How often have you heard someone compare your wedding aisle to a red carpet or runway? For the average person, a wedding is the closet thing anyone will get to having an A-list moment. So if your wedding day is like the Oscars and you're the star, why not treat yourself like a celebrity? That's celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger's opinion and the reason behind her latest business venture into the world of bridal styling.
The mastermind behind high-profile actresses like Lupita Nyong'o, Michelle Dockery and Shailene Woodley's most iconic looks, Erlanger recently announced she's expanding her styling services into the bridal industry. With her A-list clients frequently landing well-deserved spots on best-dressed lists, who better to assist brides with their wedding day looks than a celebrity stylist and bride-to-be herself?
Her public bridal styling debut occurred this summer, when she worked with heiress Amanda Hearst for her August nuptials at Hearst Castle. Styling the entire bridal party for the weekend of celebrations, that experience confirmed to Erlanger that she wanted to be a pioneer in this new frontier.
"There’s no celebrity stylist that has gone into the bridal space," she shares with Brides. "There isn’t anyone who’s really focused on curating a bride’s wardrobe in an incredibly elevated way. And as I’ve been going through the process myself, I’ve realized that the closest thing to walking on the red carpet is like walking down the aisle and your wedding weekend is not dissimilar from a movie star’s press tour. In fact, it’s the equivalent, and so there are so many similarities in the celebrity styling side of my business as there are to what a bride requires on [her] special day."
Getting ready for your wedding day is just like getting ready for the Oscars.
It's this realization that makes this new business venture feel so organic for her. "The ability to get exactly what you need is actually simplified a lot in bridal but the process is otherwise exactly the same," Erlanger says of comparing her work with celebrities to bridal styling. "Getting ready for your wedding day is just like getting ready for the Oscars. You have your hair and makeup, you have your team with you, you have your family with you. You’re nervous, there's emotion. You know you want everything to be set and to be in place and there's no room for error. You have one shot to walk down that aisle and walk down that carpet."
Erlanger is on hand to make sure that one opportunity is picture-perfect—literally. And doing so involves so much more than picking out clothes and accessories. It requires collaborating with key wedding vendors like photographers, planners and florists "to artistically and creatively make a moment." She's an editorial architect, expertly constructing an image where every element complements each other and absolutely nothing seems out of place. "Just like I would style an editorial shoot, that’s the way I’m approaching my work. You want all the pieces to fit together just like you would in Hollywood.”
Ready to put Erlanger's elevated knack for styling to work on your wedding day? You can book a consultation with the coveted stylist here but before you do, keep reading to hear some of Erlanger's exclusive tips on mastering your wedding day aesthetic.
On Finding The Dress
For someone who picks out dresses for women like second nature, she still admits the dress shopping experience can we quite intimidating. "For brides that want something off the rack, yes it can be totally overwhelming," she says. But according to Erlanger, the best way to overcome the massive undertaking is to just try things on.
"Don’t be afraid to try something on that maybe you wouldn’t have thought of," she advises. "It might surprise you and it might be great."
Another important consideration? Being comfortable in whatever gown you choose. "You don’t want to be worried about what you’re wearing because you need to be in the moment. These are all the things that you need to take into consideration that should influence the choice that you make."
On Wearing Multiple Looks
And while all brides need to find their perfect look, an entire wedding rarely can happen with just one dress. From the rehearsal dinner to the post-wedding brunch, there are multiple occasions that brides need to be outfitted for throughout the weekend and to that Erlanger says to create a visual narrative.
You want to build up momentum to the big gown moment. You don’t want to show all your cards on the first night.
"You kind of want there to be a crescendo, which is nice because the events over the weekend crescendo. You want to build up momentum to the big gown moment. You don’t want to show all your cards on the first night but I think that having a variety is nice."
She suggests using each occasion to create a little diversity in your wardrobe. "This is your chance to really have fun," she adds. "That’s going to lead to the best result and then you take your guests on a journey with you."
On Setting A Dress Code
Although Erlanger offers her styling services to the entire wedding party, that obviously doesn't include every wedding guest. So how can you avoid a wedding guest wardrobe faux-pas on your wedding day? State your desired dress code from the start says Erlanger. "I think dress code is very important and so I’m a big proponent of making that very clear. Dress codes are really important to follow. It’s there for a reason. It sets the tone."
Just like brides want to fit the setting, mood and feeling of the nuptials, there should be no doubt in a guest's head as to what is expected for the day. Do them a favor and make it clear!
Erlanger's foray into the bridal world doesn't end here either. In the coming months, we can expect to see some exciting collaborations between the stylist and prominent bridal brands. So anyone planning a 2020 wedding—or finds themselves with a new bauble on their left hand this engagement season—has a lot to look forward to!