Ghinda Beauty Project: Our girl Chelsea…

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We were lucky enough to pick one of our custom bride’s brains before her wedding day. Now that the event is over and she is settling back in after the honeymoon, we’ve decided to share our girl Chelsea’s thoughts on her personal design experience as well as some planning advice!

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Did you have your dream dress in mind all along? Or was it something you stumbled upon in planning your wedding and researching your inspiration?

Chelsea: I didn’t have a dream dress in mind. After getting engaged I found many dresses that were absolutely lovely, but I was never quite sold on any of them. I then found Ghinda and realized I could design my own. I could take my favorite characteristics from each dress I had found and put them into one. As a result,my own dress began to feel like a piece of artwork. The ladies at Ghinda and I designed a gown from start to finish with my favorite textures and structures. My gown, like art, evolved overtime into something beautifully unique. I am so happy with the way it turned out. I wore an ivory gown made of lace, silk charmeuse and chiffon. It has open sides, a square back and a high waste line. My dress is simple yet perfectly elegant; it is timeless yet feels incredibly stylish and matchless.

How did your custom gown represent what you find to be beautiful?

Chelsea: Designing a dress at Ghinda was such an incredible process. The ladies at Ghinda are so vibrant, optimistic and trustworthy. I could be precise and specific without feeling dictatorial. I learned it is important for me to wear something lightweight and comfortable. I also learned it’s important to feel sexy! When it comes to wearing a wedding dress, there is nothing haughty about looking in the mirror and thinking, “Dang. I look good!” My gown is completely representative of me. I chose a dress structure that extenuates my best physical qualities. The design process was also a really beautiful experience for me. The culmination of the two – my dress plus the design process – has made me feel like the most beautiful and worthy bride.

How did your wedding reflect your personality as a couple?

Chelsea:  Jared and I created our wedding day aesthetic ourselves. With the help of family and close friends, we were able to get creative and personal with our ideas. We also chose two dear friends to play music throughout the evening, and we did our best to utilize locally owned and operated shops for items such as flowers. We are a romantic couple, but we are also very simple.

What are your best words of advice for couples who are planning their wedding?

Chelsea: Give yourself plenty of time. Jared and I had a longer engagement – 1.5 years. This gave us plenty of time to plan a traditional wedding in a thoughtful way. Remember no event is perfect. Although we have planned every detail, we know something will not go as planned. It’s normal, and it’s okay. I would humbly encourage couples to rid of the idea, “It’s all about us”. The wedding day will, by default, be a celebration of us as a couple. However, our wedding day is also very much about the support system that has cheered us on and has helped us overcome the hardships. Jared and I wouldn’t be the couple we are today if it wasn’t for our family members, dear friends, past teachers and mentors. We want our wedding day to be a celebration of them, as well.

Through our bridal appointments with you, we know you and your love thoroughly enjoy music. Tell us about the importance and specificity of the music at your wedding.

Chelsea: Music to us is very important. We are each lucky to have many friends who have pursued vocations and / or careers in music. We each chose one friend to perform on our wedding day. This is something we are each very excited about!

Which outlets did you use for your wedding inspiration? (Magazines, blogs,
friends, wedding planner, etc.)

Chelsea: We used LOTS of blogs. My favorite wedding blog is Green Wedding Shoes. I also enjoyed gathering inspiration from photographers, Lauren Anna Mills, Andria Lindquist and Lang Thomas Leichardt. Lastly, we spent a lot of time on Pinterest. However, while Pinterest was a great place to draw inspiration, it was also tricky to achieve what we saw in the site’s photos. Most weddings popular on Pinterest have a team of wedding planners (and a large budget) behind them. Jared and I collected bits and pieces from Pinterest photos and incorporated those into our wedding with an effort and budget that was comfortable for us.

What does beauty mean to you? Has your definition of beauty changed since
meeting and falling in love with your other half, Jared?

Chelsea: Beauty to me is kindness and wholeness. As a young woman, my inner
confidence may fluctuate day to day. (I’d be lying if I said, “I am so confident
every single day!”) It is possible, though, for kindness and wholeness to be
consistent each day. Even on days when I may feel slightly “off my A-game”, I
can still practice kindness and wholeness. Therefore, I can still feel beautiful. Jared and I define beauty in a similar way. It wasn’t so much that he changed my definition of beauty but rather made me more confident in it. He’s just really freaking awesome like that. 

You are a writer, a photographer, and an all­‐around creative woman. Share with us some of what inspires you most.

