Vendor Spotlight- The Wedding Shoppe

 

Arguably one of the most icon­ic hall­marks that will come to mind when one thinks of a wed­ding is the wed­ding dress. The search for the per­fect dress can be intim­i­dat­ing, but going to the right place can help alle­vi­ate some of the stress asso­ci­at­ed with this seem­ing­ly daunt­ing task. At The Wed­ding Shoppe you are in good hands, they will ensure a pleas­ant jour­ney to find “the one.” Read our inter­view with Michelle McFar­land of The Wed­ding Shoppe below to find out exact­ly how they go about doing so.

How long have you been in the industry, and how did you get your start? 

The Wed­ding Shoppe opened in Decem­ber of 1999. At the time I felt a strong urge to leave cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca and open my own busi­ness. I need­ed some­thing more mean­ing­ful in my life than spread­sheets and cash reports. My pre­vi­ous job was­n’t some­thing that made a dif­fer­ence in any­one’s life. Now I get to make peo­ple hap­py every day.

How did The Wedding Shoppe come about? 

When we opened we were a Bridal Acces­sories ONLY bou­tique.  In fact, our tag line was “Every­thing But the Dress!”.  After 8 years of help­ing our brides find the per­fect acces­sories for their big day we decid­ed to add bridal gowns and maids to our bou­tique.  I did­n’t think it was pos­si­ble to fall in love with this indus­try any more than I already was- but I was wrong! We are in love with our brides and help­ing them find their per­fect dress! Oh, what an amaz­ing feel­ing! Cel­e­brat­ing with our brides and their spe­cial peo­ple is the most amaz­ing part of what we do.

What criteria do you use to select product for your inventory? 

We take many things into con­sid­er­a­tion… qual­i­ty, price, style. The most impor­tant fac­tor is bring­ing in gowns that are exclu­sive to The Wed­ding Shoppe. Our brides are unique indi­vid­u­als that deserve more than the same old dress­es they can find any­where. We also val­ue our rela­tion­ships with our gown design­ers. Many of them are my close friends. I have input into their designs each sea­son and have many gowns in The Wed­ding Shoppe that I per­son­al­ly designed for our brides. 

How do you stay current with trends/ up and coming styles? 

I have many deep con­nec­tions with­in the bridal indus­try. I’m a mem­ber of the Dal­las Bridal Mar­ket Advi­so­ry Board and Co-Own­er of the Bet­ter Bridal Group LLC (BBG) which has over 150 mem­ber stores from the USA, Cana­da and Europe. I plan and present top­ics at the BBG Annu­al Sem­i­nar every year which is attend­ed by 200 bridal store own­ers and man­agers. It’s my pas­sion to edu­cate oth­er stores on how to deliv­er the best expe­ri­ence to their brides and be the best at what they do. I also attend mul­ti­ple mar­kets all over the US each year (and some­times Europe!) to stay cur­rent with trends and main­tain my close rela­tion­ships with my design­ers and oth­er bridal stores.

What are some of your favorite styles for gowns? 

I love them all!  Is that too cheesy? I do tend to pre­fer gowns with a clas­sic slant. I feel The Wed­ding Shoppe has a par­tic­u­lar bride and when I’m seek­ing out my next col­lec­tion I always have her in mind. She is fun, laid back and val­ues the per­son­al con­nec­tion and the mem­o­ries we make with her at TWS. Our col­lec­tion reflects her style and HER favorite dresses. 

Do you have any key tips/things to keep in mind that will aid brides in choosing the perfect dress and optimize what they get out of their shopping experience? 

Find­ing the per­fect bridal gown isn’t just anoth­er thing to check off your list.  Find­ing the per­fect bridal gown becomes a part of the sto­ry you tell about your wed­ding.  It can hap­pen at any moment.  Don’t be sur­prised if it hap­pens at the first bou­tique or even in the first dress!  Cel­e­brate it!  This is why it’s impor­tant to have your spe­cial peo­ple with you.  You don’t want your spe­cial peo­ple to miss out on this incred­i­ble life expe­ri­ence!  You want them to expe­ri­ence it with you, by your side.  Love can hap­pen at any time (don’t we already know that??  You’re engaged!).  Embrace it and enjoy the moment of find­ing your bridal gown. 

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