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Our Valentine’s Day Love Story Winner!

I put on my cheerleading uniform, tied my white tennis shoes, fluffed my ponytail and slicked on my shiniest lip gloss. I was ready! He was definitely going to be there tonight. I had heard about him from mutual friends for weeks on end. My 16-year old imagination had idealized this upcoming moment and replayed a thousand different scenarios. Maybe it would be love at first sight? Maybe he would ask me out on a date right then and there! The only problem was…I didn’t know what he looked like (and they refused to tell me)!

It was the start of basketball season and we were playing our rival high school at home. I had my dad drop me off early to scope out the other team hoping I would know who he was when I saw him. I watched them practice drills and darted my eyes around the court hoping my heart would alert me. I scanned and scanned. Nothing. No butterflies in my stomach. No heart palpitations. Nothing like I had imagined.

The rest of the girls arrived and we got in line to cheer on our team. I stood there feeling very confused. My friends had promised he would be there and they were smiling and waving at me from the stands. For weeks, they had filled my heart with endless excitement. They had rattled on about his achievements at his school, his sportsmanship and his overall good looks. It was enough to make you daydream right through Algebra II.


“You’ll know it the moment you see him!” “Y’all are meant to be!” “You guys are going to get married!”


The announcer boomed over the speaker and prepared to announce the starting line-up. Rival team up first. He whirred through their names and positions and then began to read the final name, the team captain. The world hit pause as a 17-year-old boy ran out onto the court. His wavy charcoal black hair matched perfectly with his beautiful smile. It was him. He was there! (He had been in the locker room…)

Hayley Paige Valentines day 1


On June 15, 2013, that handsome boy and I were married in Austin, TX… nine and a half years after we first met on that special day. I was no longer standing in front of the teenager I fell in love with at a high school gymnasium, but a wonderful, kind-hearted man. We were high school sweethearts, dated through college, moved to a new city, bought a house and rescued three beautiful dogs. When you write your life out like that, it appears to be an ideal timeline of the natural progression of life and love. Those major occasions are the plotted points on the graph of life. However, in between the big moments, you find the true nitty gritty of any relationship; the real reason why people fall in love and stay in love. It’s in the tiniest of memories, the smallest inside jokes and the quickest of glances across a crowded room. Those are the details that serve as the glue between two people. Dating for nearly a decade isn’t always a cake walk. There are joyous years and hard years, happy months and sad months, weeks spent making memories and weeks spent alone, memorable days and ones that are difficult to look back on. No love story was ever successful because both people did everything right. The success lies in the promise that a future as one is brighter than a lifetime apart. It’s in the glue.

Hayley Paige Valentines day 2

Hayley Paige Valentines day 5


The day I walked down the aisle to the person I have now enjoyed 11 years of life with, I was wearing a Blush by Hayley Paige style from Now and Forever Boutique in Houston, TX. (Thanks, Vo!) It was the third dress I tried on and I decided it was the one before I even stepped out of the dressing room. I chose it because I wanted to be comfortable and look natural on my wedding day. I wanted to dance and twirl and hug and kiss every person there. The dress was meant for me, like it had been designed just for my memories. I didn’t need to scan the room. I didn’t need my friends to tell me all about it. It was there…ready and waiting to be mine.

Stephanie and Colin Wedding390

Hayley Paige Valentines Day 3

Hayley Paige Valentines day 4

Wedding Photographer: Clayton Austin

Makeup: Make-up by Marie-Lynn (Austin, TX)

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We had been dating for nearly four years at the time. We met in college and fell in love when we were both in law school. It was the year after we graduated law school.  We were working full time, busy as ever, and summer was just coming to a close. Pat had vacation time saved up and took the day off. It was a Thursday.

He suggested I meet him at our favorite park (the Frelinghuysen Arboretum) after I finished with work, to enjoy the cooling weather.  Knowing how much I missed them since starting my job, he called my sister and invited my two adorable nephews, Jakob (2) and Aaron (5), to come along for the fun.

We met at the park, with plenty of sun still left. We walked around the park, showing the boys all of the best spots: the Koi pond, the rose garden, and the beautiful butterfly bushes. As I was losing track of time, my oldest nephew, Jakob, suggested we find a spot for our picnic blanket. We settled down under a massive tree and snacked on the grapes (and wine!) that Pat had thoughtfully packed. But it wasn’t long before the boys were up and racing around again.  As I chased after Aaron, Pat and Jakob ducked behind one of the large trees nearby. Curious about what they were up to, I made my way over with Aaron in tow.  It was then that I caught a glimpse of Jakob’s face – flushed with a surprising shade of pink. Normally a verbose little fellow, he couldn’t find words. I asked him what was wrong and, again, he stammered.  Finally, he stood up, just as Pat began to lower himself to the ground.

