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Lela Rose Shares Her Best Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

  • Photos by Weston Wells

Cheers to Lela Rose, who's celebrating her 10th anniversary as a bridal designer! Here, she reveals her best style advice and looks back at her favorite creations.

As a ready-to-wear designer, Lela Rose found herself dressing women for their sons' and daughters' weddings, and brides for their showers and rehearsal dinners. So she asked herself: Why are we not dressing this girl for her big day? "I thought it would be so easy," she says of launching a bridal line. "But sewing in white is really difficult! The shade changes with every layer of fabric." She definitely figured out how to work with the finicky color—and a decade later, she still feels that making wedding dresses is "an honor." She calls the wedding gown "the most important dress you'll choose in your lifetime." No pressure! Luckily, she's got some tips to help.


Don't Reinvent Yourself: "You should look like the most glamorous version 
of yourself. Your dress should reflect who you are."

Seek Out Great Service: "Working with
a retailer that provides impeccable service is so important. Ask your friends where they shopped: Did they enjoy the experience? You should think, This is special.

Bring Visuals With You: "Tear out pictures of things you respond to and bring them to express what you're looking for."

But Don't Bring Too Many People: "Invite two people dress shopping, max. And I'm not trying to leave your mother out, but consider starting on your own. Get a sense of what you like and what looks be on you before getting other opinions."

Respect The Day: "There is history and tradition to the event. And you'll have grandmas and aunts there. Don't go for plunging this and plunging that. I try to design dresses that would make a father say, 'You look beautiful and sophisticated.'"

Express Yourself: "You can wear separates; you can wear a pantsuit. I love it when brides push the envelope. But don't go too trendy. Think about looking back
at your pictures in 20 years."


The Details: "Fabrics have been my great love," says Lela Rose. "It's like Christmas every time we get new bolts." (Norwich terrier Bobbin likes them, too.) Rose wears a dress from her colorful Resort 2017 ready- to-wear collection.

Lela Loves

Ever wonder if your favorite bridal designers have a favorite dress they've designed? Well, Lela Rose opened up to MSW to share her seven all-time favorite gowns and why.

The Dusk

"This feathered skirt is youthful and adventurous, and the bustier top adds a flirty element."


The Details: The Dusk lace bustier with long feather skirt, $9,950.

The Canyon

"The thin lace and long sleeves are elegant and chic."


The Details: The Canyon long-sleeve featherweight
lace sheath with deep V-neck, $5,495.

The Altar & The Waterfall

On left: "The combination of tulle and embroidered lace is so romantic." On Right: "I design and appreciate fine details, like this illusion bodice."


The Details: (Left) The Altar tulle gown with ballerina bodice, $6,995. (Right) The Waterfall shimmer fil coupe gown with illusion bodice, $5,995.

The Mountain

"This has been a longtime favorite and brand best seller—the V-neck and full skirt are classic, while the brocade detail is subtle."


The Details: The Mountain brocade deep V-neck gown with full skirt, $4,995.

The Marina & The Magnolia Tree

On Left: "Effortless elegance—I love the neckline and lace detail." On Right: "The corded lace detail is exquisite, and this dress has an open back that's beautiful."


The Details: (Left) The Marina silk crepe boatneck gown with lace-trim detail and tulle train, $4,495. (Right) The Magnolia Tree organza lace A-line gown with cap sleeves and open back, $5,995.