Where it all Began...

Find Your Happily Ever After at Bridal Creations & Murano's Formalwear by Katrina Geenevansen

A History of Making Dreams Come True

Pina Murano was just 17 years old when she packed her suitcase and immigrated to Canada from Italy with her new husband. A fashion design certificate in her young hands from Studio Competente per la Tecnica def Taglio, she quickly found work as a seamstress.

As her English improved, so did her skills. She soon became a furrier, designing, selling, and manufacturing high-end custom fur coats and accessories. It was a fitting profession for the young designer, who appreciated attention to detail and high-end craftsmanship.

Soon enough, Murano made the switch to the bridal industry, and quickly became known for her second-to-none customer service and unparalleled seamstress skills. At the back end of her mind though, was the dream to one day open her own bridal salon. "As a young girl, I always had a love for fashion and an eye for the latest style trends, especially bridal," she recalls.

At 33, with two young sons, Murano purchased a historic limestone building in the heart of downtown, and the rest, as they say, is history. It was the beginning of Bridal Creations - which continues to make its mark on the city to this day.

A Full Service Salon

Every single blushing bride knows how overwhelming planning for her wedding day can be, but with Bridal Creations, Murano aimed to change that.

In the beginning, Murano wore many hats to make the store a success it is now. Not only was she the sales associate, accountant, buyer, seamstress, she also designed and assembled many of the dresses and accessories her brides wore.

Founding the store with the goal to create a "one stop shop" for her brides, Murano not only offered free layaway, in-house alterations, special group rates, complimentary steaming and hand-pressing leading up to the wedding, she also offered a personalized gift for each bride before her walk down the aisle. In no time at all, the tiny downtown gem became known for its consummate customer service and making its brides feel special. To this day, that hasn't changed.

A Growing Success

Surrounded by gorgeous taffeta, magnificent chiffon and exquisite silk, Stephen Murano seems quite at home at the Queen Street Store, which has expanded three times over the years. His goal? To carry on his mother's dream as the salon continues to grow and expand. "It's all about the full service," he says. "We go above and beyond more than anybody else. Anybody can sell a dress... but we go the extra mile to make sure everything is perfect."

Bridal Creations - now known as Bridal Creations & Murano's Formalwear - is the largest bridal salon in eastern Ontario, offering Freeman Formalwear and Collins Formalwear for grooms-to-be, the mother/son duo pride themselves on perfection. After all, it's the groom who will bring a smile to the bride's face on the big day. "We're really big on attention to detail for the men," explains Stephen. "I make sure it fits properly."

Bridesmaids and mothers are not forgotten, either. From vibrant-coloured gowns to fitted, sleek sheaths, every women is sure to be tempted by the endless options.

Whether you prefer the contemporary, fresh look of Bill Levkoff or the elegant style of Alfred Angelo dresses, there's no such thing as sacrificing styles.

Celebrating a Milstone

This month, the salon will proudly celebrate a milstone anniversary: 20 years. "It's a nice achievement, but it's all thanks to my mum," says Stephen, proudly presenting a smiling photo of his mother. "We've been fortunate; we have a great reputation and people love us. But we are very, very loyal to our customers."

After four bouts of cancer, Pina isn't at the store as much as she'd like to be, but her son is determined to carry on - proud of all his mother has accomplished over the years. "it's very important I carry on what my mother started, because it's a privilege doing what I do," he says. "I am very proud of what my mom achieved for the store and would like to honour it by continuing its growing success."

It's not only about making a sale at Bridal Creations and Murano's Formalwear. "You can't just sell a dress... you get to know these brides. You're spending 20 and 30 hours with them, and you become friends. You get invited to their weddings, which is nice. I think we just go above and beyond. We really give a lot of attention to everything."

Prominently displayed on the store's mantle are countless thank you notes from brides who have chosen this Kingston-based salon to help make their wedding dreams become a reality. "Thank you for all the last minute help - it meant the world to me and took away any stress in my day," says Shari, a former bride. "You went above and beyond to make me feel like the most special person.

For Stephen it doesn't get any better than helping brides say yes to the dress every day. "I find it fun," he says, gesturing around him at the walls filled with creamy satins and luxurious silks. "I love when I'm up in the office, and I can hear a group clapping downstairs, because that's the dress, so they're all crying and the Kleenex is out."

Where are we now?

It is with a heavy heart that the full of life, stylish, hard working, and founder of Bridal Creations & Murano's Formalwear Pina Murano passed away in May of 2015. It is a bitter sweet feeling for us at the salon as so many of our loyal customers return to us once again for their nieces, friends, and daughters wedding gowns and say "Pina sold me my wedding gown." This is the effect she left on the community. We continue to honour her beautiful soul, attention to detail, and have vowed to try to make every bride feel her most beautiful self - just as Pina did.