White House Black Market

March 18, 2010

The other day, the ladies over at TwoBrightLights tipped me off to the official launch of AOL’s new wedding venture: Aisle Dash. Then, today, I was pleasantly surprised to see an interesting post about the White House Black Market‘s new wedding boutique. Took a quick look and they have sections for bridesmaid dresses, a gorgeous bridal gown, accessories, and more. It looks like they’re going to roll it out gradually, but their first dress (super reasonably priced at $498) is worth drawing attention to.

I immediately of the press release from URBN and Anthropologie from the other day and am becoming more and more interested in how the wedding extensions of typically non-wedding apparel companies will affect the wedding industry. As a bride, I love it! I love being able to find wearable bridesmaid dresses and getting a variety of options. From a business point of view, it’s always worth noting new trends and especially when established brands begin expanding and experimenting with new things.

If anything, I can NOT wait for these retailers to give David’s Bridal a run for it’s money.

anthropologie weddings!

March 5, 2010

The first “person” I thought of was J. Crew. I’m pretty sure everyone over in their offices has been buzzing and talking about this since the announcement came out yesterday. Oh, the beauty of competition!

Anthropologie (owned by Urban Outfitters, aka URBN Inc) released fourth-quarter earnings and shared with the press about an upcoming wedding brand that should be launched online by Valentines Day 2011 and then with stores to follow.

From the Reuters and others (couldn’t find it on their corporate site):

The idea for creating a brand aimed at weddings —  featuring heirloom gowns, accessories, intimate apparel, decor and gifts — grew out of the company’s existing business, which often catered to brides and their entourages, Senk said.

There’s tons of press around this- type “Urban Outfitters wedding” into Google News and read away.

Very exciting! Obviously Anthro and J. Crew have different target markets, but I’m sure everyone’s looking to J. Crew to see what their next move is. There aren’t that many successful retailers that have moved into the wedding space, but given the momentum and energy (and success) around Anthropologie, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a huge name for themselves this way.

Now I’m curious what they’re going to call the brand… any guesses?

Afterthought: Gap! where’s YOUR wedding brand?! Shoulda listened

I am so thankful for my bridesmaids. I chose three really good friends from church/college and so far, they’ve been nothing but super supportive and accommodating. Lena, my MOH, Sally, and Junia also have a lot in common: they’re all Kim’s (my future last name, EEK!) and they’re all teachers-in-training- with Lena applying for grad programs, Sally working on her credential at CSU Eastbay, and Junia teaching abroad in Taiwan.

Since there were only three of them, I had to nix the idea of matching colors in different styles, a trend I 100% support and love. In the early, early stages of planning, I had seriously considered having them wear black (the uber practical and most classy) but I later realized that having them wear color would add to the colorful-ness of the wedding and help alleviate the need for more flowers. Then, after choosing my colors- plum/purple and sage/light green- I knew I wanted them to wear purple given how green the vineyard and setting around them would be. Thus began my search for purple dresses!

Like most of the wedding world, I loved Jenny Yoo and J Crew for their dresses that come in a variety of lovely styles and colors. Unfortunately, most were in the $150-250 price range and therefore over my budget. I wanted to try to find dresses under $100 and so I remembered that a lot of my married friends and previous brides have found their bridesmaids dresses through non-official bridesmaids channels, like Target, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, Newport News, Victoria’s Secret, etc. After combing through most of those websites, I found a couple dresses I liked at Target (surprise surprise!):

These dresses were a little on the casual side, but because the color seemed right and they were under $100 (plus free shipping and returns to store), I ordered them in a few sizes to see if they might work. I kind of like the look of long bridesmaids dresses but because my bridesmaids are all varying heights, I conceded that shorter dresses would eliminate at least some of the alterations necessary.

Meanwhile, I also began hunting for shoes. Target again pulled through with really pretty purple pumps:
Given my height (5’10”) and Bryan’s height (5’8″), these pretty pumps weren’t an option for me- but they were definitely an option for my bridesmaids! My three bridesmaids are all significantly shorter than our groomsmen (5’2″, 5’3″ and 5’5″ compared with 6’4″, 6’2″, and 5’9″) and so I ordered some of these shoes to compare other bridesmaids dresses and all of the varying shades of purple.

I was really happy with these finds, but in the end, I didn’t really need them… to be continued!