“Wish Upon a Wedding is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization that provides weddings and vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. Often, couples facing such situations do not have the energy, time, money, or resources needed to plan their wedding. Our organization takes care of all the details, offering couples a chance to relax and enjoy a very special day while surrounded by the love of their closest family and friends.” -www.wishuponawedding.org
When I originally came up with this idea, it was solely to benefit Wish Upon a Wedding. However, given the recent disaster in Japan, I am aware that some viewers might want to donate their funds toward relief efforts. Well, thanks to Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours, the wedding and event blogging world is coming together to support For Japan With Love. “For Japan With Love has a direct link on the website to our fundraising page for ShelterBox. ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.” -http://www.utterlyengaged.com/please-help-for-japan-with-love-update/
In addition, I am participating (along with many other bloggers), in the Bloggers Day of Silence on Friday, March 18th where there will be no blog posts for that day to honor the memory of those who perished in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and those displaced and devastated by the events that occurred in Japan. On that day I will light a candle at sunrise and will pray on the hour every hour until sunset. If you are another blogger reading this, I hope you will participate and spread the word.
No matter where you direct your donation, be it Wish Upon a Wedding or For Japan With Love, you will be making a difference in the lives of those facing life’s most difficult of circumstances. If you are unable to donate monetarily, your thoughts and prayers will truly touch the hearts and lives of those affected. I send my thoughts, prayers, and strength to those affected by such life altering circumstances.
While I am a volunteer with Wish Upon a Wedding and a participant with For Japan With Love, Parties by Kristen is not affiliated with Wish Upon a Wedding or For Japan With Love in any other capacity and is not an official representative of Wish Upon a Wedding or For Japan With Love. In addition, Parties by Kristen is not affiliated with Etsy or the vendors featured and is not an official representative of Etsy or of each of these vendors. I am simply a fan of these artists/vendors and a volunteer with a passion for what I do and for organizations I have chosen to donate my time and finances to. I have sought permission from each and every vendor featured to use their products and their photos. Please do not use these photos for personal gain or copy the designs presented. These products are the livelihood, passion, and intellectual property of each artist and to copy these items or to use them for person gain is both illegal and unethical.
We begin the show with the item many purchase or seek first when first becoming engaged, Bridal Gowns. Each post has a little bit about the vendor, actual feedback from one of the vendor’s customers, and then a slide show displaying the best of their wares. Each slide show is linked to the vendor’s Etsy shop via Slide.com.
Our first designer is Michi ofToccata. “Your dream wedding dress done just the way you’ve always envisioned it to be. Just send me a convo and I will show you how easy it is. I have been designing and creating exquisite wedding dresses for eighteen years now. Here at Toccata, exquisitely designed and handcrafted pieces marry the incredible couture experience online.” “ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY BOLERO! Will wear this with so much pride at my wedding. Michi was friendly, answered all my questions and has produced the most stunning bolero I have ever seen. THANK YOU!”
Next, we have Upoppy who’s favorite artist is Gustav Klimt. “I think that the dress speaks for itself–the talent, workmanship, attention to detail, pride that clearly went into making it. And although I had the pleasure of wearing this gorgeous dress to mark one of the best days of my life, what I will remember most about the dress itself is the process of working with someone so genuine, visionary, skilled, gracious and a true pleasure to communicate with. Designing this dress with Val was truly one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences I had during my wedding planning–this process makes the dress truly precious. All I can say is: imagine it and Val will work tirelessly, enthusiastically and mutually to make it real and beautiful.”
Here we have Ellana Couture. “We are a small group of designers dedicated to creating unique, elegant, and interesting ladies apparel that showcase the beauty of fabric, such as naturally luxurious silks and quality laces.” “I received the dress today and have to tell you that it is PERFECT! I mean GORGEOUS! Looks like it was custom made for me. The first time I tried it on was driving from the post office to my seamstress and I put it on and we both looked at it and decided that nothing whatsoever needed to be done. I am so impressed beyond words. The fabric is rich and the brooches are great too. Thank you for your expediency and craftsmanship, it is more lovely than I could have possibly imagined.”
