Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is Blue?

First a test of your color knowledge--
Can you picture what these colors look like? Passion, Cognac, Clove, Clover, Olive, Dusty Blue, Regal Blue, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Topaz Blue, Plum, Amethyst, Eggplant, Rose, Primrose, Leaf, Fern
This list leaves me very confused. Are leaf and fern the same color or something different? How about Clove and Clover? I think of Clove as a spice which is brown in the container but the designer has it as a green shade. Passion fruit is a red/pink but passion fabric is purple. I thought that Plum and Eggplant were the same but find they are different.
Where do all of these come from and why does it have to be so confusing?

One of the first decisions a brides makes about her wedding day is the color of the bridesmaid gown. These colors can come from their favorite outfit to a sentimental stuffed animal from the groom. But what does that mean when the brides goes gown shopping and cannot match the color of choice with the style of gown choice? Here are some things to consider before making a final choice on color and style.

1. All companies are free to name colors whatever they want.
So if you go into a store looking for an apple dress, it could be red or it could be green. Yellow may be bright or pastel or something in between. So if you are considering a certain shade, do
not use a specific name. Have a swatch of what you are looking for. Brides have used paint swatches, ribbon pieces or just about anything else that shows the color. You do not want to miss out on the perfect gown because you are thinking pink and the bridal consultant is looking for purple.

2. Be flexible.
Just because the county fair offered a monkey in the most beautiful shade of pink that you would like for your bridesmaid, the same shade may not be available from bridesmaid designers. This can and will cause major headaches when there is no room for compromise. Be willing to find the closest match in the perfect style for all your bridesmaids.

After working with hundreds of brides and bridesmaids, who is the easiest to please? Those without lots of preconceived ideas. Yes, you should have something in mind about your bridesmaid style or color but be willing to look at all the options.
If the brides knows that she would like something blue, then she is open to all the designers. Therefore if she fall in love with a specific style of gown, she does not need to worry that it will not be available in her color.
One of my first suggestions would be to consider style before color. You know the size and shape of your bridesmaid, so find something that will look good on all the body types. Then see what is available from the designer. You may need to change the color just a little depending upon what the designer offers.

Horror Story from the past:
I once had a bride looking for bridesmaid dresses. This was some time ago, so I don't even recall what color she was wanting. She comes into the shop with a bouquet for the wedding. Someone in her family was making the flowers and already had one done. The problem what that the flowers did not match anything from any of the almost 20 designers that I carry. So I suggested that maybe they change the flowers a little. Well she almost cried--they had already purchased all the flowers for all the bouquets, reception decoration, ceremony decoration and anything else you can think of for the wedding and reception. The only thing she didn't have was the gowns. So I started suggesting maybe a black gown that would show off the flowers or champagne that would go with anything. But she was determined to have the color she wanted. Obviously, this was not a good situation for anyone.

So when considering colors options for weddings, look at all that is out there. Many designers now offer over 50 color choices. The same is true for tuxedo companies with vest colors. Although I usually say that we can match anything, there are some exceptions. Remember to check them all out before making a large purchase that you cannot match.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Copycat websites

I was scanning an article in this month's issue of Vows Magazine about knock-off websites. The article has lots of great information that I would like to share with everyone but today is a really busy day getting ready for the weddings this weekend. So for now I will just pass along some websites that are known to be knock-off sites with very poor quality merchandise.
These companies have been known for:
1. Taking money and sending no dress
2. Sending a different gown than the one pictured
3. Sending a gown with different fabric and/or beading than the one pictured.
4. Sending a different size than the one ordered

I personally know some of the designers that have ordered gowns from these websites to pursue lawsuits against them to not use the designer's pictures to make knock-offs. I know these knock-off companies do not produce quality products.

