Falling into Autumn & Finding Balance by Wren Bridal

September is a favorite month of ours as it walks the line between Summer and Fall and, for a short bit of time, allows us to linger between both. We don't have to resign ourselves to the end of something beloved, nor plunge just yet into the beginning of something fresh and new.

September accomplishes the ultimate balancing act, where we aren't forced to choose "between"  -- where scarves and sandals coexist, where shorts and sweaters find a natural sense of peace, where the sun gives us long, warm days that lead into cool evenings, and where the familiarity of routine begins to feel comforting again. Balance is one of the most important elements of a happy life, and, wonderfully, something Christina and I recently have been better able to achieve thanks to some good news. 

This summer, the Wren team expanded beyond just Christina and I, as we hired our very first Wren girl, Courtney! So much more than just an extra set of hands, Courtney is everything Wren embodies -- she is kind, thoughtful, smart, and full of life. We can't wait for you to get to meet her this fall as we know you will love her as much as we do!  

Happy Labor Day! 

Erica & Christina

 

A Favorite Story by Wren Bridal

There is something about the power of a story or a tale, whether based in truth or in fantasy, that connects us--to history, to meaning, to undiscovered parts of ourselves, to others.. Some people feel the magic of stories most in books, some feel it in films, others in images, and so on. 

One of my favorite stories is an ancient one founded in Greek mythology that tells of how humans were created, how we came to exist as we do today, and that highlights the true strength of love. 

This story tells of a time when human beings looked different than we do now, as each was comprised of two faces, four arms, and four legs. Humans were powerful creatures- not only physically, but mentally skilled and emotionally balanced. Fearing the threat of their power, Zeus decided he must get rid of them. Having grown accustomed to their role in the world, however, the other gods were concerned, "Who will tend our altars?", they asked, "Who will continue their work?" In the name of compromise, Zeus devised a plan in which both he and the other gods would be appeased. 

Late one night, Zeus put all of the humans in a long and deep sleep, dividing each person in two, scattering them around the world. He reasoned that in this way, there would be twice as many humans to worship the gods and tend to their work, but that forever divided and searching for their other halves, the humans no longer had the power they previously did, and therefore, were no longer a threat. And so our human form was solidified. 

Little did Zeus know, however, that many humans would indeed find their other half--that they would find the partner that completes them, and in doing so, find belonging, strength, and so much more.

If you are one of these lucky ones, we hope you never forget the power your love has -- a love that is strong enough to contest with the gods.

Feeling extra grateful for our other halves this week, Christopher and Matthew, thank you for helping us to feel the truth of one of our favorite stories. 

Erica & Christina 

Happy 4th of July! by Wren Bridal

Happy Fourth of July! 

When we realized July's blog post would fall on the fourth of the month, we saw an opportunity to talk about something near and dear to not only our hearts and beliefs, but our business as well. 

Amidst the beach trips, cookouts, and red, white and blue attire, today's celebrations represent America's independence and the freedom and privilege we have because of it. But what else does independence represent? Particularly on a day-to-day level? As any parent of a toddler, and even further, any parent of a teenager will tell you, independence most often represents (or perhaps signifies) growth, change, and adjustment- on the part of all those involved. So if much of independence is healthy and perhaps even necessary, is interdependence not? 

Let us first back up to talk about why and how these thoughts and questions came to mind and why we find them so significant. 

First I think its important to clarify the distinction, or perhaps continuum, on which individuals move from dependence to independence to interdependence. In this sense, interdependence is the highest state of maturity, for when this stage is reached, we not only know that we can survive on our own (as we outgrow dependence), we in fact have (independence), and only then can we choose to belong to something or someone greater than ourselves (interdependence). 

  Image by  Erich McVey

Image by Erich McVey

More than almost any other industry, when we meet our clients, including the brides as well as their families,we meet them at a time in which a lot of change is occurring and oftentimes, when even more change is on the horizon. 

Marriage (along with many other things), is two people literally creating a family unit independent of those from which they previously came, and what an amazing and exciting time that is; as is, however, the interdependence those two individuals then establish as they fine tune their unit, perhaps expanding it, and integrating it into those previously designated. This latter concept, so often negatively connoted, in a different light provides us with someone we can rely on, someone with whom challenges and growth seem less daunting, and someone who we exist with together in a way more intimate and meaningful than we could independently.  

But this balancing act doesn't apply solely to romantic relationships and marriage- but also plays a role in friendship, family, community, and business. 

As business partners, Christina and I maintain our roles both independently and interdependently-- we have complementary responsibilities but also often take on much of what we do together. Six months into this amazing journey, we have never felt more appreciative of each other and the way we prioritize such balance--something that most things in life require. 

Put simply, when reflecting on "Independence day" we wanted to inspire others to be grateful (as we are) for those that fought for our independence more than 200 years ago, as well as for those with whom we independently and interdependently coexist today--those people that ultimately make our lives as fruitful as they are, and who help to keep our balance.

Xo,

Erica & Christina 

Dress Shopping | Q & A by Wren Bridal

We often get asked a series of questions about the wedding dress shopping experience and how brides can best prepare for it; a few weeks ago, we did a Q & A session with the talented wedding photographer, Victoria Selman to try our best to answer such questions and thought we would share the information as well as some the beautiful images that came out of it! 

