The Reformed Bridesmaid

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reformation bridal isabel dress merlot - unique bridesmaid dress - elegant bridesmaid dress - alternative bridesmaid dress

Rejoice! Reformation has proved, once again, that bridesmaid dresses can be eco-friendly and elegant

I’ve been a huge fan of Reformation clothing for some time now. Not only are their fabrics eco-friendly (they use only repurposed vintage, deadstock and new, sustainably made materials), but they create some show-stopping pieces.

Their signature style can best be described as elegant bohemian, realized in whimsical maxi dresses, flirty skirts and hip outerwear. One would feel as at home in a Reformation frock galavanting in the East Village as she would grabbing drinks in Malibu.

Thankfully for all you ladies with a roster of newly engaged besties, Reformation has sunk its teeth into the wedding market. They recently released their second wedding collection which features a delicious assortment of bridesmaid dresses. The shapes are fresh and chic while simultaneously fitting the “timeless” bill required of wedding style, and they’re available in a palette of rich neutrals as well as several fun floral print options for the adventurous bride.

Best of all,  these gowns are  so darn beautiful that you’ll be tempted to purchase them even if you’re not in the wedding party! They are a tad pricy, however; Gowns start at $288.

Check out the full collection here and a few of my favs below…

reformation bridal isabel dress merlot - unique bridesmaid dress - elegant bridesmaid dress - alternative bridesmaid dress reformation bridesmaid isabel dress reformation last pic reformation bridesmaid dress isabel reformation bridesmaid wedding dress 2

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We made it to our second wedding anniversary!

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Hard to believe it’s been two years since we said “I do”

Chris and I were seated at an auspicious table for our anniversary dinner at Foreign Cinema last night; the diners there immediately before us, our server informed us, had been celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. “They were still smiling and making eyes at each other just like you two are!” she shared, clutching her heart to add, “They gave me hope!”

We sat at our lucky table with flutes of champagne, and reflected on what a crazy two years it has been. When we made the decision to start our marriage off with a big move out West, we had no idea just what an adventure it would be. Last year we struggled to acclimate to life in San Francisco (I talk about more about this here), and this year Chris walked away from his cush, stable job to follow his heart into the high risk start up world and co-found ePantry. Luckily, the hurdles, while trying at times, have brought us closer together rather than torn us apart.

I wish I could ask the  couple seated at the table before us what their secret to a long happy marriage was. I only have 730, well 731 as of today, days of marriage experience, but if I had to pinpoint one thing that has helped us stay connected over the past two tumultuous years, it would be having dinner together.

Sure there are social commitments and the odd work dinner, but as often as possible, we come together at night to break bread. Some nights we cook an elaborate meal and other nights we only  have time to heat up a couple of Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala frozen dinners (which are unexpectedly delicious!) before heading back to work. Regardless, making dinner an anchor of our day and of our relationship has proven invaluable.

We have no idea what our third year of marriage will bring, but we know that we’ll get through it together with food and laughter.

Still dancing after two years of marriage!
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The ultimate bridesmaid dress: Annabelle by Jenny Yoo for BHLDN

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bridesmaid dress - annabelle dress bhldnOne Dress. Infinite possibilities. Happy Bridesmaids.

I recently discovered BHLDN. Where was this site when I was planning my wedding?! From the big ticket items to the accent pieces you would otherwise be running to a dozen specialty stores to find, it has everything. Literally.

While browsing the site, I stumbled upon the Annabelle by Jenny Yoo–or, as I like to refer to it, the “ultimate bridesmaid dress.” The $260 price seems steep–until you look more closely at this aisle-sweeping, bias-cut, tulle frock. The skirt features two “ties” of fabric that can be pulled up over the bodice to create more than a dozen necklines.

One and done (tied a million different ways)

A single garment hasn’t flattered so many body types since The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! Ah, yes, Annabelle is a wondrous gown! Sometimes, she’s is sassy and one-shouldered, other times she’s sexy and strapless. You can dress her up for an elegant evening affair or down for romantic beach bash.

Hm, Annabelle? With so many mercurial mood changes and her penchant for being tied up, this frock is starting to sound more like Anastasia (née Steele)!

Between the eight color options and endless necklines variations, it’s impossible to get bored with Annabelle! Could this actually be a dress that your bridesmaids will really truly wear again? I think yes!

