Vintage Tiaras – Should we all go running to gold?

The buzz word on everyone’s lips at the moment is vintage and designers are combing the 1940archives to see what was the height of fashion 70 or 80 years ago so it can used as inspiration for collections of today.

 

Bridal side headbands with asymmetric detail like these are proving very popular this season as well as demure vintage bridal headbands such as these – these headdresses give you a snippet of what is currently being worn by the most fashion conscious brides.

Enough of what the current fashions are… what about the future and what about gold?

ball

Most headdresses/ tiaras and headpieces that are being chosen by brides are silver and have been for quite a while but there are indications that gold might regain, at least part of, its market share!

 

Lace is absolutely everywhere and brides to be are becoming more adventurous with their dress colour choice- creams, champagnes and gold are all working their way onto brides and all of these dress colours can work with accessories that are a little softer in colour than bright silvers that are so popular at the moment.

Of course gold accessories can look a little bit “ancient Egyptian” if it is not done correctly egyptian headdressbut if designed with a bit of subtlety in mind and worn with the right dress and the right skin tone it can look amazing and give a bride an individual look that everyone is searching for!

 

In short, don’t throw out you silver headdresses but definately have a few pieces in gold as it will be coming back in some form…

I think you might see some gold pieces in the spring Daisy Day bridal headdress collection😉

Daisy Day

www.daisyday.co.uk

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Bridal Superstitions…

eotw

With the Mayan calendar about to expire, signalling the end of the world and the speculation that 12/12/12 will crash all of the computer networks (again) it highlights that so many people are superstitious, even if a little wacky.

ladder

However skeptical you are that walking under a ladder will bring you bad luck and that those people who are stocking up on canned food for the 21st December will be stuck eating Spam for the foreseeable future you will almost certainly incorporate some superstition into your wedding…

After all, it might be absurd but you don’t want to gamble with your marriage, do you?

The sources of superstitions are very difficult to trace as they were often distorted and watered down as the stories were passed through generations but almost all promised to increase the couple’s luck, fertility and happiness.

Below is a list of some of the forgotten origins of commonly known rituals…

 

Tying cans to the back of the couple’s car…jm

This originated from Tudor times when guests would throw their shoes at the just married couple – the luck would only be granted, however, if the Bride, Groom or carriage were hit with a well aimed boot – in more recent years the shoe was exchanged for a can which made the same rattle noise as a shoe hitting a carriage.  Similarly in Anglo-Saxon times the Groom whacked his Bride with his shoe to establish his authority and the Bride would throw her shoes at the Bridesmaids to see who would be lucky enough to marry next!

Flowers and button holes…

bouquet

Flowers have always been popular at weddings after they were introduced as bouquets – although originally they had a practical application rather than an aesthetic one – baths were not particularly common during the Middle Ages and it was found that a freshly picked bouquet of flowers masked the smell of the Bride and her entourage quite effectively! It was also during this time that the Groom had a button hole using the same flower that the bride carried in her bouquet which was symbolic of a Knight wearing his Lady’s colours…

A touch more romantic than throwing a shoe…

Cake…

st brides

The original wedding cake consisted of lots of wheat cakes that were broken over the brides head to give good luck and fertility, it is a more recent development to have 3 tiers which take their shape from the unusual shape of the spire of St. Brides Church in London. The joint first cut of the cake signifies that the couple will share their lives together and every guest should eat, at least, a crumb to give good luck.

 The right time and the right place…

 “Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind & true,
When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know.
Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden & for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bred.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see
Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.”
 

May was considered, by the pagans as the start of the summer and was almost entirely dedicated to outdoor orgies which are most likely not the ideal start to happy nuptials. Queen Victoria is reputed to have banned her Children from marrying in may and 19th century Vicars were often rushed off of their feet on April 30th   

Church Transport…chimney

Walking is traditionally considered the best way to arrive at church because there is more opportunity to find luck… Seeing a black cat, chimney sweep, a rainbow or having the sun shine on a bride is lucky whereas seeing a pig, hare, lizard or an open grave is a signature of bad luck.

