Silhouettes & sizes: All you need to know

When it’s time to start trying on dresses, it’s ridiculously exciting. However,  you are overwhelmed by a sea of white, ideas from your pinterest and the dress you’ve pictured yourself in since you were five. It can be difficult knowing where to start, and one thing I have found about guides online is that they can be a bit limiting.

I have noticed that a lot of them give advice based on what your body type is, but the thing is most women don’t necessarily fit perfectly into one body type. Some people can be athletic and still be curvy, be petite while also being tall, etc. I think you should go more off of what parts of your shape you would like to bring attention to, and what dress FEELS right opposed to sticking to a certain script. Of course certain silhouettes will look better on you, but the only way to figure that out is to actually see them on. The moral of the story from a bridal consultant and a bride to be is that looking at a guide isn’t going to tell you what the perfect shape for you is, so be open minded when selecting things to try on.

Another thing we should get out of the way now, is SIZING. Let me start by saying, bridal sizing is STRANGE. Your wedding dress size is going to be a couple of numbers up from what you expected. They are based off of a whole different sizing chart, and if you are someone that worries about the number, it’s best to just try and get out of that mindset before trying on. For example, I wear a size 4 normally, and my wedding dress is a size 8. People who normally wear a size 12 will probably be a 14-16. It totally varies, and with that being said, it’s also better to have a dress that is a little big, rather than a little small. This will save you money in alterations.

Below is a guide based off of just the dress itself, so you can have an idea what you are looking at when browsing through the racks, and then decide if you like that idea for your body. Don’t be limited! You know your body, and you know what makes you feel confident and thats what will look best on your wedding day!

A LINE

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A line dresses are very popular. The bodice is fitted, and the dress flares out near your hips. These can be flowy, or closer to a ballgown just depending on the amount of crinoline underneath.

BALLGOWN

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Similar to the Aline, but a bit more dramatic . Ball gowns are known for being a fun, dramatic, princess like style. Ball gowns have a fitted bodice, and billow out at the waist to provide a lot of volume on the skirt.

*TIP- If you fall in love with a ballgown but don’t love the extra proof that is OKAY! You can always have your seamstress remove some of the crinoline and make the ballgown closer to the Aline shape.

Trumpet

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Trumpet gowns are fitted through the bodice & hips and begin to flare out close to the thigh/above the knee. Trumpet dresses are curve hugging and do a great job of showing off your figure, I always tell my brides even if they don’t think they want something fitted, a trumpet more often than not will pleasantly surprise them. Hi Beyonce!

Mermaid

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Mermaid’s & Trumpets are often confused, and sometimes can be interchangeable. They are very similar, and the main difference is that a mermaid skirt begins to flare out lower, where the trumpet flares out usually above the knee.

Sheath

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The sheath style hangs off of the body in a delicate way, and are normally not quite as structured as other gowns, giving them a more light, effortless feel. Many of the more “bohemian” styles we are seeing from designers right now are sheath gowns.

Tea Length

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Tea Length dresses are so sweet & fun! These gowns are so versatile because it is really up to the bride how formal or informal you’d like to make them. Tea length dresses typically cut a few inches below the knee.

Drop Waist

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Drop Waist gowns are an elegant combination of the Trumpet & the A line. The bodice is fitted past your natural waist, below your hips and flares out from there.

Hopefully this guide helps & you have a better idea of what you are looking at when you browse through the shop! Have any of you brides been surprised been surprised by the silhouette you ended up with? Tell us your story in the comments!

Questions to ask your photographer

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Booking a photographer for your wedding day can be a stressful but exciting time in wedding planning! You get to imagine yourself looking flawless and vogueing the day away, unless you don’t like taking pictures- then you might want to just laugh a lot and look away from the camera, which still looks good.

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WORK, GIRL.

These are photos you will have to remember a huge day in your life, you don’t want to look back and feel like they are subpar to what you imagined. To ensure that you get exactly what you want, here are some key questions you can have ready to ask your photographer. Depending on who you choose, your pictures will have a completely different feel and style so it is important to find the style of photography that fits you and your partner’s wedding best.

-What is your pricing like?

