The world that we are living in today is almost entirely different to that of two years ago and during that time, weddings and celebrations have adapted and evolved to suit, although not without it’s challenges. So we thought it was about time that we sat down with some of our leading wedding brands to get their perspectives as well as a few pieces of advice for couples currently planning their weddings.

First up, we chat with Katie Yeung of Hera Couture and Daisy Bridal. With two brands that are cherished internationally by brides and created with a real woman in mind, we think Katie is the perfect lady to ask for advice when it comes to shopping for bridal gowns and running a bridal business in this climate.

Tell us a little about your brand for those who may not yet know you?

Hera Couture

Hera Couture crafts gowns with love, precision, pride and offers designs which flatter all body types. We are committed to combining styles, charm and unwavering high standards in all our products and services. Hera Couture’s goal is to create a legacy of longevity, where dresses are treasured and handed down to future daughters.  Hera Couture is a brand which brides search out globally for timeless style, elegance and craftsmanship.

Daisy by Katie Yeung

We promise to create beautifully made, contemporary wedding gowns that feel amazing to wear and flatter all body shapes at an affordable price. We are a brand who loves to laugh, who champions the imperfections and chaos of everyday life and who celebrates diversity, adventure and of course – love. Our mission is for our brides to feel beautiful, fashionable and relaxed and to build a brand that is so compelling and distinctive that brides feel an emotional tie to us.

What is your number one piece of advice for couples in this climate when selecting bridal gowns?

Select a gown that is truly you – a gown that makes you feel magical and an elevated version of yourself. 
My advice in choosing your wedding attire is regardless of the climate, silhouette, color or a design that might or might not follow the wedding trend or bridal norm; select a piece or few pieces that lifts your head higher, your shoulder straighter and a bridal look you do not want to take off, ever.

How are you handling COVID affected couples within your own business? 

Our team has been in close contact with our NZ brides daily via phone conversation, email, social DM and virtual zoom whichever way is easier for our brides to communicate with us with their new wedding plans and ways we can assist them through this time.  A large percentage of our NZ brides who are affected are quite calm this Aug/ Sept even though it’s extremely upsetting and have plans in place to postpone wedding celebrations either immediately after L1 or beginning of 2022.  

We are on full steam ahead planning and re-scheduled fitting dates and times with our brides + planning for any urgent in-house adjustments with our lead seamstresses. We also have a list of highly recommended bridal seamstresses throughout NZ for those who live out of Auckland.  We are sending out our bride’s completed gowns and accessories via NZ courier at L4 to those who are in L3 zones in time for their celebrations with close families.  Our business has put work shift plans in place for L2 to help all of our brides to ride this wedding journey as happy and smoothly as possible.

Thoughts on the future and how your business and sector may change or evolve? 

We have learnt and evolved immensely since 15 months ago and are constantly improving on ways to operate as smoothly and as friction-less as possible during lock-down situations . Our business will always be creating sustainable and contemporary wedding gowns that stands the test of time and to be pass onto future generations to come.  

The industry of fashion and bridal fashion has already started to evolved in creating garments that are less collection/ trend/ launch focused, but rather individual designs and pieces are re-wearable throughout the year – providing longevity in quality from fabric, workmanship to elements of design.

What do you do personally to cope with the stress of COVID and Lockdown? Any rituals or actions that help get you through? 

We have two young children aged 3 and 7.  As cute as they can be, home-schooling and hourly required entertainment is a whole different level of skill required compared to running a business.  As parents we love to give full credits to all the care-givers, pre-school teacher and educational professionals.  Since Cliff and I have lots on the plate –  our ritual is 20 mins of exercise in the living room every morning and get on with the day in full speed – fueled by espressos + instant coffee for the hit, followed by simple healthy lunches for everyone in the family with small portions of snacks and back into it.  

The trick is not to over-eat, over-think, keep it simple and make one, just one plan a day and get that done.   I will not even pretend it is easy, it is not – much harder this time around for us with growing number of stockists in international markets and NYBW in October to prepare.

Location: Sofitel / Concept and Photography: Haute Weddings / Gowns: Hera Couture / Suits: Crane Brothers / Sunglasses: Ella Jane / Hair and Makeup: Eleanor Dorn / Female Model: Mikal / Male Model: Elliot 

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