, ivory, and creams. It symbolizes purity and brides have long followed this tradition. Some brides, however, have taken a more unique or expressive approach in regards to the color of their gown. Whether it's simply a pop of color on a white dress or the dress itself is a color other than white, brides are taking the leap and straying from the norm to truly make their wedding gowns a statement on the big day.

Alfred Angelo has made the transition from traditional white dresses to more modern, color infused dresses desirable for some brides. With options to color coordinate in style and color between bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, incorporating your wedding's color scheme into the attire has never been easier.

Even the most simplistic of gowns can be transformed into a gorgeous and elegant eye-catcher with the addition of a colored bow.

Recently, we've seen a new trend in bridal gowns that doesn't just feature a pop of color...the entire dress is a different color! How could we forget celebrity Gwen Stefani in her gorgeous pink gown! She truly set the tone for colored wedding dresses and took tradition by the horns.

Now, we're seeing not pink dresses, but blue dresses! What a way to fulfill your something blue! These blue hues are making a statement in the bridal fashion industry.

**What do you think of a blue wedding gown? Would you sport the blue hue on your wedding day?

The Emily Weddings Team

Photo Credits:
1. Alfred Angelo
2. Social Pop
3. Creative Theme

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Farewell Priscilla

Priscilla of Boston, the high-end bridal boutique that got its start on Newbury Street in 1945 and shot to prominence after making Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, is closing.

Its parent company, David’s Bridal, announced yesterday that it will shutter the store’s 19 national locations, including its store on Boylston Street, on Dec. 31. A corporate office in Charlestown will also be closed.

A David’s Bridal spokesman said the stores are being shut so the company can invest more resources into its 307 David’s Bridal stores.

“At the end of the day, the decision is really based on looking at our resources and capital investments and looking to invest in Priscilla’s sister division, David’s Bridal,’’ said Brian Beitler, chief marketing officer for David’s Bridal.

Priscilla employs 61 people in Massachusetts - 21 in the store and 40 in the corporate office. Priscilla employees could apply for jobs at David’s Bridal, Beitler said, but there is no guarantee, and those jobs are scarce.

Orders for dresses will be fulfilled as promised, according to a Q&A posted on Priscilla’s website. Anyone whose dress is scheduled to be delivered after Dec. 31 should call the store to make arrangements.

Although Beitler would not say that the economy was a factor in the closing, bridal specialists and analysts say the business of weddings has changed in recent years, with many brides scaling back their budgets.

“They’re probably closing because they failed to realize how the market has shifted and changed,’’ said Shane McMurray, CEO and founder of The Wedding Report, a website that follows wedding trends. “Several of the big designers have already created lower price lines in different markets so they can penetrate down into new markets. That’s really what you have to do.’’

Priscilla is seen as the posh older sister to the less expensive David’s Bridal. The priciest dress at David’s retails for $1,400, while the most expensive dress at Priscilla costs $10,000. A study by the websites The Knot and the Wedding Channel found that the national average that brides spend on their dresses has changed little between 2008 and 2010 - just over $1,000, a number more in line with David’s price point.

Others say the company lost its vision after multiple sales and acquisitions. Federated Department Stores bought Priscilla in 2002, then sold it to David’s Bridal in 2007.

“You really need to have someone to steer the direction,’’ said Rachel Leonard, fashion director of Brides Magazine. “I’m surprised to hear it, but I think that’s what happens when a company becomes more corporate.’’

The closing of Priscilla marks the end of an important chapter of Boston fashion history.

Priscilla of Boston started after Priscilla Kidder graduated from the New England School of Design. She opened her shop on Newbury Street and quickly rose to become an internationally recognized expert.

“She really changed the way that people look at the wedding industry,’’ said Salwa Khoory, co-owner of L’Elite on Newbury Street. “She was Vera Wang before there was Vera Wang. The closest comparison I could make now is Oscar de la Renta. That’s how respected her work was.’’

Kidder cemented her reputation when she designed the 1956 wedding of Grace Kelly to Monaco‘s Prince Rainier. She went on to design dresses for presidential daughters Luci Baines Johnson, and Julie and Tricia Nixon. She died in 2003 at 86.

But that rich history may have come back to hurt the company. Party planner Bryan Rafanelli said that as Wang and other superstar fashion designers rose to fame, Priscilla came to be seen as stuffy and old fashioned.

“When I first started 15 years ago, pretty much every one of the brides at least considered a Priscilla dress,’’ he said. “Now it’s much more rare. I think a lot of people, including myself, put Priscilla in a box. Some people didn’t see it as cutting edge.’’

Yolanda Cellucci, a former wedding dress magnate who closed her Waltham salon two years ago, was surprised at the news of the closing because of the tremendous growth of the company over the years. But she has also noticed that brides are spending far less than they did before the economic downturn.

“I used to carry Bob Mackie wedding dresses that cost up to $25,000,’’ Cellucci said. “We had a baby grand piano in the foyer with a pianist. There were models, and we served champagne. People don’t have time for that anymore. Everyone is rushing.’’

We'll miss you Priscilla of Boston. Cheers to your many years of beautiful gowns.


The Emily Weddings Team

Article by Christopher Muther for the Boston Globe

Photo by Priscilla of Boston