Tova of Wedding Dress Fantasy has this to say about herself and her shop. “I’m a professional bridal gown designer and the owner of WeddingDressFantasy.com. My bridal salon, Couture De Bride, was voted BEST BRIDAL SALON in 2010’s “BEST OF BERGEN” in 201 Magazine. I create custom wedding dresses in over 50 colors. I work out of my bridal showroom in Teaneck, NJ where I design all of my gowns. On the lower level is my workroom where my dressmakers and I cut patterns and sew many fabulous wedding gowns for our beautiful brides…I love unique and non-traditional styles, so feel free to send me ideas of what you want. I can even create Medieval Wedding Dresses, Renaissance Wedding Dresses, Gothic Wedding Dresses, Pinup Wedding Dresses, Vintage Inspired Wedding Dresses, Tea Length Wedding Dresses and so much more.” “I love my wedding dress–it’s absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to wear it. Tova is exceptionally skilled and it’s clear she dedicated herself to creating this piece perfectly. I am so thankful that I found her.”
Our next artist takes us across the pond (at least for my US readers). Ruby Noir states that An English Affair is, “a collection of handmade design from U.K independent designers. The collection of beautiful knits, vintage and accessories are beautiful” “Not only is her product completely beautiful and professionally done, she goes way above and beyond to make her customers happy! Even though the mail system was backed up (and not in her control) she booked a special DHL delivery to ensure I got my bolero in time for a wedding I needed it for. I have never worked with someone so willing to make her customers so completely happy! I will definitely use her over and over again!”
Ieie’s Dress Shop has a great selection of traditional bridal gowns and a few not so traditional. She also can design and make a custom creation for you unlike any other. In addition to “I am here to create your perfect wedding gown! If you’re one of those brides who have fallen in love with 2 or more wedding gowns or simply can’t find anything in the stores, contact me to discuss a dress customized not only in your size, but also in design, to reflect your personal taste!” “This dress is absolutely beautiful! Wendy did such an amazing job and took photos along the process and kept me up to date with how she was, sometimes random “hellos” and completion and shipping information. ABSOLUTE DOLL!!! I loved working with Wendy and she really does have a special talent for bringing to life a photo or a recreation of an actual dress. I’ll be posting a photo soon (within a few weeks after the Ball) so please keep and eye out. I had a custom dress made to mirror (with Wendy’s touch) Camilla Belle’s YSL dress worn at the Metropolitan Opera Gala Premiere. Stunning!!!” Ieie is offering free domestic shipping: use the code KSRAVEN.
Our next artists are KMK Designs. “We are a mother daughter collaboration, based is Stillwater, MN with over 35 years experience who love creating alternative wear.” “The dress is amazing!!! It’s very flattering, gives me curves, and makes me look like I actually have a rear end.. which I sooo don’t. 😉 I love how the corset has a zipper.. it made it so much easier for me to try it on while I was by myself. The sleeves are gorgeous.. just the feel I was going for! And the way you re-purposed my mother’s wedding veil… breathtaking!!! I can’t thank you enough! I really took a leap of faith having a dress made across the county, but I made the right choice 100 times over. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who laid hands on my dress!… Pictures will follow as I can manage to get them… And then again from the wedding in Scotland just as soon as possible. 🙂 ~Beth.”
Next on our show, Ting Bridal. “TingBridal is a US home based studio owned by myself, Ting, and my beautiful little sister Jojo, we focus on making dresses and accessories for brides who are looking for something a little more special and custom than what you can find from many bridal retailers. Many of our brides have a destination, outdoor, or some other non-traditional wedding, and they want the dress, jewelry, or vail to be just as special. We like to use organic and natural material, such as 100% silk, cotton, as well as vintage lace and fabric from vintage wedding gowns.” “Ting was a pleasure to work with. The dress is absolutely gorgeous, the perfect length, the perfect poofyness, the perfect balance of sexy and fun!!! Came wrapped up in a dress bag secured with a satin ribbon… it was almost too cute to open. The craftsmanship of the garment is fabulous, fits true to her sizing chart she provided, had the perfect thickness of built in padding/cups. I could go on and on about how wonderful this transaction was!!! I am so excited to wear this at my wedding this July!”
Next we have Cupid’s Arrow. Cupid’s Arrow features one of a kind vintage gowns and accessories and was recently launched to separate their growing Bridal Dept. away from their other Etsy shop: Lipstick Whiskey. “We are two sisters in law married to Brothers. We share a love of all things Vintage, especially wedding. Together we have worked to bring you the most beautiful Vintage pieces and hope to pass on a timeless tradition with the purchase of one of our unforgettable Gowns.”
Here we have La Costurera. “La Costurera specializes in Bespoke Bridal Gowns, Tailored Silk Suits, Evening & Prom Wear, Swarovski Crystal Tiaras, Fascinators & a range of individually designed jewelery as well as a new ’boutique’ range of clothing.” “This is a beautiful and well made lace jacket and my teenage daughter loves it! Great communication – seller is very responsive and easy to work with. Thanks again!”
