Elegant Curls for an Essex House Wedding

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Tasteful and timeless. That’s the look Melissa wanted for her ceremony and reception at Essex House. So we created loose curls and pulled back one side to frame her face, and used a natural makeup palette. She looked as fresh and lovely as those delicate flowers embroidered on her gown, don’t you think?

Thank you, Carats and Cake for featuring this classical wedding — and congratulations to Melissa and her husband, Heath!

Photos by Ira Lippke Studios.

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A chic bridal look for a classic Plaza wedding

Creating Lizzie’s look for her wedding to Jon at the Plaza Hotel was extra special for me because I’ve been styling her hair for years. After applying Halo Couture Extensions to boost her hair’s length and fullness, I gave Lizzie a chic, simple all-down style. Sofia kept Lizzie’s makeup simple and clean, too, with a soft pink lip that made her look radiant. Our team had a lot of fun styling Lizzie’s big bridal party, because they each chose a different hairstyle, ranging from Dutch-braided updos to flat-ironed all-down styles.

Thanks to Ira Lippke Studios for these shots, which capture the day perfectly.

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“I could not have felt any better about how I looked on my most special day!” — Lizzie

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This was truly a classic New York wedding: We helped Lizzie and her bridal party get ready at a suite at the Pierre. Then they headed to the Plaza for the ceremony and reception, and had photos taken on the city streets. Lizzie and Jon first met in 2009 but fought their feelings for 5 years as they were living in different cities. They finally started dating in 2014 – and I was delighted when they got engaged just one year later.

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For a stress-free day, choose the right wedding hair and makeup artists

Our goal is to make sure that every bride’s wedding day is stress free, enjoyable, and memorable for all the right reasons. Choosing the right wedding hair and makeup artists is a crucial part of that, so we loved hearing this feedback from our bride Allison:

“Working with Once Upon a Bride was one of the best decisions I made for my wedding. I worked with Karen and Angela. They were amazing! Karen and Angela made me and my family look absolutely beautiful. They both are extremely talented. Each of them was able to accommodate anything for everyone’s hair and make-up. They made the whole day go smoothly, which put me at ease. Karen and Angela made the day fun, exciting, and entertaining. I look back at my pictures and am so happy with my entire look! I felt absolutely gorgeous!”

And we agree that Allison looked absolutely gorgeous! Karen and Angela both used their favorite products to achieve Allison’s look. Using Nars, Mac, and Laura Mercier, Karen achieved a glowing, natural look that highlighted Allison’s amazing eyes. Angela used Oribe and Phyto products and set Allison’s hair using a wand to create her chic, long-lasting updo.

Allison’s gown was by Lazaro, her shoes were by Kate Spade, and the wedding was celebrated at the grand, historic Oheka Castle, on Long Island. Ronnie from Giovanni Photographic Artist was the wedding photographer.

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Bridal hairstyles for long hair: Great Lengths extensions

Our bride Amie flew all the way to NYC from the U.K. to have her dream destination wedding this summer. I added Great Lengths extensions to boost the volume of her lovely blonde hair, which works really well for bridal hairstyles for long hair. No matter how humid it got, I knew Amie’s style would hold beautifully throughout the day. Nichole applied airbrush makeup to bring out the natural beauty of Amie’s peaches-and-cream complexion.

It was really delightful working with Amie, so we were touched when she emailed to tell us:

“Stacey and Nichole, thank you so much for a fun and professional experience. You made the hours before my wedding day fun and entertaining! Lovely people who are absolutely fantastic at what they do! My hair was absolutely gorgeous and the makeup was flawless — everything I dreamed of and more for my wedding day! I just wish I could ship your salon all the way to the U.K. so I could get my hair and makeup done more often! My hair stayed in all day, and my makeup did not need to be touched. Thank you so much again! I will always remember New York and the wonderful people who made my day so special!”

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Fall wedding looks: Love is the spice of life

As the days grow crisper, I know a lot of you are refining your fall wedding look. I recently did a great shoot with a bunch of wonderful wedding professionals to inspire brides. I styled our model’s hair a few different ways that you might like to test in your own hair trial — a down style pinned at the back with an autumnal hair accessory, another sexy down style with her blonde mane flowing freely, and a soft, romantic updo. Shari, one of our airbrush makeup experts who travels to a lot of destination weddings for our brides, brought a natural peachy glow to our model’s complexion. Love that stunning glossy lip she achieved.

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Jennifer Cyr, the photographer who captured this shoot, was not only fabulous to work with, I think she’s one of the most talented wedding photographers out there right now. You can check out more of her work at Cyrience. Grace Park of The Kitchen Table creates truly amazing food for any special event, and Natalie Trento Events plans truly memorable weddings in both New York City and Philadelphia.

