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Cupar, Fife, United Kingdom
Aliya Rose is an award-winning bridal shop in Fife, Scotland. We have always been proud of our commitment to customer service, and our excellent range of styles and sizes. But we're also quite fun, or at least we try.

Friday, 9 December 2011

2012 is nearly upon us.....

...and where has 2011 gone?!! As we go into what is traditionally our quietest time of year, with brides taking a break from planning their weddings to plan Christmas instead, we have a chance to take stock, and prepare for the busy year that’s coming up around the corner. So let’s look at some of the trends we’ve seen this year, and what our predictions are for 2012.

2011 has been a year in which….
Lace has been creeping up in popularity, with bridal gowns featuring a little lace appliqué being the most popular
Purple has been a big trend for bridesmaid dresses this year, along with blue, and bright/hot pinks have made a comeback. But ivory and neutral palettes have been really popular too.
• The asymmetric headband is the absolute must-have accessory
• Despite a general feeling from lots of designers that we retailers would be inundated with girls asking for a dress just like Kate Middleton’s, we didn’t believe the hype. We loved her dress but we didn’t buy one of the many copies on offer, and guess what? We haven’t had a single girl tell us she wants a dress just like Kate’s. Proof that Aliya Rose knows its market? Well I like to think so.
Traditional busy seasons in bridal retail have gone out the window, but for us this has meant being steadily busy throughout the year instead of having bedlam for a couple of months followed by a period of tumbleweed blowing through the shop. We and our customers are happier for it!
A sense of calm has been restored after the unprecedented number of last minute orders we saw in 2010. It was a nationwide trend (kicked off, we think, by the recession) which saw many designers having to suspend their rush service as they were so heavily laden with short timescale orders. We are now, thankfully, back to the vast majority of orders being placed well in advance of the wedding date!

And here’s what we think will happen in 2012…
Lace is going to get even more popular, with lots of delicate full lace bridal gowns in many different shapes
• The fishtail silhouette is going to be huge, with superb figure hugging designs, and if you don’t think you have the figure, you might be pleasantly surprised – some of these gowns have incredible corsetry and it’s simply about finding one that gives you all the right proportions
• If lace isn’t for you, then you might want to look at the other end of the scale, with a really clean, simple look, and a statement embellishment. Or go down the route of the dress you can customise to REALLY make it your own. We have lots of ideas of how to change your dress to make it unique.
• For bridesmaids, chiffon is definitely going to be big. Colour-wise, we are expecting some requests for some ultra-hot tropical colours: watermelon, yellow, hot pink… along with some beautiful new purples and blues
Statement accessories are on their way. The asymmetric vintage style headband is here to stay, but it’s being joined by super-full or super-long veils, chandelier earrings, and chunky cuff bracelets. Don’t wear them all at once though, or you’ll look like an overdressed Christmas tree. Be sure to visit our new Accessories Zone which is due to open in the New Year… stay tuned for more info!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Being a Good Bridesmaid. And Being a Greater Friend.

I’ve done quite a lot of bridesmaids appointments recently. And I’ve been struck. With thoughts of how difficult it is, as a bride and as a bridesmaid, to strike up a good balance when it comes to pleasing everyone. One of the hardest things can be to find a dress that suits all your bridesmaids.

You know how it is – you have three bridesmaids, and they’re all different shapes and sizes. You’re wondering how on earth you’ll find something that they are all happy with. Or you are wondering how on earth you’ll persuade them to wear that particular colour that you love but at least one of them hates…..

You have a few options.

1) You decide what they are wearing. You give them no choice over style or colour, and if they don’t like it, tough. This has the advantage that you don’t have endless trips to endless shops, followed by endless negotiating. However, it has the distinct disadvantage that you may fall out with your bridesmaids, and they may look uncomfortable and unhappy in your wedding photos. Not a great combo.

2) You give them Carte Blanche. Let them choose the style and colour for themselves, and you’ll just go with whatever it is. This might seem like the least bridezilla and most lovely thing for a friend to do. And if you only have one bridesmaid, and you really REALLY don’t mind what she wears, then it’s perfect, and an absolutely lovely thing to do. Your bridesmaid will feel completely comfortable in what she has picked. However, unless your bridesmaids are carbon copies of one another, both size, shape, and taste-wise, you will more than likely run into trouble, possibly treading on eggshells as you carefully negotiate your way through the diplomatic dress crisis.

3) (and this is my favourite) You set fairly strict guidelines. Narrow down the options first, before you involve them. Decide on colour (or at least a possible palette of colour), and certain criteria (e.g. full length, floaty/chiffon, same dress or different dresses etc), and work within those guidelines. Explain these guidelines to your bridesmaids before they even start trying on dresses. Don’t go to too many shops. And then, relax and let the bridesmaids work themselves within these criteria.

Remember that you want the girls to be happy on the day, so they don’t look miserable and uncomfortable in your wedding photos. They are your friends or special to you in some way. And look for the happy medium.

There is always a process of negotiation. But there has to be give on both sides. A Good Bridesmaid will make sure that she always remembers that this is about the bride’s choice and it’s her wedding, and will always try to avoid having foot-stamping, toys-out-the-pram moments. She will also remember the other bridesmaids too, and not make it all about her. But a bride who is a Great Friend will make sure her spider-sense is well sharpened up to whether her bridesmaids are feeling horribly uncomfortable in a particular dress, and be prepared to go with a back up dress instead.

I have been privileged to see moments of real friendship in my shop, where it is clear that the exact positioning of a bow or a pleat, or the shade of colour in question, is far less important than a strong and very real bond of friendship between two people. And it warms the heart.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Is it 'The One'?

When it comes to wedding dresses, every married woman tells you that ‘you’ll just know when you try on The One'.

But is this REALLY true? I’m not so sure it is. At least, not in the way that people expect.

I’ve seen literally hundreds of bridal appointments. And for me, the idea of the thunderbolt moment, where the bride cries when she looks in the mirror, and her mum dabs at her face as a solitary tear rolls down it, is a bit of a myth. That’s not to say it never happens. We’ve had tears in the shop from time to time. But out of the hundreds of bridal appointments I could probably count the times we’ve had thunderbolts on my fingers.

The thing is, it’s confusing for brides. So many girls expect to put on the perfect dress and hear angels singing as a sign that it’s ‘The One’, and when that doesn’t happen, even though they are in a dress they really love, they doubt that they’ve really found the right dress. Then a long and exhausting quest for The Thunderbolt begins, the quest for something that’s more perfect than perfect, involving a visit to every bridal shop in the country, endless internet trawling, and eventually a trip back to try on the original one she liked, which she’s been comparing everything else to, only to find that is perfect after all.

All too often, we have brides come back to us after months of trawling round shops trying on dress after dress, having confused themselves with too many dresses, too many styles, and feeling frustrated about still not having had The Thunderbolt. They have become tired of dress shopping and disheartened with the whole experience. Which is not how it should be. The relief once the dress is finally chosen and ordered is tangible.

So what do people mean when they talk about their dress being ‘The One’ and just knowing it was right?

It’s very easy with hindsight to look back and see how you knew it was ‘The One’ all along. Because you have the experience of going back, trying it on again, feeling just right, and comfortable in it, and knowing that you like that dress more than any other you’ve tried. But you possibly didn’t have that feeling of knowing, that confidence, the first time.

Finding the perfect dress is maybe a bit like finding the perfect partner… you may be struck with something at first sight, but it’s only later that you know it was really love.