Photography prices can range anywhere from $500-$6,000 and even that can always vary. Usually this is something you can find out on their website or via email, prior to speaking in person. Set a budget before meeting with photographers and stick to that price point when selecting who to meet with. Be respectful of their time, and yours!

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-When is the balance due, and how much is the holding deposit?

Make sure to keep note of this and budget for all of the different vendors that you’ll need to pay the weeks leading up to the big day! Most photographers will ask for a deposit to hold the day of your wedding, and the remaining balance will be due a week or two prior. This can definitely change depending on the person, so be sure to ask!

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-How many hours are included in the package? 

You want to make sure that you and your photographer are on the same page. If he/she has an 6 or 8 hour timeframe for example, you should decide if it is more important to you that they capture the ending of the reception, or the getting ready before. The worst thing would be to miss out on those special shots you want just because of a lack of communication.

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-How many weddings are you shooting on my date?

Some photographers do shoot more than one wedding in one day. If your photographer does intend to do this, and you are okay with it, be sure to confirm that there will be adequate time between each wedding, including travel time to and from each wedding.

-Do you have a second shooter?

Second shooters can be great for shots like the bride walking down the aisle, while also capturing the grooms expression (though I am sure your photographer can work this out either way). Many people prefer a second photographer because you then have two people shooting the entire time, as opposed to one. This will most likely effect the price point as well so that’s something to take into consideration.

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-What Style of photography do you identify with most?

This specifically was very important to me when booking our photographer. Personally, I prefer more of a laid back approach to photography. I love when someone can capture those natural and candid moments opposed to anything super posed or staged. Looking back on my wedding, I want to see more shots of guests laughing and dancing, and less with us poised and camera ready. However, to each their own! It’s important to express your preference with your photographer beforehand or they may be trying to predict what you want and you could end up doing something that neither party is excited about. Communication is key!

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-Do you have a backup plan in case an emergency occurs and you are unable to shoot my wedding?

I am a worrier- and on my wedding day this is one thing I’d like to avoid. Things in life happen, and if for some reason your photographer is unable to make it- due to illness, family emergency, etc, it’s comforting to know if there is some sort of back up plan in place.

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alyssawilcoxphotography.com

Have you ever worked at my venue before?

If your photographer is familiar with the area that you’re getting married in, they may have some fun ideas of where to shoot! It could just be fun to get their insight on how other weddings have been organized between the ceremony and reception etc. They also might have some great ideas of where the best lighting is at different times of the day from their past experience.

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Tips from a professional: A friend of mine, Alyssa, is not only an exquisite photographer, but is fun to work with and treats her brides like they are old friends- which makes the experience that much more comfortable. Her advice is to be honest with your photographer, offer ideas right back and make sure these photos are a reflection of you as a couple. Make it personal, include inside jokes; be original and be sure that you are going to love these photos.

YAY weddings!

 

Why you shouldn’t rule out strapless just yet

Lets talk about strapless gowns.

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 We often have brides come into the shop who are on a tight budget or a short timeframe, and they are quick to say, “Nothing strapless!” This is great insight for us consultants, and it has inspired us to dig deeper into what deters brides from this style. When you eliminate strapless dresses, you eliminate about half of your options and you don’t want to do that- especially if a dress has all of the other components you want.

First off, we are all afraid, but why?

I understand the fear. You don’t want to spend all night holding up your dress as you dance and you definitely don’t want to flash your brand new husband’s Aunt Martha who just gifted you some beautiful family heirloom crystal swans. The thing is, if your dress has been altered to fit your body properly it should not be falling down all night. I think we all have the fear of the thin tube top from our youth, but rest assured-Your dress is not going to collapse in on itself, flashing the entire 9th grade at summer camp! Wedding dresses are very well made- often with boning, corsets and darts, and they are much more constructed than the elastic built-in-bras we were subjected to.

If you are still not convinced, or just plain don’t like the look of a strapless gown, fear not. WE.HAVE.OPTIONS!

Jewels!

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Jewelry is always a fun way to spice up a strapless gown. You can do something as simple and chic as a necklace, or you can go all out and wear something bold such as dangly earrings or a choker. The options are endless! Plus- hello clavicle!

Bolero’s!

