Today I'm sharing a wedding vendor recommendation for all my brides. Christine Greenberg is the owner of Urban Set Bride, the most ADORABLE bridal shop I've ever been into. But more than being adorable, her store really caters to the individuality and personal experience of every bride. Christine is completely down to earth and awesome. I know that the brides who enjoy working with me would also enjoy working with her! And BONUS, she is also the head of Wood Grain & Lace Events, so she can do double duty as your event planner as well. Talk about a knowledgeable resource.
When I was shopping for my wedding dress I did what I think a lot of girls do which is to head straight for David's Bridal. I had an awful experience there, seriously, I walked out. And wound up buying my dress from a small business who listened to my needs and gave me REAL advice. It was the best decision.
As usual with my vendor recommendation posts, we did a little interview with Christine. Here's what she had to say!
How did you get started in this business?
I fell into wedding planning by accident. I was leasing luxury apartments after I graduated from VCU and I met a young woman who had to get a short term apartment while her fiancee awaited a heart transplant. His health was waning and chatting with me about life, love and wedding plans was a welcome distraction for her. He got a new heart, recovered quickly, and suddenly, I was their wedding planner! They were married in September 2012 and I've done 31 weddings since.
I opened up my bridal shop in March of this year with my mom. We saw a need for a bridal shop located in the city that offered a variety of sizes, price points and styles. My mom is an accountant and I was fully-immersed in the wedding world, so we jumped at the chance!
What would you say is your style and approach in working with your clients?
In the shop, we never want to pressure a future bride to make a choice. We provide them with photos, dress details, payment info, etc. and happily send them out of the door to check out other shops before they make their choice. This experience is supposed to be fun! Too many bridal shops pressure brides to buy from them and insult them by offering free veils or discounts on heavily inflated prices. I'd rather someone have a great, relaxed experience in my shop and pick a gown that is right for them.
What sets your business apart from others in the industry?
As a planner, I try and act like a friend. I'm not here to make millions of dollars on clients, my job is to help the wedding planning experience be cost-effective, personalized and calm.
Who is your ideal client?
Ideally, my client is not someone who has been planning their wedding for their whole lives. I prefer couples that are in love and want to celebrate with their favorite people. That's as complicated as it needs to be. There are plenty of planners who can accommodate a pink, sparkly wedding, but that's not me.
What is the benefit to shopping in a smaller, boutique shop?
We only take one appointment at a time. We literally put a room divider in front of our shop door and we want our clients to treat the shop as their own little apartment filled with beautiful gowns. With budget constraints, family pressures, and body image concerns, bridal attire shopping can be very stressful. No matter how successful we become, we will open another shop before we start doing more than one appointment at a time. Quality over quantity.
What would brides be surprised to know about you or your business?
Even though I could get alot of vendor services for free, I ended up having a TINY wedding. We got married in a park down the street from my house, no chairs, no rain plan, nothing. Sort of a flash mob wedding. And then we had cocktails and delicious Southern food at the Roosevelt for our reception. Uncomplicated and small. The best weddings in my book!
What would you like clients to know before buying a wedding dress/hiring an event planner?
Be realistic about your body type, what looks good on you and how you want to FEEL on your wedding day. Don't get so hung up on what is "appropriate" for the venue. Don't bring too many opinions to your bridal appointment, hydrate, and wear your hair up. And don't wear a thong unless you are ready to get VERY up close and personal with your consultant.
Wedding planners are a luxury that everyone can afford. A good planner will pay for themselves with discounts, and advice. A venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator are NOT the same thing. They work beautifully together, but one is there for the venue and the other one is there for YOU. It makes a huge difference, I promise.
Urban Set Bride
602 N. 29th Street
Richmond, VA 23223