Meet the designer:
For as long as I remember, I’ve had an inclination to be a designer. As a child I sewed and used things from bags of clothes and hand-me-downs to create my own looks. I’d change them up from the age of 9 or 10 when I had started sewing my own clothes. I’ve always experienced clothing this way. My mother designed and sewed my dresses as a child – she used patterns but always changed them up to make her own creations. She allowed me to assist in the choosing of the fabrics, colors, etc. This started from a very young age of about 5. I started sewing myself a couple years after that, and won child competitions with my work. I never went with the status quo. I was interested in making things outside of the usual. I loved experimenting with fashion and trying new things.
I’ve been designing gowns ever since I started fashion design in college. I had a long time dream of designing my sisters’ wedding dresses, and it was in 1993 when my sisters started marrying that I had the opportunity to design and create their wedding day looks. Things just started growing from there. I enjoy wedding gown design because design is never static. Part of my design style adjusts with the trends and seeing what my brides like. My design style is more “classic with a twist.” I’ve never followed trends exactly, I prefer to be a little ahead of what’s currently happening. However, I do think hard about what my customers would like, whether that’s in the way of trends, figure flattering shapes, or wearability of the dresses. I often take a retrospective look, and although my personal aesthetic is minimalist, classic and traditional, there are always twists to the look. The “twist” is the opportunity to incorporate the new trends and ideas. That’s what keeps design exciting.
Entrepreneurship wasn’t really what I had originally envisioned myself doing, but I think it was inevitable as both my parents were business-owners. It just came naturally to me. I think it goes along with the whole “out of the usual” aspect of the way I enjoy doing things. I am an innovator and love trying things a new way, so naturally entrepreneurship became something I gravitated towards without intending to. I was searching for a career and believe you should do what you love, and what you are good at. I wanted to find a career I would never get tired of, and I never have. I just wish there were a hundred hours in a day so I could do more! I went to college to equip myself with the tools I needed to carry out my chosen profession. The passion, desire, and creativity was already there. My end goal was to set up a design business as soon as I graduated and, basically, that’s what I did. I have never looked back. I have been supporting myself solely through my endeavors ever since!
Interviewed and written by consultant Nancy Cooper
More and more designers are adding a little something extra to their designs–namely, pockets! Goodness knows on the wedding day there will be several small items such as bobby pins, tissues and lipstick that you’ll want to keep handy, and these dresses give you a convenient place to store them. Take a look through some of our favorite designs with pockets!
1. This first pick has pockets built right into the silk Dupioni skirt. The bodice is fully beaded, and there are silk and rhinestone buttons to the end of the train.
2. We love this Thai silk ball gown! It has a v-neck bodice accented with scalloped lace, and a lace illusion back with buttons.
3. This two-piece wedding gown is absolutely fabulous! The bodice features a drop waist, sweetheart neckline and beautiful lace appliques, while the mikado skirt is complemented with buttons and a cathedral lace train.
4. Brides adore the lacy off the shoulder neckline on this gown! The gathered waistband accentuates the waist, which flows into a very full gathered silk skirt.
5. For the bride interested in a glamorous look, this gown is bound to be perfect! Beaded appliques over metallic lace adorn the bodice of this V-neck ball gown to the basque waistline. This royal look is completed with an illusion V-back, Silk Dupioni skirt, pockets, and a cathedral length train.
A few months ago the wonderful Terri of Terri Isenhour Photo approached us about a shoot she was planning with Logan of Real Southern Accents at Green Springs Plantation. They were looking for a gown with some Southern flair that would complement the acres of greenery and old world charm at the plantation. One gown from Augusta Jones immediately popped into our heads, and turns out it was just perfect for the venue.