As always, don't do business with someone you don't trust.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Say Yes to the Dress

Over the past month, I have watched Say Yes to the Dress a few time. I have learned some things and I think brides can learn so much by watching other brides' experiences.
The one reoccurring theme that keeps coming up is that someone the bride brings to the appointment is trying to talk her out of the gown she really loves. It ranges from the mother, mother-in-law to be, the maid of honor, best friend, fiance, and the list continues. The show that I watched last night even had a person who works in the store looking for a gown. She is aware of the problems that others have had with bringing the wrong friend but stated that she just didn't think it would happen to her.
I think this is always what the bride thinks. My friends, mother, so on, are so close to me that they will automatically like the same thing that I like. Well, sometimes weddings are different. So here are some things to consider when deciding who to bring to the salon to try on gowns.

1. Mother- Although your mother is usually the first choice be aware of how the two of you shop together. Do you always agree on clothing styles or do you disagree. If you do not agree on everyday clothing, chances are you will also not agree on wedding attire. But if Mom is holding the purse strings, she will definitely want to be a part of the shopping experience. Just be ready for some tough decisions if you are not in agreement.

2. Newly married friend (or any friend)- Chances are that someone in your wedding party is newly married if this is your first wedding. Beware! Although they may not have been pushy or bossy in the past, somehow planning their own wedding makes them an expert on all weddings. Some ex-brides want to try to fix everything that went wrong with their own weddings or do things they were not able to do in their weddings through someone else. Other just don't want someone else to have a "better" wedding in their perspective than they had. I had kept a couple of secrets from my bridesmaid until the day of the wedding. Just before going down the aisle, one of them stated to me, "You always did have to be different and better than anyone else." Ouch! Was I shocked. Luckily, that was the worst of it.

3. Fiance- The owner at the Atlanta store, Lori, has a strict southern policy that the groom should be nowhere near the store while the bride is trying on gowns. In this modern age there are many couples that do not put much stock in the old superstitions but just remember that if you are having a difficult time trying to make a decision, maybe it is because he is there. Are you still thinking that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride in the gown before the day of the wedding? Also are you thinking about the wow factor when he sees you coming down the aisle? Maybe it really does make a difference to you.

So just remember that you do not need multiple people helping you to decide on the gown of your dreams. Be very selective on who to invite to the salon. I have worked with brides who come in alone or with just one other person. Sometimes they will want someone else to see the gown before making the final decision which is also okay. I have also worked with much larger groups that have been really great. The key is finding the right combination for you.

My final advice:

A. As always, don't give your money to someone you don't trust. If you are not happy with the salon, find another one.

B. Don't be pressured into buying something by someone. This includes someone from the salon or your friend, mother or fiance.

C. If you don't find the gown of your dreams on the first visit, that is okay. If at anytime during the appointment, you are uncomfortable, ask to end this appointment and make a new one. I would much rather have a second chance with a bride than to have buyers remorse later. If the problem is someone who came with you, don't ask them along the next time. If the problem is the consultant, ask for a new one the next time. If the problem is the salon, go to a different one.

D. And the final thing to remember is that, it is YOUR day. Well,the groom can share a little bit, but even most grooms feel that the day is for the bride. Don't be afraid to stand up for what you want in a gown. (This also applies to the bridesmaid gowns. They are a part of YOUR day. They should be willing to sacrifice for what you want.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tuxedo Rentals

Tuxedo rentals are one of the trickiest parts of a wedding for most wedding professionals. There are many late Friday afternoons and early Saturday mornings that someone enters the shop with a problem on a tuxedo rental. Many of these problems come from other stores who will not fix the problem they created. If you do not want this last minute headache, then read this post to avoid this much unwanted situation.

