Bride: Jessica Dube
Groom: Chetan Dube
Wedding gown style: Christiane
Boutique purchased: Madison Avenue Flagship Store, NYC
Wedding date: September 10, 2011
Location: Saint-Symphorien-le-Château, France at Château d’Esclimont
Photographer: Janis Ratnieks
Did you have a certain style in mind when you started your search for a dress?
I knew from the beginning that I wanted a ball gown with a corseted bodice surrounded by tulle. I’ve always been a romantic traditionalist, but I wanted something unique – something with a surprise! I needed a gown that was strong and regal enough to fit the château venue, but also with a soft, whimsical touch for the French countryside.
What made you decide on your Vera Wang gown?
I made Vera Wang my last stop, to give others a chance at comparison – but, of course, nothing holds to the superiority of Vera’s innovations. Her gowns are magic, and a bride fulfills every fantasy in them. This gown, Christiane, was the perfect balance of classic and traditional with a touch of Bohemia. I felt enveloped in luxury in its ornate detailing and mix of textures with ribbon swirling around the skirt in feminine ruffles. Looking at myself in the mirror, I turned to my mother and said, “I see myself standing next to him in this.”
Did you bring anyone along dress shopping? If so, did their opinions influence your final decision?
I brought my mother along with me. I have a strong sense of my own style, and she is the only person I find that I trust. She keeps me open-minded to what I might not take a second look at otherwise! I wouldn’t have tried-on this gown if it wasn’t for her suggestion – and when I did, I saw it was perfect and simply meant-to-be.
How did you accessorize to make your wedding day outfit unique?
To emphasize the gown’s nostalgia, I chose a Vera Wang necklace with deep granite colored crystals overlaying a nude tulle ribbon that simply tied around my neck and looked as if it were floating. I chose chocolate brown satin point-toe pumps with a dark crystal buckle by Manolo Blahnik. I completed the look with my everyday, simple pearl earrings.
What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
We drew inspiration from the whimsical history of Château d’Esclimont, with its origins in the 10th century, and its magnificent interiors reflecting the Renaissance period. To embody the romance of France in its rustic, royal and old-world elements, we searched the French flea markets – choosing an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and tapestries, antique crowns, tea-stained linens and velvets, and vessels of wood, brushed silver, and gold. For the floral arrangements, we mixed a soft palette of blush pinks, lavender, and ivory with heavy accents of crimson and aubergine.
Did your gown style relate to any other design elements of the wedding?
My gown was a constant, yet indirect source of inspiration for much of my wedding, with its focus on old-world whimsy. From the crystal headpieces I made for the bridesmaids, to the satin and tulle wrapped around their wrists, to the color choices of the stationery and the linens – I would see subtle reflections of my bridal outfit. I wanted everything to recall the distant era of the French court in a château in the country surrounded by majestic and ancient trees.
What was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of the day was the calm and warmth I felt watching my brother escort my mother down the aisle, followed by my beautiful friends, the bridesmaids. And standing there with my hand resting in my father’s arm, trying not to look at him, knowing we both had tears. Then seeing the debonair smile on my future husbands face. These were the incredible people in my life. I couldn’t be happier.
What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?
My tip would be not to over-analyze and stress about finding the “perfect” dress. Just have fun! Dream! Love! Be radiant! Choose a gown that expresses how you want to feel that day, standing next to your new husband – and you’ll wear it with the ease of a T-shirt. Remember, this is all about the two of you – if you feel luxurious, you’ll glow!
Are there any other anecdotes you’d like to share?
Make your wedding a true expression of you, your husband-to-be and your future life together! Don’t worry about anyone else – or about catering to your guests and getting caught up in the logistics of party planning. Be free-spirited, dance, smile and, above-all, LOVE. With your regal knight and a stunning gown, what more could you possibly need?