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One of the best parts of the wedding industry is that it is a fairly close knit circle of awesome people (if we do have to say so ourselves). Through industry events, Southern Weddings photo shoots, and good ol’ Twitter, over the years we have made a ton of friends in the wedding profession. One of these wonderful friends is Annette Thurmon of Chaviano Couture.

Not only does Annette have striking good looks (she was the model in our Watercolor shoot for V2), she is a fantastic bridal designer. Need proof? Katharine wore a stunning custom Chaviano Couture veil at her wedding and she looked simply breathtaking.

Now, we wanted to ring in 2011 in style, and what better way to start off a new year than with a gigantic giveaway?

Here’s Annette herself with the rules:

Hey Ladies!! I know many of you are getting ready to say your I do’s in 2011 and Chaviano Couture would like to help you celebrate by giving one lucky girl a custom cocktail dress for your wedding weekend. The dress can be for your rehearsal dinner, reception, or get away. What fun to have your own one-of-a-kind piece to wear! Tell us what your gown would look like and what it would be for. I love details, the more descriptions the better! We’ll pick the top 4 answers and draw up sketches of each dress. Readers will then vote on their favorite. If you are not currently engaged, no worries. You can tell us what your perfect cocktail dress would be, too! We are looking for the most creative and special dresses you can dream up!! Can’t wait to hear what you ladies want. It’s going to be a fabulous 2011!

Oh, and just so you know, the estimated value of a Chaviano Couture cocktail dress is $1,500. Whew, what a steal! Just leave your comment below and you could be selected as our lucky winner.
You have until January 10th at midnight to submit your grand ideas! Annette will then sketch her favorite four designs, and y’all will be able to vote on the best design!

Written with love by Whitney
  1. avatar Jennifer reply

    Our wedding takes place on July 30th, 2011, which in case you didn’t know, is the day of the 2nd new moon in the month of July. This is a rare occurrence that is only happening once this whole year. It is the believed in many cultures that on the second new moon of the month, the most powerful magic is able to take place. Our families ancient ancestors believed in this power, and we are honouring them by joining together in love under the ‘secret moon.’

    On this night, the only feature in the sky is a blanket of shining stars and I want to look like I fit in with the celestial backdrop. My perfect cocktail dress would be to wear as my new husband and I embark on our first wedded journey into a moonless night. This perfect getaway dress should have a sense of mystery and romance. It should be dramatic, whimsical, and ethereal: channelling a sort of other-worldy beauty. The fabrics should be whisper-thin and soft. A dress fit for an elegant fairy.

    In short: my perfect cocktail dress is the kind of dress you wear when you expect magic to take place.

  2. avatar Heather Brown reply

    I am having such a hard time finding my perfect dress, and I think its because it just doesn’t exist. I like pieces of separate dresses, but they have yet to come together to make one fabulous dream dress.

    I want something vintage and romantic, like lace. Of course it has to have a modern silhouette- fitted most likely a dropped waist or mermaid style. Mainly I am all about the details, so it needs some flair. A sweetheart neckline….maybe a one shoulder with some ruffles or bows? That would just make it perfect!

  3. avatar Katie S. reply

    This is an awesome contest! Thank you for the chance to win.

    I would love a cute cute cute above the knee cocktail dress for my rehearsal dinner. I would like for it to be violet in color and made of silk chiffon. I want it to be sleeveless with wide straps and a V neckline. Some silver/gray fabric flower detail scattered randomly about the dress would be fun too. I would like it to be form fitting defining my natural waist. Thank you!

  4. avatar Lori reply

    What an incredible giveaway!

    I have a very simple and classic style accompanied by a great appreciation for detail, and the love of all things ruffled and pleated. For my wedding gown I am going to keep it very simple. However, I LOVE the idea of a cocktail dress with a little more sass! My fiance and I are planning to spend the night in Nashville and spend Sunday with our family and friends in town for our wedding and fly out for our honeymoon first thing Monday morning. I would LOVE a dress for our day-after family festivities.

    Here’s what I am picturing: Silk taffeta, for starters, with pockets (a must!). Halter style with a large, ruffled neck- the kind that perfectly sets off a simple, classic, up-do. A line style with the ruffle from the halter continuing diagonally from the neck of the dress to the opposite bottom. The ruffle, in smaller scale from the top, would adorn the bottom hem of the dress. A thick strip of fabric around the waist ties into a perfect bow in the back- in a sparkly (but not glittery!) romantic champagne color to off set the white of the dress (Yep, sticking with white day after- I am going to enjoy the bride role for the whole weekend!)

  5. avatar Emily reply

    We’re getting married the weekend of November 5th, 2011 in North Carolina and I’m so excited to share this warm and exciting time with friends and family. My sister got married this same weekend two years ago and as a kind and loving person, she suggested that we get married on the same weekend.

    Being from the South, I grew up watching and re-watching the movie “Steel Magnolias” with Julia Roberts and have always dreamed of a fabulous getaway dress. Shelby (Julia Roberts) wears a beautiful pink tweed suit for her getaway attire. While a baby pink suit won’t work for our fall wedding, I’d love to have a great send off dress to leave our reception. My dream dress would be a beautiful vibrant red (who says it has to be white?) dress that hits just above the knee because I’m a petite girl. I love the classic look of a dress that cinches in at the waist and flares out a bit. I’m taken with black and white stripes lately so I’d love a beautiful black and white striped sash to adorn the waist. As for the top of the dress, I’d keep it fairly simple with a sleeveless v-neck silhouette. I love details and I love beautiful colors- I am not a fashion designer so I would be open to any changes or suggestions! Overall, a dramatic red cocktail dress to leave our reception would be fabulous!

  6. avatar Congratulations on your engagement!! – Chaviano Couture reply

    […] start this new year off right we are doing a HUGE giveaway through Southern Weddings Blog! Enter to win a custom cocktail gown valued at $1,500! Go to their blog for more […]

  7. avatar Kerri B. reply

    I am not engaged yet, but I can dream :) And that’s often what I do before I go to sleep at night.. I imagine all sorts of dress designs. However, I lack the sketching talent to appropriately put it onto paper (although I try), but I have a perfectly unique dress in my imagination! It would be a very vintage-inspired dress, falling at about the knee. A silk slip-dress underlay with an empire waste. Now here’s the tricky part: Wide Silk Ribbons attached at the waist falling right next to each other and falling free vertically. Overlaid with very delicate, see-through lace overdress including cap sleeves of the same lace. Thin silk ribbon running along the outside of empire waist with some sort of broach or embellishment towards one side. The wide silk ribbons will swish and move freely under the lace overdress. :)
    A dress of whimsy and with a “Jane Austen” sort of feel mixed with a slightly more modern sensibility. :)

  8. avatar Lauren G reply

    For our Kansas wedding this April (to my high school sweetheart), I would love to have a simple, figure-flattering design from Chaviano Couture! I would love to have a shorter look for our ‘grand’ exit as the reception comes to a close. I would like to see, for the lower half, a navy draped chiffon with a tulip hemline. The bodice would be a sweetheart neckline with crystals and pearls (similar to the look sketched for Reese Witherspoon). A belt would be added to the midsection to accentuate the waist. Of course, all of this would be accompanied by an awesome pair of shoes!

  9. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I love contests almost as much as I love cocktail dresses! My perfect cocktail dress would be for the rehearsal dinner. I’d like it to be white (or cream or champagne) because I am too much of a clutz to rock white in real life — so I am taking advantage of the opportunity to wear stainable colors all weekend long! I’m getting married in August, so it needs to be made of a breathable fabric like silk. I have a classic wedding dress and would love to be more daring for the rehearsal. What about a thin one shoulder strap and mini bubble hem? I’m picturing a short dress with gold accents or pattern to match our wedding colors.

  10. avatar Tara reply

    We’re getting married Aug 13th and I’d love a gown for our rehearsal and dinner afterwards. I wanted a v-neck wedding dress so bad, but ended up strapless with a sweetheart, so this dress would have to be a v-neck, with a v-back. I’d love a sweet/small pleat at the shoulder. The shape should be am empire waist with small pleats on the skirt that mimic the shoulder pleats (nothing too poofy), I do have hips, so the shape would need to be slighly a-line, just not too much, hit a touch above the knee. I’d love a little bling at the waiste, just enough to add some shine/sparkle with a belt or sash. The skirt could even have a great overlay of a light/airy tulle or something that would be flowy and pretty. Simple elegance is the name of the game.