1. When to order tuxedos?
First of all, you need to understand that when a tux is ordered, has nothing to do with when it will be shipped to the store. Tuxedo suppliers like Jim's Formalwear, need to rent these suits almost every weekend to have cash flow to keep the inventory fresh and updated. So they will not be sending a tuxedo to someone who does not need it for 2 or 3 weeks. Here is a sample scenario:
A. Store measures customer and places order with supplier.
B. The Monday of the event (yes, only 5 days prior to the wear date), the supplier will start
putting the pieces together of your order.
C. Tuesday, the supplier will box orders to ship. Some will use UPS while others have their
own delivery van service. In certain cases, UPS will pick up the same day but
sometimes it will be Wednesday.
D. Wednesday, the order goes out for delivery. If the company uses it own van service, the
store will receive it the same day. If UPS is used, the delivery could be 1 to 2 days.
E. Late Wednesday or Thursday, the delivery arrives at the store. The wedding
professional will check the delivery to ensure proper delivery, then call the customer to
let them know the order has arrived.
F. Depending upon the guidelines of the store, the customer can pick up the tuxedo
between Wednesday and Friday. I will explain more about this later.

2. So why do you need to order a tux 6 weeks in advance of the wedding?
With technology today, all tuxedo suppliers are run on computer systems. The computer keeps track of all the orders and will let the supplier know when a certain style or accessory is booked for a given wear date. So if the style of coat or vest that you would like to have for your special day is really popular, it will book up fast. This is especially true during prom season. So the sooner the order is placed with the supplier, the sooner your styles and sizes are placed on hold for your special occasion.
I often tell people that I can have a tuxedo in 2 to 3 days but it may not be your first choice of color or size. Therefore, I recommend having your measurements taken and the order placed at least 6 weeks before any special occasion. If you don't have that much time, just remember to be flexibly with the styles you are considering. You may need to have a second choice in mind, just in case your first choice is booked.

3. How do I know if the tuxedo that comes to the store will fit me?
This is a matter of trusting the individual taking your measurements. Tuxedo measurements will NOT be the same as most regular clothing. If you are a business professional and wear suits on a regular basis, the measurement should be very similar. But they will not be the same size as your Levi's. Just to give you an example: My son wears a 38 waist jeans but for prom I ordered him a 41 waist pair of pants and they fit perfectly. The waist is the hardest part to fit.
So when considering which shop to place your order, ask some questions. Find out who takes the measurements and how long they have been working there. Learning the tricks to measuring for a tuxedo takes some time. If you feel the measurement are not correct, have them checked by a manager at a later time.
Also ask about the store policy with items that do not fit. What happens if you pick up your tuxedo on Friday afternoon and the pants are too long, the shirt too tight and the shoes do not fit? What will the company do? This is very important. Some store will just tell you that nothing can be done. Others will go out of their way to make things right. This is important to know before the pick up date.

So here are some things that I do at my store to make renting a tuxedo as painless as possible.
A. I have 14 years of experience measuring for tuxes. Almost 90% of my customers are measured by me personally. This adds up to over 5500 measurements. If you are not measured by me, I check all orders and personally place them with the supplier. So if something does not look right, I will call the customer to ask them questions or have them return to the store to be measured again.
B. If tuxedos are delivered to me early, I get them to the customer early. I do not want to wait to know until Friday afternoon that something doesn't fit. Many stores have a strict policy of not notifying customers until Friday for pick-ups.
C. If there is a problem, I can make adjustment until the close of business on Friday. Actually, I can go even later if I am notified at home. My supplier is only 45 minutes from the store. So I can leave home about 7 am on Saturday morning, pick up any replacements needed and return to the shop by opening time at 9 am. This is not an option some stores have who do business with a supplier that is several hours from their store. They must place replacement orders by Friday afternoon for Saturday UPS delivery and pay a hefty UPS fee. Some stores simply will not do this for customers.

And finally, here are the two biggest things to remember about planning a special occasion:

NEVER do business with someone you do not like or trust. There are plenty of great wedding professionals out there who will treasure your business and treat you right.

And, NOTHING can be done to fix the problem on Monday after the fact. If you do not let someone know about the problem, they cannot fix it. If the business is not willing to fix the problem, refer back to number 1 and let all your friends know who not to do business with. BUT if you did not ask to have the problem fixed, do not blame the wedding professional.

