Thursday, June 21, 2012

The McConaughey Wedding: Camila Goes Modest

 Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey exchanged "I Do's" only a few days ago, and it was a pleasant surprise to see the beautiful Brazilian-born Camila sporting a modest long-sleeved lace wedding gown designed by Ducarmo Catelo Branco.  She might have spent a pretty penny for her customized gown, but you don't have to spend a lot to get the look.  Since it is more common to find wedding gowns without sleeves, one of the more affordable options is to "build up" the dress from an otherwise non-modest gown.

Here are some things to consider if you decide to build up your gown:
  • Pro's: You can feel free to shop at any secular bridal store and fall in love with almost any style, which includes designer wedding dresses at sample sale prices (the price for a couture secular dress plus the cost of a build up can be significantly lower than a couture modest dress without the build-up). NY Magazine has provided a Summer 2010 bridal gown directory of stores:  
  • Con's: The time spent on going to several fittings, and the money spent for the build-up can be excruciating. If you do not hire a seamstress or designer with experience in making build-ups then you are taking a huge risk. Even if you do hire the right seamstress, you must still know some of the terminology used in designing the build-up. Further, the final product of having a build-up added to the wedding gown may not provide the ultimate desired look, and the material used may be uncomfortable.
  • Resources: For my wedding, I found the perfect Kleinfeld sample sale designer dress that needed a build-up, which deserves a separate blog (it is no wonder that Kleinfeld’s has a TV Show on buying a wedding gown with the kind of drama that can happen there). The biggest tip I can offer is to go to a highly recommended tailor that will provide solid guidance and experience to ensure the build-up looks natural, comfortable, and enhances the look of the original wedding gown. I recommend Designer Loft:  
    • They are a bit pricey, but the seamstresses are supervised by a designer that offers quality advice on ensuring a successful build-up.

Get inspired by Camila's look and check out's recently published slideshow of similar modest wedding dresses by other designers.  Here are some favorites:


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