  11. avatar Blakely reply

    I’m not engaged but couldn’t help imagining a getaway dress that would be inspired by Liesl’s dress from the hopelessly romantic scene of “Sixteen going on Seventeen” ( from the Sound of Music. Her dress is light, flowing, and romantic, perfect for a spring or summer evening. I would want my dress to hit right above the knee, made of chiffon, and very loose. The skirt would have two layers of the same length but would give it some extra swing. An empire waist would connect in the back of the dress with a thin long bow. On the front, at the waist, left side would be a beautiful chiffon fabric flower. It would set off a plain scoop neckline and a slight curve as the back neckline. The sleeves would have two layers of ruffles, the bottom longer than the top, that would drape softly over the shoulders, and the tips would attach in the front and back a bit below the empire waistline. Not stiff ruffles, but loose ones that would float while dancing, or simply making your grand exit. The color: soft, light. Ivory? Turquoise? Lavender? If you picture that dress on a woman whose hand is in her man’s as they run down the aisle of people holding sparklers, it just seems magical.

  12. avatar Erin reply

    Oh my goodness, what a great contest!! Stephen and I are getting married on Saturday night, and then hosting a “morning after” brunch on Sunday morning before jetsetting on our honeymoon Monday morning. While all of this doesn’t go down until September 2012 (which seemed like so far away until a coworker explained as of a few days ago, I can now say “I’m getting married NEXT YEAR!”), it’s not too early to think about my outfits right?! I was thinking for my post-wedding, morning after brunch that I’d love, love, love to have a shimmery (almost metallic) blush pink or French blue, lace-overlay modern sheath dress with a sleeveless contoured bodice, straight skirt, and boatneck top. I can see this dress having a wide belt and pockets, too–like a more modern and glamorous Southern Sunday tea dress!

  13. avatar Megan B reply

    What a fabulous giveaway! Thank you, SW & Chaviano Couture! I have given this alot of thought myself, actually. I’m planning to have my cocktail dress designed and it’s really exciting to wear something custom made! My perfect cocktail dress would be for the last half of the reception and the gettaway. Since my wedding is in the spring, I want something short, feminine, and flirty. The dress would be in an ivory/white taffeta or raw silk with a fitted top and flared A-Line above-the-knee skirt. There would be a big ivory/white matching sash that would tie in a big bow in the back just at the waist. I would prefer it to be a big scoop neck, but with an open back, so maybe even a halter. Strapless with a sweatheart neckline would also be cute. On the chest area of the bodice, I’d want my new monogram (I’m from the south and I went to Meredith College!-don’t judge!) in a pretty classic font. The monogram would be in fresh mint to match my bridesmaid dresses-which also have a big scoop neckline with a halter clasp) I’m wearing light pink peeptoe heels with a big bow on the toe. (my flowers are pink peonies) I think this dress would be flattering for my body type, ultra girly, and sweet (and sexy with the heels and open back!) To accessorize, I’d wear pearls with a little bling! I think the most important thing for me would be to wear it and feel special, confident, and beautiful, but also feel like myself. I’m so excited about this giveaway! Best of luck, ladies:)

  14. avatar Nydia reply

    White, pure and crisp. White, like the sweet-scented cotton towels dried by the sun on the line; the same towels I would put over my head as a veil or hang from the back of my pajama bottoms as a long train when I was a little girl.
    Now that our wedding is a reality and I am living my dream every day when I I look down at my left ring finger and it is no longer bare, I find myself thinking about the day of our rehearsal; the day before we start a new chapter in our lives. The dress that I wear on the day of our rehearsal will be the last dress that I come home as daddy’s little girl in. With that dress, I will leave behind a lifetime of love and memories living under my parent’s roof and at the same time start my own life next to my best friend, soul mate, and future father of my children. I would love for the dress that I wear on that very important day to describe me as I am and will always be, single and married. I would love for it to be short and playful, a little above the knee. The skirt would be A-line reflecting a short Jackie Kennedy-style dress with French lace along the bottom of the skirt to add the femininity of a bride. A high, rounded neck with off-the-shoulder sleeves to have that classy and traditional touch, like us Southern gals. The back would be simple, just like the front, with small buttons going all along the zipper just like my bridal gown will have. And of course, I will see that dress reflected in the eyes of my fiancé the evening of our rehearsal when I first walk up to the altar to meet him. The dress I see reflected in his eyes will be my magical, perfect little dress.

  15. avatar Rebecca reply

    I love love love this giveaway! I’d love this dress for my rehearsal, it would be a great way to get into the style and “theme” of my wedding! My wedding has a vintage/eclectic/Alice in Wonderland whimsy feel, so I’d definitely love to stay in that area. My wedding is also made of muted colors, so I’d love something in a vintage blue color with thing deep golden yellow pinstripes. It would have a slight sweetheart neckline, low back, and wide set halter straps. It would have a tight bodice and a fuller skirt that hits just above the knee. I’d love whimsical flowers embroidered along the bottom in a deep golden yellow to mirror the large flower on my wedding dress. Pockets would be fabulous! This would be the perfect mix of different yet complimentary to my wedding dress!

  16. avatar Rebecca reply

    This is an amazing giveaway! I love her work, it’s breathtaking! I would love a dress for my rehearsal dinner that introduces the guest to the theme of the next day. My wedding has a vintage/eclectic/Alice and Wonderland feel with muted colors. Something with a vintage or pinup feel would be lovely. I’d love a dress in a light vintage blue with very thin deep golden pinstripes. A slight sweetheart neckline with wide set halter straps and a low back would be beautiful. It would have a tight bodice and slightly full skirt that hits just above the knee. Pockets would be ideal. Overall, it would be simple yet a bit whimsical.

  17. avatar Natasha reply

    WOW–what an incredible and extremely generous giveaway!! With my wedding coming up in June, I have been perusing hoards of websites for all of the events leading up to my big day. This is the ONE time in life where you can wear white to anything and everything, which says “I’m the bride” and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
    Most importantly, I am seeking one showstopper of a cocktail dress for our rehearsal dinner the Friday evening prior to the wedding day. Being a southern gal that has a love affair with “flair”, I am wanting a dress to have loads of embellishments, but with sophisticated glamour, something that is timeless and will photograph well.
    In looking through Chaviano’s collection, I love that the gowns are light and feminine, yet they offer fun design aesthetics and are still extremely elegant. Our rehearsal dinner locale is an old-renovated plantation home turned restaurant, complete with an outdoor patio for cocktail hour before a seated dinner.
    When I picture my ideal dress, I think small details including embellishments–perhaps floral appliques to a tight structured bodice or a bow-like fun one strap for something unique..above-the-knee with a slight A-line skirt with additional details…beading or lace would be divine. Way to make a girl dream ;)

  18. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Oh wow this is so much fun, thanks for the opportunity. I dream of being a designer in a future life but sadly I have zero artistic ability. I know exactly what I want to wear to my rehearsal dinner. I love the idea of the bride being in white for her rehearsal dinner because, unlike your wedding dress, your rehearsal dinner dress is one that you get to wear again (like on every anniversary). I am getting married in the fall of this year so I love the idea of a heavy fabric with texture like a brocade or a damask. My ideal dress would off the shoulder or tip of the shoulder with a sweetheart neckline and a slight gathering around the chest where I can pin one of my mother’s gorgeous broaches. I am thinking a fitted bodice and a flirty, flouncy skirt (maybe with a scalloped edge?) that hits above the knee to finish it off!

  19. avatar Laura reply

    BLUE. Any dress I got would have to be blue. My wedding shoes are blue, my bridesmaids are wearing blue, blue is my color. Bright, bold, royal blue. If everyone else gets to wear blue at my wedding, why can’t I? In addition to a love of blue, I am a girl who loves J.Crew and Audrey Hepburn: classic styles and bold-but-simple lines.

    My dress would be a strapless sheath with an ever-so-slight sweetheart dip. Not the deep, pointed sweetheart, but a lightly sweeping curve. But it can’t be just ANY sheath. No, it needs a ruffle. I’m thinking a wide ruffle that starts at the top right side of the dress and curves down to the left side of my waist, then back over to my right hip and maybe even around and up the back of the dress. Something that’s bold but classy and would give me quite a waist. And this dress should be of a more structured fabric to contrast the fact that my wedding dress is a flowy, swirly, ethereal beauty. It could have some sparkly accents to match my grandmother’s blue rhinestone brooch, which I’ll be wearing in my hair, but I think it’d be a pretty striking dress without any sparkle at all.