Chelsea: BLUSH!* Thank you!I honestly am very easily inspired. I see a bouquet of flowers and want to create something like it right away. I see a colorful bird flying in the sky and inevitably draw metaphors from that and later create a relevant essay. People, though, inspire me most. Jared oftentimes calls me a “people collector” because I often meet someone and say, “I really like him / her! She / he did this or that! I want to adopt that quality! Now we are both awesome!” Besides my family, some of my favorite folks / creatives are Dr. Paul Farmer, Ashlae W. of the blog, Oh, Ladycakes!, a dear friend named Ryan and my closest girlfriends.

If you would, share with us your decision to do a “first look”. How perfect was it?

Chelsea: Jared and I surprised ourselves when we realized we preferred to do a “first look”. The consequences were so attractive to us. We are going to be together most of our wedding day. Why wait until the evening to see your husband-to-be on your wedding day? Hello! The moment we first see each other will be only ours to share and no one else’s. And, we truly believe my walk down the isle will be just as special. This way, though, my walk won’t be as anxiety provoking because I would have already seen Jared. The first look also allows us to take wedding photos pre-ceremony (and pre-tears). Therefore, our guests won’t wait a long while before cocktail hour. Let’s get the party started stat! We are very happy with our decision and encourage others to do what they feel best for them. A “first look” was simply best for Jared and me.


Photography of Chelsea’s beautiful day captured by L.A. Photography. You may read more about Chelsea on her lifestyle blog, Fenway Journal.

Of Silk and Willow…

One of our most recent brides was in love the idea of a clean, simple, and classic aesthetic for her wedding. Working with a girl whose vision was so clear was soothing. But also in that clarity is the absolute need for perfection. The dress she chose from one of our Collections was beautiful and just what she had envisioned. The custom maxi skirts we designed for her bridesmaids were clean, soft, and flattering (and could totally be worn again! Wink!) One detail we lingered on for some time was what kind of sash to pair with her gown. We were on the hunt for ribbons and sashes to complete the look and may have found one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Silk and Willow.

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Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Shellie Pomeroy has created a gorgeous line of silk ribbons and sashes using plant-based dyes which she sources from India, domestically, and locally. All of her imported dyes are fair trade and sustainably sourced and she even makes her ribbon spools from the fast-growing renewable Acacia tree. Not to mention all the materials she uses are biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. (Three qualities we love and appreciate from any small business!)

Of her inspiration and materials, Pomeroy says, “I am drawn to silk for it’s durability, softness, and drape. The tactile experience of silk is alluring, and the colors it radiates are breathtaking. Each of my ribbons is made with the intention of love and longevity, an heirloom piece that can be re-used for years.”

Please discover more at their website, Silk and Willow, and fall in love with the richness and natural beauty of her products like we did.

Plant Dyed Napkins {ASSORTED COLORS}


All images from http://www.silkandwillow.com

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Blues…

When local talent Jordanne Renner approached Jen Kessler, head designer of Ghinda, about collaborating on an upcoming project, the rest of the Ghinda team held our breath in anticipation. The object was to work together to produce a gown for Jordanne to wear to the 2013 Wexner Gala here in Columbus, Ohio. The Wexner Gala celebrates the arts, as well as the supporters of them–both local and worldwide. Jordanne has been attending this celebration, which she calls the event of the year, since 2007. She says, “Since two years ago, where I made a cocktail dress out of newspaper, it has become thematic for me to create my dress…A basic cocktail dress simply isn’t enough.” 

Inspired by the current Wexner Center exhibition Blues For Smoke, Jen and Jordanne have worked together for the past few weeks creating what would be a true, living work of art. The two creatives built the bodice intensely–Jordanne said it “fit like a glove”–and proceeded to actually sculpt the skirt of the dress three times before settling on a final manifestation. 

Jordanne brought 9 yards of hand-painted muslin to the Ghinda studio to build with:

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After the completion of the bodice came the sculpting of the skirt with muslin and tulle. Version 1:Image:

Version 2:

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Version 3, final design:

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From Jordanne Renner: “We drank bubbles, fell into the blues music…Oddly enough, without much conversation, Jen and I had similar vibes with our vision.  Jen’s ability to turn the rough and tumble and madness of the shapes I desired into a solid, elegant piece is sensational. She is one-of-a-kind, just as the dress is. The dress evoked the essence of two visions, two creatives coming together as one, the blues and all its varieties and somehow amidst all of this, it still rang true as a dress for me.”

From Jennifer Kessler: “It was such a refreshing and inspiring journey to collaborate with an artist whose vision was so unique and personal. Each part of the gown was created particularly to capture the rhythm and flow of the Blues and Smoke expedition. We wanted to sculpt a gown that complemented not only the entire event, but the art, and the artist herself!”

Many thanks and photo credit to the amazingly talented Jordanne Renner. To learn more about her experiences and work, please click here!