The ‘inside the boutique‘ series continues today with a gorgeous Wellington, New Zealand salon called Paperswan Bride. Jennifer, the boutique’s owner, was sweet enough to answer a few interview questions and she sent some extra images to go along with this gorgeous shoot from Siaosi Photography!
How did you come to find yourself in the bridal industry?
“Before I worked in the bridal industry I spent a decade working in publishing and advertising in London. It was obviously meant to be, as just when I decided to make the leap into bridal a job came up at Stewart Parvin to help launch their flagship bridal store in London. Although I’d never had any experience working in retail I managed to convince them to take me on, and as they say – the rest is history!
Well actually the story does continue….after gaining some incredible experience working with Stewart and his team I then decided to return home to New Zealand to open Paperswan Bride.”
What is one surprising thing about owning a bridal boutique that most people wouldn’t know?
“That of course at the end of the day this is a business but for me it’s really about creating an unforgettable experience for my brides. That there is nothing that gives me more pleasure than when you see a bride and her mother leave the shop after finding ‘the one’ and falling into each other’s arms with excitement and glee. It’s such an honour to be part of that process and to share such intimate moments with someone else’s family. I’m not sure other people experience that in their own line of work but it’s a pretty special part of what we do.”
What are your top tips and pieces of advice for brides who are shopping for their wedding dress right now?
“My top tips would be…. 1. Don’t bring an entourage! Your mother, sister, or best friend is enough. Less is definitely more when it comes to your support party. 2. Know and trust yourself. You dress yourself successfully every day, you know what suits your body type and these rules still apply when shopping for your wedding dress, just on a much grander scale! 3. Don’t over-think things. Once you find your dress, buy it and move on to the next stage of planning.”
What is the inspiration behind the interior styling and design of Paperswan Bride?
“Paperswan Bride is a small and intimate boutique where we only ever host one bridal party at a time. Because of that I wanted to keep the space clean and minimalist but still with a soft feminine touch. The colour palette is white and dusty pink with a combination of modern and antique furnishings. My favourite piece (apart from all the beautiful gowns of course!) is my French style mirror from Laura Ashley which I shipped in especially from the UK.
Most importantly I want my brides and their friend and families to feel completely at home when they come and visit so I serve a selection of teas on Mayfair china so they can relax and completely indulge in the experience.”
Since you’ve experienced the bridal industry in both places, are there any unique differences in New Zealand weddings or the New Zealand bridal industry that makes it different from the American wedding industry?
“New Zealand brides tend to be more casual and laid-back when it comes to the style of their wedding dress. In NZ we get married outside in vineyards or gardens and the summers are long and hot so the more light weight dresses with shorter trains are popular. New Zealand brides are definitely embracing lace and love the vintage look that is currently rocking the bridal world.
The wedding industry here is massive and it’s super exciting to see the big international bridal labels slowly becoming available. Paperswan Bride will be stocking Bliss by Monique Lhuillier from the end of this year and we are so thrilled to be able introduce this amazing collection of gowns to local brides.”
See more from the ‘Inside the Boutique’ series here.