Quick Questions: Marilee’s Bridal

I met Mary during the last style shoot I put together (and am dying to show off). She may be the sweetest person ever and man does she know her stuff. Her staff are so informative and knowledgeable. It’s just so refreshing to be with such passionate people. I gave her a few questions to answer to hopefully help those of you that are looking for the perfect dress. If you are searching for your dress or your bridesmaid’s dresses, be sure to book an appointment with Mary and her staff. Find all her contact information and more on her site: Marilee’s Bridal.

Photo: Marilee's Bridal- www.marilees.com
Photo: Marilee’s Bridal- http://www.marilees.com


During the 22 years that I have had the privilege of owning a bridal store, I have been asked over and over again what the new trend is in bridal design.  I have often thought that it would be much easier for me to list what isn’t in style than what is.  When I travel to international bridal markets twice a year I see new styles from designers around the world. There are never just two or five styles that are showing well, there are literally hundreds of them. Although most are not completely new creations, they have been tweaked for the new season. So is there a new trend in bridal design?

In general, there are really only four silhouettes within the bridal gown industry. They are the ball gown, the sheath, the fit and flair, and the a-line. What makes them all so different are their embellishments. Within the category of four, there can be a rotating of the styles. For example, the a-line skirt is making a new comeback which should become quite strong again as the a-line is a flattering fit on almost every body type. Ball gowns, although still important, are losing their many layers of crinoline and pouf, to a lighter volume of skirt that gently drapes from the waistline. Fit and flair is a design that continues to be very strong in the market place.

Bodices have finally been making a change after years of seeing only strapless gowns. Top designers are moving forward with gorgeous bodices featuring higher neck lines and built in shoulder straps, with or without sleeves. Illusion fabrics above the bust line are very popular whether covered in stunning lace appliqués or lightly beaded and left sheer. Backs of bodices are very important today and are either covered in the same illusion/lace as the front of the gown, or left totally bare dramatically plunging to the waistline.

Fabric weights are also changing offering the bride more comfort on her wedding day. Gowns are being created from lighter weight fabrics such as soft embroidered laces, light taffetas, opaque satin organzas, silky satins, silk chiffons, and light weight dupioni. Trains are shorter too offering a more practical length for mobility. Shorter trains are often offset with cathedral veils which can be easily removed when the ceremony is over.

Stunning beading remains a very important embellishment in bridal design. No matter if the beading is softly toned or monochromatic, or richly encrusted with rhinestones and crystals, the beading is finished masterfully. Often the beading is designed to enhance the brides figure in an ever more flattering way.

Bridal gowns in various colour ways continue to be in fashion. Alabasters, creams, oysters, champagnes and candlelight lead the way with light golds, blushes, and icy silvery blues being popular too. Veils designers are busy designing veils in colours and shades to match the new bridal gowns of the season.

Today’s brides have lots of choices. On her wedding day, the elegant bride may choose to wear a gown that is truly spectacular.  Another bride hosting a less formal wedding event may choose something that is more simple and understated in it’s’ beauty, and the fun loving bride may choose a gown that is both fanciful and fun at the same time. All of them would be on trend today.


Bridal magazines have been encouraging brides to start their bridal shopping one year ahead of their wedding date.  The main reason for this is the time it takes for a bridal salon to bring in a new gown. Many designers are working with a six month or longer order time.  Not only does the gown need to be delivered to the bride in good time before her wedding date, in most cases, the gown will need some custom alterations to make sure it is a perfect fit. Getting onto alteration schedules of qualified seamstresses takes time as well, especially during busy wedding months.

If a bride attends a bridal store in February of the year that she is getting married, all of the new styles for that year will be in the store. If her wedding date is in November of that year, she would have to wait until September to see a new collection of gowns arrive at the store. In September, it is too late for her to order for a November wedding date, so she might as well order her gown in February before the new styles have been sold out in the store. She has nothing to lose by ordering it early, but everything to lose if she orders it late.

