Five minutes away from downtown Orlando in the heart of Winter Park is The Bridal Finery! After years helping brides in a traditional bridal boutique, Owners Roberta and Tali partnered up to create a new approach to help Central Florida brides-to-be find their dream wedding dress.
They believe in providing access to high-end wedding dress designers so brides can enjoy a piece of luxury on their wedding day! The Bridal Finery carries three collections: Studio, Runway, and Aisle.
The Studio Collection includes made-to-order Theia Couture wedding dresses from designer Don O’Neil. The wedding dresses have a stretch lining, making them easy to wear, from ceremony to reception.
The Runway Collection represents a unique opportunity to enjoy designer wedding gowns straight from the runway on sample sale! Through our relationships, we have exclusive access to many designers’ runway samples that are in pristine condition.
The Aisle Collection is an edited collection of pre-owned wedding dresses available for immediate purchase. This is the ideal collection for a quick elopement, short engagement, and piece of mind.
Wedding Venue Map sat down with Roberta and Tali to get their insider tips and advice at their opening.
1. Describe today’s bride.
TALI: Today’s bride is seeking something fresh and different.
A couple of years ago, brides were following trends found on Pinterest. While Pinterest is still a source of inspiration, the current bride is looking to stand out from her girlfriends’ weddings by adding personalized touches. It’s less about do-it-yourself projects and more about how to make the wedding one-of-a-kind. It is all about the couple staying true to themselves.
While opinions will always matter, today’s bride is a little more independent and needs less of an entourage while shopping for her wedding details.
2. Three words to describe your shop, The Bridal Finery.
ROBERTA: Savvy, experienced and current.
TALI: New, influencer, and boutique.
New – We opened on November 20, 2017. In addition to being a new store, we are a new concept. Our concept provides the bride with options on ways to shop. A bride may shop our special order collection, designer runway collection, and our bridal resale.
Influencer – Our combined 20 years in the bridal retail industry. We love the bridal industry, we know not much has changed in 15 years. We are looking forward to influencing our industry.
Boutique – Represents the size and experience. With intention, we found a tucked away 1,200-square foot space to provide our clients with a private experience. Roberta and I are both operating owners, working directly with our brides. It is truly a boutique experience with curated collections.
3. What advice do you have for brides shopping for a wedding dress?
TALI: Where do I begin… It is such a personal decision and not a decision someone else can make for you.
I recommend bringing 2-3 friends or family members with you. Explain to them beforehand what you are looking for. Do your research on the bridal boutique you would like to visit. If you research the boutiques in advance, you can pick the boutique that best fits your needs and style.
ROBERTA: Come in with an open mind. When you find a gown that you love, a gown you can envision yourself walking down the aisle in, stop trying on more wedding dresses and buy it!
4. What made you want to open The Bridal Finery?
TALI: I wanted to stay in the wedding fashion industry and help simplify the wedding dress process. It seemed complicated when it really should be the most exciting part of wedding planning.
We fell in love with the new concept and knew Orlando area needed The Bridal Finery. Also, due to our experience in the industry, we knew we were the right people to do it. It was less about pride and having the “Owner” title. The concept was built around better servicing brides and giving them options.
ROBERTA: The idea of wanting to open The Bridal Finery was to solve problems and to be able to offer our brides different ways of shopping. If a Bride is planning a wedding next week, we want to be able to have options for them and offer any of our items off of the rack, while still getting the best service!
5. What was your inspiration for adding the consignment piece to your business?
TALI & ROBERTA: For years we had helped brides clean their dress after their wedding. After the dresses were professionally dry cleaned, they looked brand new. Often brides seemed unsure if they wanted to hold onto their dress or not. We had heard of brides selling their wedding dresses online; however, we knew the challenges for both parties with an online purchase.
The consignment concept seemed like a win-win for former brides and brides-to-be.
