We worked extra hard this year. Last year, too. Our staff believes as if we are # 1, and they perform and behave as if it’s a matter of fact. I am proud and blessed to walk into an atmosphere where everyone is giving it their all. We have an amazing chemistry and everyone on the team plays a part. We are like a chain. If a link is damaged, we lean on one another to strengthen it for the common purpose of providing the best possible experience for our brides, moms, maids, prom girls and attendants. The concept is simple but the application requires great effort.
So when Doris took the call from the Long Island Press this morning, we all kind of held our breath in anticipation of the results of the six week long vote for the Best Bridal Store on Long Island in which we were one of 12 stores nominated. I didn’t want to know, and I did, like covering your eyes with an open hand during a scary movie. I could stand it no longer so I headed to her office where she gave me the biggest smile and held up one finger. Emotion rushed through my body and my eyes welled with tears. I think when a blessing is made so clear and more importantly that I recognize it as a blessing, I become so infused with gratitude that it just takes over. Andrea and Tamy were there to receive the news, and their reaction was priceless. Carole jumped up and down as texts returned from Antonella, Annie and Maryellen leaped through the screen.
I don’t really think the victory was simply the glory of winning a contest that our loyal customers for over 45 years took part in. Although I am proud to come in ahead of chain stores and multiple location stores, I don’t think that was the main cause for the burst of emotion, either. I think that when you follow your heart and do what you believe is right no matter how much effort is required; and you work side by side with an amazing team with the same goal; and sometimes you let go of control and listen and put it in the Hands; and after all that, someone affirms this by telling you that what you believed all along is what others believe too; that’s magical!I would like to thank our wonderful, dedicated and loyal customers for voting for us. I would also like to thank the best staff, not only in Long Island, but anywhere, for thinking it and seeing it through. Voted #1!
For some brides, finding the right dress is easy. Often times, their observers can see a noticeable difference in a bride’s behavior or her body language when she puts on a gown that she loves. Something has changed in her facial expression, where she places her arms. The air feels a little lighter, her smile becomes bigger and everyone knows. Sometimes mom cries. Or that special someone that the bride has brought for their opinion, just reinforces the energy that the bride has created when she walks out of the dressing room.
If her bridal consultant has done her job and makes a connection with her and tunes in to her vision, she can help her select what she thinks will truly capture her personality on her wedding day. Too often, brides become overloaded. Options for dresses seem to be endless. There are so many designers, added to so many styles created by that designer, with lines that come out 2 times each year. Add that to the internet information and put it all in the bride’s brain coupled with finding the wedding venue, limousines, tuxedos, invitations, favors, choosing the bridesmaids dresses, organizing the rehearsal dinner, writing the wedding vows, and so on… it’s no wonder the term “bridezilla” has been coined. Can you blame her? So sometimes, less is actually more. A big key to lighten the wedding burden is to accept help from an experienced and caring bridal consultant. Let her do her job and she will listen to who you are, what is in your heart and how you see yourself on your wedding day. Narrow down the body type that looks best on you and combine that with the neckline you would like. If a fit and flare just isn’t showing off your incredible waistline, maybe you should keep your search to basque or traditional waistline style dresses. There are only a small handful of shapes that a gown can contain, even though there are so many different styles to choose from. Perhaps you dreamed of strapless but a v-neck looks remarkable. Stick with it. It is better to eliminate what isn’t working and proceed from there. When you find the body type and neckline, you can key in on the detail. Don’t second guess what you are feeling. If you’re feeling good, your energy will transcend in the room.
It is not necessary to go to every bridal salon from Great Neck to Montauk. Too often this is the reason for overload and the joy of bridal gown shopping too often becomes a chore. Allow the quiet voice in your soul to be heard. What is your heart telling you? If you can’t hear it, take an extra breath in the dressing room, relax and let it happen. Enjoy this experience of finding your gown. Stay in the moment, keep it as simple and pure as possible and in no time, you too will be able to say “yes” to the dress.
