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AUTUMN SALE

AUTUMN SALE

AUTUMN SALE!
Brides, it’s that time of the year again - when I discount my discontinued stock to make way for new designs that arrive just prior to Spring.
This is the perfect chance for brides on a budget to secure a well structured and high quality gown. All my sample gowns are well cared for and cleaned, and ready for any needed alterations to fit you perfectly.
Dresses come in all shapes and designs and are sized from 6 - 18
Best of all, brides...there’s nothing over $500!
Call the boutique to make an appointment to view the range.

Ending 25th May 2019

Connie xo

 

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Well, that’s a wrap for Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week!

It was one of the biggest expos held this year, with a large number of exhibitors displaying their collections across two vast halls. I had quite a few pre-booked appointments this year - before I left I checked out all the designers and spent a lot of time looking at their websites and photographed collections to determine what I was missing in my boutique, what I was personally drawn to, and what stood out as more unique and less commercial looking.
Surprisingly, some of the photos looked great but seeing them in real life made me think ‘Wow, that’s it? That’s a little disappointing!’ It goes to show brides, when you come in with all the photos on your phone, they don’t necessarily look like that in real life.
Also, I was happy to be meeting the designers and so pleased with how accepting they were with changing some of my sample dress purchases - adding boning, removing ‘sparkle tulle’ and improving finishes to a level I would approve of for my gowns. In all honesty, they probably thought, ‘OH GOD, she’s impossible!’ but I explained I need to be happy with my the product I am selling, as I’m also selling my seamstress experience and knowledge. A fair few commented that they knew this already by reviewing my website when I enquired about an appointment.
Overall, it was a really successful and enjoyable trip, albeit so busy. I hope you guys enjoyed the overload of sneaky peeks on my news feed.

Connie xo

 

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2019

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2019

I am starting to prepare to go to Barcelona for Bridal Fashion week at the end of the month. It is time that I start to look at what I’m missing in my store so that I have an idea of what gowns I would like to buy while I am over there.
When I first started the boutique in 2012 I bravely chose to stock a wonderful international designer that had very unique but beautiful designs. The gowns all had sheer bodices, and at that stage many of the brides that came for a consult had never seen a sheer bodice, and couldn’t get their head around wearing ‘so little’ in public. Sheer bodices had been EVERYWHERE on the international bridal catwalk that year, but I ended up having to sell them at a discount price to the more outrageous brides that wanted something different to the usual bridal gown. In 2015 the trend finally hit in Australia and all the brides started to ask after this sheer design detail! I’m not sure if it’s because of our more isolated location, or just how the market works, but in Australia, we are so delayed in when we receive designs. We are also not as confident to wear a gown that is different to the dresses that are popular at that time. Many brides come into my store with photos of friends on their phone, saying ‘I’d like something similar...’ It’s very different in Europe, where brides are constantly trying to out-do each other with wilder designs!
There was more variety when I did made to measure, all those years ago. I would get that ‘different’ bride, wanting a red or black dress, extravagant collars and sleeves, trains metres in length... Brides were confident and eager to wear something unique.
So, if I suggest you try on a dress that is a design that you haven’t seen before, give it a whirl. If it looks great, all the more reason to wear it! Be your own style and stand out from all the other brides.
 

Bridal Appointments

Bridal Appointments

Good morning, Brides,
I've had a bit of confusion over appointments the last few weeks. As most of you know, your consultation at Accapella Bridal Boutique is by appointment only. This allows me to offer you my full and undivided attention, gives you the privacy to try on dresses you wouldn't otherwise feel comfortable with, and gives you the full 'run' of the shop floor. I work this way because it benefits YOU. Unlike many bridal stores, I do not require a deposit for your appointment time, as I do not wish you to feel pressured to rebate that cost against a dress if I don't have any styles you like.
Mid-week appointments are easy to get, and I don't confirm these by email or text. If you need to cancel last minute, that's fine - I always have alterations to do during the week.
Saturday appointments are confirmed via text message on the Thursday or Friday immediately prior to your appointment. There is a long waitlist of brides eager to secure those appointments that become available or remain unconfirmed by 7pm on Friday night.
If you have confirmed 'yes' and a true emergency arises and you are not able to make your appointment, please let me know as early as possible so that I may pass your appointment onto one of our local waitlisted brides. Those brides who simply do not turn up and make no attempt to contact the store (before OR after their allotted appointment time) will need to make subsequent appointments for the less in-demand weekday availabilities.
 

