Ivory, NADIA style fit and flair gown of French lace features low-cut back and champagne lining from L’Fay Bridal, $3,600
While planning the perfect wedding is usually an exercise in chaos for most brides, choosing your wedding dress should not be. For many, the most wonderful part of the whole planning process is finding the right dress. Before heading out to the nearest bridal boutique, it is good to make sure that you’re well prepared for, perhaps, the most important shopping trip of your life.
To help that happen, we talked to Renata and Robert Kukielka, owners of L’Fay Bridal in Fogelsville, for tips on making your wedding dress shopping the happy occasion it should be.
The Kukielkas have decades of experience in the bridal industry, actually getting their start in their native Poland.
The Kukielkas both went on to careers working for the Cymbeline Pari collection of Paris where Robert was an executive director and Renata was a representative. The line was beautifully made and high-end, and inspired the couple to want to bring this type of enterprise to the U.S. They achieved their goal and opened their first bridal store in 2008, in New York City. After great success with this store, the couple added two more East Coast locations: one in Fogelsville and in Chatham, New Jersey.
Every year the Kukielkas travel to European markets in Italy, Spain and France to procure elegant bridal gowns otherwise unavailable in the United States. The store also carries beautiful veils sourced from Paris, France, unique jewelry made by Canadian and U.S. designers and beautifully jeweled belts crafted in India.
While the bride-to-be will have a one of-a-kind shopping experience at L’Fay Bridal, Renata offers six tips you should adopt before making that first visit:
“Do your homework, look at Pinterest and look at different styles before coming in.”
The Internet offers a plethora of sources and information for dress styles. Research what style of dress best fits your body type, since every style complements the female form differently. Knowing which style you’re interested in will not only make the experience easier for you, but will help provide your wedding dress consultant with a starting point.
“It’s good to have a date and the venue before you start looking so that the dress matches the weather and setting.”
Resist the urge to sprint to the bridal salon as soon as you get that engagement ring. Renata suggests choosing your date and venue first. They will set the tone for the event and thus, the dress. You would not want to choose a gorgeous ball gown and find out later that your fiancé has his heart set on a less formal, countryside affair. Knowing more of your wedding details will help narrow your options.
“Know the theme of the wedding first.”
Wedding themes can range from beach, winter holidays, princess or even vintage, just to name a few. Buying a dress that matches the theme of your special day is important to pull the look of your event together. Knowing the theme beforehand will take some of the guesswork out of the dress shopping.
“Have your budget in mind before going shopping.”
Let’s face it—we all know how expensive the wedding of your dreams can be. Conceive a budget for every aspect of the wedding first, including the dress, so that you know how much you’re willing to spend before you go. Also, by relaying that budget amount to the salon before your visit, you allow time for a consultant to choose some dresses in your price range prior to coming in. Nothing is worse than falling in love with a dress that you won’t be able to afford.
“Be open-minded. While you think you might know exactly what you want before you come in, you might ultimately want something completely different.”
Don’t be afraid to step outside the box when trying on dresses! Picking out a dress is supposed to be an exciting experience, so why not take a risk and try on a gown you never would imagine wearing. Who knows? The one dress you’d least expect to look good on you could be the one you end up walking down the aisle in.
“Bring people whose opinion you can trust, such as close friends or family.”
It’s important to have people around you whose opinions you know you can count on. It’s good to have friends and family that are honest with you, but think twice about bringing someone who may be overly critical. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so bring those who matter the most to you.
L’Fay Bridal | 7725 Main St., Fogelsville 610.366.0125 | lfay.com