You come across an ad that says “Maggie Sottero Trunk Show this weekend.” What does it mean? Basically, a trunk show heightens the experience of selecting your bridal gown. Many designers have offered this option to salons in order to show more of their dresses on any given weekend, for that time only. Often times, it’s a sneak peak of what will be shipped for the upcoming season, an exclusive “preview”. You get to view and order from the designer’s brand new collection before it even hits the stores.
When a bridal salon carries a designer, it is not likely that they carry every style they offer. A trunk show is an opportunity for the salon to offer you an extended inventory from a particular designer for that short time period. An added bonus is usually a discount on these gowns that is offered exclusively during the dates of the trunk show. Since some designers prohibit discounting, waiting to purchase a gown during a trunk might be worth the wait.
A trunk show might even offer the designer in person. You may get to meet Madeline Gardiner from Mori Lee or David Tutera from Mon Cheri. When the designers make a special appearance at a trunk show, they share their knowledge and answer questions about anything; from their inspiration, why they chose a certain fabric, to what might be the best fit for you. While the bridal consultants should be skilled in this area, it is an added bonus to hear this right from the top, from the person that carefully designed each stitch of the most important piece of clothing you will ever wear. So if you are looking for a wedding dress from Allure Bridals that you cannot find anywhere, you may very well find it at the next trunk show. Or if your gown budget was $900 and the Casablanca dress is $1000…then the trunk show might be right for you.
Long Islanders are often extravagant when it comes to planning a wedding. Most facilities, whether the bride and groom choose Lessing’s, the Lombardi’s, the Scotto Brothers or almost any other wedding facility on the island, demonstrate that our distinction of weddings here on Long Island is second to none. There is however, something that fewer Long Island brides undertake. That is planning a wedding in your (or perhaps another family member’s) own backyard. Recently, two brides whom have decided on this very location to commence their life with their partner, shared some thoughts.
A few weeks ago, heartening Erin Keffeler revealed some of her wedding detail. The reception and ceremony would take place in the back yard of the groom’s mother. Erin’s sense of imagination and personalizing the event was extremely apparent. The biggest element that stands out was that this bride, with some help from her groom, decided to cater her own wedding for about 50 guests, in the personal setting of the backyard. Grilled salmon, steak and chicken would serve as the main course with sides, salads and appetizers aplenty. Think about the week of your wedding for a moment. Last minute details abound, securing the tuxes, flowers, final gown fittings, music selection, center pieces, wedding favors… and then imagine preparing the entire meal from appetizers to desserts for every guest (while being the center of attention) including but not limited to the magnificent wedding cake. Now imagine preparing it well. It is certain that the guests of Erin and Jeff (groom) will certainly remember the particulars at this wedding. They have chosen to leave their personal mark with all its extra efforts.
More recently, bride-to-be, Edie Springsteen, was shopping for a wedding gown that she will wear to her Spring 2012 reception being held on the grounds of her Ridge home. Excited about the dress she chose so appropriately for the occasion, her vision continues to unfold. Her enthusiasm is easy to detect. There is often a down to earth, easy going nature about these backyard wedding planners even though there is often much more to plan than would normally be taken care of by a catering hall. Edie stated that she was getting married in her home …”with my horses (5 of them)”. When asked if she would be riding on the day of her wedding she said, “Originally, we were going to have the ceremony on horseback, but then we ruled that out.” She has nearly a year to work out her major and fine details. But her nature indicates that she will enjoy every moment of it.
There is something to be said for the lavishness of a LI wedding venue, but it is different from the planning that is placed on creating the backyard affair. While the catering facility can offer many options to personalize the affair there are certain limits. At the same time, there may be obstacles to overcome when planning the backyard affair that might be taken for granted when signing with a facility, like the size of the kitchen, the bathroom amenities, the lighting, or the weather, to name a few. If you are up for the challenge, however, the magic of turning this familiar and comfortable surrounding into the wedding reception location and then opening your hearts and sharing your personal space with all that have meaning in your world, offers a extraordinary way to begin your new chapter.