This offered us access to any designer we wanted without having to worry about distribution rules. If we want five Hayley Paige gowns, one Oscar De La Renta, and three Monique Lhuillier dresses, we can! There are no limitations and rules.
I will never forget the moment I wrote a $3,000 check to a former bride a week before Christmas. It’s fun helping a bride and a newlywed starting their own family at the same time. Consignment allows us to do that.
6. What is your favorite dress type?
TALI: I’m a big believer in mermaid wedding dresses. I love when brides show their curves. I think hips are a good thing and why not show off the hourglass? I love surprising my clients with how great their body looks in a mermaid.
Brides are intimidated by the mermaid silhouette, but it is by far the most flattering. They come into the store worried nothing is going to fit them and then leave with a huge smile on their face. I love seeing that smile.
ROBERTA: A dress that makes the bride feel beautiful and her best! I love mermaid dresses, something simple and elegant.
7. Share an accessory to wear with a wedding dress.
ROBERTA: In my opinion, wearing a hairpiece is very important. It elevates your wedding day look and it gives your guests something else to look at while the ceremony is happening.
TALI: Undergarments! We are big believers in undergarments. From Spanx to lined corset bras.
During the bridal appointment, we consult with our brides about the proper undergarments to wear underneath their dress. Undergarments can help with the overall look of the dress and may even help keep your alterations down.
I recommend trying your dress with undergarments and without. This is the best way to make a decision on what should be worn underneath the dress. With all the low back details and unique necklines, being specialists in undergarments have allowed us to better service our brides.
8. Tell me some popular wedding fashion trends for 2018.
TALI: Overall the trend leans more toward a “do what you want” motto. I believe in shopping for your individual style over a trend. The trends I see in bridal fashion include low backs, unique colors, nude mesh details, plunging necklines, and sheath cuts. We are continuing to see the trend lean more toward sexy over a conservative look.
We will see what happens after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot. The royal wedding always has a large influence. Due to the customs and restrictions on royal wedding attire, the dress will more than likely be conservative. This will push the trends back to a more classic look.
9. What is your favorite detail other than the dress at a wedding?
TALI: Well, I’m a foodie, but sticking with fashion, I love veils. I call them “goosebump veils.” There is something special about a bride walking down the aisle in a veil. It gives the guests goosebumps. I love when I’m styling a bride in a veil. I know there is a big chance I’ll be running and grabbing the tissues for her.
I’m a believer in a long veil or no veil. If you are going to wear a veil go all the way. It is only for the ceremony, so why not bring on the drama? A long veil frames the whole wedding dress.
ROBERTA: I love seeing the whole attire come together; the bride’s jewelry is as important to the whole look as her wedding dress.
10. What are your top styling tips for brides on their big day for beautiful photos?
- When you are being styled in jewelry, stand at least 10 feet away from the mirror and see what it looks like.
- Wear your hair up for your ceremony and down for your reception. This gives you two different looks.
- Hire a steaming company to steam your dress the day of the wedding.
- Choose your jewelry with your wedding dress on. It is easier to see the whole vision and pair things properly.
- Another thing I see is brides not thinking about hair and makeup. My advice would be to hire a professional, someone that has been in the wedding industry for years and has great reviews!
At The Bridal Finery, Tali and Roberta have redefined the typical bridal retail experience to provide something that brides have been asking for in Central Florida. The day you wear your wedding dress is the day you start your family, and they are honored to be your bridal stylists!
The vendors involved in the opening:
Hair & Makeup: @Makeoverstation – www.makeoverstation.com
Desserts: @mybakerscottagecakes – www.BakersCottageCakes.com
Lighting and music: @djjacobco – www.DJJacobCo.com
Rentals – @therevelco – www.therevelco.com
Craft beer – @thirstytopher – thethirstytopher.com
Floral: @theflowerstudioaltamonte – www.eventsbytheflowerstudio.com
Photographer: @lysuelhphotography – http://lh-photo.com
Branding/Logo: @elevennote – www.eleven-note.com