Occasionally, being the social butterfly that I am, I have the chance to sneak out of the office, run to Fig & Olive and grab lunch with bridal gown goddess, Gabriella Risatti of Gabriella Bridal Salon. Prior to opening her bridal boutique in 2008, Gabriella spent a decade working in the buying offices of world renowned fashion labels including Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Her experience and knowledge of the fashion industry coupled with her desire to create a unique and personalized shopping experience for brides led to the opening of Gabriella New York. Since then, Gabriella has quickly been recognized as an expert in the bridal industry, appearing in magazines and websites including Martha Stewart Weddings, New York Magazine Wedding Guide,InStyle Weddings, Daily Candy and Brides New York and television shows including CBS’s “The Early Show”, David Tutera’s “My Fair Wedding”, MTV’s “Downtown Girls” and “Entertainment Tonight”.
The belief at Gabriella New York is that shopping for a wedding gown should be memorable, personal and genuinely enjoyable. The gracious and knowledgeable sales staff will work with each bride in the intimate and relaxed boutique to help select the perfect gown for each individual. The assortment of beautiful couture gowns, veils and headpieces is unique to Gabriella New York and cannot be found anywhere else in Manhattan.
As this is the season of engagements, which also makes it the season of gown shopping, I thought I’d ask an expert for some inside tips on gown shopping! (all photos by Julie Skarratt)
XG: What are three things that a bride should keep in mind/ prepare for when she goes dress shopping?
G: The most important thing is for a bride to keep an open mind when trying on wedding gowns. Many women see pictures of dresses in magazines and on-line and think they know exactly what they want, but are often very surprised when they like something completely different. Even if you don’t think you will like it, just try it on so you will know! I also always recommend doing your hair and make up so that you feel good when trying on gowns.
XG: Is there such a thing as “too many” options when shopping for a gown?
G: YES!!! I recommend making appointments at 3 bridal salons to begin with. Going to more stores than that, especially in one day, can be overwhelming and everything begins to look alike. My guess is that you will fall in love with a gown in one of the stores. If you love it, buy it! Don’t make yourself crazy by continuing to shop and shop!
XG: Sometimes I find that brides are afraid to be as fashionable on their wedding day as they are perhaps in real life. What are your thoughts on riding the fine line between trendy and timeless?
G: If a bride is afraid to be too trendy on her wedding day, but still wants to be fashionable, I recommend staying classic with the gown and stepping out with the accessories. This way, you can take photos both with and without the accessories just in case you decide you don’t like them later in life! At the end of the day, the most important thing is that the bride feels absolutely beautiful on her wedding day.
G: Bringing too many people with them. I recommend either going by yourself or bringing just one or two people when you begin wedding dress shopping. Once you narrow down your choices, then you can bring in more friends and let them know that they are going to see only gowns that you already know you love so they don’t start giving you negative feedback on your dream dress!
XG: I’m a believer that with every digital “convenience” we gain, we lose a bit of “meaningful” experience. Texting has replaced the casual funny call to make plans with friends, evites have made stationery seem like an environmental hazard. I feel like every day I get an email about an online fashion outlet selling wedding gowns online. I don’t mean to send a loaded question, but how do you feel about this emerging trend and what do you think is getting lost in the shuffle?
G: I think its incredibly difficult to buy a wedding dress on-line because you don’t get the opportunity to see how it will look on you. Every woman’s body is different and although a dress may look beautiful on a model, it may not hit the real woman in the same places. Also, the experience of wedding gown shopping is such a special time and it would be such a shame to miss out on that. You really do get spoiled when you are a bride, so take advantage!
For those of you who weren’t able to join us on Wednesday night at Gabriella’s, I’m so excited to share Carlos Andres Varela’s pictures from the fabulous event. I hope that you are as inspired as we were by these amazing bouquets and stunning gowns. The concept? We invited 12 of our favorite, most inspiring floral designers to create bouquets for one of 12 fabulous gowns at Gabriella’s salon! I have to say a HUGE thank you to Rebecca here in our office who REALLY worked super hard to pull this event together while I run around like a chicken with no head. Here are some fabulous images. I’ve linked each florists image to their website, so you can easily explore more of their work. Thanks to everyone who participated, especially Gabriella for having us to her salon! More images of the rest of the bouquets coming later today!
Michelle Rahn, an up and coming Chicago based bridal designer is having a trunk show at the uber-fabulous Gabriella New York bridal Salon February 5th-7th. Michelle Rahn bridal was founded just last year by Michelle Gertzman as the designer sought to bring a modern sensibility to the timeless tradition of the wedding gown. I think the gown to the left is a testament to that style. A gown which I think would be beautiful on Mayra (not that she is shopping for wedding gowns, it’s just that I’m like an over-bearing mother obsessed with her one day having a ginormous wedding).
In any case, in such a short time Michelle Rahn has graced the cover of a Bride’s magazine, Chicago Social and been worn in InStyle Weddings, and on the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings. Michelle herself will be on hand during the duration of the trunk show to help you select the perfect gown, make adjustments on a gown you love but wish had just one wee little thing from another fabulous gown OR craft a custom gown for you. Gabriella is also offering 10% towards any Michelle Rahn gown ordered during the trunk show. And for all you girls out there new to bridal gown shopping, a trunk show is different from a sample sale. At a trunk show you get to see the newest and hottest and latest and gowns are still cut and ordered just for you. At a sample sale (which this isn’t) you can find insane deals on amazing gowns that were used as samples at the store provided you take them as is… Expect a post on the ins and outs of sample sales shortly!
Here is the invite to the Gabriella Trunk Show! Call now for an appointment. And out of town ladies, why not make a weekend out of gown shopping in NY? If you are visiting NY for gown shopping leave a Comment and I’d love to do a post directing you to all the places I get myself into trouble spending money, eating, drinking and beautifying in my home town:-)
Brides, get on the phone and try and make an appointment, because Gabriella New York has two amazing Trunk Shows this week/ weekend. This Friday, the 16th of November Sassi Holford (can I change my name to Sassi?) is debuting her 2010 collection at the Gabriella store and is in town for one day only!
Then, the following week riday October 23rd, Saturday, October 24th and Sunday October 25th Matthew Christopher Trunk Show – Matthew is also debuting his 2010 collection at our store and offering a 10% discount on it! Matthew will be at the event all weekend and he is, apparently, a LOT of fun. The lower three dresses are his, and they are also delectable!
We had a blast and are just sort of getting the day started here after a ROUGH start this morning! This was such a event….and, after our 5th time participating in this event, just as exciting as before… I’ll have a behind the scenes post a little later. For now, us and our favorite, moustached Cake Artist, Ron Ben-Israel (he’s just so cute!), the most amazing short dress from Gabriella New York and a fabulous destination wedding invite from Cheree Berry!