Bouncing from Bride to Bride
11/05/2012This season’s second episode features three clients who couldn’t have been more different from one another. My staff and I worked with spunky Italian socialite Sabrina Parisi, who was a total blast – it’s not often that you meet a bride who needs to find a gown that she can both ride a camel and kite-surf in! She was incredibly funny. It was actually a bit difficult to focus while we were filming because we were laughing for several hours.
In addition to Sabrina, we also helped a very sweet young woman who was finally getting the wedding of her dreams, and a sassy mother of the bride looking for a dress of her own. (As you saw, this self-described “cougar empress” taught me how to do a dance called the wobble-wobble. That was a first for me!)
Fans and viewers of the show often tell me that they notice such variety within the clientele my staff and I serve, and these three women exemplified the fact that we really do see a range of brides, day in and day out. So, I thought I would share how we’re able to switch gears to accommodate each individual bride’s needs, the way we did in this episode.
My staff and I routinely meet an entire spectrum of brides. There are those who have dreamed of bridal since they were little girls, and women who are totally averse to tradition. There are those who breathe sex appeal and want to expose it all, and women who are quite modest (or religious) and therefore have restricted wardrobe parameters. There are happy brides, angry brides, weight- conscious brides, daddy's little girls, aspiring actresses, heiresses – you name it. We sometimes feel like we travel around the world every day, yet we never have to leave the salon!
The greatest challenge for us isn’t simply bouncing from bride to bride, each with her own wants and tastes, but going from energy to energy. When you go from one woman who is wildly enthusiastic – and looks at the experience as a wonderful adventure – to a bride who approaches the process as a chore, it can be very difficult to inspire when inspiration isn't part of the person's overall persona.
But these challenges are few and far between. What allows us to cater to brides of every kind is remembering that, at their core, these women have one special thing in common: They are all embarking on an unknown journey, and they need professional expertise to guide them and give life to their visions. We enjoy the creative process of filling in the gaps of what a bride says she likes but cannot quite articulate. And we have to be resourceful so our clients can truly relax and enjoy the process, knowing that we will be diligent in helping them find their perfect gowns.
Even though every bride has the same end goal, it’s up to me, as the leader of my team, to pair each one with the right stylist. I must be able to size up a client in a brief moment, which is an instinct I’ve developed over time. I can usually tell from a bride's stance and gait, her communication skills and even her choice of venue who is the best person to help her and which gowns to pull. (In the event the chemistry just isn't there, we initiate a "T.O." – retail code for "takeover” – to save the situation and satisfy the client.)
But no matter who the bride is and what her circumstances may be, we simply want to create a joyous, if limited, experience for each client we meet. The most rewarding aspect of seeing so many different brides is watching them leave with the gowns of their dreams – or, at the very least, with smiles on their faces after having a blast in the salon.
Sabrina Parisi models a gown for her entourage. (Credit: DCL)