Getting hitched this year? And are you on the hunt for your dream wedding dress?
Peak wedding season is fast approaching; you might want to heed the advice of go-to wedding expert, White Lily Couture’s Alera Kingham who has 11 years industry experience fitting brides from all over Australia.
Alera, 31, (pictured), owner and style director at White Lily Couture, at prestigious Brisbane shopping precinct, Park Rd, Milton, is a certified wedding consultant and is also armed with a diploma in interior design. So, you know she has an eye for detail, but Alera says her best asset is “life experience”.
The bubbly redhead lives and breathes all things nuptial and told me she has channelled her love of love into changing lives, one white dress at a time, via her bridal boutique – one of the largest in Brisbane.
“I’m an entrepreneurial, detail-focussed kind of person,” she says. “I found out during my days as a wedding planner that this perfectionism really worked to my advantage. It was when I really paid attention to all the little things that come together to make for a truly amazing wedding. I think this translates even more so today in my role as style director at White Lily Couture.”
Now, when it comes to the all-important task of choosing your perfect gown, Alera says it’s all about “trusting your instincts.”
“We see hundreds of brides each month and the ones who have the most enjoyable time are the ones who give themselves permission to feel each gown,” she says. “It sounds a bit airy-fairy I know, but connecting emotionally to your dress is one of those experiences which you don’t understand until it happens to you.
“It’s always helpful to have an idea in mind of what you see yourself wearing on your wedding day. This will allow your bridal consultant to best select gowns for you to suit your vision. In saying that, the best way to ensure you feel a million dollars is to be open-minded to something you may not have imagined. Often these are the styles that make you feel like a bride while keeping your personal style in check.”
White Lily Couture caters for both traditional and unconventional brides and reflects bridal trends and a hand-picked range of designer gowns from around the world. Labels in-store include Pronovias, Mori Lee, Augusta Jones, Ronald Joyce, Madeline Gardner New York and Victoria Jane.
In addition, Enzoani’s latest collection is now available to brides-to-be at White Lily Couture. The coveted collection has been fast tracked from the US and is perfect for discerning brides who favour stunning silhouettes and exquisite, hand-stitched details, Alera says. So, is unconventional bridal couture a hot, new trend?
“In our times, almost any bride could be considered unconventional,” she says. “I think as women we all want to make our mark that allows us to stand out from the crowd and what better day than our wedding day?!
“It’s not what I would call a trend as such, but more a reflection of our modern times. We see just as many off-beat brides each week as we do traditional ones so I think there will always be a mix of the two.
“We’re so excited to be the exclusive stockist for Enzoani (pictured) here in Queensland. This stunning collection is very fashion-forward with an edge which our brides are loving. We also exclusively stock Augusta Jones which is a gorgeous collection for the more traditional bride. Their use of French lace is divine.”
And when I ask Alera how she copes with her fair share of bridezillas, she’s customarily sweet and diplomatic. “Brides are like any consumer really, but their expectations are much higher. This is one of the most important garments of clothing that we will wear in our lifetime so it is crucial that we get it right! As style consultants here at White Lily Couture, our focus is understanding our customer’s vision and finding the dress to not only meet that vision, but exceed it. If we get it right, it’s the best feeling ever!” she says.
“The thing I love most about what I do is seeing passion put into practice. I’m really fanatical about customer service and providing our brides with an extraordinary customer experience so it’s a thrill when we see that happening in real life,” she says. “The hardest part for me is getting lost in the details. I have to force myself to step back and look at the big picture sometimes!
“My main focus is to provide brides with an exquisite range of wedding dresses, in a luxurious setting with unparalleled service. It’s the little details that make White Lily Couture memorable. We love going out of our way to help brides find ‘the one’ and even provide iPads with Skype for brides with friends and family who can’t make the fitting.
“I just love that regardless of the stressful times, we share a part of someone’s happiness and that makes it all so worthwhile.”
Alera’s Top 5 New Bridal Trends
- Colour is huge and will continue to dominate the new season. Designers are loving soft tones such as blush, gold and nude.
- Tattoo lace is really gaining momentum with many new styles showcasing this lace-on-skin look.
- Beading is back and in a big way. For several years now beading has been less desirable so there’s plenty of lost time to be made up!
- Fitted silhouettes are the hottest trend right now. Ball gowns will never go out of style but the mermaid, fit and flare and sheath styles are so hot right now.
- Sleeves and high necklines are pushing strapless styles aside here in Australia and designers are really using flattering ways to show off a woman’s body with elegance and class.
Nicole is a Queensland-based writer and bona fide word nerd whose first love (apart from heels) is feature writing. Follow Nicole on Twitter.