Grace Kelly is a style icon, but her legacy is getting a fresh look thanks to the upcoming release of Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman. From bridal gowns to invitations and flowers, Edina has a talented array of vendors with everything you need for a wedding worthy of a movie star turned princess.
It doesn’t get much more glamorous than Kelly’s life story– she was an Oscar-winning Hollywood actress and muse to Alfred Hitchcock when she met Prince Rainier III of Monaco at the Cannes Film Festival. When Kelly’s engagement to the prince was announced, their nuptials were billed as the “wedding of the century,” with extensive preparations to match.
To create your Princess Grace moment, find a talented team to bring your dream wedding to life. Look for a coordinator with special expertise in décor, flowers or catering. “The more a couple can consolidate the list of vendors involved on their wedding day, the more streamlined and methodical the event becomes,” says Bridget Connell of Haute Flower Boutique. Choose vendors who are creative and artistic, but also have meticulous organizational skills. “Imagine someone who can meld together a Pinterest board and an Excel spreadsheet,” says Connell.
Setting the Scene
For a wedding with a royal flourish, you’ll want to set the stage with a stunning invitation. “Consider luxuriously thick cotton paper with black engraving that includes a monogram or royal crest at the top,” says Antoinette Ramos of Paperista. An invitation done entirely in calligraphy has a timeless elegance. “Most importantly,” says Ramos, “make sure the invitation suite coordinates with the look and feel of the entire day. A thoughtful yet grand presentation will impress your guests.”
Next, imagine an extraordinary setting for your once-in-a-lifetime celebration. A subtle color palette of ivory and blush accented with dramatic black certainly has a regal feel. “Think clean and classic,” suggests Sheree Bochenek of Après Party and Tent Rental. “The words that come to mind are timeless, understated, icy-cool and refined.” Add a touch of glamour by including a family crest in the tablescape or use table linens with a hint of sparkle and shine. Bochenek encourages couples to create a traditional yet modern look by embracing variety. “The secret is a mix of elements, like a contemporary charger paired with classic crystal stemware,” she says.
What should the bride wear? Grace Kelly’s bespoke wedding gown is the stuff of legend. Made by her favorite Hollywood costume designer, her ivory silk taffeta gown featured antique Brussels lace embellished with thousands of seed pearls. The petticoats creating her full skirt were trimmed with blue satin bows, and her veil was made with 90 yards of tulle.
Clearly, Kelly was a bride who appreciated quality and craftsmanship. To re-create the look, note the details, suggests Nancy Shank of Dugo in the Galleria. “It could be a luxurious fabric, a pop of color, or a unique dress detail, whether it is beading or a sash,” says Shank.
Imported lace made Grace Kelly’s wedding gown a masterpiece, but the quality of lace in many of today’s bridal fashions varies dramatically. Jill Shadler from Brides of France explains that loomed lace is better quality because it is made in one continuous piece instead of cut and appliquéd to a fabric surface. Brides of France offers fashions from Paloma Blanca and La Sposa by Pronovias, which both feature high-quality dupioni silk and well-crafted lace. “I carry lines from third-generation family companies who have been creating timeless dresses for over 70 years,” says Shadler.
Accessories present another opportunity to emulate Kelly’s impeccable taste. Shank continues to be inspired by Kelly’s effortless brand of chic. “It might include a shirt collar on a dress or a beaded shoe,” she says. Pearls are an essential part of this vintage equation. Shank recommends pearl necklaces with a special touch, like an accent of Austrian crystal.
Phil Korst of R.F. Moeller Jeweler knows a thing or two about pearls. He’s general manager of the family-run business that’s been selling pearls for 63 years. “We carry the most beautiful pearl line in the world, Mikimoto pearls,” he says. The luster and light return on each pearl in these high quality strands continually impress customers. For Grace Kelly’s look, Korst suggests princess-length pearls, which are typically an 18-inch strand that rests just below the hollow of the throat.
For vintage-inspired engagement rings and wedding bands, Korst suggests choosing a white metal like platinum to get that classic look. R.F. Moeller carries an extensive collection of vintage settings, which usually feature intricate hand-engraving or lace-inspired scrollwork. “Back then, diamonds were mostly round European cut, but today’s diamonds are even more beautiful and bright,” says Korst. Innovations in diamond-cutting technology have improved brilliance and light return. So if you love the vintage look, consider buying a vintage setting and adding a modern stone that sparkles back at you.
Period jewelry or vintage-inspired accessories are also a great way to tie together the look of the wedding party. Small beaded evening bags or a pair of pearl and rhinestone earrings can add glamour to your bridesmaids’ attire, and make beautiful thank-you gifts, too.
Take the Cake
When it’s time to savor the sweetness of your life as newlyweds, make sure the wedding cake tastes as good as it looks. Terri Leckas of Queen of Cakes suggests her signature pink Champagne cake, with a raspberry mousse filling, beautifully iced in white buttercream. Fashion-inspired details are a wonderful way to echo the look of the rest of the wedding. Consider a cake that borrows a silhouette from 1950s fashion or a beautiful piece of lace. Leckas suggests a surface embellished with hand-set edible “pearls,” intricate hand-piping or even metallic accents to create a show-stopping confection.
Happily Ever After
Finally, when creating a vintage wedding look, make sure to stay true to your own tastes, advises Marsha Hunt of Haute Flower Boutique. “Wedding planning is all about editing,” she says. Pick only the elements you love, like a beautiful piece of vintage jewelry or an antique lace veil, and then add modern touches like a sexy pair of heels or an unfussy hairstyle. Details that reflect who you are as a couple make your wedding day memorable for you and your guests. “Then you’ve created a classic look with a style all your own,” says Hunt.
Shadler thinks an authentic vintage look creates a unique and unforgettable wedding day. “A bride who is inspired by traditional details but adds her own personal touch can be confident she will be able to look back at her wedding photos years from now and they won’t look dated,” says Hunt. That timelessness is exactly what makes Grace Kelly such an enduring icon of style and good taste.
For help creating your vintage inspired wedding, visit:
Special Thanks to:
The Van Dusen Mansion, the beautiful backdrop for our photo shoot, is a great location for many types of events. 1900 LaSalle Ave., Mpls.; 612.871.2702.