Sandy here, with a very special treat for brides! I sat down for a chat with the lovely Ashley Krauss, owner of A Little Something White in Darien, Connecticut, and asked her to share some insider info + bridal advice. Here is what she had to say...
- You went to Bridal Market not too long ago. What are the big trends to expect for the coming season?
First, I always like to clarify for brides what is “bridal market”. Bridal market is a multi-day event that happens twice a year where bridal designers descend on New York City with their brand new collections. From runway shows to intimate appointments with designers, this is an incredibly-fun-but-also-really-tiring series of days where we are presented with anywhere from 10-15 new styles for each designer. Then we select a handful from each designer to purchase for the store.
The biggest trends we saw were:
1) Gorgeous embellishments – Every one of our designers introduced styles with more bling this season….but we emphasize that it’s bling done right! Many of our favorite styles were classic and elegant, but with beaded bodices or straps.
2) Beautiful necklines – Many of our brides are asking for non-strapless gown options. We loved that all of our designers seem to be beautifully addressing this, and many of the non-strapless gowns we saw were simply stunning.
3) Amazing texture – From an Anna Maier beaded lace gown to a Kelly Faetanini lace gown with crystal detail and silk organza flowers, our designers spent time paying extra attention to detail with these creations.
4) Stunning backs – We are constantly reminding brides that the back of the gown is also important, because everyone spends a lot of time looking at it, especially during the ceremony!
(For more deets on her bridal market experience, check out her blog post here.)
- What do you think is the biggest mistake brides make when it comes to the dress search?
I believe the biggest mistake they make is shopping too much, which leads them to overthink their decision. The usual outcome of a bride shopping too much is that she finds a gown she loves, but the shopping experience has gotten tedious, stressful, and unenjoyable. And that’s exactly what it shouldn’t be.
So how can a bride overcome this need to shop? First, we would advocate not visiting more than a few boutiques. The right store should have a wide range of styles and silhouettes, so don’t automatically assume that by going to a large number of places, you are going to see more styles that you haven’t already seen. Second, when you find a gown that you absolutely love, don’t be afraid to commit to it!
- Any up-and-coming designers you want to share with our readers?
Yes! There are two designers in particular I want to highlight. We just added a new designer by the name of Sareh Nouri. The collection, which launched in 2011, has exploded on the bridal scene and with celebrities, but we love it for its romance, femininity, and timelessness. And on June 22nd, Sarah herself will be at ALSW for our Sareh Nouri trunk show!
The second designer is Kelly Faetanini. Many of her gowns can be done with or without a particular neckline or detail, and our brides love that they are able to almost design a gown that is unique to them.
- What makes the shopping experience unique at A Little Something White?
I think the most unique part of the shopping experience with us is that we go above and beyond to make sure that brides know they are not “just another bride”. Without giving too much away about the experience here, there are special things we do during the appointment and give the brides while they are here that let them know that we are appreciative of them. The portion of our name that is “A Little Something” is so true not just for what we carry in the store, but how we think about creating a wonderful experience for brides.
- What is the best piece of advice you can give to a bride as she begins the gown shopping process?
Oh boy, I could write a book on this question! On our website, we list over a dozen tips on how to enjoy the gown shopping process. The first thing I would suggest is to know the date, venue, and formality of the wedding prior to shopping. It is so confusing for brides when they come to us before deciding on their location and time of year.
The second piece of advice is more emotional. You deserve for your gown shopping experience to be wonderful, positive, and special. We would strongly advise not to settle for an experience that is less than extraordinary. You are going to be working with the store where you purchase your gown not just for ordering the gown, but at least for alterations and accessories as well. If they can’t make you feel happy and special in your initial meeting with them, that is a red flag!