Something special about small businesses

Something special about small businesses

There is something really special about small businesses.
I met a lovely bride the other day. She tried a dress on - loved it - and then decided she’d better try on a few more, just in case.
But time an again, she came back to that first dress!
Her mum said, “it’s a bit like my wedding dress story! I saw a gown in the dress shop window, but the sales assistant wouldn’t take it down so I could try it on. She told me to come back the following week when the display was due to be changed. I went back, and I STILL loved the dress.’
Her daughter couldn’t believe that she was denied the right to try on the dress. Her mother and I had a good laugh - can you imagine telling a bride these days that she couldn’t try on something in stock?!
Social media is a really great tool - I can use it to pass on my advice and to easily let you know when I have sales and Trunk Shows. But it is also a burden - it is too easy for clients to leave ‘keyboard warrior’ negative reviews without needing to actual deal with issues face to face. Imagine the fallout if I told a bride to come back next week because I couldn’t ruin my display just for her.
Let’s work together to use social media to its full potential as a positive business tool. I’m always answering messages and emails late at night and early in the morning, and I do my very best to provide after hours appointments when necessary. Social media, text messages and emails make this possible!
 

Tropical destination wedding

Tropical destination wedding

Alteration of the week
This bride had a tropical destination wedding She didn’t want a formal wedding gown but still wanted to feel like a bride. As with most destination weddings, her dress had to be lightweight and cool, travel well without creasing too much, and suit the more casual themed wedding venue.
This dress was perfect. The cotton lace is much cooler in the heat compared to synthetic fibres, and is more robust for travelling. The dress is only lightly lined, and the style more suited to a casual reception.
The only issue was that the bride's hips are quite narrow and her torso short - this meant that the bodice seam was falling underneath her hip-line and the bottom half of the dress looked like a sack. To rectify this I raised the skirt of the dress at the bottom of the bodice, bringing the line up and adding in a stronger curve to the horizontal seam. This meant the gathered section of the skirt flared at the hips, and the seam created a visual illusion of curves.

 

Dress is a design by Besides Couture. These dresses are beautiful budget options, and are all under $2000.

 

Connie

 

surprise pregnancy announcement

surprise pregnancy announcement

Oh my GOSH, Ladies!
We are only half way through January and I have already had three brides call to tell me they have surprise pregnancy announcements!
All very lovely and happy news - I am thrilled for them.
But unexpected pregnancies cause a lot of problems with dress fittings, both before and after the baby is born. First trimester bloating, growing busts, healthy weight-gain, burgeoning bellies! And even if you bounce back to pre-pregnancy weight quickly, bodies are rarely the same shape after growing new life!
So, unless you’re prepared for the added expense of extensive alterations, or even the cost of a whole new dress, maybe keep your knickers on! LOL 🙈
 

Large bust was escaping

Large bust was escaping

This bride chose the Martina Liana 873 design. It is a gorgeous embroidered lace gown with a high neckline at front and a cut-away racerback designed bodice. She loved the dress, but her large bust was escaping a little at the armholes. Despite this, the dress actually provided great support and suited her figure very well, which is unusual for a high neck dress and larger bust.
I ordered a book-matched pair of lace edging pieces and sewed these to the armhole. This gave us additional coverage where it was needed and was completely invisible. Sometimes it can be such a small effort to see a big change in the way a dress fits!
 

Only one dress for you

Only one dress for you

This bride visited the store three times before finally deciding to purchase a dress from me. She also visited a bunch of boutiques in Sydney and sent me a text on her trip home after yet another unsuccessful day dress shopping.

I invited her back for another consultation, but told her I only had one dress that I was willing to sell her!
The dress in question is beautiful - a heavy laced Gemy Maalouf with a structural peplum skirt and v neckline.
I absolutely loved the dress on this bride - the neckline complimented her larger bust and the peplum gave her hips and defined her waist. Both design details worked together to balance a larger top half of an inverted triangle body shape.
This dress style wasn’t what the bride was expecting to purchase, but it quickly became clear that it was still the perfect dress for HER.
We took these photos at her final fitting - she looks absolutely fabulous in it!

