Real Wedding Story: Kaptur your Wedding!

Meghan McMahon was kind enough to tell us the story of her wedding and how she Kaptur’d every moment when she got married in Williamsburg, VA.

Real Wedding Story

How did your husband propose?
My family was having a birthday party for my brother-in-law then having more friends over later for swimming, dancing and drinks on our back deck. My husband used this opportunity to pull me aside and pop the question. When we came back, the DJ (my brother-in-law) was playing Beyoncé‘s “Single Ladies”!

Did anything unexpected happen on the day?
We had more time than we thought we would. I’m a planner, so I baked in an hour between the wedding and cocktail hour – but pictures didn’t last too long and our guests arrived early. So we entered the reception early!

Were there any unusual themes or special touches for the wedding?
We both went to James Madison University and we had the traveling Duke Dog (mascot) attend – which was just a small statue named Road Dawg. We really wanted our wedding to be simple and elegant, so our small touches were there.

What Meghan had to say about Kaptur:
I love being able to see all my photos and friends’ photos from our big day in one place. I know my friends have enjoyed seeing them all together and have created albums of their own. I am excited to incorporate this into other events in the future!

Thanks Meghan! It sounds like you had an amazing day.

Kaptur Birthright Photo Contest

Have you ever traveled to Israel? Have you participated in Birthright? If the answer to either question is YES, then it’s your lucky day. Not only did you probably have an amazing time in Israel, but you are now able to win FREE prizes simply by showing off your photos.

Starting today (July 16th, 2012) through August 15th, 2012 we are running a Birthright/Israel Contest where you have the opportunity to win some awesome prizes: a Grove of Trees in Israel, an iPad, and a Kaptur photo album.

How to Enter:

Top Prizes:

Grand Prize – an Apple iPad, a Grove of Trees planted in Israel in honor of your Birthright group, and a Kaptur photo Album

2nd Place – a Grove of Trees planted in Israel in honor of your Birthright group and a Kaptur Photo Album

3rd Place – a Kaptur Photo Album

For some insight into Birthright trips we turned to our marketing intern, David, who had the opportunity to travel to Israel on a 10-day journey with 40 strangers from the University of Maryland, College Park on Taglit Birthright Israel. You can check out David’s Kaptur and all of his photos here www.kptr.it/Birthright

Taglit Birthright Israel is a free, 10-day trip for Jewish college-aged students (18-26) to experience and see what Israel has to offer. They have sent almost 300,000 individuals to Israel from over 54 countries and over 1,000 different colleges and universities across North America.

The students on David’s trip experienced some truly amazing things such as the Dead Sea, Masada, Bedouin tents and more. David has said numerous times that, “One of the coolest parts of the Birthright trip was welcoming the Israeli soldiers into our University of Maryland family.” The group even had the opportunity to be addressed by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu at the annual Mega Event, which is also attended by the top musicians and artists in Israel.

The group still sees each other and catches up on a regular basis at the headquarters of the Maryland Jewish Experience due to the amazing, and free, home-cooked meals that are offered on a bi-weekly basis.

P.S. David is not eligible for the contest due to unfair advantage :(

Haute Couture Bridal Hair at Privé Salons

Laurent D Gives Kaptur Brides Hair and Marriage Advice

Today’s guest blogger and interviewer is Deborah Meijer.

Sharon Stone, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jewel…these are only a few of the stars who let übermaestro Laurent Dufourg, owner of the international Privé Salons, fashion their red-carpet hairstyles. And yet, Laurent D, as he is known, or any of his talented Privé stylists, are available to add an haute look to any bride’s wedding day.

Today, Kaptur sits down at the Soho Grand Hotel (next door to Privé), with Laurent and Martine Blanchet, the New York Privé Salon’s manager, for advice on hairstyles for today’s modern bride-to-be.

Laurent D.

Regarding the bride’s big day, says Laurent, the most important thing that the bride to be needs to keep in mind is that “less is more.”

“The big problem with brides,” says Laurent, “is that they try to do too much at their wedding. The hair is too big, the make-up is too heavy. Brides need to remember that the wedding photo is going to be displayed on the piano for years to come—make it something that looks like you.”

Laurent recommends that the bride do a consultation with her hairdresser with plenty of time before the wedding. “People have the tendency to never wear their hair up or in a chignon, never meet with a stylist–and then do some crazy up-do for the wedding. The bride is going to have those wedding shots for the rest of her life, and she won’t look like herself.”

What is the solution, according to Laurent?

“I recommend that the bride do the stylist consultation first. We get brides who are clients of the [Soho Grand] Hotel, strangers to us, for the wedding hairdo. It’s different if we do the daughter of a client…we know her. But when we get someone we don’t know to do their bridal ‘do, it is not ideal, especially when 80% of them have never touched their hair before. They’re often from out of town, and often times, have spent every last penny on their wedding.”

Laurent stresses advance planning. “Consult with the stylist. Definitely try out the hairstyle one—or three—times before the wedding. Bring your veil. Try it one time without a veil, then come back with a veil.”

Veiled brides have different requirements, according to Laurent. “What I like to do with a veiled bride is to create a hairdo with not too much hair exposed. I do a small bun, or a ponytail. Most brides do a ceremony and an after-ceremony, so we have to keep the next hairdo in mind when creating the wedding ‘do.”

How do most brides manage more than one hairstyle and dress change on her big day?

“In the case of a bride staying here at the Soho Grand,” says New York Privé Salon Manager Martine Blanchet, “the bride comes down from upstairs to do her hair, goes back to put on her dress, and then she comes back to the salon after the church or ceremony for her next dress and hairdo.”

Most brides do two dress changes, according to Laurent, some do three, and some change even more. “I did a wedding for my client Jolie Fisher, who did five changes.”

