Bridal Market: Isabelle Armstrong Spring 2015 Collection

ISABELLE ARMSTRONG BRIDALA relative newcomer to the bridal scene, native New York bridal couture line Isabelle Armstrong presented their sophomore collection at New York’s Bridal Market for Spring 2015. The collection embodied a harmonious blend of modern and classic styles, detailing elegance and glamour from French lace trumpet dresses to ranched organza and lace mermaid gowns.


A delightful surprise, and undoubtedly an “awww” moment for the show’s spectators was the incorporation of flower girl couture, with sweet little darlings strutting down the runway in beautifully crafted dresses.

ISABELLE ARMSTRONG BRIDAL To view more coverage of the collections featured in Sophisticated Weddings: New York Edition, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2014 edition, and check out more looks from Bridal Market.

Bridal Market: Anne Barge Spring/Summer 2015 Collection


Channeling timeless grace within her trademark intricate beading and detailed embroidery, Anne Barge presented her Spring/Summer 2015 collection at New York’s Bridal Market runway at The London Hotel, thoughtfully presenting a clean, classic aura, and a dash of modernity.


Celebrating the feminine form with precision in its execution, from front to back, the Spring/Summer 2015 collection by Anne Barge was met with passion, creativity, and whimsy to be admired.



Diversity among necklines and silhouettes offered something special for every taste, shape, and style. From silk satin organza to Chantilly lace, each gown to grace the runway offered classic glamour, many of which incorporating ’30s vintage style inspiration. A collection to be met with adoration, Anne Barge has introduced a plethora of options this season for the sophisticated bride.

To view more coverage of the collections featured in Sophisticated Weddings: New York Edition, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2014 edition, and check out more looks from Bridal Market.

Bridal Market: Monique Lhuillier Spring 2015 Runway

MONIQUE LHUILLIER BRIDALIt is that enchanting time of year in bridal again, when our favorite wedding gown designers present their immaculate vision for the the walk down the aisle along the Bridal Market runways. A designer close to our hearts that evokes passion, romance, and luxury, is the exquisite Monique Lhuillier, whose Spring 2015 bridal collection presented at Cedar Lake in New York City this past Friday, introduced an ethereal daydream brought to life.


Inspired in a John Singer Sargent portraiture, silk satin organza and signature Chantilly lace gowns lent an dreamy, alluring energy. Flow and grace was executed, as expected, with seamless precision. Along with traditional ivory and silk white tones, Monique incorporated a variety of shades including blush, hydrangea, pistachio, and mist.


Although the gowns were undoubtedly the highlight of the show, Monique’s sandals and ankle booties of silk and white lace and silver metallic, made for a perfect modern complement, while her platinum engagement rings completed the eternally timeless look.

To view coverage of Monique Lhuillier’s collections featured in Sophisticated Weddings: New York Edition, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2014 edition, and check out more looks from Bridal Market.

Photo Credit: Dan Lecca

Designers Go From Pencil & Paper To The Runways Of The Spring 2014 Bridal Market

By Mindy Woon

Anne Bowen scan0006

With Bridal Market just around the corner, designers are busily putting the final touches on their newest collections and finalizing their runway shows. As one of the co-owners of the Group 868 showroom I was able to get a sneak peek at what is coming out from the designers we represent. This is the time when the anticipation and expectation is high. What new creations will our designers come up with this season? Will there be better and more fascinating gowns than last time? I can assuredly answer yes to all.

Anne Bowen is an American designer who has been designing for 15 years. Her looks are sexy and glamorous, red carpet worthy. She is known for her beautiful unique beading using semi-precious stones and crystals. While designing her bridal collection this season, Anne was inspired by nature particularly sea animals that mate for life. Water is a recurring theme so the fabrics are light and sheer with water inspired details. She uses an abundance of crystals and pearls to convey the feeling of waves and foam. There are mermaid, fit and flair, and a-line shapes with dramatic trains. Though the gowns may appear light there is plenty of structure in the beautifully beaded corset tops and in the construction of the gowns. These gowns are perfect for your very own red carpet wedding.

Francesca Miranda Escanear 02-04-2014 15_33-page4

Francesca Miranda is our premier South American designer. Her light frothy creations give just the right amount of romance with an insouciant twist. This season is no different. Novelty lace from Europe, sheer organza, and light chiffons are the forefront of this collection with her finishing touch of adding sparkle to the gowns in a subtle way. Her gowns are subtly layered with lace or hand printed chiffons underneath to give depth to the final result. The gowns then get a final dusting of stardust (beading). The shapes are sexy and romantic at the same time with fit and flair shapes, plunging necklines, and interesting backs. She even has one gown that is actually a beautiful lace body suit with a fabulous fit and flair skirt. This is a collection that will inspire the romance of a wedding.

