Wedding Style Tips From Northern California Brides

Find out what other Northern California brides are wearing on their wedding day.
by Patricia Bryan

Beth & Aaron

July 19, Livermore
Venue: Murrieta’s Well Winery

Q How many dresses did you try on before you found the one?
Not that many, actually! As luck would have it, I hit the jackpot my first time out; my silk-satin Monique Lhuillier gown was only the fifth dress I tried on!

Q What about your gown made it perfect for you?
I wanted something simple and timeless, so I fell in love with the clean lines of the mermaid silhouette. I added a beaded belt, also by Monique Lhuillier, to make the dress my own.

Q Let’s talk about your jewelry. Where did you get it?
I wanted the real thing for my wedding day, but I didn’t want to pay for it, so I rented Vera Wang pearl drop earrings and a Charriol diamond bracelet from I felt like a queen for the day without any buyer’s remorse!

Q The bridesmaid dress looks fabulous on all of your girls! Why did you choose it?
The knee-length, A-line, silk-shantung dress had a V-neck and -back that worked for everyone. I didn’t want the maids to seem like part of the décor; I just wanted my beautiful friends to be comfortable and enjoy the party.

Q How did you decide on a look for the guys?
I wanted classic yet relaxed elegance, so I picked a sharp-looking tux but toned down the formality with modern, long ties.

Rachel & Daniel

June 14, Santa Rosa
Venue: Mayacama Golf Club

Q What was your gown like?
My Judd Waddell dress was A-line and satin with asymmetrical pick-ups in the skirt and a beaded Alençon-lace bodice. A silk sash at the waist was the finishing touch.

Q Did you alter the style at all?
Fortunately, the dress only needed basic alterations, but my matron of honor gave me a piece of satin with our names and wedding date embroidered in blue. I had it sewn into the inside of my dress as a special accent.

Q Let’s talk about your hair. Why did you go for such a natural look?
I wanted to look like myself, just fancied up a bit, so I chose a soft and romantic style. I wanted my hair to flow in the breeze a little for our outdoor ceremony, but also keep its shape after hours on the dance floor. It turned out just as I hoped!

Q What did you add to your hair?
I absolutely loved the graceful look of my fingertip-length veil. It had Alençon lace along the bottom edge, which complemented my dress perfectly.

Jennifer & Steve

November 8, San Francisco
Venue: The Julia Morgan Ballroom

Q What was your overall style?
I knew I wanted simple and chic with a little bit of bling. I probably tried on 100 dresses. Finally, I fell in love with a silk, A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline at a Monique Lhuillier trunk show, but it was over my budget.

Q So you ended up going with another dress?
No! As luck would have it, I checked out Glamour Closet in San Francisco and my exact Monique Lhuillier dream dress was right there in the store -- for 60 percent less! It was in mint condition and the sales rep said it had just arrived; I knew it was meant for me.

Q How did you decide on your makeup?
I wanted to go for a romantic, smoky eye. My makeup artist executed it perfectly and then softened up the look with a light-pink lip gloss for polish. My fingernails were painted a similar pale pink.

Q And how did you choose your accessories?
Haute Bride in San Francisco was having a half-off sale when I spotted this antique-looking crystal-and-pearl necklace with a matching headband and earrings. I bought the entire set!

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