Vendor Highlight: Danielle with Bridal Boutique of Lewisville
You all know I love beautiful wedding details that show off the personalities of the people I am photographing! One of my favorite detail to capture is the wedding dress. So much of the bride’s wedding style is dictated by the dress she chooses to wear. Now to me, wedding dress shopping sounds like FUN, but I do know that for many it can be overwhelming! I am so excited to have Danielle here with me from Bridal Boutique of Lewisville to help us take some of the mystery out of shopping for that dream dress!
When my best friend, Lisa, got engaged last year, I was in wedding planning heaven! I loved being able to use my industry knowledge to help her plan the wedding of her dreams. When it came time to go dress shopping, I knew I wanted to take her to Bridal Boutique of Lewisville first. I knew that many of my brides get their gowns there and they always rave about their experiences! We were greeted as we walked in for our appointment with a glass of champagne and a warm welcome from Danielle. She took the time to learn about Lisa’s likes and dislikes, and what her wedding vision looked like. As Lisa was trying on different dresses she couldn’t find the right words to explain what it was that she didn’t like, but Danielle was able to sense what didn’t work and was already on her way with a new dress! So after two hours of fun, laughter and so many dresses, Lisa said “Yes to the Dress!” I was truly impressed by Danielle. This was not my first visit to a bridal boutique, but I had never met a stylist this good before.
Since that first visit, I have worked with Danielle a few times at different styled shoots, and I have always been awed by her skill and how well she is able to find the perfect dress for each woman! She knows what profile of dress will best match your wedding vision, which dresses will match your budget, and she is never short on compliments!
Now let’s get on to those questions! (make sure you keep scrolling down, there are lots of questions between those photos!)
But first, meet Danielle!
So first things first. When is the right time to start shopping for your wedding dress?
I tell all my brides to expect the dress shipping and alterations to take about 9-10 months. Most of the designers take 5-6 months to make and ship your gown.
These gowns are made as ordered, they are not stocked in a warehouse somewhere. And after you receive your gown you will then start alterations which can be anywhere from 4 to 14 weeks.
These variables depend on several different things but it’s better to overshoot your timeline.
In the case you do not have 9 months there are usually rush options but not always. Rush fees can range from 10% to 50% of the cost of your gown. It depends on the designer and the gown. The quickest RUSH option is typically 8-10 weeks for shipping and under 4 weeks for alterations. I could go on for a while talking about the different ways to get a gown quicker and some of the tricks we use for our brides at Bridal Boutique but it’s truly different from designer to designer; gown to gown. So you will have to trust in your stylist to lead the way if you are needing something under 6 months.
The longest wait time would be for a custom order. At Bridal Boutique of Lewisville we have a couple of designers who will make custom changes for you from as basic as length to changing a fitted gown into a full skirt. These gowns could take a month or longer than a standard order.
Where should I shop?
At the end of the day, there are only a few shops that carry sellable lines that we do not have at BB. For the most part, these designers are usually more expensive lines that have an exclusivity contract with another Dallas boutique. Going to every boutique in DFW is most def. not the way to shop!
First I suggest coming up with a game plan. If you must go to more than one boutique, choose only one other. Go the smaller boutique first. The 1/5-2 hr appointment can be more draining that you would expect so maybe try to split it up into two days. Deciding which two shops depend on a few things like budget and style. Like I mentioned above there are only a few other boutiques that carry lines we don’t and typically, these lines are $5K and above. If your budget doesn’t exceed 5K then other than our Bridal Boutique of Lewisville, if you are looking for something less traditional you can check out A&Be.
If you have a higher end budget your top spots would be Stanley Korshak. While they will carry similar styles, Stardust carries more glitz while Stanley carries more high fashion elegance & traditional styles.
Go to the website of your boutique in question and look at the designers they carry. Find a couple of designers you are drawn to and go to their website. This will give you a better idea of their inventory. Do your homework!
Who should I bring with me?
I get asked all the time if it’s better to come alone or to bring at the whole crew and there is no “one size fits all” here.
Ask yourself these questions:
What kind of relationship do I have with my mom? If she is more overbearing with her opinions or if her vision is completely opposite of yours I may recommend bringing support for you.
Am I easily led in a direction I wouldn’t choose to go in otherwise? If so, bring someone who knows that about you and supports you doing YOU.
Are there people I really want to be a part of my “yes to the dress” moment?
Make a list and really think about each person individually and as a group. If there is a chance anyone on your list will not support what you love – take them off the list. Invite them to a fitting of an accessory appointment. In my years of experience – the fewer number of guests, the better. However, you definitely want to make sure all your people are at your appointment so you don’t end up finding your gown and having that organic moment without the important people you want there.
That “moment” is 100% organic so it’s unlikely you will have the same reaction again. So when you don’t; most of the time you will question your choice and think maybe it’s not “the one”
We allow up to 7 guests but can make other accommodations if requested and our schedule permits. If you have a big crew that you want to be there when you say “yes” but not during the entire process you could talk to us about booking a weekday appointment to find your own dress, without so many opinions, and then bringing your crew back to “yes”
Can you break down some wedding designers and what I should expect to spend?
For a Bride on a budget? There are many cheap designers that I would never put my brides in because of the way their gowns fit. That being said, there are still some great gowns at a lower price point. Check out these designers for gowns under $1500
#1 Stella York
#3 Elizabeth Layne
#4 Essense of Australia
#5 Justin Alexander
If you have a moderate budget, I recommend the following designers for gowns starting around $2000-5000.
#3 Watters by Watters
#4 Allure Couture
#5 Lusan Mandongus
#6 Randy Fenoli
#7 LeaAnn Belter
#8 Romona Keveza
If you have the freedom to spend a little more on the dress of your dreams, then these are some of my all-time favorite designers for quality and fit. Prices start at $7500
#2 Isabelle Armstrong
Is there anything a bride should know before starting the search for the perfect dress?
These gowns don’t have mysterious powers. Media and television convinced the brides of today that once she steps into her magical gown she will be overcome by emotion and a light bulb will go off “this is it”. Most of the time it is a pros VS con analysis that is the deciding factor. Go into your appointment ready to buy!
It can’t hurt to ask! Are there questions bride should be asking at their appointment?
Does your gown have different length options available? 3” shorter or 3” longer… sometimes you can save $ by ordering a little shorter and avoiding adjusting hem in alterations.
If you buy the same day as your first appointment, will the boutique offer any incentives?
What does the boutique offer if you buy? We will steam twice, your stylist is constantly staying on top of your shipping, we give all our brides 10% off gowns for moms, 15 % off flower girl dresses, and 15% off of Bridesmaid gowns.
So, did we answer most of your questions? If not, shoot us a comment below and we will be sure to follow up with an answer for you!