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.

Spring is in the Air!

Well... almost.. We've had a BEAUTIFUL February so far, so I think it's fair to say it's pretty much spring already. And with Spring comes... NEW DRESSES! We have our brand new Spring 2012 dresses out on the floor, ready and waiting for you!

Here is just a preview of what this season has in store:

Designer: Ella

This is one of my very favorite dresses in the store! You can get it with or without the belt pictured above and you can wear it with another belt or just simply elegant on its own.

This gown says "Princess" without going over the top. The light fabric of the skirt and the way it drapes across the body make this dress look magical and ethereal. The shape is absolutely stunning on any body type and the style is versatile to many weddings. This dress isn't tied down to any labels as a "Garden Wedding Dress" or "Beach Wedding Dress" or "Formal Wedding Dress." This dress lets the woman who is wearing it define it!

This dress is ideal for a girl who wants to feel like she has just stepped out of a fairytale... but also wants to show off her great figure!! The romantic feel of this dress will help you create your very own modern fairytale with your personal Prince Charming.

Designer: Mikaella

If you are a Bride who is DESPERATE for some pockets... Mikaella is the designer for you! She has several gorgeous gowns with pockets!

In the store, I have put these dresses on girls who didn't even specify they would like pockets because they automatically assumed that any dress with pockets would probably be ugly. But when they put these amazing Mikaella gowns on, their eyes would absolutely light up as they quickly shoved their hands into the pockets.

So believe it or not folks... Pockets and Pretty are NOT mutually exclusive!!

Here is another very sweet gown from Mikaella... and with MORE POCKETS!! I hope you guys are eating up all this pocket talk. Just think of it! You could be standing up at the altar with your sweetie with you Iphone in one pocket, ready to change your relationship status on Facebook as soon as the recessional starts!

Ooorrrrr not... ;)

Either way, you can't go wrong with this sweet and simple Mikaella!

Designer: Justin Alexander

The other day, I had a bride trying on a couple Justin Alexander gowns and her mother asked who the designer was and I told her, she looked at me funny and questioned, "A Boy?" She just couldn't believe that a man had created such stunning wedding gowns! But I guess those men get it right once in awhile... or else none of us would even be looking at wedding dresses in the first place!

This gown is probably the MOST fashion-forward dress in our entire shop. It just screams fashionista. If you have dreams of walking the runway or the red carpet, this is the dress for you.To me, it has an almost iconic look to it. It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn! What she might wear if she was getting married in 2012! In this gown, Justin has wrapped up elegance, sophistication, and pure style.

Justin Strikes Again!! This is another example of Justin Alexander's simple elegance and stylish design. You can kind of see this in the photo, but in person this dress shines like candlelight. You will be the one setting the mood as you flicker softly like a candle flame. This is another pick that I think Audrey would snag for her 2012 wedding as well. If you are looking for timeless and iconic, Justin is your man.

All of these dresses (and sooo many more Spring 2012 dresses) are available at Ellie's Bridal Boutique in Old Town Alexandria. As always, you can call us at 703-683-8697 to schedule an appointment if you want to make a date with one of these beauties.

And if you are looking for more wedding inspiration, you are in luck! Because Ellie's Bridal Boutique now has a Pinterest!! Click Here for hours and hours filled with nothing but awesome wedding inspiration! And if you need an invitation to join, feel free to tell us on Facebook or right here on Tumblr!!