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These are so gorgeous! I love the idea of having it on for the ceremony and taking it off to switch up your look before the reception, or vise versa! We carry them here at I Do Bridal Too, and at I Do Bridal. You can choose from something simple, all lace, all beaded, or a mix of everything.

Straps!

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Last but definitely not least, you can always add your own straps. Adding straps is very simple; your seamstress can tack them on for you and dresses often have the necessary clasps built in already. Knowing that you can totally change the look of a dress opens up so many possibilities when you’re looking for your gown!

We hope this is helpful and we’d LOVE to hear from all you brides! What’s your opinion on these transformations? How do you feel about strapless? And to our brides who have worn a strapless gown- what are your thoughts?!

Ways to save money on your wedding, while still being ridiculously fabulous.

We are all looking for ways to save money when wedding planning. Since you are following our awesome blog, I have a feeling you are a pretty clever bride, and since you already know how to save money on a designer dress (ahem, with us) I’ll share a few of my other personal tips.

Getaway Car

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Do you really need a stretch limo to leave your wedding in? The answer is no, you don’t, and this will save you at least 400 dollars. The most important part is you are leaving with your awesome partner, you get to take your shoes off and that you are getting  where you need to go safely! Ask a special friend or family member that you think wouldn’t mind being your driver for the night after the wedding. Any car can be stylish and any car can look adorable. For our wedding we asked my finance’s cousin who has an awesome vintage classic car. Savin’ & stylin’.

 

Ceremony Programs

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Although having these printed on every seat is adorable, & I am a sucker for paper anything, I’d say everyone has an idea of how the ceremony is going to go. Opt out of the wordy, expensive to print programs and try something alternative like a timeline to give your guests an idea of how long they’ll be sitting for. Informative, and you are saving trees!

Invites/Save the dates

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Paper invitations can be very expensive. I ordered about 40 invitations for my shower and that cost me a good $80, so imagine the cost of wedding invites for up to 200 people +. Again, very adorable but there are SO many awesome evite or alternative options nowadays. You can create a pretty & unique invitation that will mean just as much whether your guests receive it via email or airmail. Same with Save the dates. Check out Evite.com or Paperlesspost.com for ideas!

 

Seating Arrangements

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You can definitely still have a seating arrangement and skip the individual table cards. Try an idea like this one, where you can assign which table your guests will be at, but let them pick their seat. The idea of place cards is cute, but this is definitely a step that can easily be skipped. Try doing a large seating chart like the one above, and avoid the extra cost of 200 little ones. *You can find an old mirror on craigslist or goodwill if you don’t already have one. – Tiff Tip.

 

Menus

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Instead of designing and printing paper menus for every table, try doing something like the photo above. You can display it in a central location where everyone can get the information without needing a copy at every table!

Favors

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Do you really still have that personalized matchbox from that wedding last summer, or is it swimming underneath the passengers seat of your car? Although favors are a fun thing to purchase, they rarely are put to good use. If you are planning on doing a dessert bar, you can definitely just skip a favor. Get little treat bags from the dollar store & stock up on those so guests can take home their candy. Chances are, they aren’t going to be standing over at the candy bar throughout the wedding so this is a perfect favor and you also aren’t wasting the dessert bar you paid for.

What tips have you come up with for saving money?! Share with us below and stay savvy!

 

Fun ways to propose to your bridesmaids!

YAY!

You are engaged! Congratulations you fox.

Choosing your Maid/Man of honor & Bridesmaids can be a fun and exciting part of wedding planning, it’s all what you make it! This is such an awesome way to let the friends in your life know how special they are to you, and make them feel like the gem they are! Why not make this a mini celebration with some champagne? Everyone loves celebrations. And Champagne… and if they don’t then maybe chipotle? You can do this, I have faith in you.

The people you pick should be friends that you love and trust, that are supportive make you feel good about yourself! This is a positive day and you want positive, honest vibes!

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When I asked my bridesmaids I made them all little boxes with personal details to make them feel special! I also threw in a little bottle of champagne that I picked up at World Market. I chose that bottle because the chic black matte finish looked adorable and I used a gold sharpie to write their names! Yippee! We have seen so many ideas for these little boxes and I love how individual and special they all are. There are so many ideas, but here are a few to inspire you!

