I was lucky enough to spend my Sunday morning this past weekend with Candice, the owner of Sweetheart Bridal in Livermore. (For those of you reading overseas, Livermore is in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a gorgeous city surrounded by wineries!) As well as getting to go ‘behind the scenes’ in this beautiful art-deco, old-Hollywood inspired bridal store, I got to swoon over gorgeous wedding dresses all morning – a perfect Sunday to me!
It was quite a journey to get where she is now, but this dream started when Candice planned her own wedding in 2012 at (wait for it…) Disneyland! While shopping for her dress, she was unable to try on a sample (due to tiny sample sizes!) and had to hold a dress against herself to envision how it would actually look on the big day. Luckily being a visual person, this worked and she decided on a satin fit-and-flare WToo dress, complimented by an earlier purchased embellished belt, which she still loves.
After the wedding was over, Candice soon realized the wedding industry would perfectly fit her creative and organised nature but it wasn’t until her sister set out dress shopping and had a less than perfect experience that she pinpointed where she belonged in the field – owning her own store where there would be “wedding gowns for every body”.
So, come February 2016, Candice opened Sweetheart Bridal and set out to create an unforgettable experience for EVERY bride, no matter what size. She carries samples from size 16 up to size 28 and has beautiful yet affordable dresses priced between $1000 to $2500. At her store you’ll find Allure, Essence of Australia, Stella York and WToo dresses and very soon (completely customizable) Casablanca dresses will be stocked too. Though the samples are larger, every bride can order a dress here in any size.
Brides can expect full-service and fun in a relaxed atmosphere at their appointment, as well as the choice of many gorgeous gowns and accessories. Candice wants this to be the day every girl dreams of and aims to find you ‘the’ dress while having an exciting day with your close advisory board of friends and family. There’s even candy (lollies) to snack on while your crew waits to see you in a dress!
Here’s Candice’s top tips for brides when they are looking for the perfect wedding gown…
—Do your research. Look on Pinterest and in magazines and see what kind of dresses speak to you. Is there a designer or two that you like?
—Don’t get stuck on one particular dress. Find key elements that you love, like lace or a silhouette instead of focussing on a specific gown that may or may not be available when you do your shopping.
—Keep an open mind. Many brides can be surprised and end up with a dress that is opposite of what they were looking for in the beginning!
—If you’re really stuck, take a friend and go look at dresses to narrow down the field before you take a group for big appointments. This way, you can be clearer when there are other people’s opinions added into the mix.
—Bring people who are supportive and want you to end up with a dress that YOU want!
A huge thank you to Candice for letting me spend some time at Sweetheart Bridal! Congratulations to you and I think your store will be a huge success, as I believe every single bride wants and deserves to look at themselves in a wedding dress before they buy one!
Make your appointment and check out the beautiful collections Sweetheart Bridal’s website.
Curvy brides – were you able to find a fabulous store like this one when you were searching for your dress? Let me know in the comments!
To read my own advice to curvy brides (from a curvy bride who’s been there!), click here.