A bride smiles on her wedding day
Tips For Finding Your Wedding Day Style from Avant-Garde Gown Designer Claire Pettibone
22 May 2014 •3 min read
From bohemian and punk rock gowns to feminine and floral-focused frocks, wedding gown designer Claire Pettibone creates dresses with all types of brides in mind. With more than 10 years of experience in the industry, Claire has seen it all! Whether you're looking to stand out on your wedding day or planning to go the traditional route, Claire Pettibone has tips for finding your perfect dress.
Loverly: From the Rock N' Roll Bride Collection to the Wedding Cake Collection, we love that your dresses suit so many different types of brides! What advice do you have for brides trying to find their personal wedding style?
Claire Pettibone: I urge brides to think about what they like in real life. Do you hike or eat organic foods? Do you love flowers and candles? Maybe you're really into a particular type of music, art, or food. Any of these things can be a starting point! Gather your interests and see if this sparks some inspiration for your wedding gown.
If a bride doesn't know what she's looking for in a dress, what guidance do you give her? How do you help her navigate the options?
Once you've defined your overall wedding style and narrowed down your list of venues, the search for the gown begins. The web is the best place to gather inspiration and images of the dresses, designers, silhouettes, and fabrics you are drawn to. Be sure to look for a style that isn't necessarily trendy, but really speaks to the fundamental qualities that have always been "you." Of course, you also have to consider how the dress will accentuate your body type. The goal is always to make you look your personal best, but I love it when a bride also has an emotional connection to her gown. It makes her not only look beautiful but also feel amazing. More and more brides are choosing to go bold on the big day.
How are you seeing brides break free from the classic wedding mold?
Brides are much more defined in their own style and in charge of the decision process. Years ago, mothers practically insisted on selecting their daughter's gown, whereas now, moms are absolutely involved, but more in a supportive role rather than imposting their own wishes. (Yay, moms!) A wedding is such a beautiful opportunity to express who you are as a couple, and when you choose to interpret traditions, styles, and details that genuinely mean something to you, it is a delight for your guests to experience as well. They are really getting a sense of who this couple is, and not just a cookie-cutter idea of a "wedding." We're seeing so many florals this season, from prints to lace.
How should a bride accessorize a floral gown? What type of bouquet should she carry? What should her hair and makeup look like?
You know flowers are my favorite, and a constant inspiration. If your dress is classic white or ivory, a burst of color in your bouquet is gorgeous. If you've got color in your gown, you could either choose even more vibrant tones to compliment, or go the opposite with all ivory flowers for contrast. As for hair and make-up, soft, tousled, and feminine looks lovely with a floral gown. For makeup, I recommend petal- or berry-stained lips, a soft blush, and beautiful lashes. For hair, gentle curls, a side swept, slightly-undone chignon, or a loose braid looks best.
Florals and spring go hand-in-hand, but can brides wear flowery gowns in other season?
I think flowers are always in season for a wedding, so that goes for the gown as well. You are the bride and this is a chance to be utterly feminine and romantic in your choice of gown -- no matter the time of year. Is there one gown in your collection that most embodies you and your personal style? Amaryllis might be my choice if I were to choose a gown for myself. It has elaborate detailing with a vintage boho vibe, and I love a pretty sleeve.
To shop more of Claire Pettibone's gorgeous gowns, visit her website