    I looked through Annette’s amazingly beautiful designs and I would LOVE to have my own fabulous blue dress and even just to see what she could do with my ideas as a starting point! I had a blue dress that certainly got my fiancé’s attention on our first date (he still talks about it!), so it would totally be fitting to have a knockout one for our wedding too. This dress would be for either my rehearsal or perhaps a getaway dress. Anywhere it can make a serious statement!

  20. avatar Kristen S reply

    I am loving texture and fabric flowers this year! I would love to have a asymmetrical cocktail length dress with a fitted bodice, and a A-line skirt. I would love if the bodice was layered or rouched into a gorgeous neckline, and then the skirt flows out and is covered in cascading fabric flowers of all shapes and sizes. The dress would be white (as you only get married once, you should wear as much white as possible!!) I am also big into black accents this year, and would love to see a black crinoline peeking out under the skirt (a bit of a vintage glam touch!) and perhaps a black sash or a single black flower somewhere on the dress to add a bit of contrast.
    This of course would be complimented with a kick ass pair of black pumps! I would love to wear a dress like this to my rehearsal dinner, or better yet as a getaway dress for the end of my wedding night! Go out with a bang!

  21. avatar Rachael reply

    I am so excited about this! I have been searching for the perfect rehearsal dinner dress and have had no luck! We are getting married May 21,2011. I would love a beautiful long one shoulder vintage looking dress. Maybe an empire waist with a cute embellished belt or lace bow? My fiance loves dresses with sexy backs, so however you can incorporate that too :) I would love to wear a white dress at the rehearsal dinner so I still feel like the bride but something more casual than my wedding dress. Thank you!!

  22. avatar Tiffany Lee reply

    OOOH this is so fun! I just lost 30 lbs on my way to 60 lbs total, so I am dreaming of clothes all day! The perfect cocktail dress would be a pleated, jersey number in emerald green, peacock blue or deep purple. It would be cut just below or above the knee, with a bead belt detail, and interesting tie or bead detail at the shoulders. It would have a slim a-line skirt, a draped back that could still accommodate normal undergarments with a beaded or mesh inset.

  23. avatar Courtney reply

    My fiancé & I have set our date for September 23 2011, the very first day of fall and the exact same day we started dating five years ago ( I’m a romantic what can I say?). I would love to wear a beautifully made Chaviano Couture cocktail dress to wear to our garden style reception at a historical mansion in downtown Columbus. I invasion my perfect reception dress as vintage in feel being perfectly fit for a whimsical English tea party in the gardens. I would love a puffy in shape knee length dress with all the emphasizes on it’s romantically sheer illusion neckline .The rest of the dress I could see covered an ultra feminine material with a lovely garden inspired texture. The waistline would be accented by a light latte or even dark chocolate colored sash made of a rich taffeta or Dupioni. It’s overly exaggerated bow or perhaps even glittery jewels would add just the perfect touch of couture style to this design. This dress would be filled with classic beauty and timelessness, something any daughter would love to inherit from her mother.

  24. avatar Christina reply

    This giveaway is one of the most fun yet!!! :) I am getting married on May 20, 2011 and I would wear my dress for the rehearsal dinner (and then again and again on the honeymoon and for weddings and parties to come!). A custom dress like any of these needs a lot of face-time! My dress would be knee-length, or just above the knee. The top of the dress would be one shoulder, with a few light chiffon ruffles going from the top of the shoulder and across the bust line. It would come in an the waist, perhaps with some elastic band, (not empire, but a high waist) and then fall straight to the knee, (just a slight poof to accentuate the waistline). The material would be something light and airy, romantic and perfect for spring. The color would be lavender. The look and feel of the dress would be whimsical and romantic, and something I would want to wear for years to come.

  25. avatar Quynh reply

    My perfect reception cocktail dress would definitely screams CHIC! It would be all white in silk organza. Hitting just at the top of the knees and has one shoulder sleeve. The top of the dress would be droopy that will allow for a super skinny belt to accent perfectly. The bottom would be semi fitting but still allow space for movement so I could dance the night away. Simple and chic.

  26. avatar Brandon reply

    I’m voting this the BEST giveaway Southern Weddings has ever done!! I would love, love, love to have a Chaviano Couture cocktail dress for my rehearsal dinner the night before my May 14 wedding. I would like a simple, stunning dress, with a “less is more” feeling that I could style up with accessories. My dream dress would be made of a light, dupioni silk and would be a sweatheart neckline (potentially with some embellishment or ruching?). The dress would be fairly fitted in shape and would fall above my knees. The dress would have a slightly lower back with a huge, gorgeous bow (or multiple bows? Or just ruched fabric? Here’s where I need Annette’s creativity!) mid back. The dress would be a beautiful, soft white. Thank you!

  27. avatar Laura reply

    Ladies, y’all have outdone yourselves! And Annette, you are too sweet and talented to be contained in one person. I would love to design a fab dress that I could wear either at the rehearsal dinner or when we’re out on our honeymoon! The dress would be a wear again color, dark purple or black. I’m in love with the idea that I could wear this dress again on our anniversaries, so it must stand the test of time. But that doesn’t mean boring! I’d love a structured, slight, natural A-line, knee-length dress with wide set straps and a dramatic scoop neckline that is mirrored on the back. I’m leaning towards a sateen cotton. My thought is that the fabric should be versatile so that I can dress it up or down, but I still want it to look rich. To keep the dress interesting (and flattering!), I’d love diagonal pleating to make a wide waistband. I’ve never seen this on a dress, and I think it would be beautiful while giving a cinched, corseted effect. In the back, a big, one-looped (removable) bow would add whismy and and something special. I can definitely see myself wearing this to dinner and a show with my Great, Great Aunt’s long strand of clear and jet black crystals, or somewhere more casual with colorful flats and accessories. I’m so excited to think of the possibility! Thanks!

  28. avatar AshleyRyan reply

    I have been on the search for my dream cocktail dress for my rehearsal dinner, tucked away in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Because I am wearing a simple, clean-lined, white wedding dress for my May wedding, for the rehearsal dinner I want to be opposite my “natural” wedding day style. I envision something playful and whimsical with just-enough-sexy in a soft to medium grey tone. I am thinking something micro-short, with a full bottom. While I want the hem line to be relatively even horizontally, I love the look of layering textured fabrics in interesting ways such as lace, tulle, and chiffon. To to balance out the leg and fullness of the bottom I want a super fitted, sleek top either scoop-neck or sweetheart with either one to two inch straps or light, tiny, sleeves. Paired with loosely curled, tousled hair, and high pumps, I will feel just like I should on the best weekend of my life–beautiful.

  29. avatar AshleyHH reply

    Although I am not currently engaged(hopefully that will happen sometime this year!!!!!), I think it would be spectacular to find the perfect cocktail dress. Being VERY “blessed” in the chest region causes issues when trying to find dresses. The first thing that popped into my head was color: a striking, deep purple. Its such a bold statement color and I love it! I think that dresses with one strap have a fun factor as well as a chic factor. And I love bows a ruffles, however, finding bows and ruffles that work with a large bust is sometimes complicated. I also think it would be cool if the bow/ruffle embellishment could be removable, so that the dream dress would be completely versatile. ( but that would just be an added bonus. ) The bottom would be flattering for someone who has a less than perfect midsection, would hit above the knee for sure and would look fab with some peep toe pumps (a wedge pump is my fave!) in black or grey/silver. Fabric? I haven’t quite figured out, but I figure thats why Annette is a superb designer, and I am not. =)

    Thanks for a chance to win such an awesome giveaway. Happy 2011!!!

  30. avatar Christy Season reply

    Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of one day wearing my Mother’s wedding dress on my own wedding day. I used to sit in our den and flip through my parents’ wedding album over and over.

    This past September, shortly after my 29th birthday, I was surprised by my boyfriend of four years with an amazing proposal in front of family and friends. So this past Thanksgiving, my Mother and I went up to her bedroom, poured some champagne, and took her dress out of its box…a big white box it had been specially sealed in for almost 36 years.

    Unfortunately, what my Mother and I had speculated was true — the dress didn’t fit. My Mom was three to four inches shorter than me and about 20 pounds lighter on her wedding day (she was 24). So sadly I resigned to the fact that I will not be able to wear her dress – no amount of alterations would make it work. I am, however, wearing her veil.

    We had talked about having her dress made into a rehearsal dinner and party dress, but I just could not stomach the idea to alter her dress too much. Maybe one day my own daughter will want to wear it.

