This week, we are taking a bit of a step away from bridal fashion advice for brides-to-be, and tips for shopping for your wedding dress. If you are someone who loves the bridal fashion world or are just curious about what it takes to work at a bridal dress store, then this post is for you.
At Lovella, we are often asked about what it is like to work with brides and what it takes to work in a bridal salon. We love what we do and we love helping brides on the journey to find their dream wedding dress. We are excited to share some insight and tips on how to become a bridal stylist or bridal consultant in a wedding dress shop.
Video: How to Become a Bridal Stylist/Consultant
If you are curious about what it takes to work in a bridal boutique or think you may want to be a bridal stylist, don't miss our advice video all about how to become a bridal stylist or bridal consultant.
Being a bridal stylist or bridal consultant at a bridal boutique is such an interesting job role. It’s a job that is different every day. Sure, you are always helping brides find their dream wedding dress, but no two brides are the same. You won’t be looking for the same style of wedding dress at each appointment.
Another interesting aspect of working at a bridal store is that you can’t really get experience as a bridal stylist until you jump right in. There isn’t an exact program to gain experience until you just start doing it and get familiar with the inventory at the bridal store you are working at. A great start is to have some sort of experience in the fashion world and some experience working with people. So if you have prior experience working with people in some sort of retail setting, transitioning to a bridal boutique is not that far of a stretch.
At Lovella, we aren’t necessarily looking for people who have prior bridal experience. We also aren’t looking for people who think that trying on wedding dresses is a fun dress-up or fantasy experience. There is a lot of hard work that goes into working as a bridal stylist, so if you love wedding dresses and want to play dress up, that isn’t necessarily going to cut it in the bridal fashion world.
Playing Multiple Roles
Bridal stylists are not just playing dress up all day. There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into the role of being a bridal consultant. You have to have an eye for detail. You need to be a people person who can think on your feet. You have to be able to handle brides during this stressful time of life. Weddings of course bring a lot of happy moments, but there can be complicated family dynamics at play and emotions tend to run high when wedding dress shopping so it’s more complex than you might think on the surface.
Wedding dress shopping is unlike anything you are used to in your day-to-day life. Brides aren't always necessarily the most open and excited to be working with a bridal stylist because most of the time they've never experienced working with a stylist and aren’t sure what it entails. They are probably nervous, might be standoffish, might be moody- you never know what you are going to get. Having a stranger help you try on wedding dresses can make them feel awkward. There are so many emotions running through a bride’s head that you might never be able to recognize. Being a bridal consultant requires you to wear many hats.
In a client-facing job in the wedding industry, you need to have a lot of emotional bandwidth. You need to have the ability to read people because you likely only have an hour with a bride and in that short amount of time you have to work some magic. You are working to understand that bride, learn her fashion sense, what the wedding means to them, and so much more in order to match them in a dress that's going to be the right fit for them and for their wedding.
It’s Not All About Sales
Yes, one aspect of being a bridal consultant is about making a sale. You are obviously working to sell a wedding dress, but your job goes deeper than that. You should think of it as creating a relationship with each bride. Don’t think of it as just selling a dress- there is no emotion or connection behind that. To be a really great bridal stylist means really understanding each bride you work with and making that connection to earn their trust as you guide them on the journey to their dream bridal dress.
It should be about getting to know people, meeting them where they're at, and bringing them joy and excitement. At Lovella, we aim to make each and every bride feel beautiful and confident in the most important article of clothing they'll ever wear.
More Than Customer Service
Being a great bridal consultant goes even further than just great customer service. Giving great customer service is important to any client-related job. You will be in many roles as a bridal consultant and sure, maybe the bulk of your day will be spent interacting with brides. But there are more mundane tasks that need attention as well. Realistically speaking, you’ll also be spending part of your day cleaning. Whether that means cleaning up a dressing room and rehanging bridal dresses that were pulled from inventory to straightening up bridal accessories that may have been picked up and moved around. Even cleaning the bathroom when necessary or wiping down mirrors- you’ve got to be ready to step up to every job at a moment’s notice.
You might be the person cleaning up a dressing room in one moment. Next, you will be a salesperson completing a bride’s dress order. You might be the therapist in the dressing room that the bride needs a shoulder to cry on. You might be in the role of a friend or a sister. Whatever your brides needs in that moment, you have to figure it out to give them the best experience and support them through every step if the way. There is a lot that goes into making the decision to take the leap into the bridal fashion world because it’s not just playing dress-up all day.
In addition to helping brides find their dream wedding dress, there are a lot of logistical things you will have to learn as a bridal stylist. You have to understand the inventory that your bridal boutique has. So you will need to become familiar with what designers your store carries and how the sizing works. You will have to learn about shipping dates and deadlines and what styles are available on certain timelines.
You also need to be familiar with all of the events and things that happen on a wedding day and how a bride may feel on the wedding day. For instance, if a bride loves a wedding dress with off-the-shoulder straps, that is going to limit the range of motion she has with her arms and you have to be able to communicate to the bride that her arm movement will be limited on wedding day with that style dress.
There is so much inventory and product-related knowledge that has to be learned once you start working at a bridal boutique and just general industry-wide information that can only be learned with on the job experience. It can take quite a few months to gain the knowledge and experience you will need to really give brides the best experience possible. You have to have the inventory knowledge to know what styles and designs suit what the bride is looking for. You have to have the confidence to assure your bride that you know what you are doing and are truly there to guide them to find their dream bridal dress.
All in all, it takes a lot of hard work and drive to be in the bridal fashion world. There are certainly a lot of fun moments - I mean who wouldn’t get excited each time a bride says “yes to the dress”?! But there are moments that are not glamorous so a career as a bridal stylist is not for the faint of heart. If you are willing to work hard and gain the experience, then the payoff can be incredible. Our stylists at Lovella love what they do and love making such a big impact on brides as we help them make lifelong memories.
More Bridal Stylist Advice
We hope you enjoyed this little peek into the bridal fashion world and what it's like to work at a bridal store. If you want more tips and advice on being a bridal stylist, don't miss our past posts:
- Bridal Stylist Training Course
- Tips And Advice For Being A Bridal Stylist
- How to Be Confident When Styling Brides
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.