When it came to planning my wedding to Scott, one of the most important things I tried to keep in mind was to not get too stuck in tradition and concentrate more on making the event a reflection of our personalities. One place where this really rang true was with the bridesmaids’ dresses. I didn’t want my bridesmaids to look like bridesmaids! This isn’t to say that traditional bridesmaids dresses can’t look chic, but I just have too many terrifying images of identical satin dresses with big, poofy sleeves in my head! So while I didn’t want the dresses to look too matchy-matchy, I still wanted a cohesive look and decided that the best way to achieve this was to have the gowns custom-made. It was a big undertaking, but I found the supremely talented Elizabeth Kennedy who was able to execute my vision to a T! She’s a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design and a master of couture evening wear—not to mention has a resume that includes stints at J. Mendel, Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen and currently, Bird by Juicy Couture. The design process was something I’ll always remember, and hopefully my bridesmaids will too! But since she can explain it in better detail, I’ve asked Elizabeth to give us all the rundown:
I had a phone consultation with Molly to start the process. She gave me a basic outline of what the project would entail, her ideas for color palette and overall mood. Once I received this direction, I began sketching and draping.
A couple weeks later, I met Molly and four of her bridesmaids in New York, and showed them sketches and fabric swatches to get a feel for what each of them would like for their gowns. They selected from the sketches, and then I went back to the drawing board and designed a custom gown for each of them. For the ladies I was unable to meet with, I had a phone consultation to discuss the silhouette and color of their gowns, and emailed back and forth with sketches.
I then worked with my pattern makers for a couple of weeks and fit a muslin with each of the women. A muslin is essentially a prototype or mockup for a garment in a less expensive fabric, used for fitting before going into the real fabric and the final gown. Fortunately, Molly was able to be with me at most of the muslin fittings, so she was able to give her input! Then, I began to make the final gowns.
Throughout the entire process, Molly and I were in close communication. Any time I made a change in design or color palette or fabric, she was present! I really had a wonderful experience working with her. The result was that the bridesmaids’ dresses are absolutely a reflection of Molly’s vision for her wedding. Since the gowns were a gift to each of the women, it was important that each woman was happy with her gown (in addition to the gowns looking beautiful together as a collective group). Molly wanted her closest friends and family to look and feel amazing on her wedding day, and to take home a custom gown that they could keep for the rest of their lives.
Thank you so much to Elizabeth for sharing this with us. Working with her was truly a dream come true!
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.