I’ve been reading bridal magazines since I was a child. At this point, there are three styles of wedding dresses and four different engagement rings I dream of, for my future. (Yes, that means four engagements, one wedding won’t be happening.) But since the release of New York Mag’s Wedding issue, the choices just seem to keep growing! Yesterday, we chatted with Rebecca Ramsey, Style Director at The Cut at New York Magazine about everything wedding. Cake. Food. Dresses. Shoes. Family. Trends. We covered it.
Make sure to take notes, because you future brides/grooms/everyone who was given a task for the wedding, will have follow up questions that can be answered at New York Wedding Event on March 31st. It will feature over 100 well-vetted and super creative wedding service providers under one roof, to help you turn that fairytale into reality. They’ll be another post about this on Monday, but just wanted to let you know so you can get your tickets early.
How do you all put together the NY Mag Wedding issue?
I work really closely with our bridal market editor. She puts together a trend report and I work with her and say, “yes, this looks right, this looks different from last season.” A lot of bridal trends tend to stick around for a few seasons.
Can you tell us some of the biggest bridal trends?
When peplums were big they stayed for a little while and now it’s like all of the off the shoulder. A lot of it comes from ready-to-wear runways, which I work closely with and watch and observe for trends. When the Victorian trend was big for spring, we saw some of it for the next season of bridal shows and we probably will in the shows next month, too. Off the shoulders, the shoulders became a very feminine erogenous zone. We even featured it on our cover. Little bits of details like lace … Kind of like the Gucci effect where more is more, like maximalist, like feathers, lace, black and white, florals, detachable skirts, so you can take it off it you want to dance later.
So is the wedding reader more in to trends or…
The New York Magazine Weddings reader is not really prescriptive to trends, but she’s informed, he’s informed and they want to know what’s happening, but also find a way for them to be like, “I could do that or I could wear that.” Or maybe they’re wearing ready-to-wear or a dress off the rack for their wedding rather than prescribing to something from a Vera Wang runway show even though Vera does the best lace.
Speaking of Vera, are there certain designers that you will kind of recommend for, let’s say someone’s doing a wedding outside or a beach wedding, because some designers do heavier materials?
There’s a line called Houghton right now.
Oh, I love her!
It’s really cool, right? She’ll do like a fringed mini dress with a flare sleeve that you can dance in or she’ll do a beachy dress you can be barefoot in. She kind of offers something for every kind of woman that has a little bit of Bohemian in them. Prombee always has that aesthetic of Talitha Getty sort of lounging around. I would say, if you want … Oh, J. Crew, also. Definitely. There’s always the easy breezy bridal moment.
We actually shot a dress from Rosetta Getty, who’s not a bridal designer, but she does a really loose trapeze. Our shoot was different kinds of brides. She just looked great in it. You can float around on dance floor or float around on the beach barefoot. You don’t need to do anything else.
I’ve noticed on Instagram when people are posting photos of their wedding with their own hashtag it’s hard to decipher who is the bride and who is the bridesmaid. Before the bride was always the center of attention. Now they kind of want to be a part of the entire party.
Right, like when Solange had her whole party in white and it looked so good! It’s like you know who Solange is, but it looked so good though. I went to a wedding once and my friend had 12 bridesmaids. Every one was in a different color of pastel, so it was still close enough. I didn’t have bridesmaids. I had my sister stand up for me. I just had her and she could wear anything she wanted in black and it was great.
And black is becoming one of those colors that aren’t taboo anymore at weddings.
It’s one of those colors that pulls together with white very nicely and then you can add a color for flowers or anything. It’s go-to. It’s classic. It’s no fail.
What advice would you give for people who are attending the wedding?
Like don’t wear white? (laughs) A lot depends on do they give you a dress code. A lot of people don’t give a dress code anymore. It depends on where it is. Is it Saturday night in the city, a little more formal, or is it a Friday night affair, that’s little more casual? A lot of people are getting married on a Friday night or a Sunday now. I think it just depends on where it is or what time of year. You want to be comfortable. You don’t want to show up the bride or the groom. Comfortable shoes are key.
Are there any brands of shoes that you can think of that are always go-to’s for comfort?
Manolo Blahnik does a really comfortable low heel. I wore them to my wedding and I could dance all night. I was walking in grass and nothing happened to them. That was great. Stuart Weitzman is a little more affordable and they do great shoes, too, with all different kinds of heel types and flats. Gianvito Rossi, it’s pricier, but they are always so comfortable and very elegant and sexy, but not too sexy. So like lace and patent leather and you know adds a little bit of texture.
What about women and tattoos? You see them showcasing it more.