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Rachel and Mark’s chic Tribeca wedding

Our gorgeous bride Rachel and her groom, Mark, had a vision to create a New York-inspired wedding – modern, chic, and sophisticated. And thanks to the amazing skyline view from Three-Sixty in Tribeca, and the work of the some of the city’s very best wedding vendors, I think you’ll agree the result was everything they could have hoped for.

I styled Rachel’s lovely brunette locks into a loose, feminine side updo accented at the back with a jeweled clasp, while Nichole created a dramatic smoky eye. Brian Dorsey Studios did an incredible job of capturing the whole day — we always love working with their photographers, and the results are always fantastic.


Rachel wore a gown by designer Peter Langner. We think the choice of black for the wedding party is genius — such a clean, classic, stylish look. The bridesmaids each chose their own gowns, and the groomsmen wore matching Hugo Boss tuxedos and ties.





After dark, the venue was transformed by Frost Lighting — the effect was just magical. Keeping with the black-and-white palette, Cornucopia Flowers created stunning white floral centerpieces. And guests danced all night to the band Carnegie Hill, from Element Music.


Audrey’s Fine Baked Goods made the couple’s cake, which featured adorable Princess Peach and Toad figurines from the Super Mario games — a cute inside joke shared by Rachel and Mark.

It was a joy to create Rachel’s look for her big day, and also to work with all these great wedding vendors — truly among the best in the business.

To see more pictures, go to the full gallery on Style Me Pretty.

A bold, modern Brooklyn wedding: Holly and Andy

We had so much fun recently creating a modern bridal look for the wedding of super-stylish pair Holly and Andy at Liberty Warehouse, in Brooklyn’s Red Hook. A textile designer, Holly made the inspired choice of an opulent, bold and very hip black-and-white pattern for her gown.

I gave her the full brunette bombshell look, leaving her long hair down and bringing volume and sexiness with a loose, natural curl. Makeup artist Veronica made the whole look pop with smokey eyes and a bright splash of color with glamorous fuchsia lips.

“It was so great to have Stacey and Veronica there to make everyone look beautiful!” says Holly.

Andy, a graphic designer, was in on the style act, accenting his snappy suit with a flash of bright socks. And we love the colorful, spring-inspired touches to the outfit worn by the couple’s three-year-old son, Massimo.

“Massimo was the best man at our wedding, making it even more special,” says Holly.

Our thanks to Weddings by Two for these great shots.

Location: Liberty Warehouse, Red Hook
Photographer: Weddings by Two
Gown: Monique Lhuillier

I’ve been nominated for an Emmy!

Fantastic news this week! I have been nominated for a daytime Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement for Hairstyling” for my work styling Bethenny on her chat show.

I am so thrilled to receive this honor for a job I simply love doing. I was born to do hair! It’s even more special that I’ve been nominated while working with people I adore — the whip-crack smart, hilarious and ultra-talented Bethenny, and all her amazing team behind the scenes.

The awards will be presented on June 22nd at the legendary Beverly Hilton. Watch this space to hear all about it! For now, here are a few of the fun moments from the past year of working with Bethenny on her show…

WIN a free hair and makeup trial!

One lucky bride is going to win a complimentary hair and makeup trial at Once Upon A Bride, and it could be you!

To enter to win, just sign up for email updates about our latest discounts, salon news and the greatest hair and makeup products.

You need to love the look your artists are going to create for you on your wedding day, so I train our artists in my own protocol, which ensures that every bride has a successful trial. You will see variations of hair and makeup looks until we find the style that suits you best. Your artists will take detailed notes and photos so that they are ready to recreate the look on the day.

You are always welcome to call me for advice, because I want every bride to get the most from her trial and feel confident and relaxed that everything will run smoothly on her wedding day!


Bridal hair accessory style ideas: a chic side updo

For brides looking for inspiration on how to use a hair accessory in your wedding-day look, here is a great style created by Angela for our bride Danielle. A pretty jeweled hairpiece by Kate Ketzal adds the perfect finishing touch to a chic side updo, don’t you think?

Danielle married Josh at Brooklyn Navy Yard wearing a gorgeous strapless Romona Keveza gown from Wedding Salon of Manhasset.

“All the girls loved their hair and makeup,” says Danielle.

The bridal party were running a little late — and at Once Upon A Bride we know how stressful that can be on your wedding day, so we always create a calm and fun environment and give you peace of mind. “I really have to thank our makeup artist, Karen, especially, because she was so calming and kept me laughing the entire time,” says Danielle.

