Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

I had the delightful opportunity to sneak in a phone interview with the VP and General Manager of Rosa Clara Bridal for the U.S. and Canada, Dominique Debroux, right before she began her special engagement at Eva's International on LaGrange tonight. She is the guest of honor at their champagne reception honoring Rosa Clara's fabulous 2014 Collections. 

Dominique was sweet, chatty and a professional all the way. You can tell she believes in the brand she represents. Right off the bat, I asked her what her position entails at Rosa Clara. She explained she does all of the sales and marketing in the U.S. and Canada. The most creative part of her job gives her the amazing opportunity to take the likes and dislikes of brides here back to Rosa Clara herself. That way Rosa knows what the North American consumer likes and finds a way to mesh that with her amazing fashions.

I went on to talk with Dominique about "The Rosa Clara Bride." I asked who she was, what she likes and what about her screams "Rosa Clara". Dominique explained it was difficult to pin-point any one specific kind of bride. "We have several different brands with a spectrum of looks." However, the very first thing that comes to her mind about the Rosa Clara bride is that she "thinks about quality and a look or a theme rather than just what's in."



"Rosa Clara started her business because she saw a lack of fashion in bridal." Dominique explains that she sees the same dress in the U.S. and Canada all the time - "it's the same push-up bodice with beading." At Rosa Clara, the designs are inspired by something new each year to keep styles fresh. This year, with the struggling economies of Europe and the recent issues of the U.S., Rosa drew inspiration from "times of prosperity." She looked to the Roaring Twenties and the iconic 1950s. "You'll see a lot of Great Gatsby or Downton Abbey inspired pieces, as well as that old Hollywood glamour. Think Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly."



One of the most stunning new trends is beaded lace. More specifically, beading used as lace. Rosa Clara's Soft Collection showcases sheath gowns with a layer of beaded tulle, appearing to be a shiny, sparkling layer of lace. For a fabulous example, just check out the photo on the cover of our magazine! 





Another trend ready to pick up in the U.S. is the gorgeous three-piece pantsuit. I know what you're thinking...a pantsuit? But seriously. It's gorgeous. Dominique described it to me: "It features a bustier, a cigarette pant, and a skirt that billows out beautifully." This outfit is a stunningly gorgeous look for a wedding or a rehearsal dinner. As Dominique pointed out, "It's only one day, but why have just one outfit?" The Rosa Clara bride goes all out.




Dominique told me that the thing she loves most about her job is when she gets "to come to events like this [Rosa Clara Trunk Show at Eva's Bridal on LaGrange] and work directly with the brides. I absolutely love when they find their dress. I love the look in their eyes."

She finds the most challenging part of her job is that the general American consumer is not always educated in quality. It can be difficult to show a bride why the price tag looks higher than it does at a discount store. Even if the shape looks similar, the fabrics, the cut, the quality isn't there. "I would love for the American consumer to educate themselves about quality more."




On a funny note - she told me her husband once asked about the prices of their gowns. He was amazed, and Dominique expected him to think it was too much money. However, she was wrong. Her husband said it was really inexpensive. He said, when men have their mid-life crisis it's usually much more costly. That story really tickled me.

Finally, Dominique leaves some advice for all you newly engaged brides out there about what to do now:
"I would say to buy up as many magazines as you can. Many brides go straight to the internet now, but there's nothing like going through and seeing beautiful editorials in magazines." We agree! She also said, as you're planning, "think back to the fantasies you had when you were a little girl about what your wedding day would look like. Create a day about that and go from there. Go the whole nine yards."



Thank you so much to Dominique Debroux of Rosa Clara Bridal and to our friends over at Eva's Bridal on LaGrange for helping us put together this fun piece!


LEANNE AND PETE, Carlisle Banquets











PHOTOGRAPHY

DESIGN



We all know planning a wedding can be daunting, so many of us (the smartest ones) turn to the professionals...but how do you know which professional is best for you? To help take some of the guess work out of it, Event Planner Antoinette Terry of Simply Perkfect Event Boutique offers her top five things to keep in mind when interviewing and hiring an event planner.

Five things to think about when choosing a planner:

1. Take advantage of consultations- Event planners get a lot of inquiries from brides who consider a planner, but don't have the time to sit down with one. Take advantage of a face to face consultation! This allows the planner to learn more about you; your likes and dislikes, your passion, ideas, style, budget and details.

2. Budget- Keep in mind: weddings cost, but so do wedding planners. They are with you for twelve months if not more. Make sure you can fit them into your budget!

3. On average, how many clients do you take on in a month? A year? - If you ask these questions, you'll get a very good idea of how much your planner will be available during your planning process. You trust in her ability to make it all come together as promised. If too many weddings are booked in a month, how can they dedicate the time to make your wedding successful? Usually, a planner should only plan 2 - 4 day-of coordination projects a month or 1-3 high-end weddings a month.

4. Background check- Now-a-days wedding planners are starting their business after they have done their own wedding, instantly thinking they know the ins and outs. Make sure you're asking the right questions: Do you have previous experience? Are you certified? How many weddings have you planned?

5. How do you handle emergencies?- We all know things happen and no one can prevent it. Is a plan B in place in case of emergencies? Make sure that your planner knows how to handle all the little mishaps throughout the day!

Remember, hiring a wedding planner is one of the most important decisions you make when planning your wedding. Don't take this decision lightly! Hiring a planner is essential, even if it's just for the day.






A special thanks to Antoinette Terry for her extremely insightful hints! You can find her portfolio on http://www.simplyperkfect.biz/. You can also email her at simplyperkfect@yahoo.com or call (708) 320 - 8053 for more information.



Photos courtesy of Antoinette Terry and Google Images. 

"We met at Northern Illinois University. He lived on my floor and I always saw him as my annoying neighbor, but his sweet self eventually won my heart.

"He proposed in downtown Chicago. We went to dinner and then he surprised with a carriage ride down Michigan Avenue. The carriage stopped at the Wrigley Building (one of our favorite spots) and he dropped down and asked me to be with him the rest of his life. It was a fairytale!" -Theresa



VENDORS

CEREMONY
Our Lady of Mercy in Aurora, IL

RECEPTION
Eaglebrook Country Club in Geneva, IL

PHOTOGRAPHER
Paul Swanson

FLORIST
Bella Flora

DJ