December 14, 2013

{You Don't Have To Be Someone Else}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
"Women are having more fun with fashion in general...and they're bringing that spirit to their weddings," writes a Martha Stewart Weddings blog post called Bridesmaid Dress 101. I love that women are playing with choices and infusing their creativity, passion and good taste into their wedding celebration. "You don't have to become someone else (read more traditional than you are) for that one day," advises designer Peter Som.

And I really like how the designer shares with brides about selecting dresses for their attendants, "Seven Tips for Dressing Your Wedding Party." Each tip is about fashion and looking more beautiful, yet it's wrapped in a bit of wise counsel inspiring a beautifully intuitive life:
  • Don't Go Changing
  • Please Yourself
  • Turn the Lights On (or Off)
  • Accessorize Wisely
  • Be Sensitive to the Season
  • Remember, Prints Have Their Limits
  • Consult Mother Nature
I found in these ideas a reminder that everything in life can be a message for your spirit...if you just look beyond the surface and see into the heart of the matter. Now that's really beautiful!

Love. Listen. Let go.
....with love from Cornelia

[Photographs: Martha Stewart Weddings]

November 11, 2013

{Your Wedding Bouquet, Forever}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Flowers are "the poet's darling" as William Wordsworth shared ... and simply a must for weddings, yes? Whether it's a bunch of hand-picked wildflowers from a meadow or a finely-crafted formal bouquet -- flowers and brides and weddings make a divine combination!

And now your wedding flowers can be "forever." My artist friend, Pat Fiorello, will paint a glorious version of your bouquet ... then you will have a memorable piece of art forever! As Pat explains: "No matter if your style is soft and romantic or bold and dramatic, an original painting of your wedding bouquet will keep the memories of your special day available to you after the real flowers are gone."

Like love, as another poet writes, a flower "yearns to be carried away." Hmmmm ... in our bustling, busy world, aren't we blessed to have inspired poets and artists remind us how to cherish love and the beauty of flowers deep in our hearts!

Love. Listen. Let go.
....with love from Cornelia


October 23, 2013

{A Handkerchief for Your Wedding} Part Three: "Soft Sighs & Deep Breaths"

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Handkerchiefs and weddings—along with the likes of languid moments, love and courtship, soft sighs, and “taking one’s breath away”—have a long poetic history together. And if you were lucky enough to have a close relation skilled with a needle (and many people did up until the middle of last century), then you’d have your own special handmade wedding handkerchief to sigh over. Perhaps made from near translucent Belgium linen or fine cotton from Portugal with a lush border of rose point bobbin lace for her and for him, a spacious, white lawn handkerchief with hand-rolled edges and embroidered with his initials.
Beautifully fetching handkerchiefs may evoke a more leisurely era as well as their costumed weddings; however, there’s a romantic melodrama that spins around weddings of any era. Weddings of the past and present are like a microcosmic slice of real life magnified and when planning a wedding (no matter how small or quickly assembled—even if it’s “Let’s hurry over to the courthouse!”), emotions swirl and time seems to speed up and slow down all at the same time. In our hurry-up world, whatever the occasion, maybe we need to stop and sigh every now and then. Oh, not for any melancholia—but just to enjoy the beautiful, take-your-breath-away blessing that life is.

When I had my bridal shop years ago, to help my customers ease the pace, relax into their bodies, and enjoy their rite-of-passage ahead, I would tell stories taken from wedding folklore, adding my own twists with a bit of goddess legend and mystical mythology woven in. I didn’t wave a hanky for dramatic effect, but I did take slow, unhurried breaths—with exhales not unlike a sigh—and soon my listeners were breathing deeper as well; they became more relaxed, even more sympathetic to mother or daughter or partner or whomever appeared as the source of their anxiety. Sometimes we miss life’s magic if we don’t slow down (letting go of the drama) and take a deep, long, easy breath.

So keep a pretty handkerchief handy—even if just as a reminder to take a few soft, languid moments to look within and refresh, relax and regroup.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Handkerchief images: Karen Augusta]

September 23, 2013

{A Handkerchief for Your Wedding} Part Two: "Lavender Tinged"

Dear Bride-to-Be:
A pretty vintage handkerchief (white-on-white or perhaps with a smidgen of pastel color) is my favorite bridal present to give—something personal, feminine and intimate, yet immensely practical. Sometimes I’ll slip back to the bride’s dressing area the day of the wedding and give her a hanky gift, ensuring she doesn’t go down the aisle without it. (I’ve also been known to whip out my own vintage hanky from my handbag and give it to the bride or groom when no other is available!)