  Images by Victoria Selman

Images by Victoria Selman

When should you begin searching? 

How early you should begin searching is a question that is most often determined not only by when your wedding is but by what kind of wedding you are having. Is your wedding going to be casual and informal? Is it going to be large and traditional? These questions most often guide the kind of wedding dress a bride plans to wear which in turn leads to where such gowns can be found and ultimately, the time needed to order one. As a smaller boutique that outsources alterations, the required lead times on our bridal gowns are anywhere from 12-18 weeks with some designers offering rush availability and others without such options.

For many brides, a vast amount of wedding-related knowledge has been inherited--from sisters, friends, cousins or simply from doing their own research! For those that aren't quite as familiar, that is okay too! In these cases, if a bride ever has a specific dress, style, designer, or boutique in mind, our advice would be to reach out and ask questions as soon as you have them--never be afraid to reach out to a store to ask about a specific designers' lead time, their rush options, styles, new collections, etc.    

What should you bring with you? 

Though this answer may vary by store, our gut response is simply to say, bring what will make you feel most comfortable! Though nothing is specifically necessary (as we have strapless bras and shoes for those that don't bring their own), the following are items we have seen make a bride feel most comfortable and an appointment even more seamless! First, a strapless (preferably nude) bra is often helpful, ( as are nude underwear!), and shoes that are a heel height you will most likely wear (and are comfortable in); or even more specifically, as some brides do--if you have the shoes you plan to wear day of, feel free to bring those! 

Let us just say, more important that any of these more so "practical" items, is the audience and attitude brides bring with them to their appointment. A few posts back we talked about knowing the energy you want with you when looking for your dress--is it silly energy to put you at ease? Is it is sentimental energy to reflect the step being taken? Is it quiet energy to help you hear your own voice? Only you know the answers to these questions and such answers are often reflected in those who love and know you the most. When it comes down to it, you can always step on your tip toes, go braless, or borrow one from us, so don't stress if you end up forgetting something!

  Image by Victoria Selman

Image by Victoria Selman

What should you expect? 

This is a hard question, for many times there is an innate difference between what you should expect and what you can expect. Again, speaking only for our own store, however, we believe (within realistic confines of course), the two should in fact be quite similar. 

First and foremost, expect someone who is kind and helpful--who will be nice to you and your loved ones, who is attempting to see the image inside your head, and who is trying to understand the tone and feel of your wedding.  

In terms of appointment logistics, expect to pick out dresses (and have a hand in picking them out). Then expect to dislike things you thought you would like, like things you thought you wouldn't, and be surprised by what things look like on your body as opposed to on a hanger. Expect to get tired--trying on dresses (especially when it is a lot of them) is fun but also exhausting! 

Lastly, expect to have a great time.  

  Image by Victoria Selman

Image by Victoria Selman

Myth Busting

Though not a question exactly, there are a handful of myths that we have discovered in our short few months of being open and one in particular we thought we should share! 

The "This is it" moment.

One of the trickiest myths in the business, we thought we would tackle the "This is it" moment head on and explain why its an important one to debunk. We think it is most difficult to address because for some brides, it is no myth at all, but for others, the very notion of this "moment" and the fear of not having it or feeling it, leaves brides unsure, questioning, or feeling as though they are missing out on something. The truth (as we see it) is that it won't happen for everyone, but that there is nothing wrong with that. We all have different personalities with different levels of emotionality, different impulsive instincts, and a million other different qualities that most likely contribute to our reactions to things. We have known many brides who have loved their dress but never had their "moment" and guess what? Their wedding day was just as memorable and happy as their "moment"-having counterparts'! Sometimes its not that you haven't loved a gown, it might even be that you have loved so many gowns! Let your experience be your own- moment or no moment, we are all so different in the way we respond to life in general, why would we ever assume that we would all react to a given situation the same way!? Finally, and most significantly, the "moment" you said yes when your partner asked you to marry them and the "moment" you say "I do" on your wedding day are truly the "moments" that matter most. 

Xo,

Erica  & Christina 

Images: Victoria Selman Photographer                                                                                                                     Hair & Makeup: Behind the Veil

Coming Full Circle by Wren Bridal

As the first of our bride's wedding gowns have started to come in, we are seeing (for the first time) what we refer to as the completion of a "cycle". We have talked about how much we love meeting brides and their families as they purchase their gowns, but as they walk away from Wren with them in hand, their weddings and the steps they are taking in life become ever more real- both for us and for them. 

For many of these brides, this encounter marks the start of some of the last steps (and weeks) leading up to their big day. For us, however, we begin the joyful waiting period in which the very day described to us months before becomes real, and if we are lucky enough, wait to be sent the images that have captured it. 

  Image by Laura Gordon

Image by Laura Gordon

So much of this cycle reminds us of the journey of life and the idiosyncrasies of time and relationships. We may not always be along for the whole ride, but can appreciate the impact had along the way. 

This week, the very first Wren brides are saying "I do" and a whole new cycle of their life will begin.

