Tell Me Your Love Story- Diane and Dan

diane kocher.casale

Diane and her husband Dan met during college nine years ago. Diane knew Dan by his reputation as the mysterious heavy metal guy who cruised around in a black and red Camaro, but she had never plucked up the courage to talk to him. The opportunity finally presented itself at a mutual friend’s party–iTunes was new and the big thing around campus, and they were playing one another’s playlists. Dan was in charge of the music, and a playlist containing the heavy metal band Black Label Society caught his eye. It turned out this was Diane’s playlist, and the rest is history. They’ve been together ever since, and Diane says Dan is truly her best friend.

Dan proposed to Diane on Valentines Day 2014. Though by this time they had been together quite a few years, Diane says she was not expecting it at all. She came home from work and he handed her a long rectangular box. She expected to find a shirt or something along those lines inside, but instead she found a smaller box containing an absolutely beautiful engagement ring. Diane says she was speechless, so Dan had to ask “so, yes?” to prompt her to answer. Of course she said yes.

Diane and Dan got married on October 3rd, 2015 at Fox Hollow in Woodbury, New York. Diane said “It was a wedding many will not soon forget. There was lots of delicious food, dancing, metal music and of course I crowd surfed.”

Congratulations Diane and Dan, we wish you the very best!


Wedding Gown Style: 5 Dresses with Sleeves

Looking for the perfect wedding dress with long sleeves? Never fear, Sealed With A Kiss is here! Below find five dresses with sleeves by some of our favorite designers!

  1. This lacy off the shoulder look is one of our favorite gowns with sleeves from Casablanca Bridal. Many brides also think the sheath cut is really flattering!


2. For the bride who wants to look glamorous on her wedding day, this fitted gown from Justin Alexander Signature with sheer beaded long sleeves is sure to do the trick! This dress also comes in a light gold/nude color, for brides who want to add a touch of vintage to their glam.


3. Is a ball gown more your style? We love this one with lacy three-quarter sleeves from Lillian West!


4. For brides looking for something simple and elegant, this gown by Augusta Jones will be a winner.


5. Prefer an elegant beaded style? This a-line gown from Casablanca Bridal has an intricately beaded top and a simpler crepe organza skirt.


Real Sealed With A Kiss Bride-Nicole and Akash

Our Sealed With A Kiss Bride Nicole married the love of her life, Akash, on October 25th, 2014.


Photos Courtesy of Joyeus Photography

She wore a beautiful and delicate slip gown by British designer Charlie Brear, and it suited her so well.


Photos Courtesy of Joyeus Photography

Nicole and Akash included traditions and details from both of their cultures into the ceremony and reception, and the result was a truly magical wedding day.

Thanks for sharing your wedding photos, Nicole, and best wishes to you and Akash!

Vendor Spotlight- First Look Hair and Makeup Artistry

first look

I first met Amy and Laura when they approached us about teaming up for a styled shoot back in January, and from the start it was easy to see that their connection goes beyond just finishing each other’s sentences. During the planning for a styled shoot it usually takes quite a bit of time for all the vendors to decide which dress best suits the style they’re going for, and when multiple people are involved in the planning it can be hard for everyone to be on the same page, but that wasn’t the case with these ladies. As we discussed dress options and sorted out the details for the shoot, they seemed to know exactly what the other was thinking, and easily put together a complete look –and the shoot turned out amazing (you can take a look at the photos from the shoot here: I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with them, and I was amazed at how in tune with one another they were.


That’s why the first thing I wanted to know when we got together for this interview was how they found each other. It turns out Amy and Laura were both raised here in Charlottesville and have been inseparable since they met during high school– they’ve been best friends for about ten years! It’s not everyday you meet a pair of long time best friends who are also amazing business partners. Though they always seem to be on the same wavelength, Amy and Laura insist they’re quite different personality wise, and they believe that’s the key to their friendship–they balance each other out perfectly.  


When I asked how their business came about Amy said she was always in love with cosmetology and fashion, and so she knew her career would revolve around that. When the opportunity presented itself she jumped at the chance to study at the Aveda Institute of Atlanta, and after doing some work in the industry realized how much she absolutely loved styling. Laura, though she always loved makeup and beauty trends, didn’t realize how passionate she was about it until a bit later. Eventually the two of them decided to team up and start a business on their own, and First Look was born.


It’s no surprise that business has really taken off for Amy and Laura, and while they say it can be overwhelming at times, they are too busy having fun to let it get them. They love working with brides to create their ideal wedding day look, and they’ve developed a friendship with many of their clients. I asked what they love most about what they do, and they said nothing beats that moment when when they’re done doing hair and makeup for the bride and her bridesmaids and they realize how beautiful and happy everyone looks. They feel like they’ve done their job when the girls look in the mirror and feel really good about themselves, and they believe every bride should have that feeling on her wedding day.

Learn more about how awesome Amy and Laura are by checking out their site-

Ask Pat: Help! How do I choose a bridesmaid dress that all my bridesmaids will love?

Photo of our Sealed With A Kiss bride Maitland. Photo Courtesy of Wendell Powell Studio.


