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Fashion Fit For A Bride

Scheduled to be married Friday morning on The Early Show plaza, Lauren Anderson and Craig Shand shopped seperately for the wedding clothes with party and wedding planner Colin Cowie.

Anderson's first stop was bridal designer Michelle Roth's New York salon. There, she tried on several different dress types - from princess to sheath. Some she felt were too poufy on the bottom; others were deemed a little too formal. Finally, she found the perfect dress.

It's a couture, A-line dress with a rouched, fitted bodice, and a long skirt with very tiny rectangles of fabric sewn all over the skirt. She said she loved it because it's unique, modern, and not too formal - a reflection of her own style.

Cowie says, "I love the detail on this dress. I think it's absolutely stunning. And I love the shape. It's almost kind of deconstructed in a way, because of this funny fabric. It's sort of whimsical in a way."

To the bride-to-be he adds, "I can see you running through the wet grass in this dress with no shoes on, spring morning, with Craig running behind you. Stop that girl. Stop that girl. I'm not saying a word, but I think your face says it all."

After Anderson was set, Cowie went with Shand to Bloomingdale's to find the perfect suit. They both decided that a suit, and not a tuxedo, would be best for the wedding it's a morning wedding held outdoors in the summer. They chose a very sharp Canali pin-striped suit, a funky shirt that is pin striped on the bias, and a gorgeous grey silk tie that makes the whole outfit come together.

"I love the suit," he says.

The couple visited The Early Show Monday to talk about their shopping experiences, though they were blindfolded to make sure their outfits will be a complete surprise to one another.

Lauren, who had never tried on a bridal gown before, was interested in an A-line dress at the beginning. She says, "One of the dresses that I tried on. I thought it was the one. The second time I put it back on I didn't feel it was as special as it was. It was the opposite of the dress I ended up choosing. I wasn't crazy about it the first time, but the second time, it was great."

Cowie's advises: "You want to have the dress that you can wear. You don't want a dress that wears you. You don't want to be overwhelmed by full fabric." The dress, he notes, has to be the perfect one for you.

A way to save money is to use a dress that has been gently used; another says Cowie, is "The Feline's Basement sale. You can buy a regular dress and use it as a wedding dress. Very important, too, by the time you take the dress and add the makeup and the gown and veil and the shoes, it could be very overproduced. You want to put all the items together, take a picture of yourself and look in the mirror and make sure this is exactly how you want to look."

Shand , who was interested in a tux initially, says "I think I'd feel more comfortable in a suit." Cowie notes in a more casual society, it is inappropriate to wear a tux before 6 p.m.

Here is a brief summary of Cowie's tips for brides:

  • Do not go overboard on "elements" in a dress - "Basically, I think you should have 2 elements in a dress, embroidery, or beading, or ribbons, or bows - but you can't have it all."
  • The bride MUST find a dress that she feels confident and comfortable in - Too many brides become hunched over and self-conscious as they walk down the aisle with hundreds of eyes focused on them. He suggests a bride find a dress in which she can stand tall and straight.
  • There are no steadfast rules to dressing a bride - "It's all about what looks good on you, and what makes you feel good," he says. Gowns can be incredibly pricey, so dressing differently is an alternative to getting the big white gown and some stores are even starting to rent dresses - or sell once-used dresses - for the fraction of the cost of a brand new gown."

For the groom:
  • Suit vs. Tuxedo - Cowie says that the groom has to consider the wedding itself. Is it formal or casual? Morning or evening? Winter or midsummer?
  • A nice suit for a summer/morning wedding with a sharp shirt and snazzy tie is what Cowie recommends. He is not opposed to men trying different colored suits suitable for the season.
  • The groom's suit should complement the bride's dress when possible (having the bride choose the groom's tie is a smart move, since she knows what her dress looks like).
  • Look for sales - Shopping for men is far more convenient than for women, he says, so men can really be budget conscious and still find a gorgeous suit.