Gown: Augusta Jones Bridal from Sealed With A Kiss
Veil: Sorbello Couture for Sealed With A Kiss
Photography: Terri Isenhour Photography
Model: Brittany Sprinkle
Wedding Planning/Design: Real Southern Accents
Linen: Classic Party Rentals
Florals: Whimsical Floral Design
Hair and Make Up: The Spot Beauty Shop
Cake: My Cake by Rachel
Desserts: Paradox Pastry
Jewelry: Andrew Minton
Venue: Green Springs Plantation, Gordonsville
Dear Pat: I will be helping my daughter shop for her wedding gown in a couple of weeks, but am worried about upsetting her with my opinions on dress styles. I love my daughter, but know from past experiences shopping with her that we do not see eye-to-eye on most things. She has already sent me pictures of styles she’s interested in, and they are nothing close to what I had in mind for her. I want her to love her dress and be happy, but I am afraid that I might ruin her shopping experience if I speak my mind. How would you advise I handle this?
Chances are if you’re worried about differing opinions on the wedding dress, your daughter is as well. She likely knows that you disagree with the styles she’s interested in, but she wants you to be there by her side when she says yes to the dress because she loves you, and she respects your opinion. The key to you both having a great shopping experience will be to keep in mind exactly what you just told me–you want her to love her dress and be happy. When she asks what you think about a dress be honest with her about certain elements of the dress you like and dislike, but remind her that you want her to have what she wants regardless of your opinion. If you sense she’s fallen in love with a dress, be supportive. Just remember that she’s your daughter, and you’ll be glad you had the chance to share the shopping experience with her.
Brides, get excited! More amazing styles will soon be available here at Sealed With A Kiss. Stay tuned for more details, but for now here’s a peek at a few of the dresses you’ll see in store very soon!
With head to toe lace appliques and embroidery, this gown is fit for a queen. It features an a-line silhouette and a regal lace and satin train.
This is a design we are extremely excited to see in store! It’s a chic, unique look that we’re sure our brides will love.
What caught our eye about this dress was the gorgeous lace pattern and the lovely silhouette. We can’t wait to slip this gown onto a bride and watch her fall in love!
Dear Pat: I’m getting married in August and am concerned about getting a gown that I won’t sweat through on my big day. I really want a ball gown, but all the ones I’ve tried on so far have tons of layers and feel really heavy and hot. What kind of styles would you recommend for me? Should I give up on finding a ball gown that will work and choose another silhouette?
Since our Virginia summers can be so hot and humid, many of our brides pose this same question to us all the time. You absolutely can find a style you love and also be comfortable in on your big day. The key to finding a dress you won’t get too hot in, particularly a ball gown style, is choosing a gown with the right fabric and structure. Here are a couple of examples.
The gowns above may look heavy based on the layers and fullness of the skirts, but they are actually quite airy! Both have skirts that are made from layers of soft tulle and netting, which are lightweight. Looking out for these kinds of fabrics will you help you find a style that is comfortable, and won’t get too hot on your big day. But if you’re not a fan of tulle or netting, never fear! There are more options for you. Take the chiffon and silk styles below:
Chiffon is wonderfully lightweight and absorbent, and designers are able to drape it very easily, resulting in beautiful skirts like the one pictured on the left. The gown on the right is a well-designed gown made from a single layer of lightweight Thai silk, which holds its shape very nicely. Both would be great choices for a summer wedding.
If you prefer an all-over lace look, you can absolutely find a style that will be lightweight enough for summer. Just choose a look with minimal layers, and laces like chantilly, that have a light and airy feel.
Have a question you want to ask a real bridal consultant? Email your questions to email@example.com. Your question might even be featured on the blog!
Our bride Lorena and her new husband Matt were married on December 10, 2016 at Old Metropolitan Hall.
The dress Lorena chose for her big day was a design by Casablanca Bridal. When the dress first arrived to our store she happened to see a picture we posted of it on our Facebook page, and she thought it could be the “one.” She contacted us and set up an appointment to try it on, and not long after that she said yes to the dress.
Lorena was a blast to work with, and we’re so glad that her big day was as wonderful as she’d hoped. Congrats again Lorena and Matt!
Photos Courtesy of Jen Fariello Photography