Saturday, April 28, 2012

Meet Our Bride: Josslin

A wedding gown is unlike any other garment you wear for so many different reasons: the construction, the cost, the fit, etc. It's the most special thing you will likely wear in your entire life and the stress of shopping for it can be tremendous. It's your ONE chance to get it right, but as stressful as that can be, you should also enjoy the process of finding it. Our bride Josslin had a difficult time at first, but then she came to Madeleine's and everything changed.

Since it's tacky to toot our own horn, we'll let Josslin toot it for us:
“After being thoroughly disappointed by other bridal boutiques and unimpressed with the consultants working there I didn't know what to expect at my appointment at Madeleine's Daughter. I walked in and was instantly greeted with the smiling face of my amazing consultant. She escorted me to the fitting room and immediately expressed interest in not only what I was looking for in a dress but the wedding itself. After trying on many dresses that I thought I wanted but weren't quite right, she brought in a gown that she felt would be everything I was looking for. It didn't impress me on the hanger but it took my breath away once she zipped it up.  She found my perfect dress. I couldn't have asked for a better bridal boutique. Finding your dream wedding dress should be an easy and enjoyable experience and that is just what I got at Madeleine's Daughter.”

Shopping at a boutique where the staff is knowledgeable is very important, but you should also get to work with someone who is fun and who makes shopping for the gown a memorable, happy experience. We pride ourselves on the service we provide to our brides when they are looking for a dress. Our consultants are experts at what they do and while it may be your first and only time shopping for a bridal gown, it's something they have done over and over again. So if you're looking for a gown, why not come to the one place where you can let the stress melt away and just enjoy the process?

Was your gown-shopping experience similar to Josslin's? Email us today and tell us all about it- we want to hear what it was like for you, too!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meet the Staff: Brandie

As promised, here's another opportunity for you to meet one of our amazing staff members. This week, you're meeting Brandie, another veteran bridal consultant!

How long have you been a bridal consultant at Madeleine's Daughter? Over 4 years!

Who is your favorite designer/dress? I love Kenneth Pool.

How would you describe your approach in helping a bride find her dress? I like to find what truly defines her fashion personality and gives her the biggest "wow" factor.

What is your most memorable experience at Madeleine's Daughter? I had a bride who carried a photo of a dress with her for years. It was outside of her budget but she wa able to buy our sample and have it altered to fit her. When she came in, she didn't even know we had the gown. She and her mom and I were all in tears.

In one word, describe what it's like to have an appointment with you.  Sincere

What is your favorite type of bridal accessory? A sparkle hair piece

What advice do you have for a bride coming to Madeleine's Daughter to find her dress? Be open minded. It might not look great on the hanger, but you make the dress. The dress doesn't make you.

What is your favorite thing about working in the bridal industry? Being able to connect with people at such an intimate time in their lives.

Coffee or tea? Coffee
White, milk or dark chocolate? Cheese
Cats or dogs? Cats (I have 2!)

If you have any other questions for Brandie or if you've worked with her and would like to tell us about it, please feel free to leave a comment below! And don't forget to check back soon to meet more of our amazing staff!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meet Our Bride: Sarah

While we pride ourselves on the experience our brides have when shopping for the gown, that's not all that is involved in purchasing a wedding gown. Alterations are a HUGE part of the process, and many brides have concerns about how the fitting process will work. Such was the case with our bride Sarah, but in the end the dress fit beautifully:

I'll let Sarah tell the story: "My experience with Madeleine's Daughter was absolutely wonderful.  I first went to Madeline's Daughter after visiting four bridal boutiques in Massachusetts.  I was very impressed by the atmosphere, customer service and professionalism.  My consultant immediately put me at ease with her upbeat and engaging personality.  Upon my second visit to Madeleine's Daughter, I found my perfect dress.  Both my grandmother and good friend who accompanied me to Madeleine's Daughter remarked how much better the experience was at MD than at Priscilla's of Boston which we had visited the week before.  As happy as I was with the dress buying experience, it paled in comparison to the exceptional service I received from Madeleine Daughter's alterations department.  I have a large chest and was very concerned with the dress fitting me correctly.  I met with my seamstress five times to alter and refine the line of my dress, the chest area and the bustle.  On the day of my wedding, my dress fit me perfectly and I have Madeleine's Daughter to thank.  I give Madeleine's Daughter my highest recommendation."