Of course handkerchiefs for brides or grooms are more than just useful for tears and sniffles. They can be a handy way to bring a bit of ease into your bustling wedding day with an old-fashioned yet clever use of aromatherapy. For instance, lavender is very calming. (And did you know that when you’re calm and more relaxed, you’re more present to love?)

You can lavender-scent your wedding day handkerchief by placing it (or them) in a box or wrapped in tissue with some sprigs of dried lavender a few days before the wedding. Or as you’re leaving for your ceremony, dab a tiny drop of lavender essential oil on a corner of your handkerchief so you’ll get a soothing whiff each time you pat your nose. (Even keep a small vial of lavender oil in your bridal purse or pocket for a little calming “hanky refresher” during your wedding festivities.)

So instead of being distracted by nerves or “drippy” moments on your wedding day, be “hanky prepared” and you’ll be able to keep your attention on love...on what’s in your heart...on each other!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: David Willems]

September 3, 2013

{A Handkerchief for Your Wedding} Part One: "Keepsake Vows"

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Are you writing your own vows or perhaps rewriting some beautiful old ceremonial text, like from The Book of Common Prayer? The words spoken at a wedding carry more than just promises and declarations, they carry the rhythm and heartbeat of your deeper self. (Don’t dismiss their potential power by not giving them thoughtful consideration.)

Here’s a lovely idea that requires you to put attention on your vows early on. In arrangements made long before your ceremony, calligrapher Anne Elser, using her graceful script, will write your vows in permanent paint on a handkerchief—yours or ones from her vintage collection—so you’ll truly carry the words of your heart with you down the aisle. And, if needed, you’ll have a little “I Do” assistance at the altar as well as a beautiful keepsake.

For those of you who have read my book, The Bride's Ritual Guide: Look Inside to Find Yourself, (or remember my shop from years ago) you’ll know that handkerchiefs—especially fine vintage and antique ones—are dear to me. And I consider a charmingly serviceable hanky a must for every bride (and groom) to carry on their wedding day (for tears, runny noses, moist brows, dewy palms—you get the picture!) So this post begins a new series featuring the practical yet mysterious handkerchief. Revisit here often for bits of folklore that will tickle your heart (and maybe learn a handy-hanky tip or two.)

Love. Listen. Let go.
....with love from Cornelia

ps: Tune in for “hanky installment” Part Two coming soon!

[Photographs: (top) Josie Miner; (bottom) Martha Stewart Weddings]

August 5, 2013

{Love & Forgiveness}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Author Bryant H. McGill said “there is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” When you’re in the glow of new love while planning your wedding, maybe forgiving your partner isn't an issue. But in the day-in, day-out of living life together, take notice!

Ruth Bell Graham, wife of the Reverend Billy Graham for more than sixty years, said: “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Perhaps by taking that advice, all couples can find their own version of “happily ever after.” Not as some frothy, superficial, romance novel confection, but as a day to day letting go and embracing: letting go of judgment and embracing our imperfections; letting go of criticism and embracing acknowledgement; letting go of hurt feelings and embracing forgiveness.

Sometimes it takes courage—and it always takes opening your heart—to allow your forgiving, flexible, tolerant “big Self” to emerge. I find when I’m being “small,” holding on to some position, and definitely not feeling very “forgiving”—it helps to do this little exercise. I take several deep, easy inhales and long, soft exhales then say: “thank you for giving me this opportunity to let go and let love in.” I say it until I can forgive myself for whatever I made up (about me or someone else!) and can feel my heart open again. I like how Margaret Walker said it: “Love stretches your heart and makes you bigger inside.”
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia
[Photographs: Jason Hudson]

July 13, 2013

{Fragrance of the Heart} Redux

[In honor my bridal guide book signing at the Joy Garden Tour this month in the beautiful mountain village of Cashiers, NC, I'm re-posting this "flowery" message....enjoy!]

