Philadelphia Style Magazine 2014

February 24, 2014 ,
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Brand your new name from day one with a wedding monogram. Every bride wants a wedding day that’s personalized down to the last detail, so when celebrated bridal designer Carolina Herrera debuted her Spring 2014 silk taffeta Aveline gown, it made waves not just for its delicate, ethereal beauty, but also for its monogram woven into the design. “It’s an everlasting union, so why not link all initials together?” says Mary Dougherty, owner of Nicole Miller Philadelphia (200 S. Broad St., 215-546-5007). “Monograms are an outward expression that the two are now combined.”

Dress designer and master seamstress Irina Sigal (2038 Locust St., 215-772-1121) has been creating gorgeous gowns for Philadelphia brides for the past 20 years. And just as she fashions a one-of-a-kind design for each client, she also works alongside every bride to shape this unique touch. “When you monogram an item, it becomes truly forever yours, and it should be a keepsake,” Sigal says.

On one occasion, Sigal discreetly placed a three-letter monogram on the edge of a bride’s sleeve before stitching the same design into the groom’s sleeve. On another, she beaded a monogram onto a stunning veil. Whatever the design scheme, Sigal believes that the beauty is in the subtlety. “Monogramming should be in the details,” she says. “It should be a bride’s secret way to make the dress her own. They shouldn’t be immediately visible to others.”

The same can be said for shoes. And when it comes to wedding footwear, brides trust local custom shoe designer Gary Wallace of SparklebyG (267-241-0985) with their sky-high stilettos. “Most of my work is Swarovski crystals, because what bride doesn’t want a little bling on her big day?” he says. “Monogramming wedding shoes is a great way to bring the couple together as one and let her show off her new last name.” Wallace is getting married in May, and he’ll be donning one of his own designs for the day, uniting him with his groom. He says a bride can even have the monogram done in blue for her “something blue.”

A monogram on a gown or shoes may be a discreet touch for the couple’s eyes only, but many brides and grooms are expanding the concept and building their entire wedding theme around their new initials. Taking on new names can be a daunting experience for any couple, but setting a strong foundation on your wedding day surrounded by loved ones is the perfect time to try out your new name. There’s really no better time and place to introduce the new you.

But Brian Kappra of Evantine Design (7500 Wheeler St., 215-492-8545) recommends exercising relative prudence when it comes to monograms: “True, they’re a big trend, but I believe they’re now being overused a tiny bit, so restraint should be used when deciding to go with a monogram.”

Kappra suggests employing different versions of the monogram for different aspects of the wedding. “For example, we might use the first letters of the bride’s and groom’s names to create a monogram label on hotel welcome boxes,” he says, “but for cocktail napkins, we might use four variations on the monogram. And then on the dance floor, we might have a printed monogram matching the wedding invitation–style calligraphy. But when it comes down to it, it’s all about incorporating personal touches wherever possible.”