When we first started thinking about how to premiere the new 2021 collection, we knew we wanted to include our community. We have an amazing community of brides past, present & hopefully future and wanted to show how thankful we are to have them.
2020 has been a tough year, but we have found that when we stick together and lift each other up, we rise stronger. This is a major theme throughout all of our collections - wanting to empower women to make unique choices that feel authentic to them. And always with tons of joy! So why not add it together. Let's lift women up, honor and celebrate them! Thus the idea of naming our gowns after special women in our lives seemed perfect.
Thank you so very much to all who nominated these amazing women. We were so touched and warmed to hear their stories of triumph and accomplishment despite many obstacles. With smiles and definitely a few tears, we are honored to be able to name our gowns after them.
The R A M O N A
This lightweight Taffeta ballgown features a dreamy tiered skirt, waist cinching built-in waistband, pockets, and a boned supportive bodice. We added buttons down the entire back just for fun (they're optional as always!)
Nominated by her daughter, @kmeason, this gown is named after Ramona Jean. A pillar of strength and giving back!
"Ramona Jean. My mom! She comes from a large family who had nearly nothing growing up. She was the first to graduate HS, while raising her sisters who were 12 years younger. She has worked as a preschool teacher and has a culinary degree. She still has some struggles, but despite this is always giving back to her family, church, and fighting for causes she believes in such as no drilling off our shores in SC. Also, she is currently fostering a family of two parent cats and 4 kittens, feeding them and getting them ready for adoption. Love her!"
The S H A N N O N
This utterly romantic Chantilly lace ballgown features a semi sheer supportive bustier, pockets and an extra long train. She's got it all!
Thank you @giltnerb for sharing Shannon's story with us.
"Shannon Elizabeth, my best friend from childhood, was the most remarkable woman, and although taken from us too soon, she left a lasting impact on all who loved her. Tomorrow marks 7 years since Shannon lost her courageous 5-year battle to cancer. During this time, she was ever selfless, faithful and full of joy. She shared her journey and struggles through a powerful journal online essay that beamed with vulnerability, strength and love, which still moves me and others now. I miss her everyday. When you announced the call for names of incredible women, she is the first that came to mind. Although she never had the chance to marry, I know she would have loved that one day. Her simple wedding would have been full of laughter and smiles."
The R E N E E
This gown features a meticulously hand-embroidered bodice, with floral details trickling into the fitted skirt. She is both modern and classic!
When you become "thick as thieves" you nominate your best friend to have a gown named after you. Thank you, @mlle_fitz for the nomination!
"Renee Elizabeth! This girl. We met in college (random-assigned roommate story for the win!) and instantly became thick as thieves. She stood by my side in March as I married the love of my live, and has been there from the day we met! She recently started her own equine therapy business to help veterans suffering from PTSD, and for autistic children, and she just has a heart of gold."
The J O N I
Hand draped in silk charmeuse? Super flattering bodice with support and a gown that fits like a glove? Yes, please!
Nominated by her daughter, @devonmary, we're celebrating Joni Lynn and her never quit attitude!
"My mom Joni Lynn! She was an apathetic voter up until 2016. Then she made it her life's mission to fight for democracy all the way from her small town in Pennsylvania. She doesn't quit even when it feels disheartening and she's what keeps me going. Also when moving me into my BK apartment we drove by your store and she always thought it was a special place we should go to one day when I'm engaged."
The A M A N D A
This beauty features a subtly shiny satin top and a buttery soft, matte crepe stretch skirt. We love pairing this gown with any of our overskirts for a dramatic second look! (Paired here with Kerry skirt)
Named after @ohmymadelineee's sister, Julie Amanda, we are thrilled to celebrate this courageous woman!
"I would love to nominate the name Julie Amanda, that's my big sister who is a fighter of all fighters. She got married at 24 to her HS sweetheart John. We were all like 'take your time! What's the rush?' But they knew what they wanted and we had a blast celebrating them. At 27 they had their first and only child, my sweet nephew, and a year later John was diagnosed with late stage rare brain cancer. At the time he was told he'd have 6 months to live, but Julie cared for her family as John went through multiple rounds of chemo and radiation, to him losing the ability to walk, to being fully bed ridden all while raising her son. John passed 6 years after his diagnosis, and I know he fought because he saw Julie fight. She's my great support, never asks for anything, and continues to fight for her family."
