By Punch Correspondent Hannah Roth
Schlepping my NOVa-area coded ass to the Ritz-Carlton D.C. for a bridal showcase is not something that I would have guessed I would be doing on my Sunday off. In fact, this is my view on weddings currently:
However, in the case of Washingtonian Bride and Groomâ€™s Unveiled: Washingtonâ€™s Premier Wedding Showcase, the most elaborate and lavish bridal event of the year, I made an exception. Despite any qualms I may have about marriage â€“ and even more concerns about crazy bridezillas â€“ I agreed to write a piece about this blessed event, which turned out to thankfully have multiple free bars as well as a great fashion show with some pretty damn beautifully crafted couture wedding gowns, if I donâ€™t say so myself. The 5-star location and vendors touting freebies wasnâ€™t so terrible either (I do love a good freebieâ€¦learned it from my dad).
Anyways, thanks to Washingtonian Bride and Groom Magazine, its editor-in-chief Kate Bennett, and Carineâ€™s Bridal Atelier, the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of the newly engaged Washingtonian society flocked to watch the fashion show, as well as take in the many vendors at the Ritz-Carlton D.C. peddling cake, entertainment, planning, and just about any service needed to prepare and celebrate the BIG DAY (including plastic surgeons and botox-pros â€“ I kid you not).
After a short and sweet speech by Kate, the young models began to float down the runway in yards of lace, chiffon, tulle, and embellished corsets galore. The delicately rustic dÃ©cor of the runway complimented the nymph-like makeup of the models, all metallic-etched cheekbones and filigreed-masked eyes.
Gowns from Monique Lhullier, Angel Sanchez, and Marchesa all made dramatic statements and begged for a 400+ person wedding at the Kennedy Center to be worn to. Some of my favorite looks incorporated delicate full lace sleeves, sheer fabrics juxtaposed over more intense textures (beading, sequins, etc.) and statement-making volume. The final dress was a couture Marchesa multi-layer creation accessorized with an elaborate headpiece and tulle overlay, reminiscent of the bridal versions of Kate Mossâ€™s Alexander McQueen hologram, but more bridal ethereal and less creepy ethereal. The background music was upbeat, very female-centric and empowering â€“ emphasizing the overall consensus that a wedding is definitely the BRIDEâ€™S DAY, and the groom is just a lovely tuxedo-ed accessory.
Despite my hesitations about weddings, I have nothing but respect for Carine Krawiec, the owner of Carineâ€™s bridal salon. Her obvious passion for and knowledge of the industry is exhibited in her impeccably edited array of gowns on display. Also her dress for the day was so adorable – here is a picture of Kate Bennett applauding her at the end of the show:
Carine provides nothing but the best to her clients, and for an introduction to her boutique or a chance to see the fabulosity firsthand, Carineâ€™s Bridal will be hosting their semi-annual Monique Lhuillier Bliss line trunk show this January 31-February 2 featuring the newest looks from the Fall 2013 collections. Appointments are required and can be made by calling the salon at 202.965.4696. The Monique Lhuillier Bliss collection showcases some of the designerâ€™s most popular gowns reworked at a lower price point, so if the couture gowns are out of your price range (aka you are a normal human being), this could be the trunk show for you.
All in all, my Sunday spent basking in the girliness of pink cake and wedding dÃ©cor was not unpleasant to say the least. The amount of time the vendors put into making their presentations flawless and magical for all the brides-to-be garners my utter respect and awe (I could never have the patience to cover an entire table display in multicolored roses and glitter). And hey, give me a mimosa and I may even consider your pre-wedding botox treatments.
Hannah Roth is a recent Virginia Tech grad (and hokie for life). She is a vintage/thrift store shopping junkie, and loves traveling. While her perfect day would entail some sort of mixture of cuddling with puppies, eating dark chocolate, and drinking champagne, she has more serious ambitions as well. Hannah's passion includes fashion and openly dives into DC's rapidly expanding stylish market.