In the case of dress and hair changes, Laurent preps the hair before the wedding hair.  “We don’t want to spend another hour on a re-do so I prep it before the wedding hairdo, so we can do two different do’s. After the wedding, we replace the veil with an accessory such as a flower, or a headband or jewel: something that will look beautiful in photos. And don’t wash your hair the day of your wedding. Wash it the day before,” Laurent adds.

Another bit of advice from this master hairdresser whose talented associates in six international salons have created thousands of creations for brides over the years:

“Keep your stylist for yourself,” says Laurent. “Don’t share. And be alone with your stylist.  Mothers of the bride can be a nightmare. ‘Why do this? Why not do that? Dad won’t like that.’ These are just a few of the comments our people hear over the years when the MOB is in the room. And the bridesmaids…put them in a different room as well. The bridesmaid might want to upstage the bride. This is your day. Insist on privacy and insist on exclusivity.”

And also remember that it is the stylist’s job to make you happy. “Don’t be scared if you don’t like your hairdo. Tell your stylist. It is the stylist’s job to please you, to make you feel and look great.”

Laurent follows his own advice. “I make sure to stay calm with the bride. She has to look fabulous. It’s my job to make it happen the way the bride wants it to.”

Today, Privé Salons are found in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando and even in recently-opened Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia. Biarritz-born Laurent began his career in Los Angeles, where celeb clients flocked to his salon, enabling him to eventually expand internationally. And eight years ago, Laurent created the salon’s exclusive Privé Hair Product line, carried by 500 salons worldwide.

“From last year, twenty-four countries just started internet distribution. I spent three days in Russia recently. This week we just met with potential Japanese distributors, and we are already distributing in Hong Kong and Singapore.”

What is the secret of the salon product success? According to Laurent, success came when the products went ‘green.’ Three years ago, Privé introduced ‘Concept Vert,’ or ‘Green Concept.’ To see Privé’s Eco-Friendly Socially Responsible Corporate Statement, click here.

“We got great press with our green products. At the time we went green, no one else was doing it. Now everyone is doing it, but some of our competitors’ products aren’t really green. Three years ago, we created green shampoo, green conditioner and green mousse.”

“Mousse was huge,” adds Martine, “because our Privé Mousse is non-aerosal.”

The Privé Green products contain no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, PABA, mineral oil, paraffin, DEA, TEA or artificial colors. In addition, says Laurent, shipping boxes are recyclable, aerosols are 55% V.O.C. (volatile organic compounds), and Privé has a can-re-use program, among many other Eco-Friendly practices. Privé is also philanthropic, supporting such causes as Breast Cancer Awareness and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

“I am just trying to do something for the planet,” says Laurent.  “I don’t know if I can help, but I do my best.” Laurent has an idea for a “Big Project in our 500 salons.” He would like to “one day have everyone cut their hair with no electricity—not blow dry, no curling iron—and no water.”

“We would use dry shampoo,” says Martine. “We are coming out with one soon.”

“It is not easy to find products that perform well and are green,” says Laurent. “Not ‘pretend-to-be-green,’ but really green. If you really want to be green, you cannot use dye. Dye right now cannot be green. But we are trying to do as much research as possible to help the planet.”

Laurent and his talented staff prepare the bride as best they can for the bride’s wedding day. But after that? Regarding the ensuing marriage, Laurent still has words of advice–regarding hair. The first?

“Don’t wear extensions to bed.”

And the second key to a successful relationship?

“Don’t wear curlers to bed.  No man likes that.”

Kaptur Launches Photo Books, Handmade in NYC

We’re excited to announce that you are now able to easily create custom, handmade photo books using your Kaptur photos!

Kaptur is the best way for you to discover and share everyone’s photos from your wedding memories. Our photo books allow you to relive your wedding memories forever. These gorgeous photo books are handmade in New York on high-quality,  semi-gloss photo paper and bound so that every page lays completely flat.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a great gift for your loved one – or just keep it for yourself!

You can get started now by visiting us at www.kaptur.com

Gossip Girl Wedding and Our Other Favorite Fictional Weddings

The news of Blair Waldorf’s (Leighton Meester) upcoming wedding on the series Gossip Girl and the recent photos of her in a wedding dress have us excited. The gown, designed by Vera Wang, is a beautiful strapless dress with a lace overlay and a stylish bow at the waist. It is complemented with peep-toe pumps, and Blair’s bridal look is completed by tousled wavy hair and a glittering tiara. In the photos, Blair’s dress more than hints at a wedding taking place, but her worried face and the fact that she seems to be running away from the venue has us guessing. Is Blair a runaway bride? Or did she just forget something?

Gossip Girl’s on-screen wedding and the long awaited reveal of Bella’s dress as Twilight’s Breaking Dawn Part I premieres has us thinking about dresses we loved from other fictional weddings. The slideshow is a brief review of a few our favorites. This list includes the fabulous Vivienne Westwood dress that Carrie Bradshaw wore in Sex and the City, Amanda Seyfried’s lacey layered dress from Mamma Mia, Kirsten Dunst’s dress from Melancholia with beautiful silk rose details at the shoulders, Beyoncé’s two dresses from her music video “Best I Never Had” and more.

Speaking of Beyoncé! During a performance this summer at the Roseland Ballroom, in New York City, the star briefly let fans into her very private life. Video footage of memorable moments from Beyoncé’s career and personal life played in the background as she sang “I Was Here.” The video included a very short glimpse of Beyoncé wearing her never-before-seen wedding dress just before her super secret wedding ceremony with Jay-Z, in April of 2008. We had to include a photo of the dress, which was designed for Beyoncé by her mom, Tina Knowles.