When preparing for your wedding, few things can be more fun than shopping for the perfect gown to wear on your perfect day! We also know that this can be a super big decision for you, so we sat down with Julia Simon, owner of Lovely Bride DC, to share some tips, tricks, and trends in bridal. Don’t forget to check out what our real DC brides are wearing on their big day for more inspiration!

Lovely Bride has something for everyone, from the classic DC bride to a more relaxed bohemian beauty. They carry some of the coolest up-and-comers like Rue de Seine, Anna Campbell, and Sarah Janks as well as some of the bigger names like Watters and Hayley Paige.  Lovely also carries different accessories such as belts, jewelry, veils, boleros, and more to complete your whole look! The price point at this charming boutique is also quite “lovely” with dresses ranging from $2,000 to $6,000.


What are the newest trends in bridal today?

Looking toward spring 2017 you are going to see a lot of floral appliques, over-skirts, plunging necklines, and thigh high slits. Bridal fashion seems to be moving away from the rustic barn wedding looks that have been in lately to a more traditional look with a modern edge. For example, a sleeved gown with an illusion neckline mix these two concepts flawlessly.

What trends are you most excited about for weddings this year?

We are loving the plunging necklines and slits – think red carpet does bridal! You may not see both a plunging neckline and a thigh high slit in one gown, but we can’t help but get excited by the idea of bridal gowns that evoke feelings of Hollywood glamour.


What is the most sought after accessory right now? (veil, headpiece, belt, etc.)

With the move to more delicate and classic in bridal these days, brides tend to be moving away from the overly ornate and flashy sashes and accessories that have been popular over the past few years. We are seeing floral appliques and beaded gowns trending so the accessories are becoming tamer to make way for those. Brides are looking for a minimalist feel when accessorizing with gorgeously simple silk tulle veils so as to let the gown (and her natural beauty, of course!) do all the talking.


How early do you suggest bride’s start looking for the perfect gown?

As soon as you have your wedding date and venue set and you know the tone of your wedding it’s good to start buying magazines, looking on Pinterest, and just thinking broadly about what you want. I don’t recommend you start shopping until the date and venue are locked down. Though bridal styles don’t turn over quite as quickly as ready to wear, if you’re not getting married for two years it is likely that the gown you love will no longer be available. A good time frame for ordering is around 9 months before the big day so it wouldn’t hurt to start shopping around 10 months – over shopping can be messy so don’t go too crazy by booking appointments at tons of shops over a long time period.

What should brides bring to the appointment?

Bringing two or three of your closest friends and family members can be helpful, but they should realize that they are there to support you. This is not a time for them to push their own agendas and overwhelm you – you don’t want to lose your own voice and vision! Of course a strapless bra and heels never hurt, as well. If you have an heirloom accessory that you know you want to incorporate into your wedding, that would be a great thing to bring shopping so you know how they work with the gowns you’re selecting. It’s easier to see the big picture if you bring the items you plan on wearing on the big day.


What should every bride know before going wedding dress shopping? How should they prepare?

Do your research – go on Pinterest, look online, buy the wedding magazines! Not only is it fun and inspiring for all different details and aspects of your wedding, but you will also quickly learn what gowns draw you in. Your appointment will be much more efficient if you can give your stylist some direction as to your likes and dislikes. For example, you may not necessarily know which silhouette you like but you may be able to say that you want lace, an open back, or sleeves. Having these things in mind will help you make the most of your appointment. If there is a specific designer or gown that you are interested in, make sure that the bridal salons you make appointments at have them so as to save you some heartache and disappointment! The designers carried at Lovely Bride DC are as follows: Hayley Paige, Leanne Marshall, Anna Campbell, Rue de Seine, Sarah Janks, Sarah Seven, Temperley London, Theia, and Watters.

Do you have any other tips and tricks for brides?

Not all brides know this, but while bridal gowns are technically made to order, they are not made to measure. While you are able to customize things like color, fabric, etc. your gown will come in standard sizes so make sure to leave a little money in your budget for alterations. All brides will require some sort of alteration, whether it is something as simple as a hem or a tuck or something completely elaborate and customized like adding sleeves or straps to a gown that was designed without them.  In the business we always say you can’t put a price on a flawless fit. It’s those finishing touches that make all the difference.

Finally, what do you think makes a dress “the one”?

It’s all about that feeling; sometimes there’s just no denying it. If you feel more beautiful than ever before, you may be looking at “the one.” That’s exactly how you want to feel on your wedding day.


So to round things up, here are a few tips on making wedding dress shopping a breeze!

  1. Set a budget – we don’t want you to fall in love with a gown that you can’t afford because that is the surest way to heartbreak
  2. Do some research – there may be some things you absolutely hate such as a specific fabric or a silhouette that you don’t find flattering
  3. Don’t over shop – trying on too many dresses can make things confusing so make sure that you are certain you found the one, but don’t try on hundreds of gowns
  4. Keep a tight circle – bringing too many people can cause you to lose sight of your own opinion and vision for your day
  5. Be opening minded – what you choose may not be exactly what you had in mind right off the bat
  6. Ignore the sizing – bridal sizing can be super different from ready to wear sizes, so don’t be offended; it’s like that for everyone!
  7. Have fun – don’t forget this is essentially all about you so live it up a little!

Thanks to Julia Simon for teaming up with us to bring you the latest in bridal along with some tips on getting the most out of your wedding dress search! Also, thanks to Lissa Ryan Photography for all of the fantastic shots of one of the best bridal salons in DC!

Check out Lovely Bride’s website for their hours, trunk show dates, and to schedule an appointment. For more bridal attire inspiration, check out our local DC real weddings to see what brides are wearing these days!


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