Monday, 28 September 2015

Win a Randy Fenoli goodie bag plus a £100 voucher!!

If you go to our Facebook page this week, you'll see that we are running a fantastic competition - and if you're a Randy Fenoli fan, you'll not want to miss this one!!
We're giving away a signed photo (A4 framed) of the star of 'Say Yes to the Dress', plus a signed copy of his book, 'It's all about the dress' - a brilliant read for all brides to be, and one to treasure if you are a Randy fan!!  Plus, you'll get a goodie bag and a £100 voucher to spend at Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage.

To enter, you need to take a selfie or picture of yourself and caption it with Randy's special phrase, 'Hello Beautiful!   Follow the link to our page to find out more about how you can make your picture win.  

The winner will be the picture with the most likes this Saturday the 3rd October at 7pm.  Good luck, and I hope this prize finds a home with a big Randy fan!!!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Hello Beautiful!!!!!

Wednesday the 16th of September 2015 was a pretty exciting day!  Only those who are obsessed with weddings, and in this case, TLC's 'Say Yes to the Dress' will get it (and who will understand the blog title!!)  and if you watch the show, you will understand the excitement of it all.  For someone like me who works with brides everyday and helps them to find their dress, it was a pretty big deal to get to go to a seminar where Randy Fenoli was the guest of honour (and we were going to have afternoon tea with him!)

From listening to him talk about his early life to how he got where he is today, one thing that is crystal clear is that this is a man who is passionate about dresses - and most importantly, how a dress can empower a woman and make her feel special and beautiful.  Not only does he sell dresses, but he's made loads of them (he made his very first one at age 9 for his mother!) and is an award-winning designer too.  He's a man who knows his stuff!!!  In relation to helping a bride in her quest for the dress, I found a lot of the things he talked about were things that we focus on in our shop, and have for a long time.  Randy, like us, is a strong believer that a bride buys her dress with her heart and not with her head.  If I don't see a huge smile, if I don't hear the 'love' word, and if a bride doesn't want to stand in a dress for ages, I'll get her to take that dress off and keep looking.  She has to feel beautiful in it and hopefully she should even get butterflies in her tummy. It doesn't matter how long the train is, or what type of fabric it is or the design of the beading, whether she knows someone who wore something similar or whether it is the opposite of the dress that she imagined she'd wear.  It's all about how the a dress can make her feel beautiful.  And if a bride feels beautiful, her confidence and posture will make her look beautiful, and she will have found the dress she will walk up the aisle in. Randy believes that the dress should sell itself - when the bride finds the one, she'll know.  I often get very positive feedback from brides about our approach to selling, and I'm often told by brides that they felt pressurised elsewhere.  But I am in the Randy Fenoli school of thought - it's all about how the bride feels, and if she's not feeling it 100%, we'd rather she walk away and make the decision when she is positive that she's saying yes to the right dress for her, so you won't get the hard sale from us!!

Randy's enthusiasm was infectious, and I hope I've brought some of that back to the shop with me.   My customers often tell me that I have the patience of a saint, but this man even leaves me trailing behind in that department!!  The time he spent talking to all the retailers who attended the seminar - taking selfies, recording video messages for them, signing books and photos, posing for photos and chatting with us about our shops (God love him though, he really struggled with my Northern Irish accent!!) - this man has a way of making people feel special.  I can see why so many people love him.  I told him I'd traveled the furthest in the room to see him - almost 500 miles from Ireland to Sutton Coldfield (on planes trains and automobiles!!!) and I have to say, it was well worth the journey.  He's a warm and genuine man with a passion for wanting women to feel beautiful, and I hope I will get the chance to meet him again someday.

Randy and Ciara selfie!

We may not have a big store like Kleinfeld's in New York, but our humble Bridal Cottage in Greysteel has been a place where we've made a lot of magic happen,  and we hope to have many, many magical, special and beautiful moments for a long time to come.

My customers have been all asking me about him since I got back and telling me how they'd loved to have come along too ..... and I've brought back a little treat with me to share - I'm going to be giving away a signed copy of Randy's book, 'It's all about the dress' (an excellent guide written for brides who are planning their wedding) and a framed signed photo too.
Make sure you follow our Facebook page or follow our Twitter account over the next few days to find out how you can get your hands on one of these. Good luck to all who enter!!!!  Ciara xx

Click to go to our Facebook page

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Our 11th birthday - and a busy week ahead!!

This time 11 years ago I was starting out from scratch with a brand new business.  We've come a long way in that time; it's great to have watched the business grow from nothing into what it is today - and it's still going from strength to strength.  I was delighted this week to meet one of my former brides again - I've met loads of former customers again over the years, but she was one of the brides who put her faith in our new business and ordered a wedding dress the week we opened - and her sister came and bought her wedding dress off us this week too!! So a double delight!!

On Sunday, I'll be off to Harrogate to visit the annual British Bridal Exhibition where I'll be visiting the teams from Maggie Sottero, Essense of Australia, Mori Lee and Special Day and seeing what they've got in store for next year for our brides getting married from late 2016 onwards.  Watch this space!

And then it's off to Birmingham for a retailer seminar with Randy Fenoli from TLC's 'Say Yes to the Dress', so it's going to be an exciting week!!!!   

I'll be back on Wednesday evening, so the shop will be closed for a few days and reopening on Thursday 17th September.

If you need to contact me between the 13th and the 16th September, send me a message on our Facebook messenger or an email on and I'll do my best to get straight back you!

Ciara  xxx