My name is Jessica Silvester, and I’m an assistant editor at O, The Oprah Magazine. When I first set out to find my wedding dress, I thought it would be relatively easy. My overall wedding outlook was laid-back and non-bridezilla-like. I love clothes. I love white dresses of every kind —short, long, beachy, fancy, cotton, lace—there’s something so inherently fresh and easy about them. And I’ve never been an indecisive shopper; I can tell the minute I slip something on (often before even looking in a mirror) whether a clothing item has the look and feel I’m going for in that particular moment. If it’s a little off, I move on, and usually succeed at the second or third store.

But I went to about 10 bridal shops in New York—trying on a handful of gowns each time—and the chemistry wasn’t there. I knew I wanted a silhouette that was fluid and ethereal, but also body-conscious; I didn’t want fussy ornamentation (beading, bows), but enough embellishment to offer a subtle glow, and those touches that make a dress even more special upon closer inspection. The gowns by British designer Jenny Packham almost matched my vision, but I also have a big bust, and I ran into trouble with the plunging necklines and low-backs of her designs; I needed something more supportive. As my criteria seemed increasingly unrealistic as a whole, I was ready to surrender some of them.

But the Amsale staff made me feel like it was possible for one wedding gown to incorporate all my dream-details. From the moment I met Emily, it was clear that she was sharp and intuitive, and a great listener. I let out a stream of consciousness as she walked me to various showroom samples, and she picked up on likes and dislikes I didn’t even realize I had. I already felt well taken of when Emily turned me over to Amsale, to work with her personally. It was surreal. I was simultaneously star-struck and reassured that my dress quest would have a happy ending.

Throughout the custom-design process, I gained a first-hand appreciation of Amsale’s expert eye. She translated some of my gown ideas exactly; others (perhaps when I was getting a bit too fixated on trends and “edginess”), she guided me in a slightly different direction, towards a finished product I would still love decades down the road. In the end, I felt so alive in her creation, like the best of myself—and I guess that’s all I ever really wanted.

My name is Kay Jackson and I am a fabulous “Bridediva”.  I am 39 years old and I was born and raised in New York City.  I am a proud Veteran of the United States Navy -prior K9 Dog Handler Explosives/Drug Detection and Aggression.  Now, I am a PhD doctoral candidate that will be getting married after graduation in 2011 to a man I recently reconnected with after dating many years ago – lol!  I am a mother of three; I have a son in the Marines, a daughter in college and a young son at home.

My father was Italian and my mother was black; so I have an exotic look that I believe makes me a DIVA/Bridediva. I do have imperfections and one of them is the fact that I was not born with an hour glass figure and this is an issue when shopping for clothing –in this case my dream wedding gown-…hahaha… Besides that, I’m so DIVA it’s unreal, people literally kiss my feet to be around me and I love it!  I am a self-made professional who loves to network and help build and motivate others, which makes me an unselfish DIVA.

So, about my wedding – I started with 12 bridesmaids and now I am down to only 10 because a couple people do not know how to behave and bow down to this “Bridediva” the way I need them to.  Anyway, I purchased 12 pairs of shoes and 12 ballroom gowns for my bridesmaids; this means I am in search of 2 replacements – any takers?  I do not consider myself a Bridezilla and am a “Bridediva”, which is two steps above.  I am classy not trashy and a true boss-lady.  I am getting married in New York City on a yacht and the after party will be on a double-decker party bus with a Jacuzzi and a VIP section.

There will be heavy security at this wedding since there will be a couple of celebrity guests attending.  The security will handle any angry people who are not happy because they were not invited and for those ladies who are pissed because I didn’t ask them to be bridesmaids…. hahahaha…. sucks to be them (not to sound childish but this is my show and I am the star)!

Anyway, because of the issue I have with my body type, it is hard to find clothes that will look right on me, as I need to find clothes that contour my body and give me curves in the right places.  Well, before finding my perfect dress in New York City, I searched high and low on the island of Oahu in Hawaii –where I live part-time- trying on about 28 dresses in which none of them made the cut.  That experience was stressful and I didn’t want to have to go through the process of a tailor having to rearrange the entire dress.  My wedding dress budget was $10,000.00 and I knew deep in my heart if we were going to spend that type of money the wedding dress needed to be something I was comfortable in and made me feel like a Bridediva.  I am not really into designer names, as I am a simple DIVA, whatever I see that looks good on me, I buy.

I had heard of Amsale through some fellow DIVA friends of mine, so I decided to do a little research on the designer.  I discovered that the Ethiopian born designer, Amsale Aberra, is the best dress designer out there hands-down.  I went so far as to compare her dress designs and styles to other top designers and I just did not find any of the original and beautiful designs like Amsale dresses and gowns.  My goal was to purchase the dress of my dreams, that will fit my body type, and I did.

However before this, as I mentioned before, I tried on several dresses in Waikiki, Hawaii and I could not find anything to help bring my curves out in a positive way.  I have been excited and disappointed in the entire dress shopping experience prior to arriving at Amsale; I like my size and don’t wish to lose any weight as I embrace being an imperfect DIVA.  As such, I knew that success was knocking at the door when I first stepped into the Amsale dress shop.  I like traditional wedding gowns and at first, I was looking for a dress with lace sleeves to hide my Navy tattoo on my arm in addition to a dress that covered my back to make it look smaller.