So, you got THAT call. She got THE RING and now she wants you to go shopping with her for THE DRESS!!! This is a huge honor. This means she trusts your opinion, she want you to be part of a very special time in her life. This is also a tremendous responsibility and we would like to share a few tips for shopping with THE BRIDE.
#1. Leave your Starbuck’s at the door! A bridal salon is no place the food and beverages. If you are considering bringing champagne for the Yes to the Dress, check with the store first. Some salons will offer complimentary champagne , others will allow you to bring it in and others have a zero tolerance policy!
2. Leave your children at the door. Ok….this is obviously a metaphor!!! We don’t want you to tie the tikes up to a tree in the parking lot. We really want you to leave them at home. Those little angels will get bored and divert your attention from the mission of finding THE DRESS. While we are at it….leave the puppies at home too!! They are really cute, but one lifted leg and you have a very hefty cleaning bill on your hands!!
3. Leave your camera at the door! Or at least ask before snapping away. Some stores have very strict policies about photographs. Others are more lenient. Remember you are guests in those stores so be nice and respect their policies.
4. Check your ego and baggage at the door. Remember this day is about the Bride. This is not the time for you to peruse the racks for something you would like. This is about her vision. So if she wants a big, puffy ball gown you are on team big, puffy ball gown!!!! You may want hippie chic for your wedding….but this day is about your friend and her wedding.
5. Check your opinion at the door! Well….you are welcome to your opinion, but let the bride voice her likes and dislikes first. If she comes out of the dressing room beaming, there is something she likes about the dress she is in. Let her voice be heard!!! Ask her what she likes about the dress? Is there anything that she would change about the dress? Give her a chance to develop her own feelings about the dress. She doesn’t need 6 different opinions bombarding her as she steps out of the dressing room. Your job is to be supportive!!!
6. Check your attitudes at the door. Again, remember that you are guest in the salon you are visiting. Behave the way you would want people visiting your home to behave. Salons have a lot of money invested in their inventory. Please treat it respectfully! And treat the staff with respect. I know there are some shops out there that get a bad rap for being snooty and that can put anyone on the defensive. But not all salons are like that. Be nice and we will too!!!
This should be a fun day for all involved. Be positive! Be supportive! Listen to the bride! And feel free to whoop it up if she says yes to the dress!!!!

Now that you know when to order the dress, we wanted to give you some helpful tips for shopping for the dress!

1. You will make an appointment. Unless you are a contortionist with Cirque de Soleil we defy you to lace yourself into a Maggie Sottero gown!
2. You will leave your coffee and lunch at the door. Dark liquids….white dresses… do the math!
3. You will wear undergarments. We are happy to provide you with a strapless bra….but bring your own panties!!!
4. You will not shop in groups of more than 4 or 5 (without calling in advance.) If you bring 10 people and the other two appointments bring 10 people the fire marshal will shut us down!!
5. You will leave the children at home. They are adorable…they are sweet….they will get bored and they will get into trouble. This is a very expensive, ‘you break it you bought it’ kind of place!
6. You will have a good idea of when and where you are getting married. We don’t want to put you in a heavy ball gown if you are getting married on the beach!
7. You will know your budget. We want to help you find a beautiful gown in YOUR price range. You want to be happy not broke!
8. You will shop with an open mind. Trust your consultant. We have been doing this for a while and we just might know the perfect dress for you!
9. You will tell your consultant what you like and dislike about a dress. We are a lot of things, but a mind reader is not one of them!
10. You will quit shopping once you have fallen in love with a dress. The quickest way to become a two (or three or four) dress bride is to keep looking after you have said yes to the dress!!

Stay Calm and Tie Knot!!!


Ladies, I am baffled….yes baffled, at the absolute nonchalance that I am seeing when it comes to ordering your dress. I know this doesn’t apply to all of you. Many of you are out there finalizing those dress decisions 8 months to a year before your wedding. Let’s be honest….some of you threw caution to the wind and tried on a dress or two before he dropped to one knee and proposed. I even saw one devotee of The Secret who went out and bought THE DRESS before there was even THE GUY!! But what is up with the rest of you?? Those of you with four or five months left to go before the BIG DAY! Yes! You! With the May or June Wedding!! Are you planning on marching down the aisle in your birthday suit??
I didn’t think so! So let’s have a little chat about getting those dresses ordered in a timely fashion. Several times over the last few months I have had to tell a bride that the only way I can get the gown she just fell in love with is to order the gown with rush delivery which is going to add another couple hundred dollars to her already tight budget. Or worse, I have had to tell her I can’t get her dream dress at all!! I hate asking her to SETTLE. I’m pretty sure she didn’t just settle on THE GUY. So, why would she want to settle on THE DRESS??
You can avoid all of this frustration by following this simple advice….Order your dress early!! When you order early you have plenty of time to find the perfect accessories, more than enough time for stress free alterations and maybe even time enough for some good old fashioned bridal portraits!! The point is ordering early is in your best interest. It will reduce your stress level (and mine!!!) So do me a huge favor and get your dress ordered early!! And one more thing, when you find the dress of your dreams, QUIT LOOKING!!!! Seriously, did you keep looking after you found the man of your dreams??