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Planning a wedding is more than just organizing people, places and things! It's a life changing rite-of-passage of your deeper self, an opportunity to discover something of your inner most essence and share that with your beloved.

No wonder that through the ages, fragrance and essential oils—the extracted essence of aromatic plants—were part of a bride's wedding preparations. Using aromatherapy was a way to assist the bride to tap into her own inner essence and bring the magic of nature into the celebration! A bride would be “anointed” with fragrant, soothing essential oils—so she was then wearing the heart of a flower.

Aromatherapists tell us that the inherent beauty and harmony of nature is exemplified in essential oils. They say that using natural fragrance encourages the link between the right and left sides of the brain, connecting how we feel to how we think.

Aromatherapy consultants Joan Clark and Michael Scholes teach that this is the first step to linking the body and mind, the heart and brain, even creating a balance between the female and male energies.

“It is through these realizations,” the experts explain, “that we start to heal our hearts, learn how to communicate our innermost feelings and to express compassion and the ultimate lesson—the ability to forgive.”    

Ahhh. Discovering the fragrance of the heart through essential oils.What a wonderful way to plan a wedding....a perfect way to be the bride you want to be....a loving way to begin a spiritual partnership!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photographs: Courtesy of Little Winter Bride and Drew Newman]

July 1, 2013

{The Language of Flowers}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
I thought you'd enjoy this reprint of my article, The Language of Flowers, published in the summer issue of SEASON magazine.

Bridal folklore throughout history, inspired by goddess mythology, tells of maidens entwining creamy white, aromatic orange blossoms into a bridal wreath for their hair, to ensure fertility; or carrying a bunch of sweet smelling white lilacs, representing innocence; or tucking fragrant herbs into their bouquets, rosemary for remembrance and dill, believed to provoke lust. (Both herbs were also eaten for their supposed powers!)
Along came the French, picking up where the ancient Persians left off by assigning meanings to flowers and herbs, and in 1819 published Le Langage des Fleurs. The etiquette-driven Victorians, as passionate as they were sentimental about flowers, followed suit. With so many rules and restrictions about what was proper to say to whom—and outright flirtations certainly prohibited—they adopted the romance-filled language of flowers, creating their own dictionary-like books, lyrically illustrated, to help sort it all out.
This romantic language was perfect for weddings. Many brides, including royal ones, get a bit sentimental when it comes to their wedding bouquet. Queen Victoria carried a nosegay of snowdrops, representing friendship (they were her beloved Albert’s favorite flower); and Grace Kelly, after much thought, selected lilies of the valley as her simple wedding bouquet, meaning return of happiness. And of course Kate Middleton included blooms of Sweet William, signifying gallantry.
During the golden-age of movies, whatever the royalty-like brides of old Hollywood loved, the rest of America did as well—and they loved orchids! Especially huge, lush cattleya varieties that, if truth be told, were overtly sexual. Although a “language of flowers” book might say the orchid represents beauty and refinement, Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, called it “the sexiest flower on the planet.” So no matter what some whimsical Victorian floriography says (or what post-war brides and their mothers pretended), an orchid’s real language was passionate, sensual, even erotic.

Yet, ironically, as was the fashion, a large opulent orchid sat on top of a bride’s small, white bible; or was attached innocently to her fur or satin muff; or worn as an oversized wedding corsage. Orchids were also popular in the center of big, boisterous bridal bouquets, like eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor carried for her first wedding in 1950, right before the premiere of Father of the Bride with Spencer Tracey. (She didn’t carry orchids in all of her eight weddings, but Goddess Liz knew her way ‘round passion so she included them often!)                        
Needless to say, the language of flowers could be confusing: their “meanings” changed because of fashion or locale or color; or with what other blossom it was combined. No wonder tussie-mussies and nosegays—a style of mixing specific herbs and flowers—became so popular in the Victorian era (and were forerunners of the modern bridal bouquet.) Since these “talking bouquets” said the sweet-nothings for you, gentlemen suitors carefully chose their flower combinations, assuring the appropriate message be delivered to their sweetheart. (Plus one did not want the nosegay intended for tonight’s dinner hostess mixed up with last night’s paramour, etcetera.)
However, if your flower choices for a wedding bouquet don’t match up as you’d like with the messages in a Language of Flowers book, then just assign them your own romantic meanings and I’m certain the flower goddesses will bless you! ~
[This is a reprint of my article published in the summer issue of SEASON magazine. See page 74.]