As always, Brian Dorsey Studios captured the day beautifully, as you can see from these pictures. And we love the bridesmaids’ fuchsia gowns, which were stunning with their lovely bouquets by Atlas Floral.

Special invitation: 25% off wedding hair and makeup trials at Once Upon A Bride

It is so important that you feel comfortable with your hair and makeup artist on your wedding day. You need artists by your side who make you feel beautiful every step of the way, giving you peace of mind from the early planning stages right up to when you walk down the aisle.

So we are offering a 25% discount on all hair and makeup trials at Once Upon A Bride until September 1. This is your chance to come in and meet New York City’s top team of bridal hair and makeup experts. Your hair artist will create two signature looks for you, plus a third variation as another option. Then your makeup artist will explore options, starting out clean and natural then moving on to a more smoky and sultry style, so you can see a transition and decide on the perfect look.

Call now and tell us about your wedding and we’ll set you up with an appointment to find the best artists for you. We have a whole team to choose from, depending on your needs and personal style. I’d like to introduce you to one of our top talents, makeup artist Karen, who recently worked on the wedding of Gillian and Noah at Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Karen is an expert at airbrush makeup. It guarantees a flawless look, because it covers imperfections while allowing the skin’s beauty to shine through. “For my brides I use only the highest quality brands, like Temptu and Kett,” says Karen. “It’s a godsend for brides who need to cover scars, tattoos, redness, very oily skin, or hyperpigmentation. And because it’s waterproof, there are never any concerns about tears or humid weather. Your look will last long through the day and a night of dancing!”

“I just have to thank Karen for making me look so beautiful the day of my wedding!” says Gillian.

“In this picture you can faintly see a rainbow. It started to rain while we were taking pictures outside, and when it stopped five minutes later, a rainbow appeared! We believe it was good luck!”

Gillian and Noah’s photographer was Frank Ammaccapane, Owner and Director of Natural Expressions.

A romantic, magical beach wedding, NYC style: Christine and Jawad

A beach wedding might not be the first thing you imagine when you think of tying the knot in New York City. But our bride Christine and her beau Jawad had both a romantic, magical beach wedding and a truly NY moment, exchanging their vows on Pebble Beach at Brooklyn Bridge Park, to the sound of J trains crossing the Williamsburg Bridge. Chris Gifford from Weddings by Two Photography did a fabulous job of capturing the day, as you can see from these shots.

We helped Christine create a suitably romantic, magical look for her wedding day. I used hot rollers and a curling iron to give Christine’s long blonde hair a soft, flowing curl. It worked perfectly with her amazing lace gown by Rivini and gauzy veil.



The style really popped with the addition of a bold jeweled hair accessory.


When it came to makeup, Sofia brought out Christine’s own natural glow, created a soft pink lip, and made her beautiful eyes a focal point.


The result was simply stunning . . .



Photographer: Chris Gifford, Weddings by Two Photography
Dress: Rivini, purchased at Kleinfeld’s
Shoes: Nina
Ceremony: Pebble Beach, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Reception: Galapagos Art Space

Classic bridal elegance on Park Avenue: Morgan and Bud

We think our bride Morgan was the picture of classic bridal elegance for her wedding to Bud on Park Avenue, at St. Ignatius Loyola church. Her stylist, Stefanie, created a soft and feminine updo to complement her lacy, light-as-air Monique Lhuillier gown. Stefanie added a touch of glamor to the look with jeweled hair accessories. Kate Connolly Photography took these gorgeous shots.


“Stefanie was amazing!” says Morgan. “She did my hair, my three sisters’, and my mom’s – it is a very opinionated, picky bunch, and everyone loved their hair. She was an absolute pleasure to work with. She was so flexible in adjusting the hair style if need be and knew how to make it look amazing in a short amount of time.

“Working with Once Upon a Bride, specifically Stacey, who I spoke with from the very beginning, was also great! Stacey was very responsive and helpful through the entire process. She helped pick the right stylist for us and she couldn’t have been more right!”


Morgan and Bud’s marriage was the culmination of years of long-distance romance. They shuttled back and forth between New York City and Boston, their studies and careers sending each of them to both of these cities — just never at the same time! In 2010 they were finally both able to be in New York City . . . and then Bud’s job transferred him back to Boston and they had to spend another six months apart. The couple have now settled in an apartment in downtown Boston and are loving married life. We are so happy for them and delighted that we could be a part of their special day!

Hair: Stefanie at Once Upon A Bride
Photographer: Kate Connolly Photography
Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Shoes: Benjamin Adams
Getting-ready Venue: The Pierre Hotel, NYC
Ceremony: St. Ignatius Loyola, NYC
Band: Vali Entertainment
Videographer: George Street Video

Romantic wedding-day style fit for a princess

When our bride Heather arrived at the altar, her awestruck groom leaned over and whispered, “You look just like a pretty princess.” And we have to agree!