Although planning a special occasion can and will be very stressful, find friends, family and business professionals to make your dreams come true as painlessly as possible. Happy Planning!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Return to power

I can't believe it has been so long since I wrote for the blog. So many things have gotten in the way. I did enjoy an incredible 10 day vacation with my family in Colorado. But about 2 weeks before leaving, my computer crashed. I finally got it to come on, but was not able to connect to the internet. And with the anticipation and extra work at the shop to get ready for vacation, I simply did without a computer for a few days. This is much harder than it seems. I have always said that I am not tied to my electronic devices, but during the last three weeks, I have spent lots of time wondering what I am missing by not being connected!
So luckily, I now have the use of my husband's laptop and can continue to keep everyone updated on the wedding business. And I have lots of new information to share.
About one month ago, I attended a conference with Steve Lang, the owner of Mon Cheri, a large bridal company. He oversees the making of several thousand gowns each year for weddings, proms and special occasions. This is not a company that I have done business with in the past but welcomed the opportunity to learn more about his business and take advantage of his willingness to share ideas to make my business better. He provided some great insight into how gowns are produced in China, steps taken to ensure good quality and how the Chinese economy is changing and how that will affect the United States.
I really enjoyed getting to know the designers of the Mon Cheri gowns and admire the hard work that they have put into this operation. I am giving serious consideration to which lines I will be able to have in my store in the next year but until then, if you want any of the lines from Mon Cheri, there are several other retailers that will help with your selection. I know this may seem unusual to send business to another store, but I am so thankful for the learning opportunity from Steve, I feel that one way to repay his caring and kindness is to continue sending him customers.
I also believe that if retailers would work together instead of trying to undercut each other, the customer would have a much better experience. Which in turn would create more business for the retailer by good word of mouth advertising.
So until next time, remember to always do business with someone you like and trust!! I have made it a policy to never give my money to someone who is not nice to me. This can be for anything from groceries to wedding gowns!! And I also have found that paying a little extra for the friendly, exceptional service is worth it in the long run.
This has always been the best compliment that anyone can give me as a retail store owner, not that I have the best prices but the best and kindest service. Anyone can be the cheapest dealer on the block, but only a few can truly be the best in service.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I got the ring! Now what?

Congratulations you are engaged!
Now what!!!

There are so many things to plan for a wedding, where do you start? Most people would probably say, pick a date. I think you need to do some research before you set the date. Many brides are not aware of what goes into selecting and purchasing a wedding gown. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. To give brides an idea of where to start looking for a gown and what to expect once they have started the process.

So here are some suggestions of what to do after you have the ring.

1. Do some research. This can be in a magazine or online. See what types of styles are available and which ones appeal to you.

2. Set a budget. Give some serious thought about the amount that you are willing to spend on a gown. If you have done your research or watch the bridal reality shows, you may not think that you will be able to have the gown of your dreams. Most of the magazines and shows feature gowns with price tags over $5000. Be assured that gowns are available in all price ranges. Most bridal stores fall into one of three categories: 1. Moderate (prices $300-800) 2. Mid-range (prices $800-$2000) 3. Couture (prices over $2000) . There are many more stores in the 1 and 2 categories than the 3.

3. Research the stores you would like to visit. Determine which bridal lines they carry, what price ranges are available, if you need an appointment to try on gowns and how long it takes to order a gown. The amount of time to order a gown is very important if you are thinking about a short engagement.

Once you have done your research, then you can start thinking about a wedding date (and wedding gowns, bridesmaids, flower girls, tuxes, invitations, unity candles, veils, shoes, catering, cakes, ........)