    If I win this contest, I would love a rehearsal dinner or reception dress inspired by my Mother’s 1975 wedding gown. I love her dress because of its vintage vibe and intricate lace detail. A 70’s inspired, mini-dress made of lace or a lace top with a fun and flirty full, short skirt would be the perfect tribute to my Mother’s beautiful wedding dress and it would be close enough to wearing the actual dress itself.

    Our wedding date is December 10th of this year because my fiance and I love Christmas and the holiday spirit which we’re hoping to recreate at our Southern wedding in Alabama. I think a beautiful white or ivory cocktail dress inspired by my Mother’s wedding dress would be perfect for this time of year. Our colors will be navy and green with accents of silver…so incorporating any of these colors would be welcomed – whether it be with a sash, the styling or any other details.

    Here are photos of my Mother’s dress (on Flickr) – I hope seeing them will fill your head with lots of ideas for a cocktail dress and {fingers crossed} inspire you to pick me as the winner of this contest. And if not… you’ll at least get a good laugh at my Dad’s ruffled 70’s style tuxedo. :)

  31. avatar Sydney reply

    Oh, how I love dresses! My entire closet consists mostly of dresses and all of my friends know me for them! So, I have to have the most fabulous dresses for my wedding. There are some high expectations to fulfill! My lover and I will be married hilltop, beneath a beautiful tree. The ceremony will be very personal, sweet and sacred. Our entire wedding style is very creative, vintage inspired and shabby chic. I imagine my wedding dress being tea-length with lace and tulle. I am a dancer and I am most looking forward to shakin’ a tail featha at my ceremony with my husband and friends. WARDROBE CHANGE! I envision a dress that embodies sass, creativity and class. I’m thinking ballerina meets rocker=
    Sweet heart neckline
    Lace overlay corset bodice
    Tutu inspired skirt with lots of tulle and netting (maybe throw a splash of color under there such as robins egg blue)
    Lots and lots of creative detail throughout!
    I’m drooling just thinking about it!

  32. avatar Carolyn reply

    This is a wonderful giveaway! Thank you so much for this opportunity! My fiance and I are both currently in medical school, in separate states (year 2 and going strong). We have been engaged for almost 2 years, and have waited to get married since it will be at least until May 2012 before we can be officially together again. With all this time to plan, we have tried to take into account what is important to our families. I’m from Alabama with strong Southern roots, while my fiance is from New York. With some compromise on both sides, we decided a destination wedding on Jekyll Island would be beautiful. We will be getting September 4, 2011, the Sunday of Labor day weekend. This weekend has turned in to a family tradition for hot outdoor weddings in my family, with my parents (Sept 3) as well as my uncle (sept 5). My fiance and I cant help but have a traditional wedding and honor this weekend of weddings. I have already bought my wedding dress, a blush colored ball gown with lace, very traditional for garden ceremony. But as much as I love this gown, I know our reception will go until the wee hours of the morning and I will need a party dress to dance the night away. I would love a short dress, above the knee but not super mini. I also want something more modern and flirty, particularly since my gown is so traditional. I love the look of ruffles and flowers on the skirts of wedding gowns. I have also seen several wedding gowns made of organza that were so perfect for a garden wedding, although I’m not sure how that would translate to a cocktail dress. I have a very petite torso, and have found that strapless is the most flattering, with a sweetheart neckline of course. I am obviously conflicted about what should be on the dress, I could use the help of a professional. (hint, nudge, nudge) Although, not to offend, I’m sure on that day I could wear a garbage bag and feel amazing- I am so excited to celebrate with our families and friends that having a wonderful dress would only add to the experience.

  33. avatar Tweets that mention Welcome to 2011 Giveaway :: Chaviano Couture « Southern Weddings Magazine — reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Katharine Waterman, annette thurmon, Helena, Katharine Waterman, angela smith and others. angela smith said: RT @EmilyAyer: Fab giveaway to kick off 2011 from @chavianocouture – describe your dream dress to enter! […]

  34. avatar Jessica reply

    What an amazing giveaway! My fiance and I are eloping, and I’ve been trying to find a short dress that works well for my 5’2″ frame, but with little luck.

    I would love nothing more than a dress that would stand out in the crowd, yet be something I could wear again and again. A boat neck top with half-length sleeves and a fitted bodice, with a flared knee length skirt to make Joan Holloway proud. In a light to medium grey, in whisper soft wool, with a contrasted lining in blue or burgundy. Something simple, but that could be accented with a colored chiffon flower belt for the event.

  35. avatar Jessie reply

    I am getting married in May and have had a lot of trouble finding the perfect dress for my reception. My dream dress would be a matte ivory material. It would have a high popped collar that low v- cut neckline. It would have cap sleeves and have a high waist band with a sash that flairs out into a full skirt that hits above the knee. Thanks for the chance at such an awesome giveaway!

  36. avatar Mary reply

    Thank you for hosting this wonderful giveaway. It’s so special to have wonderful people come together to do something like this. A real dream come true!

    I would wear this dress to my engagement party or the rehearsal dinner. I think it’s important that when rehearsing for something or even doing an phone interview, to dress the part. It gets you in the mindset of the actual event and it makes you feel good!

    My dream dress would be a cream/ivory colored 3/4 sleeve eyelash lace short shift dress. I think there’s something so classy and timeless about the silhouette of the shift dress and not to mention, how flattering it can be on many body types. I am in love with the idea of eyelash lace because it’s so feminine, flirty, and sexy. I think that the juxtaposition between the lace and the silhouette would be timeless and so elegant. Because a shift dress with sleeves can cover up a lot of skin, I would be open to the idea of doing something more daring in the back such as a plunging draped back.

    This dress while perfect for an engagement party or rehearsal dinner could be worn so many times and in so many different scenarios after the big event. The dress is such a wonderful shape and it can be dressed up with fun jewelry, killer heels, and a clutch, or dressed down and worn to work or a meeting by throwing on a blazer over it and pairing it with the right pair of ballerina flats.

    Thank you for hosting such a wonderful giveaway! Can’t wait to see what the winning sketches will look like!

  37. avatar lindsey reply

    What a super super fun giveaway. I haven’t even started looking for a dress for our rehearsal dinner yet, but this would make me not even have to search for the “perfect” dress. Since we are getting married in a garden, I want something that is romantic and whimsy. I would definitely want a one shoulder dress (I ALMOST got a one shoulder wedding down but didn’t so the rehearsal dinner is my chance). The strap would be floral but not TOO big. I definitely would want the dress to be a soft pink color. The bodice area would be tulle maybe with some slight diagonal rouching and form fitting. I would like the dress to flare out a little bit and hit right above the knee. On the bottom, I think details of some lace with maybe gold accents would look so lovely! Ohh I can already envision me dancing around it. Thanks for the giveaway 

  38. avatar Kate reply

    Oh how wonderful! I would love to make a simple summery dress. I would love a braided/twisted one shoulder strap. It would be tight in the bodice with an empire waist with a sheer knee length skirt with some flow to it. It would be teal. =)


  39. avatar Sophie reply

    What a beautiful giveaway! Thank you so much for the opportunity to apply! I just got engaged on New Years Eve to the love of my life whom I met at college almost five years ago!, and we are so excited. Though our planning is rather undeveloped and we’re shooting for early September 2011, we do know what we love. To us, family and friends who have supported us are the most important thing. We’re going to have a “reaping and sowing” theme to our wedding, focusing on our roots. I grew up as farm girl in southern Lancaster, PA, and so we’re hoping to have our reception in the middle of my parents’ corn field with a deep country, community feel. Pretty easy-going, and comfortable (seeing as we’re pretty low-budget), but with class. We both love to travel the world and plan to work overseas in some non-profit capacity, but our homes and our heritages will always be so significant to who we are. I’ve always been a lace and pearls girl, so I would be so honored to win this give-away and represent Chaviano Couture to my friends and family as a reception short-dress, after the ceremony gown. Maybe even a honeymoon cocktail dress that’s really stunning, dramatic and elegant. Thanks so much!

  40. avatar Katie Lake reply

    This did taken much thought for me at all as I have been “making” this dress in my head for a bit. We are getting married on June 4, 2011, exactly six months from when he proposed. We live in small town Tennessee. Michael has lived his whole life here and my family moved here from Natchez, Miss when I was in elementary school. Back to the dress. I need a dress for my rehearsal dinner. He proposed on the dock at his dad’s lake house and we are planning a low country boil there for the rehearsal dinner. Funny how it has come to be a special place for us. The dress I have been thinking of is orange, kind of a sweet, light tangerine. I am short at 5’1″ so it would need to be above my knee. I’m torn between a natural waist or an empire waist. I want ruffles. A ruffle neckline of some sort. I love how feminine and fun ruffles are. Can’t you see it now?! Perfection!