 

Connie xo

 

Design changes Martina Liana

Design changes Martina Liana

Hi New Brides.

I've written before about how Martina Liana designers are happy to incorporate changes to their designs if you provide reliable measurements and drawings of your desired changes. I find it an easy process, because I can take measurements and photographs, and just a few days later I get an email confirming the changes or asking for further clarification.
Martina Liana are very accommodating with the required changes, additional charges apply  
 
Connie xo
 

Last Trunk Show for 2018

Last Trunk Show for 2018

Well that’s a wrap on the last Trunk Show for 2018! It was an extremely successful weekend and it was an honour to get to share it with you all. Thank you for trying on so many dresses and going out of your comfort zone with design choice - it has been immensely helpful for me to see the designs on so many body shapes, and I am thrilled to say many of you ended up purchasing dresses that you would never have otherwise tried on! Congratulations!

It was really lovely having the design team there. They were engaging and knowledgeable and everyone benefited. At the end of the day, they said they were amazed at how far above and beyond I go for my clients - bending the company rules as far as I can to ensure my brides get what they need, when they need it, and the clear fact that I just cannot bring myself to sell a dress to a bride unless it is going to be perfect. A great example of this is one bride who was just 1” too long in the torso for the two dresses she loved. The designer made a few suggestions for how we could hide this fitting issue, but I wanted the dress to look the way it SHOULD look, rather than looking ‘fixed’. I’ve asked the bride to call me back in a few weeks, and if the dress makes the final product list I will ask them to make an adjustment to the pattern.
The trunk show coordinator said that they always knew my brides were special to me, because when I call about their dresses I speak of my brides like they are my friends or daughters. But they are genuinely amazed at just how much time and effort I go to with my personal consults and fittings, and they have said that Wollongong must be very lucky to have such a dedicated bridal boutique. It’s made me feel really lucky that someone has noticed all that I try to achieve!
Connie
 

Showing my age

Showing my age

Hi brides, here’s another story showing my age!

I was fitting a bride during the Trunk Show and her mum asked if I had ever lived in Figtree. I had...I actually had a workshop downstairs in my mother’s house when I still lived at home!
The bride’s surname was familiar, and I remember doing a bridal party many many years ago with the same name. I remember the dresses were a dusty pale pink in duchess satin, and the photo sent to me by the new bride confirmed they were just as I recalled.
I made this little girl a beautiful flower dress, and now I am helping her find the wedding dress of her dreams!

 

Connie xo

 

Boutique Appointments

Boutique Appointments

Hi Brides!

I often get asked why I only make 45 mins appointments instead of the usual 60 min length. There are two key reasons:
The first is that I believe trying on too many dresses only serves to overwhelm the bride. In the first five minutes of the appointment, I am able to determine what dresses you should try on by speaking to you about the styles you are drawn to, and by assessing your body shape and the style of wedding you are having. That skill in itself means that I can very quickly knock out the dresses that just won't be appropriate for you and your wedding. Some brides still express a little bit of doubt when I explain this reason - they feel that I might limit them and they might miss out on a dress that would have been perfect...but did you know that you have enough time in 45 minutes to try on ELEVEN dresses?!
The second main reason is that, over the years, I have found that 45 minutes is the perfect length of time for appointments with ME. Don't forget that when you visit my boutique, you are having a consult with me on your OWN. I am not tending to other clients, and you are the only one in the store. You will never have to wait for a change-room or a dress to be free. You will have my undivided attention, and frequently I also have my 'shop girl', Emilia, in to assist with hanging up discarded dresses. Many other boutiques book several clients at once, so even if you have a single sales assistant attending to you, you are still required to wait for a change-room to become available.
We decided last Saturday to test this theory, just to make sure I was still living up to industry standards. I made my 'first consult' 9am appointment for 60 mins, and put away my watch. As the appointment came to a close and I was farewelling the bride and her mother, I glanced at the time and we had taken 45 mins exactly! I asked the bride if she had felt rushed at all, or if she wished she could have tried on more dresses, and her response to both was a firm 'No'.
I have been in the industry for my whole career, please have a little trust in me!
Connie xo
 

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