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I first stocked up on some cigar boxes from Michaels, which I love because they pretty much always have a coupon online that you can use when you check out. It helps when craft supplies start adding up & all of the sudden you’ve spent ten thousand dollars on lace doilies and gold markers. I used dark wood stain, and wrote the girls’ names on the top of the boxes in chalk for a fun touch. Inside, all of the boxes were a little different. In the one shown above I put some liquid eyeliner, nail polish, smelly soap & a little tea plate, along with a handwritten card. I love these boxes because your options are endless and you can personalize them as much as you want. Here are some more ideas we have seen in person, and on pinterest!

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I would also highly suggest Rifle Paper Co for all of the magic they have to offer. There is nothing I love more than a handwritten card, and Rifle Paper Co has an awesome way of making every card look whimsical. I chose the Bridesmaids Cards & also a Maid of Honor card. rifle-paper-co-will-you-be-my-bridesmaid-wedding-card-01-n_1 rifle-paper-co-will-you-be-my-maid-of-honor-wedding-card-01-n_1

You can find these cards here: https://riflepaperco.com/will-you-be-my-bridesmaid-wedding-card/

The most important thing is to have fun, and if to you that is taking your friends out for a drink and asking them, or inviting them over to just relax and talk wedding plans, your friends will be honored that you chose them to be a part of your big day.

What to bring to your Bridal Appointment!

Yay! The time is now. You have your fiance, you’ve pinned 700 dresses on Pinterest & you are ready to take the leap into the world of dress shopping! Fuel up on some champagne or coffee and head on down.

Here are some answers to the questions you may have!

Q:

W H A T do I need to bring?

A: It’s great to bring undergarments that will make you feel comfortable when trying on dresses. Your stylist is happy to help you in the fitting room or from outside the door, but to get the dress clipped best and fitting perfect, you will probably find it’s easier to have the consultant by your side. A strapless bra is a great thing to bring so that you don’t have straps getting in the way while trying on; if you don’t have one, that’s no problem. We have a handful of strapless bras in our shop on hand for our brides, and you are also welcome to go braless. Some brides like to bring spanx to try on underneath their dresses, and that is perfectly fine as well! The most important thing is just wearing something you will feel comfortable having on in front of your consultant.

Q: W H O should I bring?

A:

Bringing a big group of girls can be a lot of fun, but the most important thing is to bring friends who will support your decision, and want YOU to feel beautiful. As consultants, we are here to give advice on what shapes will flatter your figure, and help you find the right dress that fits your vision of your bridal look. Use this as a fun time with the people close to you to just come and enjoy trying dresses and feel amazing. Our store is a quaint boutique and we have found it’s easiest for the bride when she brings no more than 2-3 guests. This is your day to feel like Beyonce, so be sure to bring supportive people that know how awesome you are and want to help you look your absolute best.

Q: I want to bring the groom; do or don’t?

A:

This is a tough one. Often brides will bring their groom to give an opinion and it can go either way. This is definitely a personal preference and varies on a case by case basis, but our advice is if you feel like your groom will support your vision, help you feel beautiful and you really feel that you want him there, then bring him along. However, if your groom is not interested, doesn’t want to see the dress before the wedding or will make the process harder on you, then grab a girlfriend and stop in. Some things are easier without the groom, and finding the dress can definitely be one of those things. Let’s just say, your groom comes in here telling you that you can’t wear this, or that you look “fat” in that, then we have a problem, and we will probably need to set aside an extra day to start shopping for a new groom.

Q: Should I try different styles or stick to one shape?

A:

If this is your first time trying gowns, it’s important to see different silhouettes on your body. Wedding dresses tend to fit differently, and shape the body differently than regular gowns. The number one thing I hear with my brides is that they end up with the opposite of what they thought they wanted. You may picture yourself in a sleek sheath dress, and wind up absolutely loving how your figure looks in a fitted and dramatic mermaid gown. It’s important to see the different shapes and see what feels right on your body! Once you determine the general shape you prefer, your stylist can help you find detailed gowns that match that silhouette.

What other questions do you have for us?! Feel free to comment below and give us your thoughts!

A guide to wedding dresses!

