Tag Archives: bridal party

Do You Take This Dress?

I got married 27 years ago, but weddings still enchant me. Preferring to get my fix unfiltered, I skip most reality TV bridal shows, but occasionally catch Say Yes to the Dress. I lived in New York as a single girl, and the story of Kleinfeld, the store at which the television show is set, was legendary, but for different reasons than it is today. Founded in 1941, the original shop was located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. As I heard it, the building was only open to the public on weekends, when the elevator was not in service. The bride, her bridal party, her mother and sometimes grandmother would have to trudge up numerous flights of stairs in search of the perfect dress.

In 2005, Kleinfeld moved to more sumptuous quarters in Manhattan.They hired my old boss, Frank Jedda, to run their new men’s division. Many years ago, Frank and his wife, Stella, owned an elegant and expensive men’s shop called FrankStella. I began working there while studying English at Hunter College. Frank was warm, funny and generous. As a full time student who only worked Fridays and Saturdays, he knew I sometimes fell short of cash by the end of the week.“Ethbay,” (he always called us by nicknames) Frank would quietly ask, “Do you need some money for lunch?”

Stella worked with me every Saturday. She was the older sister I should have had. She was there the day I met my husband–who, I later discovered, walked into the store after seeing me through the shop’s window.

“I want to buy this tie but it has a snag in it,” he told me. Arthur left the store several hundred dollars poorer, carrying a bag of expensive shirts, ties and my phone number. As we watched him cross 56th Street and fold into the crowd, Stella said, “That’s the one you are going to marry.”

“Don’t be silly,” I said. “You know I am not getting married.” She was right of course. A year and a half later, we tied the knot.

bethherman4At 24, I had no idea who I was. But like any good graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, I had a vague sense of what I wanted to look like as a bride.White was good. Anything traditional or bride-like was not. I tried on silk pants with camisoles, beaded evening wear, and classic white suits. I finally decided on a tea length dress from the department store Bonwit Teller. It had a tight bodice, illusion lace sleeves, and a polka dot tiered lace skirt. A pill box hat with a bow and netted veil completed the ensemble.

New York has changed a lot since the lovely August day when Arthur and I were wed. Bonwit Teller closed in 1990. Frank and Stella split, and the store sold. Garvin’s, the Greenwich Village restaurant where we took our vows and celebrated the future, shuttered its doors. But I still have my dress. Festive and chic, it was the perfect outfit in which to start our wonderful marriage.

Beth Herman is an artist, painter and essayist based in Charlottesville. She enjoys running with her husband every morning, home renovations, and oil painting. Visit her website www.bearpainter.com to view her artwork. You can also find stories from Beth in each issue of Bella Magazine. Go pick up your copy today!

Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

Your bridesmaids have been there through thick and thin. Every time you were stressed. Every time you needed to vent about bad service, your slow-growing hair, or (gasp!) your almost in-laws– they have let you have your say and assured you that in the end, it will all work out. Let them know how much you appreciate them by putting some thought in to their gifts. In addition to individual personalization (check out our Pinterest for ideas), consider splurging a little for your best friends. Here are some ideas for a gift they will enjoy and remember for years to come:

Put together a gift basket: 

VAN_CANDLE__02220_1391360474_451_416MSC Skin Care + Home has a variety of gifts for everyone in your wedding party. We love their soy candles. In addition to the benefits of using 100% pure soy wax, they offer many unique scent combinations like Bourbon Vanilla and Oak, Ginger and Vanilla, Agave Nectar and Green Tea and more! Their impressive skin care line includes moisturizers, exfoliating scrubs, lip creams, herbal spa soaks– everything you need to gift the gift of a DIY spa experience. They also offer products for men– just in case you end up buying gifts for the groomsmen as well!

tuberose_body_creme_copy_web_1Your girls will love Kat Burki’s Signature Body Creme. The packaging is beautiful on its own, so you will not need to waste any time wrapping it. Additionally, the quick absorbing, ultra-rich creme offers long-lasting hydration with Tamanu and Jojoba Oils while a proprietry organic herb blend works to calm and soothe skin. It is available in four signature fragrances: Tuberose, Freesia & Pink Grapefruit, White Orchid & Poppy, and Lilac & Rosemary. Go to Kat’s website for more information and to purchase a few for your friends!

Day or Weekend Trips:

Take a spur of the moment adventure together to a place that is an easy driving distance from your home. The distance gives you a little flexibility for those that cannot spend the whole weekend away. The Floyd Artisan Tour, from June 14-16, is perfect for those who desire the option for many different activities but do not want to travel out of state. The three day tour features over 50 locations across Floyd County with activities at artisan home studios, galleiries and shops, wineries, farms and farm markets, restaurants, and lodging sites. Some of these stops will offer specials, discounts, or complimentary items to tour visitors. Check out their website for more information.

Pick up our June { celebrations!! } issue of Bella Magazine for more gift ideas for your wedding party and the newlyweds!


Pinterest Inspired

Despite what you may have been led to believe, you do not have to spend $10,000 on your wedding day to make it perfect. Our June issue is full of ideas to cut costs and still host the best celebration your guests will attend this year! Pick up your copy today, and look for our article on Pinterest inspired ideas that will add an inexpensive but personal touch to your wedding!

The traditional cake topper may not appeal to you. Visit www.etsy.com for many shops with unique cake toppers. MeltingPotLove has several to fit almost every couple’s needs. If you do not see a cake topper that matches you and your spouse-to-be, they can create one just for you!

weddingpartyweddingparty1Plan ahead for your “Thank You” cards. Use your family and friends to create memorable photos and cards you can send to guests. Obviously, you are going to want to send them (unless you never want a thank you card or gift for any other occasion). Ask your wedding party to hold letters in one of your photos that spell the words, “Thank you.” Many photographers will let you use the image on websites like Shutterfly to print your cards. (Just remember, ask first!)

Think outside of the box for wedding party gifts. Pinterest has plenty of DIY ideas, but you can also check out Etsy.com for so many wonderful gifts for your loved ones. In addtion to being reasonably priced, they are already made!

wineforawedding1For any member of the wedding party, or for the bride and groom themselves, consider a personalized wine box from Wine for a Wedding. These boxes are perfect to celebrate any occasion, and you can have a special message engraved on the inside of the lid. You even have the option of ordering a bottle of wine to include in the box! They can create a box just for you by incorporating your photos, invitations, specific monograms, or a completely custom design to fit your needs. Visit their website to place your order. Watch our Facebook page this week for a chance to win a wine box of your very own!


We are constantly pinning new ideas to our Pinterest boards. Follow us, and stay updated on the latest wedding DIY projects, gifts for your family, and more!