{Hair & Makeup} Wedding Day

Unless you’re a celebrity, public figure, or news anchor, most likely the only time that you’ll spend “in hair and makeup” is on your wedding day. Every woman should feel glamorous on her big day, that’s why I love these photos of real brides before their wedding.

I hope these photos inspire the celebrity in all of us!

Photo Credits: Katie Hall, Lydia Daniller, Lori Paladino

Photo Credits: Diane Askew, Chris Schmitt Photography, Sarah Schulte Photography

Photo Credits: Waldorf Photographic Art, Pat Furey

Photo Credits: John Stephens with Iris & Light, Redfish Bluefish Photography

All robes worn by the brides are from Doie Lounge.

Bridesmaids & a Bridesman

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{Image by Lindsay Madden Photography}

Ben & I got married on the night before Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012. The weather was perfection and my bridal party were so excited to receive their beautiful Luella robes. Even better, my oldest guy friend, a bridesman, received a “scarf” of the Luella trim to match us. Although he preferred to wear it as a head scarf, I was so thrilled that Sara was able to accommodate my requests to allow my entire bridal party (bridesman included) to feel so special and match each other. I enjoyed wearing my Lilian robe as I got ready to marry my high school sweetheart and on our romantic honeymoon in Costa Rica.

Tracy S., Married 11.21.12, in New Jersey

{Seize The Gray}

It seems as if one of this Fall’s hottest wedding colors is not even considered a color by some. Gray used to be seen as a lackluster neutral, but is now the pinnacle of glamour in today’s modern wedding.

 Gray adds the elegance of black but with out the darkness and many brides are choosing to accent the “goes-with-everything” color with pops of more traditional wedding colors such as pink and white.

I first noticed this trend when sales of our gray robes, such as the Elena and Cosette, began to increase due to the fact that the brides wanted their bridesmaid gifts to match their wedding colors. Upon further discussion, most brides revealed that they feel gray is a color that flatters almost anyone due to it’s neutral nature and it also has a slimming effect, just like black. Choosing gray for bridesmaids robes is basically a “no fail” option even for brides who didn’t care if their bridesmaid gifts matched their wedding colors.

There is really no denying the elegant nature of gray—it has an “Old Hollywood” glamorous feel and its toned down nature is enchanting without being too glitzy. I love these photos of brides who wanted their wedding parties to “seize the gray!”

Special Touch

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Photographer: Diane Askew

“I was married on October 27, 2012 in picturesque St. Helena, California.  Getting ready for the biggest event of my life was surreal–in the best way, of course.  It was a crisp, sunny fall day.  The kind you really only get in Northern California.  I preened and primped in my family’s home nestled in the vineyards just feet from where my now husband got down on bended knee and asked for my hand the December before….I was surrounded by my two very favorite girlfriends.  One a college roommate; the other a fabulous friend who also happens to be Sara’s cousin (it was in fact Sara who had the brilliant idea of connecting us when life’s twists and turns had us both living in DC after college).  I could not imagine a more magical morning shared with more beautiful women on a more momentous day.  Being robed in Doie was by far the most special touch.  We were all so incredibly comfortable and felt so pretty.  I am forever grateful to Sara and Doie for making my pre-wedding “getting ready” hours even more amazing.  And we’ve been enjoying our robes every day since then.  Mine brings back the most wonderful memories and will for years to come!”

~ L.M. married 10.27.12 in St. Helena, CA

{Looking Back} Real Brides Q & A #13

Real Bride #13~ Lily Perry

Photographer: MCG Photography

Where did you get married and when?

Kiawah Island, SC – July 25th, 2008

What was the best moment of the day?

The whole day was amazing. I would say the two moments that stand out are:

1 – seeing scott for the first time as I started to walk down the aisle

2- walking into the reception and seeing all of our closest friends and family cheering and having a wonderful time celebrating together

What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)?

