Real couples for spring? So original. To drum up even more excitement for 2020 weddings, retailer David’s Bridal decided to feature everyday couples instead of models for its latest campaign—and the brand is sharing the first look (wink) with The Knot.
“In the spirit of capturing an authentic celebration, and an honest look at the love shared by all of the brides who come through our doors, we chose to cast real couples,” says the brand’s art director Liat Kalikow. “These couples embody the true spirit of what it feels like to be a ‘David’s’ bride on her wedding day and the spark of sharing that moment with the one you love. We want all of our customers to see themselves and their love, reflected in our photos.”
David’s Bridal tapped two distinct pairs: size-inclusivity activist and businesswoman Lauren Chan (also one of The Knot’s inaugural influencers of 2018) and husband Alan Paron, who married in 2019. The brand also enlisted dancer Victoria Brito and her wife, DJ Taylor Fennel, to star in the colorful shoot, which took place in Florida. The intent of the overall concept was to capture a bride’s wedding day timeline, starting with the getting-ready process and the first look all the way to the cake-cutting.
“We wanted to highlight all aspects of the day, while celebrating the true individuality of each of our brides,” Kalikow adds. “Unexpected elements such as heart-shaped sunglasses, a tub overflowing with champagne, an oversized floral pineapple, and popsicles added a light and joyful aspect to the overall campaign. And since many of our spring styles are easy to pack and lend themselves to destination weddings, we landed on shooting in sunny Miami; a nod to some of the tropical locales where we’re sure to find our brides celebrating.”
David’s Bridal has remained a diligent leader in embracing representation of all brides. “Each bride has her own story, her own journey, and we want to celebrate that,” says the brand’s VP of marketing, Callie Canfield. “It’s important that the wedding industry recognize that brides today want to see themselves represented in all creative assets. Whether that’s in campaigns, at events, or on social media.”
Most recently, the company issued a decree for price parity across all gowns, meaning plus-size brides wouldn’t be charged for extra fabric costs. Surprisingly, it was a first of its kind for a national retailer of David’s Bridal’s namesake and caliber to enact such change from within.
“Size inclusivity has always been one of our top priorities, and this change felt overdue,” David’s Bridal CEO Jim Marcum tells The Knot. “On average, the up charge for a plus size wedding gown is nearly 15 percent, and we do not believe that a woman’s size should determine how much she pays. Since I started at David’s Bridal, I’ve made it my number one priority to serve all brides, making it our mission to remind every bride that she is beautiful.”
According to The Knot 2019 Fashion Study for Size Inclusivity, brides sizes 12 and up replied they’re twice as likely to feel self-conscious about the dress shopping experience than those sizes 0 to 10. “Our average customers size is a 14,” Canfield notes. “So it is extremely important for us to incorporate models of all sizes into our product photography and advertising so that brides can envision themselves in our gowns.”
Then, the in-store experience needs to reflect this ethos too. “We’re honored to have had the opportunity to dress millions of brides, and what we have learned from them is that while they curate and get inspired online, they still want to have the in store experience,” adds Marcum. “Our store allows them to try on our breathtaking designs, touch and feel the beautiful fabrics up close, and experience the remarkable expertise of our stylists and alterations experts. This is a highly emotional purchase, in a highly emotional time for our brides, and we want to give them the best in-store experience possible.”
The brand is intent on continuing this conversation forward beyond the wedding dress shopping space. They want to transform the conversation of models verse real women overall. “It needs to be broadened outside of traditional fashion, starting with retail companies,” Canfield concludes. “But [also] made prolific through media.”
See all the images below.