  41. avatar Brettan reply

    Ooh, what a way to start 2011 — the year I marry the love of my life after living long distance for a year and a half! Our wedding is September 17, in LA, so I’d want something modern, chic, flirty and fun — something that’s not too summery and not too fall-ish, since our wedding falls right on the cusp of the seasons. I SWOON over anything with texture and tiers, so my dream Chaviano Couture cocktail dress would definitely have those — slightly asymmetrical tiers … as well as a sweetheart neckline and low back, to add some flirtiness, but with class … and definitely short, because my fiance thinks my legs are my best feature! Finally, I love the unexpected and fun look of having a dress that’s slightly shorter in the front than in the back, so my dress would feature that as well. I would wear this dress for dancing at my bachelorette party AND, because it would be so fabulous, I’d wear it again for the rehearsal dinner for my family and husband-to-be to see. And because celebration and love make me think of champagne, a light metallic fabric would be amazing. To stay on-budget, I will be selling my wedding gown after the big day, but I’d be able to love this cocktail dress for a lifetime. So thank you for the opportunity SW and Annette!
    [email protected]

  42. avatar JennaLea reply

    So Im not a bride but Iove following this blog and all things wedding related. I would love to have a flirty, feminine dress in a pale blue to wear in the spring. I would like to have a dress with a natural waist line with an ecru floral cluster (fist size or slightly larger) to one side of the dress. Stemming from this would be a faux belt of twisted fabric at the waistline. From the front, the fabric would lightly gather as it went into the one-shoulder. Once at the top of the shoulder the material would then begin to twist as at the waistline, until connecting with the back of the dress. Seeing as I’m a bit of a “Tall Sally” knee length would be best, with the skirt being light and airy but nothing too poofy. To fnish things off … pockets!

  43. avatar Elizabeth Jeffcoat reply

    The bond between my mother and I is everlasting and I would love to incorporate some of her wedding gown into my own getaway dress. Starting this heirloom would be a gift to pass down from generation to generation. Not only will it have sentimental value, but the handmade touches add so much charm. I love the idea of keeping the religious symbolism of the white dress signifying youth and innocence ongoing throughout my wedding attire. My ideal, fairytale getaway gown would be a just below the knee sheath dress (like the vintage 1950’s wiggle dress) complementing a deep elegant open back. A slightly ruched bodice with pearl accents would give the dress texture and appeal. I would love to have three quarter length lace sleeves with the Audrey Hepburn shoulder pad look to add the vintage flare and mother’s wedding gown lace. To continue with the vintage theme, I really like the look of old pearls as buttons to adorn the back of the gown. Even though you like details and ideas, I love the idea of designer touches and expression in the gown, especially from such an amazing woman, so anything you would like to add to the gown with the material, embellishments, and bottom of the gown will be stunning! I am so honored for this opportunity to have such a striking getaway gown! I am sure my hubby-to-be will be very excited as well! He even informed me that in his book, “The Groom’s Game Plan, getting to the altar and surviving the trip”, it outlines and defines getaway attire!! I sure hope on March 24, 2012 I will get to wear my very own Chaviano Couture getaway gown!!

  44. avatar Jen reply

    I got engaged last month and it would be my dream come true to have a custom Chaviano Couture get away dress for my summer California wedding! The white netting dress would have a sweetheart neckline and a fitted bodice. The voluminous just above the knee length skirt is full of life and would look amazing bouncing around as me and my new husband make our final exit through the glow of sparklers.

  45. avatar Stephanie Hood reply

    I’m not engaged, but I dream as often as every other girl out there! Growing up, my mother always laughed at me because if I wasn’t in jeans and cowboy boots, as was in some sort of dress. I love dressing up. I’ve never really fallen into one particular style. I tend to change based on my current mood! In a world of high fashion, I need a dress that could be dressed up or down to change with me! My idea of the perfect cocktail dress is simple, yet stunning with clean lines. I love dresses that don’t have an excessive amount of frills or ruffles, but can still swing in the summer breeze. My dream dress would have a halter, sweetheart, or square neckline, and would also have an open back design. I absolutely LOVE the idea of having the back of my dress being completely unexpected! My favorite colors are black, gray, blue, green, purple, and brown. Pearls and anything sparkly have always been my favorite accessories! I’ve always loved Audrey Hepburn and would love to see a dress that uses her classic style with a modern touch! Thank you for your consideration! What a lovely idea or a contest!

  46. avatar Amanda reply

    I would be looking for a cocktail dress for my rehearsal dinner, and then hopefully to take to wear somewhere fabulous on our honeymoon! I love everything vintage, especially with inspiration from the 40’s. I would love a cocktail dress that was an A-line to hit right above my knees. I love babydoll dresses, but they do nothing for my figure so I need a slightly longer style where the waist hits right below my ribcage. Either strapless with a sweetheart neckline, or thicker tank straps with a v-neck. Something to accomodate my larger chest size! I would love definition in my waist to accentuate my hourglass shape. I have always loved belts so using a thicker one to really suck in my waist would be awesome! I would love some sort of button detail. As far as fabric, I love lace, but also have recently fallen in love with brocade detailing. I think it gives me that delicate lace look from up close, but without the hassle of dealing with lace. Though, not much beats lace on a sweetheart neckline for me! It just looks so timeless! Overall, I want a classic look with a little bit of flare!

  47. avatar Ryan Morris reply

    Obviously I have no need for a wedding dress, I’m the groom. All I had to do was choose between formal and casual and pick a color. It was almost that easy. I wish it could be that easy for my future bride. She has gone out dress shopping so many times and each time comes back crying. If I had to guess she has probably tried on hundreds of dresses. She is beginning to talk about just settling on the next dress she tries on. She is such a princess and she deserves to have her dream dress. We are getting married July 16, 2011 in Dexter, Michigan. It’s a beautiful backyard affair, simple but romantic. I feel like her dress should match that. She would look breathtaking in fitted lace. Her family jokingly calls her the ruffle queen. If it has bows, ruffles, or buttons she loves it. I think she even picked out our pillows based on ruffles and buttons. Her gorgeous red hair and peachy skin couldn’t really pull off white, but she looks fantastic in ivory, kind of like a china doll. Because the wedding is outdoors in the middle of July- strapless and lightness would be perfect. I just want her to have the perfect dress to wear on her perfect day :)

  48. avatar Margie reply

    i’ve always been a gal of modest fashion because 1) i constantly have the “i could never pull that off” mindset and 2) gorgeous fashion always costs an arm and a leg, right? these are probably both complete misconceptions that i’ve carried around for years in my head. when it comes to my wedding in september i can’t think of a better time to break out of my mold to take a chance. due to what we consider way too early of a cutoff time for music, our reception is ending at 10. therefore, being the party animals that we and the rest of our friends are, my fiance and i are throwing an after party for our guests! i would absolutely love the chance to sport a couture dress to our party where we plan to dance the night away with our friends and family! so what does my ideal dress for such an occasion look like? i’m imagining short, for the dancing. i’d love to stick with the bride color scheme so an off white, ivory, or even champagne color would work perfectly with the sparkly heels i already plan to wear for the big day! being top heavy, finding a dress that fits my chest can be the uttermost form of frustration. so in order to minimize i’d love something form fitting, almost corset like, up top with a sweetheart neckline and possibly even a bit of sparkle detailing around the top. for the skirt, i’m on the shorter side so it needs to hit just about the knee to give me some height. the skirt would cinch all the way across the top and as it draped down it would all join on one hip brought together by flowers made of the same material. while the dress would technically be all one piece, a thin belt up top would make it seem as if it were two separate pieces. perhaps peeking out from underneath the skirt a thin layer of lace, ruffle, or guipures material. i can picture it in my head! here’s hoping that this modest fashionista who really has no clue of materials or design has done a good enough for you to be able to picture it too! : )

  49. avatar Linden reply

    Well isn’t this every girl’s dream?!?! Let me paint you a picture of a stunning, magical, one-of-a-kind, airy cocktail dress. It has an interesting neckline: one-shouldered. There are fabulous, fluttery, soft, flowery texture details on the shoulder and likely cascading down a bit. The waist is fitted and has some sort of embellishment and then the dress flares out because that style is flattering on me. The skirt twirls when you spin because who doesn’t love twirling in circles? (My favorite pic of my sister and me is from a party where we are holding hands and spinning and laughing in fabulous dresses. Just makes me happy!) Maybe the skirt has tiny little pleats to help with the twirling. And let’s not forget the back… I want the back to be incredible. I want there to be fascinating and creative lines. It can be fairly open, but I want it to be unique.
    And the color? I’m a redhead with bright blue eyes and pale skin, so I love anything in the dark green family, purples, and almost any shade of blue.

