About Bride Chic
The brief city hall ceremony or ‘champagne wedding
’ is every bit as significant as the formal wedding planned months ahead. City hall weddings are ideal for couples who don't want to bother with juggling florists, caterers, bands and wedding planners
. No longer considered the spontaneous events they once were, civil ceremonies are going through new approval and popularity. And in the case of the opulant San Francisco City Hall
- you get the use of a palace for half an hour or so for the price of the marriage license and officiant. Now that's a real bargain!
Realize if you go with this simple a ceremony, you might be dressing yourself differently than the traditional bride. Any color or length is fine as long as you look good in it and feel special. Realize though you’ll be dressing for a lifetime of shared memories, so it’s worth the effort to opt for a few ‘bride’ touches here and there.
For brides bypassing the ‘all out’ bash for this brief and private gathering, below are some ideas for putting together the type look you want.
: Well above the knee; a light-hearted and playful length.
Just Above the Knee
: Popular length for the casual bride. Ideal for suits and cocktail dresses
Just Below the Knee
: Another great length for a suit or cocktail dress. Proportion flatters many figure types and a range of ages.
: full skirt falling just above the ankles. Sometimes worn with tulle petticoats.
: Irregular hemline falling diagonally.
: Another irregular hemline that falls to a point, more a treatment than length as the longest point usually falls anywhere from the knee down. Typically in sheer fabrics like chiffon. Very chic and in now.
: An inch or two above the floor.
: Yes, this is a good choice for an informal wedding as long as the dress
is simple in its cut, doesn’t have a great deal of volume in the skirt or train extending beyond the heels. Picture a slip dress or tailored suit.
: Elegant in floor length; chic in shorter versions. White wool
is most striking especially on winter brides. An ideal look for the night time or hotel wedding, especially with a hat.
A-line or Princess
: Flatters most figure types. It’s fitted through the bodice and can have a slight to moderate flare in the skirt.
: Fitted through the bodice and skirt. Go just above or below the knee and you have Audrey Hepburn’s dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (think white though)—perfect for a cocktail reception.
: As in slip dress. Add some delicate beading or hand painting and this makes for another cocktail wedding knock-out. Again, any length is great for this style. Try a short veil or pouf of netting as a headpiece.
: Fitted in the bust and flared below. Wear a mini in this silhouette and you have a Baby Doll cut. Longer styles in the empire lean to a more elegant 1930s look, particularly styles with asymmetrical or handkerchief hemlines.
: A natural waistline atop a full skirt. Dior claimed fame to the Hourglass in 1947 once restrictions were taken off fabric. Now can you picture it? Those French Models in fashion lay-outs with wasp waistlines atop full skirts? A beautiful silhouette in any length.
: A more relaxed version of the Hourglass— a classic and tailored look, usually with billowing sleeves. Can be made out of lightweight fabrics like organza, chiffon and crepe, as well as mediumweights like linen. Nice for a garden reception, especially with a wide-brimmed hat.
Now that you have some idea of what your dress
can look like, finally, a word about the groom
. For an informal wedding your groom can wear anything stylish from his best suit to something more laid-back like a navy sport coat or silk shirt and khakis. Clothing here follows the simplicity of the celebration, and one of the most important things you and your groom need keep in mind is, informal weddings are brief and the attire though stylish and even elegant, is never ultra formal. War brides of the 1940s had swift weddings with quick preparation out of necessity. Today couples are fortunate. The informal wedding is a choice having more to do with lifestyle and many times the belief, less is more…
Photography: Shelah Osbrink
aka digital She
Gowns: Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture
Makeup and hair: Christal Saville
Venue: San Francisco City Hall
Models: Jocelyn, Ashton and Tejel