Stefanie styled Heather’s luscious, long red locks into a classic wave, swept gently back from her face. The look worked perfectly with Heather’s lace-trimmed cathedral veil by Sara Gabriel and romantic gown by Amy Kuschel.



“Sofia made me absolutely glow with flawless makeup that lasted throughout my big day,” says Heather, who wed at Essex House, on Central Park. The wedding planner who created the sophisticated look for the wedding was James Abel Events, and Julie Skarrett captured the day in these beautiful shots.



“I am one of the lucky girls who married my best friend. But on my big day, just like every other bride, I was beyond nervous,” says Heather. “Sofia and Stefanie kept things calm and simple, and helped soothe my frayed nerves. They are top professionals in their field in every way.”

“I didn’t know I could feel as beautiful as I did on my wedding day. Every girl should feel like I did,” she says.

Thanks Heather — it was our pleasure to be part of your big day!

Laura and John: Casual-chic summer style

How gorgeous is our bride Laura, pictured here on her wedding day to John? She just glows! When she came in for her trial, Laura told her hair stylist, Angela, that she was going for a summer casual, yet chic, wedding vibe. And Laura was thrilled with this half-up, half-down hairstyle with a braid in the back and beachy waves that Angela created. A jeweled hair accessory and veil added a touch of chic.

Every bride expects there to be some inevitable stresses on her wedding day — and for Laura it was the realization that it had slipped her mind to buy her hair extensions. Angela wasn’t fazed about changing styles on the day of the wedding, and the result was stunning. “Angela made me feel relaxed and took everything in stride,” says Laura.

When it came to makeup, Laura asked her artist, Nicole, for a very natural and glowing look. “That’s usually the hardest look to accomplish,” says Laura, “and it came out better than I could have imagined. My makeup was flawless. I didn’t touch up all day because I was too busy celebrating — and it turns out I didn’t need to!”

The couple tied the knot in Staten Island, where Laura grew up. Before they were married, they discussed the tradition of bride and groom buying each other gifts on the wedding day and decided that it wasn’t necessary.

But awaiting Laura when she woke to get ready was a bouquet of white peonies and roses from John. “These were the same flowers I picked for the wedding day, and I never knew he was paying attention to all of the details!” says Laura. “It made me feel so calm and happy that no matter what happened that day we would be getting married and that was all that mattered! It was such a sweet, small surprise that meant so much.”








Glen Allsop from Christian Oth Studio captured Laura and John’s day, and Laura wore a Reem Acra gown and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Kelcie and Chad: a New York romance

Our bride Kelcie was simply radiant on her wedding day, with hair by Jamie and makeup by Veronica, in a strapless gown with a gorgeous classic full skirt.

For Kelcie’s hair, Jamie created a classical bridal style with a twist — a loose and romantic, low side up-do. Her makeup palette was natural and fresh, to bring out her own glow.

Kelcie and her groom, Chad, are from Memphis, Tennessee, but when they began planning their wedding they knew it had to be in New York. The city holds a special place in their hearts, because it was where they first met, at Christmas 2009. The River Café in Brooklyn, tucked beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, provided the perfect panoramic backdrop of the New York skyline and harbor.

The couple had kept up a long-distance romance for a year and half as Kelcie completed her college degree in Manhattan, until she graduated and returned to her hometown. “And the rest,” says Kelcie, “is history!”







William O’Connor of William Mason Photography took these beautiful shots of Kelcie and Chad’s wedding day.

Seamless hair extensions for the ultimate wedding-day look

Seamless hair extensions are one of the most stress-free and effective ways to create a stunning style on your wedding day. They’re weightless, invisible to the eye, and undetectable to the touch. At Once Upon A Bride we love using them, because they allow us to create a style that delivers an amazing impact, boosting your length and volume — while no one ever needs to know you’re wearing extensions.

Our stylist Angela worked with her bride Erin’s seamless extensions to create this beautiful down style for her wedding to Jason at Manhattan’s exclusive University Club.

Our stylists are experts at applying seamless hair extensions, which are an especially great option if you’re worried about your hair holding its style all through your wedding day. Your own hair may fall, but the extensions won’t! They last for more than a month, from your wedding rehearsal right through your honeymoon.

And as you can see from these shots taken by Shawn Connell of Christian Oth Studio, Erin’s hair style looked as fabulous after a night of dancing as it did when she was getting ready earlier that day at the St Regis.


