My husband and I built our business with a lot of hard work and long hours, but we loved it because it was “our baby”. Well, we reached that age (or at least I did!) where we had to decide if we were going to fit a real baby into our lives. Lucky for us, our little Lorelei came along about 10 months after that, and as any of you parents can understand, we are just beyond in love with her!
Since our daughter arrived, I’ve joined the society of “Women Trying to Balance it All” and not to brag, but I think 5 years in, I’m getting the hang of it! I don’t work quite as many hours as I used to, but I am for the most part, focused and productive. We get home in time to have dinner together as a family, and most weekends are fun-filled. It’s not perfect, but she is happy and knows with a profound certainty that she is loved. Our business is supported by the great team we have built over the years, and as any small business, we’ve had our challenges, but having a child does give you a bit more perspective on those, doesn’t it?!
I am extremely passionate about my designs and love the sense of purpose, fulfillment and creative energy that happens each season. People say that having a child changes you, and it certainly does…it opens your heart and makes you a better person…more patient, more humble, more loving…all good qualities in a bridal designer! Lorelei, even at this young age, has an understanding of what her mommy and daddy do, and has been to quite a few NY bridal markets and Trunk Shows!
I am heading out to Bridal and Formal in Cincinnati this month, and the owners were so sweet to invite the whole family! So, I’m looking forward to meeting you all, offering tips and dress advice and hopefully helping brides-to-be find the perfect Claire Pettibone gown. This will be my first visit to Bridal and Formal. They have been carrying the collection for quite a few years now, so it’s long overdue! Can’t wait to share the collection with you there, and if you see a 5 year old hiding behind the dresses, you’ll know that’s my new assistant!
Dresses arrive Friday, and I personally will be there all day Saturday and most of Sunday.
Be sure to make an appointment July 13-15
I’ve been art-directing photo shoots even before we started our business, and in those years, I’ve
worked with a lot of photographers. But every now and then I’m privileged to see a real artist at work.
Elizabeth Messina has a soul and talent that shine through in her images, and stand out in a sea of
photography. I knew her photos long before we met. She had been photographing my dresses and
lingerie for various magazines, and one day, she just called me out of the blue…”Hi, this is Elizabeth
Messina, and I love your work…I think we should meet” So the rest is kind of history…I sent her gowns
for her workshop in France, she photographed my lingerie collections, I created a French inspired Beau
Monde bridal collection, so naturally, who did I think of to photograph our campaign?
It is one thing to capture actual emotional moments (as she does so brilliantly for the lucky couples who
book her for their weddings) but what makes Elizabeth so remarkable, is that she is able to “create”
moments on a set that convey a real mood and feeling. Part of it is her technical skill, part is her warm
energy that brings out the best in her subjects, and the third part is pure magic…that thing that others
try to imitate but it just comes out flat. She so perfectly captures the genuine beauty that I also strive
to share with the world, and every time I send her pieces to photograph, I can’t wait to see the dreamy
images that come back! As she once said, “my camera wants to date your lingerie!” well, my gowns
want to MARRY Elizabeth!
Her new book, The Luminous Portrait, will give everyone a bit of insight and ideas for creating their own magic. I’m so proud and honored to have some of my designs featured in this gorgeous book, and can’t wait for our next collaboration!
The Luminous Portrait, by Elizabeth Messina available on Amazon.
Chantilly gown shot by: Max Wegner Photogrpahy
Having celebrated Father’s Day with one of the best fathers on the planet (that would be my hubby Guy), and my own fabulous father paying us a visit from the East Coast this week, I guess the men in my life are on my mind. Without them, what would all this wedding fuss be about anyway?! I loved this quote recently posted by our friends at Little White Dress…so romantic…all he wants is you! And of course all you want is him too, so here’s a little attention for the grooms. Some seriously stylish ones here!
Photo by: Andrew Weeks
In most weddings, so much of the focus is on the bride (as it should be, and our grooms wouldn’t have
it any other way!) but without your one-in-a-million-man, you wouldn’t need the gorgeous gown, the
cascading flowers or the perfect medley of sweet and savory…at the heart and soul of every wedding,
are the hearts and souls of two becoming one.
I’m thrilled to share just a few lovely images from one of our UK beauties, Abi, married this spring in Kristene. Her wedding is featured on one of my favorite blogs, Love My Dress. So be sure to see the whole story with tons of gorgeous images photographed by Annamarie Stepney here.
The Art Deco theme is expressed in fabulous details throughout, and our bride looks absolutely gorgeous from head to toe! Love her groom dressed in his family’s tartan…so handsome!!! This wedding is full of the personal touches and thoughtful planning that makes a wedding truly memorable. Congratulations to Abi & Adam, and thank you for sharing your amazing day!
Featured on Love My Dress
Photographer - Annamarie Stepney
Venue - Eltham Palace
Fur Shrug - Annie’s Vintage Clothing store
Brides dress – Kristene by Claire Pettibone
Brides veil/headpiece - Agnes Hart
Brides shoes - Emmy
Groom – Family Tartan
Bridesmaids - Maids to Measure
Flowergirl - Gilly Gray with sash by Maids to Measure
Florist - Violets and Velvet
Cake – Carolyn’s Cake Company in Lancaster
Favours – homemade Chutney in jars from thejamjarshop.co.uk
Entertainment – woodwind, ceremony & drinks reception + Scottish ceilidh band for the evening
Hair Stylist - Severin Hubert
Makeup Artist - Make up by Katy
Catering Company - Relish
A beautiful bride came to our Trunk Show this weekend to purchase her dream gown, Kristene. She pulled out the most amazing vintage shoes to show me, and I freaked out! I hope I didn’t scare her (I don’t think so, she ordered the gown!) but they are just too special, I couldn’t’ contain myself! Hand embroidered and entirely encrusted with tiny seed beads…even tiny sprays of flower and leaf on the back of the heels! She found them on Etsy, in mint condition, and a perfect fit…what are the odds?! Well, I see a lot of beautiful shoes from our brides, but these are a true treasure!
I think part of my excitement, is that I just introduced my new “Windsor Rose China” collection, which is inspired by my grandmother, who used to make just these sorts of precious heirlooms. It’s kind of uncanny how the embroidery on these shoes so perfectly matches the vintage jacquard waistband on Waverly. I have just now come out of my creative cocoon having put that collection together, and to have it literally walk in the door was so amazing!
It is the little things, the unexpected surprises in life that are sometimes what slay us, aren’t they? The obvious, big things are wonderful, but sometimes the small, special, and truly personal gifts and moments are the ones that mean the most. Sometimes I see a bride have such an emotional response to one of my gowns…maybe it reminds her of someone dear who is no longer with us, maybe it’s a childhood memory that she doesn’t even recall, but somewhere in her soul, the gown whispers to her…
Who knows why we love the things we do, but it sure makes life delightful!