About two months after Richmonder Courtney Bise was married, she gazed at her ivory gown, wishing there was a time and place to re-wear it. That's when her friend, Tiffanie Johnson, just a month before her own wedding — convinced her to plan an event where they could do just that.
"What would be better than getting all dressed up and hitting the Jefferson for a champagne brunch?" Johnson says.
So on Oct. 24, eight brides descended upon The Jefferson Hotel decked out in their wedding gowns.
"It was kind of a spectacle," Bise says with a laugh. "Everyone was looking at us."
The brides wore their gowns but "grunged it up a little bit," Bise says, throwing on cardigans or, in her case, cowboy boots.
The ladies sipped mimosas on the mezzanine level, taking numerous — and hilarious — trips down the grand staircase to the generous breakfast buffet on the first floor.
"People were taking pictures of things from their tables," Bise says. "Someone asked us if we were debutantes."
Amanda Garner, who got married a year ago and wore her silk, champagne-colored gown to the brunch, says food highlights included the omelet station and mini-wedding cakes, set at each place.
Perhaps the funniest moment, Bise says, was when all eight brides packed into the elevator for a photo. They hope to have another bridal brunch, Bise says — that is, if they can fit into their dresses.
"The bad thing was that a lot of us could not eat a lot because our dresses were a little tighter than they were the first time," she says with a laugh.