from L to R: Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Packham and Marchesa
When I stumbled upon Nearly Newlywed last week, I fell in love immediately. The selection of dresses was beyond compare… and the prices were stellar. So, I contacted the founder, Jackie, and asked if she would be interested in an interview (and maybe sweetening the pot for The Excited Bride readers!), and she said yes!
Enjoy her answers (along with the gorgeous pictures of her own wedding!), and make sure to enter the giveaway below!
1. You have a very fashionable background, and it shows on the site. How do you select the dresses for Nearly Newlywed?
Thank you! We hand select every dress sold on the site. We try to pick a range of styles, to appeal to different aesthetics (modern, classic, funky, boho, vintage, etc). While we do accept different silhouettes, fabrics, and feels, we keep a keen eye to what girls will really want to wear. The reason I started the company was to make lust-worthy dresses more accessible to girls like me, so that is my guiding principle whenever I choose a gown – will some girl out there see this and lust after wearing it, just as she would after a gown on the runways in Paris or the pages of Vogue.
2. Obviously you have to love weddings to start a company like Nearly Newlywed. What was your wedding like?
My wedding was lovely, or at least I thought so, haha (which really, I tell girls, is what counts… it is how you feel on that day that really matters). I was married in the midwest in a ‘nearly new’ Vera Wang Diana dress at an old flour mill’s ruins that were turned into a museum. It was a pretty small affair, 100 guests. We exchanged our vows outside and partied into the wee hours that night.
One of my favorite moments was when Patrick, my husband, saw me walk down the aisle and I could tell he thought, ‘wow’. I also loved changing my dress, I slipped into a bright red dress for the reception, Carolina Herrera (for sale on NN right now) so I could really get down. I love fashion and dresses, so if I could go back, I think I would try to fit in one other dress change – the more the better I say
3. What advice would you give brides-to-be who are still hunting for their perfect dress?
Try to relax, and take your time. Don’t let yourself be swayed by a feeling of urgency or stress, it will just make for a disappointing decision later on (so many girls I speak with have bought multiple dresses, only to change their mind or wedding venue/aesthetic). I think it is difficult to fit yourself into a box, ‘Am I a modern bride or am I a boho bride? Am I fancy or funky?’ Questions like that can cause girls to get confused… besides, I think there is a little boho, modern, fashionista in all of us, so its hard to ‘choose’.
Think about what you feel most comfortable in, what will make you FEEL special, and go for that designer, dress type, style, fabric. In the end, it is the girl that makes the dress, not the other way around, so once you do find a dress you feel good about, then the real fun begins. You can make it your own with the accessories, hair, makeup, alterations, and how you make it yours. A pretty dress is just a pretty dress until someone works it on the red carpet, and then there is a moment, which I think is what every bride wants and deserves.
4. Alright, spill: who is your favorite bridal designer and why?
That is a toughie! I really can’t just pick one, because my favorites all offer something unique. I am a big fan of Valentino, Elie Saab, Marchesa, and Reem Acra for intricate, fashion-forward gowns. Their pieces are just works of art. I also love Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier, season after season they make dresses that real girls would love to wear, and do. I also love some traditional ready-to-wear designers for bridal. Phillip Lim, Lanvin, and Alberta Ferretti have gorgeous dresses that can double as bridal or party. And I am really into Jenny Packham right now. I live for all of her dresses.
5. Tell us some of your favorite dresses on the site and why you love them most of all.
One of my personal favorites is the Monique Lhuillier ‘Arielle’ gown. We have it in two sizes, and it is such a modern take on a classic dress. Strapless lace, with a corseted bodice, and a slight fit and flare skirt, that has a semi-sheer element to it.
We have an Elie Saab gown with a crystal bust that I would love to wear if I had the chance again, it is exquisite.
And I am really lusting after our Vera Wang Erica, Jenny Packham Lucetta, and Marchesa Assymetric Ruffle Gowns. They are all unique and stunning.
6. What should we expect to see from you and Nearly Newlywed in the future? Any plans for expansion, new offerings, etc?
Yes! We are two months young and growing leaps and bounds. Some of our plans are still a little hush hush, but you can expect to see some exciting collaborations and expansions with designers and boutiques, as well as additional product offerings… and of course, many, many, many more pretty dresses.
Thanks to Jackie not only for her time, but for offering an amazing giveaway – $100 toward ANYTHING you want from Nearly Newlywed! Enter in the box below – you have one week to win. Good luck!