Wedding Dress Lesson: Who Needs An Inspiration Notebook?

Sometimes all our clippings, idea boards and swatches can seem like our most important possessions. But in fact, the heart and soul of your wedding is not among your bookmarks, pins, or inspiration notebooks.  My wedding dress was made by a creative, talented woman who basically took the ideas right out of my head. She asked me to pull some photos from magazines, and boy did I! I had a thick reference file all set to go. But at the airport, waiting for my plane to fly home to Chicago to meet her, I realized my treasured idea binder was on my vanity.

My airport wedding dress inspiration photos, and my first fabric swatch.
My airport wedding dress inspiration photos, and my first fabric swatch.

I had to start over. I hit the airport newsstand and picked up whatever random bridal mag they had, and started sorting through ideas on the plane. I found myself drawn to a dresses i never would have pulled out a week before- covered with ruffles? touch of color? I went with it it and told Julia my designer who ran with it. I got a tailored top with gorgeous ruffled skirt covered in hydrangea blossoms.  I don’t know what my dress would have looked like if I had brought the “right” pictures. All I know is that even without my precious design notebook, I knew myself and I trusted the person I hired. And I can’t imagine having worn anything else.

The beautiful final product
The beautiful final product

Karma, Fate, Destiny…with your wedding vendors. Embrace it!

In Chicago over the holiday weekend, while waiting for a table at Hyde Park‘s Original Pancake House, my family and I bumped into the wonderful and talented Julia Needlman, of Julia Needlman Custom Couture, the woman who made my custom wedding gown. It was wonderful to see her (and her mother – my nursery school teacher) and have her meet my husband. Somehow it felt very much like things came full circle.

Meeting Julia was almost a magical experience.  She saw inside my head, and pulled out what I wanted my wedding dress to look like.  Sitting in her studio talking, I forgot I hadn’t known her forever.  She made the process feel organic, and very special.  Some girls may want the whole Kleinfeld “Say Yes To The Dress” experience, but having visited one bridal shop with mom and mom-in-law in tow, I felt something else was more to my liking.  And Julia felt right.  So seeing her again, was like fate.  Goodness knows I had talked about her nonstop, and now Stephen got to meet her, and we got to catch up…it was just a lovely moment.

Julia's brilliant dressmaking in action under the huppah

So.  Flash forward a year.  Are you going to be delighted to run into people who worked on your wedding?  Do you feel connected to your vendors?  It’s important to have that meeting of the minds – and yes, hearts, with the people who make your wedding day tick.  Memories aren’t made to keep to yourself, you want to share them with everyone who had a part in making your dream a reality. Make sure your vendors are people you want to be in those memories, and to share them with!

Be well, and love well.


PS – Speaking of “Say Yes To The Dress,” don’t forget that “Randy to the Rescue” will premiere on TLC on June 15th starring my brilliant hairstylist Paul Norton! (oh yeah – and that Randy guy too).

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