If you’re a bride looking for NJ Bridal Shops, today’s post is sure to pique your curiosity. I have the pleasure of introducing you to Sara’s Bridal Boutique located in Branchburg, NJ. I recently connected with the brand new shop owner, Stacie, through our local Tuesdays Together group and went up to her bridal shop to meet her and get to know her a bit. She was such a pleasure to chat with and as a lover all things weddings, it was lovely being in her shop among so many beautiful dresses! Keep reading for a little behind-the-scenes look at Sara’s Bridal Boutique. Also, if you purchased an Alfred Angelo dress recently, don’t miss the announcement at the end of this post!
Tell us a little about you and your business.
Sara’s Bridal Boutique was started 36 years ago by the original owner, (Sara), who I’ve known for 10+ years and bought my two daughters’ wedding gowns and my mother of the bride gowns there. Sara is well known in the area, always gave great customer service and customers have been coming for years from the NY, NJ, PA area, bringing their daughters and granddaughters, from Eighth grade dance dresses, to prom, to bridesmaids to wedding, we have many girls who we’ve seen grow up with dresses from Sara’s. When Sara expressed interest in retiring and approached me to buy her salon, I thought about it off and on for about a year. I kept wondering should I leave my ‘real’ job to follow my original passion? I had worked 20 years in corporate marketing in the high tech industry, but my heart was always with fashion and bridal in particular. Two of my daughters recently got married, and helping them with their weddings helped to re-ignite that spark. My husband was very supportive and I made the decision that the time was right for me to leave corporate behind and follow my dream. I could have started my own boutique, however I think it made sense to buy into a well-established business and with Sara’s reputation and longevity in the business, it all fell into place. I decided to just slightly change the name from Sara’s Boutique 22 to Sara’s Bridal Boutique. I carry a variety of designers for brides, bridesmaids, mother of the bride/groom, eveningwear, prom, eighth grade dance and flower girls dresses. I am adding more bridal gowns to the salon and adding new designer lines. I am excited and honored to take the reins of such a well-established business, but also to put my own stamp on things, use my marketing background and incorporate social media, digital, and all the new tools that today’s brides use to find their dream gowns.
What do you love most about what you do?
It’s so cliché but I should have done this years ago! It is so rewarding to work with brides, their moms, and all the women that come for a special dress, whatever the occasion may be. The best thing about my job is seeing not only the bride’s face but that of her mother, grandmother or friends that accompany her and the beautiful emotions and happiness they exude is absolutely the best feeling! One bride in particular, 50+ year old bride stopped in as she was driving by with her adult daughter. She explained that she was looking for a wedding gown for her second wedding. I asked her a few questions about the type of wedding and what she had envisioned for the dress. I showed her a few dresses (3-4) that I felt conveyed what she was looking for. She tried the first dress on, her daughter started crying, the bride started crying, and I started crying… it was so touching to see a mother/daughter in reverse, both showing tears of happiness. And to think that a dress can bring these emotions out and being able to be part of this special time in their lives is so rewarding. She bought the dress in less than 30 minutes.
What types of services do you offer?
Sara’s Bridal Boutique offers a variety of the top designer collections for brides, bridesmaids, mother of the bride/groom, evening wear, prom and flower-girl dresses. Our main focus has been brides, bridesmaids and mothers for over 30 years, and we also cater to prom, bat mitzvah, eighth grade dance dresses and flower girls. Many brides have been coming to Sara’s for decades not only for themselves, but with their bridesmaids to select from our vast assortment of bridesmaids gowns, one of the largest in the area. We carry all the top
designers and offer a discount for bridal parties. We also offer veils, headpieces, designer jewelry and bridal belts to complement any gown.
One of the new additions I’ve recently introduced are custom made wedding crowns (Stefana). They are a pair of halo crowns tied together with a white ribbon that are traditional in Greek weddings that the bride and groom wear during the ceremony. With New Jersey and New York having a large Greek population, I thought it would be an added service since these are hard to find and what is available (usually in NY or online) are pretty basic. We have a variety of custom designed crowns from simple and elegant to beautifully jeweled and ornate with
Seamstress services are also available if requested to make any alterations and work directly with the customers.
We recommend appointments to ensure the bride and her bridesmaids/mothers have our full attention. Our goal is to make your bridal shopping experience unique and stress-free. Whether you prefer your appointment to be a social event with your party, or a one-on- one consultation, we are here to assist you through this exciting time in your life.
How early should our brides make an appointment with you?
I would advise starting the bridal gown process 10 -12 months in advance of the wedding. Typically it can take up to 6 – 7 months for a gown to arrive. (Some less, depending on manufacturer and stock) I suggest starting early to discover what styles and silhouettes are right for the bride and what she likes. We do also have new dresses in stock and if the right size, style, etc., brides can (and have) bought right off the rack. So it all depends on a variety of things. You also need to allow for approximately 3 bridal fittings once the dress arrives.
What should our brides know about your process and about working with you?
First, I’m a calm personality by nature, and have been told that I have a calming effect. I think this is helpful as I don’t get flustered in hectic situations. Many times, brides can get nervous, but it’s good to reassure them and try to ease any anxiety they may be feeling. I truly want to make this a wonderful experience for the bride, not a stressful one.
I like to schedule appointments with brides to ensure they have our undivided attention. We usually book 1-1 ½ hours for a bridal appointment.
One of the things that served me well in the corporate world, funny enough also serves well in the bridal industry (and I would imagine in any industry)…Listen.
One of the first things I do is ask the bride a few questions. When is the wedding? What type of venue? Has she tried on other styles/silhouettes? Does she have any ideas of what she likes or doesn’t like? Does she have any areas of her body that she wants to accentuate or not? Etc. Then, Listen. This helps me understand the bride’s wants and needs and also helps to narrow the search to find the perfect dress. Once we’ve narrowed the search, it’s a matter of trying them on to see what she likes/doesn’t like. When she falls in love with the perfect dress, we’ll know!
I encourage brides to bring pictures of gowns she’s either already tried on or has seen on websites or magazines that show the style she likes but to keep an open mind. Sometimes the styles you think you won’t like sometimes turn out to be “the one”. Bring the closest friend or family members whose opinions you value and you want to share the experience with. It’s always fun to bring an entourage, but bringing more than 3-4 can take the focus off the bride and we prefer to be focused on the bride for this special appointment. You can bring the entourage for the
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our brides?
For all the brides, bridesmaids and mothers affected by the Alfred Angelo debacle / closings, we would like to offer *20% off select gowns for Brides, Mothers and Bridesmaids who have placed an order and cannot get the gowns due to the Alfred Angelo bankruptcy. We offer beautiful top designers bridal, mother and bridesmaids gowns as well as veils, headpieces, Greek wedding crowns (stefana) and jewelry. New gowns have just arrived from top designers and are in stock, ready to go. We are here to help you! *Proof of purchase from Alfred Angelo must be shown – *15% Offer available to all others through August! Click here to make an appointment.
Interested in connecting with Sara’s Bridal Boutique? Contact the bridal shop below!