The K E R R Y
This skirt is to die for! A 3-dimensional georgette ballgown skirt is at once playful and powerful. -xo
Strength is a big theme of our 2021 message and feel @rantheman's mom, Kerry, is a great example of this gown's personality.
"I'd love to nominate my mother's name for the dress naming. Her name is Kerry Ann. Her mother died when my mother was 22 after years of battling alcoholism. My mother had a conflicting relationship with my grandmother because of her disease and swore she'd raise her children differently if she had the chance. My sister and I grew up very close, and we always knew Mom loved us. But she wasn't a warm and fuzzy person. She was the tough one who didn't really show emotion.
But as kids, my sister and I knew that no one could mess with her. She was determined and would do anything for her family. Now that we've gotten older, we've all gotten a lot closer. Mom has softened a lot, maybe because my sister and I have too.
And she always talks about how the only thing she cared about was that we had a good role model in her and that we learned we could handle (what) life threw at us. We didn't need anyone to speak for us and we didn't need to hold ourselves back because we were afraid of being too assertive. So there's something I love about the idea of a beautiful, soft, but tough gown being named after my mother."
The A L V A
A breezy and sexy option for the modern, minimal bride. -xo
This gown is named after @katrobison's great aunt, who shares with us an incredible life and example to those around her.
"I would name a dress after my 82 year old great aunt, Alva Ree, who never had children of her own, but has been a mother to our entire family and so many of our neighbors too. She's taken care of so many other people in our community and still takes meals to her 92 year old sister every week. She worked for the NC State Fair until COVID hit, and now we've had the opportunity to give back by taking care of her. She is the epitome of style, grace, compassion, and class, and I've spent my whole life looking up to her (and eating her delicious homemade soup). She deserves so much more than I could ever give her, but she would be so honored and tickled pink to have a dress named after her. She and my uncle Dan will celebrate 59 years together this month.
I had her dress displayed at our memory table at our wedding and she was in love with my dress from you! And she was such a style icon - I mean, she even made riding a horse look like it belonged in a magazine!"
The S A R A H
This dramatic, light-as-air organza ballgown features a semi sheer bodice with exposed boning details, pockets, and a jaw dropping train. We adore this gown alone or paired with any of our lace tops! As always, we are happy to customize this or any of our gowns (adding more lining to a bodice, altering a neckline, etc)
Truly an honor to be able to name a gown after a first responder! Thank you @abbiemreed for nominating your sister!
"Sarah Kate. My sister. She's a cardiac ICU nurse and was working full time + over time during COVID while also finishing up her nurse practitioner degree. Also, she got engaged to her fiancé, Ryan, who is an emergency room doctor at her same hospital. They are some of the everyday heroes you hear about in the news! I'm so excited for her to get to have her wedding, though it had to be scaled back a lot due to covid. She's given up a lot over the last six months and never complained!"
The R U T H
Epitome of elegance! Ruth is a crisp and modern take on a classic ballgown! This gown is constructed of multiple panels of Spanish Mikado, tailored over a supportive and slimming long line boned base, which cones into a voluminous skirt and train.
It probably goes without saying, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a true hero and an iconic figure for women. It is an honor to name a gown after her. Thank you to @karenlynn_4 and @_she_rex_ for nominating her!
"Joan Ruth for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who was a true she-ro, Brooklyn-native, and fought to the very end to realize and defend the rights of women."
The L I N D S A Y
This gown is both sexy and playful, and is made with a beautiful Spanish embroidery of adorable daisies!
Thank you @smrybl for nominating your Mama!
"Lindsay Rae, my mama. She is the strongest, most amazing person I know. She is kind, considerate, and makes you feel special with the little things. She raised me as a single mom when she was just 18. While working full time waitress jobs she provided for us with her hard work and integrity.
Not only is she a badass mama to my sister and I, but she was also a badass daughter to her own mama. My grandma, her mother, passed away of brain cancer after a long battle on Mother's Day 2004. She continues to be the strong amazing woman she is with all she has overcome in the struggles of being a single mom, and with the loss of her own mother.
Dress shopping was such a special moment as I am getting married this year. I said yes to a beautiful Rebecca Schoneveld early this year and cannot wait to walk down the aisle in it. My mom helped me pick it out & that makes it even more special ????"
The R A E
This fun overskirt is the perfect addition to give you multiple bridal looks! She can also be lined with an A-line shape or fitted shape and paired with any number of our other tops. (Paired here with the Lindsay gown)
The F R I E D A
Delicate, classic, comfortable, and modern- sounds like a new RS classic! We love how many ways you can customize this gown! Change up your look by customizing her with the matching "Beau" overskirt, or even the "Ashley" satin ball gown skirt!