Mosey on over to BHLDN for more Annabelle styling tips or to purchase the dress.

The criss-cross neck is my favorite! How would you wear Annabelle?

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24 must-have summer silk maxi dresses

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IMG_4792Accessorize this seasons must-have silk maxi with sisterly love for timelessly chic style

A few weeks ago, I was in Florida attending a friend’s beautiful beach wedding when I found myself surrounded, once again, by my sorority sisters. In the six years since we graduated from Vanderbilt, I stayed in close contact with a couple, had occasional catch ups with some and did not see others since the day we received our diplomas–but when we came back together, we were all as comfortable and familiar with each other as we had been at chapter dinner so many years prior.  If you’ve never been in a sorority, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now, but if you did go the Greek route, you understand the type of friendships I’m talking about.

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One of the things I can always count on with my sorority sisters is their killer style. Yes, it’s true. Even as we push 30, us Vandy Kappa Delta’s have got it going on in the closet!  All the ladies brought their wedding guest dress A-game, and, in the process, inspired me to gather up some of the seasons best silk dresses, all guaranteed to make a splash at the next event, be it on the water or elsewhere.

Maybe it’s the balmy romance of silk rustling around my ankles in the summer breeze or just the versatility of the style, but, for whatever reason, I’m really digging the dramatic maxi incarnation of the summer silk dress. The luxe fabric takes the easy-to-wear full-length style up a notch and–depending on the specific style and accessories worn–is perfect for everything from a chic brunch (pair with a denim jacket) to an elegant beach wedding (slip on espadrilles) to a formal affair (clasp on some eye-catching jewelry).

Check out my 24 favorite silk summer maxis below. Which would you most love to wear?

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Low-key brides rejoice! 30 gorgeous, affordable wedding gowns you can buy online

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olivia palermo wedding gown Olivia Palermo’s casually chic nuptials have brought the low-key wedding back in vogue

A week and a half ago, Olivia Palermo did something unthinkable for a starlet: she had a casual wedding. Like, really casual. The bride wore a cream-colored cashmere sweater and shorts with a chic tulle skirt overlay, all by Carolina Herrera, to marry Johannes Huebl in a New York park.

In an era where every D-list celebrity gets a reality show wedding special, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West rent out the Palace of Versailles for their rehearsal dinner and it’s de rigeur for brides to rotate through at least three elaborate gowns over the course of the wedding, Palermo’s laid back approach to her nuptials is refreshing. Could we be entering a new era in which bridezillas and decadence are out and elegance and simplicity is in?

Just look at wedding gown shopping; sure, you can go into Kleinfeld’s and have your tearful “Say Yes to the Dress” experience, or, you if you’re a more low key bride, you can take a Palermo-like approach to wedding gown shopping and shop online at your leisure. Net-a-Porter, Anne Taylor, J.Crew and Shopbop all offer a beautiful selection of wedding gowns that can be purchased with the click of a mouse.

So, my darling casual bride, if wedding gown shopping has you stressed, forget the stuffy bridal boutiques with their hard-to-book appointments and overpriced frocks. Now, you can simply buy them and try them in the comfort of your own home, sending back what doesn’t work and keeping what does for your walk down the aisle, park, courthouse, beach or whatever it may be.

I’ve pulled together 30 gorgeous gowns all available online and all under $1,500–perfect for a low-key simply elegant backyard affair.

xo, mwc signature

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Calling All Bay Area Brides…

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best sf bridal salons

What’s your aisle style?

Last month, the San Francisco Chronicle assigned me to round up the best Bay Area bridal salons. They had to have both a great gown offering and that something special that makes the dressing shopping experience unforgettable. I scoured every corner from the South Bay to the North Bay and even on the other side of the Bay Bridge. What I unearthed were five stellar salons with offerings as diverse as the Bay Area clientele; from budget-conscious to big spender, traditional to hipster and everything in between, these salons cover it all with lace and aplomb!

Read on to find out which salon is your perfect fit…

A glass of Champagne used to be enough to make the bridal gown shopping experience special. Today, Bay Area brides expect more than bubbly at the boutique. From dress selection to sales approach, modern brides want a shopping experience as unique as they are…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY ON SFGATE

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