This behind the scenes discussion comes from the owner of All Brides Beautiful in Hudson, Ohio. Gown images are from Corwin’s Bridal Salon in downtown Chico.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: The biggest misconception when searching for the perfect wedding dress is to try on as many gowns as possible. Doing so actually overwhelms most brides and tends to confuse the selection process. Finding the silhouette that best compliments the bride-to-be’s body architecture is paramount. The vision that the bride-to-be has of herself on her wedding day, as well as the venue for her wedding, must also be taken into consideration when selecting the dress of her dreams. Finally, setting a flexible budget and communicating that to your sales associate, will narrow the search and make the process much more enjoyable.
Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their wedding gown vendor? What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a bridal salon?
A: When selecting a bridal boutique, it is best to find a salon that is full-service with an experienced staff and alterations department. This will ensure that the bride-to-be will have the best fit for the most important dress of her life. A meticulously altered strapless gown, for example, will stay put on the bride, eliminating the need to pull it up during the day-long event. A reputable bridal salon will know what style changes can be made to their gowns and offer alterations at a competitive rate. The bride-to-be and her family need to know that an experienced seamstress is like a reliable auto mechanic: talent and experience deserve time and compensation.Making an appointment at the bridal salon lets the staff prepare a room, and a consultant, to assist the bride-to-be with her wedding gown selection and coordinating accessories. A full-service bridal salon will have an appealing collection of veils, shoes & jewelry, as well as trained staff that can create a complete bridal look. With that in mind, one of the biggest mistakes we have seen is when a bride-to-be purchases her gown at a chain store, or on-line, and then tries to find accessories to match without her gown. In order for her to achieve the correct style of veil, or complimentary jewelry, the bride-to-be would need to drag her dress with her, risking possible damage to her precious gown. Bridal salons could ask for a consultation fee for this service, so it is best to select a salon that has all that the bride-to-be needs.
Q: What is the one thing a bride should save on when booking with you?
A: The bride-to-be should take advantage of any promotions that are available at our salon. Trunk shows are a smart way to shop for your wedding gown. There is a larger selection of the featured designer’s newest styles shipped to the salon and a 10% discount is offered when a gown is ordered during the trunk show. We have a fall veil promotion that offers the bride-to-be a free veil of her choice with the order of a new gown. When a gown is purchased from our salon, the bridal party receives a 10% discount on their dresses. A couple of our bridesmaid designers also advertise a fall promotion with an additional 10% off. These designers boast fashion forward styles that are recycled by bridesmaids as party apparel for future occasions. This is quite an appealing prospect for a woman investing in a bridesmaid dress.For the bride-to-be that has a lower wedding gown budget, but still wants a quality wedding gown from a personal boutique, it is appropriate to ask if the salon has sample gowns for sale at a discount. We have discontinued couture designer gowns available to purchase off-the-rack for up 75% off their retail value.
Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: We love to carry unique and elegant fabrics. So, splurging on a lush, dreamy fabric will make the bride-to-be feel and look magnificent on her wedding day. Our gowns are crafted luxuriously inside and out, with smooth silk against her skin, the bride-to-be will not want to take her gown off! For full figured brides, splurging on the appropriate undergarments is essential. She will want not only comfort and support, but expertise on how her bustier will incorporate into her gown for a seamless and precise fit.
Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever. Alternatively, you can answer to what is the worst mistake a person in your industry can make?
A: The worst mistake a bridal salon can make is to ignore a potential client. We have heard many stories about salons that get disgruntled by future brides that just walk-in to have fun trying on gowns. Yes, it does cost the salon a good deal of money in consultant salaries to work with a client for an hour, or more, who has no intention of purchasing from their store. Some sales associates become frustrated, and even annoyed, at a bride-to-be who does not bring her mother to try on gowns ~ they do not take her seriously.
Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: For the professional woman who is planning her wedding, while juggling a full time career and other responsibilities, All Brides Beautiful pampers her with comfortable, private fitting rooms and a knowledgeable consultant that will find an answer to any question or concern the bride-to-be might have. We go out of our way to look for that special accessory, or coordinating flower girl dress, even if it is not part of our inventory. We work closely with our select designers to have each item tailored to the bride-to-be’s individuality. We can customize many of our gowns and accessories to become truly unique masterpieces of fashion design.
Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their bridal salon?
A: When signing a wedding gown contract it is wise to understand the timing schedule for the manufacturing of the gown, along with the time needed for fittings and alterations. Allowing ample time between fittings will save the bride-to-be money on rush alterations. Other questions a savvy bride-to-be asks: Does the bridal salon charge extra for storage of the gown once it arrives? Are there additional fees for bagging and pressing of the gown? What is the best way to transport my gown?
Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Our favorite clients are excited to be getting married! These happy brides-to-be have researched our salon on-line, made an appointment, are thrilled to tell us about their upcoming wedding, and are open to style suggestions. Personal attention and quality selection are what our sophisticated brides know they will find at All Brides Beautiful.