Emily Samuels Hertz is a triple threat (or in her words a “slasher”). The former director of marketing at Spanx now splits her time between being a consultant, a party stylist, and a blogger. Her site, Born On Fifth, and her Instagram, document her beautiful life with her two year old baby girl, Elle.
Before the blog and back when her daughter was still just a star in the sky, the Big Apple bred Atlanta mom met her now-husband, alcohol distributor Michael Hertz, on a blind date. “I got an email from the then-CEO of Spanx Laurie Ann Goldman (who actually ended up singing our Ketubah!). She was out to dinner with Michael’s parents and made the connection,” remembers Emily. Just over two years later, they couple became engaged. “It was a Wednesday night and Michael and I were headed to Vancouver the next morning to run a half marathon together. He came by my apartment to help me pack, or so I thought. When he showed up to the door with flowers and a Universal Diamond ring, I realized he had other plans!”
On how she said yes to the dress . . .
“We live in Atlanta, but I had my heart set on finding a dress in New York. I love the city and will take any excuse I can to go up. My mom and I planned a trip, and I had appointments all over town, but fell in love (several times over) at Vera Wang. I particularly remember two gowns that I didn’t choose: one with a horsehair hem and one with a crumb catcher. I ended up going with a strapless gown that was all about the back . . . the ‘Juliette.’ My Vera Wang veil was my favorite part of the whole ensemble. I wish I had worn it for longer but it was so heavy.”
On how having fashion friends in high places helped her wedding day wardrobe . . .
“Jeffrey Kalinksy—the founder and president of Jeffrey Atlanta and New York—is a friend of my mother-in-law’s. He was kind enough to give me advice on shoes—white satin 105mm Manolos . . . what else?—and loan me jewelry,” says Emily. “I wore my hair down because it felt like me (and I came to this realization after about 17 up-do trial and errors). Jess Goldstein did my hair. She’s a master at the glam wave. Makeup isn’t something I’m a huge fan of, but I was quite happy with the look Kailin Roberts came up with. When it was time to dance, I put on a flower crown because I think I’m a flower child at heart.”
On the most memorable moment from her wedding ceremony . . .
“During the ceremony, our Rabbi asked us to turn and face our guests for a moment. It was such a lovely way to take it all in,” remembers Emily.
(Above one of the littlest guests makes funny faces during the service.)
On how she landed on the look and feel of the wedding . . .
“As far as aesthetic, I wanted the wedding to take place indoors, but I also wanted it to feel like it was taking place outside, so we had trees brought in,” explains Emily. “The word I repeatedly used with our wedding designer when I handed over the mood board was ‘ethereal.’ In retrospect, maybe we should have just gotten married outside or been more prudent about finding locations to shoot outside of the hotel, but our aisle pictures are among my favorite.”
On the one thing that went wrong . . .
“My dress didn’t get bustled properly as I think one of the buttons got crushed somehow,” recalls Emily. “The bustle was the pièce de résistance, and in retrospect, perhaps I should have picked a style more about the front than the back. I did love my rehearsal dinner outfit, a blue Oscar de la Renta number that was just stunning.”
On the one thing she would change if she got a do-over . . .
“If I had to pick again, perhaps I would choose something long sleeves. I also loved Olivia Palermo’s take with the top and skirt. I definitely would have had changed when it came time to dance, too.”
On what she learned from the planning process . . .
“I had a clear vision in mind, but it’s hard to dictate everything without coming off as bridezilla. I totally see how and why wedding stylists get paid the big bucks. I just got into styling parties (at this stage it’s children’s birthday parties), but I would love to venture into the wedding space to provide aesthetic guidance for other brides . . . essentially art direct the whole process.”
On what happened afterwards . . .
“After the wedding, I felt like I’d been hit by a Mack truck! We had a gorgeous suite that I never wanted to leave, but I did drag my new husband to Bloomingdale’s to buy the biggest suitcases they had for our honeymoon. We left that Monday for Anguilla.”
On the advice she’d give those planning right now . . .
“Know that there are ebbs and flows throughout the process of getting ready for the big day,” says Emily. “You won’t be full throttle coordinating the whole time unless you have a very short engagement. There’s a darling site called Everly Wed that helps with planning and communication management since there are so many emails flying, even with a planner. Our wedding planner used to laugh at me because I literally dragged a huge three-ring binder around town . . . in it every list and how-to article I’d ever read. This would have made life so much easier!”