It’s always all go at Bellissima Weddings, but Saturdays are their own special kind of busy! Wedding Industry News chats to Bellissima’s Laura Daly to find out more about a Saturday in the life of this busy, buzzing Essex-based bridal boutique… A great insight into a working day!
9am and before we open...
We’ll typically start the day by opening up the shop, setting up the outside bar area, checking that all the rooms are prepped to receive our first guests, double checking that the pick-up room is ready for any pick-ups and that the temperature is just right for our guests. Upstairs, Dale, our in-house designer, will be checking that all the dresses he needs for the day are ready and queued up in appointment order.
Our barista will check over the bar and ensure adequate provisions for the day, enough ice is made, any pre-booked drinks are noted, and the coffee machine is good to go.
Lily, the assistant manager, will walk around the whole premises to double-check that Friday's team has completed their close-down correctly and that nothing at Bellissima is out of place. Then the team will make themselves a drink and a snack and sit down together for the Saturday staff huddle, headed by Lily. She will go over the day's diary with all the stylists, chatting about the wish lists made by our brides and ensuring everyone is ready and prepared for the day ahead. Any new arrival during the week will be discussed and inspected so that part-timers, and those who have been on holiday don’t suddenly have a shock when they find a dress on the rails they have never seen before. She will also hand out the closing jobs so that once the last customer has left, everyone knows exactly what to do before going home (and yes, that includes taking it in turns to clean the toilets)!
Just before 10am, our scented candles are lit...
Because we are an appointment-only boutique, our day will already be mapped out from the start. The first appointments arrive between 10 and 10.30am – we stagger the arrivals so that there isn’t a massive pile-up at the two order desks if everyone wants to place an order directly after their appointment. Appointments arrive at separate doors and have their private areas, so they are often blissfully unaware that there are other brides in the building until they go to pay! Our barista will flit between the appointments, ensuring refreshments are offered. Any used crockery is removed when necessary, and our stylists will be doing what they do best: putting their customers at ease and finding them ‘The One’.
After the appointment, which typically lasts 1.5 hours, when a bride chooses to purchase her gown, we’ll take her to our selfie wall (currently filled with feathers!), where we’ll take a picture for our socials and encourage the bridal party to take any shots they’d like as well. If a re-booking is required, we’ll find a suitable return date and sort. We factor in a buffer zone so we can all re-set to go again. Rooms are cleaned and tidied, bathrooms checked, dresses straightened, and then off we go for another wave of appointments.
Lunch hour for our stylists is programmed in these days depending on what room they are working in – no more hurried snacks and indigestion. We understand that an army marches on its stomach, so we ensure that to give their best to their brides, our stylists are well fed and rested. The breaks are staggered so that there’s always at least one appointment happening while others are taking a break.
We'll all slip into debrief and closedown mode as soon as the last appointment is finished, typically just after 5.
Lily will note any queries or follow-ups that may need to be made on Monday, as well as take note of any dresses that might have been damaged during the multiple appointments of the day and note any trends that are being asked for that we aren’t covering. Once done, it's clean, clean, clean! The last job of the day is to set up each bridal room for the next appointments so that the team working that day is already one step ahead.
While this is all going on downstairs and upstairs in our fitting suite, Dale, our in-house designer, will be seeing our brides for their pre-fits. This is where a Bellissima bride who has purchased a platinum package from us gets to see and try on her dress for the very first time. Our upstairs fitting room is always an oasis of calm, and Dale will take our brides through the next steps with their gown, explaining what will need to be done to the gown in terms of alterations and sketching sleeves, straps, or any extras that our bride may want to add to her dress.
Once the appointment is over, our brides settle their balance and decide if they wish to store their gown with us or take it home until their alterations start.
Dale usually runs a back-to-back on-the-hour diary, and sometimes we only get to see him at lunchtime because his Saturday clinics are so popular with our brides!
Lastly, while upstairs and downstairs are seeing brides in the first two stages of their bridal journey, our pick-up room at the back of the shop will be busy consigning dresses to our brides for their weddings. We offer a drive-to-door appointment for these pick-ups and a full inspection of the dress (which we also film) before we bag it up and lay it in her car for her to take home. So you could say we are sort of hatching, matching, and dispatching all at the same time!
And that’s that – a standard Saturday in the life of Bellissima Weddings! We hope you have found this little insight inspiring? If you would like to ask our Boutique Hub expert, Laura anything, please contact her below.
Online: www.bellissimaweddings.co.uk Instagram: @bellissimaweds
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