June 13, 2013

{Vintage Inspiration}

Le Petit Echo de la Mode - 1923
from "Head to Toe Fashion Art"

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Ideas for vintage-inspired fashion are all around! From Downton Abbey to Mad Men, there's a pretty vintage vibe availabe to sweep you off your feet! Or as Elle UK magazine says, there's a "wealth of inspiration for modern brides hoping to channel a hint of vintage glamour."

How about vintage with a French twist? The website "Head to Toe Fashion Art" has a lovely gallery of rare bridal prints from 1863 to 1952 where you'll find some old-fashioned charm.

The Victoria and Albert museum in London is a treasure trove of inspirition from the past. There's a wonderful online gallery of wedding gowns, accessories and jewelry as well as a beautiful book showcasing the best of their collection: The Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions by Edwina Erhman. Then there are a myriad of shops and online spots featuring vintage wedding gowns and bridal accoutrements like the designer and couture items at The Frock.
Wherever you find inspiration for your wedding, be sure to inspire your heart! Here's a little exercise: Take several deep, easy soothing breaths and imagine them flowing in 'n out of your heart. Follow your breath and find your center 'til you can ground yourself inside your heart...your hub. Then whatever creative ideas you discover that may "take your breath away," you're always ready to reach out with love.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from  Cornelia

ps: The "Head to Toe Fashion Art" website adds to their gallery as they find beautiful, old wedding prints. Check with them often for a bit of vintage inspiration!

May 5, 2013

{Say 'Thank You' Before Anything Else}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Don't forget to bring your grateful heart along when planning your wedding! It's so easy for couples to get caught up in the commercial glitz of wedding planning that no wonder some weddings appear to be done more "by the numbers" than "from the heart"....

And yes, numbers do play a big part in planning a wedding: the size of your guest list; how many attendants to have; the cost of the reception; the size of your wedding's carbon imprint; and etcetera! Yet, no matter how you "count the ways" (staying within your budget, being as "green" as possible, or including all of his relatives), you're busy counting while planning a wedding. So how to turn it around so that numbers aren't a source of stress, but simply a reminder of all your blessings?

It's not always easy to get the numbers to match your heart's desire in the simplest of circumstances, but it becomes especially challenging when planning a wedding. With weddings – these microcosms of real life – you're attempting to stuff so much into one event. And you do want to please everyone, even when you know that's impossible! Hmmmm. (I'm reminded of the quote from writer Eric Hoffer: "The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.")
So consider this: 
  • What if planning your wedding became about "counting your blessings" first, then taking a head count second?
  • What if being grateful was always first on your "to do" list?
  • How would it change your life if everything followed "thank you"?
Whether you have only a dozen people at your wedding or you fill a grand ballroom, the spirit of your wedding comes from the gratitude in your heart and how you share it, yes? The thirteenth century German theologian Meister Eckhart said: "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." So if indeed saying "thank you" is like saying a prayer, then offer up your gratitude in all the ways you can, and the blessings of your wedding day will surely be abundant!
A beautiful bride is a woman who says "thank you" even without speaking a word.
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia
[Photographs: David Willems]

March 15, 2013

{The Wedding Season}

Dear Bride-to-Be (and Friends):
Below is a reprint of my article published in the spring issue of SEASON magazine. I didn't want you to miss it since the gorgeous period fashions on the Downton Abbey television series inspired the popularity of “all things vintage” for modern weddings. (Scroll to page 60 if you want to see the original layout.) Enjoy!
...with love from Cornelia

