The other day DeeDee Drayden, the owner of the Main Street Bridal Shop, stopped by our offices for an interview with fashion editor Tessa Lisbon, but Tessa being Tessa, she never showed up for work that day. Since Cloris had some free time, she was pressed into service, even though she knows next to nothing about fashion—bridal or otherwise.
DeeDee is the creation of E. Ayers, an author who writes stories about people who live in today’s world and find real love. Learn more about her and her books at her website and blog.
Cloris: Welcome, DeeDee. I’m Cloris McWerther. I’ll be filling in for Tessa today.
DeeDee: Hi, Cloris, it’s so nice to meet you.
Cloris: It’s wonderful to have you here. June must be a hectic time of year for you.
DeeDee: It’s been more than a little busy at Main Street Bridal Salon, especially with two books having been released back-to-back. And as you know, June is considered the month for brides, but weddings take place year round, and although we are still filling orders for summer brides, I’ve already turned my attention to winter designs and next year’s fashion show in New York. About a month before that show, it gets so hectic that I’m a complete ball of frantic nerves.
Cloris: Oh, I can imagine! I don’t know how you do it. But, please, tell me what’s hot in bridal gowns?
DeeDee: (giggle) Who says it has to be a gown? Pants are in style, soft and flowing often with a jacketed top that gives the illusion of a skirt. And color, lots of color! White is almost passé.
DeeDee: Yes, from hints of color in the gown to colored embroidery, the traditional white gown is getting a makeover. Besides, not every woman looks good in pure white or even wants to wear it. And bridal gowns can be in any color, including a very elegant black. Shoes and accessories…anything goes! Today’s brides are looking for color.
Weddings are changing. Many young people are turning away from the formal wedding in favor of something more fun and upbeat. They want their bridal dress to reflect that. But we’re also seeing many brides having the big wedding for their second marriage and lots of anniversary brides.
Cloris: Do you mean those renewing their wedding vows?
DeeDee: (nodding) Many were originally wed at the courthouse or it was merely a quiet affair. Twenty-five or even fifty years later, they are having the wedding that they never had. I have to admit I get dewy-eyed thinking about those renewals. I so hope Cody and I make it to the big five-O.
Cloris: You’ll have me in tears. That has to be really special. Speaking of Cody… I don’t want to give anything away, but I know you two recently married. Can you tell me about your dress?
DeeDee: Actually, you can see part of my gown on the cover of the book With This Ring (above). It was a Renaissance design done in an antique white with tiny inset panels of mossy blue-green. The beaded-brocade bodice fit like a glove. It was just low enough to show a little cleavage without being revealing and it had long sleeves that cascaded in two tiers. The bodice came to a point in the front and then went up over my hips. My train attached at the back of my shoulders and I had a pearl crown with a silk veil that draped over my face and down my back.
Cloris: It sounds beautiful.
DeeDee: It was. Every woman wants to look her very best for her wedding. Style and fit are so important. Don’t make the mistake of figuring you can lose weight and fit into a smaller dress. Err on the side of generous. Dresses can be taken in, but letting them out is almost impossible.
Cloris: What are you working on for Christmas weddings?
DeeDee: Plum! It’s actually called Radiant Orchid and it was selected as the color of the year. And it’s beautiful when mixed with silver or gold. In fact, it can be mixed with so many different colors. It’s one of those colors that tends to look good on most everyone. Expect to see it show up everywhere this fall and paired with navy, gray, and creams.
Cloris: It sounds lovely. We actually had a blog about Radiant Orchid a few months ago.
I know you have to get back to your shop, so one last question. What made you decide to build your own bridal business?
DeeDee: Several things. From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I used to take scraps of material and sew them together for my dolls. I went to school for design, worked for several well-known fashion designers, and then one day it hit me that I was in the wrong place. I couldn’t wear what I was designing, and I didn’t want to wear it! But I also knew I loved to design beautiful dresses. Bridal gowns are the ultimate for most women. It’s like dressing for the Oscars on a personal level.
There was more than a year of preplanning before I quit my job and even then I still panicked. I watched real estate ads for ages until I could find something that I thought would work and that I could afford. That turned out to be the old building on the corner, 400 Main Street. Even after I bought it, I still wasn’t prepared for everything. At least now, I have Cody to worry about the money. That frees me to design.
Cloris: Well, I think everyone loves weddings and so far there are two wedding books, With This Ring, a novel, and I Thee Wed, a novella. Thank you so much for coming and bringing your covers with you.
DeeDee: Thank you for having me. I hope everyone grabs a copy of my story, With This Ring, and inside the boxed set Weddings onMain Street by the Authors of Main Street is I Thee Wed. It’s a super deal eleven new, complete books, no teasers – plus it’s on sale for 99 cents. I know the authors, a super bunch of women and really great writers. They are always in Elizabeth’s coffee shop on Main Street. And I know that there will be more wedding books from E. Ayers. (Covers her mouth and whispers) I think there’s a Christmas wedding book in the works.
With this Ring
DeeDee Drayden doesn’t believe in a happily ever after, even though her passion is designing wedding gowns. Cody Montgomery, heir to a fortune, is hiding in a small town raising seven children after two failed marriages. With his hands full, he’s sworn off women. But when Cody ends up being a silent partner and CFO of DeeDee’s fledgling bridal business, his eyes are on more than the bottom line. Do they dare mix business with pleasure to find their own happily ever after?
I Thee Wed (from the Weddings on Main Street boxed set)
A product of broken marriages, Julia never sees marriage for herself. She throws everything she's got into her career with Main Street Bridal Salon, until a crazy redhead with freckles named Aaron sweeps her off her feet. But a family secret is about to change everything.