When you come to Marion Bridal, your experience is not like any other store I’ve been to. Do you know why? Because I was the bride, I did the shopping, and I thought “there has to be another way,” so I made it.
It all started in the summer of 2018. I had just been proposed to over Easter, I set a date for October 2019, and I was ready to find my dream dress. I had looked around and knew I needed to get a dress at least one year in advance (the brand I really loved could take up to a year to come in, so I knew the sooner the better just in case). I started my journey to find my dream dress - a simple, satin ball gown for a plus sized woman that I could afford to customize after (since the dress I TRULY loved was discontinued years ago). Sounds simple, right? A very basic, classic dress, every store should have one in nearly every size, right? Wrong.
I will not name names, but it took me going to 5 stores in two different states before I found anything remotely like I wanted, and the staff at most of the stores were not what I’d consider ideal. I even had staff at one store disappear during my appointment! I couldn’t find anyone around when I changed, so I just left. While I do encourage people to be open, at every store I told them exactly what I didn’t want (especially since I had tried it on at the store before) and I was STILL put in only that style gown. In most places, the style of gown they put me in was the only style that fit me, and I was only a street size 16 at that time. The staff are sales people, so I felt so pressured everywhere I went to buy right then and there, and I HATED being put on the spot like that, especially when I really didn’t love any of the dresses. To make things better, these dresses that were OK or not even what I wanted were $2,000+ dollars, something I didn’t want to spend on “meh.” I get it, at those stores, the sales people thrive on commission, so they are there to make a sale and that is it, but I wanted to feel like a bride making a big decision, not someone perusing a used car lot.
The story comes to a mostly happy ending on this portion - I did eventually find a dress that was very similar to what I wanted, and I was able to customize it for my day to be so incredibly beautiful and unique to me (the picture attached). However, after driving hours and hours only to live that experience, I was exhausted and at the end of my rope and may have said yes to a dress just to be done. I’m not a girly girl, I HATE shopping with a passion, and I hate being pressured and put on the spot, so I was exhausted and done. I came home each time and would nearly cry to my fiancé about how I felt. We both thought there had to be something more - a place for plus sized girls to not be charged a plus-sized fee, where girls of all sizes could try on a variety of styles, where dresses didn’t cost the whole wedding budget just to feel beautiful. We decided from there that we would make this place ourselves.
The week of our wedding, we signed paperwork to start Marion Bridal. We came back from our brief honeymoon to get started. We were passionate about a place where all brides of all shapes, sizes, and budgets could feel welcome. Now, when you come to Marion Bridal, I am upfront with you that I am not a salesperson, I’m just there to help you find your dream dress with hopes you’ll find it with me. You can try on a mermaid, ball gown, beach, short, almost any style dress you’re thinking of. I have many brides come in timid, thinking they won’t get to try much on, and leave confident and feeling beautiful having found their dream dress that they never thought they’d have. I give brides time, I encourage them to be confident in themselves, I push them to see their own beauty and not rely on everyone around to tell them what they should already know, and that makes me the most happy.
See what a bridal experience SHOULD look like. From the easy online appointment set up to the variety of styles you get to try to the encouragement you get from your consultant, we know you won’t get this experience anywhere else.