Just remember this is a once in a lifetime experience. Make the most of it!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Troubles in China

For those of you that do not know, almost all wedding gown companies have factories in China that produce their gowns. This includes wedding gowns, bridesmaids, mothers and flower girl gowns. This has been the case for many years. The Chinese factories have been able to produce great gowns at great prices which have allowed thousands of brides to have the gown of their dream without breaking the bank. Gowns from China which retail in the $500 range would easily be in the $2000 range if made in the United States. And since there were not workers in the United States that wanted these types of jobs, going to China was a good deal for the bridal industry.

But now the workforce is changing in China. The unemployment rate in China is almost 0%. If someone is working at a factory in China and is not satisfied with the hours, pay, management, or anything else, they simply move to the next factory down the street. All the factories are competing for a record low number of people available to fill these jobs. One reason for the low number of workers is the restriction on Chinese families to have only two children which has greatly reduced the number of people entering into the workforce.

What does this mean for imports into the United States? With the shift in the workforce, some factories are scrambling to keep enough workers to fill orders placed for goods to be shipped to the United States. Some factories are almost completely empty and will not be shipping out product as expected to several companies in the United States or the orders will be very slow coming out of the factories.

How does this affect the bridal industry? This question can only be answered by the company from which you are ordering a gown. Many bridal companies have well established factories with loyal workers and are having no difficulties keeping workers and fulfilling orders. Others are struggling to keep pace. I know of some bridal salons with orders that are over one month late with no clear date of when the order will arrive in their store. This is a very scary situation for an industry that is so date sensitive. Clearly if your wear date is close to the ship date and a company is running several weeks behind, you will not be getting the gown of your dreams for the wedding.

So what are your options going forward? This depends upon your situation.
1. You have already purchased a gown that you are waiting to arrive at a store.
a. Check with your salon for the approximate ship date of your gown. Please remember that the dates given to you are only APPROXIMATE. Although many factories will do everything possible to make sure your gowns arrive on time, they will not consider themselves to be LATE until 2 weeks after the original date of delivery. The ship date also does not include shipping time to your store. So if your ship date is July 1 and the designer you ordered from is on the opposite side of the country from you, you will need to add another 5 to 7 days to have the gown in the store.
b. About one week before the approximate ship date, contact your salon to see if the shipment is running on time. Some factories are better than others about letting stores know if they are not running on schedule. So don't blame your salon if they say they will have the gown as scheduled and it does not arrive. Most stores will do everything possible to ensure a timely delivery but cannot do so if the factory is not truthful with them.
c. If your ship date is within two weeks of your wear date, have a plan B! In the past I would have said this was not necessary but with the current situation in China, it never hurts. Talk to your salon to see if they have something on the rack that you can trade for the gown you ordered. Again, all salons want to see a happy bride in the gown of their dreams but don't be unrealistic about a replacement gown. The biggest difference with bridal, is that it is special order. Once a gown arrives in a store, whether special order or for stock, the salon has to pay for it. The factory will only take a gown back if it is damaged. So if a store works with you on a replacement gown, they are still going to be paying for the gown that you special ordered because they cannot cancel the order. Every store realizes this is a terrible situation for everyone involved but with everyone working together, you can still have a beautiful wedding day.

2. If you are just beginning your search for the perfect gown, what should you consider?
a. PLAN, PLAN PLAN! Since this column is already pretty long, I am going to write the next one on time lines for purchasing a wedding gown. I think the major key is going to be to purchase a gown far in advance of the wear date. So if a salon tells you 10 to 12 weeks, plan on 18 to 20. If you do not have that much time before the wedding, find a designer with shorter ship times or opt for a rush cut. It may be a few extra dollars but worth not having the hassle of making a plan B.
b. Don't look at everything as the cup being half empty. There are still plenty of designers with great factories in China that are meeting their ship dates or are even early! So once again, make sure you are working with a salon that you trust to tell you the truth. I have two current companies that have been great with shipping over the past two months, so would never hesitate to order from them on a close wear date. Another company has stopped taking some rush cuts, so that concerns me a little, but they have not missed any ship dates to this point. I will watch them closely.

