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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ODD Image for blogVoting closes today for BRIDES magazine’s first-ever Operation Dream Dress contest. The field will be narrowed from 20 semi-finalists to 5 finalists, chosen entirely by you! Next, we’ll be bringing America’s Fave Five to NYC for a fashion show judged by a celebrity panel. The prize-winning dress will appear on the cover of our November/December issue. Visit www.brides.com/dreamdress and cast your vote. –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

ODD Image for blogRemember to vote for the most beautiful wedding dress in America, created by up-and-coming designers, fashion students, and wedding dress aficionados. Will ruffles trump ostrich feathers?  Will color win out over traditional whites and creams? Will America favor trendy and short or a truncated train? Staffers here have already voted for their favorites, and our office debates are getting intense! We’ll announce the top five winners in June. Remember to cast your vote from now until May 26th at brides.com/dreamdress. –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

ODD Image for blog

In February, we put out the call for fashion enthusiasts to submit sketches of an original wedding dress that embodied the theme of “visionary romance.” We received hundreds of amazing entries from college students, seamstresses, and newbie designers. Our editors narrowed the selection to a pool of semi-finalists, and now it’s your turn to choose a favorite! Voting starts at midnight at brides.com/dreamdress, your chance to select the top finalists who’ll be coming to New York to take part in a fashion show—and possibly go home with 1st prize—$10,000 and their dress on the cover of BRIDES! –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

That's me in the yellow!

That's me in the yellow!

A year after my friend Jen’s wedding, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my bridesmaid’s dress.  It’s a floor-length, chiffon Jovovich Hawk dress the color of a buttercup, and while I do want to preserve the integrity of this lovely frock, I know I’m not going to wear it as is. My mission is to turn it into the perfect dress to bring on trips, wear out to dinner, and maybe even wear to this summer’s weddings.  Do I shorten it? Do I dye it?  Or should I leave it as is, and ride the wave of maxi dresses that are flooding the market these days?  Whatever I do, I can’t just leave it in my closet!  —Xander, Un-Veiled

Monique Lhuillier—one of the hottest names in fashion—is finally doing bridesmaid dresses!  The eight styles will be priced from $250-340 (can you even?) and will launch mid- May on moniquelhuillier.com.  I saw them at her spring bridal presentation and wow, I just loved them and your girls will too.  Her bridal collection had lots of ethereal silhouettes—layered organzas and tulles that seemed to just float on the models who looked like graceful ballerinas.  My fave was Sunday Rose, a pleated strapless dress with a full floral skirt. Gorgeous!  —Ellen, Un-Veiled at NY Bridal Market

It’s not often you get to see genius at work.  I did today when I saw Vera Wang’s latest collection—a fantasy of fabric, color, and romance come to life.  The show’s vibe was very informal, and—lucky me—I found myself next to Vera herself as the models, in one fabulous dress after another, walked by.  (I desperately wanted to take the pale gray organza one-shoulder ball gown home.)  Vera offered running commentary on her inspiration, which was as educational as it was entertaining.  (Who knew there was such a thing as “random asymmetry”?)  Some of the most stunning dresses included a hand-painted pale green-and-pink organza confection and a nude-colored tulle design with multiple ribbons.  When a black (yes, black—how’s that for bold?)  Empire frock floated past, you could hear a collective sigh of appreciation.  —Terrie, NY Bridal Market