  50. avatar Winners!! :: Bleu Garters, Lo Boheme, Color Story « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] detail that added so much charm!” Be sure to enter this week’s ridiculously awesome Chaviano Couture giveaway. You have ’til Monday! Winners: don’t forget to email us to claim your fabulous prizes! […]

  51. avatar Kelly reply

    I am far from a designer (in fact I’m a tax accountant… how much further away can you get?), but thinking about my perfect cocktail dress has gotten me daydreaming long enough to forget I’m sitting in this cubicle. My wedding is in California on July 2, 2011, so I would love a fun, short, summery dress to wear to the rehearsal dinner. It would be a strapless sweetheart neckline or even some delicate cap sleeves, in a light blue color – beautiful and unique. The fabric would be either tulle or silk organza, or a combination of both! The bodice would be fitted, possibly a criss-cross pattern with the fabric (I love that!), and the skirt would flare out at the hips into a fun, tulle skirt. My vision is the perfect mix of modern and fantasy, and I would ecstatic to see it come to life. Thank you for the contest!

  52. avatar Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] ’10 wedding. Yup, she’s talented—and she wants to give you a custom cocktail dress. Go to the original post and tell us what your dream dress would look like. Get creative! The top four ideas will be […]

  53. avatar Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] ’10 wedding. Yup, she’s talented—and she wants to give you a custom cocktail dress. Go to the original post and tell us what your dream dress would look like. Get creative! The top four ideas will be […]

  54. avatar Elizabeth reply

    What a wonderful and generous giveaway! We are getting married April 30, 2011, at the home of dear friends in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Almost as exciting to us as the wedding is the opportunity to have a weekend away with all of our far-flung friends – we Skype them, we text, but we never have the chance to sit on a piece of driftwood by the waves and talk long into the night, as we hope to do in April.
    Naturally with all the friends and festivities come various events and I feel woefully unprepared! I would love an amazing cocktail dress for the evening we are spending at a little seaside shack called the Lobster Trap. Of course we will dress to the nines, because when else would you?! My dream dress is ethereal and asymmetrical – the skirt dips slightly in the back (maybe it just hints at bride), in multiple layers of blush and cream silks like the beginning of a sunrise, with a light underlayer of tulle – like a ballet costume gone for champagne cocktails on the beach. The dress would be very slim at the waist and bust and strapless, with an attached tulle wrap around the shoulders (could pull over just one shoulder, or down like a corona) like a cream-colored cloud. I am sure I will dream about it tonight!!

  55. avatar Jordan Hebert reply

    My fiance Jared and I are going to become husband and wife on March 31, 2012. We will be married in front of all of our friends and family in a candlelit courtyard in New Orleans, LA. This giveaway would be the perfect dress for our New Orleans rehearsal dinner. The perfect dress would be fit for a modern southern belle- strapless, knee length and made of silk shantung with a sweetheart neckline. Since, I am tall and curvy, an aline skirt with pockets would be perfect! For a true southern touch, a removable belt with a fabric flower to emphasize my waist. I absolutely love your existing Ruby Marie cocktail dress. With a few customizations it would be my dream dress!

  56. avatar Bella reply

    My dream getaway dress would be inspired by the beautiful peacock. It would have a tight bodice with a sweetheart neckline, a hand painted or watercolor like feather sweeping downwards from one top of the sweetheart to the opposite side of the hip. It would have some sort of A-line shape to it, with choppy layers of tulle, and light colored pastel shades of blues, purples, and other peacock colors, layered to the floor.

  57. avatar Kristyn M. reply

    My dream cocktail dress would be one that I could change into at the end of the reception. It would be a gorgeous vintage inspired slip dress with a lace overlay with beading and pearls. The slip would be tea length in an ivory color and the overlay slightly longer with a ruffly or choppy (not sure if that is the right word) hem in a light pink/faded peach type color. The overlay would have cap sleeves and a v or round neck line. The theme for my wedding is timeless summer romance and that is exactly what I envision this dress to be! Thanks! Love the blog!

  58. avatar Genevieve reply

    I am so excited for this contest! I would love an interesting cocktail dress. This dress would be strapless and flirty, a great dress for dancing in. I could envision fabric cut outs in the shape of a lotus root, sewn onto the outermost layer of the dress for a unique pattern. The pattern would only be on the skirt of the dress (which would poof out a little), with the top of the dress less busy and much simpler, for contrast. Just a simple sweetheart/v neck dip, fitted like a corset on top and let loose with the skirt.

  59. avatar Kim reply

    I would LOVE to have a custom cocktail dress to slip into before we leave the reception! I like to keep things simple yet elegant, and I would want this dress to be a little flirty too. It would have simple, straight lines – cocktail length, A-line with a natural waist, a soft sweetheart neckline, and a single, wide strap with a beautiful bow or large flower (maybe with some bling in the middle) where the strap meets the dress. The color would be ivory, and the fabric would be silk shatung.

  60. avatar Michelle reply

    Hi Ladies!! Thank you so much for the opportunity! If I had to describe my dream dress it would go something like this… Definitely strapless to give it a lil sexy. I’d want for it to be white/ivory, long and flowy. A few layers of silk organza or similar fabric that’s sheen. The top would be very Grecian. Layers of the same material in a beautiful yet simple pattern.

  61. avatar Kate reply

    What a fun idea for all of us dreamers to play with!
    My wedding is planned for June in San Gimignano Italy. I’d love to have a
    Chaviano Couture dress for my rehearsal dinner. We’ll be eating at a cute restaurant in San Gimignano with all of our family & friends that are travelling for our wedding. The italians are always very stylish, and I’d love to hold my own with them for once!
    I’m envisioning an Ivory dress made of light airy fabric. I have some good cleavage which I’d like to highlight, but keep classy – so I’m picturing the kind of top with triangles of fabric – loosley gathered that come down to below the bust – (but with extra gathered fabric so they cover me in the middle too … or maybe a sweetheart shaped under corsety thing.) Sort of like a halter, except continuing over my shoulders as straps. Below the bust I imagine horizontal or diagonal gathers that make a narrow waist. And around the hips I want to transition to light flowing fabric – with extra fabric that flares out when I twirl. I love the feminine feel of fabric that moves lightly with each step. At the transition – maybe just above my hips? I’d love a sapphire blue ribbon that comes together, at one side and then goes down loosely along the skirt. Where the ribbon comes together I’d love to put a little shiny silver brooch/flower/bling thing.
    I’m hoping to wear the dress for my rehearsal dinner, and then for the cocktail-party reception we’ll have in NJ, and country reception in Missouri we’ll have afterwards. That will allow me to bring a little bit of my Italian wedding home with me to all my family!

    ps. It’s kind of hilarious how bad my own sketch of this dress looks. :-p

  62. avatar Adrienne reply

    I’ll tell ya what I dream of when I picture myself coming up the aisle toward my one and only. Its white. Which isn’t original perhaps but then snowflakes are white and not one of them is the same as the next. Its tea length so I can be Ginger to his Fred. 3/4 length Chantilly lace sleeves would give a romantic texture and a sweetheart feel. I dream of a fitted bodice to say hooray! to my curves and a full circle skirt. The fabric sans the sleeves would be silk satin. The built in crinoline will round out the vintage look and hark back to the days where women didn’t put on clothes they got dressed. One layer of dotted swiss tulle goes over the skirt just for fun. Pink shoes and a birdcage veil and my dream is complete.

  63. avatar Cali reply

    How dreamy are your designs…goodness! The get-away dress of my dreams, here I go: an elegant above the knee dress with an off the shoulder lace top, fitted to the natural waist with a little movement on the bottom and scalloped lace at the hem.

  64. avatar Jessica reply

    My ideal would be either a classic white or a sexy red – strapless tea length dress, with a tiny bit of poof (think 50s). Corset ribbing in the bust and tasteful buckles in the front for accent.

    I’m recently engaged and a bit overwhelmed. Target wedding date 10/8/11.