Rembo Styling is a bridal company based in Belgium. They are debuting their collection for the first time in the U.S. this season. The beautiful European made gowns have gorgeous house designed vintage inspired Belgian lace on chiffons and organza fabrics. This collection is perfect for the “boho chic” girl who is getting married on a farm in the country but at the same time can entice the city loft bride. The shapes are soft and airy with a slight vintage feel to them. A must see collection that will have wide appeal.

Halo and Co. is our glamour girl accessory line. All the pieces are handmade in the U.K. of Swarovski crystals and pearls trimmed in lace and tulle. This season the collection has a 1940’s/ 1950’s vintage feel with chunky stones in floral and circular motifs. There is everything from combs, sidebands, headbands and ribbon bands to matching handbags and earrings. This season they brought in more double combs that are connected with crystals to give a bride the option of using the combs to create a unique hairdo. A bride never can have enough bling.

Susan Spring for the Wedding Dresser is our soft accessories line by a local Brooklyn designer. She does everything from cute little shrugs to caplets. This season Susan stepped it up on her jackets. There are English net shrugs, lace tops, organdy over blouses, and fur caplets trimmed with beading. She also has beautiful novelty gloves and mitts in lace and English net trimmed in beading, something that is not readily available. This may be the next accessory trend. These are the perfect little add-ons to complete a bride’s outfit and bring it up a notch. Absolutely luxurious and very glam!

There are lots of exciting trends in gowns to look forward to in the stores this fall and plenty of interesting accessories coming out that a bride can use to put her own stamp to what her look will be on her wedding day.


Mindy Woon is an owner of The Sample Room NY and Group 868.

To Veil… Or Not To Veil

By Mindy Woon Of The Sample Room NY

To veil or not to veil. That is the question. It used to be at one time a bride wouldn’t think of walking down the aisle without a veil. Today there are so many styles of weddings from an informal destination wedding to a formal black-tie affair. Believe it or not a veil fits in any occasion. Don’t underestimate the power of the veil. A detailed veil can completely change the look of your wedding attire by turning up the amp of a simple dress. If your dress has no train a veil is a great way to add that train to your look. Veils are more complicated than they seem. There are so many lengths; elbow, fingertip, and cathedral, to the different cuts, like angel wing, butterfly, or straight. Then you have to decide do you want the bottom to be round, square, or pointed. Yes, you can do fresh flowers or have a beautiful comb but there is nothing like the romantic mystic of a veil, with your hair blowing in the breeze. Or when your new husband lifts the veil to give you your first kiss as man and wife. A bride can say she wasn’t thinking of doing a veil but as soon as she puts one on it brings tears to the eyes of everyone in attendance. What is it about this wisp of fabric that can create a swell of emotion even from the most cynical of people?


Since veils are sort of an afterthought to most brides these days they are not aware of or have calculated the cost of a veil into their budget. The material is not expensive but the labor to make a veil is what brings the price up. Veils are mostly made of nylon tulle. The more detail on a veil the more expensive it is. A veil is hand cut and all the details are hand sewn onto the tulle. A hand cut plain tulle veil can run anywhere from $100-$500 depending on the length. If you want a lace mantilla style or lace edge veil those can run into the $1000 or more range as does a beaded or embroidered veil. A more rare but special veil is the silk tulle veil. Silk has a completely different hand and feel than a nylon veil but oh so fragile, like a cobweb. Keep in mind if it’s a silk veil you are going for expect to spend around $1000 or more. If a veil isn’t your thing there is always the little cage veil. Cage veils give you the feeling of being a bride without the seriousness of a regular veil. They are flirty, fun, and saucy. Tilted in a jaunty way over the side of your face it gives a retro look to your ensemble. A cage veil doesn’t necessarily go with every dress but can complete the appropriate dress in a fashionable way.


If you go with a veil, now the question is to blusher or not to blusher. What’s a blusher? A blusher is the short part of the veil that goes over your face. Usually there is no trim on the blusher maybe only on the edge because as you walk down the aisle you should be able to see your face through the veil. The blusher should also be above your flowers as well. After the wedding the blusher will be behind you and depending on the cut of your veil can create a beautiful cascading affect on the sides. If you like the cascading effect but don’t want the blusher on your face, it is totally fine to just leave the blusher behind you as you walk down the aisle.


Veils are a bit more formal than our more casual society is but at the same time when will you ever be able to wear a veil if not on your wedding day. Nothing says bride like a veil, however, brides have options and a veil is just one of them.


Mindy Woon is a co-owner of The Sample Room NY and Group 868

The MIXOLOGIST! …Create A Signature Cocktail For Your Party.

Last month, The Trump SoHo New York hosted a release party for the 2014 Sophisticated Weddings: New York Edition in their spectacular SoHi room. The SoHi has so many things to marvel over- the room itself, the jaw-dropping views, the food, the service… now they also have a mixologist! Once party guests gazed through the floor to ceiling windows, 46 stories above lower Manhattan, and took their selfies with the new Freedom Tower behind them, they turned their attention (and iPhones) to the “Sophisticated SoHi” – the evening’s signature cocktail.


