Disney to offer gowns for Princess brides

  1. By Gina Keating
    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co. is looking to grab a bigger piece of the wedding cake, and feed its burgeoning Princess business, with a new line of character-inspired bridal gowns aimed at women who want to look and feel like Cinderella at the ball on their big day.
    The 34 gowns by designer Kirstie Kelly were inspired by princesses from Disney films like "Sleeping Beauty" and "Beauty and the Beast" and mark the latest effort by Disney to steer its weddings business toward higher-end nuptials.
    Disney instructed Kelly to base her gown designs on those characters in a bet that the popularity of the Disney Princess line of products for girls, which racked up $3.4 billion in worldwide sales last year, would carry over to brides who grew up with Disney.
    "We do 'being a princess' better than anyone," Korri McFann, marketing manager for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons, said in an interview.
    Kelly's gowns, which debuted on a New York catwalk on Sunday, range in price from $1,500 to $3,000, below couture prices but above the average wedding dress price of $1,000. The price point is aimed at a generation of couples who are getting married older and paying for their own celebrations, Disney said.
    "We are enticing them to step up without breaking the bank," said Jim Calhoun, executive vice president for global apparel at Disney Consumer Products.
    If successful, the wedding gown line could soon expand to include other Disney Princess-branded fashions and home furnishings for adults.
    "If it really is the lifestyle opportunity that we think it is, then it really opens up possibilities ... beyond the day of the wedding," Calhoun said.
    The company was encouraged to delve into the high-end wedding business by the 2,000 weddings it hosts each year at its U.S. resorts -- Walt Disney World and Disneyland -- and its cruise line, according to McFann.
    Disney hopes to capitalize on soaring demand for destination weddings, in which couples and their guests turn their nuptials into wedding-vacations that often take place at resorts in tropical locations.
    The Parks and Resorts division glitzed up the 16-year-old Fairy Tale Weddings program this year by hiring celebrity party planner David Tutera to design a "couture" line of decorations, floral arrangements and furniture for wedding packages that will start at $75,000.
    "We have had ... couples that have been looking for an over-the-top wedding, and now we are going to offer that product to them," McFann said.
    Standard Fairy Tale Weddings packages -- which include ceremony and reception costs and sometimes extras like rides in a Cinderella carriage, trumpeting heralds and appearances by Mickey and Minnie Mouse in formal attire -- start at $4,000 but average $27,000, about the same as the average wedding budget in the United States.
    The number of destination weddings has grown 400 percent in the last decade and those events now comprise 16 percent of all U.S. weddings, according to Conde Nast Bridal Media's 2006 American Wedding Survey.
    The survey also showed that 55 percent of destination weddings took place in the United States and a quarter of those couples honeymooned in the same spot where they were married.
    Millie Martini Bratten, Brides magazine editor-in-chief, said that's good news for Disney.
    "I think it plays into a lot of other things that Disney has done in general to expand what people already love (and) the service they get," Bratten said.
    "They are offering different types of weddings for different budgets and ... they have the resources and the imagination and the focus to attract the higher-end weddings."
  2. As a tribute to fairy tale wishes and finding true love, Disney will unveil a new collection of wedding gowns inspired by the spirit and style of each Disney Princess.

    Kirstie Kelly For Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings inaugural collection will be showcased on the runways this evening as part of the New York Bridal Fashion Week. “Maidens” for bridesmaids collection will be available at specialty boutiques in North America, Japan and Europe beginning in June. The collection will soon expand to include “Jewels” that accessorize even the fairest of them all.

    The collection combines a fashion-forward look with timeless elements inspired by the Disney Princesses themselves, including Ariel, Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine and Snow White. Fabrics like organza, chantilly, chiffon, satins and tulle are accented with stunning embellishments, including lace, ribbons, crystals, pearls and gorgeous embroidered beading.

    “Every look takes its inspiration from the silhouette, palette and icons of each Disney Princess story and interprets the spirit of each young woman,” said Kelly. “Each of them has a unique, charming and very individual style that many brides can identify with – and now truly emulate – on their wedding day.”

    The Ariel dresses are sultry and alluring – ideal for the bride who feels comfortable with a more form-fitted look. Fabrics consist of gorgeous silks and chiffons, beads, leaf applique and pearls, with a mermaid-like “wave effect” at the bottom. The Aurora/Sleeping Beauty collection is lovely and romantic, with a mix of georgette, chantilly, high-shine satin, pearl and crystal embellishments, with pleated hems and beaded organza inlays.

    The Belle collection exudes stylish sophistication, with lace and ribbon, bands of satin, taffeta and gorgeous tulle flowers at the neckline. The Cinderella gowns radiate classic glamour and elegance, with silk tulle, duchesse satin, scattered crystals and embroidered beading. The Jasmine gowns convey a Bohemian chic look, featuring appliquéd lace, embroidery and draping, with chiffon and satin mixed in with clustered beadwork. The Snow White dresses are sweet and demure, with rouched chiffon, tulle inlays with beading and pleated satins.

    “When brides shop for wedding gowns and see Kirstie Kelly’s Disney Princess-inspired collection, they will stop in their tracks,” said Jim Calhoun, executive VP, global apparel, Disney Consumer Products. “Every bride wants to be a Princess on their wedding day, and they want the magical feeling that goes along with it. This collection captures that magic extremely well.”
  3. That is a great idea. So many people get married at Disney. Why not market wedding gowns.
  4. That is so neat! I want pics!
  5. That sounds pretty cool! :smile:
  6. the perfect fairytale wedding. my SO would never agree to that but i can dream.
    i had an esmerelda costume when i was younger and i loved it!
  7. It will be neat to see what the dresses look like!
  8. I would love to see pics!
  9. Oooo, I hope they do a little mermaid one!
  10. I read about this a while ago and it had more pictures, but I could only find this one of the Snow White dress.
  11. :nuts: cool!
  12. What a great idea! I don't care what age I am. I still love Disney princesses, especially Aurora.
  13. wow how cool! some of them are gorgeous. i like the sleeping beauty collection the best!
  14. They look pretty! I would love to see them IRL though to tell the quality of the materials, etc.

    Thanks for posting! :smile: