The Life of a Gown – AACWP March Meeting

For our March meeting we wanted to create something a little different and shake things up for our members! Sometimes it is nice to get away from the traditional format of sitting at a dining table and watching a presentation with a slideshow. So for March we chose a unique location and subject and planned a more interactive experience so everyone could come and enjoy a nice meal and education as always, but also get some hands-on experience and learn by doing and seeing. Everyone gathered at StarDust Celebrations in Plano for this exclusive night.

 

StarDust Celebrations is one of the premiere bridal salons in the DFW area. But many people may not know that they also provide many other services such as bridesmaid’s and mother’s gowns, tuxedos, alterations, wedding planning, and a variety of other services and products!

Jenny Cline has been the co-owner of StarDust Celebrations for 18 years. The Company has four bridal salons and a full wedding planning team. StarDust sees approximately 5,000 new brides each year. In addition to salon operations and buyer responsibilities, Jenny also oversees the alterations department for StarDust. We are proud to say that Jenny is also a Founding Member of AACWP!

Co-owner of StarDust Celebrations in Dallas, at age 34, Marcha Ballard French founded and sold a successful software company which lead to the startup of StarDust in 1999. For TV, StarDust was featured in the "Girl Meets Gown" series and "Randy to the Rescue".

Serving as Chairman of the Board or President for several organizations, she was also the first president of the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP) and has become one of only a few Master Certified Wedding Planners located in Dallas, Texas.

 

 

Upon arrival, members enjoyed some passed hors d’oeuvres and beverages in the salon before being seated for dinner and a program from co-owner and lead planner Marsha Ballard French. Marsha spoke of many things including the differences between different materials used in wedding gowns, why some gowns are more expensive than others, some of the behind-the-scenes workings of the bridal gown industry, and what the word couture truly means.

               

Then our Members had the opportunity to experience a mock bridal appointment with a professional stylist. A few members were chosen for our “brides” for the evening and everyone else was broken up into groups to act as their entourage for the appointment. We have all seen the crazy things that can happen with an entourage on shows like “Say Yes to the Dress”!

So each member chose whether they were going to act as the mother, sister, maid of honor, etc. for the bride and had a fun time acting out the roles! From walking through the racks of dresses and narrowing down the selections to a few dresses that fit the bride’s vision, to trying on each gown and learning about the fit and styling, our members had such a fun time experiencing a part of the planning process in which we are not often involved.

     

After the initial gown selection, members were treated to an alterations meeting where everyone had the chance to ask questions of co-owner Jenny Cline and the alterations specialist. We learned many things such as the right shoes to wear to a fitting, why a bride should never order a gown too small, what materials hold up better for different types of bustles, why alterations on certain dresses can be more expensive than others, how to handle bustle emergencies, and so much more!

           

Overall, this was SUCH a fun and collaborative night with everyone. Throughout the evening everyone was laughing and interacting together in a way we normally cannot at a traditional meeting. Members were posting photos and stories on Instagram and Facebook and sharing their experience with friends and other members who could not make it. It’s safe to say that this was truly an exceptional evening and that we want to provide more fun experiences for all members to enjoy in this same way.

      

 

**Because of the success and wonderful feedback from everyone who attended this meeting, AACWP will be creating a new recurring series of educational events that will focus on hands-on learning and more of a communal feel than a formal meeting. These will be shorter gatherings that will occur between our normal meetings and will have a variety of fun topics and activities that we can all enjoy together. Please stay tuned for more announcements on our first activity in this series!**

 

 

A big thank you to our meeting sponsors for making this such a fun and unique experience for our members!

StarDust Celebrations - Venue

Two Sisters Catering - Food

Top Tier Rentals – Rentals and Staffing

 

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About AACWP

AACWP is a non-profit association primarily focusing on the education of wedding planners. Our leadership consists of current members providing support, resources, and networking for wedding planners, as well as professional development, certification, and continuing education.


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