No matter what the concern in regards to altering your dress, you can rest assured that our seamstresses are the finest in the business, with decades of experience in the bridal industry. Altering a wedding gown is unlike altering any other garment and our seamstresses take enormous pride in the work they do. Take a minute to visit our alterations page on our website- there's a great video that details the alterations process if you're curious.

Was there something about altering your dress that made it more involved or more stressful? What was the outcome? Email us today to tell us all about it- we always want to hear feedback from our brides (positive OR negative)!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trunk Show: Watters and WToo

In the bridal industry, it's very common for a bridal designer to start designing for bridesmaids and mothers dresses once they've become established. Watters did just the opposite- they started off designing bridesmaid dresses and they were so popular, they decided to start designing bridal gowns, too! Watters and WToo are now two of the most popular and fashionable bridal designers out there! We are thrilled to be hosting a trunk show with them in a month and we know you are going to LOVE their designs!

Have you already booked your appointment for this amazing trunk show? If not, call us today! A trunk show is an incredible opportunity to see lots more styles by designers you love. Often the styles are only in the store for a couple of days. In our case, those days are May 18-19, so call today before all the slots are filled up!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Meet Our Bride: Kirsty

Believe it or not, our brides come from near and far- sometimes as far as overseas! Kirsty is one such bride who came from pretty far away:

Here's Kirsty's story: "At Madeleine’s Daughter, I felt as if I was the only one looking for a wedding dress. I needed alterations done quickly as I had come from overseas to pick up my dress. The staff was so friendly and accommodating, the alterations were done almost overnight!! It helped me out so much –  and the dress was of course spectacular. Thank you!"

Turning alterations around in just a few days isn't something that happens very often, but our seamstresses are well-equipped to handle a fast turn-around like that. It can be a little hectic, but in the end, we're committed to making sure the dress is finished on time. Kirsty looked beautiful and we are proud to have been a part of her special day!

Did you travel a great distance to find your dream dress? How far did you go? Leave a comment or send us an email to tell us all about what it was like finding your dress so far away from home.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Juhree's Journal

Our Store Manager, Juhree has been working at Madeleine's Daughter for over a decade and her experience shows. Her job is extremely varied and there are a lot of responsibilities that fall on her shoulders. In thinking about all that she does here, I found myself feeling a little curious about her, specifically about what part of her job she is most passionate about. Is it the fashion aspect? Shopping in New York for beautiful bridal gowns? Or is it the customer service aspect? Working with brides to help them feel amazing on their special day seems like a big part of her job. These two aspects seemed pretty obvious to me, but then Juhree surprised me with her answer:

"I'm most passionate about our staff. At Madeleine's we have an incredibly professional, seasoned staff that are amazing at what they do. I'm most passionate about making sure that we always have the best staff out there who are not only great when working with brides, but who are also extremely knowledgable about the dresses, the designers- everything.

At Madeleine's, training doesn't happen only at the beginning when you first start working here- it's on-going. I'm constantly working with the consultants here to make sure they are always up-to-date with all the designers we carry. Once a week I have a meeting with all the consultants and we discuss anything and everything that will make them an even better team.

I've found that if I focus a lot of energy on making sure the staff is so well-informed that they are true experts in this field, then all of our brides will have an amazing experience finding a dress. The bridal industry is constantly changing- there is always something new coming out. We are constantly getting new dresses, carrying new designers, etc. It's a lot to stay on top of, but that is why I am constantly updating our bridal constulants. I want our brides to be able to count on them to have all the information they need. With all the planning that goes into a wedding, finding your dress should be fun- not stressful.

I truly believe that we have the best staff in the industry. Our bridal consultants are passionate about helping you find your dress. They know the dresses inside and out. They know the designers inside and out. They are absolutely amazing and they make me feel incredibly proud to be their manager."

Do you have a question for Jurhee? Leave a comment below and she'll be happy to answer it. You can ask her about anything to do with the shop, or her job, or wedding dresses in general. We look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Meet Our Bride: Megan

We often hear from brides that they loved their experience because it seemed as though the employees here genuinely cared about them. It's true. Part of what makes Madeleine's Daughter so special is that our consultants, seamstresses, and all other employees are here because they love to be a part of helping a bride look and feel amazing on her wedding day. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we can do something a little extra to help a bride, like Megan:

“When I began searching for a wedding dress I knew I had to choose a place that was right for me. I had heard many amazing things about Madeleine's Daughter and decided to make an appointment. From the very first time I set foot into the building, I knew I had come to the right place! The staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I found a beautiful dress, and had such a good experience with the staff that I decided to bring all of my bridesmaids to get their dresses at Madeleine's Daughter as well. Again, the staff was supportive, encouraging and extremely helpful. On one occasion my car broke down outside the shop and had to be towed. I was forced to wait for my ride at a nearby restaurant and the staff at Madeleine's Daughter offered to keep my dresses in store while I waited, even though it was after store hours! The manager stayed long enough for my ride to show up! This is just one example of the fabulous customer service Madeleine's Daughter has to offer. I would certainly recommend the experience of Madeleine's Daughter to others…Thank you!”

