Ahead of his trip to the UK to help you Say Yes to the Dress at Wedding Belles of Four Oaks, we had the chance to chat to the ever-charming Randy Fenoli about helping brides find the dress of their dreams!
What makes a great bridal shop?
I believe incredible customer service makes a great bridal shop. From the greeting when you walk in, to the consultant that will listen and help you through the process to find your perfect dress, to impeccable alterations. When a bride is in a bridal salon, she should feel like she’s the most important customer ever, get full attention, and have a happy experience.
Why should a bride buy from a boutique?
A boutique will provide the bride with a wide selection of styles and personalised customer service. Plus the bride will get to see and try on the sample dress before ordering. I would NEVER recommend purchasing a gown on an internet website! You won’t be able to try the dress on to see how it looks on your body and you won’t have someone to guide you through the process. I’ve even seen brides order online and get a gown that looked nothing like the beautiful picture on the website. The gown was cheaply made using synthetic fabrics, was beaded with plastic instead of Swarovski crystals, and was about 12 inches too short.
What is your favourite bridal look?
I have many bridal looks that I love, from traditional, to bohemian, to vintage, to sexy. I love when the gown matches the bride’s personality and style.
What inspires you?
I would have to say that women inspire me most. I get inspired by their personal style, strength, femininity, and different personalities.
What have you seen this year that you haven’t any other year?
I have seen almost everything when it comes to bridal, but this year I have seen the introduction of copper. From copper beading, copper coloured wedding bands, to copper accents used to decorate the reception.
Do you prefer a bride who has no clue what suits her, or do you like those who know what they want?
I like a bride that has an idea of what she’s looking for and some direction, but has an open mind and allows me to pull dresses that she may have never thought of trying on before.
Who are your favourite bridal designers?
I could never choose a favorite designer… I’d get in BIG trouble! However, I like designers that create new looks and designs and not just copy other artist’s creations.
Which British designers do you like best?
Oh my! Here we go again. I would be in big trouble with the other British designers if I named a few. I prefer to stay out of trouble!
Have you been to the UK before?
I have been to the UK several times but not since the premiere of Say Yes to The Dress. I did a trunk show at the Virgin Bride in the mid 90s and have visited the UK several other times for business but never for an appearance like this at Wedding Belles of Four Oaks.
What are the differences between bridal style in the UK and Stateside?
I believe that UK brides are more conservative and traditional. A lot of brides in US just want to look sexy on their wedding day, including see-through gowns, plunging necklines, and very low backs!
Has Kate Middleton had an impact on bridal fashion in the States?
Absolutely! Because Kate’s gown had sleeves I have noticed a resurgent of sleeves from bridal designers and brides choosing a dress with sleeves, jackets and boleros.
Do you have any advice to brides starting their dress search?
My advice would be make sure you set a budget! Go to a reputable bridal salon that carries the styles and price points you are interested in. Have an idea or theme to go with how you want to look, pull references from magazines or Pinterest that you like, this will give your consultant a clear direction.
What are your aisle style no-nos?
No sneakers or flip-flops! Make sure your dress and accessories, including your bouquet, enhance your beauty and do not overpower it.
Describe the worst bride you have ever worked with!
Actually, the most challenging bride is a bride that fits perfectly into every dress and looks beautiful in all of them. She usually has a hard time narrowing it down to just one.
How many weddings do you get to go to?
I go to very few weddings. It’s the bride’s day and I don’t like to take the spotlight away from her. I generally only go to weddings of very close to friends and family.
Traditional or contemporary – which do you prefer?
I prefer a traditional bridal look that’s timeless because you will be looking at your wedding photos for a very long time and you don’t want them to look dated.
What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy quiet time at home with my dog Chewy, watching movies and spending time with friends.
You can see Randy Fenoli on Say Yes to the Dress on Sky’s TLC, channel 125. For more information about Wedding Bells of Four Oaks check out their website!