Want to try making your own “Sophisticated SoHi”? Here you go:


2 oz. Vodka

2 tsp. Lemon Juice

6 Raspberries

2 tsp. Sugar

Splash of 7UP or Sprite


Muddle raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a shaker. Add vodka, 7UP/Sprite, and ice. Shake and serve in a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with raspberries.

For information on The Trump SoHo New York’s SoHi, email: Monica Bewak <>

Photos: Cody Raisig Photography

Registry Must-Have: Keurig® Rivo® Cappuccino & Latte Brewing System

Rivo head-on

Every once in a while, a product or invention comes along that makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. When Keurig® introduced their single cup coffee makers for the home and office, lives were changed for the better. In under 60 seconds, one could brew a cup of gourmet coffee, tea, or hot cocoa with priceless ease. Over the years, beverage options for the Keurig exponentially expanded, satisfying Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks lovers in a K-Cup, and even catering to cold beverage consumers with varieties including Snapple iced teas and refreshing lemonade. In essence, Keurig was a game-changer for not just coffee lovers, but for anyone that enjoys a freshly-brewed, hot or cold beverage, at home or at the office.

The Keurig coffee maker has long been a registry favorite, but many of us can’t wait for our wedding day to get one. Registered couples may have long enjoyed their coffee brewing system, thereby making it a redundant item for the registry checklist. Don’t walk away from Keurig just yet– the beloved brand has taken coffee to a whole new level with the launch of the Keurig® Rivo® Cappuccino & Latte Brewing System with Lavazza Espresso, and you’re going to want to get in on this one. The Rivo system enables users to brew fresh espresso and frothed milk with simplicity and authenticity at the touch of a button. Become your own personal barista in the kitchen with Lavazza Espresso, and become the master of the perfect cappuccino (no skills required!). It’s the perfect start to a happy marriage.


We’ve had the opportunity to give the Rivo Cappuccino & Latte Brewing System a whirl, and here’s what we love about it:

  • Whether we used whole, skim, or soy milk, we got a perfect froth every time. The differing consistencies and base for the fresh milk we used didn’t seem to throw off the Rivo one bit.
  • Hot or cold, short or tall- you’re all set no matter what your mood is.
  • It was EASY. We didn’t feel like we needed a crash course or handbook for this machine. It’s incredibly user-friendly, even for the most technology-resistant person. No barista certification class needed here.
  • It’s not enormous like the espresso machines you see in your local coffee house. It’s just the right size for the kitchen counter, and has a sleek look that complements other appliances in the home.
  • Keurig has become a leader in coffee brewing, so you know that the options only get better from here. Accessories are also plentiful and readily available for purchase, offering seamless convenience.
  • We love a good recipe, and there’s many to be found on Keurig’s website here.
  • Lavazza Espresso is currently offered in four delicious varieties: Espresso Classico (a full-bodied blend with notes of tropical fruit), Espresso Intenso (a bold, full-bodied blend with aromas of butter and caramel), Espresso Delicato (slightly sweet with notes of chocolate and a long lasting citrus finish), and Espresso Decaf (balanced flavor with gently sweet aromas of grape and dried fruit, and of course, decaf).

It’s a no-brainer. This Registry Must-Have pick is just the latest exciting addition to hit the kitchen. It’s okay. Go ahead. Make your gravy boat look bad. Check out all the features the Rivo System has to offer on the Keurig website, and get your wedding registry started off on the right note.

Finding Your Dream Dress: From The “AHA!” Moment To The Altar

By Mindy Woon of The Sample Room NYCarolina_Herrera_WEBITORIAL

When you are shopping for a wedding dress everyone says: “You’ll know it when you see it.” But what if the “aha” moment doesn’t come.  No- there is nothing wrong with you. You are not wedding gown deficient.  Maybe you weren’t one of those brides who have dreamt about the gown since you were 5 years old so you don’t know what to wear.  Consider this: the entire décor of the wedding party and venue could potentially be based on what this dress looks like.  That’s a lot of pressure for one dress.  This is where logic and reason must prevail.  Put aside what everyone else wants you to wear and think about what makes you happy.

First, determine the budget for the gown excluding alterations.  Be realistic!  If your budget is $1000, don’t expect to get an all lace or fully beaded gown even from a sample sale.  Your budget will determine what kind of store to visit.  With a healthy budget you have your pick of stores to see but if your budget is low there is no sense in going to a high end store only to fall in love with a dress you can’t afford.  You’ll never be satisfied and will be forever looking for that dress in your budget, not going to happen.  It takes at least 8 months for the entire process from ordering to fitting a gown.  If time is of the essence and a regular store is out of the question than you should visit a sample sale type place where you can buy a dress off the rack, for example, The Sample Room NY.  One piece of advice before visiting this type of store is to try on gowns before making an appointment.  Most places like this offer no holds; everything is final sale and sold as is.  Be prepared to buy because the gown might not be there if you come back another day.  In addition, plan to spend about $400-$600 on average for alterations.  All gowns need some alterations even gowns you custom order.