I'm not sure who stayed with Megan that night, waiting for her ride to arrive, but I'm certain that given a situation like that, any of our managers would do the same thing. We get to know our brides when they come in and sometimes it feels like we've made a new friend. Would you leave your friend outside at night to wait for a tow truck? Probably not and neither would we.

Did you have a great experience at our store? Would you like to share it? Email us today and tell us all about it. (Don't forget to attach some photos!)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Time for... ALTERATIONS!!!

As you know, Madeleine's Daughter is considered to be a "full service" bridal salon, which means that the experience doesn't stop when you've purchased your gown. Rather, you are our bride until the end and our alterations staff are committed to making your dress look flawless on your big day.

There's a lot to think about when it comes to alterations, but the first and sometimes most difficult part is scheduling. We have top notch seamstresses scheduled to conduct fittings nearly every day of the week during our peak wedding season. Most seamstresses conduct fittings at least two to three days per week. For example, Kathy does fittings on Mondays from 10-2 and on Thursdays from 4-8. So, if your seamstress is Kathy and you need to schedule a fitting, it's going to be on a Monday or a Thursday.

I know what you're thinking: "That's so rigid! Why can't I come on a Tuesday or a Friday or a Saturday? Why am I restricted to the two days that Kathy does fittings?" The answer is really simple: Kathy needs time to actually SEW the dresses she's pinned. If Kathy (or any seamstress) is asked to do fittings every day, then they simply would not have enough time to sew the dresses, too. In other words, we have to be respectful of the time she needs to complete all the alterations. The bottom line is that when you call to schedule your fittings, have a day and general time in mind for when it would be convenient for you to have those appointments. That way, if anything needs to be rescheduled, it's likely it would be rescheduled to a similar time on that same day of the week.

The next tricky thing about our schedule is that appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, in order to get the prime appointment times (evenings and weekends), you need to book well in advance. That means calling at least three or four months ahead. In other words, if your wedding is in August, that means your first fitting will be scheduled in May and that means you need to call us no later than February or March.
Once the scheduling is figured out, it should be smooth sailing to the end. You'll have at least three fittings and then a separate scheduled pick-up date. When you call to book your fittings, all the details will be explained to you, but in case you want to plan ahead, here are some do's and don't's :
DO go shoe shopping ahead of time. The heel height you select affects the hem and the bustle. If you don't have your shoes at your first fitting, the seamstress can't pin everything she needs to pin! 
DO make a separate appointment to shop for accessories like a veil or jewelry. Alterations appointments are 45 minutes or less, and we allocate all of that time to your seamstress.  
DO make sure you have the appropriate undergarments at all your fittings. We recommend a long-line bra for nearly all dresses. We also have spanx and petticoats available. When you come in to shop for accessories, your bridal consultant can help you find all the right undergarments, too.  
DO avoid bringing a large entourage to your fittings. Bring your mother and one or two bridesmaids to learn how to dress you and tie your bustle. Any more than that and the room will become very  crowded.  
DO plan ahead and allow extra time to drive here. Portsmouth is a popular destination for summer and traffic can get heavy.
DO call us if you are running late to any of your fittings. We may need to reschedule your appointment if it’s more than just a few minutes.  
DO keep in mind when rescheduling an appointment that you will be seeing the same seamstress at all your appointments and she will have certain days of the week when she is available to fit. Those days are not always flexible.  
DON'T wear any heavy make-up, creams or perfumes and DON'T get a spray tan right before your fitting- you don't want any of these things to rub off on your gown.  
DON’T be surprised if at your second fitting, your dress looks a little deconstructed. In order to properly alter the gown, our seamstresses need to take it apart a little bit first. Side seams may be open and hem lace may have been taken off at this point. This is normal!
DON'T stress out about your fittings- you are in very experienced and capable hands!

Visit our website and watch the alterations video here for even more information about your fittings.


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