Sultry style for a harborside wedding day

Our bride Lara has stunning long locks, and we knew she’d look amazing with this sultry down style Stefanie created for her wedding day.

“When I met with Stefanie (hair) and Sofia (makeup) for my trial, we played around with different looks until we found what looked best,” says Lara. “On the day of my wedding, their work surpassed even what they did at the trial, and they made me look amazing! I have never felt or looked more beautiful.”

Stefanie gave Lara a natural, very feminine-looking wave and brought out the glossy rich tones of her dark brunette hair.

Combined with the dramatic eye makeup and luscious glossy lips that makeup artist Sofia gave Lara, she looked gorgeous on the day she wed her beau, Michael, at the luxury Delamar hotel on the harbor at Greenwich, Connecticut.

Lara’s strapless gown was by Anna Maier ~ Ulla-Maija Couture. All of us here at Once Upon A Bride are great animal lovers, so we thought it was perfect that the couple’s pooch Lola was not only at the wedding but even had her own special outfit to match Lara’s!

“In addition to being stellar artists, Stefanie and Sofia are punctual, reliable, and professional,” says Lara. “They’re also versatile. They did not only my hair and makeup but the maid of honor’s and both of the mothers’ (of the bride and groom) as well. Each of these women of different ages, skin and hair types was thrilled with how they looked!”

“I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to work with Once Upon A Bride, and anyone who has the chance to work with them will not be disappointed!” says Lara. We loved working with you, too, Lara — and we wish you and Michael (and Lola, of course!) all the best in your life together.
 
Anthony Petrozza at Ricky Restiano Photography captured Lara and Michael’s special day.

Meet wedding makeup expert Veronica “RaRa” Pastoriza

“After many years as a makeup artist for television and magazines, I specialize in bridal makeup artistry. My focus is always to exceed my client’s expectations, and to make sure she looks and feels her best on her wedding day.”
Veronica “RaRa” Pastoriza

You may know our makeup artist Veronica Inez Pastoriza as “RaRa” from Bethenny Frankel’s TV shows. Along with Once Upon A Bride principal Stacey Weinstein, Veronica is part of Bethenny’s glam squad, on hand to style the star for her shows and media appearances.

An accomplished and creative makeup artist, Veronica is exceptional at bringing out brides’ natural beauty.

From a very young age, Veronica has had a passion for the fashion and beauty industries. She studied Fine Arts at New York’s High School of Fashion Industries, and then went on to study Fashion Styling at The Fashion Institute of Technology. During these years, she honed her makeup skills on friends and family. She launched her makeup career as an intern for MAC Cosmetics in 2004 and then worked for Trish McEvoy for five years.

In 2007, Veronica began doing Bethenny’s makeup, and she has appeared on Bethenny Ever After. She has also been on the show My Fair Wedding and has worked as a makeup artist on Inside Edition, Selling New York and LX New York.

“I was thrilled to be the makeup artist for the wedding of Julie Plake, formally Bethenny’s assistant,” says Veronica. “While I have many years’ experience as a makeup artist, I have never done bridal hair in my life. Unfortunately, Julie’s hairstylist had a family loss and had to cancel at the last minute. Because it was a destination wedding, there was no-one but me available to do her hair. Stacey emailed me step-by-step instructions, and I’m happy to say that her hair was a complete success!”

July discounts, specials, and news

We love July, as our summer brides get ready to walk down the aisle. And at Once Upon A Bride’s home base, Loft 26 salon, we’re also busy getting girls ready for all the parties and events going on around the city.

Learn to style your hair like a pro

If you’re about to head off on vacation or your honeymoon and wish that you could re-create all your favorite hair styles even when you are far from your salon, Stacey is available for private one-on-one sessions. Whether you want to learn how to create your favorite celebrity style, do the perfect blowdry, achieve beachy waves, or do a quick but professional-looking updo for a night out, Stacey or Angela will break it down into simple steps for you. Learn which products are best for your hair type, and which tools to use and why. Each session is 1 hour long, personalized according to what you want to learn, and takes place at Loft 26 salon. Leave with a goody bag of products, notes, and step-by-step photos of the lesson.

Stacey: $100 for 1-hour lesson
Angela: $75 for 1-hour lesson

Featured Product: Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste by Oribe

Oribe products are flying off our shelves this summer. Many of you are popping in just to get Oribe at 10% off, and it’s always a pleasure to see you. Keep coming in and enjoying the free samples with products! This month we’re offering a 10% discount on the ultra-pliable molding paste Rough Luxury. It smoothly slips through hair before taking hold for definition, texture, and shine, lending a soft touch to short cuts and long layers alike.