So wherever you at on your journey to a beautiful wedding, I wish you the best of luck. And as always if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Family Time

Although my thoughts are usually of weddings and special occasions, I need to take a break to thank my wonderful niece for her duty to our country. She landed today in Afghanistan and will be there for the next six months. While she is there serving our country, her husband will also be busy at his post in the United States. Their 15 month old son will be with my brother and sister-in-law. It is really great having the little one so near us now, but we are all praying every minute for this family to be reunited as soon as possible.
I am so thankful for all our service personnel, past and present. Please keep them all in your prayers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bridal Equals Service

In the fourteen years, that I have been involved with the bridal business, many things have changed. Some things have changed for the better but not everything. One item that many independently owned bridal stores pride themselves on is customer service. This will never change. In this post, I would like to explain to the younger generation what kind service to expect from a bridal store.
The main priority is individualized service: This means that you should have the full attention of the bridal consultant during your appointment time. This consultant should help you look for the type of gown you are interested in purchasing, help you try on these gowns, give you suggestions about how the gown fits your body type and if changes can be made to the gown to make it your dream dress. The consultant should also inform you of the time line required to order the gown, make alterations and have the gown ready for your special day.
Of course, this service will vary depending upon the store you select. Here are some things to know before you select which stores to visit.
a. If a store is very small, there may only be one person working each shift. Therefore if you do not schedule an appointment to try on gowns, you may not have individualized service. I know that I have had days in my store when there were no appointments on the book but had 3 to 4 brides show up at about the same time to try on gowns. I had to do my best to divide my attention between them. Although I do not require an appointment, it is preferred so that several brides are not scheduled at the same time or an extra consultant is available for added appointments. In our "fast food" world of today where few people want to be bothered with appointments or reservation, I do offer an added discount for those brides who take the time to make an appointment.
b. Some stores will not allow anyone to try on gowns who does not have an appointment. So don't spend lots of time on the road to visit a particular store to only be told that you cannot try on any gowns because you do not have an appointment. Plan ahead.
c. Also realize that larger stores have many consultants. So if you visited the store and really liked the consultant that worked with you, there is no guarantee that the same consultant will be scheduled for your next appointment. Again, if you plan ahead, you should be able to schedule an appointment with the same consultant from the first appointment. On the other hand if you did not like your first consultant, do not settle for her/him for a second appointment. Remember that you are the customer and the store is servicing you. If they truly want your business, they will give you a new consultant.
d. Is there an advantage working with the owner or manager instead of a hired consultant? Certainly! The difference is getting the answers to the questions you have about gowns. If it is important to you to have a direct line to the answers you need, you may want to select a small independent store where the owner works every day. In these stores, there is only one person who takes the order, places the order, checks that the order is on time, receives the order, inspects the order, presses the order and finally gives the order to you. As you can see, in a large store there could be a different person for each of these tasks who do not personally know you. Things can get lost or misplaced. They do not know exactly which gown you ordered so will not be aware of a wrong style number or size until you see the gown.

There are so many things to consider at this most precious time in your life. Please take some time to plan carefully. Here are some questions you need to answer before purchasing your wedding attire.
1. Do I like the idea of making an appointment or just showing up to shop?
2. Did I receive the service I expected at my appointment?
3. What did the consultant do that I liked?
4. What did the consultant do that I didn't like?
5. Did I feel pressured to make a purchase on the first visit?
6. Did I feel that the store valued my business?
If you are not completely satisfied with your answers to these questions, keep looking. As I stated before, you are the customer and have the final decision on how you spend your money.

