Kristin + Grean’s courtyard wedding in Pasadena, was a classic and elegant affair. Amidst historic architecture of the Caltech Athanaeum, you would never believe today’s featured couple could have gone with plan B on account of rain only an hour before the ceremony. But bless Kristin and her optimism and commitment to enjoy her special day no matter what…she knew the weather would clear up in time, and it did! I love that and a solid affirmation for all brides: no matter what happens, enjoy!
Kristin + Grean | September 30, 2012 | Caltech Athenaeum, Pasadena, CA | Dress Listing: Amy Kuschel, Radiance
Even though it never rains in Los Angeles in September, it started raining a little bit, an hour or so before the wedding. Everyone began to panic, except, strangely, me. I had decided that, no matter what happened that day, I was going to enjoy it. People tried to convince me to move the wedding indoors, but I just knew it was going to be outside and it was going to be fine. And it was. We had the ceremony, standing between majestic columns in the historic architecture of the Caltech Athanaeum, and the sky was perfectly dramatic and dry. I asked my best friend to read an excerpt written by Thich Nhat Hahn, from a book entitled “True Love.” The reading ended with, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside, but also inside.”
After the wedding, people gathered in the courtyard, and the string quartet played a beautiful set. Everyone drank wine and snacked hors d’oeuvres. I believe we made our announced entrance as man and wife, although those things always feel a little overly formal to me. The main thing I remember was that I had so much fun. I loved seeing all of my friends from such different eras of my life together all in one place. I must say honestly, I received so many compliments on my dress that I did feel like a beautiful bride.
Kristin’s Dress Search
I began my search intending to buy a much less expensive dress, and I went to Nordstrom’s without even an appointment, just to start the process of looking and get an idea of what was out there. I quickly discovered that salespeople take weddings very seriously! After trying on a number of dresses, I began to realize how important it was to me to have a beautiful dress that was really unique, special and truly elegant. After all, this would hopefully be an experience I would only ever have once in my life! I wanted the look to be sexy but classy and effortless. I wanted to wear the dress, rather than the dress wearing me. I thought the best dress should bring out a woman’s natural beauty. After much frustration and unsuccessful shopping, I went to Amy Kuschel and tried on their store examples. I knew immediately that I was going to buy a dress there. The fabric was incredible, the seams flowed in a way that was very flattering to the figure and yet elegant, and the quality was undeniable.
How Kristin Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Radiant, Joyous, Elegant.
Why Kristin Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
It’s a pity for a dress that beautiful to only be worn once and spend a lifetime packed away. If I had known that this website existed, I probably would have gotten my dress here, but now, at least someone else can enjoy it.
Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel, Radiance | Photography: David Frey | Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Caltech Athenaeum |Event Planning: Today’s Featured Bride with assistance from Dior Chase from the Caltech Athenaeum | Floral Design: Ixora Floral Studio | Cake: Patticakes
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Sexy, Sophisticated, Comfortable. Not only is this a great way for today’s featured bride to feel in her Jenny Packham gown, Laurel, but a truly apt description for Amy + Brent’s intimate ‘Palm Springs Chic’ wedding. I love Amy’s whole look (and Brent’s too for that matter)…her side-swept locks compliment the flowy ivory chiffon front of her dress. And the crystal embellished straps are an awesome focal point; or as Amy points out ‘the straps across the back take this dress to another level.’ Agreed!
Amy + Brent | November 7, 2013 | The Le Meridien Parker Palm Springs | Dress Listing: Jenny Packham, Laurel
We were married outdoors on the Croquet Lawn at the Parker. It was a very intimate ceremony with only 18 guests. I wanted to keep it simple yet “Palm Springs Chic”. So instead of the usual lining the aisle with rose petals I had the florist spread the petals where we would stand. There were some lovely olive trees at the reception but I wanted to elevate the look a bit by hanging some mid century modern swag lights from the trees which I rented here in LA at a local prop house. I also didn’t like the usual option of rolled cones to hold the toss petals. So I decided to make my own by using the plastic strawberry baskets you get at farmers markets and spray paint them gold.
Since we were only 20 people total I didn’t think it made sense to have the traditional reception in a banquet room with a dj. So instead we had a lovely cocktail hour outdoors near the ceremony which included passed hors d’oeuvres, a full bar and signature cocktail which was a French 77 (champagne, St. Germain and lemon juice). For dinner I rented out the private dining room within the hotel at the restaurant called Mister Parkers. The room was dark and swanky with a rat pack vibe, which was perfect for our intimate group. I think almost everyone gave a speech and cried at one point. I wanted to go simple/elegant with the cake so I used a vintage drink tray that I had for the cake tray and had the pastry chef just dust the rim of each layer with gold. Since our furry friends couldn’t be there we decided to use a set of Jonathan Adler (who also designed the hotel) salt and pepper shakers in the shape of two cats as our cake toppers, we also now have a great souvenir from our wedding to use at home!
Amy ‘s Dress Search
Originally I didn’t want a traditional white wedding dress at all. Knowing how small our wedding was going to be and the style of the hotel we were getting married at I was searching for an elegant champagne or silver colored evening gown, something you would see on the red carpet. But in order make my mom happy I went to a few bridal stores to just try some dresses on. The Jenny Packham Laurel dress was the 3rd dress I tried on and I knew it was the one. The shape was so simple and clean but it had the crystals at the shoulders and on the straps which made it elegant and the open back made it just sexy enough.
How Amy Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Sexy, Sophisticated, Comfortable.
Why Amy Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I decided to sell my dress because it is just to beautiful to be boxed up and put away forever, never to be worn again. It’s also wasteful! I want someone else to be able to wear this dress on her special day and feel the same way I did.
Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham, Laurel | Photographer: Steven Lam | Ceremony Venue: Le Meridien Parker Palm Springs | Reception Venue: Mister Parker’s at Le Meridien Parker Palm Springs | Event Planning: Today’s Featured Bride | Floral Design: Mary Kass at Jensen’s Florist | Cake: Mister Parker’s
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Oh my goodness, this Susannah gown from Johanna Johnson is stunning! Delicate antique gold French hand-beaded lace from the shoulders down the back, feminine capped-sleeves, dramatic and totally gorgeous low back, all in a sultry, ivory satin sheath silhouette. Wow. And the setting for such a swoon worthy gown? An intimate, destination-wedding in Tuscany, Italy. Oh my goodness, indeed. Congrats to Karen + Christian and thanks for sharing!
Karen + Christian | September 21, 2013 | Tuscany, Italy | Dress Listing: Johanna Johnson, Susannah
The Ceremony + Reception
We wanted a small wedding (50 people) and decided a destination-wedding weekend would be ideal. We loved the idea of all of our friends & family spending the weekend hanging out with us and getting to know each other. We had a friend who grew up near this amazing villa – Antica Villa Poggitazzi located 50 minutes from Florence, Italy.
Karen’s Dress Search
My girlfriend knew my taste and recommended two very specific designers, one being Johanna Johnson. I was lucky enough to go to Sydney, Australia and try on her dresses (they now have her dresses in New York!) and fell in love with the Susannah. My personality did not fit the Cinderella dress type (strapless, poofy gowns) and I wanted something to flatter my figure and stand out.
How Karen Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Classic, Unique and Beautiful.
Why Karen Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I am not very sentimental and would rather sell my gown to someone else who can put it to good use. I actually looked for a used wedding gown myself but could not find a Johanna Johnson dress in my size since she is not very well known.
Wedding Dress: Johanna Johnson, Susannah | Photography: SEGwayPhotoSF | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Antica Villa Poggitazzi, Tuscany, Italy | Event Planning: Sal Garcia & Paolo Fenili | Floral Design + Cake: Antica Villa Poggitazzi
See all of our wedding dresses by Johanna Johnson…
Chances are, if you find yourself reading this article, you’ve begun the search for your wedding gown. Welcome to this fun journey! Of course, hunting for the perfect wedding gown can seem overwhelming and exhausting at times, so we’ve drawn up a handy guide with tips on how to find your dream wedding dress. From where to begin before you set foot in a wedding gown boutique to what to do once you’ve found the gown (SPOILER: stop looking!) we’ve got you covered!
Determine Your Bridal Style
Before you dive into the white sea of tulle, you might find it useful to just spend time thinking about what is important to you in your wedding gown and asking some questions. What style or designers appeal keep you coming back for a second look? What materials, length and even color do you like? Think too about your style personality. From The Romantic to The Siren, this post on different wedding dress personalities is a great tool to get you started.
Knowing the time of day and venue style for your wedding will also help guide your dress style.
Set a Budget
Early on in the search is a great time to set a budget for your wedding dress, before emotions get involved. There’s a dress for every budget, but don’t tempt yourself by trying dresses on that are outside of yours. Keep in mind too that many dresses go on to a second life and are resold to a new bride, just like here on PreOwnedWeddingDresses! It’s a great way to recoup some of your cash (or save upfront) and still enjoy an amazing bridal style.
Maybe you’re not sure what your dream wedding dress looks like, so get inspired! Check out the PreOwnedWeddingDresses boards on Pinterest to get your fill of wedding dresses and start a wedding dress board for yourself. We’re always pinning something pretty, in all silhouettes, styles and budgets. Watch to see the trends or patterns that emerge from your Pins….and you’ll see your bridal style come to life.
Time to Try: Inside the Salon
Make appointments at bridal salons as needed, six to nine months out from your wedding date, if possible. Weekends are the busiest times, but most bridal salons will have one night they are open late to work around your schedule. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes at the height you are thinking you might like to wear on your wedding day. Some salons suggest you wear a strapless bra to trials, but don’t buy a bra specifically for your wedding gown until you begin the fitting and alterations process. Don’t know your ballgowns from trumpets? Getting savvy on wedding dress silhouettes and shapes will educate you on the differences and make you feel like a pro.
Who (and What) to Bring
Gather a list key bridal party members, excited confidantes and trusted fashion advisors you’d like to bring along, but tailor the list to a select few. Opinions are important, but too many cooks in the kitchen might cause confusion not clarity.
Make a day of your salon visits and combine the trip with a hair trial or spa day beforehand so you feel and look your best. Keep makeup to a minimum as it can damage the gowns, but wearing your hair like you think you’ll want it on your wedding day will help you envision the walk down the aisle.
Keep an Open Mind
Most importantly during the process, stay open minded. Bridal consultants are experienced professionals who can suggest what works best for certain body types and figures. Countless brides will tell you the dress they loved most was the one they were reluctant to even try on.
Visualizing alterations is important too. If all that separates a dress from your dream gown is sleeves or a certain neckline, they may be added or changed. The same goes for detailing like beading, crinolines and crystals, which often can be added (or removed) as well.
How to Know When It’s Your Dress
You just will. Monique Lhuillier says when you find the dress “it sings to you.” You’ll feel your most beautiful, and look it too.
When You’ve Found the Gown
Once you’ve found the dress and put a deposit down – stop doing everything above! Be confident in your choice, and revel in the fact that that luxurious, delicious dress you found will be on hand to help you look amazing on your wedding day, perfectly tailored to your gorgeous curves. Sleep easy knowing this happy part of wedding planning is now complete!