We unveiled the winner of Operation Dream Dress this morning, live on Good Morning America. It was a tough decision—the five final designs were both unique and inspired. According to Diane Sawyer, each of the gowns was “dazzling”–and we have to agree! After the on-air fashion show, editor in chief Millie Bratten revealed that Amy Wong Micucci from Beverly Hills, CA, would go home with $10,000—and the distinction of having her dress photographed for the cover of our November/December issue. If you love it, you’ll be able to wear it for your wedding, since it will be manufactured by David’s Bridal this fall. Best of luck to all of our contestants, and we look forward to seeing all of your entries next year. –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

(sketches and corresponding dresses from left to right: Johnny Corona, Jennifer Allen, Haley Badenhop, Amy Wong Micucci, Claire Thompson.)

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Tonight is our private fashion show, where the final five Operation Dream Dress designs–chosen by America!–will be showcased on the catwalk and critiqued by our panel of experts. Among these panelists are our own fashion director, Rachel Leonard; Austin Scarlett, who you might recognize from the first season of Project Runway; Hilary Rhoda, the face of Estee Lauder’s fragrance, Beautiful; Dan Rentillo, designer for David’s Bridal; and Britt Aboutaleb, Associate Editor of Fashionista.com.  Our panelists and models are just arriving! –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

 

Dixie Dude Ranch

Dixie Dude Ranch

Las Vegas, New York, and Miami are the usual go-to places for bachelorettes—but have you ever considered a dude ranch?  I hadn’t, until my sister-in-law told me she was off to the Dixie Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas, for a girls’ weekend.  I turned up my nose and thought sarcastically, “right–sounds like a blast”.  Turns out I was totally wrong.  My SIL returned with stories of female bonding, drinking, and cute cowboys.  Plus, at about $130 a night (including meals, horseback riding, and other activities), it’s a bargain.  Now if only I could convince my own city slicker friends…  –Christina, Wedding Spy 

Last night I was whisked up to the 2nd floor of the Gabriella bridal salon to find it transformed into a classy cocktail party space that featured the tastes and sounds of France, Spain—and New York!  Live French music wafted through the room while ladies in lovely gowns served Moet champagne.  Later, a flamenco dancer took to the stage and commanded the room with each stomp of her high-heeled shoe, while an amazing beatboxer set the tempo.  The food was just as unexpected and fun as the entertainment.  New York classics like hot dogs, pretzels, and beer, and classic comfort foods like grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes were served tapas-style.  I was in tasting heaven!  I guess good things really do come in small packages.   -Machell, Wedding Stylistas

 

April showers, and I have to run around all day for market appointments!  I am so sick of my rain boots…  Finally, I saw something that put a smile on my face.  Check out the whimsical customized boutonnieres at Fritts Rosenow Bespoke Boutonnieres. Weddings tend to be a bit bride-centric, now the grooms can express themselves too.   -Christina, Party Girl

Today is a glorious day in NYC, but inside our photo studio it feels like one of the dog days of summer.  Normal people would just turn on the AC, but we magazine editors are a finicky bunch.  The whir of the AC interferes with our “creative flow.”  So we are sweating it out in pursuit of beautiful photos—a gorgeous collection of wedding accents, from bouquets to sweets to an aisle runner.  Gotta admit, the quiet helps us concentrate.  You can check out the story in our Party Style pages later this year; meanwhile, I’m changing into shorts.  Christina, Party Girl

 

A luxury double decker limo bus by Designer Limousines.

A luxury double decker limo bus by Designer Limousines.

Hit the road Jack n Jill.  Should you and your fiancé want to throw a joint bachelor ‘n’ ette party, why not travel in luxury with a double decker limo bus by Designer Limousines.  I boarded this bad boy earlier this week to see it for myself, and it’s like a cruise ship for the road!  2 floors of roomy space can easily accommodate up to 80 people.  With amenities like 15 flat screen tv’s , Wi-Fi, banquette seating, a bar, a virtual jukebox filled with 100,000 + songs, and room for you and your crew to dance, this bus brings the club to you minus the long lines, busy bar, or snooty attitudes.  Bring in a caterer, hire a DJ, head to Atlantic City or bar hop through Manhattan.  Not in the NYC area?  Try Limobuses.com on the west coast (hello, Hollywood!).  Carpooling never looked so good.  —Machell, Wedding Stylistas