Chattanooga Bridal Guide | Finding your Dress

Hey, I’m Allie! Stephanie and I both grew up in this business. My mom was the seamstress here at Monica’s for about 12 years and Stephanie started when she was 20 years old! We always dreamed of owning the business and when the previous owners told us that they wanted to retire, we jumped at the opportunity. I am a wife and mom of two littles, Noa & Bobby. Stephanie has a grown son, Braiden, and dog, Tuff, with her wife, Jessi. 

Katie Daisy Photography @katiedaisyphotography                Meric Moments @mericmoments

I believe I speak for both of us when I say we want to make people feel beautiful. People can be so intimidated by wedding gowns, but we want to make them approachable. We believe EVERY woman, no matter her shape or size, should be able to try wedding gowns on and see how amazing they really are. This is why we carry sample gowns up to a size 34! Your wedding day is one of the most important in your life and you should feel as beautiful as you are on the inside.

Find your Wedding Dress

How do I know what dress will look best for my body type?

 You don’t! There are general “rules” of thumb regarding a-lines and fitted, etc., but really it’s about what you love! I’ve seen “apple” shaped girls wearing fit and flares and tiny petite girls in huge ball gowns. And they looked amazing!! Wedding gowns are so much better constructed than any other formal gown you’ve worn before. With good construction, you may just love how you look in something you didn’t expect. Be open! Don’t worry about labels, just go with what makes you feel good. 


Do I need to wear any special undergarments to try on dresses? 

It’s best to wear nude panties (thong, regular, doesn’t matter as long as you are actually WEARING underwear. You’d be surprised…. LOL) And most women end up not wearing a bra at all but if you prefer one, we would suggest a strapless bra. 95% of the time we sew bra cups into a gown to give support, rather than a bride wearing a bra. Again, up to you. Your consultant will be zipping you into the gowns and helping you in and out so make sure you are wearing undergarments that you won’t mind being seen. 


Can I bring my mom and friends to help me? 

I would rephrase this to say “How many people should I bring to shop with me?” Because the consultant will help her in and out of gowns- not her friends or family. So we recommend 3 or 4 people at the very most. Any more than that and it becomes really hard to focus on what YOU really want. Don’t invite people out of obligation- especially if you don’t trust their fashion sense or opinion. The goal is to have a few people (or one!) who know you and will be your cheerleaders/supporters. 

Do you have any recommendations on the best way to research the dresses that I am drawn towards? Pinterest?

 Pinterest is a GREAT place to start! We try to update ours regularly with the gowns we have in stock, but also check our website to see our designers! You can check their websites to see what you’re drawn to and bring us screenshots. Sometimes Pinterest takes us to places that don’t exist or old gowns that are actually not available (even if they are really pretty!) So be careful!


On average, how much should I plan to spend on a wedding dress? Veil? 

That all depends on you and what you want! Our gowns range from $1200 to a little over $4000, with the bulk of them between $1800-$2800. Our store very much midrange in terms of cost. Veils range from around $150 to over $800. The cost goes up when the veil gets longer and more details like lace and sparkles are added- much like gowns! 


 How do I choose? There are so many options! 

This is why you have us! It’s actually a pretty simple process from ideas to decisions- don’t worry! The biggest thing we tell brides is to have fun with this. Yes, it’s important, but you’ve already chosen a life partner, don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your gown. 

Find your Wedding Dress

If I have a family dress that I want to bring in can you guys help me take elements of my heirloom and add them to the new dress somehow? 

Absolutely! There are lots of things we can do because our alterations team is in-house. What does that mean? Our seamstresses work for us! They don’t come in from outside or work on their own and just come in the store to pin. They work right here on site. Whether we take lace from an old gown and put it on your gown, or rework your grandmother’s veil to be a little more modern, our team is fabulous and knows just how to take care of your pieces. Both of our seamstresses have been with us for over 12 years and they have both sewn for 20+ years. 


What is the best way to care for my dress for years to come? 

Heirlooming your gown ensures it will stand the test of time. Bring your gown (and veil for that matter!) to us and our preservation company will clean and preserve it and send it right back to your home. It will arrive in a box that can be easily stored under a bed or in a closet. This also comes with a 100-year warranty. If you think you want to wear your gown in the next few years (or want someone else to wear it), take it to a cleaner you trust RIGHT after your wedding and then store it in a breathable garment bag in a dark closet. 


Ready to start looking for your perfect dress? Here’s how you can contact Monica’s Bridal.

Monica’s Bridal

Instagram @monicasbridal    

Facebook @monicasbridalchatt     

Phone 423.752.0072


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