March 17, 2015

{Who's Inside the Dress?}


Dear Bride-to-Be
When I had my bridal “art-to-wear” shop years ago, working with thousands of brides, I would ask them: What image do you want to remain in the imagination of your guests? It’s not the vision of a lovely woman in a beautiful gown that really inspires. What remains unforgettable and inspiring is when that image is infused with the beauty of an open heart. Being included in the intimacy of the day is the real gift people take home and feel when they later picture the bride. Perhaps that’s what makes some wedding dresses themselves so memorable: they were chosen with that same open-hearted, soft-focus attention.

In my new book, explaining how Princess Diana influenced the world of weddings and continues to do so today, I share that while the royal wedding was being planned and arrangements organized, much of Diana’s attention—like for many brides before and since—went to the dress.  Diana chose David and Elizabeth Emanuel to design her wedding gown; the husband and wife team known for their “full blown romantic style” and it seems she innately knew how to present herself with the aura of a fairy-tale princess by the choice of such a feminine, silk taffeta confection. Her striking appearance captured the imagination of the world looking in; it not only started fashion trends, but it, immersed in the magical phenomenon of “time spirit,” also changed something fundamental: women’s relationship with themselves as a bride and as a woman.

Whatever guides you in choosing your wedding gown—fashion trends, dreams from girlhood, goddess nudges, looking like a princess—be sure to let your woman’s intuition have free range and that your open heart is involved in every step of the process!

Love. Listen. Let go.
….with love from Cornelia

ps: The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding is now available on Amazon.


February 23, 2015

{Restoring Intimacy}


Dear Bride-to-Be: 
When a bride puts her attention mostly on the glamour, glitz and overly romantic “pomp,” it can drown out any intimacy at her wedding and in her relationship. “Weddings are increasingly notable for their amazing lack of intimacy, their evolution into industry,” National Public Radio commentator Jacki Lyden stated in her story, “Spectacle of Matrimony,” leading up to the wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky in the summer of 2010. In our celebrity-driven, appearance-crazed culture, weddings have “evolved into must-haves and appointment-list mega-spectacles,” Lyden continued.

But it’s not impossible, even in large celebrity weddings, to have a beautiful and intimate event when the attention to detail also includes focusing on connections of the heart. Just remember Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding the following spring: large and grand, yet you could feel the open-hearted intimacy. It’s all about where you put your attention.

If the wedding-planning swirl takes you away from the heart of your relationship, then take a deep breath—(close your eyes and imagine what it would feel like to breathe love into your heart)—and plan your wedding from that centered, heart-full place. “Where your attention goes, there goes your life.”

Love. Listen. Let go.
…with love from Cornelia


(Above text excerpted from my new book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding. Available on Amazon.com)

February 8, 2015

{Couture Brides & You}


Claudia Schiffer in
Chanel Haute Couture 1994
Dear Bride-to-Be
The perfect wedding dress,” explained Eleanor Thompson in The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs That Changed the Course of Bridal Fashion, “is not only a dream for a bride but often for designers, too—a chance to realize their conceptual objectives and express the highest levels of their craft.” The author explores show-stopping one-off gowns “designed for the runway rather than the church aisle” that became the design touchstone of a particular era.

A recent article in Vogue Daily, “Fashion’s Most Outrageous Couture Brides,” becomes a visual walk along decades of fashion catwalks to show how “haute couture exists somewhere in its own otherworldly sphere, which lies between tradition and experimentation.”

Yves St, Laurent
Haute Couture 2000
All this to say that in the immensely creative spirit of a famous couturier in Paris or Milan or London lives the “origin design” of your wedding gown! Bits and pieces of inspiration from these sometimes outrageous designs all trickle down to the rest of the wedding world—showrooms, shops, salons—and in the misty swirl of white silks and laces and fairy tales, you find your perfect dress!

Whatever you are wearing on your wedding day—a designer gown or something borrowed from your best friend—add your own heart-full magic and goddess vibe and be a vision of beauty in your own right!

Love. Listen. Let go.
….with love from Cornelia

ps: Bits and pieces of this post borrowed from my just released book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding. Available at Amazon.com.

[Images courtesy of VogueDaily]




January 12, 2015

{A Place of Honor}


Dear Bride-to-Be
“Even the most understated ceremony involves a certain respect for ritual and pageantry, and no one plays more of a significant role than the bride’s attendants,” wrote designer Vera Wang. “From the youngest flower girl to the maid of honor, they provide a prelude to the much anticipated coming of the bride. They also occupy a place of honor and trust throughout the celebration.”

Then there is simply a practical need for bridal attendants since many wedding gowns require assistance to get buttoned- or laced- or bustled-up. Here is a ritual that goes back to antiquity. “Egyptian nobles,” for instance, wrote author Maria McBride-Mellinger, “rarely groomed and dressed themselves: instead, they yielded themselves to the ministrations of serving maidens in an early version of our modern ritual of bridesmaids dressing the bride.”

There is an intriguing history and romance to all wedding rituals...but none so personal as your attendants. Your bridal attendants honor you as well as assist you; they enhance the pageantry of your ceremony and they support you with their love. Celebrate their “place of honor” just as you appreciate their myriad number of tasks accomplished in the coming together of your beautiful wedding day! 

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: for more about wedding attendants, click her for a favorite past blog post which is also an excerpt from my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride, due for a mid-February release!

[Photograph courtesy of Vera Wang]