Fash­ion ex­pert and for­mer ‘Real Housewives of At­lanta’ star on wed­ding trends and set­ting re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions

GA Voice - - The Wedding Issue -



“The Real Housewives of At­lanta” may have in­tro­duced the world to break­out star NeNe Leakes, but it was the over-the-top per­son­al­ity of fash­ion­ista and en­tre­pre­neur Dwight Eubanks that kept view­ers talk­ing dur­ing the first three sea­sons of the hit Bravo re­al­ity se­ries.

Since his de­par­ture from “Housewives,” the event planner, cloth­ing and jew­elry de­signer and owner of Pur­ple Door Sa­lon & Spa, lo­cated in At­lanta’s his­toric Sweet Auburn Dis­trict, has added au­thor to his list of ti­tles in ad­di­tion to guest ap­pear­ances on the show that in­tro­duced him to the world.

Ge­or­gia Voice re­cently caught up with Eubanks fresh off of a suc­cess­ful show at New York Fash­ion Week to talk wed­ding trends, hair and makeup, and set­ting re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions for your wed­ding day.

Ge­or­gia Voice: So Dwight, tell us about the hot wed­ding trends this sea­son.

Dwight Eubanks:

For brides, they’re look­ing for some­thing re­ally over-the-top. What I’m find­ing that a lot of brides are do­ing nowa­days is a rental. Rental wed­ding gowns are re­ally pop­u­lar. A rental gives you the op­por­tu­nity to have that over-the-top wed­ding gown that would nor­mally cost you $50,000 to $80,000. To buy a dress or gown at that price point to wear for a cou­ple of hours doesn’t re­ally make sense un­less you have an ex­tremely large bud­get.

Tra­di­tional col­ors and tra­di­tional wed­ding gowns are now passé. You’re see­ing a lot of pas­tel col­ors now, a lot of di­ver­sity. The tuxe­dos for guys are not the tra­di­tional black tuxe­dos any­more; you’ve got blue and bur­gundy. A lot of guys are just do­ing a din­ner jacket. It’s about ex­press­ing your­self and be­ing to­tally free. It’s your day and it’s what­ever

you choose to make it.

What’s your wardrobe ad­vice for mas­cu­line-pre­sent­ing les­bians who may not be in­ter­ested in wear­ing a wed­ding gown?

It re­ally comes down to fit and what you’re com­fort­able in. This is your spe­cial day so you have to de­cide what re­ally makes you happy. Let’s face it: what was con­sid­ered tra­di­tional is out the door. The Cin­derella fairy­tale wed­ding is gone and the Cin­derella story is out the door, even for straight mar­riages.

I’d like to shift the con­ver­sa­tion to makeup and hair. Ide­ally, when should a bride sched­ule a beauty ap­point­ment for her wed­ding day?

It’s never a good idea to wait un­til the wed­ding day, be­cause any­thing that can go wrong will go wrong. Brides are al­ready un­der a huge amount of stress. A bride should al­ways do a mock-up of how she’d like her hair and make-up to look with a stylist ahead of time so there’s time to make changes. It’s a pro­duc­tion. It’s just like the open­ing night of a play.

What about try­ing a new hair­style for your wed­ding day?

That goes along with the process of elim­i­na­tion. You have 30 or 60 days to try new things, to fig­ure out what you like and what works with your hair texture. Do you need to add hair ex­ten­sions? Is this (style) go­ing to hold up for your en­tire evening? What is the weather go­ing to be like? The weather changes ev­ery­thing. In Ge­or­gia, July and Au­gust are hor­ri­ble months for out­door wed­dings.

What is the av­er­age wed­ding bud­get?

The bud­get for an av­er­age wed­ding for 50-100 peo­ple is go­ing to be a min­i­mum of $50,000 and that’s not in­clud­ing the rings and the dress. To bring in some­one for light­ing can be $5,000. If you don’t have a Dwight Eubanks’ fash­ion and beauty ex­per­tise spans three decades across the U.S. and Europe. (Courtesy photo) great bud­get, it doesn’t make sense to spend $50,000 on a wed­ding and then you’re go­ing to go live in an apart­ment. It’s a bride’s dream but you need to be able to pay for it.

Is it pos­si­ble to have a fairy­tale wed­ding on a lim­ited bud­get?

I tell peo­ple all the time that if you don’t have the bud­get to do an elab­o­rate wed­ding, sim­ply don’t do it. You have to rent a venue and you’re of­ten lim­ited with ca­ter­ing, and in-house ca­ter­ing can be ex­pen­sive. If you’re on a lim­ited bud­get, my best ad­vice is to have your wed­ding at a nice home ver­sus go­ing to a ho­tel.

Any part­ing words of wis­dom?

The most im­por­tant thing cou­ples can do to make their day a suc­cess is to have a thor­ough con­sul­ta­tion with their planner and to take their rec­om­men­da­tions. This is some­thing that they do on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and they’ve ex­pe­ri­enced a lot of the mis­takes. So when they say they “don’t rec­om­mend some­thing,” back up and don’t in­sist. Be able to have an open mind be­cause they know.

April 1, 2016

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