Named after @twillz47's great-grandmother, the Frieda gown embodies a classic soul who overcomes life's obstacles!
"I'd love to nominate my great-grandmother Frieda Belle Grant. She was a twin, but she was born with one arm and when both of her parents passed away her family put her up for adoption because of her disability. She was asked to leave her orphanage at 12 and and asked to work without pay for two weeks at a factory to prove her ability to work. From there she went on to build a career as a seamstress to support her family! She left behind a legacy of women who think of her fondly as we work both in our careers and on passion projects. Many of us finding passions or hobbies in sewing, knitting, crocheting or embroidering.
On top of that, her memory is carried on in the many crocheted blankets we use to cuddle in and lace pieces we use to decorate tables with for family occasions. So much more to say, but it would be such an amazing honor to have her name grace one of your dresses!"
The B E A U
A sheer, soft tulle overskirt that is hand appliquéd with lace motifs to match the Frieda gown (as seen here!)
The A S H L E Y
This classic ballgown skirt can give you that second dramatic look! Pair her with Frieda (seen here) or just about any of our tops!
@angelakoehn nominated her sister and as our skirt Ashley does all the things (flowy, soft, elegant, fun, elevated), we feel that her Ashley does it all too!
"I would love to nominate my sister, Ashley Marie. She has been my rock and constant support during 2020. I was nearly 8 months pregnant with twins when the pandemic hit. While my husband and I sheltered in place, Ashley stepped in to be our everything. From grocery shopping, driving me to my final doctors appointments, cooking meals when somehow my husband and I got sick, endless phone calls of support and love. She did all of this while dealing with the stress that the pandemic was causing everyone. How?!?
Being physically away from my sister for over a month was so heartbreaking..we are more than sisters—but really best friends. The sisters that every parent dreams for their children. The dream I have for my children. Now that my twins are 5 months, she is the best aunt. Seeing them as much as possible, making sure I'm taking care of myself physically and mentally. Does she have her own "stuff" going on? Of course she does. But family is #1 priority for us. Always has been. Always will be. Even just writing this makes me cry."
The C H I S H O L M
Float away in a cloud of silk chiffon with our Lacey gown! These dreamy sleeves with Italian lace cuffs are everything.
Name nomination by @rashida
Shirley Chisholm was the first African–American Congresswoman centered in Brooklyn, New York. Elected in 1968 because of her roots in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood, Chisholm was catapulted into the national limelight by virtue of her race, gender, and outspoken personality. In 1972, in a largely symbolic undertaking, she campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination. But "Fighting Shirley" Chisholm's frontal assault on many congressional traditions and her reputation as a crusader limited her influence as a legislator. "I am the people's politician," she once told the New York Times.
She was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1924- the oldest of four daughters of Charles St. Hill, a factory laborer from Guyana, and Ruby Seale St. Hill, a seamstress from Barbados.
The K I M B E R L Y
For the minimal modern bride, this gown shows off all the curves and with it's simplicity, really allows the bride to shine!
We love the simplicity of @livrbury's story with her mom whom she nominated. Simple, but absolutely profound.
"My mother has stood by me and supported me while I was a disaster of a person. I struggled with alcohol addiction for most of my late teens and early 20s. She was there for me even through the hell I put her through. I'm now 2 years sober and couldn't have done it without my mom being there for me."
The R A F A E L L A
Get in that golden glow of candles or a sunset in this effervescent sequin overskirt! Look stunning paired with the Kimberly gown! (Seen here.)
Named for @angepittoffish's mom. What a stellar woman!
"I'd like to nominate my mom - Raffaela. She doesn't have a middle name because when she was born, her Italian immigrant parents thought Raffaela Dellino was long enough! She goes by many other names too - family and friends affectionately call her Rae and Raffi. I nominate her because she is the strongest woman I know!! She is a two time breast cancer survivor, a skin cancer survivor (yeah, she's gone through it) AND she worked tirelessly and with no days off during the pandemic as a Pharmacist at a New York City hospital. If that's not the epitome of strength, I don't know what is! I love her to the moon and back, and I love your dresses so this nomination seems like perfect fit for her!!"
The K E N Z I E
Yes you can have a low back and support! This sexy French lace and stretch Spanish crepe gown features built in support and delicate lace trims. Customize with sleeves and/or buttons!
