Experts: The Insider Traders
WHEN KERRI BRUNEAU MET Eleni Granas, it was a match made in heaven. And as much as they love their respective husbands, with the opening of the Boston Bridal Lounge on Newbury Street, Bruneau (pictured at left) and Granas have embarked on an exciting partnership of their own. The two have plenty of firsthand experience in the industry (both worked at bridal publications), and are putting that knowledge to good use by sharing their Rolodexes with area brides.
So what is the Boston Bridal Lounge, exactly?
KERRI BRUNEAU: It’s a wedding library and showroom — one-stop shopping for trusted resources, all under one roof.
ELENI GRANAS: The space is beautified by all of our vendor members. So for instance, Winston Flowers brings fresh floral arrangements, our linen companies are dressing the tables; everything that’s incorporated into the design is from one of our vendors, so the space is very inspirational.
KB: It’s a really nice experience for couples, because they can see and touch and taste as they go through the planning process. As we get to know them, we can make recommendations based on style and budget, and provide vendors that are very well trusted, reputable, and talented at what they do.
Where did the inspiration for the lounge come from?
EG: Most wedding industry professionals will tell you that the majority of their business comes from word-of-mouth referrals, so we thought a business model that uses genuine recommendations and referrals to connect couples with vendors was a solid plan.
KB: I flew out to L.A. to visit a business with a similar concept, and we adjusted what they were doing to what we thought Boston brides and grooms would appreciate.
So how do you select the vendors that you recommend?
KB: After being in the business for so many years, I know a lot of the bigger names in the industry. But what we wanted was to have a wide variety of people, so we look at their websites, view samples of their work, ask for referrals from other industry professionals that are well respected, and use reviews that brides and grooms have written and posted online.
How does BBL help with the planning process?
KB: A lot of people don’t know where to begin. We bring it back to talking about where you are, step by step. Sometimes it takes an expert in the field to bring couples back to that mindset, bring a smile to their faces, and let them realize that it’s okay.
EG: Essentially we’re trying to find a vendor that matches their personalities and style.