We interviewed Alison Davison from A Family Affair Bridal and Menswear Ltd to find out more about her company.
Q – Tell us about your company.
A Family Affair has been trading in Kendal, the heart of the Lake District, for 26 years. We are a small local business that prides itself in providing a quality, friendly and professional service.
We have exclusivity in our area for some very well respected designers, including Ronald Joyce, Ladybird, White Rose, plus a further seven other designers. Three of them specialise in designing plus size bridal gowns for more curvaceous figures.
Our sister shop, Chapmans Quality Menswear, is an official stockist of Marc Darcy, located just down the alley from us.
Q – What packages/services do you offer couples?
We provide bridal gowns and accessories, plus size bridal gowns, bridesmaids, flowergirls, mother-of-the-bride/groom and accessories including Snoxell hats and prom.
We more than doubled our stock last year by moving our menswear into its own shop, located just down the alley. It's called Chapmans Quality Menswear and is an official stockist of Marc Darcy suits. We also offer hire wear, including Highland.
All our brides receive 10 per cent off Marc Darcy purchases for the groom's party.
Q – What should couples expect when booking your services?
Professional and friendly staff that will go above and beyond to ensure you enjoy your experience and who will make it as stress-free as possible.
We have a recently updated bridal room upstairs to provide a private service for our brides.
Q – What's your favourite wedding you've worked on and why?
We had a bride that was considered a plus size. She'd had an awful experience at another shop, who had advised her that they had nothing for her and suggested she go elsewhere. She was a high street 18, which we consider average. She was extremely upset and very anxious about going anywhere else. We spoke to her and advised that our dresses range up to a UK size 28 and that we can most certainly help her find her dream dress. She attended the appointment and enjoyed it so much that she also booked a VIP experience with Prosecco and snacks with some of her family and friends. She came back as a VIP and picked her dress with us. She was so lovely and looked absolutely stunning. Her gran even popped in to thank us for making it such an amazing experience for her granddaughter.
Q – How long before the wedding should couples get in touch?
Ideally, picking your dream dress should be done no later than nine months before the wedding. This allows the dress to be made and delivered in plenty of time for alterations, which we recommend commence six-eight weeks before the wedding. This is especially if they want special changes made to the dress.
However, we also have lots of dresses in our sample sale, and some of our designers stock their dresses, and we can receive them within a week of ordering. Therefore, if your wedding is within two weeks, we'd still be able to help.
Q – What's your favourite part of the job?
It's absolutely when our brides put a dress on and just know that's the one. Tears of joy from themselves and their entourage. It really is a magical moment. I've even been known to get a bit tearful myself.
Q – Do you have any top tips for couples planning their weddings?
Just try and enjoy it. Please don't stress about finding your dress. We have so many anxious brides because of their size, confidence, timescale, or past experiences. Come and see us. We are all normal people, who love helping brides.
To find out more, visit www.family-affair.co.uk
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