Bold brides, gather round—let me tell you about lovely boutique in Toluca Lake, California, where you can find unique bridal accessories to personalize your wedding style. Self-described as a "wedding convert" (more on that below!), Jennie MacLeod, owner of The Blushing Bird, shares her wedding wisdom that comes from curating an incredible collection of handmade, designer and vintage wedding accessories from all over the world. MacLeod says she's particularly passionate about working with women designers and entrepreneurs and find pieces for her brides that aren't available anywhere else in Southern California. For more on her work, visit The Blushing Bird and keep up with her daily on Instagram. And check out more from her Q&A below!
1. What draws you to working with brides and in weddings?
Ok here's the truth...I used to kind of hate weddings. I wasn't a little girl who fantasized about being a bride and thought weddings were a little paint-by-numbers boring and often missed the point of celebrating love and commitment in a personal, authentic way. But when I met the love of my life and we decided to throw a three-day party with the people we love in Scotland, I was a total convert. The creative aspects of developing the look and experience were incredibly meaningful, and it was truly the best few days of my life. I wore a beautiful Shareen dress and bold fresh flower crown by Jack Fleuriste, but really wanted a place to go and try a bunch of accessories. It just didn't exist. Yet. There are so many truly special, talented designers out there like Jannie Baltzer and Melinda Rose, and I wanted to bring them all together to give brides the chance to style their wedding look head to toe, all in one place.
2. What’s the story behind the name “The Blushing Bird”?
My dog! Well, kind of. My nickname growing up was Bird and my hubby and I named our quirky little chiweenie Birdie because of her enormous ears that looked like wings when she was a puppy. So when I was developing the concept for my shop it came to me early on. And it's so fitting considering how many birds collect shiny things and that's exactly what I do! I'm always on the hunt for interesting pieces to add to my unique bridal collection.
3. What’s your favorite love story of the couples you’ve worked with?
I hate to play favorites, but my best friend, Martha, is marrying the love of her life, Hollie, in August and I'm so honored to be styling both brides and the bridal party. They met on Match.com (hope for the online daters!) and Martha moved from Florida to California to be with Hollie. They both come from very traditional families, Martha is Colombian and Hollie is Chinese-American, so it hasn't always been an easy road, not to mention it wasn't even legal for them to get married just a short time ago! After my wedding in Scotland two years ago, they went to Spain to do a little traveling, and Hollie popped the question at the most beautiful restaurant in Barcelona. It's truly special to have shared in years of life's ups and downs and joys and heartbreaks with someone, and then to see them find their match that you know will love them in the way they deserve to be loved.
4. What’s are the top 3 tips for brides when they’re searching for the perfect wedding accessories?
- Be open minded. Just like with the dress, you might be surprised what styles you're drawn to. I love a bride with a vision and point-of-view that we can work together to bring to life, but be open to trying some unexpected pieces that you might fall in love with.
- Try a veil...even if you think it's not your thing. So many brides come in and say "I'm not a veil girl," then we try one just for fun, and the tears start rolling and they say, "I'm a veil girl!" This is the only time in your life you get to wear a veil so go for it! And there's just something so dramatic and emotional about it and really makes you feel like a bride.
- Save a little room in your budget for the fun stuff. It's easy to spend more than you plan on the dress and forget about the rest. You certainly don't have to break the bank but the quality, beautiful headpieces, veils, shoes and jewelry that enhance your individual style will be special heirloom pieces you will treasure forever.
5. What’s in store for The Blushing Bird? More stores? An accessory line? World domination?
All of the above! Honestly, details are where it's at for me and I'd love to expand with more locations and an unmatched collection of special bridal accessories. We've already starting testing the waters on groom accessories and would like to continue growing with accessories for the entire wedding party including mothers-of-the-bride and flower girls. Emmy London has the most stunning collection of special shoes and clutches for moms (who deserve to be spoiled on the wedding day, too!) and we can't wait to bring them here to LA.