November 19, 2019

Weddings: Fabric of your (future) life

Weddings are unquestionably high-pressure situations, with budgets, guest lists and locations being hot-button issues. However, as real life and reality television attests (Exhibit A: “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC network), there is nothing that can bring out a bridezilla quite like the quest for the perfect dress. 

And while every bride-to-be must consider her body type, personality and vision of the big day, some Jewish brides have several additional things to address, including acceptable standards established by their denomination. 

So, what’s a nice Jewish girl to do these days?

Alison Friedman, Thousand Oaks-based owner and editor-in-chief of The Wedding Yentas (
Wtoo’s Shiloh gown features an illusion bateau neckline and detachable tulle train.

“We will take care of helping the bride get her dress back to L.A., whether it is packing it in a suitcase for her, shipping it, or even traveling first class and taking the dress home that way, with some even buying a separate seat for the dress!” said Rochel Leah Katz, a fitting specialist there who works specifically with religious brides to reconcile tradition and fashion.

She said that most of her designers who offer adaptable dresses for Orthodox Jewish brides include Edgardo Bonilla, Judd Waddell and Augusta Jones, with prices ranging from $4,000 to $13,000.  

“There are only a certain number of designers willing to modify a dress from scratch so it looks like it was made that way,” Katz said. “Among them, only a small number of their dresses can be adapted.”

Like Litt, Katz said that lace is an adaptable fabric for shoring up necklines and sleeves. 

“Depending on their degree of religiosity, some brides line their lace and others don’t,” she explained. “Some brides line parts of the dress, and others line the whole thing down to the 3/4 sleeves. Some brides like the beaded lace, as opposed to plain lace.”

In terms of general advice and observations, Katz said the enduring “Jackie O” look (covered up, but curve-revealing) from the late 1960s is readily updatable through beautiful fabric, clean lines, smooth seams and an elegant shaped skirt. And while she’s seen younger brides opt for the Cinderella-style ballroom skirt over the A-line, mermaid or “fit-and-flare” styles, she recommends more streamlined fits for brides over 35, as the frilly and voluminous look of the Cinderella dress may not be considered “age appropriate.”

In the end, perhaps the most important thing for brides, as well as for the tailors and designers they work with, is that they be wholly committed — not just to the groom but to the dress.