Ask the expert: Jana Svalbe from MODE Bridal

Jana Svalbe runs the luxury MODE Bridal boutique, a private and intimate place for brides to fully indulge in the experience of finding the perfect dress.

Jana talks us through the modus operandi at MODE Bridal; letting go of preconceptions about the right gown, and focusing on the best fit and accentuating a bride’s best features. Plus, what’s hot for 2016…

5 Star Weddings:  Most of us only get one opportunity to choose a wedding dress, and it can be a very daunting experience. What advice do you give brides when choosing their dress?

Jana Svalbe: The most important thing is to have an open mind. Very often the style of the dress that the bride has dreamed of does not suit her which can come with a lot of disappointment. Many dresses also do not have what I call “hanger appeal”. So have an open mind, be willing to try things on and choose a boutique that can provide you with some styling advice and not just sell you a dress.

5 Star Weddings:  How important is it to find the right designer?

Jana Svalbe: I find that for most brides the first priority is to find a beautiful dress, and who it is made by is secondary. However, for us as a retailer, choosing the right designer is everything. Our point of difference is about bringing the best wedding dresses to our brides, to be made to their measurements by the designers in house. This allows us to offer not only different styles of gowns but also a great level of customisation, flexibility with delivery times, and an amazing fit of the dress. As such we invest a lot of time in selecting the designers we work with and building great relationships with them so each bride can have her dream wedding dress.

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5 Star Weddings:  How should someone communicate with the boutique owner to express their wishes for the perfect dress? 

Jana Svalbe: Style, fit, quality and price all come into the mix when defining perfection so the starting point is finding a retailer who has the potential to deliver what you are looking for. The next step is to book an appointment and have a consultation. A good boutique will ask you questions about what you like and don’t like, which parts of the body you want to accentuate, how do you want to feel, what style of wedding are you having etc. Through that discussion they will come up with options for you, then it is all about trying the dresses until you find perfection!

5 Star Weddings:  How accommodating should a bride be?

Jana Svalbe: When buying a dress a bride should love her reflection in the mirror, feel good about herself, and trust that the person she is dealing with will deliver her dream gown – there should be no compromise with any of these things. The accommodating part comes into play when we are talking about little details that would be nice to have, but are not really important in the overall look and feel of the dress or the wedding. So it is a balance between getting something amazing and not getting distracted by things that are not important.

5 Star Weddings:  Is there anything new in terms of style or detail that brides and our readers can expect in 2016?

Jana Svalbe: Colour! With the increasing desire of brides to be different the designers are finding ways of incorporating beautiful colours into the bridal gowns. Champagne and gold tones are definitely on trend in 2016. And for those who love bridal elegance and are looking to stand out from the crowd Alan Hannah’s collection Watercolours is a must see! Their hand painted dress Peony is my favourite and is very popular with brides.


5 Star Weddings: What is the most important accessory to compliment a wedding dress?

Jana Svalbe: It has to be the headpiece. Whether it is a veil, floral crown, or a headpiece it is the most important accessory to complete your look and can be the difference between looking good and looking amazing!

5 Star Weddings: Describe the experience brides can expect at MODE Bridal – what makes it different? 

Jana Svalbe: MODE Bridal is a luxury studio created as a part of my home, so brides can expect private, luxury bridal appointments, award winning and exclusive designer wedding dresses lovingly handmade to their measurements in the UK, Italy and France, great styling advice and impeccable service. We really focus on the two things that are important to our customer; the wedding dress and the experience of buying it. We’ve created a brand that is recognised as a ‘must visit’ place for your wedding dress shopping.

Jana’s gorgeous home boutique is in Hove, close to Brighton, and easily accessible from London. Private appointments are available through the MODE Bridal website, including weekend and evening slots.

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