The Wedding Season on Downton Abbey

To the delight of Downton Abbey fans everywhere, we were invited to two family weddings this season. And since the splendidly sumptuous costumes are the stars of this British period drama on Masterpiece Theatre—the bridal gowns didn’t disappoint (even if one potential bridegroom did!)
It’s post-war 1920 and the three aristocratic Crawley sisters dress in the stylish fashion of the budding “modern woman.” The restrictive corsets are gone as are waistlines, high-necks and sweeping hemlines. “It is unthinkable,” declared the era’s innovative fashion designer Paul Poiret, “for the breasts to be sealed up in solitary confinement in a fortress like the corset!”
So as a woman’s figure was freed (with hair cut and crimped for the most daring), lighter and more diaphanous fabrics became popular for a delicately draped silhouette.  Since this is before the Jazz Age flapper girl, the Downton Abbey wedding fashion is softly feminine and romantic, floaty and full-length, even goddess-like. And it followed Vogue’s directives of the time: “No matter what hour the wedding is held, there must be no exaggerated décolletage.” Both Ladies Mary and Edith’s elegant bridal gowns—modest, yes, but oozing femininity—“offer a wealth of inspiration for modern brides hoping to channel a hint of vintage glamour,” writes Elle UK magazine.
The “Will they?/Won’t they?” relationship of “distant cousins” Lady Mary Crawley and Matthew Crawley tugged at us through a dozen episodes, so their wedding to begin the third season was the cat’s meow!  Costume designer Caroline McCall had Downton Abbey’s grand staircase in mind when creating Lady Mary’s column-shaped wedding dress—gossamer layers of ivory-tinted silk and the most expensive costume ever made for the show! She etched the gown’s lace overlay with tiny Swarovski crystals and rice pearls to create a shimmeringly mythical moment as the bride pauses on the sun-lit staircase just as her father (and Carson, the devoted family butler) look up to see her.  “I wanted her to twinkle in the morning light, so I also infused the lace with a delicate silver thread to create a subtle iridescence. My goal was to make her look really ethereal and romantic”…and to soften the hard edges of Mary’s stern character.
The actress playing Lady Mary, Michelle Dockery, said that she’d never been nor had ever portrayed a bride before so she loved all the attention, even feeling a bit like royalty. The royal vibe could have been from all the guarded secrecy around her gown; or how it was reminiscent of the slender, silver lamé trimmed bridal dress worn by Prince William’s great-grandmother in 1923; or while filming the wedding scene at Oxfordshire’s village church, she stepped from her carriage to cheering crowds, just like Kate!
Then there was second-daughter Lady Edith’s Grecian-inspired wedding dress, a softly draped asymmetrical confection in silk slipper-satin and chiffon. (My favorite, although historically, a design a little ahead of its time.) Appliquéing vintage petal shapes of intricate silver embroidery and crystals across her shoulders and swirled at one hip, the costume designer wanted the more “awkward sister” to shimmer in her own bridal spotlight—but the magic was not to last.
The two sisters—instead of wearing the usual wedding choice of the period, a wreath or crown of wax orange blossoms—shared a stunning 45-carat, old-cut diamond Georgian tiara in a romantic floral motif (on loan to Masterpiece from “royal jewellers” Bentley & Skinner.) And that long silk tulle veil worn by both brides, so memorable in each sister’s wedding story, was another “pretend” family heirloom. Since “Downton Abbey” is actually Highclere Castle, all the Crawley heritage we see on the fictional program is “pretend,” but it doesn’t keep us from feeling part of the family somehow—whether our place is “upstairs or downstairs”! ~
 [This is a reprint of my article published in the spring issue of SEASON magazine. See pages 58-61 (newsstand copy) or 60-63 (online version) for the beautiful layout.]

March 7, 2013

{Five Minutes to Ease}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Yes, you’ve heard me say over and over how important it is to have a little quiet reverie in your day during your busy wedding planning time. And you’ve said, “I want to, but just don’t have the time!”

Okay, try this. And don’t add it to your “to do” list—a list that’s much too long anyway! And don’t think of it as “something else to do,” but more like a luscious gift to give yourself. Just say: “I’m taking care of myself inside and out today!” (And did you know that when you are more relaxed and centered, you are also more creative and loving?)

Start only takes five minutes, or less. YOU deserve it!

Sitting quietly with your eyes closed and breathing through your nose, count each deep, slow inhale (one) and long, soft exhale (two), inhale (three), exhale (four); continue slowly until you get to thirty. And if you lose count, just start over at number one. (Like planning your wedding, it’s not a race to the finish line; it’s a journey to enjoy as you explore your true heart’s desire....which tends to show up inside that inner quiet.)

