Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jorge Manuel's Upon A Star Contest Has Been Narrowed Down To 5 Semi-Finalists

It has been  35 days since the 'Upon A Star' win a couture wedding gown contest began to accept entries from lucky brides around the U.S. So many wonderful brides submitted their essays and entries and here at Jorge Manuel we were glued to our e-mail boxes reading the heartfelt stories we received and blessed to have met such wonderful brides-to-be.

It has been a very difficult decision and after much deliberation, and we don't say this lightly, the 5 semi-finalists in the running for the 'Star' gown have been selected!

Their stories have captivated the contest's panel of judges and their desire to walk down the aisle in a one-of-a-kind wedding gown locked in their proper place among the 5 semi-finalists.

Jorge Manuel would like to personally congratulate the following candidates in the running to win the gorgeous one-of-kind couture 'Star' gown:

1. Amanda Dalton; Louisville, KY
2. Andrea Gallucci: Magnolia, OH
3. Jeanine Lalonde; Charlottesville, VA
4. Rhian Stotts: Tempe, AZ
5. Samantha June Pittman: North Providence, RI

They are all one step closer to the prize! The winner will be announced on the designer's website on March 30, 2011. We wish you all the very best of luck! Till then, allow us to proudly introduce them.

Amanda Dalton
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Wedding Date: May 15, 2011
Occupation: Research Technician
What love means to her: Love is everything to me. I love my fiancé with all of my heart. He brought me out of such a dark place and has shown me that there is some good left in the world. He is the reason I still believe in love.
What she looks for in a wedding gown: A wedding dress is more then just a dress, it is the centerpiece of the wedding and it should be amazing and unique to the bride. The right wedding dress should make the bride feel like the most beautiful woman in the world and it should give her a confidence unlike anything else. Any girl would be incredibly lucky to have this gorgeous gown. My theme to my wedding is Whimsical Woodlawn. Every detail to this elegant dress goes, from the hand made flowers covering it to the creative circles on the veil.

Andrea Gallucci
Fiance: John Abbot (applicant)
Hometown: Magnolia, OH
What love means to him:  To me, "love" means more than just the desire to make my future wife happy, but to show her as much as I can, in every way, how much she means to me.
How they met: We met at a music festival held in our hometown in the summer of 2006. I was with my brother, she was with a friend, we started talking and continued a friendship until 3 years ago when I told her that I loved her... We have been together ever since.

Jeanine Lalonde
Wedding date: June 1, 2012
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Occupation: College Admission Counselor
A bit about her wedding: This is a fun one!... We were able to find a vineyard that was under construction and therefore a bit less expensive to use.  What it would mean to her if she won the 'Star' gown:  After staring at pictures of the Upon a Star dress for a few weeks now, I know that I would feel special and beautiful if I were able to wear it.  I've looked at plenty of dresses online and have been able to objectively say that they are lovely dresses, but the Upon a Star dress actually evokes an emotional response. It makes me excited.  It makes me smile.  I even find myself daydreaming a little bit about what it'll be like to walk down the aisle towards Marc wearing it.

Rhian Stotts
Hometown: Tempe, AZ
Wedding Date: July 14, 2012
Occupation: Research Assistant
How he proposed: On his first day back to work after New Year's, James called me to tell me that he wanted to go out to get steak for dinner.  As we are extremely budget conscious this was unusual but I initially agreed.  However, I had been working from home that day and hadn't showered yet.  So, I called him back and told him that I didn't want to go.  He begged and I gave in and went to get ready before he got home.  I decided that I might as well look cute so I dressed up a bit (good thing).  James got home and suggested that we take our dog, Mortimer, for a walk before leaving for dinner.  Our walk includes a stop at the neighborhood park.  We stopped there to let Mortimer play around and I sat down on the playground equipment.  We were talking when James opened his jacket and pulled out a ring box saying "This probably won't come as much of a surprise" (wrong) and then got on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I accidentally tackled him while squealing and he had to remind me to actually say yes!

Samantha Pittman
Hometown: North Providence, RI
Wedding Date: October 15, 2011
Occupation: Non-Profit Communications and Marketing Associate
The story behind the ring: The best part about our story is the ring itself. A few years into dating we started talking about marriage. When we were in San Diego visiting my family one year I said to him some side comment that I'd be pretty pumped if my ring came out of California! He did better. He built the ring himself. He bought the center stone in San Diego with help from my mom, and the setting in Rhode Island, with help from his mom. My ring is both pieces of us- half from San Diego, half from Rhode Island.
Looking for the perfect dress: I never pictured my wedding as a little girl. I always thought it would be simple. Now that I've seen the dresses and put them on I've realized this is the only day that I can put on a dress so magical and the day that I am supposed to feel the most beautiful that everything I like is in the $5,000 range which working in non-profit is a pretty decent piece of your yearly salary!

Which one of these lucky brides will walk down the aisle in a one-of-a-kind couture wedding gown? We will soon find out! Check back periodically on this blog for more on the contestants and on March 30, 2011 visit the designer's website (www.jorgemanuelweddings.com) to see the contest winner!


  1. EEK! Thank you so much for picking me as a finalist!

    I'm in Washington, DC for work right now and couldn't help but stop into Hitched yesterday to see a Jorge Manuel gown in person. It was beautiful! The consultant with whom I spoke had such nice things to say about Jorge, too.

    I feel lucky just to be a finalist. Thanks again!

  2. This is so incredibly exciting! I can't tell you how much this has improved my week and how honored both my fiance and I are by being semi-finalists. This dress so wonderfully fits into our image of a modern vintage wedding! Thank you, thank you, thank you for considering us!

  3. Thank you so much for selecting us as finalists! I still can't believe it...we kept checking your site yesterday to see who would be selected and when I found out we were among the top 5 - I was shocked with surprise...when I saw Andrea's name I didn't know what to think but she looked at me with a big smile and insisted that it was for real. Thank you.

  4. Such a sweet surprise! Thank You Jorge Manuel Weddings (and John) for this opportunity!!!!

  5. I’m overjoyed to still be in the running for this breathtaking gown. Thank you so much for choosing me as a semi-finalist!