KEEPING CURRENT: Black Tie Events Managing Director and Wedding Planner Jhunean Giraud —Photos courtesy Black Tie Events Managing Company

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Saying ‘I do’ in second-hand style

By \\\\\ VERDEL BISHOP

Given today’s high cost of living, modern brides are saying yes to second-hand wedding dresses. Black Tie Events Managing Director and Wedding Planner Jhunean Giraud said second-hand wedding items are becoming the new trend locally.  

Still there are those who are yet to warm up to the idea of wearing a former bride’s dress and shoes.   

Recently Giraud and her events company, Black Tie Event Management Company, hosted Fete L’amour, the first bridal flea market in Trinidad, at the Port of Spain Waterfront. 

Founded in 2013 by a Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute graduate, Black Tie Event Management provides a full range of wedding services from apparel to honeymoon, as well as corporate and special events. While some brides are superstitious the stigma that once came from doing things differently has abated. The economy, Giraud noted, is a large contributor to this new trend. 

“A lot of our local brides spend numerous hours doing online research trying to find bargains.  Well no more! Fete L’amour bridal flea market wants to bring the bargain locally for engaged couples, so they can see and touch the items before purchasing them. Also, what is better is that the atmosphere is set for bartering, so the issue of price is always up for negotiation. Further to this, decorators and past brides get instant cash back for their prior investment whilst patrons discover the many hidden treasures they have to offer. We think this forward way of thinking is taking over the wedding industry and is winning over all those who may have had superstitions about finding their something old (vintage or used), something new (handmade craft) and  something borrowed (rental), all of which can now be found in one central location. As we simply but it at Black Tie, in this economic climate, it’s important to wed responsibly. Items on sale may be vintage, but always be very gently used. Black Tie ensures that the selection of approved items displayed at our flea market is of high quality and in excellent condition before putting them on display. For example, we have beautiful wedding gowns by Alfredo Angelo and David’s Bridal that have only been gently used and are in mint condition,” Giraud said. 

Trinidadians are very superstitious but Trinidad and Tobago’s culture is catching up with the rest of the world, many brides are already beginning to understand what it means to shop smart. 

“A lot of brides rent most, if not everything these days for their wedding; from dinnerware and table dressings to dress. Although it is important to have your own something new, like your shoes and personal garments, the modern bride wants to own more exquisite items beyond her wedding day and inject more capital on owning the fancy house or car whilst spending less and still impressing the guests attending their wedding.”  

Giraud said Fête L’amour has everything for the entire bridal party including the groom. On sale were fine tuxedos and fine linen suits that can be rented or purchased along with attire for the entire bridal party --   from flower girl and page boy to bridesmaids and guest attire.  There were also matching accessories inclusive of flower girl baskets, ring pillows, ring boxes and a lot more crafty items on display at Fête L’amour bridal flea market.

Giraud noted the success of the flea market.  “Our event was a great success for us at Black Tie; we were able to introduce a very winning concept to the public that was well accepted and enjoyed by those attending. It was fun and excitement all day long. People were able to get bargains on food and treats. We will definitely be doing this again and again. Weddings are seasonal, so we intend to come with the seasons in moving forward, and based on  feedback from both vendors and patrons on Saturday, it was indeed a winning experience for everyone.  Therefore, each time will be bigger and better than the last and we are grateful for all of the blessings we’ve received from our sponsors and supporters thus far. 

“Planning and working this event not only keeps us current with what brides are using in their decor, but we meet many great people and the beauty of it is that buyers can come back and sell items they bought for their wedding” so brides to-be can feel comfortable to buy without hesitation knowing that they can sell their items after their wedding too. In addition, this bridal flea market is the perfect place to find unique treasures and get lots of decorative items for design inspiration that can be re-purposed into beautiful wedding details, Giraud said. 

Would you say yes to a used wedding dress?  The Express asked a few unmarried women what they thought about a used wedding dress and other items. Of the ten women nine were opposed to the idea of a used wedding dress.  One woman admitted that she was superstitious. “I will never wear a used wedding dress. I would prefer to shop for a brand new dress and I think that is the joy of getting married. I think you want a fresh start and I would hate to think that the dress I am wearing is from someone who got a divorce or had a difficult marriage.  I don’t want that type of bad luck to follow me,” she said. Another woman noted spiritual reasons for not wanting to wear a second-hand dress. 

“A wedding is something sacred. You should never want to wear someone else’s dress unless it belongs to a close family member like my mother or grandmother or a best friend. Some people hand things down from generation to generation and it stays within the family but I will never wear a stranger’s wedding dress,” she said.

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