Interview with Bellissimo Occasion Wear in Somerset – Outfits for Mothers of the Brides and Grooms
I caught up with my next guest blog interview talking with the amazing Caroline Kensole from Bellissimo Occasion Wear in a two-part series of styling advice for the mother of the wedding couple on finding the perfect dress and outfit.
In this first part we:-
go behind the scenes of her bridal shop
talk about Caroline's signature top tips
and who the bride should consult before deciding on the colour of her dress
Caroline knows her way around dressing mothers of the happy couple or guests at the wedding. I met Caroline at a wedding fair in Cannington Gardens near Bridgewater Somerset this summer where she was showcasing some fabulous outfits.
Often once the brides and grooms have chosen their dream outfit, its then the turn of the mothers, which can be a daunting experience for mum's trying to find something different, that no-one else will be wearing, and that both mothers have their own style (not to mention that the brides and grooms likes too!) Then comes the guests, they naturally do not want to have the same outfit as the ‘mothers’ out of respect to them, and so the choice gets harder and so does the stress levels!
Caroline kindly agreed for me to ask her lots of questions how she helps ladies find their perfect outfit, so hope you enjoy learning about Caroline’s passion:-
Caroline, when did you start your business? Did you something else before?
When my daughter was getting married, and we went wedding shopping only then did I have a passion for weddings! After I started selling preloved wedding dresses from home in the spare bedroom, I then decided to leave my full-time job at Mole Valley Farmers after 13 years in 2015 and purchased Bellissimo. Back then it was a dress agency for women’s clothing, and I introduced the wedding section into it.
What items do you Specialise in?
Mother of the Brides and Grooms wedding outfits with matching accessories, but also have dresses for all occasions. For example, hats, fascinator shoes and bags. My customers tell me they like buying their whole outfit under one roof.
Whereabouts are you based?
We are a small boutique based in Curry Rivel near Langport. Although rural we are quite central to all surrounding towns. We work by appointment only which means my customers have privacy and not rushed.
What’s the best advice you would give to anyone visiting your boutique?
Our ideal client is one that has no idea what she may be looking for, who is open minded and willing to try on outfits that she would never have dreamed of wearing before. We will take them out of their comfort zone,experimenting with different styles and colours they may not have considered before.
What sizes do you cater for?
We currently have sizes 10-26 in the boutique; however, we can order in up to size 32 with a 12-week lead time.In occasion wear the sizing does come up on the smaller size, so very often customers will need to look to go up a size.
Okay so what’s your favourite signature outfit for a wedding?
My favourite outfit must be a silver-grey outfit we currently have which comprises of a stunning straight sleeveless dress which as a few sequins on the top area for a little sparkle and jacquard all over with a plain back, complete with an elegant long chiffon jacket makes the outfit sophisticated stylish and complete elegance no matter what size you are.
Please share your top tips for the mother of the brides (or groom’s mothers) when choosing an outfit?
Firstly,we need to know what the bridesmaid colour is and if they want to tie in,contrast or match.
We would want the mother to feel extra special in her chosen outfit; after all the photos will be forever ones to look back on so very important to feel very special and proud to be mum with the wow factor.
Along with feeling special they must also be comfortable and not conscious of anybody parts they may be trying to hide, as they will be in the outfit along time.
Good point Caroline, when searching for the ultimate outfit, comfort and glamorous need to go hand in hand!
Let’stalk accessories! What finishing touches are a must?
Head wear is also important,whether you choose a hat , hatinator or small fascinator,something is better than nothing in my opinion - it just finishes off the outfit. Footwear is equally important as there is nothing worse than having sore feet. Now let’snot forget the essential handbag for the tissues, lipstick and phone. The important thing is not to over accessorize, the key is to pick the core items.
Caroline – you are so right,after all the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom needs to feel extra special – they are one of the important leading ladies of the day after all (after the bride that is!)
What’s more on trend- fascinator or a hat?
These days customers choose more fascinators than hats, as a lot of weddings take part in a venue and not in a church. Although hats are traditionally worn in church.
Whats the most unusual item you have sourced for a customer?
I recently went feather shopping for a customer as they wanted to add a different colour into a hat and couldn't find what we had discussed, so i went to Taunton and sourced it for her.
Not everyone likes wearing a dress but they want to look amazing at the wedding,what should they do?
I encourage everyone to be open minded and try on lots of different styles as they may be surprised.We have many customers say exactly that -”they are always in trousers and never get their legs out”
We just need to take them out of their comfort zone and into the wedding day zone and help make them feel amazing!
Tell me more about your pop-up shop concept?
We have in the past at wedding fairs done a pop-up-shop on site and it works very well, customers who are just looking can try on and get the feel of an outfit whilst having the family around for support and opinions.
That’s great idea, that way the mother can get views from the brides and grooms, or wedding party (as well as your expert eye and advice!)
How does the mother of the bride or groom achieve a true reflection of themselves in their wedding day outfit?
We talk through traditional dress etiquette to modern guidelines with the mother of the brides.
Often mother of the brides and grooms get views from many people when trying on outfits, so its key that the wearer is comfortable in that style – after all they want to feel and look fabulous.
Its good to check with the bride and groom beforehand to have a assured way of knowing you are dressed appropriately for their style wedding.
Thanks, Caroline, for your professional advice on wedding attire. Of course, its not just about the mothers of the brides and grooms, the same applies to step-mothers too. What a good job you offer a variety of styles!
Whats your contact details so customers can find you to purchase one of your beautiful outfits?
CarolineKenshole, Brackens, Currywoods way, Curry Rivel, TA10 0NT