My final three words of wisdom about the bridal industry are:

1. NEVER GIVE YOUR MONEY TO SOMEONE THAT YOU DON'T LIKE! This applies to anything you do. If you are not happy with the business you are doing business with, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! You never have to settle for bad service or rude behavior.
2. What if you found the gown of your dreams at the store with the terrible service? This is why you need to plan ahead. Do some research about what each store carries. Look at the designers on the store websites or look for store names on designer websites. You will quickly find out that the best designers are available at numerous stores. So unless you select a gown that has been discontinued, you should be able to find the gown in another store. If you cannot get the gown somewhere else, you still may have fewer headaches selecting a new gown than dealing with terrible service.
3. Although many websites feature the horror stories about weddings, there are hundreds of reputable bridal salons. There are plenty of really good people working in the bridal industry that live to make brides happy. If you don't already know one of these people, ask around. It is very likely that someone you trust will know where to find a great bridal salon. But the last word of warning is to remember that people do make mistakes. Hopefully it won't happen to your wedding, but if it does, give the store a chance to correct the mistake. A truly genuine store will bend over backwards to correct a problem. I think this is a whole new post, so read the next one on how to handle the problems.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Passion for Weddings

To truly understand where I get my passion for my business, you need to understand a little about my family. From the time I can remember, I have attended family weddings for aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends that are like family. Almost every wedding is a royal occasion with numerous bridesmaids, groomsmen and guests. In the Midwest, many wedding are not formal affairs with seating charts and sit down dinners but rather a big celebration with lots of food and fun. The guest list includes all your family and friends and the occasion is talked about for years at the family reunion. Now with the invention of social networking, I have even seen pictures from weddings I attended many years ago and fondly remember special moments with the bride and groom. When it was time to plan my own wedding, I wanted nothing less than all the things I had grown up seeing, 7 bridemaids, 7 groomsmen, flowergirl, 2 ringbearers, 400+ guests, huge buffet dinner with a band for dancing into the night. What more could a girl want?
But while thinking about my business plan and why this is so important to me, I realized that one of the most important things for the wedding day was the ceremony. I spent more hours planning the ceremony that almost any other single item of my wedding. I thought about which song to sing at what time, what scripture readings to read and exactly how everything would fit together. Although I wanted a great reception, I was content to have someone else to plan most of that, mainly my mother. But the ceremony was all me. Why? I guess I have to go back to the family history. I have parents, grandparents and many sets of aunts and uncles that have been married for over 50 years. For them and for me, the wedding was a once in a lifetime occasion. It had to be just right the first time, because there was not going to be a second opportunity.
Fast forward 10 years after my wedding. My friend who owned the local bridal store in Rushville, Indiana was wanting to retire. I had enjoyed planning my wedding and attending so many others, that I thought this would be a perfect fit for me. I also wanted to include my mother who had done so many things for my wedding. So I purchased her business in the summer of 1996.
At first I wanted to take on all aspects of wedding planning, consulting, ordering gowns, renting tuxedos and everything else imaginable for weddings. I soon realized that I needed to be a little more specialized. So today, I have all types of attire for everyone in the wedding party and a few accessory items for the ceremony and reception.
As I continue this blog, I will include information about all types of gowns from various designers, tuxedos and many accessories.
Until next time, have a great time at your next special occasion!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

First Blog

WOW! I am so excited to finally have the chance to write about my passion. This is something that I have wanted to do for some time but just wasn't sure about. I am not a computer expert so I had to do some research about what type of blog to write and how to "put it out there".
While studying the different types of blogs and what can be done with them, I also found lots of information about how different companies are using blogs to help improve their business. But being in a very small rural town in middle America, I just wasn't sure that a blog would be that beneficial to The Bridal Boutique.
But as I work with my customers, I realized that many of their questions are the same and if a blog was available, I could save time answering question. And in the long run that would benefit my business. I would have more time to concentrate on bringing in more customers. Or more time to blog!
So my first priority with this blog is to educate people about formal wear for weddings, proms and any other special occasion you can imagine. Secondly, if it generates more business for The Bridal Boutique that would be great but not overly expected. Third, is to connect with others who have a passion for wedding and special occasion.
That will be the topic of my next post, "Where did I get this passion for weddings?" Until then, I hope you have a great time planning whatever special occasion is coming up next in your life!