Since starting Laura & Leigh Bridal the thing that has been most important to me was emphasizing experience. Listen, you can get a wedding dress anywhere. I’ve been caught saying it at least once a week, “you can throw a rock and find a wedding dress in this area.” And it’s true (depending on how far you can actually throw a rock).
For me, starting Laura & Leigh wasn’t about just opening a bridal shop and having fun dressing people up in gorgeous clothes all day (although that is super fun and it’s my favorite thing). Shopping for a wedding dress should be special and unforgettable. I wanted a place that made sure that people felt incredible. And in a store where selling wedding dresses is the priority, that meant forcing myself and the team to reassess what truly was a priority. And, to regularly remind ourselves of where our priorities should lie each time a family walks in the door.
Sure, we want to help you find the garment you’ll wear on one of the biggest days of your life. But our mission is to tailor your experience around your specific needs so you find that dress in the best way possible for you. That means that everyone’s experience and journey is going to feel different because everyone approaches this process in a different way and with a different mindset.
In our world, our customers are vulnerable. We’re with them in private moments and feel for them. We open up and are here to listen to what is needed. We’re there celebrating the exciting moments, and have also been in some truly tough times with them. We’ve found ourselves sitting with a person while they cried on the floor, acting as their best friend, confidant and therapist. It’s not about style. It’s about you, the style is the bonus.
This is especially true for our couples in the LGBTQ+ community. We are constantly working to make sure that the dated, heteronormative traditions don’t cloud your day. We want to make sure that we focus on what our queer couples actually want and need to make sure that everyone feels comfortable in their own skin, seeing themselves as the gorgeous person they are.
We try to be as vocal as possible about marriage equality and how important it is to protect that equality. We want to focus on inclusion all year around, not just between June 1st and June 30th, because your love is special and meant to be celebrated always and all ways.
We want to make sure all our couples and customers feel comfortable in our space and welcomed. As a cisgendered person, I don’t know that I will ever truly understand what your experiences are, but I’ll work to be patient and mindful as you move through your wedding process. Most of us at LLB may not be a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but I can promise that we will all work hard to check our privilege at the door, keep learning, never assume and watch our words, because this isn’t about us. It’s all about you and your love.
My biggest wish is that each person who comes into our store feels loved and welcomed. I hope you feel that when you come in!