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SELECTING THE RIGHT BRIDAL GOWN

Cassandra Stevning of  The Wedding Studio, helped bring several exclusive lines of gorgeous gowns to Indianapolis.   The Wedding Studio is a couture bridal boutique in Broadripple, featuring wedding gowns exclusively from the “Birnbaum & Bullock Bridal Collections”, as well as offering unique headpieces and jewelry from local designers. We have enjoyed collaborating with Cassandra in the wedding planning capacity on several beautiful weddings.  She has also outfitted several of our brides.

We asked Cassandra the following questions…

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What are some of the biggest misconceptions a bride has when starting to look for their wedding gown?
The biggest misconception that brides usually have when they are first starting out is that they are going to buy the wedding dress that they have always dreamed of or visioned themselves in on their wedding day. Most of the time, once they start to try on gowns in the particular the style they have always dreamed of, they find themselves not really liking it. They are usually surprised to find themselves falling in love with a dress that they never thought they would like or that they would wear for their wedding. We always try to cater to the bride’s needs, but typically tell them to keep an open mind when they are trying on gowns because they just might be pleasantly surprised.

What are some of the hottest trends you think are here to stay?
For sure the strapless gown is NOT going anywhere, it is very flattering on most body types and girls always gravitate to that style. I also think that the traditional ball gown or “princess” gown is also here to stay. It also looks great on most body types and that is a style that girls have always dreamed about for their wedding day.

Are there designs that you think may make a comeback?
Lace and surprisingly ruffles are definitely making a comeback and girls are LOVING it, especially the lace!! Also, a designer that we carry at The Wedding Studio, Steven Birnbaum, gains a lot of inspiration from the French designer Yves Saint Laurent, most famous for creating the classic tuxedo suite for women in the 1960’s. This season, Steven’s collection has been designed around the woman’s tuxedo. He does an excellent job taking elements of past traditions and bringing them into today’s bridal fashion. His designs definitely have a little bit of a classic retro look adding many things like skinny belts around the waist line and pockets in the gowns which might have been things you would have seen 50-60 years ago in bridal fashion.

How does a bride interweave something special or significant into their look, such as an heirloom?
Many brides will add an antique hair comb from their grandmother or great grandmother to be worn in conjunction with their veil. It is a beautiful and very sentimental piece to insert to their look and you can never go wrong mixing antique with modern. Bride’s could also add a broach to their gown (if it is a simple gown) or to their bouquet if they have the florist ribbon wrap the bottom. I have also seen brides carry their grandmother’s handkerchief or wear a family member’s veil. Any pieces such as those can easily be interweave into their look and if it is special to the bride, they will make it work.

What are some common mistakes a bride can make relative to her gown?
I would say the biggest mistake for brides and their gowns would be having a gown that is not fit properly. When a bride orders a dress at The Wedding Studio, we always take their measuments to get them to the closest size that the designer offers. However, between the time the bride orders the dress and when the dress comes in, the bride’s body could have possibly changed a bit (fluctuating in weight, etc). It is really important to see a seamstress after your gown is in to make sure the gown is truly fit to your body. Even if you don’t think you need many alterations, the seamstress still may be able to re-work some areas that you didn’t think of or give some helpful tips as to how to keep you comfortable. It is always a shame to see a bride on her wedding day who is pulling and tugging on her dress or who is so uncomfortable that they are miserable the whole day.

Is there a ‘right’ dress for each body type?
I am not so sure if there is a “right” dress for each body type, but I think it is important for a bride to try on all different types of styles to see what fits her body type and personality best. That is why we encourage brides to try on a lot at first because what may look good on one girl, may not look good on another.

Isn’t it best to try to match your gown to the venue?
Yes, but more importantly the gown needs to match the affair. If you are having a black tie wedding, then you would definitely need a formal gown to match same as if you were having a very casual outdoor wedding. However, you could be having a less than formal cocktail wedding reception at a very formal hotel or venue. In that case, you wouldn’t necessarily need to match the venue, you would want to match the “theme” of your wedding.

What are the best ways to preserve and clean a gown?
Take your gown to a dry cleaner that is certified in “wedding dress cleaning and preservation” or is a member of “the association of wedding gown specialists”. These cleaners will give your gown the best care you can find, offering MusuemCare preservation.

Why did you get into the wedding gown business?
I have been in the wedding/event business for the past 15 years doing both event and wedding planning, however in the past two years, I have just been focusing on brides which I have found to be my passion!! I love fashion, working with brides and catering to their needs, so going into the bridal boutique business was just a natural progression. The Wedding Studio has given me that platform to see so many beautiful brides, but more importantly, help them find the most important outfit they will ever wear; I LOVE THAT!!