“Yesterday he worked out that if he uses his claws on my bedside light, it makes the sound of a harp…” Kerri Marlow of Bridal Indulgence on her cat Harry’s new early morning routine & how things have changed in lockdown
We all know that finding ‘the one’ in wedding dress terms can be a journey filled with highs and lows and pretty much everything inbetween, so it’s important to visit a bridal destination that will support you in every dress-related endeavour. Bridal Indulgence, a tranquil, beautifully decorated bridal store created and run by Kerri Marlow, sits nestled in the folds of idyllic English countryside in Crondall, near Farnham. Known for her supportive approach (not to mention rails of shimmering gowns from some of the hottest designers) Kerri is in the midst of launching Happy Bride, a proactive arm off the boutique incorporating advice and workshops for brides experiencing anxiety and stress during the planning process. I caught up with Kerri to chat all things Happy Bride, lockdown and more…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Is this happening?!”
After: “Let’s beat this.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“I have never been an early riser and I’m known for my love of sleeping. Unfortunately, since lockdown, my cat Harry suddenly became an early riser and me and my husband have been woken up by Harry at 5am every single morning! And, he gets more creative each morning. Yesterday he worked out that if he uses his claws on my bedside light, it makes the sound of a harp…
But, after eventually giving him his breakfast, we usually go back to sleep and then sit in bed with a cup of tea. My husband and I both run our own businesses, so it’s actually been nice to slow down and spend some time together. We’ve been making brunch and then, with the lovely weather, going in the garden for a few hours. Our garden has never been so tidy! We’re lucky to live in a beautiful village so we’ve been trying to go for a walk everyday and it’s been lovely exploring new parts that we’ve never been to before. We’ve been taking it in turns cooking dinner and have had so many BBQs. Then our evenings seem to be spent doing quizzes on Zoom with friends and families. We are currently involved in six different quizzes! I’m hoping to be incredibly educated by the end of lockdown.”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“I made the decision to close Bridal Indulgence just before lockdown was enforced as I knew I needed to do my part to stop the spread of the virus. Obviously, I can’t wait to open again, but having had friends and family members contract the virus, I’m putting health before business and I won’t be opening again until I feel it is absolutely safe to do so.
Whilst I’m closed, people can support me by following, liking and sharing on social media. We need some positivity and hope so I’m sharing lots of positive content and inspiration. I have also started an appointment waitlist that brides can join to be one of the first to get an appointment.” Follow Bridal Indulgence on Instagram here.
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “Lolo & Co – Jen does hair and make-up and has her studio at Bridal Indulgence. She’s amazing, so if you need a hair and makeup artist, check her out!”
No.2 “Fuchsia Blooms – Jane grows all her own flowers. She does a limited amount of weddings per year and will grow flowers especially for you, so get in touch with her ASAP!”
No.3 “Zen Jen: Mindful Living and Emma Cartwright: Live your Best Life – they are both life coaches who have been helping me with my project Happy Bride and have some really great techniques to help ease anxiety.”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“Chocolate – Marvellous Creations Popping Candy is my all-time favourite.”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“A walk – fresh air instantly makes me feel better.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“Flour. I need it for making pancakes, cookies and cakes!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“I’ve started running (that’s probably the second strangest thing!) and when out for a run one morning, there was a deer just trotting down the road. The next day it was in our garden. I love that animals are taking over during lockdown!”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
“Zoom. I have recently been informed that there is the option to add a ‘touch up’ filter on there! Who knew!?”
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Not being able to see friends and family.”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Spending quality time with my husband.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“Oh there’s so many! My family. My friends. And some of my bridal shop friends – I don’t know what I would have done without them during all of this.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“Messages of support from my brides. I’ve cried when reading some of them. They have so much going on themselves and the fact that they’re thinking about me during this time…I have no words!”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“I was just in the process of launching Happy Bride and was due to have a launch party at the end of March which didn’t get to happen. I created Happy Bride after realising that planning a wedding isn’t always as exciting and happy for everyone. It can bring up a whole array of different emotions such as stress, anxiety and anguish. So, I put together a team of different experts to help me offer advice for brides planning their weddings. Never did I think it would be so important. The focus at the moment is on dealing with the anxiety and stress that we might be experiencing during lockdown, not to mention coping with having to postpone your wedding after so much planning. In the future it will be how to deal with grief of loved ones who can’t be at your wedding, coping with being the centre of attention, conflict and many other topics. You can read the articles on the Happy Bride blog here.
I’ve also been looking at the new collections that are launching from Savin London, Willowby and Wtoo. There are some gorgeous new gowns and I’m struggling to decide which ones to add. I think I’ll be turning to my brides for some help! I’ve got some new arrivals to come that I had ordered earlier in the year, including three sparkly gowns from Willowby: Lunella, Celestial and Paisley. I’m loving a bit of sparkle at the moment!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “Friends and family.”
No.2 “Having a support network of other bridal boutique owners.”
No.3 “Not taking things for granted.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Café Piccolo – it’s an Italian restaurant in Farnham and me and my husband love it!”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“We’ve been watching New Girl. I had only watched the first two series on TV, so I’ve finally caught up!”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“I have been recommended by several people This is going to hurt by Adam Kay. I’m going to try and read it this week!”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“Chocolate orange gin and ginger ale. Garnished with a slice of orange and a sprig or rosemary!”