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.