You may be thinking big for your wedding-day style. But for Molly Schaul, this season it was a few little things that made her wishes come true. Alongside J.Crew’s mix of aisle-perfect gowns, the designer behind the brand’s bridal collection included shorts, camisoles, minis, and even a jumpsuit—all created with your I do’s in mind. “I have dreamt about designing a bridal line with separates since I was a fashion student at Parsons [The New School for Design in New York City],” Schaul says. “It gives a bride more to choose from.” We got in touch with Schaul to learn more about how customers are responding to her fashionable proposal.
What can you tell us about the latest collection for J.Crew bridal?
Our newest bridal collection was inspired by a beach-themed getaway. With the destination theme, we added really beautiful silhouettes—and expanded our bridal separates.
Those separates include shorts! How is the J.Crew girl reacting to new ideas for the big day?
She is loving it! The J.Crew girl is all about standing out and being bold and unique, but still feminine and timeless. We have delicate lace pants, skirts, and cropped tops coming out this summer.
J.Crew bridal is known for offering chic, quality designs at workable price points. What are some of the details you focus on to pull off what is a unique niche for brides?
We always make sure that we use the best quality fabrics possible. Even if the fabrics are affordable, they still have to meet our standards, which are very high. I don’t think people realize the lengths we go to in order to offer the best fabrics and detailing, which includes working with mills throughout Europe that have been in families for generations. The fit is also super important to us. We fit gowns sometimes up to four times just to make sure the fit is perfect.
If a bride chooses a more traditional gown, what are your recommendations for pulling it all together and making certain the look is her own?
First, make sure the gown fits properly. A good-fitting gown is going to make a bride feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful.
After that, choose unique accessories. Don’t always opt for a “bridal”-appropriate piece of jewelry or shoes. Instead, borrow a gorgeous family heirloom or find a piece of vintage costume jewelry and make your own heirloom to pass down later. When choosing shoes, go for something fun, festive, and venue-appropriate; there is nothing more cookie-cutter than a matching white satin pump.
J.Crew also offers bridesmaids dresses. What are some of your tips for making a bridal party look its best?
It’s great to have your bridal party mix and match. Pick either a color story (I have had friends send out color chips to their bridal party so there is no confusion) or fabrication and let your bridal party choose the styles that they feel the best in. The fit is super important in a bridesmaid dress, as well, so always make sure every single bridesmaid tries on their dress well in advance of the wedding day. That way sizes can be exchanged and alterations can be made if need be.
What do you love most about your job?
The satisfaction of knowing that someone chose one of our gowns to wear on one of the most memorable days of their lives.
Were you designing bridal when you got married?
I was designing bridal when I got married and was so lucky to be able to design my own gown and party dress. My gown had a hand-encrusted bodice made of tiny sequins and crystals and the skirt was tiers of the most delicate French Chantilly lace and silk tulle. My party dress was a tiny little slip dress covered in paillettes and ostrich feathers. I absolutely loved my gown and dress!
Tell us about your celebration?
I was married on June 20, 2010, at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City. We had an intimate wedding of just under 50 guests.
What was the most memorable part of the wedding for you?
Seeing my husband for the first time on our wedding day.
What was you and your husband's first dance song?
“Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley.
What is your favorite thing that you registered for?
My All-Clad pots and pans. I love to cook!
Where did you honeymoon?
We went to the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
What's the one piece of advice you pass on to brides and grooms planning their wedding?
My husband and I had a whirlwind engagement. We were engaged for only three months and it was liberating to know that we didn’t have time to fret about every little detail. We just went with our gut feelings and everything turned out fine! Even if couples have long engagements, remember to enjoy the moment and don’t sweat the little stuff.