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Cheryl Wiles of arisit i]

February 13, 2013

{Your Bridal Spotlight}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
One of the “mantras” I shared with brides in my former shop, as a reminder to really pay attention during their quintessential rite-of-passage, was something like: “However you ‘be’ while planning your wedding is how you’ll ‘be’ in your marriage.” And years later when I read the expression, “how you do anything is how you do everything,” it seemed the experts agreed with me!
Use the bridal spotlight to notice ways you’re being while planning your wedding that you want to leave behind (that are not the best to deepen a loving relationship) and those ways you’re being that you want to take into your marriage (to nurture that relationship!)

Working with countless brides through the years, I urged a woman to use her time in the bridal spotlight to look inside, listen for her inner voice and be still for its message. I also encouraged her to love her body just the way it is, to ask for what she needed and don’t be afraid to make “unreasonable” requests in support of her well-being, and, if possible, find someone who is a wise listener she can talk to about anything. 

The inner-process of a bridal rite-of-passage—which can be a very intuitively expansive feeling—is the perfect time to deepen relationships with family and friends while hearts are already open. It’s the perfect time to complete any withheld communications, to say the “hard stuff” with love, to heal old hurts and wounds, and especially to practice forgiveness.

Be the bride who grows into the most loving partner. Be the woman you want to become.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[This is an edited excerpt from my new book-in-progress The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride that shares about how Princess Diana used the bridal spotlight to bring her joy and pain. If you want to read more from this section called "Loving the Skin We're In," click here.]

[Top photograph: Julie Mikos]

January 21, 2013

{Thank You Notes}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
"Gratitude is the memory of the heart" a wise French teacher once said. And being grateful expresses the tenderest parts of ourselves. So what about those wedding "Thank You" notes? No excuses like "you're too busy" or "they're old-fashioned" -- writing thank-you notes for gifts and favors and assistance you've received are as essential to your wedding planning duties as ordering the invitations, selecting the cake, or finding the perfect dress!

The editors of Martha Stewart Weddings devoted an entire section to "How to Write a Thank-You Note" ... and here's what they said about getting started:

In the afterglow of a wedding, it can be a joy to write thank-you notes expressing heartfelt gratitude for the gifts you've received. But no matter how genuine your feelings, keeping the sentiment meaningful from one note to the next takes focus and creativity. Plus, you need to be somewhat organized to get the messages completed in a timely fashion.
Continuing with tips about "getting organized," "keeping track," and "what should the notes look like," the magazine editors also remind you that "feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it!"
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia
[Top quote from Jean Baptiste Massieu, bottom quote from William Arthur Ward; images from Martha Stewart Weddings.]

January 7, 2013

{Downton Abbey Inspiration}

Dear Bride-to-Be: If you're a Downton Abbey fan and thinking about an elegant vintage vibe for your weddingthen inspiration is at hand!  In the long-awaited third season we get to see how both the "upstairs and downstairs" plan two grand family weddings in this British period drama where the splendidly sumptuous costumes are the stars of the show!

Here's an excerpt from an upcoming article of mine, "The Wedding Season on Downton Abbey," soon to be published in a fashionable social-scene magazine:

It’s post-war 1920 and the three aristocratic Crawley sisters dress in the stylish fashion of the budding “modern woman.” The restrictive corsets are gone as are waistlines, high-necks and sweeping hemlines. So as a woman’s figure was freed—with hair cut and crimped—lighter and more diaphanous fabrics became popular for a delicately draped silhouette.
 Since this is before the Jazz Age flapper girl, the Downton Abbey wedding fashion is softly feminine and romantic, floaty and full-length, even goddess-like. And it followed Vogue’s directives of the time: “No matter what hour the wedding is held, there must be no exaggerated décolletage.” Both Ladies Mary and Edith’s elegant wedding gowns—modest, yes, but oozing femininity—“offer a wealth of inspiration for modern brides hoping to channel a hint of vintage glamour,” writes Elle UK magazine.
Wherever you look for inspiration for your wedding, look into your heart first, then everything else will follow exquisitely along!
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: I'll let you know when my Downton Abbey article is published so you can read the whole thing to get the full vintage inspiration!
pps: I have put together a new Power Point presentation that's become a real hit—"Downton Abbey: Here Come the Brides!" If you know of a group that needs a guest speaker, let me know—everyone seems to enjoy these entertaining "history lessons" told through stories about fashion, folklore and society (and why we do the crazy things we do!)