As some of you may know, Pasties & Petticoats HQ is based at The Bridal Studio bridal boutique in Helston (Cornwall). Here, as well as well as my full time blogging, I also occasionally get the pleasure of lending a hand to the lovely owner, my good friend Tara, working in the shop and helping brides to find their gorgeous gown.
IKR, living the dream!
When I started I must confess I figured it was just a case of playing dress ups with pretty frocks. Oh, how wrong I was! Even now I’m constantly amazed at the processes, challenges and pressures that come with running a bridal boutique.
Don’t get me wrong – I DO get to play dress ups, and I LOVE it! Helping brides choose and try on frocks, watching their eyes light up as they find ‘the one’ and selecting the perfect accessories to set off their gorgeous gown is a job like no other.
But most brides will have no idea that from the moment of stepping into a boutique, the entire experience has come come about as a labour of love, and if you’ve chosen the right boutique for you, you will have a magical experience not by chance, but because of the love and thought that the boutique owner puts into their business.
The Bridal Studio is a beautiful boutique with exceptionally high standards. Every bride can expect to receive the same level of attentive care, being treated as the gorgeous, unique individual that you are. From selecting designers, collections and sample gowns right through to the process you go through in choosing, trying and narrowing down your choices, every step of your journey has been lovingly and painstakingly honed to create a special experience for every bride that walks through the door.
Tara and I recently flew up to Harrogate in Yorkshire for the annual Bridal Buyer trade show and it was just incredible. I loved seeing what happens behind the scenes, checking out the trends for the upcoming season and being inspired by the catwalk shows.
The exhibition spanned several cavernous halls covering over 2 square miles and featuring well over 180 exhibitors. This covered everything from bridalwear, accessories and menswear to boutique supplies from hangers and bags to dress steamers and mannequins.
Our time was mostly spent visiting existing designers and checking out new ones, viewing new collections and choosing new sample gowns for The Bridal Studio. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to make Tara buy everything, and my role of Chief Champagne Drinker.
Champagne Bar and pretty dresses aside, it was fascinating to see the way the buying process works and in all honesty after two days of ivory frocks I was snow blind! With so many thousands of dresses to choose from I take my hat off to boutique owners who have the huge responsibility of choosing which ones will grace the rails of their store. Knowing what their brides might like and trying to order a good range of both styles and sizes really is a challenge.
I could ramble about it all day but suffice to say, it was an amazing experience and I hope that next time you go into a bridal boutique, you might just look at it a little differently.