Making Dreams Come True
To describe a wedding as a momentous occasion is among the bigger understatements in life.
So it’s no surprise that people whose businesses revolve around the ceremony take their jobs quite seriously. From the dress and the flowers to the food and the music, it takes a lot of planning, patience and perseverance to pull off the big day. Here’s a look at several local wedding consultants, boutique owners, designers and planners of all things nuptial.
The Wedding Belle
With a background in ballet dancing and a career that included corporate events, it made perfect sense for Robyn Martin to find her way into wedding work. Martin is an accredited bridal consultant and owner of The Wedding Belle, which offers a range of wedding planning and design. Starting the business was like finding where she needed to be.
“It felt familiar. A wedding was very much like a stage production–with the costumes, design, lighting, décor and cast,” Martin says. “I felt like I was coming home again.”
Martin says she prefers weddings to corporate events because she gets to work with the client longer and enjoys an emotional investment with the bride, her family and friends. The longest she’s ever worked on a wedding is two-and-a-half years, and the shortest, three weeks.
At The Wedding Belle, Martin caters to brides on any budget. She can perform duties on an hourly basis to supplement what the family is already doing, or she can plan the entire ceremony. She offers three packages with different levels of service–The Basiques, which includes wedding day-only service; The Sanity Saver, with an increased amount of work on timelines, vendor contacts and more; and the Total Indulgence, which features full production, design, planning, consultation and execution of a wedding.
“There’s a niche market for each package,” Martin says.
The Wedding Belle was named a finalist for the Gala Award for Best Wedding 2007 by Special Events magazine. Martin sees clients by appointment only. For more information, call 405-250-4988 or visit www.weddingbelleweddings.com.
Bella Rose Bridal
Being part of a bride’s dream come true is a dream career for Tara Holdridge, owner of Bella Rose Bridal in Edmond. Her business focuses on attire for the bride and bridal party–everything from the beautiful gown to delicate jewelry.
“We are full-service for the bride and bridal party. We offer a wide selection of designers of bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, flower girl dresses, shoes and jewelry,” Holdridge says.
Because she is so well-acquainted with bridal attire, Holdridge keeps abreast of its trends. Lace and texture are popular, along with the classic silhouette gown, she says. Strapless dresses are still sought-after, along with floral embellishments.
Sometimes Holdridge works with a bride and one bridesmaid and, at other times, it’s a large party with 15 people. Regardless, it’s a chance to become part of a very special time in the life of a bride, her family and friends.
“It’s not like owning a clothing boutique with regular customers,” Holdridge says, “I usually spend a year with the bride and her family. It’s wonderful to get to see a girl’s dreams come true. When they try on a bridal gown, it’s the day most girls dream about for a long time.”
Her line of work also comes with its challenges. Holdridge says stress can set in when there’s a time crunch or something goes amiss when the dress arrives, such as a wrong color. That’s why she recommends starting the process early enough to deal with anything unexpected.
Holdridge opened Bella Rose Bridal in December 2006. The address is 1289 E. 15th St., Suite 116, in Edmond.
Meg Guess Couture Bridal
In one year’s time, Meg Guess opened her own bridal boutique, filled it with the gowns of various designers and, perhaps most significantly, launched her own collection.
Guess’s boutique is full-service, whether the bride finds a designer dress or opts for a custom-designed gown. Guess was a designer before opening her own boutique, and now the business has grown into a melding of her talents.
For her own collection, appropriately titled Meg Guess, she has designed dresses that draw on gowns from the past as well as ideas from herself and others.
“I’m inspired by the brides and by past pieces,” Guess says, “Soon I’ll start marketing the collection nationwide.”
Custom-designed gowns also come from various inspirations, sometimes incorporating an element from the bride’s mother’s dress or another sentimental feature. Today’s brides also aren’t afraid of wearing colors, she says.
Bridal gowns begin at about $1,200 and go up to “fantasyland” cost, Guess says. Brides can determine their own price range according to what they’d like to wear. For example, silk will cost more than other fabrics, as will higher-end beading, she says. But at the end of the day, it’s about making the bride happy.
“It’s not work to me–it’s very rewarding,” Guess says, “You get to create beautiful things for the most important day of a girl’s life, then see them so happy. It’s like our own little runway show when they walk down the aisle.”
Meg Guess Couture Bridal is at 1227 N. Walker Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but she recommends appointments, especially for Saturdays and evenings. More information is available online at www.megguess.com.
D’Plazzo Couture Designs
Turning a bride’s vision of her wedding day into a beautiful bridal gown couldn’t be more rewarding work for Debra Sanders. As owner of D’Plazzo Couture Designs, Sanders is in the business of bringing those wedding visions to life.
D’Plazzo is Italian for “palace,” and the business name represents the “daughters of the palace.” Along with her designers, Sanders ensures that each bride receives a one-of-a-kind gown tailored to her style and dreams.
“We meet with brides one-on-one by appointment only, and we learn their vision and style,” she says. “We design a gown for her, and it’s something you won’t see any other bride wear.”
Sanders also has created a wedding gown that is unique in its elegance and functionality. She approached Mitchell Clark of B.C. Clark Jewelers about designing a gown with real diamonds that could be removed after the wedding and worn as jewelry. The result: the D’Plazzo Lazure Diamond Gown, featuring 130 Lazure diamonds that can be removed to form two necklaces.
Although the majority of her work is in custom gowns, Sanders added wedding planning to her list of services last summer. Eventually, she’d like to add gowns by other designers to her business, she says.
“The best reward is the final fitting and seeing the bride so excited about how the gown fits and what she has dreamed of,” Sanders says. “It’s the best feeling.”
For information about D’Plazzo, visit www.dplazzo.com or call (405) 401-8994.