It’s official: Chelsea Clinton and her long-time love, Marc Mezvinsky, are husband and wife.
Chelsea and Marc wed in an interfaith ceremony that honored the bride and grooms’ Methodist and Jewish upbringings. The affair was held outdoors in Rhinebeck, NY at a Hudson River Beaux Arts estate called Astor Courts. Etc., etc., let’s get on to the good stuff: several photos have emerged from this security event of the century, and we can see that Chelsea’s highly anticipated Vera Wang gown–a version of Wang’s $10,000 “Diana” gown from her Spring 2010 collection–is absolutely stunning. I especially love this picture of former President Bill Clinton walking Chelsea down the aisle. Take a look at the unusual skirt of Chelsea’s gown:
If you look closely, you can see that the swirling layers of silk organza create the petal folds of giant roses. The juxtaposition of the clean lines of Bill’s suit and tie with Chelsea’s origami-esque skirt perfectly captures the feeling of modern-romance that characterizes this wedding. Here’s a closer look at the strapless gown’s draped tulle bodice and its exquisite embellished belt:
I love the crystal belt, which draws attention to Chelsea’s tiny waist. This is the main modification of the “Diana” gown that Chelsea made, aside of changing the slight sweetheart neckline to a true, straight-across strapless neckline. You can see the gown below as it appeared on the runway:
Many bridal designers, including Jenny Packham, Oscar de la Renta (who designed Jenna Bush’s 2008 wedding gown and Hillary’s fuchsia mother-of-the-bride gown), and Elizabeth Fillmore are using black accents in their upcoming collections–and Vera Wang is no exception. Personally, I’m not certain if I’m 100% on board this trend and I’m happy to see that Chelsea chose a more traditional alternative. Your wedding photos will last forever, whereas this bridal trend of using black belts and accents may only be around for a few years.
So, where can you get Chelsea’s wedding dress for less? One way to reproduce the look is to buy an already worn or sample Vera Wang gown that has a similar silhouette, then add your own belt. One place to find great deals on already worn gowns is OnceWed.com. For example, check out this White French Tulle and English Netting Vera Wang Gown with a similar A-line silhouette to Chelsea’s dress. It’s available for $2500 (more than 50% off its original price of $5,314):
I like the pleated bodice of this gown–it’s similar to Chelsea’s, but this one creates a more definitive corset-like shape. Very feminine. Now all you’d need is a lovely belt to define your waist and transform your gown into a Chelsea-worthy look. Here’s option 1, a Romona Keveza Swarovski Crystal belt on sale at Weddingbee.com for $325 (or $425):
If you want something with more beads and crystals that still won’t break the bank, check out LittleWhiteDresser’s shop on Etsy, which offers beautiful crystal belts that will add some dazzle to any dress. I like this one, $96, with a beautiful, wavy design:
If you’re looking for a floral design, I like this one from Kirsten Kuehn’s designs, $150:
A couple of points to keep in mind if you decide to order an embellished belt online:
- Be sure to take note of the measurements. Make sure the belt will be long enough to comfortably get around your waist, or, if you want to have extra ribbon to tie in a bow in the back, double-check to make sure you’ll have enough material. Also, take note of the width of the belt you’re looking at so know if you’ll have the width (or skininess) that you desire.
- If you’re planning on ordering a hand-made piece on Etsy, where the crystals or beads are placed on a sash or a ribbon, think about whether or not the ribbon will show under the beading. If any of the sash is exposed, will its color match or compliment the color of your gown? If you want a seamless look, the last thing you need is an off-white sash contrasting with your winter-white gown.
- Consider your belt to zipper placement! Especially if you are going to have a tailor sew the belt onto your dress, think about how it will be located when it comes to the zipper. Will there be a place where you can break the pattern of the beading with the divide of the zipper?
- Make sure you have enough time for your order to arrive. To be on the safe side, make sure the designer can guarantee a delivery date at least two weeks before your big day.
If you don’t want to bother building a similar look with a separate gown and belt, here are a couple of dresses that are look-alikes of Chelsea’s gown. For starters, check out this dress from Etsy designer Toccata, $3,500:
If it’s the structural, origami feel of Chelsea’s skirt that you love, consider this Monique Lhuillier “Sunday Rose” dress on Recycledbride.com. Like OnceWed, RecycledBride is a great resource to find once-worn (like new!) designer wedding gowns for great prices. This Sunday Rose dress is listed for $7,500 (from original price of $10,460) and it has a textural feel to the skirt that’s similar to Chelsea’s:
Here’s another Etsy hand-made gown where tulle petals give the skirt a unique texture. This one is one sale through August 5th for $398:
Last but not least, if you love Chelsea’s dress, but can’t afford to pay full price, use the internet to find an exact copy on sale. If you search for “Vera Wang Diana dress on sale” today you’ll find one size 4 of the dress that’s 50% off at OnceWed.com, (listed at $5,000–a steal from the original $10,000 price), and one size 2 for $4,500 on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com.
If you’re looking for more pictures of Chelsea and Marc’s wedding, check out this slideshow.