Dear Pat: I have ten bridesmaids in my bridal party and I want to choose a style that will be flattering on all of them, but they are all different heights and body shapes. How can I be sure the bridesmaid style I choose is something that they’ll all love?

All brides have this dilemma, and there a few things you can do to be sure all your bridesmaids will be happy in the style you choose.

Asking  your bridesmaids what styles they like and are comfortable with can be most helpful. Have them send you pictures of styles or create a Pinterest board where they can all pin all their  dress ideas and preferences, then go through them and see what kind of styles and necklines the majority of your girls seem comfortable with. Even if you don’t choose a particular dress they showed you, you’ll have a better idea of what they do and don’t like and can keep that in mind when you choose a dress for them.

If you’ve chosen a style or have narrowed down the choices but aren’t quite sure they’ll work for all your bridesmaids, then it’s best to have them all try on the dress(es) you’re interested in. Whether this means finding a time that everyone can get together and head over to the bridal shop, or if it means each girl will have to head out on her own to find a local bridal shop that carries the style and then text you a picture of herself in it, this is the best way for you and the girls in your party to see what styles work.

You should also consider giving your bridesmaids a few options. You could give them two or three styles to  choose from, or give them a preferred designer and color and let them choose their own style, or even just tell them to choose complementary styles and colors. Mix and match bridesmaid styles are very popular, and for good reason–they look great and each of your bridesmaids can choose which of the options you gave them suits them best.

Have a question you’re dying to ask a bridal consultant? Email your questions to and one of our experienced consultants will be more than happy to help. Your question might even make it on the blog! 


Tell Me Your Love Story- Alex and Trevor


Sometimes true love may be hiding right under your nose, in the case of SWAK bride, Alex, it was hiding right down the street.  Alex and Trevor were both raised in the Charlottesville area.  Their parents lived only five minutes apart from each other but they never crossed paths.  It wasn’t until after graduating from college that the two would finally meet.  And how did their paths finally cross?  At a friendly game of Putt-Putt with friends of course.  One of their first dates involved playing a gig together, she on the mic and he on guitar, in Charlottesville behind Barracks Road.  Too cute, right?  After that they were inseparable and realized quickly that they would spend the rest of their lives together.

alexwood3 We often ask brides if the proposal was a total surprise or if they sensed it coming, and for Alex it was certainly out of the blue.  In fact, it was on the Blue Ridge for that matter (sorry, had to do it!).  Alex and Trevor often spent time at a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway called Big Spy Mountain, so it wasn’t uncommon for them to decide to spend the afternoon there.  Little did she know that he had planned a picturesque picnic proposal that included her family surprising her afterward.  On the way to Big Spy they stopped at the gas station, Sheetz, so she could order her favorite sandwich.  Sheetz has a made-to-order system and you can usually expect to wait about 5-10 minutes for your order to be complete.  Today wasn’t one of those days – they waited 53 minutes for her sandwich, yes, you heard me right, 53 MINUTES!  That has to be some kind of record.  Trevor is usually very calm and collected so she was slightly surprised at his antsy and short tempered demeanor in Sheetz – can’t blame the guy!  Finally her order was ready and they made their way to Big Spy.  Now, they have visited alexwood2this lookout before and it’s usually totally empty, hence why he chose the spot to propose.  They arrive at the lookout surprised to see of a couple of hikers taking a rest.  At this point I’m sure Trevor is thinking something along the lines of “seriously, of all days”.  That didn’t stop him, he was determined to set this day right.  He proposed to Alex overlooking the beauty of the Blue Ridge.  She immediately burst into tears of joy not noticing the concerned hikers glaring at her.  Although she can’t remember actually saying “yes” her excitement more than made up for it.  A few moments later the hikers walked by and made a sarcastic comment along the lines of “well, you all look like you’re having a great time…”, not realizing that she was crying happy tears.  She laughed at how awkward it all actually was, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.  She was so overjoyed and excited to be engaged to the love of her life.

Alex found her gown well in advance so we were lucky to share quite a bit of time with her and her family.  I remember the day she said yes to her dress, surrounded by her family.  We all knew it was the one and agreed it was going to be so perfect for her vineyard wedding at Pippin Hill.  And that it was.  Alex and Trevor were married at Pippin Hill in June.  It was everything and more by looking at the photos.  Thank you again, Alex, for being so wonderful and easy going.  We wish you both the best in marriage and life!


Ask Pat: When should I start shopping for a wedding gown?


Dear Pat: We just set a date for the wedding and it’s more than a year away–is it too soon to start shopping for a wedding gown?

Definitely not! Most bridal consultants will recommend starting your shopping at least 9-12 months before the wedding. Why? Most bridal gowns are made to order and can take months (four-six months typically) to come in, and then it takes 6-8 weeks to complete the alterations to your dress (and yes, you will likely need alterations). Plus, the sooner you order the sooner your dress will arrive, and you won’t need to spend the weeks before your wedding worrying about whether your dress will be ready in time for your big day. Giving yourself plenty of time to shop around and make a decision is one of the best ways to keep your wedding gown shopping experience fun and stress-free.

Have a question you’re dying to ask a bridal consultant? Email your questions to and one of our experienced consultants will be more than happy to help. Your question might even make it on the blog!