“Auntie, with you marry Uncle Pat-Pat?”

And there they were: Jakob with the most precious – and hopeful – look on his face; and Pat, down on one knee holding a sparkly, beautiful ring. I scooped up my nephews, ran over to Pat, and gave him the best group-hug ever. The moment could not have been sweeter.

As soon as I could collect myself, we jumped in the car and drove to my sister’s house.  The whole way there, Jakob’s little voice filled the car, peppering us with questions.  Would he be the ring bearer? Would he get to wear a tuxedo? Would I wear a white dress? He couldn’t wait to see it…



My husband, Patrick, and I married on September 15, 2013 at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey.  I was lucky to find my dream dress after very little shopping: Tara Keely 2206 from Jahee Bridal Atelier in Englewood, New Jersey.  Our wedding was everything I dreamed it would be.



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Our proposal Story:

Note: I was completely and totally unaware that I was going to get engaged this weekend. Like not expecting at all … So, we took a trip down to St. Pete Beach for a Coldplay concert. (Which was awesome, btw!) The next day we enjoyed the beach, sunshine and cocktails. It was such a perfect day, I even mentioned that to him before I knew what was in store that evening. So evening rolls around and he says put on a pretty dress, were going somewhere nice. (Clue one, which I was completely oblivious to.) We dine at this adorable fancy tapas restaurant and have a couple glasses of wine. Perry (oh yeah that’s my hubs name) was as cool as a cucumber at this point. We finish dinner and decide just to walk around and find a place to have a few drinks and hang out. We “stumble” across this rooftop bar that overlooks the ocean. Downstairs is the crappy restaurant that has a note next to the elevator, “engagements & weddings”. I actually said “who would want to get engaged in this craphole?!” Lol yes I said those words. Ugh, worst girlfriend ever. He shrugs it off and laughs. We get in the elevator and it opens up to this gorgeous rooftop bar with breathtaking views of the ocean. I redeemed myself by saying “oh ok I could engaged up here.” Still haven’t the slightest clue what was going to happen. So, we find great seats, order a glass of wine and he turns to me and says “hey I’ll bet I can guess the time of the sun setting closer than you can. If you win, I’ll give you a surprise.” I laugh, Game On, I love a challenge, especially when it involves surprises! Get this, I actually right then, giggle and pat his pockets and say “you don’t have a ring in there, do ya?!” I kid you not, his face went stark white. I was like omg, too soon? Must be too soon. Damn. (Ps the ring was in the other pocket.) So as the sun is setting he says “well looks like I’m going to win, but you can still have your surprise.” (He knew what time the sun was setting. He looked it up. Cheater.) He pulls out a necklace that I had eyeballed in a store about a month ago. It was a message in a bottle necklace. A tiny trinket necklace, if you will. I was so excited that he remembered. As I’m putting it on, he says “do you think there’s anything written inside?” I’m still clueless at this point and say “no its just for looks babe.” He says “maybe we should check inside for a message.” He takes it from me, opens the tiny bottle and puts this minuscule scroll in my palm. Now I still have no clue what’s going on. I’m not super intuitive, evidently. I think to myself okay its just going to say I love you. I start to unravel the message and in tiny cursive letters it reads “Marry Me?” I look over and he’s getting down on one knee with the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. I immediately start hyperventilating and saying omg omg omg followed with a big “YES!” and the ugliest cry face you have ever seen. (It wasn’t pretty folks.) People around us our clapping and cheering and ordering bottles of champagne. It was the most perfect night besides my future wedding night!! :)



Hope you loved our engagement story! I absolutely loved that night and even more, Our gorgeous wedding day that included the most stunning gown I’ve ever laid eyes on. It wasn’t even zipped the whole way before I was in tears and in love. I actually got to meet Mr. Lazaro at Bridals By Lori. Talk about pinch me moment. So awesome! :)


Dress worn: Lazaro style 3102

Gown was purchased from Bridals by Lori in Atlanta, Georgia.

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  Wedding by Soltren Photography


It was 4th of July weekend of 2013 and my now-husband woke me up Saturday morning & told me to pack for a surprise trip. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going, despite my many guesses.
I had always hinted that I wanted to visit Savannah, GA. and when we pulled into a hotel near River Street, I was so excited! Part of me was thinking/hopeful that this surprise trip was leading to another surprise :) We had the most romantic night & during dinner, drinks, & sight-seeing I secretly kept thinking that he may propose at any moment.

Wedding by Soltren Photography

But eventually the night ended and we went back to the hotel. I figured my guess was wrong & I left it at that, as being just a wonderful vacation.

