Lover.ly knows brides. For the past three years, they’ve been a site where brides (and grooms and aspiring brides) can get inspiration, shop, find vendors, and plan the whole to-do. They’ve just launched their first-ever fashion collaboration of colorful dresses, jumpsuits and crop tops with the LA designer Eva Franco. We talked to Lover.ly’s founder Kellee Khalil about city hall weddings, celebrity bridesmaids, and Lady Gaga’s engagement ring.
Yahoo Style: Who is the Millennial bride?
Kellee Khalil: Our audience is women 18 to 35. Thirty-five percent are women who are thinking and dreaming about their wedding. People joke about that phenomenon on Pinterest and we see a little bit of that. Our goal is to connect with that younger bride like her digital BFF. There are so many little nuances of wedding planning and it’s changed. It’s no longer about stuffy rules. The rules are there are no rules.
YS: So what rules are out?
KK: Matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses are out. There are mixed gender bridal parties, so if you have a best guy friend, he’s on your side. Wedding cakes don’t have to be so traditional—I went to a wedding this weekend with a three tiered bundt cake. Brides don’t have to wear big ball gowns or white. City hall weddings have been a big trend for the last 18 months—couples have been together for a while. Our new collection is part of that, with affordable dresses. The most expensive is just over $400. Crop tops! Now you can show midriff on your wedding day.
Jax & Paloma Set, Courtesy of Lover.ly
YS: You’ve said your company is changing the way the big players in the space approach the Millennial bride. How so?
KK: We’re inspiring innovation. The big players look a lot more like lover.ly. They’re trying to speak Millennial.
YS: Are they doing a good job of that?
KK: I think they’re doing better now, starting to connect. Content and commerce are fusing and we’re good at creating content. It’s not like, “You have to buy these dresses,” it’s, “Hey there’s these tends, here’s how to make them work for your wedding.”
YS: What is played out?
KK: The thing with weddings is you have new brides every year, so while trends evolve, they’re new to the next set of brides. Mason jars are still around, brides still love them, even if the industry is over them. It’s about who they are and what their partner loves. We are seeing personalization as far as décor, like laser cut signs that say Mr. and Mrs. with their names.
YS: What about the engagement?
KK: The way people announce their engagements has changed. People weren’t as open to share those personal moments online 10 years ago. Because of that they’re thinking of new and unique ways to announce engagements. Over Christmas and Thanksgiving I was at my parents’ house, trolling Instagram and all my friends were getting engaged posting it in different ways. So we’re making mugs that say, “he put a ring on it” or “I said yes” or “does this ring make me look engaged?”
YS: I was looking through the new line and I’m wondering, are brides really going to be wearing jumpsuits and separates?
KK: Yes. The jumpsuits are really popular. I was just in a wedding and wore a bridesmaid jumpsuit. Plus it’s not just for the wedding, it’s the brunch the next day, the rehearsal dinner, the reception. Pantsuits are friggin’ awesome because they’re comfortable, they have pockets, you can actually dance in them. I didn’t have to worry about the photographer getting a crotch shot on me when I was wearing the jumpsuit. Plus you can put on flats and no one can tell. And then separates are huge. We saw this trend emerging in July of last year. And then Bridal fashion week happened in the fall and 70% of the designers had separates in their collections. Plus they’re big on the red carpet, and brides are looking to that for inspiration.
The Maura Jumpsuit, Courtesy of Lover.ly
YS: Which recent celebrity brides have been the most influential?
KK: The big weddings were Kim and Kanye—that inspired white bridesmaids dresses—and I would also say Lauren Conrad. Her style is very soft. Blake Lively was a big one, too. She set the trend for engagements rings and hers was the ring of the year. Zooey Deschanel is engaged and we want to see how she styles her wedding. And then Solange Knowles: the cape, the bike. Everyone freaked out over Olivia Palermo’s game-changing dress. Taylor Swift is a bridesmaid this year.
I love celebrity bridesmaids.
People get excited when they see celebs in wedding parties. Lena Dunham and Jennifer Lawrence were both bridesmaids last year. And then you see behind the scenes on Instagram and can search the wedding tag.
YS: What about Lady Gaga’s heart shape ring?
KK: Lady Gaga is this year’s bride. She’s such an iconic fashion symbol and her ring is ridiculous. The heart shape ring, it’s my dream ring, I need that in my life. I just need to find a fiancé or boyfriend first.
Lover.ly’s founder Kellee Khalil, Courtesy of Lover.ly