Monks and Nuns should also be given a very wide berth since they indicate barrenness and a life supported by charity.

Choosing the one you love…

Ancient Roman Greek Philosopher Man by ColumnsIn ancient Greece brides were often sold for land or money, if a prospective Groom had neither of these then Brides were sometimes kidnapped from a neighbouring villages. This is where a Groom chooses his strongest friend (best man) to help him fend off any resistance from the village the Bride was being kidnapped from and also to keep them away from the ceremony so it can go ahead without interference.

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have done finding out about it!

Daisy Day

www.daisyday.co.uk

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December Blues?

It is no secret that December is the quietest month of the year for a bridal shop; many brides spend their free time in this month either Christmas shopping or partying/ recovering instead of choosing their dream dress.

drunk_elf

This means the outlook for new sales in the festive period can be bleak but as US President John Adams said “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.”

 

cloudThe silver lining here is that you have probably 3 or 4 weeks to sort out that enormous collection of jobs that have been added onto your “to-do” list throughout the year and maybe even fit in a few days off too!

Below is our top list of value added time-passers that you could spend your free days doing before manic January is on top of you…

1)      Set projections and targets for next year…

graphIt is important to know how much to spend on stock, shows and advertising in the coming year so it is useful to project how much you are going to turnover and what costs you are going to incur, once you have done this you can set targets that are above your projections and brainstorm ways to reach them.

 

2)      Go through magazines and supplier websites and decide what looks are going to be key looks next year…

Throughout the last few months you will have probably had customers come in for looks or products that you don’t currently stock – this is a great time to look at new suppliers and evaluate whether they will fit in with the trends you predict will be big next year.

3)      Review your social media and website activity and plan for the next few months…

One thing we have learned this year is that you can get a huge, very specific audience over Facebook-Logoa very short period of time using social networking sites. Social media advertising reaches a much more specific customer than traditional advertising so maybe this is something to look into or refine further over the next few weeks.

As far as your website goes, it is good to keep checking where your competitors appear on relevant Google searches and increase your SEO accordingly!

4)      Review your advertising and plan your strategy for the next year…

So you have some idea of how many customers you are going to serve next year and maybe a few ways you are going to achieve those stretched targets, but is there anywhere you are spending your hard earned without needing to? Did you do any shows, promotions or adverts that brought you nothing back in? Was it money that could be more effectively spent elsewhere? Time to get the calculator out and make some informed decisions…

5)      Make sure you send out emails and letters to prospective customers.

letterLots of people start their wedding dress shopping in early January so use a bit of your free time to send out letters and emails to prospective customers to make sure they see you and your gorgeous boutique before anyone else! You can be the early bird with a little planning!

6)      Have a massive clear out!

This is always my favourite job that I do just before Christmas. You have planned what to do better next year and can seal the deal by having a fresh workspace to come back to when you are revitalized after a good break. Chuck out anything that isn’t worth keeping and organise anything that you can let go in a sale so that come January you are refreshed and ready to hit the ground running!

7)      Think about the waistline…

Ok so this one isn’t exactly work related but Christmas time is a great excuse to have a fewturkey glasses of bubbly and loads of mince pies and tasty food – I like to measure how good a Christmas I have had by how much weight I have put on😉

 

 

That is what New Year resolutions are for anyway!

Daisy Day

www.daisyday.co.uk

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Giving your website more credibility…

The algorithm that Google uses to determine which website comes first when they return search results is incredibly complicated and allegedly contains over 200 variables. With such a high level of complexity, combined with the fact that Google will not divulge what the variables are, the process of raising your website up the Google rankings is far from an exact science…

The process of improving your website ranking is called Search Engine Optimization (frequently referred to as S.E.O.) and specialist companies can, and frequently do, charge a small fortune to do this service for you.

What you can do to check out how Google views your website is use a free “page rank” checker which gives your website a score out of 10 based on how credible it is and it is updated every 3 months or so – the more credible your website, the higher up the page you will appear!

Once you have found out what your website “page rank” is, it is a good idea to check out your competitors to see how you compare. If you have a better score then it’s time to increase your lead and if your ranking is worse, it should set alarm bells ringing and give you a kick start to do some SEO!

