featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


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.

Cloris: Color?

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.


Jill James said...

I love the interview with DeeDee! Hearing about wedding dresses is so much fun and romantic.

vicki batman said...

Fun interview! And the cover is so pretty. Congratulations.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Jill and Vicki. DeeDee had fun doing it and I'm thrilled with all the covers, including the beautiful boxed set! Thanks so much for stopping in and saying hello!

Janet Mancini said...

E. Thanks for this interview. I loved both dresses and now all of them as I am reading " Weddings on Main Street". They are gorgeous. Very romantic too, which is what a wedding should show too. It was great hearing from Dee Dee's prospective, being a bridal shop owner. I have always loved lace and pearls since I was a little girl.

Victoria Adams said...

Great interview. Gorgeous dress.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Love the idea of a plum wedding gown. My second wedding dress was royal blue. I'm for color.

Kelly Rae said...

Character interviews are always the best, thanks for sharing a bit of Dee Dee.

woolfcindy said...

I love the character interview with DeeDee and I love both the books. With This Ring and I Thee Wed are both absolutely wonderful. I don't get the time to read just for pleasure very often, so it's wonderful when I can and the books are so good.

E. Ayers said...

Hi, Victoria, Thanks so much for stopping by. Both the dresses used for the covers were beautiful. Brides really do have so much available to them today.

Oh, Jane a blue gown sounds lovely and I'm sure it was the perfect color on you. BTW, congrats on twenty-five years. I think you found your HEA!

Thanks, Kelly! I loved DeeDee because she wasn't just designing bridal gowns, she was designing gowns for real women with real figures. More designers need to consider that we all are not size 2 when we marry!

Cindy, thanks so much! When a fellow author and good friend such as you, comes back and tells me I've done well, I know that she knows quality material and would be totally blunt if it wasn't. Your honesty is always appreciated.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! I'm excited to think about the new styles coming to weddings these days. A family member was married in her Renaissance costume and her bridal party were wearing kilts! How cool is that!

Sandy said...

Wonderful interview with DeeDee, E. The wedding gown with gold trim is absolutely gorgeous.

Sandy M.

Carol said...

What a wonderful, fun interview! You make Main Street so down home and accessible. The gold trimmed gown is to die for! Congratulations on your new books, including Weddings on Main Street.

E. Ayers said...

Melissa, I just love the whole idea of using family history/heritage/roots and blending it into the wedding. I think it adds something meaningful to the couple.

Sandy, there's more about that gown in I THEE WED, but I did kind of cheat. I had the stock before I wrote the story.

I agree it's beautiful! And it is a prime example of color being used with white.

Carol, as an Author of Main Street, I wanted to use Main Street not just as the salon address. I could picture you, Pepper, or Kelly sitting at one of Elizabeth's tables with a laptop or tablet typing away. Main Street is really a concept. I live two blocks from "Main Street."

Everyone knows where Main Street is. You know where the stores are, the insurance and law offices, and you know who owns them. It doesn't matter if you live in New England, the mid-west or sunny California you know that local "Main" Street in your town/city or its equivalent.

E. Ayers said...

DeeDee had to get back to the bridal salon and she was quite worried about her interview. She gets very nervous when she has to do something publicly. I think she did just fine. And she was so thrilled to meet you and Cloris, but disappointed that she didn't get to meet Tessa. She left a note for Tessa to visit the salon anytime and watch the process of designing and making wedding gowns.
Thanks so much for having DeeDee and me to your blog, Anastasia. I always enjoy visiting and I'll be seeing you again very soon.