From The Daily Brides: Meet The Brides Team!

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) What do weddings and Game of Thrones have in common? Editors from the bridal bible sound off on everything from pop-culture inspiration to why when it comes to accessories, sometimes more is more. 

Keija Minor, editor in chief
You’ve been EIC for seven months now. What do you love most about the job? 
My super-talented, dry-witted, very enthusiastic team. We’re unabashedly celebrating this incredible time in a woman’s life—and saying that doesn’t make me a wannabe ’50s housewife. It’s about empowering women to plan their big day their way, helping them enjoy the entire journey from girlfriend to wife, and guiding them through their biggest fashion moment ever! 

What’s your bridal-market schedule like? 
Crazy. Most days we start at about 8 or 9 a.m. and go through dinner. Catherine, my rock-star assistant, stocks the car with snacks and water each day because we rarely have time for lunch—though we do break for coffee. 

Are you pumped for the shows in Europe, too? 
Absolutely! We’re going to Barcelona, London, Rome, and Milan in a span of seven weeks. It will be exciting, exhausting, and incredibly inspiring. 

What’s your favorite honeymoon destination? 
This is the rare time when your coworkers won’t give you the evil eye for taking an extended vacation, so I recommend faraway destinations like Morocco, Bali, Argentina, Seychelles, and Croatia.

Rachel Leonard, fashion director
What’s your favorite bridal trend right now? 
I am loving big strapless ball gowns with texture, like the finale dress from Marchesa Spring 2013 that was covered in this amazing 3-D floral treatment. 

How long have you been at Brides?
Twenty-seven years! 

Twenty-seven years! That’s a lot of fashion shoots. How do you come up with fresh concepts for each issue? 
The latest couture and ready-to-wear trends provide a ton of inspiration. Many ideas are hatched while we’re sitting right here at the bridal fashion shows in New York and in Europe. The location where we’re going to shoot also heavily informs the direction we take with a story.

What’s a trend that you’re excited about? 
I love the refined look of the Dior dress that Jennifer Lawrence wore to the Oscars. Glamour is back!


Erica Sigel, senior fashion & accessories editor
What’s a normal day like for you?
I’m constantly on the go, checking out new collections or at showrooms or boutiques pulling jewelry for upcoming photo shoots. I rarely spend more than two hours a day at my desk.

What’s a RTW trend that you wish would take off in bridal? 
We’re seeing colorful, sparkly accessories everywhere from J.Crew to Oscar de la Renta. I’d love to see brides have more fun with their accessories, much like they do in their everyday lives. Wearing statement earrings, bolder-colored necklaces, or layered bracelets makes a bridal look feel modern.

What’s your favorite form of social media? 
Definitely Instagram. Extravagant engagement rings and over-the-top jewelry make for delicious eye candy. 


Dana Wood, beauty director
How do you determine whether a makeup look or hairstyle is actually going to become a trend?
I don’t advocate big, sweeping trends in bridal beauty. A bride wants—needs—to look back on her wedding pics 10 years from now and not have a “what was I thinking?” moment. Having said that, there are a few trends that are pretty much universally flattering. All the recent Game of Thrones–style braiding is a case in point; clearly braids, although trendy, are rooted in history. They’re both timeless and of the moment.

What are the key elements of a perfect wedding-day beauty look?  
Flawless skin; überflattering makeup shades applied in a virtually bulletproof, won’t-budge-for-love-or-money manner; and shiny hair that hasn’t been shellacked into submission. It’s the biggest cliché ever, but a bride should look like the very best version of herself. No one wants to see an imposter wafting up the aisle. 

What’s your favorite form of social media?  
I’m old-school, so I’d have to say blogging because it allows you to showcase your writing chops. Pinterest is great too. I’m such a “freestyler” on my Brides Pinterest board. I just post stylish pics willy-nilly, be it Bryan Ferry puffing on a ciggy or Carine Roitfeld’s incredible 57-year-old legs.  

Nicole Hyatt, photo director
What do you look for in a bridal model?
I love when a girl has a natural, beautiful smile and can light up a room with her personality. Photo shoots usually last at least eight hours, so we try to pick a model who we’ll enjoy being around as well as someone who looks great in front of the camera.

What’s the craziest photo shoot you’ve ever worked?
It’s hard to pick just one, but in a prior position, I spent two days with Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise, and Suri. We had a DJ on set, but Suri only wanted to hear Rihanna’s song “Umbrella” over and over again, so we had it on loop for about 16 hours. I now understand how music can be used as a torture device.

What’s your favorite form of social media?
Instagram. The power of a great photograph still translates even if it’s on a little screen.


Jenifer Walter, design director
Brides is almost 80 years old. Does the magazine’s legacy influence the way you design the pages?
We were just looking at covers from the ’50s and ’60s and loving how modern and graphic they were! We’re certainly aiming to have that same sense of high style and chicness. From that foundation, we want to reflect the spirit of today’s readership—the diversity of the brides themselves, the more personal details, the celebratory spirit.

What’s a normal day like for you?
We do a lot of planning. We sketch out ideas and pitch new approaches. There’s a lot of sparkle and drama—great shoes and bags, insane jewelry, snowdrifts of dresses. We’re always shooting gorgeous style pieces, the latest beauty products, and beautiful models. And then we spend hours at our desks laying it all out.

What’s it like to create visuals for a bridal magazine versus a RTW magazine? 
Ready-to-wear has inherent variety; there are a lot of separates to mix and match to create radically different looks. Bridal makes you really pay attention to the shapes and details. Whole stories can be constructed from hints of sparkle or intricate beading. The fashion-mag reader is perusing, enjoying, but not necessarily buying what she likes. Brides are on a laser-focused mission. They are reading with purpose. They want to know that our team has surveyed hundreds of dresses and picked the most stylish designs and details that speak to them. 


PLUS! The Bountiful Bouquet! 
Just as a bride relies on her bridesmaids, the Brides team depends on their talented and dedicated assistants!

Alyssa Wells, web editor 
Luigi Menduni, assistant photo editor
Catherine Smith, assistant to the editor in chief
Victoria Chan, beauty editorial assistant
Beth Swanson, associate fashion & beauty editor





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