Follow That Bride
We tagged along with on local bride-to-be on three essential wedding appointments.
So you’re engaged, and your wedding is starting to feel like a moving target. Maybe you know exactly what you want—or just maybe you have no idea where to begin. Either way, you and your fiancé will have to put your heads together and make some decisions—and more than a few appointments. Some days will be tough, most will be fun, and others will end up changing everything you thought you knew about weddings.
Our editors found one spunky bride who still had her work cut out for her planning a springtime wedding. We decided to follow her progress to see what we could learn as she looked for a dress, scouted her venue, and booked her florist. When Maura and Brandon started planning their wedding, they originally looked in Chicago to be closer to Maura’s big family. But when they thought about the long-distance planning—and were quoted $30,000 to feed 200 people—they brought their shell-shocked selves back to Cincinnati, where they currently make their home. “We’re just asking people to come to Cincinnati and see where we met and fell in love and to be a part of our world here,” Maura says.
The wedding is still to come, so Maura’s real dress is confidential (we’ll give you a hint: It’s a design from wedding gown goddess Monique Lhuillier). But we did look over her shoulder while she tested out some favorite picks from Bridal and Formal’s massive collection.
Maura may work as a personal stylist for Nordstrom department stores, but that didn’t exactly give her an edge while dress shopping. “I kind of had no idea what I wanted,” she admits. “So I started by getting my bearings a little bit and having fun.”
Like many brides before her, Maura quickly fell in love with a pricy designer gown. She explains, “I absolutely loved it, but it was double my budget.” She left the shop empty-handed, scheming about how to get the gown. Eventually Maura returned and Cynthia Tooson worked her magic in the dress racks. On a hunch, she pulled a deeply discounted sample gown that fit the profile of the budget-busting design. “I said ‘I guess I’ll try it; I’m not totally in love with it,’ ” Maura remembers. “And I put it on and it was the dress. What I love about it is that it’s really unique and it makes me feel beautiful.”