This is the Transcript of the #WeddingMarket Chat on February 18th, 2015 with TLC star Monte Durham from Say Yes To The Dress Atlanta. The answers were made on Twitter so responses will appear different.
Monte Durham Biography
Monte Durham is the Fashion Director at Bridals by Lori, the South’s premier bridal salon featured on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. A native of small-town West Virginia, Monte describes his ascension from one-room schoolhouse to the fashion industry an unlikely story. Before he found his way to bridal, Monte worked in fashion merchandising and hair styling, then made a name for himself as a Washington, D.C.-based bridal image consultant. His work has appeared in the pages of The Washingtonian, Martha Stewart Living, Brides Magazine, and several other publications. Monte’s no-nonsense fashion commentary and naughty sense of humor have made him a favorite and regular guest on CNN and Fox. Monte’s current project is building the M.O.N.T.E. brand, a line of hair care he launched in the fall.
Learn More About Monte Durham at www.montedurham.com
Q1: How did you get involved with bridal field?
Monte Durham: I did a very good friend’s hair for her wedding and it just grew from there.
Q2: Now you worked in bridal in Europe as well?
Monte Durham: I worked in London mostly for a designer based out of Toronto, Canada. I traveled through all the top British salons, blending our traditions with theirs. Fun note: Most British brides wear 100% silk veils instead of tulle that is so popular here in America.
@FrillsBridal silk veils?? so interesting, I never knew that! might need to add some to our veil inventory 😉
That’s why their veils are always so flat. Think Kate Middleton.
Q3: Now you went back to school to be a hair stylist?
Monte Durham: I did. I went back to London and took the advanced course and graduated from the Graham Webb Academy.
Q4: Now before you met Lori Allen you owned several beauty salons & planned weddings?
Monte Durham: I owned a beauty salon in my home state of West Virginia and traveled the US and Caribbean styling weddings.
Q5: How did you meet Lori Allen?
Monte Durham: I met Lori in the Presidential Suite at the Waldorf Astoria during bridal market in New York 15 years ago. She told me I would be in her store at the end of the week. I went ‘really?’ By the end of the week, I was in her store.
Q6: How did Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta pilot come about?
Monte Durham: The New York show was so successful, so TLC was looking for another venue and they loved our southern sass!
Q7: What was it like to cover the Royal Wedding?
Monte Durham: Dream come true. I knew that Kate was entering into a fairy tale, but I felt that I was in one as well. Just phenomenal.
Q8: How do brides get selected to be on Say Yes To The Dress Atlanta?
Q9: What a normal day like on the set of Say Yes To The Dress Atlanta?
Monte Durham: Lights. Camera. Action! Lots of surprises and a big amount of fun. I’m working with my best friend.
Q10: What are some of your favorite episodes of Say Yes To The Dress?
Monte Durham: There are many but I love when we have brides who have overcome an obstacle whether it’s a jealous friend/sister, bossy mom or mother-in-law or personal image issues.
Q11: What advice do you give brides looking for their bridal gown?
Monte Durham: Be true to yourself. If you want a ballgown- wear a ballgown. Wear the dress YOU love.
Q12: What are some of the bridal gown trends this year?
Monte Durham: Sweetheart necklines, natural waists, soft A-line skirts, short trains and illusion necklines are all very popular. Brides are also loving buttons and sashes on their dresses.
Q13: What are some of your favorite bridal lines this year?
Monte Durham: I’m old school. I love anyone designing traditional and paying homage to the meaning of the day.
Q14: What inspired you to develop your own hair care line?
Monte Durham: Coming from the beauty industry, I had needs for my own and my clients’ hair and I want everyone to have healthy, shiny moveable hair, so I developed my own products.
Q15: How do you manage your social media on a daily and weekly basis?
Monte Durham: I hired a media coach. She’s my only ‘staff.’
Q16: What advice do you have for bridal shop owners just starting out in the business?
Monte Durham: Keep current on trends, looks and color because they are changing constantly.
Q17: What types of items do you collect on Jackie Kennedy?
Monte Durham: There’s not enough room here to list. Anything and everything! I do have an affection for Presidential plates.
Q18: What would you like everyone to take from this #WeddingMarket Chat?
Monte Durham: I would like everyone to know that I really am grateful for the opportunities in my life and I’m a true Southern gentleman—my grandparents and mom and dad raised me right!
#WeddingMarket Questions From Twitter:
- @AGeventpainter What are your favorite & least favorite trends in the wedding industry? My least fav is definitely flip flops
Monte Durham: Fav: coverage. Love illusion necklines. Least: I’m with you on flip-flops! I’ll give you flip flops for a beach wedding…but not for others!
- @DreamyWeddingsSK Which Caribbean island was your favorite to work in and why?
Monte Durham: I didn’t have a favorite. I loved them all because of the relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for a wedding!
- @TrendingSounds Why do brides allocate such a small budget for Wedding DJs? No sound, there is no Wedding!
Monte Durham: It’s because I jacked her up and it all went on the dress and veil! LOL!
@AGeventpainter I must know. How and when did the term “jack you up” first come about?
Monte Durham: It’s kind of a Lori-ism! She’s used it in her store for years!
- @LaurenSPhoto What color trends are you seeing for 2015 for weddings?
Monte Durham: The number on color this season according to @pantone is Marsala and we’ll see it everywhere.
- @BridalBalance What’s the #1 piece of advice you give to brides searching for gowns?
Monte Durham: Be true to yourself and be open-minded. Try on the dress you think you don’t like!
- @SweetestEvents_ What do you think about Bride’s wearing pant suits vs a wedding gown?
Monte Durham: A bride should be comfortable w/ her own look & there are some beautiful pants options.
- @FrillsBridalwhat’s the biggest challenges #brides face while dress shopping? budget? Opinionated friends? Time?
Monte Durham: I think one of the biggest challenges is time. It takes a long time to order these gowns.
- @danieladegrassi How about Bridesmaids in Pants too?
Monte Durham: I think if you’re trying to be different–pants are the way to go.
- @WedByJean Are you seeing more color in bridal gowns, or is it mostly whites & ivories?
Monte Durham: I would say 80% are ivory/white and the rest are blush and antique.
- @DreamyWeddingSK What advice can you give brides when choosing a destination wedding dress? Do you think they have fewer options?Monte Durham: I always suggest a gown that doesn’t require pressing, otherwise the sky’s the limit!
- @RoatanGallery What do you think about Trash the Dress?
Monte Durham: Nooooo! I think it should be saved for future generations and for christening gowns
- @Julia_Belles Have you noticed any particular veil trends this year?
Monte Durham: Yes, the blushers over the front of the face are back and very long, cathedral veils are popular.