July Special: $20 discount

Hope you had an awesome July 4th! We’ve declared the rest of the month a celebration, too, by offering  $20 off your next visit to Stacey’s salon, Loft 26. Just mention “JULY SPECIAL” when you book. Call 212.414.2626.

Stacey’s News

Hot new social media site Archetype Me featured Stacey’s advice on the latest hair and makeup trends and tips for brides, wedding parties, and guests. For all the site’s “Fashionistas,” Stacey shared the lowdown on the big bridal look of the moment, braids, retro glamour à la The Great Gatsby, the latest in hair accessories, and the hair styling essentials you simply must have in your evening bag this summer. Check it out at Archetype Me.

Happy Hour

Summer has really only just begun, and Happy Hour is still going strong. Come get a sexy blowout or have gorgeous makeup done for your night out. Bring a friend and sip Skinnygirl cocktails while our professional hair and makeup artists pamper you.

July through August, Tuesday to Friday
4pm to 7pm
Price for each service: $40

Stephanie and Bart’s stylish winter wedding

Like any bride planning a winter wedding, Stephanie knew she’d have to take the weather into consideration when she walked down the aisle with Bart in Manhattan on February 8, 2013 — but who could have planned for the historic snowstorm Nemo that hit that day?  Twelve inches of snow blanketed the city, and along with it came hurricane-force wind.

Yet as you can see from these gorgeous pictures, Stephanie’s hair and makeup were flawless, thanks to Once Upon A Bride’s amazing makeup artist Sofia and stylist Stefanie.

To complement the bride’s stunning Lazaro gown, Stephanie gave her long blonde hair a soft, romantic curl, accented with delicate jeweled headband. Sofia’s long-wearing, natural makeup palette brought out Stephanie’s own glowing complexion. And through the snow and wind and rain, Stephanie looked fresh all day and into the night.

Stephanie and Bart were married at the chic Tribeca Rooftop, with panoramic views of the Hudson River, The Empire State Building, Soho and downtown Manhattan. Di Zhang of Heartfelt Foto took these lovely photos of Stephanie.

Romantic bridal style: Ashley and Zach’s South Carolina wedding

Our bride Ashley chose a classic, romantic bridal look for her wedding at the elegant Sanctuary hotel at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Her gown was amazing, with a lace bodice and skirt with flowing, frothy ruching. A soft, romantic updo was the perfect choice to complement the dress and her veil.

A pearl brooch at the back of her hair teamed beautifully with her pearl bridal jewelry and the light, creamy tones of her bouquet.

On this October weekend at the South Carolina seashore, I knew humidity was likely to be an issue. So I went prepared with all my luxe Oribe products, especially the anti-humidity hair spray Imperméable, which prevents frizz in even the sultriest weather.

Ashley’s makeup artist was Veronica — you might know her better as “Rara” on “Bethenny Ever After,” as we work together as Bethenny’s hair and makeup stylists. Veronica went with a clean, fresh palette and light pink lip for Ashley, with a smokey eye for a bit of drama.

 

 

Bright spring color inspiration: Nicole and Steven’s Charleston wedding

I am a total New York girl and love the city in any season — but it was really a joy to hop on the plane for Nicole and Steven’s outdoor wedding on the waterfront in Charleston, South Carolina. Nicole had chosen to go with bold colors for her flowers and her bridesmaids’ dresses. It may have been February, but those splashes of red, pink, and orange made winter seem far, far away.


Style icon Blake Lively was the inspiration for Nicole’s hair. I used Ombré hair extensions to boost length and volume. With my favorite tool, the Sedu curling iron, I created a flowing, natural-looking wave. And then I styled Nicole’s hair into a side ponytail with a stunning bright flower accessory.

Airbrush makeup gave Nicole a long-lasting and flawless look. We went with a pink lip and light eye shimmer in keeping with the springlike colors of the wedding. False lashes added a touch of glamor.

There were a lot of laughs as we got Nicole and her gorgeous bridesmaids ready in their cute kiminos, in the elegant suites at Lowndes Grove Plantation.

And don’t you just love the photos, by Aaron Lockwood, of Lockwood Studios? I think he did an amazing job of capturing the beauty and happiness of Nicole and Steven’s day.

 

Samantha and Jake’s black-tie New York City wedding

We are so excited to see our stunning bride Samantha’s glamorous wedding to Jake featured this week by our friends at Style Me Pretty. This couple’s story is so romantic: They felt as though they’d known each other all their lives when they met by chance in Puerto Rico while Sam was on vacation. A week after she returned, Jake had come to find her in New York City . . . and so began a long-distance romance that led to this beautiful black-tie wedding at the Mandarin Hotel overlooking Columbus Circle.