Ok, this isn’t really the MOST memorable moment, but our friend Allan went crazy on the dance floor took off his shirt so he was just wearing a white tee, started to really break it down and dropped a glasss on the floor and the whole dance floor had to be cleared! Then of course, I step on the only shard of glass that was overlooked and get blood on the hem of my dress. I totally didn’t care though and kept right on dancing.

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)? 

I wouldn’t really change anything honestly!

What was the most stressful part of the planning? 

My florist! She and I did not see eye to eye. Everything I wanted was “unavailable.” She almost quit on me a few weeks before the wedding and my planner had to take over communication with her. In the end the flowers were beautiful though so it all worked out.

What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle? 

Don’t trip! And smile, but don’t look awkward. Oh, and everyone is staring at me!!

Did you do anything special to get in tip top shape?

I hired a personal trainer. So, ummm… yeah. haha

What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids?

I don’t believe the numbers have to match with the groomsmen. I think that is silly. How likely is it that you have the same number of good friends as your husband?  Ours didn’t match and it didn’t matter at all.

What was your first dance song?

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill It’s Your Love

What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable?

I wore silver Manolo Blahnik strappy sandals – and kind of…. they weren’t too high (3″ heel) but obviously, they came off on the dance floor (see above)!

Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?”

I totally enjoyed it bc we had such a big rehearsal dinner (nearly everyone came to it) so I was able to say hello to everyone then and didnt feel like I needed to speak with everyone as much at the wedding so could just relax and have fun!

What is your best “day of wedding” advice?

Relax! At least one thing will not go as planned but at this point it is so late so stop stressing and just enjoy all of your hard work.

Did your relationship feel different after the wedding?

Not really. We had lived together before so we were surprised by how little difference there was. Moving in together was a much bigger adjustment.

{Looking Back} Real Brides Q & A #12

Real Bride #12~ Sararose Benham


Where did you get married and when?

St. Lukes in the Fields, New York City,  June 5, 2010 Reception at The Little Owl Restaurant in the West Village.

What was the best moment of the day?

The best moment for me was exchanging our vows. I got choked up and a little teary which I never imagined I would.  I think because I stayed so present I was able to really hear and feel the magnitude of the promises we were repeating.  We had written our own vows which made it all very personal and that much more special.

What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)?

After we said our vows and kissed, Tom leaned down and kissed my belly (I was four months pregnant) which was a total surprise and a really genuinely touching and memorable moment I will never forget. He did stain my dress with my lipstick though!

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)?  

I would have planned to go on honeymoon directly following the wedding. As wonderful as it all was, going back to work on Monday was not ideal and here we are two years later with two kids and have still not taken one!

What was the most stressful part of the planning?  

The only stressful part of the planning was the invitation list. We decided to make it a very small event and chose the venue (The Little Owl) which only seats 30 people.  Trying to figure out who could come and what space we had was really stressful as I wanted EVERYONE there! 

What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle?

How handsome my man looked and how rad it was that my friends were all shouting so loud with such energy and love. It felt so awesome! I had gotten ready right across the street in my apartment and just had to walk across the street and into the garden with  my parents. I felt beautiful and lucky and happier than I had ever been. It sounds cheesy but it was really the best.

Did you do anything special to get in tip top shape?

I trained three days a week with a trainer in the gym at my work.  Although I was pregnant I focused on my arms and back.

What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids?

I decided not to have bridesmaids. I had such a small wedding it didn’t really make sense to single anyone out. I had my oldest best friend come back with us after the ceremony to bustle my train as she had been at all of my fittings, and my sister handed Tom the ring during the ceremony.

What was your first dance song? We didn’t do one!

Our wedding was not the most traditional wedding. We did not have a cake (each guest got their own little chocolate molten cake and we did not have a first song).  We did get super down and dirty to Telephone by Lady Gaga during the party and our entrance song was We are Family by Sister Sledge. We focused the most on the entrance song as found it to be a really meaningful moment.  We had gotten married in a little garden in between our apartment and the Little Owl restaurant. After the ceremony we went back to our roof to take photos with the empire state building and NYC skyline behind us as well as have a moment with one another and our two best friends. While we were there our guests walked to the restaurant and had drinks and hors d’oeuvres while waiting for us. When we entered we wanted a really fun song playing that would get the party started instantly and be meaningful for everyone in the room not just us. We are Family was perfectly fitting.

