BHLDN: Re-inventing the Princess Bride

So, Kate Middleton is about to be married at the end of the month. It’s official: she found her Prince. Before her, there was Diana, of course, and Grace Kelly. Our princess brides come in all shapes, sizes and ethnic backgrounds. What they do have in common, though, is each of them want to be princess of their own roost and kingdom on THE wedding day…empowered to be their most unique and individual self.

The latest indicator that individuality in weddings is afoot? BHLDN. Anthropologie’s newest sibling and designer of wedding and party dresses. BHLDN’s bridal archetype is someone bold, playful and independent. That is, individual.


I am flipping through these BHLDN gowns and I am inspired. I am thinking to myself, “Now, these are brides who want to have FUN!” I am so smitten with some of these, that I actually find myself planning an Entertaining Company Wedding for each of the brides…er…models.

Here’s what I came up with.

Sweeping Taffeta Ball Gown

The sweeping, refined simplicity of this dress calls for a menu of dramatic, bold, and assertive-style offerings with a whimsical nod to Days-Gone-By. A little bit Gatsby on the lawn. A little bit Betty Draper (I am thinking of the wedding at the Country Club that her Main Line parents must’ve thrown for her and Don).

Guests would arrive to the reception and be welcomed with a marvelous, larger-than-life raw bar/seafood statement. The family monogrammed silver punch bowls would be set at different levels with ice sculptures and overflowing with just-shucked oysters, crab legs, boiled shrimp, lobster claws and accompanied with a myriad of lovely sauces for dipping: mignonette, remoulade, wasabi-mayo, green goddess dressing, tomato chutney spiked with capers, to name a few. Waiters in white gloves would pass Deviled Eggs with Blue Cheese and Sundried Tomato -Caesar Salad “Bites” with Frizzled Leek Halos. Cocktails would be offered at a signature Gin Bar where icy-cold Gimlets and (proper) Martinis would set the stage for a dinner crowned with horseradish-encrusted filet and capped off with a chocolate three-way seated plated dessert.

Limoncello Lace

The Limoncello Lace Dress — so Goldie Hawn with a dash of Audrey. This playful gal wants pure Tuscan
. As in: dancing with her groom under the stars in a courtyard illuminated by sparklers and candlelight. The menu would be hand-made with love, and served European- style from trays (bronzino, coniglio and freshly-roasted market vegetables) to guests seated at communal tables. Each table would be set with cascading centerpieces of fresh citrus, figs and whole nuts, adorned with tumbling greens and punctuated with freshly baked focaccia and hand-labeled regional olive oils.

After dinner cocktails would include oversized trays filled with shots of Limoncello and Vin Santo as well as mini biscotti and chocolate dipped pizzelle.

Pinwheel Tea Dress

And then there is the pinwheel tea dress. This bride likes all things “dainty” and lovely with just a splash of Helena Bonham Carter’s unique take on style. For her bridal reception, I am thinking English Garden Tea with a Twist – starting with an elegant display of tea sandwiches with surprising fillings. Think: spicy chutney and curried egg salad or tarragon and tomato-butter. Among the tea sandwiches, guests would also find thin-crusted flatbreads and tartlets served on long trays of reclaimed wood.

A self-serve juice bar would be offered from glass canisters featuring seasonal fruit juice teas, herbs and fresh fruit to be muddled by a bartender and added to the fresh tea/juice.
Sweet ending desserts that guests could sample throughout the evening would give way to late night snacks of breakfast sandwiches on hand baked, flaky biscuits with thickly sliced turkey bacon and summer peach mustard jam.

Spun Sugar Shift

The Spun Sugar Shift is worn by that All-American bride who loves sugar and spice and everything nice. She’s sweet and blissfully unaware of her dazzling smile and mile-long tan legs…

And, so she deserves a wedding that is inspired by a not-too-sweet-but-just-perfect-confection.

We would start with tulip glasses into which cotton candy lollys had been placed, acting as place settings. White-jacketed waiters would pour lemonade vodkas into Ball Mason Jars from vintage, mix-n-match pitchers. Chilled fresh lobster “push pops” would be a citrusy-sweet prelude to a first course of Michigan Apple Stack and Wild Field Greens, Crumbled Goat Cheese, and Honey Sweetened Walnuts, Drizzled with a Fig Vinaigrette. Then, guests would choose between Sea Bass in a Banana Leaf or Roast Duck Breast with Blackberry Sauce and Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts. A dessert extravaganza would follow with bride family of origin cookie recipes made by Entertaining Company. Frozen hot chocolate would be offered as guests depart from the sweetest wedding ever.

So in short: BHLDN, thank you for joining the movement to redefine bridal bliss. I am inspired. I am excited. I want to keep dreaming! (Care to join? Email me at