We are thrilled to support mamas like @cococlancy's sister out there during this difficult time. Moms and educators like Kenzie are making the world go round and creating as much normalcy as possible. You are doing phenomenal.
"I'd like to nominate my sister, Kenzie Ann! She brought her first child into the world this year in April, a precious little girl named Iris Lucille. Her foray into motherhood certainly didn't look like she had expected - a mask on during childbirth and having to do it all without loved ones by her side due to COVID travel restrictions and limitations on hospital visitors.
She's also an incredible teacher, and she's now dealing with the stresses of navigating COVID learning, all while being the most loving new mom to little Iris!
Fun fact: both Kenzie and I were Rebecca Schoneveld brides last year! We have very different styles, but we both coincidentally found Rebecca Schoneveld gowns and toppers that we absolutely adored! They couldn't have been more perfect and fitting for each of our 2019 wedding days!!"
The N O E M I L E Y
Effortless Hollywood glamour at it's best! Hand beaded and embroidered bodice, silky charmeuse skirt and an optional cape for a show stopping look!
We love that @lauren_bauer3 nominated her work wife! What an amazing woman!
"While I have many strong women in my life, my work wife, Noemiley Perez is one of the first that came to mind. I met Nem 7 years ago. She was the director of the special education department and I was one of the special education teachers. I knew pretty quickly that she was a one of a kind educator and friend. You could be having the worst day and she'd walk into work and greet you with the biggest hug and a handmade craft that she just happened to make you last night with random paint and cardboard leftover in her house.
She is a ray of sunshine and no matter what is going on in her life she puts her friends, family and students first. We would spend hours after work in our office or chatting over the phone about what we could be doing better to support our students and create a more equitable learning experience for all students. She is an incredible role model and advocate to both our staff and students. I think if you said her name to anyone in our building they would smile and tell you how much they love and appreciate her.
In August 2017 she got married to the love of her life at a beautiful retreat center in western MA surrounded by her closest family and friends. Her dad had been battling cancer, but had been responding well to treatment. Then suddenly, life hit fast and it hit hard. Her mom, who was glowing at the wedding, healthy and so happy, suddenly got incredibly sick and passed just over a month after her wedding. She went from celebrating life's most joyous moment to mourning the sudden loss of her best friend. I truly don't know what I'd do without my mom and to this day I am amazed at the way she has continued to honor her moms life by spreading joy and love to others. There isn't a day that passes that she doesn't think about her and I just know her mom would be so proud of the woman she raised."
The E V E M A R I E
Wrap yourself up in luxury, with one of our all time favorite fabrics and go ahead and channel your inner Cinderella by adding our lantern sleeves.
Named in honor of pediatrician Eve Marie and nominated by her daughter @boom_a_roo.
"She is a pediatrician, while her patients are not as affected, pediatricians had a unique task of figuring out just how this disease presented in children. In adults it was (fairly) clear it was a respiratory illness but children seemed to present with a whole host of symptoms. This was highlighted when she saw the first patient with COVID in her clinic while not wearing proper PPE. The patient presented with abdominal pain concerning for appendicitis, she only later developed more concerning symptoms which prompted testing.
Since this initial scare, Mom fought for proper PPE for staff and instituted changes in clinic flow to keep patients safe as well. She even bought masks and gave them away to patients who could not afford their own. Her clinic has since settled into a new normal however I don't think they would have gotten there efficiently and effectively without her perseverance.
In late March, she got a call from my sister in Afghanistan that she was being evacuated in 48-72 hours. The US compound knew they were not equipped to handle an outbreak. Meanwhile state-side, airports were closing and flights my sister/parents had booked were dropping like flies before she had a chance to even make it to an airport.
While my sister crunched the scary numbers of ventilators to people, my mom worked endlessly to find her just one flight home. My sister ended up making it out on the last flight out of Dubai while my parents were preparing to drive from KC to Orlando to pick her up as it appeared to be the only option. By a miracle she was able to fly to KC. My mom (and dad) then opened their doors to my sister and her boyfriend to live with them and wait out the pandemic. 6 months later they finally were able to move out.
These last 6 months for us, like many, have been filled with tears and silver linings and my mom has been the glue that has held our family together.
The J O A N
Fashioned after Rebecca's own wedding gown, this Chantilly lace top features heart-stoppingly romantic sleeves and an effortlessly elegant vibe.