That’s right!! Engagement Season!!! Sixty percent of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. My daughter knows of six couple who got engaged on Christmas day alone!! Now that you have the ring it is time to start looking for the perfect dress!

Since it’s not every day that you go out to try on wedding gowns we thought this would be a good time to give you some helpful hints to make your dress shopping a little easier. First, make appointments at the salons that you would like to visit (hopefully we are one of those (give us a call at (310) 406-3917!!). Yes, we recommend appointments. Have you ever considered how you could possibly lace yourself into one of those corset back gowns??

Next come up with a couple of people to accompany you on your quest to find THE DRESS. Note, we said a couple of people. Shopping with too many opinions can get confusing and frustrating. Not to mention most bridal salons have a limited amount of space….so if you bring 10 friends and someone else brings 10 friends…well before you know it the fire marshal is at our door because we have exceeded our maximum capacity. This is also the perfect time to mention….leave the little ones at home. We love children and we are certain the little ones that will come along with you will be perfectly behaved, but bridal appointments can take a while and little ones get bored. When they get bored they tend to get into mischief. Mischief and a salon full of expensive dresses are a bad combination. Bridal salons are one of those really expensive you break it you buy it places.

When you come in for an appointment bring us some pictures of looks that you love. Those looks may not end up being THE DRESS, but they are a great place to start. We also want you to come with an open mind. After you have tried a few dresses on don’t be surprised if we make some suggestions. Once we have gotten a feel for what you like, we may have a fabulous gown in mind. Maybe it’s not what you had envisioned…maybe it just doesn’t look good on the hanger. Just humor us and try it on. Who knows it might just end up being THE ONE!

So far this is pretty easy. You are wondering if there are any other things you should consider?? As you try on dresses you will have the assistance of a bridal consultant. We will be helping you in and out of dresses. If you would prefer not to have your wobbly bits exposed we recommend wearing full coverage undies. We have a fairly wide variety of sizes for strapless bras, but if you have a favorite strapless bring it along. You might also want to take a moment to consider shoes and the heel height you will be most comfortable in on your wedding day. Many of our lines offer custom length….so if you have the right heel height with you when you find the right dress we can get you measured and ordered!
While the task of finding the perfect dress may seem daunting we can assure you that it is not. Take a deep breath….Stay Calm and Marry On!!!!!

Ryan Rossi was a friend of my daughter, Hillary. On December 11, 2011 at 27, he lost his battle against Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Ryan was involved with 20KWatts. The purpose of this organization was to help the children of El Salvador who are developing respiratory illnesses and cancer and dying by the age of 15 because of their exposure to kerosene lamps. A donation of $25 replaces one if these kerosene lamps with a safe solar powered lamp. The goal for the friends and family of Ryan is to place 1000 lamps in 100 days. We would like to encourage all of our prospective brides to visit and make a donation in Ryan’s memory. As a way of thanking you for this contribution we would like to extend a 10% discount on any purchase made now through January 31, 2012. All you have to do is bring in confirmation of your generous donation and we will gladly extend this offer. Together we can keep Ryan Rossi’s light shining!

Ok…so this is my first forray into the land of blog. It’s sort of like visiting a foreign country… many things to see (or in this case talk about) and trying to decide what to see first!!

Since I recently returned from the National Bridal Market held in Chicago, this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about some of the new trends we saw for the Spring 2012 bridal season. I had a wonderful time taking in fashion shows from a variety of bridal designers and noted some very definite trends.

First, there were sashes….lots and lots of sashes!!!! Be they black, mocha, blingy or flowery…they were everywhere. We picked up lots of great options from Maggie Sottero, Kittychen Couture and Bel Aire Bridal. If you are going to be looking for a quick way to change up your dress from ceremony to reception you won’t be short on options!!!

The next big trend is towards gowns with a little more coverage….and yes almost every line had their version of the Kate Middleton dress (I picked up the one from Casablanca…..loved the idea that their dress had a lace jacket that was easily removed.) But, if long lace sleeves aren’t what you are looking for, do not despair…..there are so many detachable cap sleeves….keyhole backs….lace caplets and even a nifty little tulle stole option that your shoulders may fall in love with.

And speaking of tulle….there were lots and lots of tulle dresses. From ballgowns to mermaids tulle was plentiful!!! It was polka dotted…it was caught-up… was piecy….it was full and flirty and it was everywhere!!!!!

And of course no bride is complete without accessories…..and Bel Aire Bridal had so many wonderful veils, tiaras, head pieces, flowers and facinators that no bride will have to fret about the finishing touches.

I can’t wait for the new looks to start coming into the salon. Rumor has it that I might even receive our first new dress from the Kittychen Couture Collection as early as next week. “Charlotte” has been up on their website for a couple of weeks and that fabulous organza confection might even make its debut as early as Wednesday, October 26th at the fashion show at Port’s O’Call Restuarant in San Pedro.

Now that wasn’t so bad!!!!  Until next time…….




Welcome to Bridal Elegance Salon’s new blog. We will help you get from engagement to honeymoon – as smoothly and beautifully as possible. Stay calm and marry on!

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