Before you go running to an SEO company waving your credit card in the air there are a couple of things that you can easily do to make your website score better…

1)      Place links to ALL of your suppliers on your website and have them ALL link back to your website.

This is because Google thinks the best websites as the ones that other credible websites link to – this means your website should link to your supplier’s website to improve their ranking and in turn that will make their link to your website more valuable because you are being linked to by a credible website…. It’s simple enough and the best thing is that it is self perpetuating!!

It is also a good idea to link to and from any blogs or Facebook pages that you or your suppliers have to increase credibility further. Whether the links are clicked on or not is less important than them just being present.

2)      Include likely search terms in your website text.

Think what search terms that you would use when looking for a product or service that you provide and include that text on your website. Google uses a program that searches all website text – computer programs cannot interpret sentences so they won’t pick up “make sewing changes to wedding dresses” if someone searches “bridal gown alterations”.

Whatever services you provide say so and say it in as many words!!

A few simple changes can make a world of difference!

Good luck,

Daisy Day

www.daisyday.co.uk

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How Vintage Are You? A rough guide…

Vintage is definitely a buzz word for weddings at the moment but there are around 40 years worth of fashion being herded into one category. Below is a quick description to help you choose (or find out) just how vintage you are??

1920’s

Think Charleston dancing golden girls with their hair in a marcel wave. The end of the “war to end all wars,” signified the beginning of the demand for women’s fashions to change. The flapper dress (see picture) was in and unless you had a cloche hat you were a nobody! Cocktail dresses came into their own and were often made from beaded chiffon with uneven handkerchief hems and dropped waistlines – combine this with T-strapped shoes with a shaped heel and you would have been blazing the trend setting highway.

This was also when the dress sizing system that we use today was created…

1930’s

The great depression set in and the sizing system that was devised in the previous decade was rolled out to allow the masses to imitate the trend setting movie stars. Red carpet fashions were often spotted in Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar and adapted to suit the needs of the “average” woman. In the first half of the decade, flared, flouncy skirts were matched with square, puffy shoulders. Towards the end of the 30’s, the skirts were getting longer and often cut on the bias to allow them to hang elegantly. Satin, crepe, chiffon and artificial silks were used in pastel and neutral colours to make the evening wear of this decade.

In terms of accessories, a beret style hat and gloves were a must have along with a clutch bag and some killer heels. This was the first decade to have a “fashionable” look to make-up – a matte complexion with rouge and bright red lip stick!

1940’s

Shoes continued to develop from the 1930’s and had more pointed heels and toes. A shortage of nylon meant the arrival of leg make-up and a seam line was often drawn on the rear of the leg to imitate the tights of the time – these are often seen in lingerie of today.

Towards the end of the century, the boys came home from war and the need for a more feminine, sophisticated look was answered by belted, cinched in waists, a lifted bust and no more shoulder pads. Mid-calf (ballerina or tea length) skirts were very popular and were often worn on top of very full petticoats.

The romantic and sexy look was appreciated by the newly returned soldiers and the chase for shorter skirts was on!

1950’s

Christian Dior’s Corolle post-war collection was a pivotal turning point of fashion with a variety of soft shoulders, full skirts and tight waists emphasizing the hour glass shape. Girls outfits hinted at fragility and femininity and were often combined with wrist length gloves.

If you think about Marilyn Monroe you will get a better idea of what was in-fashion in the 50’s – high waisted skirts and blouses were popular along with fuller skirts that started their ascent to popularity almost 10 years earlier!

 

Whichever decade(s) you go for on your wedding day we hope this has helped you tie everything together!

Daisy Day

www.daisyday.co.uk

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Brides by Solo – 30 Years young!

Brides by Solo in Newmarket recently celebrated their 30th birthday with a party for suppliers and brides alike. Daisy Day was fortunate enough to be invited so we thought we would take the opportunity to ask a few questions and get an insight how our industry has changed in the past ~11,000 days!

 

How did Brides by Solo first start?

