Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to Carol Judge

Carol Judge CAROL Judge, 54, is a bridal Consultant with Hanna & Browne in Lisburn. She has worked for the firm for three years. Originally from Scotland Carol, who has three grown up children, lives locally with her partner and youngest son.

I get up at 6am to tend to my dog Judy who is getting old. As soon as the sun is out she is up.

I do a few things round the house, have breakfast and leave at 9am to be in work for 9.30am. When I arrive I sort out the tills, get the machines switched on and prepare myself for the day ahead, making sure the department is ready for the customers.

Most brides make an appointment to come in and see myself or one of the other two consultants. When the couple arrive I suggest that they take ten minutes to walk around the store to get an idea of the stock available.

Then I will join them, taking a note of what they would like put down on their list. I provide general advice to them on colours, styles and price for example. On average o typical session could take approximately two hours.

Once the list has been decided on I will leave it into our office where it will be typed up and put online. The modern and practical way to organise wedding presents is through an online bridal registry. Not only will a list ensure that the couple don't receive half a dozen toasters, but it enables their family and friends to purchase a present with confidence knowing that their gift is exactly what the couple want.

While we can't guarantee availability of all products, the majority of brides find that most items chosen are in stock. Once they compile their wedding list, all in-stock merchandise is put aside in our Bridal Room ensuring that the wedding gifts will be available for the chosen delivery date or for guests to collect.

I am available to the client by phone, email or in person to answer any questions regarding product details, special orders and delivery. I like to see the customer right from the start through to the end when they are collecting their gifts.

We supply cards designed specifically for the customer to enclose with their wedding invitations letting their guests know where their list is being held and how to order. Online purchasing is not for everyone and guests will phone me or come into the store to make their selection and I will help them out if they need assistance.

Once a purchase is complete, the bridal list will be updated and as a wedding approaches I check that all the outstanding orders have been received and inform the couple if there are any presents to pick up. Once the presents are collected my next job is to sort out the paperwork. Any of the clients whose gifts exceed �1000 - excluding all electrical products and discounted sales goods - qualify for 5% of the total value of items bought from the list. I work this out and then let the customer know.

I think it is great when the happy couple return to pick up any remaining gifts after their wedding and they show us their photos. As well as the bridal consultancy there is the general running of the china and glass department where I do the paperwork and deal with the customers.

I finish at 5.30pm, tidy the shop up to make sure it is in good order for the morning and then head home and have dinner with my family.

I'll see to the pets, do some house work and then relax. I enjoy gardening and reading in my spare time. My days are fulfilling at work and I am always on the go.

Ulster Star