I cannot tell you how much I have loved getting to know Emily & Daniel over the past 10 months leading up to their wedding. The first time I spoke with Emily on the phone I just knew I needed to photograph her wedding. She was classy, smart, incredibly giving of her time and talents and hysterically funny. I flew up for their engagement session in Annapolis and we had a blast. Emily and I would talk ever so often over email about details as they would unfold and one day she texted me a photo of her dress. My jaw dropped and I can tell you I have never seen anything like it. The wedding was incredible and Emily & Daniel made Heather Deterding and I feel like family. I asked Emily to share a little about the dress since I have gotten tons of emails and compliments about it.
Emily writes: Once Daniel and I (and my parents) finalized some major decisions about our wedding (i.e., church, reception venue…thanks, Mom and Dad (!!), photographer…thanks, Stacy (!!), band, etc.), my Mom and I set aside some time in the late fall to begin looking at gowns. Mom was nervous about a 10-month engagement and wedding planning timeframe, and was concerned that we had left too little time in which to find the “perfect” wedding dress. At the outset of our wedding planning, I was rather indecisive and indifferent about details like color palette and flower design and invitation suite, and my thoughts on a dress were much the same – I had no real idea what I was looking for, or what would look best on me, but I was confident that I would know “it” when I saw it…
Mom and I booked two appointments at bridal salons in Northern Virginia for a Saturday afternoon in November. The first at a salon that carried a line we both admired in bridal magazines, and the second at a small boutique not far from my sister’s home in Alexandria. After a quick and unsuccessful visit at the first salon, we headed to Elegance by Roya, a “couture bridal atelier,” and it was there that I found the dress of my dreams and a designer, seamstress, and business-owner who made my dress buying and fitting experience an absolute delight!
Roya creates many beautiful custom-made dresses for brides who are looking for something specific, or hoping to replicate a design they’ve seen in a magazine, on the runway, on television, or elsewhere. Roya’s boutique also showcases 100+ ready-to-wear gowns, most all of which are designed by Roya and her team. Since the only thing I knew I wanted was a cap sleeve and a modest neckline, Roya started pulling gowns for me to try that she thought would best complement my figure. I tried on several lovely gowns, but when I tried on the fourth dress, I knew it was “the one!” The lace was exquisite, the keyhole back, delicate cap sleeves and subtle sweetheart neckline beautiful, and the creamy lace overlay and golden silk slip unlike anything else I’d seen before. I loved everything about this dress, especially when Roya accessorized it with a gorgeous handmade chapel length veil and beaded sash with just the right amount of sparkle (every girl needs some razzle dazzle in her life!).
Roya later explained that the dress was one-of-a-kind, designed by her personally with vintage Valentino lace that she had purchased at an NYC fabric show years before. Since the lace yardage was limited, Roya was only able to make one dress from it, and much to my good fortune, it fit me to a tee. She also offered to customize a sash to match the gown, and to have the beadwork completed by a woman in her home country of Afghanistan, as part of her partnership with and support of women seeking financial independence to support themselves and their families. (Learn more here) I was completely sold on a beautiful dress…designed and made by a wonderful woman…with a heart and soul as beautiful as her one-of-a-kind pieces.