Mrs Margaret Lister and her eldest daughter, Emma, originally opened the shop in Newmarket Town Centre in 1982 selling woman’s wear and were called Solo One. Soon after, they were asked to stock wedding dresses which sold so well that they dropped the woman’s wear, moved out of the main shopping precinct and renamed as Brides by Solo.

Since then they have stayed in the same part of Newmarket but Margaret has taken a well earned retirement and Emma works part-time whilst the younger daughter, Odette, has taken over full time management of the shop. This was Odette’s first Saturday job 30 years ago and she has worked in the shop on and off between stints working in London & South East Asia.

 

How has the industry changed in the past 30 years?

The advent of the internet, more local competition and brides doing far more research than ever before.  Our customers used to telephone us but now most email or contact us via social networks. The requirement for excellent customer service and good prices for quality bridal attire has never changed. This is Brides by Solo’s ethos and our current high demand for dresses proves this never goes out of fashion.

Most of our brides come via recommendation and this is the best we can hope for.

What has been your favourite and least favourite trend?

I love lace; lace never goes out of fashion for bridal fabric.

There is nothing I dislike because I respect there is a dress for everyone. Having said that we have kept a couple of dresses from when we first opened (Princess Di style). I recently tried one on and couldn’t believe how puffy the sleeves were but that was the style of the day. 

I wonder if they will ever come back in fashion?  Peach bridesmaids of that decade are already back in…

What has been the highlight of your 30 years in business?

There has been so many it is difficult to pick one. Moving into our own premises, surviving recessions, employing full-time staff, reaching 10, 20 and 30 years and still loving what we do, we have been blessed with so many I can’t single out one thing.

Going to Harrogate will always be a Highlight – it’s so exciting looking for that ‘top seller’ and seeing the new trends come onto the catwalk.

Any other messages?

We would like to thank the suppliers who have worked with and supported us over the past 30 years, our friends, staff and of course, all the customers who make this bridal shop what it is today.

Emma, Margaret & Odette at the 30th birthday party!

To contact the shop, please see the links below…

http://www.bridesbysolo.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/BridesbySolo

 

We would like to congratulate you on thriving for a generation and hope we are invited to the 50th party in another generation’s time!

 

Daisy Day

 

www.daisyday.co.uk

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5 reasons why running a bridal shop is the best job in the world…

In these dark days of economic struggle and money watching it’s a good idea to take a few steps back and take stock of what you have. Like the Acai berry or those anti-oxidant filled pumpkin drinks this should make you feel a bit better about yourself and show why we should ignore the media’s constant moaning.

1)      You are the catalyst to help a bride find her dream outfit. The brides wedding outfit is the most important part of her wedding day and you provide the wonderful service that matches a bride with every aspect of her look. Can you remember all those tears of happiness shed by mother, daughter and bridesmaid? Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?

 

2)      You have the flexibility and dynamics to change with the marketplace. Running your own boutique eliminates all of the red tape that most people have to deal with on a daily basis – if, all of a sudden, the marketplace starts demanding purple dresses with green shoes then you are in a perfect position to act quickly. To quote Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, “You are the master of your own destiny.”

 

3)      You constantly challenge yourself and take on new risks. Whether the risks pay off or fail terribly you get a huge buzz from trying new things out and an even bigger one from knowing that the reason they have paid off is your hard work

 

4)      The variation in your day to day work never leaves you bored and tired of repetition, there is always some ingenious marketing scheme to dream up or a bride who has unconventional tastes that you have to satisfy. You never know who is going to call tomorrow or who is going to walk through your door so that bleak and dreary autumn morning could turn into the best day of the year – you never know!!!

 

5)      Owning and running a bridal shop is not a job or vocation, it is a way of living and you are never far from contact. This might mean you are constantly attached to your emails on your phone but being that involved is important and is often the difference between a fully booked weekend and a cold and lonely shop – it is your dedication and commitment that makes your boutique a success!

 

I hope this doesn’t sound too much like “motivational speaker bluster” but due to our dedication and hard work, our industry is bucking the general economic trend and that is something that we should be very very proud of.

Happy Wednesday!

 

Daisy Day

 

www.daisyday.co.uk

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