People

Realising the bride’s dream

Ninglun Hanghal 27 Aug 2014

For more than a decade, Glady Vaiphei, a native of Manipur, has been dressing up brides on their special day. Delhi-based Vaiphei has been designing gowns and dresses that brides can cherish for rest of their life. It all started with her designing her own wedding dress way back in 1999 and that convinced her to launch ‘Sincerely Bridal’, a Lajpat Nagar-based store showcasing only bridal dresses and accessories. Vaiphei shares with NE Travel and Life how she makes the day special for brides.

Tell us about your own wedding.

I got married in 1999 at New Life Ministry Church in Delhi. At that time there weren’t too many stores which offered a good choice for Christian wedding shopping. So, I was finding it tough to decide on a gown. I didn’t even know whom to consult regarding the dress. So I decided to design on my own. My mom was surprised at my decision but my husband found my creation beautiful - that was the most satisfying and happy moment for me. Even today, sometimes I pull out the wedding album and look at the photos, it makes me really happy to see my wedding dress.

I realised then that brides need a lot of help in doing their trousseau and frankly, there isn’t much professional assistance available. I learnt from the mistakes I made when shopping for my wedding. For example, I bought so many different types of laces thinking that I would use them in the gown. But it never worked out as I had planned. In fact, I had to redo my wedding gown. So, it struck me then that there was a serious lack of a good store that provided everything related to a Church wedding. Immediately, after my marriage, I started conceptualising the store and a year after I had launched it.

How is bridal wear designing different from other types of designing?

The bridal dress has to be perfect. The bride has to be happy, after all the wedding day is every girl’s dream. That’s the basic idea behind our designs. Our theme is Bride’s Dream. When I see the bride wearing my creation, I enjoy her happiness. The smile and her expressions motivate me and fill me with positive energy.

What makes bridal wear designing so special is that all eyes are on the bride and the wedding gown. Many times I have heard people look at the gown and say, ‘Wow! It’s unbelievable.’ That just makes my day. I couldn’t ask for more. I would not exchange anything for that feeling.

After more than a decade in this business, how do you feel? Are you proud and happy?

I am still in love with my work! I still enjoy meeting and dressing up brides. In fact, my work is related to providing happiness. It is full of positive energy. You won’t see anyone coming here with a sad face. The joy of the brides-to-be and the whole family is infectious. By assisting them in this important stage of their life, I am becoming part of their life. They remember me forever! I get invited to the wedding. Actually, all my customers become my friends and I am their confidante. That’s because wedding preparations, and especially, the wedding gown, are so intimate and personal.

In fact, we conceptualised the shop in such a way that it’s intimate and personal, makes families and the bride-to-be comfortable. They can take their time to decide, argue and discuss without anyone rushing them. This is one of the reasons that I will not move it to a mall or some other locations where it is too formal.

You must have had some interesting moments dealing with clients. Please share.

Once a bride-to-be took one whole month to decide on the wedding gown. We changed the design and style 25 times! It was exhausting at times but then that’s the kind of excitement that’s there. Today, she’s my fan, best friend and advertiser. She tells everyone about Sincerely Bridal gowns.

What has kept you going?

Wedding preparation is the most exciting part, more than the actual wedding day. Brides-to-be come to the store with their parents and friends. Sometimes they take days to reach a conclusion. And all through I enjoy the discussions with the brides-to-be. I help them imagine, dream and even counsel at times.

In fact, what’s interesting is that until the wedding gown is finalised, confirmed and ordered for shipping, the wedding plan is not final!

How have you managed to get a regular response with any organised publicity?

I do not need publicity or advertisements. My customers are my best advertiser. They spread the word. They tell the story of their wedding gown and the person behind it (which is me). This is more powerful than a print advertisement or the internet. And when a bride talks of her wedding gown, it’s her satisfaction that people believe.

Our store is abuzz with activity all throughout the year, we don’t have a lean season here. For us it matters most when young girls come and tell us that they heard about us from their friends. It is a verbal statement that indicates that Sincerely Bridal has touched so many lives and feelings, and that is the most valued response for me. We get orders from abroad too and we ship our designs to our clients in countries such as the US and the UK.

How expensive are your gowns?

Sincerely Bridal has a range of product starting from Rs 18,000 to Rs 95,000. The whole wedding set would include the veil, tiara/wreaths, main gown, gloves and the petticoat. The must include are the bridesmaid, the theme, flower girls and their baskets.

What would your advice be to brides-to-be while choosing their gowns?

I would advise preferably go for a dark colour theme in winter. In spring, use light colours such as lavender. In summer pastel colours and less bright glows would be ideal.

For those with heavy body structure a corset size gown will be ideal to look slim. The tall and slim ones can go for mermaid designs, while those with a medium structure can choose from any of the above. It is important to also note the place of the wedding, whether it is a small party or a grand one, and the Church structure too. In case of a wedding taking place at a grand Cathedral, one can go for an elaborate long train sweeping gowns, but this could be messy for a chapel or smaller Church structures/building.

How have you evolved with time?

Now, we also design ethnic and traditional wedding gowns as well. With internet facilities easily available, one can discuss and contact me online. We have shipping facilities too. Anyone can place their orders online and send pictures of their choice. We are here at Sincerely Bridal to assist and make sure the bride wears her dream gown on that special day. For more details you can log on to http://www.sincerelybridal.in

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