Thank you @Thjthoma for nominating your grandmother. She pushed through some incredible obstacles and we are honored you shared her story with us.
"So my grandmother was Joan. Joan was her middle name, but everyone called her that. Her full name was Roberta Joan. She passed away in 2020. She was a giving partner to my grandfather to whom she was married her entire life. When he died, in 2019, it was the first time she was alone. My mother, my sister and I were there for her after his death.
She was fearless, compassionate, kind and one of the strongest women I have ever known. She was forced to give up a child after she was raped when she was 18. She kept this a secret almost her entire life. She was from a time when rape was still the girl's fault. As a mother, I cannot imagine the pain she went through. She watched her brother raise her daughter, and still went through life with style and grace.
She was always dressed fashionably, and although she never saw me get married...having a gown named after her would be even better."
The A N G E L A
We meticulously cut this graphic lace to create a top that has only organic edges, and looks stunning with our Sarah gown!
Like this top, everyone has organic and raw edges, but it's what you choose to see them as, is what makes the difference. Nominated by her daughter, @courtneyrmarshall, we named this top after Angela as she sees the raw edges in life and she chooses to make them beautiful.
"Angela Kay - my mother. My mom is the most resilient, timeless, faithful, loving, and beautiful person I know. She has endured the loss of my dad when I was 3 and my step-dad when I was 22 to car accidents, and has continued to pursue her life and future despite all of it.
She has begun counseling widows and those who have also experienced trauma and grief in order to help them find new life after loss. I cannot think of anyone more deserving to have beautiful things named after them because as much as life has thrown at her, she shows me and so many others the definition of a true, beautiful heart."
The A L M A Veil
Pairing so well with many of our gowns, this hand embroidered veil gives a bit of a bohemian vibe to your bridal look!
What a fighter. Thank you @7sarahnicole for nominating your brave mom.
"Alma Leticia, my mom, passed away from cancer in May. A short but long 1.5 year battle with cancer, She fought super hard to see my baby sister graduate from high school and to make it to her 35th wedding anniversary. She immigrated into the United States from Guatemala as a young girl and fought to make a life for herself. But she was a lot of strength, like she said "we do hard things"
The G I D G E T Veil
A veil covered in embroidered stars? Yes, please! We love how unique and amplified this would be in finishing off your bridal look!
When we read Gidget's story from @haley_1115, we knew this veil HAD to be named for her!
"I'd love to nominate my mom, Gidget Sue. She has battled melanoma for the last few years and she finally had her first clear scan. Woohoo! All through her treatment, she was a complete warrior. She still went to work every day as a financial director and did her best to spread positivity. She was even promoted! She has grown to become a mentor to not only me, but my friends, family, her employees and even complete strangers. She's been through so much, including an awful first marriage, and she is truly inspiring. As her daughter, it has been an honor for me to watch her grow, fall in love with the man of her dreams, and hope for the future."
The R O S E L I T A Veil
A cathedral length U shaped tulle veil with lace edge to match our Katia and Shannon gowns.
When you have a veil this gorgeous, you take two names and make it one like @thekohnranger suggested!
"I have two women (my grandmothers) who have shaped me profoundly, and couldn't decide who to talk about! Then, I realized that their names actually combine to also be something lovely: Rose + Lita = Roselita. Rose, my Kaalé ("grandma" in the Crow Native American language) on my Mom's side, has raised her beautiful children and her children's children to value kindness, love, family, and culture. She makes the best fry bread and stew in the world, helped raise me to be a confident young woman, and is a major source of strength and support in my life. Lita, my Dad's Mom, is a bright source of joy in the life of everybody she meets. I learned how to smile and see the very best in all I do and everyone I meet."
The M E G A N Veil
Hand embroidered and gorgeous to match with the Juliet and Renee gowns!
We have so many beautiful names and stories, that we created some veils to go with our gowns and celebrate more amazing women!
Thank you @rachelshoshannas for nominating your best friend and so happy we could honor her in this way!
"I'd love to nominate my friend Megan Hayley! We've been best friends since our freshman year of college, and we've been through a lot together and on our own. We don't get to see each other often because we live across the country from each other, and she's been through a lot both with her family and health in the last few years that she's gotten through with incredible strength and grace. I admire her so much. She just got engaged and is getting married next fall, and I think having a dress named after her is the perfect way to honor her character."
Thank you again to everyone who nominated special women in their lives! We weren't able to use all the names, but we are looking for ways to incorporate them in the future!