Women have tattoos now and also less people are having religious weddings. I know if it’s a religious wedding you’re often covering your shoulders even if you don’t have a tattoo. It’s like showing off part of your personality. Like the girl who wears the yellow shoes with her dress… it’s her own personal accent. Not everyone wants to be a traditional bride, so highlight what you have.
A lot of women also don’t know what they want until they start trying on dresses. You might go in with an idea of what you want but you might come out with a full mermaid gown and you’re like, “This is what I’m doing!” You can’t be afraid and think, “Oh I have a tattoo,” or “I don’t think this silhouette will look good on me.” You just have to try it on. A dress can have zero hanger appeal because it’s a white thing hanging; you need to see it on the body.
Did you find it difficult to decide on the food and the cake and the bouquet, which is also really important to the dress?
When I got married, I knew I wanted to have beautiful flowers, so I told them what I liked – all green and white and kind of let them play with it. I got married in South Carolina so I wanted them to use a lot of local flowers. So we just had meetings for that, but food in South Carolina is super important. You’re inviting everyone to come to this place that’s so special to you. You want the food to represent it. I think you have to remember that this food is not going to be the best meal of your life. Everyone acts like wedding food is “it” like the best. It’s hard when you’re feeding 150 or 200 people. You just want it to be really, really good and easy to eat. If it’s hot, you don’t want something that’s too heavy. You want to make sure people have enough starch in their stomach if they’re drinking at an open bar. Like a potato or something.
For cake, I know a lot of people aren’t doing a wedding cake. My sister’s not going to do a wedding cake. They’re just going to have a dessert table. We thought about not doing a cake, but it was the first marriage of my siblings for my parents and they wanted a cake. It was fun. We definitely ordered way too much cake. We had 3 1/2 boxes left over after the wedding. People don’t eat the cake or don’t even notice that the cake’s being cut anymore. They just want to dance and be with their friends and drink.
If you could give your top three pieces of advice to people who are getting married for the first time, what would they be?
- I think you want to remember why you’re doing it, the whole process. A lot of the planning and processes can be really stressful. Its just decisions and you just have to trust your gut and work with your partner and say, “This is why we’re doing it and this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to do it!” A lot of it is for your family, too. Take a moment and include them, give them a little something to do so they feel like they’re part of it. I’m from Detroit and I got married in the south so it was different for my parents to not be there during the whole time, plus living in New York, so giving them a task, the night before. I think it’s nice to make people feel like they’re involved. Everyone wants to help. They’re here for you.
- I would also recommend deciding whether or not you want to do a first look. That means seeing each other before the actual ceremony and doing a beautiful photo and getting all the emotion out of your system. I did not do that. In the last issue I actually talk about it. I cried the entire ceremony because it’s just so crazy it hits you. My dad started crying as soon as we walked and I’m like, “There I go.” I’m crying in all the photos and I’m actually okay with it now, but I was like oh my god, now I know why people do a first look.
- Another thing I did was just … I didn’t have a fussy dress process. I didn’t wear bridal, but I had many fittings with it and I made sure to try it on with the underwear I was going to wear that night, the shoes I was going to wear. I walked around in the shoes. I changed the length of my dress to make sure it was still comfortable. I brought friends with me as a support system since I didn’t have a bridal party or my mom wasn’t here. I trusted my friends very much to give me their honest opinion. You know, make sure there’s not too much shimmer on my face when I have my makeup done. Use all the resources you have. Give people jobs.
[Plus another for good luck]
- And just enjoy it! It goes by so fast. It flies by. It’s the one time when you’re going to have everyone around you that you care about. It’s one of the only times, so just take it in. Have fun!
Images credits from left to right: “ZacPosen”: Silk gown by Zac Posen, $2,990; 18-karat-white-gold-and-diamond earrings by Bulgari, $46,800; Rose-gold ring with diamond and amethyst by Dior Fine Jewelry, $6,200
“MilkBar”: Six-Tier Strawberry-Lemon Cake $6 per serving, by Milk Bar
“BridgetVizoso”: Mimosa, Japanese lisianthus, matricaria, scabiosa, and Icelandic poppies, $300 by Bridget Vizoso.
“OscarDeLaRenta”: Strapless pleated-silk faille ball gown by Oscar de la Renta, $7,890 at Saks Fifth Avenue; Corded-lace-and-silk-organza halter-neck blouse by Oscar de la Renta, $1,390 at Mark Ingram Atelier
“CakeAlchemy”: White-Chocolate Fruit Ambrosia $18 per serving, by Cake Alchemy
“FleursBella”: Passion vine, sweet-pea vine, seeded grass, and curly willow, $385 by FleursBella