Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Kerri from Bridal Indulgence, a beautiful luxury bridal boutique in Crondall, Surrey. I have known Kerri for a while now, we have worked together on a few shoots and her dresses are always so stunning. Personally, I love how untraditional they are. So it made sense for my first FB live interview to be with her.
How she started…
Kerri explained to me how she became the owner of her very own bridal boutique. Her background was Fashion, Promotion and Illustration at Farnham university where she worked in a bridal shop whilst she was studying. She fell in love with being in a bridal shop and the dream began there. She worked in Fashion PR and marketing for a spell when her now husband asked her what she wanted to do with her life! She told me she was nearing her 30th birthday and said to him that she would love to own her own bridal shop. So he said well let’s make it happen! I think it is so romantic of him to support her dream and push her to make it a reality!
Not long afterwards she found the premises that Bridal Indulgence is at now. It is tucked away in the countryside with beautiful views. Not your typical high street shop. Kerri told me that she knew she wanted something different and didn’t want to be on the high-street. Personally, I think she found a gem of a place and has done wonders with it! Apparently it was an office before and had blue floor tiles in it! Eeek!
She has now been at the beautiful site for 5 years! Not looking back for one minute. Kerri explained that the styling and branding of the shop evolved over the first couple of years as she got to know her customer base. She started branding herself as higher end and more unique.
Her logo has always been based on the fact the shop is in the countryside so she has a feather as a nod to the wildlife and birds that come and visit the fields opposite the shop. More recently she has rebranded again to create a more contemporary feel and with softer colours. Go check out her beautiful branding at www.bridalindulgence.co.uk and on her Instagram. www.instagram.com/bridalindulgence.
What do you love about your job?
What do you love about your job and helping ladies find their ultimate dress?! She said, “It’s just always so exciting. Spending time with people who, for them, it’s one of the most exciting points in their life. So to be part of that journey that they’re all going on is lovely”.
I asked Kerri if she had any stand out stories from past brides-to-be that had bought a dress from her as she said she hears so many stories from customers!
“There was a lovely bride. She came in with her future mother-in-law and future sister-in-law and tried on a few dresses and then found the one that she loved. She asked the price and when I told her she exclaimed, oh my goodness! She said, my mum passed away quite a few years ago. And, a little while ago I got a letter in the post saying that I was having some money coming towards me, but I thought it was a scam or something. Anyway, it turned out to be some shares her mum had left her. They were pretty much the exact amount of her dress. So she felt as though her Mum had bought her her dress.” How adorable is that?!
Kerri so enjoys hearing all her clients stories and finds her job extremely rewarding. Makes me want to work there too!!
What dresses do you stock?
I went on to ask Kerri all about how she chooses which dresses she stocks and from which designers as it must be a minefield out there!!
She explained that she has to be pretty strict with her choices as not only does she have limited space in the shop but also a limited budget….here’s the shocker…Kerri has to actually buy all the dresses she has in the shop. Naïve me thought she got them for free from the designers!!!! Nope not a chance she has to go into her own pocket and buy all the dresses! So she has to be really savvy with which ones she buys….you can’t have them all despite wanting them!
It is hard to narrow it down which she ones buys but she has three different designers she stocks that are a little bit different from the more traditional style. She has coloured dresses, ones with stars on and lots of Bohemian style ones that are floaty and relaxed. She said that she will only stock ones she personally likes!! She knows that brides want to be comfortable on their wedding day. They want to be able to eat, drink and dance in them and feel beautiful too.
All her dresses are exceptional quality and Kerri Knows her stuff with her textiles backgrounds. She was frustrated as she was sent a lot of new dresses just before the second lock down and so she’s not had a chance to show them off yet! But now she is open again I’m sure they’ve had lots of chances to be tried on.
And your favourite dress?!
I asked Kerri the impossible question!! Which is her current favourite dress in the shop! She said that it was a new beaded one by Willowby. She explained that she thought it was going to be really heavy, but she tried it on and it wasn’t at all. It’s a strapless number but it comes with detachable beaded straps in blush pink. Kerri exclaimed that she just absolutely loved iot!!!
Now, if you are thinking…hang on…you get to try on the dresses Kerri? I was the same!!! YOU GET TO TRY THEM ON?!! What a job!!!!
So of course I had to delve deeper into this! I have in my head that she puts the dresses on and does the washing up like Monica from Friends!!
But no, she’s much more sensible than that!! She told me that for a very long time she didn’t try any of the dresses on and then she got engaged. So she didn’t try any dresses on at all, until her mum and sister came with her and then she got married and then she didn’t put any on for probably about a year and a half afterwards. At first she thought it was a bit crazy! But she says when you actually put them on, it’s so different from just looking at them. Then she felt able to advise her clients about how the dresses felt. At least that was her excuse!
What wedding trends are we going to see?
Kerri then went on to tell me all about the trends for wedding gowns next year. I was so surprised to hear that jumpsuit wedding outfits were becoming a thing!!! Also lots of two piece outfits which I’ve definitely seen creeping in. She said that over skirts and capes were also making an appearance. Which is great if you bought your dress a while ago now and you’ve had to postpone due to the pandemic and you want to make it feel brand new again. These types of accessories are great for that.
Kerri’s top tips for your appointment:
Lastly I asked Kerri all about her tips for a bridal dress appointment. What advice would she give one of her brides-to-be?
1.Do your research.
There are a lot of boutiques around and they all have different styles. So make sure that you book appointments with the boutiques that stock the style and taste of gowns you love. Go online to the boutiques website and on their social media as most will have what designers and even all the gowns they stock on there, so it should be easy to pick and choose which ones you visit.
Check the price range of the dresses you like, as there is no point trying on dresses that are way over your budget because you know it will be the one you fall in love with and that’s just so heartbreaking.
3.Go with an open mind!
If you’ve not tried on any dresses before try to have an open mind. And even though you might have strong views on what you do or don’t like, Kerri says always try on a wildcard! Just for fun!! At Bridal Indulgence, you have the shop to yourselves so you will feel comfortable in front of the mirror so you may feel brave to try on something a bit out there!
4.Don’t try on too many!
Kerri explains that her and her assistant D, will help you pick out a range at the start of your appointment and once you start to get a feel for the type of dress you can narrow it down. She doesn’t set you a limit but says that if you do end up trying loads on you will get confused, overwhelmed and tired and the appointment is not supposed to be stressful! The same goes with how many boutique appointments you have in one day. She advises you to stick to 2 or 3 in one day. With a break in between. I’m imagining a lovely lunch in between with your bridesmaids. What a gorgeous day that would be!
So that was it from Kerri, her job sounds amazing doesn’t it!
If you are a bride-to-be and love the type of dresses we’ve been talking about then give Kerri a call for an appointment!
Next Month I’ll be chatting to Nicola from Jasmine Flowers all about wedding florals and the like! Can’t wait!
All photos supplied by Kerri.