01/11/2012 01:43 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2012

Real Life Style Advice For Your Wedding Day

As we jump into the new year many of you are newly engaged and just starting to dream up ideas and inspiration for your wedding day in 2012. To help launch the search for your personal style and vision I thought it would be helpful to share some tips and advice from one of my favorite clients from 2011. I remember the minute I first met Meghan Graper in my office in NYC--she was such a breath of fresh air. Her sense of style was strong and her vision was clear for what she wanted her wedding to look like. Meghan showed up in my office for our first meeting with her insanely talented brother Will Graper who just happened to be her style guru for looking amazing and flawless on her wedding day. Meghan's marriage to Keith, now her wonderful husband, took place on May 14, 2011. The ceremony was held at St Luke in the Fields followed by the reception at The Bowery Hotel in NYC.

Meghan is currently a Director in High Grade Corporate Syndication at Barclays Capital in NYC. She confessed to living vicariously through Will as there isn't much room for fashion in finance. She's the second oldest of six children and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. Meghan moved to NYC in 200 after graduating from Duke University with an Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy/Media Studies and a Film and Video Certification.

Will is a fashion stylist and brand consultant based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Sarasota, Florida, William has been a contributing editor for various publications including VOGUE Russia, Marie Claire, V Magazine and most recently Citizen K with actress Diane Kruger. Look out for William's latest editorial in the February issue of Marie Claire.
In addition his editorial work, William works closely with fashion designers like Rad Hourani to develop upcoming collections and style shows for NY and Paris Fashion Week. For more information and to see William's portfolio, please visit

Meghan says, "As I broached the overriding questions and thought about setting the tone for all of the limitless details, with Will's guidance, I gave a lot of consideration to finding my own personality in my style choices....with a focus of remaining genuine with every decision."

I couldn't help but think Meghan had the most invaluable and unique resource right there by her side with an accomplished stylist as her brother. What a dream relationship for planning your wedding! It was certainly a fabulous and fun journey getting to know this dynamic duo. Here are some of Will and Meghan's personal tips for looking and feeling your best on your wedding day.

Will's advice for pulling together the perfect look...

  • "Got your eye on that Oscar de la Renta bridal couture but simply can't afford it? Skip the bridal salons that always charge more for a "wedding" dress and hit up other sections of the department store. Check out Oscar's main line of ready-to-wear for a classic white dress that the designer does so well year round."
  • "Limit the number of people you invite to try on dresses! I suggest taking one person who's opinion you value and who's personal style you admire. It's your day and your dress! Listen to your gut and wear what YOU love not what everyone else thinks is best for you. If that works for you, take it one step further and don't tell your friends who makes the gown or what it looks like. This will not only limit opinions after you've already spent the money, but also allow for a wonderful surprise on your special day!"
  • "Go with your gut-- typically the first dress you fall in love with is the right one!"
  • "Hair and make up are just are just as important as the dress and ceremony! Ask your everyday hair stylist if they can do it or if they can suggest someone they've worked with before. Most importantly, if you don't wear your hair up in your everyday life, why wear it up on your wedding day? Avoid hairstyles and make up that is deemed "traditional" and go for what makes you feel beautiful."
  • "The SHOES! Nothing kills a dress more than a sad white kitten heel. Again, you don't wear kitten heels in day-to-day life? Trade them for your favorite five inch Christian Louboutin. Regardless of your height preference, opt for a more modern blush or pale pink shoe over white which you most likely can't wear again."
  • "Keep accessories simple-- don't wear anything that takes away from your natural beauty. If you want to wear a statement piece, pick one, like a great necklace OR dramatic earrings. Less is more."
  • "If trying to lose weight before the big day, go down a size in your dress. A scary idea, especially if you're going for the top of the line gown, but certainly a motivator for actually shedding that little bit of extra weight."
  • "Do a pre wedding juice cleanse! Organic Avenue in NYC offers a variety of incredible programs to not only shed pounds before the big day, but more importantly jump start your fitness routine. For maximum results, trainer Matthew Ryan Carney is your man! He'll ensure you're ready for those day-of pictures you'll have for the rest of your life! Check out"
  • "Pick one style of bridesmaid dress in a classic color. Body types differ but a one shouldered column dress in a forgiving fabric flatters most figures. Uniformity gives group photos a more sophisticated, professional feel."

Meghan's advice for feeling and looking great as a bride...

  • "Allow yourself the luxury of time--- there tends to be a lot of pressure to pick a date and to start nailing down details, but until I knew what I wanted from a more macro vantage point, I considered any wild idea that popped in to my head."
  • "I tried to limit listening to the well-intended opinions that inevitably came my way--- they just ended up confusing me and steering me away from staying true to my ideas."
  • "I learned to quickly abandon the inspiration and images that weren't working for me. Half of the dresses that I loved, while beautiful in person, would only have worked if I was a tall, curvy, busty brunette.... Once I saw them on me I had to put aside expectations and be honest enough with myself to know what worked for my body type and with my personal style."
  • "Consider stepping outside the box. I was lucky enough to have will to encourage me to try on a variety of styles and shapes"
  • "Don't let (even the professionals) talk you out of your style once you're committed to it!"

I will share more of Will's super chis style advice in the near future but for now enjoy these beautiful images from the wedding day! Meghan was (of course) so beautiful, chic and totally stylish. Will was there for every minute of every photo making sure the details were perfection!

All Photos by Brian Dorsey Studios.

Matthew Robbins