If the bride’s dress comes in early and she is one whose weight fluctuates, she can arrange with the seamstress for a fitting appointment closer to the wedding date.  The earlier she calls the seamstress to make this request the better chance she has that the seamstress can accommodate her needs.  Calling a seamstress at the last minute may mean that the bride goes whenever the seamstress can take her.


We suggest that every bride invites only two trusted family members or friends to come with her when she is shopping for her own personal bridal gown. At Marilee’s, our salon is boutique size so we may have difficulty accommodating more than two guests for each bride as we may be serving two or more brides at the same time. Furthermore, we have found by experience that when a bride brings too many people with her, it is very difficult for her to make a decision of her own on what she would love to wear and what makes her feel and look like the bride that she wants to be.

When you come to our store, you will be greeted warmly by one of our professional and courteous stylists who will first assist you in completing a simple bridal registry form.  She will listen carefully to all that you have to tell her as this will help her quickly get a sense of who you are and your personal style. Therefore, it would be very helpful for her if you would share as much as you can regarding your ideas that you have for your personal wedding day.

Your appointment will be 1½ hrs. long. Your stylist will pick bridal gowns for you to try on, one at a time. She will listen closely to you as you critique each gown and give her valuable feed back.  This will assist her in knowing which way to move forward in selecting the next gown for you. You can rest assured as your consultant has been professionally trained as a bridal gown stylist and knows how to serve you very well.

Once you have found “the gown of your dreams” your stylist will introduce to you fabulous accessories so that your entire bridal ensemble is customized just for you.  All you have to do is relax, keep an open mind, and enjoy the process as she reveals “the princess in you”.

It is our goal that every bride loves every minute that she spend with us in our bridal salon and that she finds the “one and only perfect bridal gown” just for her.


!n 1994, I started my own business. After having had an appreciation of beautiful people and beautiful things, and having the ability to see beauty all around me, I thought that working in a bridal salon would be something that I was sure that I would love. Working with women of all ages and helping them to feel absolutely confident about how they look and feel when having to attend a special event is something that brings me great joy. When together, we pick just the right bridal gown, bridesmaid dress, mother-of-the-bride gown, evening gown, cocktail dress, etc., and I see the joy and glow on my client’s face, I feel so greatly rewarded. There is something about serving people and making them feel better from having come to shop at my store that is exhilarating to me. And it continues day after day after day ….


This is a very tough question for me to answer in a small way.  There are so many people that inspire me.  My mother is an inspiration to me.  I inherited my love of fabrics, and custom design, and creativity from her. She was one of the best designers and seamstresses that I know. She hand crafted most of my clothes when I was young and I can still remember how beautiful they were and how proud I was to wear them.

My husband is another one that inspires me. He is one of the most intelligent men that I have ever met. He spent the greater part of his career as a professional engineer at a steel factory and since then he has re-invented himself and is now a sales rep for the bridal lines that we carry in our store.  He reps them across Canada to other bridal stores.

My kids and my grandchildren inspire me everyday just because of who they are. They bring me great joy and laughter.

My staff inspire me.  Throughout my years I have always had the benefit of having faithful, delightful, professional people working along side of me. I am very much indebted to them as I could not be successful without them. I am so thankful that they have chosen to share their loyalty and dedication with me.

Other honest hard working bridal store owners always inspire me. I belong to an International Professional Bridal Group of store owners who are my colleagues and my friends.  Many of them have been mentors over the years and have helped to teach me everything I know about the bridal business. Their willingness to share at any time, any day, on any bridal subject possible is truly an inspiration to me.

And last, but not least, my friends and clients inspire me every time they trust me to have the best selection at the best price possible. They know that “I love to dress them up” for their special event. What could be more inspiring than that.

So there you have it. If you are on the hunt to say yes to the dress, contact Mary. You will not be disappointed.



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