When it’s time to start trying on dresses, it’s ridiculously exciting, but you are overwhelmed by a sea of white, ideas from your pinterest and the dress you’ve pictured yourself in since you were five. It can be difficult knowing where to start, and one thing I have found about guides online is that they can be a bit limiting.

I have noticed that a lot of them give advice based on what your body type is, but the thing is most women don’t necessarily fit perfectly into one body type. Some people can be athletic and still be curvy, be petite while also being tall, etc. I think you should go more off of what parts of your shape you would like to bring attention to, and just what dress FEELS right. Of course certain silhouettes will look better on you, but the only way to figure that out is to actually see them on. The moral of the story from a bridal consultant and a  bride to be is that looking at a guide isn’t going to tell you what the perfect shape for you is, so be open minded when selecting things to try on.

Another thing we should get out of the way now, is SIZING. Let me start by saying, bridal sizing is crazy. Your wedding dress size is going to be a couple of numbers up from what you expected. They are based off of a whole different sizing chart, and if you are someone that worries about the number, it’s best to just try and get out of that mindset before trying on. For example, I wear a size 4 normally, and my wedding dress is a size 8. People who normally wear a size 12 will probably be a 14-16. It totally varies, and with that being said, it’s also better to have a dress that is a little big, rather than a little small. This will save you money in alterations.

Below is a guide based off of just the dress itself, so you can have an idea what you are looking at when browsing through the racks, and then decide if you like that idea for your body. Don’t be limited! You know your body, and you know what makes you feel confident and thats what will look best on your wedding day!

A LINE

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A line dresses are very popular. The bodice is fitted, and the dress flares out near your hips. These can be flowy, or closer to a ballgown just depending on the amount of crinoline underneath.

BALLGOWN

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Similar to the Aline, but a bit more dramatic . Ball gowns are known for being a fun, dramatic, princess like style. Ball gowns have a fitted bodice, and billow out at the waist to provide a lot of volume on the skirt.

*TIP- If you fall in love with a ballgown but don’t love the extra proof that is OKAY! You can always have your seamstress remove some of the crinoline and make the ballgown closer to the Aline shape.

Trumpet

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Trumpet gowns are fitted through the bodice & hips and begin to flare out close to the thigh/above the knee. Trumpet dresses are curve hugging and do a great job of showing off your figure, I always tell my brides even if they don’t think they want something fitted, a trumpet more often than not will pleasantly surprise them. Hi Beyonce!

Mermaid

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Mermaid’s & Trumpets are often confused, and sometimes can be interchangeable. They are very similar, and the main difference is that a mermaid skirt begins to flare out lower, where the trumpet flares out usually above the knee.

Sheath

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The sheath style hangs off of the body in a delicate way, and are normally not quite as structured as other gowns, giving them a more light, effortless feel. Many of the more “bohemian” styles we are seeing from designers right now are sheath gowns.

Tea Length

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Tea Length dresses are so sweet & fun! These gowns are so versatile because it is really up to the bride how formal or informal you’d like to make them. Tea length dresses typically cut a few inches below the knee.

Drop Waist

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Drop Waist gowns are an elegant combination of the Trumpet & the A line. The bodice is fitted past your natural waist, below your hips and flares out from there.

Hopefully this guide helps & you have a better idea of what you are looking at when you browse through the shop! Have any of you brides been surprised been surprised by the silhouette you ended up with? Tell us your story in the comments!

 

 

REVIEWS

“I had a very positive experience at the shop. Tiffany was wonderful and went above and beyond to find a dress for me. The entire team was super helpful in providing all the extra details I needed to know from where to find the appropriate under garments to advice on scheduling alterations easily. I highly recommend shopping at I Do Bridal Too because you really do get full price service at half the price! It would be silly not to at lest start your dress hunt there.” -Yvonne M

After finding what I thought was the one we came to your store. I didn’t think I’d find anything but low and behold I found the one! The girls were very helpful and it was super low pressure to pick and try on dresses. I was a bit worried we’d have to wait around for a stylist being you can’t make an appointment but we walked right in and started to select gowns. I’m thrilled with my dress and the girls were very helpful!

