About Me

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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.

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.