Our vendor spotlight section usually focuses on one person, but we couldn’t talk about Dublin bridal shop White Orchid Bridal Boutique without mentioning the two lovely ladies behind it all: Alex Reilly and Anne Kinsella.
Tell us a little bit about you both
We’re Alex Reilly and Anne Kinsella, and we’re the proud owners of White Orchid Bridal Boutique, which we opened in 2008. Friends first, we shared the happy experience of getting married within the same year, in fact within weeks of each other. Having planned our weddings together we then began the task of planning a business together. We had both worn very unusual wedding dresses on our wedding days, and both had similar experiences – we had found it exceptionally hard to find unique wedding gowns. We decided to pool our expertise in bridal fashion, styling, media, business and enterprise together to create White Orchid Bridal Boutique.
Tell us about White Orchid Bridal
In creating White Orchid Bridal we wanted to offer a haven to style conscious brides, a place where they could discover innovative gowns that offered them something unique but were also stunningly beautiful. We wanted brides to no longer feel that they only had a limited selection in bridal wear or that they had to compromise on their personal style just because they were getting married. Our pledge was and has remained: to bring fashion foreword designer bridal gowns to stylish Irish brides, in a range of budgets and to suit all ceremony styles. We are also firmly committed to always offering our brides the utmost in customer service from their first visit to their last fit.
In recognition on our continued style and service to our brides we have proudly been awarded Bridal Shop of the year 2 years in a row.
What inspires you?
We are very much inspired by vintage style, Old Hollywood glamour, and couture design. However most of inspiration comes from the brides themselves we are lead by our brides’ requests and inspired by their individual sense of style the outfits that they wear visiting the boutique! We are also massively inspired by the brides’ weddings the styling of their whole outfit from their hair and make-up to how they have put their bridal look together and the theme of the wedding event itself.
Are there any new Irish bridal designers we should watch out for?
We love Aisling Nelson who owns Rangoli Jewellery. She creates bespoke bridal hair accessories. So many of our brides choose her unique pieces to compliment our dresses, they are so beautiful and are like works of art. We also love Carol Shaw who designs the most stunningly delicate bridal jewellery; they are pieces that you can wear again and again always reminding you of the happy memories of your big day.
What new trends are there for 2012 and 2013?
Lace lovers rejoice as lace is back in a big way, thanks partly to the Royal wedding what is amazing about lace though is there are hundreds of varieties which creates so many different looks and styles from demure to very sexy. Lace doesn’t just mean traditional it’s versatile and can be surprisingly edgy.
Curves want to be hugged in the past curvy girls felt they only had 1 option in a dress Aline well not anymore. Designer are finally designing with the fabulously curvy bride in mind and offering her gowns that are more figure enhancing and fitted. So don’t be afraid to show off your curves.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Where do we start? The fabulous dresses, being surrounded by designer gowns all day, going on wonderful buying trips and seeing stunning bridal collections before anyone else does. We also sometimes try on the dresses … for research purposes only obviously!
However the best part of our job has to be the relationship that you build with our brides. From the moment a bride walks through the door we are privileged to be part of their journey. We listen to their bridal gown dreams (dreams some have had since they were little girls). As we dress them, they tell us about their soul mate, the romantic proposal, their dreams of their big day and their future with their husband. We get to share in the girlie laughs with their bridesmaids and the tears when a proud mother sees her daughter in the one’. It’s a very personal experience that lasts for many months and friendships are built up. We treat every wedding as if it is our own so we are very proud and emotional when a bride collects her beautiful wedding gown.
How do you choose what dresses to stock?
We follow the lead of our brides, we listen to what they want we follow fashion forecasts, catwalk and fashion week trends watching up and coming designers. A trend at the moment is gowns that look more red carpet glamour’ than traditional bridal, so we keep a close eye on what the celebrities are wearing to the Oscars etc. We visit several large retail bridal fairs.
What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever had?
We recently had a bride who asked if her mum could try on a dress for fun. She explained that her mum had married in a little white dress suit and never got the change to wear the big white dress’ of course we were delighted to indulge her and there were tears in everyone’s eyes as she tried on a very vintage-esq lace gown. The bride’s mum told us that we had made her day!
What’s your working week like?
Our working week is full of variety. Each day and bride is different from the last. During the week we take consultations with brides and bridesmaids – these appointments are full of excitement of the search for the one’. We also have weekly bridal alterations where we catch up with our brides who are excitingly trying on their own dress and putting the finishing touches to their big day.
What made you want to work in the wedding industry?
We both always dreamed of working in the bridal industry, it’s an exciting and romantic place to work. Who wouldn’t want to work with bridal gowns?
Have you seen many changes since you started your business?
Yes, the economic situation in Ireland has caused one positive outcome, many businesses are following our lead and offering their brides better value, and service and rightly so.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to couples planning their wedding?
Well, to the brides we say shop early, as it can take a while to find the one’. Although it is great fun bringing the gang shopping, it can also be confusing to listen to all the different opinions on each gown. Take their advice but listen to your heart this is your day and your gown. Enjoy every minute, this is a very magical moment in your life. Finally make sure you visit White Orchid Bridal!
Where can we find you?
White Orchid Bridal,
75 North Street,
2nd Floor (above Gerard Ryan Financial Services)