Confessions of a Bridal Consultant: A behind-the-scenes tell all, from the gal who stands behind the bride. Always!
Today, Bride Blogger Saritah is sharing a very unique perspective. As a bride-to-be herself AND a bridal consultant by profession, she knows a thing or two about finding the perfect wedding dress!
Confession Zero: I am a Verette.
Yes, I am a bridal consultant for Vera’s House of Bridals, right here in Madison, WI. This may seem like a shameless plug, cause it is. But, stay with be here, not only have I experienced the wedding dress buying process, multiple times as a consultant but, as a bride myself I have also gone through my own personal wedding dress shopping journey. And I am proud to say that I work for the best wedding dress shop in the Midwest. And that is not a biased opinion (ok, maybe a little) but I have visited wedding dress stores all over the state and even in Illinois and I tell you what, nothing beats Vera’s. NOTHING! And I’ll tell you why: Customer service. Vera’s has been in business for over 50 years. We’ve seen it all. We’ve learned what not to do. We’ve figured out what works to make brides happy. We offer full-service. We help ALL the women in the wedding.
Confession: We love what we do! Period.
We are very passionate about helping brides find a dress that’s exceeds their expectations. Maybe that means finding the dress that they’ve been dreaming about, or maybe it’s finding the dress that they couldn’t even have imagined.
Confession: We do not want to please your family. And neither should you.
Don’t get me wrong, one of the reasons Vera’s has been in business for over 50 years is because of our dedication to exceptional customer service. But ultimately we serve the bride first. Yes, we want everyone to have a wonderful experience but above all else we listen to our bride. We seek out her voice amongst the sea of chatter. Even when she isn’t speaking, which happens a lot. Brides want input, they want to hear what everyone thinks. But in reality they want to hear that everyone thinks and feels the same way they do. But that’s just not always a possibility. So you have to be able to find your inner voice, and oftentimes we feel like therapists trying to convince our brides that it doesn’t matter what their friends and family think.
Really truly the only opinion that counts is yours. Yes, you want everyone to love your dress but you have to be willing to accept the possibility that they won’t. It is nearly impossible for everyone to love your dress because everyone has a different style. And oftentimes it’s hard for people to separate their personal preferences and style from what your preferences are. And that is usually what creates conflict. Your mother may want you to try on a giant poofy glitzy ballgown when you specifically said that you’re looking for a fitted style. Why? Because that is the dream your mother had for you. She is unable to separate what she wants from what you want and are asking for. If you use your wedding dress finding experience to please your family you will never be able to please yourself. And ultimately you have to wear the dress, you have to look at pictures 10, 20, 30 years down the road and be able to say to yourself, “I really loved my dress” then and now. You absolutely, 100% do not want to look at your pictures and say my mom really loved my dress.
Confession: We don’t care what your body looks like. And neither should you.
In an effort to make my brides feel comfortable, and ultimately meet them on a level woman to woman, I always like to say “whatever you got I got.” Boobs? Yup, I got them. Nipples? Yup, I got em. Stretch marks, got those too. Cellulite, you betcha. That weird mole that you’ve gotten checked out and is benign but still looks at you in a funny way. Yup, got that too. That birthmark that nobody knows is there until you want to wear something that makes you feel super sexy. Yes, that too I have. That scar you got when you were a kid that everyone told you would be better by the time you would married … Yeah, I’ve got one of those.
Let’s be real, we’re women. We’re real women. Sometimes there are parts of our body that aren’t our favorite and you may come into one of my showrooms carrying that on your shoulder, maybe even literally, but you have to set that aside because ultimately you are way more sensitive to that than anyone else will be and oftentimes no one will notice that tiny insignificant detail about your body that you are so self-conscious about. So, accept your body. Embrace your body. Love your body, because, it’s the only one you got.
Confession: Your fiancé doesn’t care what you wear. And they shouldn’t.
When it all comes down to it, the person you’re marrying should accept you if you came down the aisle in a burlap sack. Although, with all the rustic barn wedding craze that may not be so unheard of. The point is, they are going to marry you no matter what so your ultimate goal should be to find a gown that makes you happy. A gown that makes you feel beautiful. A gown that makes you all sparkly and shiny on the inside.
Confession: We hate it when you talk behind our back.
No, really! When you say how you really feel about a dress the moment we leave the room, it doesn’t help guide us to what you’re really looking for. I always say, “I did NOT design this dress, so you are NOT going to hurt my feelings.” And it’s true. SERIOUSLY! We don’t care if you HATE a dress we bring, but, it only helps us if we know that and if we know why. And each piece of information that you give us leads us to the next clue in finding YOUR dress. So please, be BRUTALLY honest with us, it will only help us help you. Which is ultimately what we’re trying to do.
Confession: It will take a YEAR for your wedding dress to be ready to wear down the aisle.
Yes, that’s right, we’re talking 12 months. Now, if you just got engaged and your wedding is less than a year away, don’t panic just yet. But, you better hurry on in and let us help you find your dress!
There are many factors that contribute to that timeline. First of all, almost everything that you will find has to make its way all the way to the US from overseas. Whether it’s a fabric lace or some other detail, it has a long way to go. On top of that, the dressmakers manufacturer their dresses one size at a time which means your dress could come in earlier than later, but if they have just cut your size then you have to wait for them to get back around to your size again. On top of your dress taking a long time to be made and get here, you want to give yourself a good three months for alterations. That is enough time to have your fittings done and get your dress pressed and ready to walk down the aisle.
Another reason you want to start looking for your dress at least a year before your wedding is that you have to decide what the bridesmaids and mothers will wear. Yes, I said mothers with an S plural. You will have to give guidance to your future mother-in-law as well. And you can’t decide what the rest of the wedding party will wear until you decide what you are going to wear. The bride’s wedding dress really sets the tone for what the rest of the party wears. If you try to decide your bridesmaids dresses before you found your wedding gown, you may have put yourself into a hole that doesn’t end up working after you try on gowns.
Confession: Exactly what you don’t want is what you’re going to get.
Nine times out of ten brides will come in with a laundry list things of things that they don’t want, thinking they will walk out of our store buying exactly that. Or they will ask us for something very specific and they end up choosing something that is nothing like anything they described. This scenario is all too common, and that’s because you don’t know until you try it on. You may have an idea in your head about what a strapless gown is going to be like, or what you think you’re going to look like in a certain silhouette but, until you experience that on your body, you will never know what it is going to look and feel like. So, Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it!