-Jessica W.
“It was a great first time (and turned out only time) experience trying on wedding dresses. It was very stress free and the ladies who helped we’re excited for me, friendly and very professional. I was not sure what to expect, but it was so enjoyable. I ended up finding my dress and buying it the next business day after putting it on hold.
I live in Oregon and the ladies were very helpful with the tax exemption as well. It was Morgan’s 4th day there and she was great.”

-Rachel G.

“I had a great experience with I Do Bridal, Too. I was looking for a tea length dress with sleeves (which can be very challenging to find!). Luckily, I Do Bridal, Too had the very dress of my dreams! This store specialized in sample sales and discontinued styles. My dress was originally $900 and I bought it for $399. I can’t wait to get the dress altered and to wear it down the aisle! The employees at I Do Bridal, Too were so sweet and made me feel so comfortable. Highly recommended!”

-Jaclyn H.

“This was my first time trying on bridal gowns and I had a great time! The staff was very friendly and welcoming and made me feel so comfortable. I didn’t feel rushed or pressured at all. The girl I worked with (I can’t believe I forgot her name!) brought over some great recommendations and was very knowledgeable about dress construction. She gave great advice on realistic alterations that could be made to various dresses.”

-Chelsey N.

“Courtney helped us and she was awesome. My best friend bought her dress from here years ago and I loved it. I’ve gotten several beautiful bridesmaiddresses from here as well and they were all beautiful and fit great. My wedding dress from here was definitely a great find. Love and recommend this store highly.”

-Trish K.

“Absolutely perfect. You guys are all so kind and patient and helpful! You helped me pick out a dress that fit my waist and hips so perfectly! I’m very new to wedding things, I have absolutely no clue how to go about doing anything and having help from you was so great, it really made my day!”

-Kaitlyn A.

“I am so happy to recommend I Do Bridal Too to other brides! The shop is an “outlet” location of the main store, but that doesn’t mean a compromise on quality – just price! It was a relief to know that every dress in the shop was under a certain price point. When I arrived, there are no appointments but I was treated so kindly and taken care of by the awesome team. I was introduced to Tiffany, who is fantastic, and got to choose a selection of dresses – no rush – and she really listened to me and helped me articulate my desires. It was really helpful and she was so encouraging when it was obvious that one of the dresses was “my” dress. Still, I put it on hold and got to walk away and think about it, so the entire decision making process felt low-pressure. Just my style. I’m happy to say that I did buy that dress, and I feel like it was quite a deal from the retail price! I loved taking it home with me that same day. Thank you so much for a great neighborhood shop and a lovely team! I feel completely confident and satisfied.”

IDBT edit, now taking appointments!🙂

  –Katie B.

“I was really impressed with the selection, especially with how affordable a lot of the dresses are. The customer service was very individualized, too! The only downside for me was that a lot of the dresses I loved were several sizes too big for me, so what I would save from buying off the rack would be used for alterations.”

-Jessica S.

“Highly recommend this bridal store and Kalen!!! I didn’t expect to find my dress here since it was the first store I went to but was surprised by their wide ranging selection. Their staff was unbeatable and so warm and welcoming. I had “the bridal moment” here and put a deposit down on my dress but kept my second appointment of the day for fun. My second experience was more traditional with a big runway and dresses 2-3 times the price. The consultant was nice but not as warm as Kalen at I Do Bridal Too. I tried on dresses that were beautiful but nothing that gave me that bridal moment. After returning to I Do I saw my dress again and it was the one. Kalen was knowledgeable and genuine and never pushy. I never once felt like she was trying to make a sale, just that she was working herd to pull dresses I liked. She even did a final sweep through the store to make sure I tried everything they had that I was looking for. I can’t say enough positive thing s about this place. If you’re even considering it, go!”

-Sarah L.

“What a fantastic shopping experience! I got to work with Jessica, who was just fabulous. She was super helpful, affirming, and patient. I was so appreciative of her time! Best of all, I came away with an amazingly beautiful dress, at a great price, that I cannot wait to wear. I’m thrilled!”

-Serena S.

“The girls were great! Very helpful attentive and were patient with my indecision. They reffered me to a great tailor and were willing to call/send photos to the tailor rather than having me drive there.
Overall a great experience and I would recommend this shop to any bride to be!”

-Rachel T.

“The selection of dresses was great, as was the atmosphere. We loved Tiffany and the other employees! “-Austin Q