Retailer Perspective: Shopping at Bridal Market

How do we shop for bridal dresses for our boutique? What kinds of things do we look for and think about? Much of the process is just like how you would shop for own bridal gown. We are always mindful of quality, price, style and design because we want what our brides want. On the other hand, we are shopping for other people and not ourselves. We are expected to read the minds and tastes of people we have yet to meet and be cognizant of fashion trends a year in advance. So what do we look for? This shouldn't come as a surprise, but often it's simply a matter of you asking us. This past season we thought Ellie's Bridal Boutique had plenty of gowns with keyhole backs to choose from. Brides kept asking for more. We listened. So we will be welcoming Casablanca 2102 (Below: top left) for its keyhole back. On facebook Rachel asked for "lace paired with other fabrics." Even though just one bride asked specifically, we listened to that, too. And so we will soon welcome Casablanca 2108 (Below: top right) for its mixture of lace and tulle fabrics. We even picked out Mikaella 1763 (Below: bottom left) for its keyhole back AND lace straps on satin skirt. Nikki requested "tulle skirts with sparkle... as opposed to sparkly skirts typically being satin." We are proud to now feature Justin Alexander 8638 (Below: bottom right), a gown with ruched tulle covering sequin, which arrived in our store just last week! We got a variety of gowns based on your feedback. You'll just have to wait to see the rest as they trickle into our store over the next few months!

Casablanca 2108 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Casablanca 2102 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Mikaella 1763 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Justin Alexander 8638 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Probably one of the most obvious factors is allowing variety in our selection. We have heard so many brides proclaim, "I want the top of Dress A with the bottom of Dress B!" Our main goal here is to find a feature that brides love in a gown, then give them options to have that. About two years ago, when the strapless trend was still at its height, we decided to bring in something a little different with Justin Alexander 8530 (Below: left image). While we had several necklines to start, the bateau received the most compliments. Unfortunately, the only gowns in our store with that neckline were more fitted sheath or trumpet gowns. It was only natural that we expanded the selection. So as soon we laid eyes on Justin Alexander 8630 (Below: right image) we instantly knew that it had to be part of our collection. In fact, it also arrived in our boutique last week!

Justin Alexander 8530 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Justin Alexander 8630 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

There are so many other details we need to think about when deciding which gowns to bring into our salon. I'll elaborate more on how we think about gown quality, alteration capability, our past experience and reputation, and a host of other factors that come into play at later date. In the meantime, just know that we truly have your interests heart. This is your special day and we really do want to make you feel like you can have it all and turn your dreams into a reality.

And if you haven't already, definitely check out this post for more Spring 2013 previews.

Out With the Old, In With the New

New York International Bridal Week

Now that things are finally calming down from the bustling excitement of last weekend's Back to Savings Sample Sale, we want to show you just what all the fuss was about from our end.

Brides are not the only ones shopping for wedding gowns year-round. In fact, bridal salons are required to purchase bridal gowns twice a year: every Spring and Fall season. And trust me, just once a year is more than enough to keep our inventory quite alive. If you have visited before, you know exactly what we mean. We simply have too many wedding dresses. The solution? You guessed it: sample sale.

We love sample sales because they are a win-win for brides-to-be and bridal salons. Not only do you get the opportunity get great deals on gorgeous gowns, but it allows us to clear the racks in preparation for the next season. This is also why our sample sales also include gowns that have been in our boutique for less than a full season - we simply don't have enough space!

So now that we've made a little room, here's a an exclusive sneak peek at a few of the gowns we seriously can't wait to show you. None of these gowns have been even been advertised yet, so I hope we don't get in trouble for this from our designers!

Between the fabulous fit-n-flare silhouette, fun pick-ups, and detailing of this illusion neckline, we're sure that brides will love Mikaella's modern twist to this simple, classic look.

Mikaella 1752 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Mikaella 1752 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

For something just a bit sexier, we are loving this fitted, chiffon gown by Sincerity. Just wait until you see the back!

Sincerity 3736 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Sincerity 3736 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Sincerity also has this fantastic tea-length gown that we know brides will absolutely adore. The lace top can be detachable so you can even go strapless if you want to update this dress to a more contemporary look.

Sincerity 3749 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Sincerity 3749 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

One of the gowns that we are probably the most excited about is this Justin Alexander. The crocheted lace detail gives a dramatic twist to this otherwise traditional ball gown.

Justin Alexander 9710 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Justin Alexander 9710 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Having a destination wedding on the beach, or thinking that these gowns are just not your style? Sweetheart has just the gown for you.

Sweetheart 5978 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Sweetheart 5978 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Can't wait to see our new collections? Neither can we. Unfortunately, we aren't expecting these gowns to arrive in our boutique for another couple months but we still have plenty of other styles to choose from. The good news is, now you know we have a bit of everything. And if this post isn't enough for you, see what we currently have in our store.

No matter your taste or style, call us at 703-683-VOWS(8697) to schedule your appointment.