Hi! I’m Alene and I’m the store manager at Max Bridal. I have 20+ years of retail experience and sort of ‘fell into’ the bridal industry. When I started at Max Bridal six years ago, it was a boutique shop in Mineola, which we outgrew pretty quickly! We moved into our location in Syosset, where we doubled our size, doubled our list of designers and doubled in staff. My staff and I learn so much about our brides in our 90-minute appointments – we know we can help them for their biggest day yet. And we can’t wait to meet all of you, learn about you and help you find your dream wedding gown!
The Wedding Industry
As I said above, I sort of ‘fell into’ the wedding industry when I was looking for retail jobs on Long Island. I didn’t even know the bridal world existed! But I’ve always had a passion for people and learning about them. I love to hear how a bride met her fiancé, how he proposed, how she selected her bridesmaids – everything! That is so much fun for me!
I fell in love with seeing a bride falling in love with herself. I love brides, and I love the journey a bride takes starting with her wedding dress. I also love to go to market and choose beautiful gowns that I know will be the best for the Max Bride.
The Wedding Memories
It was probably my first bride. Since I’m a manager, I don’t usually do consultations, but this particular day, I jumped in to help. This bride told me everywhere she went, she didn’t have a good experience. She was a plus-size bride. She had also battled cancer. At the end of her battle, her fiancé proposed and she was ready to start her new shot at life – which is why finding a wedding dress was so important to her. I listened to her story and what she wanted, and I found her the perfect wedding dress. We became friends, and I still see her at bridal events, as she works in the industry as well. She continues to say she was made to feel special and that’s all she wanted. And she looked gorgeous the day of her wedding. It was the first time a client became part of my life in a different way.
We just have bridal gowns at Max Bridal – no bridesmaids gowns – as we love to focus solely on our brides. We do offer private appointments that are done after hours for any bride who wants to bring more guests with her. But all of our rooms are private suites. And each of the four rooms has a specific vibe with a distinct personality – garden, boho, disco and vintage. It’s an intimate, one-on-one 90 minutes of just you, your consultant and your guests. You aren’t open to the public unless you want to be!
Max Bridal started with a group of investors about 10 years ago. One of the investors eventually bought the company herself – and is the current owner. I started in 2016 and am proud at how far Max Bridal has come. And how we treat our brides.
Is it too early to start shopping?
No! It’s never too early to start shopping! As long as you have your venue booked, you should be looking for a wedding dress! Everything else will fall into place once you have your gown. You want to give yourself ample time – and not leave your dress until the last minute.
Who should come with me?
Bring the important decision makers in your life! The people that you want there when you find your wedding dress. BUT, you should make sure you bring them to every appointment. You never know when you’ll find your dress and the initial reaction of falling in love with it can’t be replicated if your entourage isn’t with you!
What’s up with the weird sizing?
We always say that the size chart was created by angry men that were mad at their wives! At Max Bridal, when we measure you – we give you a number – not a size, because that’s not your size! Never think of it as a size, think of it as a number!
I’m binging on The Real Housewives – all of them! I’m living vicariously through them! I also have an 8-year-old son who has a vested interest in my job! Every day he asks me, ‘How were the brides today?’
All of our stylists are amazing, but one of our head stylists, Julie, is loved by everyone! She is my go-to person if I ever need to consult. I pick her brain in terms of what would be best for a bride. She is so in tune with the brides and the bridal world! In fact, you just might see Julie out and about at a Long Island beach – as she often sees brides there!