As the Senior Updo Educator at the Michael Anthony Salon Spa in Chicago, Lori Emory has done the hair of hundreds of real, and now, one fake bride.
The salon was the beauty sponsor for “2 Strangers and a Wedding. . . Is Love Blind,” a radio stunt by The Mix 101.9 DJs Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart in which listeners called in to match two perfect strangers as a bride and a groom. Dubbed a “social experiment,” the couple, whose identities were kept secret, were to get to know one another during on-air “dates,” then meet in person for the first time at their wedding.
The beauty part went pretty much like an actual wedding prep for the bride Laura and groom Ted, Emory reports, but “for her practice styling session in the salon, Laura was scheduled under an alias. When she sat in my chair, she confessed.”
While the salon staff provided hair, beauty and body services to the entire wedding party, Emory concentrated on the bride. “Laura is just a really down-to-earth person, easy to work with. She didn’t want anything too frilly or over the top. The updo style had soft curls that I set in rollers for loose curls intertwined at the back of the head—not too high or too low.
“For make-up, her look was pretty natural—bronzed golden tones with neutral and glossy lips. I wanted her eyes to take the focus.”
Though the couple was given the option not to tie the knot at the wedding, the salon staff still had to work as if they would. Owner Michael Anthony reports that they were up at 4:30 a.m. to prep Laura and six bridesmaids by 7 a.m.
At the live-broadcast “ceremony,” Laura and Ted decided to give their relationship more time (they report that they’re currently “in like”), so everyone went straight to the reception. “It was kind of odd from that standpoint,” says Anthony. “By 9 a.m. , we were drinking mojitos.”