With a background in apparel design and years of working in NYC under her belt, Irene, owner and visionary behind WED Bridal Boutique made her dream a reality. If you’re looking for your dream wedding dress, then look no further than this Fort Worth boutique! She will be sure to help you find what you’re looking for and give you the experience that every bride deserves. Find out more about Irene and her bridal boutique below!
Tell us about your background/career path.
My background has predominantly been in Apparel Design. When I was a kiddo, my abuela taught me to sew. I always loved our time we spent making outfits and felt most creative in coming up with fun Halloween costumes. And I felt pretty strongly that I wanted to incorporate this when choosing my college path.
I studied apparel design in Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Art at the Merchandise Mart. When it came to finding my senior year internship, I wanted to move to NYC. I was incredibly thrilled to accept the design internship with DKNY which happened to start right before fashion week. Needless to say, that was a great start to my move to NYC and learned so much.
I was working in the Big Apple for about 4 years as an apparel designer when I met my now husband (a Florida boy). I had always loved the bridal industry, by this point, I really wanted to find a way to work with brides. It just so happened we were both ready to leave NYC. We visited Charleston, SC, and I felt there was such a strong wedding industry there. Sure enough, I joined the team at a mother/daughter owned bridal boutique.
Where the plans began…
I loved my experience as a bridal consultant! It was so special to help brides find their dress for their big day. Unfortunately, we needed to relocate to Tampa, FL so we had to leave Charleston. In Tampa, I was Campaign Manager for Team In Training, an endurance training program set to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I truly had never in my life met such inspiring individuals. This not only taught me a lot about fundraising, but I learned how important it is to truly connect with people and the definition of community. We lived in Tampa for about 4 years and during this time, I still had the desire to find a way to work with brides.
This is where our plans to open the boutique began, but we had decided at the time to table it. Instead, we made the decision to move to Fort Worth, where I’m originally from. It was at this point, I was able to get back to apparel design and had been working at Williamson- Dickie for some time before we finally decided to move forward with WED Bridal Boutique full time.
Can you provide an overview of what to expect for this process and timeline?
When deciding what the store was going to look like, I wanted to make sure it was a place of comfort and inclusivity. Each appointment is one and a half hours long and each bride has their private seating area for her guests just outside the fitting room.
Our goal is to provide each bride with a wonderful experience. Each bride will have a stylist to guide her in her decision process. Gown orders typically take 12-16 weeks, depending on the designer. Also, you’ll want to accommodate anywhere from 8-12 weeks for alterations and make sure to find a tailor who has strong experience in tailoring gowns. If you need a gown sooner, no worries! We are here to help come up with a game plan for tight order timelines!
What is the biggest piece of advice you’d give a bride in her selection process?
Listen to yourself and trust your instincts. I think it is very easy to think about what your guests want you to try on which can be a lot of fun, but also stressful. We typically recommend you bring just your small group of friends and family to your appointment. Try not to let the dress search be overwhelm you. If you found the one, and you know it, then there’s no need to continue your dress search. Often times, it will be difficult to find something that matches the feeling you had with the dress you fell in love with. Most end up settling after trying on so many dresses because it gets too confusing after shopping so much.
What do you love about working with brides to find their wedding dress?
I love the feeling when the bride slips on “the dress.” I literally get goose bumps every time, because I know in that moment, she has found it! It is such a special moment to be a part of, and I just love it when our brides can experience it with their loved ones.
Why is making an appointment needed?
An appointment gives you the opportunity to feel at ease and create a place of comfort with your stylist and your guests. Each appointment, you have a dedicated stylist that is there for you and there to make your experience stellar.
Who is your favorite dress designer?
I have to say I have tons of favorites! However, I have a particular interest in up and coming designers that can share their story; who they are, who they represent and their mission in creating unique pieces. I think that is important. These days, I take interest in messages of sustainability. I think there is a need for each of us to reduce our footprint, and the bridal industry should be no different. Most designers that hand craft their products in their studios, have such missions that I respect, and I want to be a part of that mission.
I love that we got to learn and share Irene’s story! Taking a leap is scary, but with hard work and dedication is SO worth it. Also, if her advice isn’t the greatest, I don’t know what is!
Remember that this is such a special time in every bride’s life that it deserves to be treated as such! You’re in good hands with Irene and the team at WED Bridal Boutique. You can check them out here and on Instagram!
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