The next morning, we were walking around Forsyth Park and Matt stopped an older couple & asked them to take our picture in front of the big fountain. I thought nothing of it by this point & was not expecting anything, since I figured the moment had passed the night before. But when he had given the camera to the couple, he had set the whole thing up for them to put the camera on video mode to record his proposal to me. While smiling for the picture, all of a sudden I look over and Matt was down on one knee & asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. I very happily said yes and we then celebrated with family that afternoon. I’m so glad that it happened this way, where I could still be surprised. It was perfect.

Wedding by Soltren Photography

Dress worn: Hayley Paige– Style 6302-Leighton Gown

Purchased from The White Magnolia in Hyde Park, Tampa Fl.

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We are so excited to announce our top 5 love stories! All submissions were just lovely and it made it tough to choose our top 5.


There are two significant moments in my life where both times I was wearing a white dress. The first was the day I met my future husband, and the second was the day I married my husband. Here is our love story…


My blonde wig, my white Marilyn Monroe dress, and high heels were all packed for a fun Halloween weekend road trip that my best friend and I would be embarking on together. We traveled from Chicago to celebrate Halloween at a friend’s house who attended Butler University in Indianapolis. A half hour into the party I spotted a bald eagle from across the room and had to ask about his costume since it was clearly homemade and haphazardly constructed. From that first “hello” onward, Marilyn Monroe and the bald eagle were inseparable the remainder of the night.



Little did I know the man in the eagle costume would become my husband 6 years later. We dated long distance as we finished our undergrad and during my many visits to visit Joey at Butler we made a lot of special memories together around campus. He asked me to be his wife by leaving clues and roses scattered all across Butler’s campus that led me to various places where we had shared laughs and good times including the house we met that Halloween night. At the very end of my hunt, the sun was starting to set and he was waiting atop of the Bell Tower with the last rose that made up my bouquet, a gorgeous ring, and the amazing goose bump producing words of, “Will you marry me?”


We were married on June 28th, 2014 on a perfect summer day in Libertyville, IL. I have never felt more beautiful in my life as I walked down the aisle to my future husband. I wore Tara Keely style 2052 and my bridesmaids wore Jim Hjelm Occasions style 5357 which both matched the romantic and soft look I was going for.


I knew early on in our relationship that Joey was my soulmate and I knew early on in our engagement that Tara Keely would be the dress I would wear for our special day.


Dress worn: Tara Keely Style 2052

Dress Purchased from Volle’s Brial Boutique in Lake Zurich, IL

For more pictures from their special day check out their post on our Real Weddings page!

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Alvina Valenta LA Trunk Show!

Alvina Valenta_California_Bridal Trunk Shows


Come preview the new Spring 2015 Alvina Valenta collection this weekend at our own JLM Couture Flagship Salon in West Hollywood, CA! Appointments can be made by calling 424.249.3909 or by requesting one here:




To view the entire collection, visit us here or watch our behind the scenes video from our Spring 2015 ad campaign here.

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Love Story Contest


 It’s that time of year again! Time for our 3rd annual February Love Story contest!

Here are the rules:

If you are a past (or current!) Lazaro, Hayley PaigeJim HjelmAlvina ValentaBlush, Tara Keely, Ti Adora by Alvina Valenta or Lovelle by Lazaro bride who has a sweep you off your feet kind of story behind how you and your loved one met, fell in love, or got engaged- we want to hear all the sparkly details.

We will be accepting stories (and photos, please!) starting TODAY. Send all of the love and romance you have to [email protected] along with which gown you wore (or will wear- don’t worry, it won’t be published!) and the store you purchased it from by February 9th. The top 5 stories (to be picked by the ladies of JLM Couture) will be showcased right here on the Aisle Style blog starting on Tuesday, February 10th with the winner being announced Saturday, February 14th.

 The extra special treat?

That lucky Valentine’s Day couple will win a $100 American Express Gift Card

Above photo of Hayley Paige real bride by Monica Felix.

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JLM Couture Flagship Salon Sample Sale!

JLM Couture Sample Sale

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Jim Hjelm Spring 2015

We are delighted to share with you some of our favorites from the new Spring 2015 Jim Hjelm ad campaign!

Wanting to see more from the collection? Visit our website here or be sure to follow us on Instagram @Jim_Hjelm.


Jim Hjelm style 8500


Jim Hjelm style 8504


Jim Hjelm style 8506


Jim Hjelm style 8509

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Jim Hjelm Occasions Bridesmaids

Are you are recent Jim Hjelm Occasion bridesmaids? Share your pictures with us on Instagram (and don’t forget to follow us @JimHjelmOccasions) with the below hashtags for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook accounts! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Occasions on Instagram

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