Next, we have Sash Couture. “Sash Couture provides customers with the opportunity to design their own dresses and the chance to own an item of clothing that is truly unique and suited to their tastes. Shauna’s World was founded in July 2008 by the Austrian entrepreneur, Dagmar Klosenski and lounged into “SASH COUTURE” in 2010 with 2 new dressmakers on board: Beverly and Bonnie.” “After looking for months for a dress that would fit my casual and simple wedding day, I started looking on Etsy and found shaunasworld’s. I fell in love with their dresses and placed an order for my own. They were a pleasure to work with and everything was done in a timely manner! The dress is incredibly well made and fits perfectly. I love my dress! shaunasworld has created a beautiful and unique dress that will fit my day perfectly! Thank you!!”
Our next Etsy artist/shop is Natural Bridals. “Morgan Boszilkov is the designer and owner of the Natural Bridal Collection, a new line of eco-friendly designer wedding gowns and accessories. The dresses and accessories are handcrafted with love in the United States, and 5% of profits are donated to environmental causes. Morgan uses sustainable fabrics and strives to apply green and socially responsible principles to all aspects of her business.” Morgan’s designs have been seen on/in: Bride and Bloom Magazine, Get Married Magazine, Brides New York Magazine, Brides Atlanta Magazine, CNN, TLC – winner of “Who are you wearing?” show, TheKnot.com, Skirt!, Daily Candy, InStyle, Utterly Engaged, StyleMePretty, Brides Chicago, Brides Southern California, and Southern Distinctions. http://naturalbridals.com
Next, is Bound by Obsession. “I take exceptional pride in every stitch that goes in to my corsets and clothing. I have put decades of research in to the patterns and construction. Every piece of fabric that I will work with has been specifically selected and all of the materials that go in to the construction are of the highest possible standard.” “I wish there was a double-plus awesome rating on Etsy. When I almost couldn’t get something in time for a themed wedding, Susan really came through! Her design was beautiful, imaginative and on budget. And despite customs delays and the vagaries of the US postal service, I got it in time. It is everything I wanted and more – well made, beautiful quality fabrics, and fits perfect. I will be back again many times I am sure.”
Here we have Retro Vintage Weddings “featuring Wedding Dresses & Bridal Gowns, Jewels, Accessories, Headpieces & Veils, Gloves & Bouquets, all Original or Vintage from every era! Everything a Bride planning a Vintage Inspired Wedding will need!” “I consider each client my personal work of art! Along with her Bridal Boutique, Paula also functions as a Wedding Florist & Bridal Stylist.”
Glam House says, “Every bride deserves the best and it is our goal to deliver one of a kind designs to our stylish haute brides.” I included the sashes here instead of in the Accessories category, because the sash becomes an integral part of a wedding dress and can transform the dress itself. “Extremely fast response on my questions and extremely fast shipping!!!! It’s even more beautiful than the pictures. I can’t wait to wear it on my wedding day!”
Our next vendor is Alex Bridal who specializes in hand-made wedding boleros, wedding jackets, wedding wraps and wedding capes. “Amazing!! This matched my wedding dress so perfectly, can’t imagine wearing it without this bolero, so many compliments. Last minute miracle!!”
Here we have Angels Bridal Boutique by Angela Vaden. Angela is currently taking orders for August submissions. In addition to her Etsy boutique, Angela maintains a website that not only features her gowns, but her photography as well: http://www.angelsbridalandphotography.com/. “Positive” is not even close to the rating you deserve! I absolutely LOVE the dress, it’s perfect in every way! Thank you SOOO much. I’d highly recommend you to ANY bride!”
Finally, we have Very Tres Chic, another shop owned by Paula of Retro Vintage Weddings. “Paula was attentive and kind. I had a ton of questions about this dress and she ensured that I understood exactly what I was getting and under which conditions. When the dress arrived, it was packaged beautifully and with a ton of care, just as a wedding dress should be. The dress itself is exactly as shown and easily alterable to my specifications, exactly as Paula said it’d be. Paula’s attention to detail, and her desire to see a bride happy, is exactly the reason the bar is set so high for me now in terms of Etsy sellers. I hope everyone has as good an experience as I did.” Be sure to visit the shop for Paula’s beautiful accessories as well as dresses in color if you are wanting to wear something other than white: http://www.etsy.com/listing/54384874/sale-1920s-inspired-red-beaded-flapper.
Thank you so much for participating in the Bridal Gown portion of the show. Tomorrow, it will be veils, hats, and hair accessories. Again, if you are able, please make a donation to either Wish Upon a Wedding or For Japan With Love.