Heather Cunningham had dreamed of this day since she was a little girl and it was better than anything she could have ever imagined! Shortly after the proposal, wedding planning ensued. Due to the fact that Heather was one of the first of her friends to say “yes,” she didn’t have many people to go to for help and ideas. She had no clue how crazy planning a wedding on Long Island could be and she needed assistance!
In August of 2016, Heather had the idea to create a space that would fill this void for all local brides. Brides of Long Island (BOLI) was created with its goal to serve as a bridal resource to locate information, wedding ideas, and recommendations. Heather believed that local Brides truly need to connect with other Long Island brides. Word of the group spread fast as the group’s kindness, sound ideas, and inclusion spread throughout the Island. Because of the group’s quick growth, she needed additional assistance to manage and maintain its integrity. Soon Caitlyn and Suzanne came on board to help Heather maintain the group’s core beliefs and original purpose- a sisterhood of brides who welcome and assist to ensure every bride has her dream wedding.
Month after month, hundreds of brides became official Brides of Long Island. In June 2017, Heather’s wedding day finally came and she truly couldn’t thank her members enough for all of the help they provided her throughout the planning of her special day. When she returned from her honeymoon, Heather Cunningham made a decision she will never regret. She left her full-time job in NYC to fully pursue her wedding industry enterprise and give back to the group she created.
She took this chance by opening a store for Long Island brides. Wedding Warehouse opened its doors in December of 2017. This wedding emporium sells wedding decor, apparel, jewelry, and hairpieces all hand-selected by Heather. One of Wedding Warehouse’s unusual features allows recent brides to sell their pre-owned wedding decor at the store, because what else are you supposed to do with all that wedding stuff?!
With membership now in the thousands, even more help was needed. In August of 2018, Simone, Brittany, and Danielle joined the team, assisting Heather and the BOLI board. They have provided the time and dedication needed to keep BOLI the safe-haven it is for today’s brides.
Of course, we need to mention the tons of parties and events the board throws for their members, which help them forget wedding planning for a few hours and really enjoy a night out on the town. Every year they host The Brides of Long Island Summer Soiree, where local vendors give away over $100,000 worth of wedding services and goods.
BOLI often comes together to help brides in need. There have been multiple instances where a bride or her fiancé has suffered a tragic accident, and the group always bands together to help in any way they can! In 2019 even with everything else going on between the group and the store, Heather and Michael Cunningham welcomed their first child, Cole, into the world. Heather decided to take some time off to be at home with her new family and to recover, which only lasted a full three weeks before heading back into work!
In May, Wedding Warehouse decided to expand; knocking down a wall, the store is now double the size and carries twice as many items for the Brides of Long Island.
As Brides of Long Island continues to expand, our legacy will grow as well. The website is BOLI’s newest outlet for brides. Heather felt that although the group remains exclusive for Brides, she could create a place for our local professionals to have the spotlight to connect to brides in need of their services. We will continue to update our story as it unfolds, so be sure to stay tuned!