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How Brideside is bringing tech to the wedding industry

Did you know Chicago has the largest wedding market in the nation?

That may come as a surprise to some, but for one local startup, it’s half the reason they call Chicago home.

“The Chicago consumer is very on trend and sophisticated, but this is a very underserved market from a retail fashion perspective,” said Nicole Staple, co-founder of a concierge-driven e-commerce experience for bridal parties called Brideside.

Brideside is the answer to what Staple and co-founder Sonali Lamba saw as an antiquated industry that e-commerce innovation had all but ignored — and not just in the Windy City. Brides and their bridesmaids often live scattered throughout the country and come in all shapes and sizes, but Staple said until Brideside, there weren’t any tech-enabled alternatives to the traditional on-site bridal boutique experience.

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“Everything from the shopping experience to branding to the type of products being offered were not in line with the way commerce was developing,” she said.

With Brideside, consumers have a smarter, savvier, and cheaper way to find bridal dresses and accessories. Once a bride registers for an account, she is automatically connected with a personal style consultant who will work with her and her bridesmaids to find dresses that work for everyone and ensure they have a personalized and curated experience.

“Whether she’s an expecting mother, plus size, or petite, we make sure that she has a dress that she’ll be happy with and feel beautiful in,” Staple said.

Users can browse the company’s 800-plus collection of dresses and accessories, saving their favorites as they go. In a home try-on structure modeled after Warby Parker and Trunk Club, bridesmaids can have dresses shipped to their houses for $10 dollars a pop to make sure dresses are a good fit.

Staple said they’ve already seen more than 10,000 bridal parties register with the site and have shipped over 4,500 sample dresses.

And it’s not just users who are impressed. The company landed a $1.5 million seed round from strategic investors like Trunk Club’s Rob Chesney and Sittercity’s Genevieve Thiers. DreamIt Ventures also participated with a follow-on investment.

Brideside’s all-woman team currently sits at 15 full-time employees, but a portion of their seed round will be used to grow that headcount — particularly the company’s sales and customer acquisition teams.

In addition, the company will use part of the money to expand their collection. That expansion is already underway, beginning with Brideside’s recently announced exclusive line with esteemed bridal designer Kelly Faetanini.

Based out of a shiny new (and 4200 square foot) West Loop office, Staple said Brideside also wants to build up an offline presence in the city for women who prefer a more traditional experience. She stressed, however, that the level of personalization remains the same both on- and off-line.

And tech, she said, remains at the core of the business.

“By being so data-driven, we are able to collect a ton of insight on the digital bride and millennial consumer,” Staple said. “By leveraging that data and collaborating with someone really innovative on the design side, we launched something that’s a completely new concept in bridal attire.”

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05:05 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)



Andrea Leigh McNeely and Dr. Matthew David Zimmerman, both of Charlottesville, Virginia, were married June 27 in an 11 a.m. ceremony at the University of Virginia Chapel. The Rev. Edward Winkler officiated.

The bride is the daughter of Michael and Cathy McNeely of Bailey. She is the granddaughter of the late Ivan and Hylma McNeely of Rankin, Illinois, and the late Herman and Sadie Bissette of Bailey. She graduated from James Baxter Hunt Jr. High School and East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia. She is a programs administrator at the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Virginia.


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The groom is the son of Dennis and Debra Zimmerman of Stoystown, Pennsylvania, and is the grandson of Merlin and Juliann Zimmerman of West Milton, Pennsylvania, and the late Albert and Jane Beachem of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Forest Hills High School and Juniata College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Virginia. He is an instructor of research with the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at the University of Virginia.

Escorted by her father, the bride wore a full-length, ballroom gown with a semi-cathedral train. The gown featured a two-tiered skirt overlay in scalloped lace of embroidered lace and beading, a strapless, scooped neckline and a basque waist with an embroidered beaded lace overlay. For her headpiece, she chose a two-tiered, elbow-length speckled veil with crystals matching the dress beading. She carried a bouquet of mixed sempervivium succulents with roses made of vintage maps.

Matron of honor was Sarah Nuss of Williamsburg, Virginia. Bridesmaids were Katherine Couvillon of Charlottesville, and Suzanne Smedberg of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, sister of the groom. They wore individually styled navy cocktail-length dresses made of chiffon. Navy faceted glass bead earrings and necklaces suspended in gold accented the dresses.

Flower girls were Madeleine Smedberg and Rebekah Smedberg, both of Johnstown. They wore full-length navy chiffon dresses.

Best man was Andrew Marshall of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Groomsmen were Joel Winstead of Reston, Virginia, and Rory McNeely of Lexington, South Carolina, brother of the bride. The groom and groomsmen wore vintage two-button notch lapel suits in tan with navy and green striped ties. Ring bearers were Parker McNeely of Lexington and Gregory Smedberg of Johnstown.