Such a romantic story–and the light-as-air Vera Wang gown Sam chose–deserved a romantic bridal hair and makeup look. I added some natural hair extensions and gave Sam soft side braids, securing them at the back with a crystal bridal hair accessory from our collection.

Airbrush makeup accentuated Sam’s own glowing complexion with a flawless, long-lasting finish. We went with a delicate pink lip and smokey eye makeup, and added some false lashes to highlight her blue eyes.

Sue Kessler, of Christian Oth Studio, took beautiful shots that truly capture the day.


Romantic bridal beauty: Megan & Bill, Rye, New York

I loved the style of our gorgeous bride Megan, who wed Bill on a crisp late summer day, wearing a crisp white strapless mermaid-style gown. Using all Oribe products and my trusty Sedu styling iron to set her blonde hair, I created a romantic low updo — my softer, more playful twist on a classic bridal style. I worked fabric flower hair accessories into the back, to complement the pearls Megan wore and the delicate floral patterned lace overlay of her gown.

Makeup artist Nichole accentuated Megan’s stunning blue eyes with a light champagne smokey eye, dramatic eyeliner, and a soft, natural light pink lip. To create this look, Nichole used a combination of MAC, Armani, and Make Up For Ever products.


Photographer Kathi Littwin did an amazing job of capturing the day, from the moment Nichole and I began preparing Megan, right through to the waterfront ceremony in the gardens of the Wainwright House in Rye, and the reception where the couple danced the night away.

Congratulations, Megan and Bill. Nichole and I are so happy to have been part of your perfect day!

Stacey styles Megan’s hair into a soft, romantic low updo (Photo by Kathi Littwin Photography)

Nichole puts the finishing touches on Megan’s makeup

 

 

Lynn & Jasen: Classic style at Capitale

We love a modern bridal take on classic style, like our bride Lynn’s when she wed Jasen at a church in uptown NYC, followed by a reception at the Bowery’s Capitale, formerly a bank and now a grand, lavish venue.

The wedding was opulent and filled with vintage-inspired details. So it seemed fitting that Lynn’s hair should be a twist on a classic low chignon. Once Upon A Bride’s stellar makeup artist Sofia created Lynn’s smokey eye with glamorous false lashes, teamed with a clean, pale lip.

We incorporated a stunning birdcage face veil with feathers into Lynn’s hair style, echoing the rosettes in her simply amazing Monique Lhuillier gown.

We loved getting to know this gorgeous, happy couple and creating the look Lynn wanted for her wedding day.


The fabulously talented Cappy Hotchkiss took Lynn and Jasen’s wedding photos.


 

Introducing Sofia Beskasnova — Once Upon a Bride makeup artist

It’s so important to have a great relationship with your wedding hair stylist and makeup artist. You need artists you can trust to bring out the most beautiful you and make you feel fantastic on your wedding day. So you can get to know our artists a little better, I’ll be regularly featuring them here on the Inspiration page, so be sure to check back.

Sofia Beskasnova, wedding makeup artist, Once Upon a Bride NYC

First up is the amazing Sofia Beskasnova, who has more than a decade of experience as a professional makeup artist since starting out with MAC Cosmetics. Sofia, who is Russian and was born and grew up in Latvia, studied makeup at film and television school. She learned all the skills of glamour, red carpet, special effects, and film and TV prosthetics — but her real passion was women’s beauty.

“I love to see how wonderful and confident women feel when they have the right makeup on,” she says. “Bridal makeup will always be my favorite field in this fascinating industry. It is a very rewarding and happy job, because I make brides feel their most beautiful.”

Sofia is well known at the Paris, Milan, and New York fashion weeks, where she has been doing runway makeup for the past 12 seasons. She has worked with Diane Von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Vivien Westwood, Reem Acra, and Monique Lhuillier. Sofia’s celebrity clients have included Lady Gaga, and her work has appeared on shows such as TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress and Bravo’s Miss Advised, Bethenny Ever After, and Project Runway. Her work can also be seen in GQ, Allure, and the Harper’s Bazaar runway report.

Every time I see a bride get to know Sofia during a makeup trial, the bride leaves our salon feeling absolutely confident and excited about her upcoming wedding day. Sofia becomes friends with most of her brides, and they often become lifetime clients.

When I ask Sofia what her approach is to working with brides, she says: “I always try to connect with my client first, then her face just speaks to me. I love doing wedding makeup! Natural, dramatic, sexy, extravagant — whatever fits the bride’s personality. And the biggest excitement for me is the moment when a bride smiles at me and says, ‘It’s exactly what I want!'”

When I shot my video for this website, I had Sofia do my makeup — she did an amazing job.

