Fit to be tied
Normally the blindfolds come off after the wedding in the honeymoon suite. But for new bride Christina McCaffrey, it happened an hour before she walked down the aisle.
That was when she first laid eyes on her stunning wedding dress, designed by husband-to-be bridal couturier David McCaffrey.
The couple, who run Ottawa’s David McCaffrey Haute Couture, met four-and-a-half years ago on a blind date. They were married Dec. 26 in Orlando, Fla., in front of 20 family members.
McCaffrey, who has been designing beautiful wedding and cocktail dresses for 16 years, wanted to make something special for “the love of his life” without her seeing it. Hence, the blindfold that was used during fittings.
“David has dressed me so many times,” says Christina. “Even though I was blindfolded, I could feel the first rough cotton copy. I asked that the side slit come down a bit and wanted the one-shoulder strap moved to the right side.”
She wore an iPod with tunes blaring so she couldn’t hear what was happening. She had no idea that David had purchased a variety of fabrics to make the dress while in Paris on a buying trip nor that she was going to get a long, flowing detachable train and a veil.
Christina saw the dress for the first time an hour before her wedding at St. James Catholic Cathedral in downtown Orlando.
“I was at a spa and had just had my hair and makeup done. I was blindfolded again and was brought into a room where my dress was hanging up. I promptly burst into tears. It was so beautiful.”
The one-shoulder design incorporates accents of French Chantilly lace, which fall lightly onto a ruched silk satin chiffon and charmeuse bodice. The multi-layered crinkled chiffon skirt features a dramatic open slit on one side, while the back is a low scoop with romantic heart-shaped lace pieces scattered all over the zip-off train.
“These are special fabrics that I have never used before on any other wedding dress,” said David.
“Christina had complete faith and trust in me. I think it’s a great way to start a life together.
“Designing a dress for someone you’re in love with is easy and exciting.”
The McCaffreys sell about 500 wedding dresses each year and have clients across the continent as women clamour for David’s custom-made creations. Their boutique occupies a prime corner in the ByWard Market on Sussex Drive and Clarence Street across from the U.S. Embassy.
“There was one moment at our wedding that I’ll never forget,” David says. “The aisle in the cathedral was on an angle. When Christina was walking toward me, the sunlight came through the stained glass windows and lit up her face. That was my moment of truth.”