  65. avatar E Jackson reply

    Hey, y’all! I have this idea for a dress that I could wear for our rehearsal dinner. My fiance loves his cowboy boots, and wants to make sure that we can wear our boots with whatever attire we have on for that evening. I envision a dress that is strapless, highwasted, and has medium-full skirt. I have fair-skin, so the dress in my mind is an ivory or off-white color fabric. Beige pleated ruffles will detail the dress in a way that will be both saloon savvy, warm, and romantic. A short pleated ruffle would line the top of the dress, except for the center of the bust, which creates a small V-notch to break up the neckline. For additional detail, there are fabric-covered buttons (also in the beige color for contrast), which could either go right underneath the notch (just a couple). The same buttons are used in the back just above the waist line; here, they would be real and functional, rather than the false buttons on the front which are simply for looks. Longer beige pleated-ruffles adorn the bottom of the skirt. Finally, there is a sash of some sort, either ivory, beige, or a mix of both. A few things I am unsure of so far: (1) the sash may or may not have the small pleated-ruffles at either end, (2) the skirt may or may not be composed of several layers of fabric and material to make it more full and architectural, and (3) the type of materials for the dress…so far, the dress in my mind is in a very elegant silk dupioni or shantung, but I love textures so it might be an even better idea to incorporate a second or third material that is softer and translucent (but still somewhat structural). Even if my design is a total scratch, I had a blast describing it just now!

  66. avatar Elizabeth Jackson reply

    Hey, y’all! I apologize if this is my second post, but I don’t think the first one went through…I have this idea for a dress that I could wear to our rehearsal dinner. My fiance loves his cowboy boots and wants to make sure that we can wear our boots with whatever attire we have on for that evening. I envision a dress that is strapless, highwasted, and has medium-full skirt that falls just above the knee. I have fair-skin, so the dress color in my mind is an ivory or off-white. Beige pleated-ruffles will detail the dress in a way that will be both saloon savvy, warm, and romantic. A short pleated-ruffle would line the top of the dress, except for the center of the bust, where a small V-notch breaks up the neckline. For additional detail, there are a couple fabric-covered buttons (also in the beige color for contrast) right underneath the notch. The same buttons are used in the back just above the waist line; here, they would be real and functional, rather than the false buttons on the front that are simply for looks. Longer beige pleated-ruffles adorn the bottom of the skirt. Finally, there is a sash of some sort, either ivory, beige, or a mix of both colors. A few things I am unsure of so far: (1) the sash may or may not have the small pleated-ruffles on each end, (2) the skirt may or may not be composed of several layers of fabric and material to make it more full and architectural, and (3) the type of material(s) for the dress is undecided…so far, the dress in my mind is in a very elegant silk dupioni or shantung, but I love textures so it might be an even better idea to incorporate a second or third material that is softer and more translucent (but still somewhat structural). Even if my design is a total scratch, I had a blast describing it just now!

  67. avatar Melly S. reply

    This is such an exciting giveaway! My perfect cocktail dress would exude the freshness and warmth of an eternal summertime evening. I love running barefoot through the grass and catching lightning bugs. I love sitting on the porch and drinking lemonade. I love that summer nights seem to last forever.

    I’m getting married in July and I would love to have a summer dress that would float around me as I twirl in it. It has to be ethereal, with a quality of vintage romance. It has to reflect nature, because I love flowers and gardening. I want something to wear as I dance away the summertime evenings.

  68. avatar Adrienne reply

    I’m getting married this fall to the sweet in my tea, to the twinkle in my lightning bug, to my one and only. Once the vows are said and the swing dancing done I need a dress to go away in. He taught me to love my curves and so I dream of dress to show that I learned my lesson well. Its pink the color of cotton candy and cupcakes and the theme of my wedding. Its a blush silk satin wiggle dress. The sweetheart neckline is overlaid in a pale pink lace that leads to cap sleeves. The hem falls just above my calves. The dress has a kick pleat and right above it is a single black bow. As the youngest of three southern girls and the first one hitched, I know the going away won’t be easy but dressed in my dream and holding my darling’s hand would be a sweet Godspeed.

  69. avatar Ashley reply

    I am a Texas girl who fell in love on the East Coast – our Virginia wedding will be in August of this year. And if I had a custom Chaviano Couture dress, you betcha’ that I wouldn’t wear it for just my reception or get-away, but the ceremony, too! You see, we’re having a simple morning ceremony with a light tea/brunch reception to follow – and so a summer “cocktail” dress would be ideal. I imagine that it would have the following elements: tea-length/falling past the knee, ivory-colored light fabric, a bit of tulle or scalloped lace peeking out from under the hem, a strapless contoured neckline, and a undoubtedly-knock-out accentuation of the waist (perhaps a wide band with bow to the side, or fabric flowers – I even have some vintage “diamond” broaches from my mom that could be incorporated)! I am not a ballgown/princess kind of gal – rather i am a sucker for all details southern and sweet: swiss dot, grosgrain ribbon, lace, flowers, and bows. My dream dress would be classy and feminine… a sure-fire way to bring a smile to my groom’s face! I’d be a grateful girl. And Annette, I think we’d have fun working on this together – also, kudos for keeping good causes at the heart of Chaviano!

  70. avatar Cristina reply

    I would love to be able to have a custom gown by Chaviano Couture. This is something that is not financially feasible for me so this giveaway is such a great opportunity for us brides on a budget. I would love to have a custom cocktail gown made by Chaviano Couture. This would allow me to make the best use out of the cocktail gown and wedding gown! My dream cocktail gown would be a little on the vintage side and ivory in color. The top of the dress would be a long sleeve sheer illusion neckline composed of lace appliqués and sparse crystals to add some sparkle. Being that the wedding is on 11/11/11, it will be cool so having the longer sleeves would be helpful. The cocktail dress itself would be mostly made of chiffon or tulle with lace appliqués all over to give it a romantic feel. The dress would cinch the waist with the skirt coming out a bit to provide some movement. The back of the dress would also be illusion with lace appliqués. To finish off the dress I would add a black lace sash to tie it in with my black and ivory glam wedding! This is such a great a great opportunity for all us brides.

  71. avatar Ashley reply

    I am a Texas girl who fell in love on the East Coast – our Virginia wedding will be in August of this year. And if I had a custom Chaviano Couture dress, you betcha’ that I wouldn’t wear it for just my reception or get-away, but the ceremony, too! You see, we’re having a simple morning ceremony with a light tea/brunch reception to follow – and so a summer “cocktail” dress would be ideal. I imagine that it would have the following elements: tea-length/falling past the knee, ivory-colored light fabric, a bit of tulle or scalloped lace peeking out from under the hem, a strapless contoured neckline, and a undoubtedly-knock-out accentuation of the waist (perhaps a wide band with bow to the side, or fabric flowers – I even have some vintage “diamond” broaches from my mom that could be incorporated)! I am not a ballgown/princess kind of gal – rather i am a sucker for all details southern and sweet: swiss dot, grosgrain ribbon, flowers, and bows. My dream dress would be classy and feminine… a sure-fire way to bring a smile to my groom’s face! I’d be a grateful girl. And Annette, I think we’d have fun working on this together – also, kudos for keeping good causes at the heart of Chaviano!

  72. avatar Ashley reply

    What a generous offering! I’m marrying my prince charming May 21, 2011 and have thoughtfully considered my rehearsal dinner ensemble and the vineyard it will be held at in southeastern North Carolina. My wedding dress is vintage, classic lace with a deep v back.
    To contrast this look I’d like a sweet and sassy number in white of course. One shoulder with rosettes on the edge of the neckline. The stylish sheath will be richly textured with ruching. The slender outline will blend Southern charm with proper ladylike appeal. I want to embody all that it means to be a female in the South. The special docile feminism yet politely speaking one’s mind when the time comes. Ya’ll come see us, ya hear?!

  73. avatar Noah reply

    My fiance and I are getting married in just over a year, and what a treat it would be to have a wedding dress made for her. If I could design a reception dress for my wife-to-be, I would put her in a floor length gown, draped like a Grecian goddess. The material would flow and have movement to it. It could be an ivory/cream color, with small clusters of beads throughout for a hint of glimmer. It might have a strap over one shoulder, and be asymmetrical. It would have a short train, nothing long trailing behind her. She likes to be comfortable, so I couldn’t see her in anything too heavy weighing her down. My fiancé has an hourglass figure and is on the shorter side, I think this floor length gown would be figure flattering and she would love it.

