Back in 2012, we told you about the latest spin-off to hit TLC’s wedding lineup, the now popular “I Found the Gown.” To recap (for those who don’t DVR religiously), the show features a Boston-based bridal shop called VOWS that caters to the frugal bride by offering designer dresses at discounted prices.
Now, local brides-to-be can now get in on the action, minus the TV cameras, thanks to Media’s newest bridal boutique, The Dress Matters. At the helm is owner Debbie Collins, whose wedding planning business and blog, Wedding Thingz, inspired her to open a shop that combined quality and affordability. “Many brides cannot afford an expensive wedding dress,” she says, “so they settle for something that may not be good quality.”
Inside the pretty little shop, you'll find gorgeous off-the-rack gowns imported monthly from top-notch bridal shops across the country. Labels such as Alfred Angelo, Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, and Casablanca, in sizes ranging from 2-20, are all available at 25 to 75 percent off their original retail price. Bridal accessories from jewelry and veils to garters, sashes, and headpieces are also aplenty.
While the dresses themselves may be discounted, Collins stresses that the shopping experience is in no way diminished. “When looking for a bargain, brides often sacrifice the boutique experience,” she says, “but I wanted my shop to offer both.”
Walk-ins are welcome, but by making an appointment, brides can take advantage of either of two fun set-ups: The VIP Bridal Experience is complimentary, and includes one hour to try on dresses in the bridal suite, drinks to sip on while you peruse the racks, and with the purchase of a dress, a choice of free earrings and 10 percent off your veil. For a $300 fee, the Girls Night Out package takes place after store hours, and includes all of the perks from the VIP package plus light refreshments and two hours for facials, skin care, and makeup for the bride and up to a nine-girl entourage provided by a Mary Kay Cosmetics beauty consultant.
The Dress Matters is open Wednesday-Sunday, or you can shop a portion of their inventory online.