With the budget settled it’s time to determine the style.  What do you want to look like?  Ultimately what you are going to remember is what is in your photos.  The style of the venue determines what your dress will look like too.  Try on different silhouettes to see what is most flattering for your body shape.  Think about what details you want such as lace, beading, plain, pleats etc.  Bring inspirational pictures to your appointment.  Again, be realistic.  Budget determines the fabric and the details on your dress.  The goal here is to look the best that you can on your special day.  If your dream is to wear a poufy tulle ball gown but you are a curvy petite bride maybe you have to rethink the style.  A compromise might be to do a slim a-line with a tulle overlay.  It gives the same feeling as a tulle ball gown but will be more flattering to your body shape.  Bring your most trusted friend/family member to shop with.  No haters and you know who they are.  It’s a huge temptation to want to make a big event out of shopping for your dress and to bring your mother, sister, sister-in-law, second cousin once removed on your father’s side etc.  Don’t do it!  You will be wasting yours and the store’s time.  No decisions like this are ever made by committee.  You didn’t have a committee pick your fiancé why would you have one pick out your wedding dress.


Alterations are your final step.  Most brides have never had alterations done in their life outside of shortening a hem.  The fitter you pick must be experienced in bridal alterations.  Only a bridal fitter knows how to create a bustle (picking up the train so you can dance).  Remember this is a process and there is no perfection so keep your expectations realistic.  There will be natural creases in the bodice of the dress unless your dress is spandex.  You will most likely do about 3 fittings.  You should schedule your first fitting about 2 months before your wedding and spread them out so that the last one is just before your wedding date.  Women’s bodies change from month to month and you want your dress to fit the way your body is on your wedding day.  Drinking 4 marguerites the night before your fitting wouldn’t be advisable.  If you don’t have 2 months don’t panic.  Alterations can be done in as little as one week but know that you are going to pay for this rush service.

Picking out your wedding dress doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience as long as you go about it with humor and realistic expectations.  Keep it in perspective.  It’s a special dress for your special day but most importantly it’s about getting married to the one you love.

Mindy Woon is an owner of The Sample Room NY

All photos by Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company

Location: TriBeCa Rooftop

Jewelry: Patty Tobin Jewelry

Hair & Make-Up: White Rose Collective


When a little girl imagines her wedding day, she thinks about her dress, her bouquet, her dashing husband… and her daddy walking her down the aisle. For Farrah Ferenzo (now Mrs. Jeffrey Edelstein) that wasn’t going to be possible. Farrah’s father passed away a year prior to her wedding. Still, Farrah made sure her daddy was there to walk down the aisle with her… in some form.


On the evening of November 30, 2013, at Capitale NY, when Farrah took her steps toward her husband-to-be, her father walked with her. At her mother’s suggestion (“why don’t you think about how you can make him feel apart of it?”), Farrah came up with the idea to paint her father’s face on the left side of my shoe. In the Jewish religion, the Bride’s father stands at her left side. Farrah Googled “hand painted shoes” and found a wonderful artist in Arkansas named of Miranda Marie. After 100 some odd emails and hours and hours getting to know each other, Farrah found herself with a friend for life in Miranda, and a way for her daddy to walk her down the aisle at her wedding.


Farrah sent Miranda a photo of her father. Soon after, Farrah had a very symbolic way to have her daddy present, walking with her down the aisle toward the man of her dreams.



Shoes by: Love, Miranda Marie

Venue: Capitale

Photos by: Anthony Vazquez

Bridal Market Runway: Ines Di Santo



Suiting up for both elegance and glamour, Ines Di Santo presented her signature dramatic silhouettes and otherworldly feminine palette to present Bridal Market with sensual romanticism in wedding dress form.


Both the Luxe and Couture Collection presented at Bridal Market evoke a joie de vivre, that is intrinsic to the heart of the designer’s work.

Di Santo’s embellishment treatments explore Art Deco beading and architectural mohair adding texture and dimension. Mohair is woven in to create an all-over lattice effect, juxtaposed with ultra-feminine Guipure lace, for a fabulously fresh approach to innovative detailing.   Color is important introducing a lavender hue in addition to cameo pink, blush and champagne.


With gowns that allow a bride to feel as if she’s in a dream, as every bride should, Ines Di Santo’s latest couture statement is a dazzling tribute to the feminine form. Check out the dashing looks from the runway that caught the eye of Sophisticated Weddings: New York Edition.