Kristine and her Somerset team are dedicated to ensuring brides feel at their most confident, and her wealth of experience in all things weddings enables her to understand a bride’s style and what will work for her. We sat down with Kristine to talk about what she loves most about working with Sassi, her favourite bride story and if she had any advice for starting your own dream dress journey.
Having started her career working in a wedding dress shop at just 16 years old; Kristine, our Somerset store manager has a true passion for all things bridal. Headhunted by Sassi herself whilst working as a wedding planner, she’s an expert in all parts of the big day, making her the perfect stylist to help our brides pick out a gown that will work whatever their plans. We sat down with Kristine to ask her about her day-to-day role at the Somerset store, her favourite Sassi bride story and to see if she thinks anything has changed in the industry, in the 15 years she’s been working in it.
Kristine; you’ve been working with Sassi Holford for over 15 years. What initially enticed you to join the brand, and more importantly, what has kept you here all these years?
Well it really doesn’t feel like over 15 years! I was very fortunate to have been head-hunted by Sassi herself to be the store manager, when I was working as a full time wedding planner. I was very excited to go back to bridal, as I started my bridal career at the age of 16 in a wedding dress shop. The Sassi Holford label is incredible, especially being British made for over 40 years. Sassi herself is a creative genius and her team at the design studio always go that extra mile to ensure that every bride gets their perfect dress. I feel proud to be a member of this amazing brand.
Having worked in the bridal industry for a number of years, what are the biggest changes you’ve seen with what brides are wanting to wear for their big day.
I have found that weddings have changed so much in the last 10 years. The level of personalisation and customisation is so popular now. A big trend is versatility with brides wanting to adapt their dress, for example adding a jacket or detachable accessories.
What would you say is your favourite part of your job as our Somerset store manager?
There are so many parts about the job that I enjoy. Every day is different here at the store, and that is what makes the job so diverse. From meeting brides who are just at the beginning of their dress journey, to brides collecting their gowns ready for their big day; but one of my favourite parts is bringing out a bride’s inner confidence and delivering a high level of customer service throughout her journey. I am incredibly proud of my store co-workers, Lucy & Emily, who are an integral part of the team. They are such a joy to work with and share the same vision of creating the perfect bridal experience.
When a bride-to-be comes in, do you know instinctively what styles they will be drawn to, or do some surprise you?
With each bride we sit down and discuss their vision for their gown. We get to know their personal style and what they think they are looking for. As stylists, we are here to help and guide them through their consultation. Initially getting a silhouette that the bride loves is one of the key things for us. We can then go on to discover necklines, fabrics, and then really hone in on the finer details. Once a bride is out of their normal clothes and in their first bridal gown, that is when my head starts ticking!
Do you have a favourite Sassi design that’s your go-to when a bride asks for recommendations, a style that suits lots of brides?
There isn’t one particular go-to dress for every bride, as it would depend on how a bride wants to feel. Whether she would like a formal looking gown, or something much more relaxed. The shape and the silhouette is also key and that guides me to certain dresses. For example, if a bride wanted a formal look to show off her waist and décolletage, one of my recommendations would be the Elspeth gown.
Do you have a special ‘Sassi Holford Bride’ story that you’ll always remember?
I’ve have had so many special bride stories, but the one that has really stood out to me has to be Lauren. She met her husband via a dating app during lockdown and they both had 2 dogs each with very unusual names! The couple decided to elope to Scotland alone to get married. Lauren wore the Iris gown and looked incredible, and she was one of the sweetest brides to have helped.
The new ‘Love Conquers All’ collection has been a big hit with our brides, do you have a favourite design you know will be popular at the store?
All of the gowns from the Love Conquers All collection are amazing, but I feel the Phoebe gown is going to be a big hit with our brides. From the bell sleeves, to the pearls and the impeccably structured bodice, it is a perfect romantic bridal look.
And finally, what advice do you have for a newly engaged bride who’s feeling overwhelmed with styles and doesn’t know where to start.
Do your research. Finding the right dress can sometimes take time, so Pinterest and social media are your best friend, as well as real weddings. Keep open minded, it is okay to have no clue! Let the stylist help and guide you. Wedding dress shopping should be an amazing experience full of joy and memories, so relax and enjoy your dress journey.