Wedding music was presented by Benjamin Smedberg, organist and brother-in-law of the groom. Program attendants were Eleanor Smedberg, Claire Smedberg, Abigail Smedberg, and Micah Smedberg. Wedding coordinators were Denise Hall and Deborah Rexrode.

A reception at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville followed the ceremony.

On the eve of the wedding, a rehearsal dinner was hosted at The Ivy Inn, also in Charlottesville.

They took a wedding trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and are living in Charlottesville.


March 28: A bachelorette weekend was given in Williamsburg with hosts Sarah Nuss and Katherine Couvillon.

April 25: A bridal shower was given in Bailey by Arlene Boykin, Polly Brown, Nancy Finch, Cathy McNeely, Celena Bunn-Bissette, Teran Skinner and Amy Skinner.

April 25: A men’s breakfast was hosted by Robert Bissette, Wayne Skinner, Rudy Finch and Mike McNeely.

June 6: A bachelor dinner was hosted by Andrew Marshall.

June 13: A wedding shower was given in Charlottesville by Katherine Couvillon, Sarah Nuss and Suzanne Smedberg.

June 26: A ladies’ luncheon was given by the bride at Greencroft Club in Charlottesville.

Also see: wedding dresses melbourne

05:30 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Stuff's wedding of the week: Kirsty and Matt

Kirsty and Matt Lonsdale grew up together near Wellington, but didn't start dating until they reconnected in London over 10 years later.

Their wedding day was bittersweet, as Kirsty's mum had passed away six weeks before, but it was a beautiful celebration of love and family.

We'll let Kirsty fill you in on the details...

Kirsty and Matt grew up together, but got back in touch in London in 2013.

Source: simple wedding dresses

Kirsty and Matt grew up together, but got back in touch in London in 2013.

How did you meet?

Matt and I grew up Paraparaumu and attended church together. He moved to London in 2001 and we lost touch. I moved to London in 2013 to teach and ended up meeting up with Matt and we started dating not long after. In December 2013, I decided to move back home to New Zealand and Matt returned to also. We were engaged not long after, and married in December.

Tell us about the proposal: Matt proposed in July under a snowy waterfall under Mount Ruapehu. It was the most romantic proposal. He had taken me away on a surprise trip to the mountain and we spent the first day skiing. The next day we went for a beautiful bush walk under the mountain and ended up at a snowy waterfall. Matt pulled out a gorgeous vintage diamond ring and amongst all the tears I managed a yes!

Location of wedding: We were married in the beautiful gardens of Bridgewater Estate in Auckland. The venue was amazing! We were married in front of a little white chapel in the sunshine, and there was a beautiful pond and surrounding bush for people to relax and enjoy the day in.

Describe your wedding day: The day was perfect. In the morning my bridesmaids and I went out for a relaxed breakfast with champagne to celebrate. We got ready at home, and then got whisked away to the venue. The weather was perfect for a garden wedding. So hot and sunny. There were lots of tears and laughter as my beautiful mother had passed away only six weeks before, so it was a very emotional time. She chose my dress, designed my wedding cake and helped me choose the venue. It was the most amazing feeling having everyone you love in the same room. I had lots of my close friends fly from overseas to be there which meant so much to me, and my maid of honour came all the way from South America for the wedding. I knew that mum was with me shining down from heaven on our special day.

The dress: Mum and I chose my dress from the first store we looked at in Henderson, Auckland. It was designed by Alfred Angelo and I fell in love with it immediately. My mum especially loved it, with the unique ribbon lace, low back and details. We chose a veil laced with diamantes and a silk sash to compliment the dress.

The flowers: My sister, Bianca, made my flowers and all the bouquets for my bridesmaids. She did an amazing job! She also put together a headpiece for my beautiful niece, my flower girl Amalie.

Highlight of the wedding: The highlight for me was walking down the aisle towards the love of my life knowing how much we meant to each other, and everything we had been through, during the time we had spent together . Also, my dad wrote and performed a song for me during the reception which was very moving. We danced to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran as our first dance, which was also a highlight.

Was there any drama? On the day of the wedding there were serious road accidents, meaning some of our guests were over an hour late. Apart from that, everything ran smoothly.

The honeymoon: We spent a relaxing week in the beautiful Bay of Islands. My mum had organised an amazing beach house for us to enjoy, with amazing views of the ocean and a spa pool. We spent the time going to beach walks and relaxing in the sunshine.

Your photographer and favourite photo? Susan Siu-Grobler from Glow studio was my photographer. She flew up from Christchurch to spend the day with us. She was amazing! I knew her from studying in Palmerston North at university and wouldn't want anyone else taking our photos. My favourite photo was taken in front of the pond where Matt is holding me. It really sums up how he swept me off my feet!

Also see: beach wedding dresses

04:26 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)