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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Jin Wang Experience

Jin Wang's Bridal Salon is in a bright upstairs studio on the quaint Maiden Lane, near Union Square, in the heart of San Francisco.

When I entered the wedding gown salon of designer Jin Wang on Maiden Lane in San Francisco, I was immediately drawn into the warmth, comfort and elegance of a space created just for brides and those close to them. Open by appointment only, Jin Wang Salon insists on the one on one personal care I desire for each of my brides to experience. I was pleased that I had recommended Jin Wang to Nancy over a year ago when she first hired me to plan her wedding, and that now I could be here for the final fitting, just weeks before Nancy's wedding day.

Nancy, her maid of honor/daughter, Maya (in her bridesmaid dress), and Jin Wang, at the beginning of the "dress rehearsal".

It was a privilege to observe Jin lead Nancy through the 2 hour "dress rehearsal" which Jin and her staff provide for each bride who purchase their gown in her shop. In addition to helping Nancy learn how to feel comfortable standing, moving and sitting in her gown, Jin provided tips on how to greet guests warmly with outstretched hands, avoiding the bear hugs that can quickly pull out her veil, and how to have her father walk just a step ahead of her down the aisle to avoid stepping on her train.

Maya has changed into her normal clothes to have her lesson in "fluffing" the train.

What I enjoyed most was seeing Jin personally demonstrate to Maya, Nancy's maid of honor and daughter, how to fluff her mom's train when needed. I know Maya will never forget that moment, nor will Nancy as she watched in the mirror.

After the fluffing demonstration my assistant Katie and I had a personal lesson from Jin about how to bustle Nancy's train after the wedding; most wedding gowns have trains which are beautiful for the wedding ceremony and photos; however moving with that extra material throughout the evening, can make it difficult for the bride to move around and dance. I am often the one who learns how to bustle the bride's gown, so I can help her on the wedding day; I think Nancy's will take a bit more concentration than some!

With 4 layers of chiffon and silk, there are 4 rows of 4-6 tiny loops and buttons, one row on each layer, which have to be connected in a certain order for final look of the bustled gown to meet Jin Wang's criteria for "perfect".

I was very grateful to have the designer herself there to coach us on which layer to begin with, how to hold the material as we work, and since the rows of buttons and loops are not symmetrical, how to be sure we have the correct button matched with the correct loop.

I took notes, and made drawings as did Katie...but occasionally as I look towards the wedding day, I wonder if I can call Jin after the wedding ceremony, when Katie and I are working together on Nancy's train...just for a quick review! :)

One other special part of the Jin Wang experience is being greeted by Bruno, the elegantly quiet and accommodating mascot for the salon; he was happy to be in the dressing room with his owner, Jin and enjoy Maya's special attention whenever she was not involved in the dress rehearsal!

Maya and Bruno, the shop mascot and dedicated bridal associate, always ready to calm nerves and accept attention!

It is a joy to work alongside such dedicated and creative wedding professional here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have known Jin Wang as an extremely successful wedding gown designer here in SF, and have admired her work for years, but I had not had this opportunity to see her doing what she seems to love best....helping brides.

I can see that the passion she has for enabling her clients to feel totally beautiful and comfortable on their wedding day only begins when they select the gown. Before they leave her salon with that perfect wedding gown, Jin wants to know for sure that they will feel confident and lovely on their wedding day-- stepping into the limo, walking down the aisle, entering the wedding reception, stepping onto the dance floor, and making the grand exit with their new husband..
When Nancy, Maya and I left Jin Wang's studio, we could sense that Jin had accomplished her goal; Nancy was ready to move on from the dress rehearsal to the reality of wearing her wedding gown to walk down the aisle and marry Steve.