Weddings, more so than any other function, are fraught with fashion anxiety.
Long before the term “bridezillas” was coined, they existed, especially when it came to their gowns.
And even if the brides are calm, their moms or prospective mothers-in-law may not be. In Hallmark Channel’s “Nearlyweds,” premiering Saturday, Jan. 12, three girlfriends have five weddings among them in a very short time. Though the brides are, overall, even-tempered, one mother-in-law is a trial.
“I know why they charge so much for wedding dresses,” costume designer Beverly Wowchuk tells Zap2it. “First of all they come in and try on umpteen wedding dresses. Then they come in with bridesmaids. Then they gain or lose weight just before the wedding. The service is why — they charge so much for the service. I mean that is part of it.
“Brides are so nervous,” Wowchuk continues. “A lot of them would try a minimum of five gowns. They have to come in, and a whole party comes in with them, and they are not there for less than an hour trying and fitting and fussing and nerves.”
The three brides wear gowns that reflect their personalities, or at least, their weddings. Casey (Jessica Parker Kennedy) wears a fun, retro gown with a red crinoline hem and red shoes.
Erin (Danielle Panabaker) wears a traditional gown. Her character is an unfussy physician, and a classic ivory gown was right for the character.
Stella (Britt Irvin) flaunts a gown that is a whole lot of fabric for a petite woman.
“She was marrying someone very wealthy, and everything about the wedding was over the top,” Wowchuk says. “We wanted the dress to reflect that as well. She is the tiniest of the lot. We did a cupcake look for her. We went over the top. It is expensive, relatively expensive. But of course they have money.”
Naomi Judd plays Renee, the nasty mother-in-law. Though hot pink might not jump to mind as a good color for a redhead, the outfit looks as if it were made for the Grammy Award winner. And there’s a reason: Judd showed up with her own perfectly tailored clothes.
“She wore most of her own wardrobe,” Wowchuk says. “And when I heard she was on board, and we had only two weeks to prepare, she said, ‘I have so many clothes. Tell me what you were looking for, and I will bring it.’ It is all beautiful. She has someone come who looks after her wardrobe as well. That is silk, and I believe it was taffeta.”
“What we wanted to do, because they are young women,” Wowchuk says, “we wanted a lot of color — a lot of pops of color and fun dresses for them.”
Casey runs a dog-grooming salon and spends much of the film in a T-shirt, which she says is coated “in dog slobber” so when she wasn’t working, Wowchuk put her in Betsey Johnson sundresses.