Life Celebrations

The most important occasions call for an element of drama, whether it be a tier of ruffles, a striking shade or a poignant story.


The Bride

On your wedding day, don’t be afraid to make a statement. Surely, you can’t go wrong with a simple and elegant A-line gown, but when else will you ever get to wear layers of satin and tulle? For Megan Bowens of Libertyville, who’s getting married in July, the most important factor in finding her own dress was that it complemented her personality. “It’s romantic and classic, and makes me feel like a million bucks,” she says.

Pronovias gown, $2,000, Edward Berger headband, $150, Doris Bridal Boutique; Tennis bracelet, $110, Edith bangle, $130, Swarovski; Engagement ring, model’s own

Mother of the BrideThe Mother

In the wake of Michelle Obama, women are feeling free to bare their arms, and we love it. Libertyville’s Pat Bowens looks stunning in this gown that’s a far cry from the traditional mother of the bride suit. After all, if your daughter is princess for the day, why not dress like the queen?

Pronovias gown, $750, Doris Bridal Boutique; Diamanta bracelet, $270, Swarovski, D’Abo satin clutch, $295, Lauren Harper burnished gold and diamond earrings, $1,245, Shirise

The Bridesmaid

Be kind to your bridesmaids and put them in frocks with flattering shapes and colors, but not a lot of frippery. Bowens models this strapless dress, whose simplicity is offset by the detail in the bodice and the brilliant teal hue. It’s a youthful look that would work for a number of body types and skin tones.

Dessy Group dress, $200, Doris Bridal Boutique; Bracelet, $41, Just Between Friends; Stuart Weitzman Path sandals, $345, Earrings, $81, Beaded clutch, $200, Shirise

Teen Party GirlThe Teen Party Girl

From Homecomings to Bat Mitzvahs, teens attend many events that require dressing up. Tara Smart is normally a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, but she loved this look’s bright color and flirty sparkles. A shrug is the ultimate versatile piece that can be worn for more formal ceremonies, then doffed on the dance floor.

Ariella dress, $88, FBZ sequin shrug, $77, Beaded bracelets, $48 each, Chan Luu earrings, $63, Just Between Friends; Adrienne Vittadini Monet flats, $59.95, Poppie Jones clutch, $29.95, DSW

First Communion

For certain rites of passage, a girl’s outfit is less about fashion and more about sentiment. If you can, find a dress that has meaning to you and your family. At her upcoming First Communion, Caroline Carter will be wearing a flower girl’s dress from her mother’s wedding, and the same veil her mother wore for her own First Communion. The history woven through these clothes makes them all the more lovely.

Dress and veil, model’s own

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