This month's blog is dedicated to all of our current Wren brides, as well as the many we will continue to meet, who have allowed us to be a part of their story and who will forever be a part of ours. 

Xo,

Erica & Christina     

April Showers by Wren Bridal

There are some associations we make unconsciously, pairings that have, in one way or another become automatic processes, tied to one another, for better or for worse (pun intended!). 

When we think Peanut Butter, we think Jelly; when we think Bonnie, we think Clyde; when we think Yin, we think Yang; and when we think April, we think Showers. If we are lucky enough in life, those that we are personally associated with are positively representative of us--something or someone that completes, complements, or strengthens us individually.

For the month of April, the association is more of a descriptive term than anything else, and though not necessarily positive, the pairing seems more negative when followed by its binary "May Flowers". In this sense, April seems to be something to move through quickly, to escape, or to forestall. But what about rain fall (or even just the possibility or likelihood of it) causes us to feel this way? 

Christina and I are big believers in the power of energy and the effect it has on people. Similar to positive energy, anxious energy, negative energy, and so on, environmental energy similarly contributes to our thoughts, emotions, actions and ultimately, our "selves". When rain threatens to fall, there are even more associations occurring than meet the eye--perhaps we think of tears and sadness, perhaps we become nostalgic for lazier days, or perhaps we just don't like the logistical complications that arise when and if it comes. 

On December 1st, Wren had its Grand Opening event, and, as anyone who was there or has seen pictures knows, in the morning it rained, in the afternoon it poured, and by evening--no one even noticed. When we reflected on the event and its success, we thought it might be attributable to the age-old adage that if it rains on your wedding day it is good luck- did opening a bridal store somehow qualify us in this department? Though we still aren't convinced otherwise, we credit more of our success to what we have learned in life and what has been reinforced by the people we have met in the last few months. Your environment matters, but energy matters more. 

 Image by Victoria Selman

Image by Victoria Selman

If on this journey so far we have one piece of advice to brides coming to Wren, it would be to think about the energy you want with you when you choose your wedding dress. Is it silly energy to put you at ease? Is it is sentimental energy to reflect the step being taken? Is it quiet energy to help you hear your own voice? Only you know the answers to these questions and such answers are often reflected in those who love and know you the most.  

If this April does bring us showers, we hope to remember the power we have over the energy we take in addition to that which we give out, as well as remember the luck, and the promise of growth, we know such rain can bring! 

Xo,

Erica & Christina   

March Inspiration by Wren Bridal

Though most of the month resides in Winter, there is something about March that prematurely tricks our minds, that brings hope, and that screams Spring. There is a light at the end of the tunnel--an optimism with significance that can't be overemphasized. 

In just a few weeks, the Spring equinox will occur and with it, the sun will rise earlier and set later, winds will soften, and warmer weather will be upon us. Change, growth, and inspiration, though year-round phenomenons, seem particularly visible this time of year. 

Christina and I feel blessed to be so constantly inspired -- by our families, by our friends, by books, by pictures, by nature, by stories, by poetry, and by each other. In honor of such growth and inspiration this Spring, we thought we would share one of our current sources of inspiration, a  favorite poem of ours that, in line with so much of what we strive for at Wren, carries both meaning and significance. 

Xo,

Erica & Christina 

Romance, Magic, and an Extra Day to Celebrate by Wren Bridal

Today is February 1st and though without any official designation, many would argue that February as a month has an aura of romance, for because it contains Valentine's day, it is often regarded the month of love. 

There may be some people (though not many in this industry!) who don't care for Valentine's day, but what if, aside from all else, we thought of February 14th as another day to celebrate the ones we love, either romantically or not? A day that simply reminds us to add a bit of magic to our lives and our relationships, platonic or otherwise? It's hard to have too many of those kinds of days.

  Background Image by Laura Gordon

Background Image by Laura Gordon

Being in the wedding industry, we are surrounded by the notion of romance: we get to hear of people’s proposals, first dates, real life “meet cutes”, and love stories – truth be told, we get to witness the everyday-is-Valentine’s-day kind of magic on a regular basis because we so often meet individuals for the first time as they enter a pivotal point in their lives and relationships – the point at which they have chosen to spend the rest of their lives with someone and a point that is unique in itself as it intersects and bridges the beautiful and often fast-moving time between “I will” and “I do”.

The time of engagement is magical because it is the start of something new – even for couples that have been together for years, decades even, there is a magic and spark returned to them. A new part of their story has begun and for many, this part of their overall life's story is all the more enchanted because it is one that began as an idea or dream so long before coming to fruition.

The first stories girls often hear are fairytales – stories that suspend reality, that inspire hope, and that urge belief.

Most days aren’t fairytales – we get stuck in traffic, we burn our lips as we too eagerly sip our coffee, and we fall into routines that sometimes feel as though they have absolutely nothing magical about them. But what if all we have to do to remind ourselves and believe again is to carve out the time to celebrate magic, to create magic, to make magic? That’s what we hope to do at Wren.

We hope you celebrate love, romance and magic this February, in all its forms, and for all 29 days!

Xo,

Erica & Christina