  74. avatar Megan reply

    My husband and I have been married 5 years this coming Saturday. Before we got married, we set a few goals for our future. We have spent the last 5 years working towards those goals, and it has not been easy. We have both attained master’s degrees in our individual fields, and moved all over the country to do so. This last year has been a real struggle, as he has been working in Dallas to support me as I finish my clinical residency for nurse anesthesia school here in Shreveport. But that time is coming to a close, and we are starting yet another big adventure by moving 1800 miles to Boston. It is time to celebrate, and what better way than with a custom, made for me gown. I imagine a long flowing chiffon dress reminiscent of my wedding gown. Simple and classic, elegant and unique. Something to wear on a second honeymoon. Something that whispers of our past together and hints at a bright future. It is time to celebrate!

  75. avatar Kristen reply

    We got engaged last month in Charleston and it would be absolutely amazing to win a Chaviano Couture get away dress for my fall SC wedding. I’m so excited to plan this big event and love all the inspiration from SW Mag!

  76. avatar Amanda reply

    I am getting married November 5th, 2011 to an absolutely fabulous man! I am looking for a dress for my rehearsal and then hopefully one I can wear far beyond that! Growing up I was a dancer, so it probably isn’t a surprise, that my initial inspiration is coming from baby’s dress in dirty dancing :) I absolutely love the pale, peachy pink color, especially since I’m a red head, I also love the bottom of the dress. I don’t know what fabric it is,but i just love how it doesn’t look too full..until she twirls! A dress that I can go out and dance in would be amazing! I am rather busty, so the top of the dress is pretty important for my comfort! A v neck with some sort of strap (large enough to conceal a bra) would be perfect. I do like showing my back, but I find it is hard to find a dress that can give me a pretty back while still allowing me to wear a bra. I love the fashion of the 40’s and 50’s as well, so if there could be a dress combining dirty dancing, 40’s and a hint of today, that would be my dream!

  77. avatar Lindsay L reply

    OMG! What an adorable giveaway idea to kick start the new year! Eeeeee! My fiance’ and I are getting married on 8.6.11 in Charlotte, NC. He is the best fiance ever and my BFF and I love that he totally appreciates my admiration for fashion. I would consider myself a trendy/modern bride who always has clothes, wardrobe, and style on my brain. Throughout my wedding planning process I have been dreaming of having a wardrobe change on my big day, from a bridal gown into a smokin’ hot cocktail mini to rock the night away in once the drinks start flowing and the dance party begins during the reception! I am a 4’10” bride to be, so I’d love to slip into something that flatters my petite frame. I found 2 gorgeous Marchesa minis named Lia and Lila from the 2010 Spring and Fall collections that I am obsessed with…ever since becoming engaged, I have been on the hunt for a copy cat or for something similar. ;) The dress on my mind is perfect for me…beautiful, short short short, strapless/sweetheart top, accented overlay of lace or a sheerish fabric, and a “belted” waist. The vision for my wedding day and wedding dress/es (I hope!) is clean, sleek, modern, and fun! I’m a less is more type of lady and would love to show off a Chaviano Couture custom cocktail dress (and to knock my husband to bes socks off while I’m wearing it) on our wedding day! Thanks Annette! Cheers to a great 2011 to all brides/bride to bes out there! Xo.

  78. avatar Lindsey reply

    Wow! This is like a DREAM opportunity!! I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be able to stun everyone with something so gorgeous (as I’m sure it would be)!! I am marrying the LOVE of my life and best friend! We come from two different cultures: american and chinese. I know bridal attire is typically white, even including your rehersal dinner dress and get-away dress, but if I were to be a part in designing something for those events my dress would be RED! My FI is chinese and we are having a huge rehersal dinner with tons of traditional chinese events (tea ceremony, 10-course meal, etc.). I know the color red is significant of good luck (it’s also really gorgeous!) in chinese culture. So, if I could have a one-of-a-kind cocktail dress it would definitely be for the rehersal dinner. It would amazing to be able to fuse together both cultures in the dress. I imagine something crimson in color with just a touch of elegant beading. I’m absolutely in love with the one shoulder neck-line right now, although a more traditional chinese high neck line could be beautiful too! The dress would be form fitting but not too tight and stop almost at the knee (if one-shouldered, longer if high-neck line). I’m no designer, but winning a dress similar to that idea would just make my wedding so much more fabulous!!!

  79. avatar Laura P reply

    What an awesome giveaway! My fiance and I will be having a hometown wedding ceremony in Kentucky in Spring 2012, then a reception in our newly adopted city in Summer 2012. My dream dress would be for the second reception. It would be cocktail length, V-neck with lace overlay cap-sleeves on the top. The skirt would be layers of tulle so it’s a nice A-line but not too poof-tastic. There would also be a wide sash that could tie into a bow on the side.

  80. avatar DAVID FRENCH reply


  81. avatar January-a month in review – Chaviano Couture reply

    […] one lucky reader the opportunity to have her very own custom Chaviano Couture cocktail dress!! Go here, and here to see what the contest was all about. Below are sketches of each of the finalists. The […]

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Cover Finalist: Gina Zeidler

by in Inspirations, Main on

The winter weather outside might be frightful, but this cover submission sure is delightful! (I apologize, I couldn’t help myself…) Gina Zeidler and Lauren Kelly teamed up to mastermind all the adorable details, from the mini heart pancakes to the equally chic citrus bouquet. The rest of the goodies are in the editorial gallery — click here to have a look!

The talented vendors:

Photography: Gina Zeidler // Model: Lizz Kidd, the Campbell Agency // Dress: Chaviano Couture // Location: Earle Harrison House // Makeup: Angela Karr of Faces by Angela // Hair: Phillip Sanchez at Salon Wabi Sabi // Flowers and Design: Lauren Kelly // Bracelet: J. Crew // Shoes: Blue Ruffle Shoes // Invitations: Red Organic // Calligraphy: MM Ink

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Kelly Sauer reply

    I love her dress – there’s something so pretty and filmy about it!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Kelly! Annette would be so happy to hear your comment! She made the dress especially for our shoot :)

  2. avatar Katherine {flower & honey} reply

    the citrus bouquet is absolutely beautiful & such a cool idea :)

  3. avatar Lindsey-Skye reply

    I wish that when I looked at the gallery, I could more clearly see the captions for the pictures… Sometimes, the words are rightttt on the edge of the lace scroll bar. :( In other news, the new site is absolutely LOVELY girls!! :)

  4. avatar Brit @ Landlocked Bride reply

    That little heart-shaped toast is too sweet! Loving these shots!

  5. avatar Gayle reply

    Such gorgeous ideas. Very fresh and inviting, lovely!

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4 Days Till V3 Arrives!

by in News on

Okay, I’m just going to go ahead and say none of us know what the heck today’s phrase means, but it seems celebratory, right?  RIGHT?

We’ll leave you with a few beautiful images from two of our favorite spreads from V2, both of which took place at WaterColor.  The first was shot by Fred Egan, with lovely Annette Thurmon and her husband serving as models.  Joy Thigpen was once more the mastermind behind the styling.  See more here!

Today’s second shoot was also styled by Joy, and this time photographed by Jory Cordy.  See more details here, and images here!

And even though pre-orders are shipping out THIS AFTERNOON (wooo!), you’re still welcome to order up your very own copy of V3.  Do so here!  Vendor friends, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to email Katharine for a copy of the new site media kit!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Brooke reply

    Where is this china from? It is amazing!

  2. avatar Emily @ Southern Weddings reply

    Hi Brooke! We actually borrowed it from out florist, Shannon at Fiore in Pensacola. She rents it out for weddings, so I'd get in touch with her! Best of luck!

  3. avatar Megan reply

    I got my fabbbbulous copy today, and it's gorgeous, ladies:) Congratulations on another wonderful issue!

  4. avatar bridal girl reply

    I totally love the pictures in here! So creative and totally sweet especially the one taken in the car.! Great job!

  5. avatar Melissa reply

    Love those first photos. Her dress is gorgeous and the headband is awesome.

  6. avatar Corinna Hoffman reply

    Love all the photos! Fred Egan and Jory are amazing!! Can't wait for V3!!!! YAY!!

  7. avatar Nookie Doodle reply

    Love the headband and paper boats!

  8. avatar Erica Jackson reply

    Love love love the food spread, especially the macaroons! And the cover is so gorgeous, natural, and approachable! You guys seem like you have so much fun!!

  9. avatar Laura at Bridal Bubbly reply

    So pretty! Love the lace over burlap!

  10. avatar Lauren reply

    Where can I find that china??? LOVE IT!

  11. avatar Corey reply

    I am in LOVE with her headband! Do you know who makes it and where i can find it? Thanks!

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