Photo: Angela Shae
You've heard of hiring a stylist to build a professional wardrobe or reorganize a closet, but hiring a wedding stylist... is that really necessary? Before crunching the numbers and deciding this is not an item that fits into a wedding budget, consider this: your wedding is one day, but you're probably going to be engaged for much longer, and this is most likely one of the few times in your life you will be consistently in the spotlight, attending a slew of pre-wedding parties. Those memorable moments are going to be immortalized in photographs, trust us. There's something to be said for showcasing your bridal style early on, keeping it streamlined throughout, and having everything come together seamlessly in the celebration you create. Here, we've compiled four of our favorite local stylists to perk your interest. Plus, we've personally vetted this selection and can vouch for their easy-to-work-with, laid-back personalities that will add a dose of fun, not stress, to your wedding day.
Stylist Bryn Taylor knows the importance of feeling confident in your clothing for any occasion. "I like to say it's your gentle armor, and when you feel amazing in what you're wearing, you'll glow," Taylor remarks. And what better time to shine than on your wedding day? Taylor owns her own styling business, Bryn Taylor Style, which serves clients in both Chicago and NYC. She got her start working with bridal collections for an independent designer and has since worked her way through nearly every facet of the fashion industry. "I am lucky enough to work with both classic brides and some who are looking for something a bit more unique and non-traditional." In fact, Taylor's last few projects included dressing a bride and bridal party for a Burning-Man-themed wedding, as well as styling two grooms for their sleek outdoor wedding in Napa. Taylor also helps with an often-overlooked part of the wedding party: the mothers of the bride and groom. "The moms are usually in need of styling assistance too, especially since so many of the dresses out there are so matronly. That doesn't have to be the case!" She tends toward a minimalistic aesthetic, with focus on fits that flatter as well as chic, streamlined looks that showcase the wearer.
Mel has an absolute knack for adding a dose of 70s chic into a classic look, all the while looking precisely put together and effortless. Her sweet nature will instantly put you at ease, and we guarantee you'll appreciate her keen eye for design. With a professional background that extends from styling personal clients and editorial shoots to consulting on interior and garment design, Muoio's day job as a lifestylist for Levy Restaurants gives her an understanding of melding personal style with atmosphere. "Most brides don't realize the photographer is busy focusing on lighting, the overall composition and angles," she says. "The stylist is there to make sure your dress is laying right with accessories in place, your hair isn't flying away, your posture is on point and that you are giving the best body angles for photos." What you're wearing will be the icing on the cake. "When you hire a stylist, you can prepare them to be on the lookout for options for the holidays, the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and the honeymoon," she says. "It takes an incredible amount of stress off your plate to know you will be professionally dressed with the latest trends and perfect sizing so that you can focus your time on other pressing needs."
Founder of wardrobe consulting firm Be Clothes Minded, Heidy Best believes that feeling good about the clothes you're wearing is an invaluable way to start any day, particularly your wedding day. With eight years at Neiman Marcus under her belt and a client list of some of Chicago's most fashionable women, she's well-versed in dressing all body types for all occasions and keeps her personal style in the realm of classic. While everyone will say, "I love working with brides!" Best truly says it without hesitation. "Helping a bride choose a wedding gown, which is the most important piece of clothing she will ever wear, is such an honor and I don't take that responsibility lightly," she says. From there, she's on to defining bridal style for satellite events like the engagement photo shoot, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner. "Incorporating family members, the groom, and the bridal party into the fashion mix has been even more requested in recent years," she adds.
Jessi Sheehan's start in styling as the Bridal and Marketing Director for Belle Vie Bridal Couture allowed her to gain an insider's perspective of brides' needs during the wedding planning (and shopping!) process. Three years ago, the stylist — who describes her own style as a mix of vintage and modern with a penchant for texture, pattern and color — launched her own styling firm, Evolve. The relationships she formed with wedding planners during her time at Belle Vie gave her an understanding of how they were maxed out executing their own responsibilities, which is why why she offers a few wedding styling package options. Her 'Steam & Style' package provides brides with an on-hand stylist during the wedding day to handle steaming and styling for all members of the bridal party plus access to an entire styling kit for day-of emergencies, including hand-stitching any loose hems and removing stains at the 11th hour. She encourages those considering styling services to take the plunge early on: "Most people struggle with what to wear daily, and that only becomes harder and more stressful when it is for your wedding events," she says. "All too often I see great couples overlook the other important days during their wedding year, and it's a lost opportunity to express their style."