Sofia puts the finishing touches on a bride before she walks down the aisle

Sofia also loves doing makeup for our brides’ flower girls.

 

Jennifer & Sean’s modern NYC wedding

Chilly days are on the way, but summer brides are busy right now getting all their style ideas together for wedding hair and makeup. So here is our gorgeous bride Jennifer, who married Sean overlooking New York’s Hudson River. Makeup artist Sofia and I helped Jennifer get ready at luxurious Soho House, in the Meatpacking District.

Because it was summer in the city, I went with some free-flowing extensions for Jennifer’s blonde locks. A floral hair accessory accented the light and airy skirt of her gown. Sofia complemented this with a natural bronzed shimmery summer makeup look.

The look of the wedding was modern but a bit whimsical. Jennifer and Sean’s palette of black, white, and pink was stunning. And, really, who couldn’t love the fact that their pooch was part of the wedding party and got to wear a pink necklace that matched the bridesmaids’?

With photos like these by Jenny Ebert, using the amazing backdrop of the High Line, it’s no wonder The Knot magazine featured the couple. Thank you, Jennifer and Sean, for making us a part of your day.

Fall wedding inspiration: Rachel and Zac’s Vermont wedding

Our bride Rachel showed us that for fall weddings, it’s more than okay to go beyond an earthy harvest-time palette and opt for something striking and gorgeous . . . like sapphire blue, in her case. We love the amazing patterned Douglas Hannant gown with bold blue accents that she wore, not to mention those stunning blue jeweled Manolo Blahniks.

Rachel and Zac got married on a perfect fall day at the Vermont home of one their parents. The home has an old stone wall and stately garden, which inspired Rachel and Zac  to bring a touch of nature into their wedding style: it was English Garden meets Great Gatsby.

Once Upon a Bride stylist Stefanie worked with the organic floral patterns in Rachel’s gown and put her beautiful long hair into a classic low chignon. Stefanie gave it a modern twist by braiding the sides and adding a fabric flower hair accessory. This wedding hair style worked beautifully with the chic little fascinator Rachel wore for the ceremony.

Our makeup artist Sofia picked up the tones in Rachel’s gown and flowers and gave her a smokey blue eye, complemented with a soft pink lip, for a natural bridal makeup look with a touch of glamour.

The effect Rachel and Zac were going for with their wedding look? Understated elegance. Check out these stunning shots from Daria Bishop Photographers, and I think you’ll agree that they achieved that, and more.

For even more inspiration from Rachel and Zac’s Vermont wedding, go to Style Me Pretty’s gallery.











Wedding Hair Inspiration from Style Icon Audrey Hepburn

When inspiration strikes our friends at the boutique wedding planners Bellafare, we know we’re in for a treat. Their vision? To create a modern yet timeless winter wedding shoot with a crisp, stylish black-and-white palette.

Classic New York style with a contemporary twist was the look they were going for, so Once Upon a Bride’s hair stylist Angela worked with the model’s long blonde hair to create this chic updo finished off with a white retro fascinator. The effect was very Audrey Hepburn, circa Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

We love the stunning black bridal gown, which brought a touch of high fashion — just perfect for a shoot at the Lincoln Center, the home of New York Fashion Week. And Jen Huang‘s work as photographer was, as always, amazing.

For more inspiration for a chic bridal hair style à la Audrey Hepburn, or a black-and-white wedding palette, check out Style Me Pretty‘s gallery for this unique shoot.





















Cagney and Zack’s Southern style, Charleston, SC

This past weekend, I headed off with my stellar makeup artist Veronica – you may know her as RaRa from Bethenny Ever After — to that most elegant of wedding destinations, Charleston, South Carolina. (By the way, girls in the Charleston area: Once Upon a Bride has just opened a branch in your beautiful city!)

We were there to style Cagney for her wedding to Zack at the amazing Lowndes Grove Plantation, an historic estate on the banks of the river in downtown Charleston. I love that Cagney had two different hair looks for her wedding day: first I created a classic Southern belle look using long hair extensions with a wave. And when Cagney walked down the aisle we went with a side up-do that complemented her sheer white veil beautifully.

Veronica brought out the bride’s own glowing beauty with a couple of different makeup palettes, especially accentuating Cagney’s eyes with a dramatic look including luscious eyelash extensions.

My new friends at Southern Protocol wedding planners did an incredible job of making this a wedding to remember. The color scheme was exquisite — love the bride’s magenta Queen Anne sofa on the lawn and the flower girls’ tutus! And Paige Winn did a phenomenal job of capturing the whole event.

Thanks for making us a part of your day, Cagney and Zack — you are the sweetest couple. Congratulations!