What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable?

Some cheapo ones I bought online. They were NOT comfortable but looked pretty and didn’t cost a lot. I knew I would scuff them up walking around the streets of NYC and standing in the grass in the garden and wasn’t sure if it would rain or not (it didn’t, yay!).  So I decided not to spend a lot on footwear. I threw them away recently!

Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?”

Completely enjoyed! With just 30 people in attendance it was easy to feel at ease. There was no pressure or nudging each other to make sure to talk to anyone, it felt very relaxed and easy just the way we wanted it!

What is your best “day of wedding” advice?  

I think that staying present and having fun are the most important. 

Did your relationship feel different after the wedding?

Surprisingly YES!  I didn’t think we could be any closer or feel any more connected but we did. It felt different. There was and continues to be a sense of security and complete dedication to one another that I must have not felt before.

{White Wedding}

I always find it exciting and inspiring when a bride wants to do something a untraditional, which is why I was thrilled when Eve emailed me and wanted to go with white robes for her bridesmaids! I’ve had some brides who pick a robe other than white for themselves, but I had never had a bride contact me and want to get white robes for her maids.

There are two options for the white robes, so the bride herself also wore white, but she chose the Lilian for herself and the Bettina for her friends. I love how the pop of color on their robes makes her white dress stand out.

I thought it was a bold move on her part and the perfect gift for a summer wedding.

{Weekend Inspiration} Simple Chic

I attended a gorgeous wedding at the Mountain Home Inn, in Mill Valley (my home town), this past weekend. The wedding was one of the smallest that I have been to, and the details were simple but well thought out and chic. I loved the vases of Dahlia’s that lined each table and the place settings were beautifully done. The view from the deck, at dinner, was the best detail of all and they couldn’t have asked for a nicer day and night (weather wise).


I wanted to share a photo of the elegant and unfussy flower arrangements as well as my place setting. The little gift with my name on it is an English “cracker” that had a few small party favors inside. The table was understated but beautiful and the “crackers” made it fun and festive.

{One Night in Ottawa} A Bridesmaids Story

I was surprised and delighted to find an email filled with photos, from a Canadian bride who I had worked with a few months back. When Ashley first wrote to me, she told me that she was getting married in Ottawa and asked if I knew how much the tax and customs charges would be. I had shipped robes to Canada before, but not for an entire wedding party. So, I went down to the post office to find out and they told me that they didn’t know and that it was something that Ashley needed to find out on the Canadian end. I don’t like “my” brides doing any extra work, but I let Ashley know the deal. She ended up being so exited about the robes that she said she would just go for it and pay whatever the extra taxes were going to be and that she would report back (which she did).

Photos by: Andrew Geddes, Union Eleven

I have never been to Ottawa and to be (embarrassingly) honest, I wasn’t sure where exactly, in Canada, it was located. So, I ended up learning a lot in this particular situation and I was excited when it all worked out. It was fun to work with Ashley and her photos show that it was all well worth it. 

Ashley got married at the National Gallery of Canada, on June 9th 2012. I thought it was really cute and different that she wore the same robe as her bridesmaids, instead of going with the traditional white robe– like the Lilian or the Bettina.

I normally reserve these types of photos for our Real Weddings Blog, but I wanted to show all of the photos, instead of just one.

{Weekend Inspiration} Smog Shoppe Wedding

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get invited to a wedding at the Smog Shoppe! Although the name doesn’t sound very glamorous, the place is amazing. It’s an old smog-check center that has been redone and is 100% solar powered and one of the most sustainably designed places in the entire United States, not to mention it is pretty gorgeous.

The place is filled with “living walls,” outdoor couches, and exposed brick. They also have a huge movie screen, that plays silent old movies while you eat and funny dance montages while you dance. I was pretty obsessed with it all around. It did inspire me to want to buy some wooly pockets.


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