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If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen this little sneak peek we posted a few months ago…

And now, we’re delighted to unveil our latest endeavor, Southern Weddings TV! On our brand new YouTube channel, we’ll be sharing everything from wedding planning tips to Southern traditions to the latest and greatest Southern Weddings Shop products, and we can’t wait to hear what you think. Our first series of videos is a compilation of our very best dress shopping tips, filmed on location at the lovely Tre Bella Bridal in Durham, North Carolina.

First, we shared the prep work we recommend doing before you start dress shopping.

Next up, here’s how we suggest preparing for your appointments–so exciting!

At your appointment, here are a few things we recommend considering.

Finally, a few tips for making the decision!

We hope you enjoy these videos, and we would love to know, what would you like to see on Southern Weddings TV in the future? We’re all ears!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Katie reply

    I love this! Such a fun way to get great advice as well as feel like I get to “talk” to the SW gals! I would love to hear a series on how to deal with people who invite themselves to your wedding, or who have strong opinions. :)

  2. avatar Jalyn reply

    I am so happy ya’ll are expanding to video! Can’t wait to watch them all! Great job ladies!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    I love this!!! Such a great idea ladies!!!:)

  4. avatar Staci reply

    Appreciate tthe recommendation. Will try it out.

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When it comes to weddings with fabulous Southern style, I can’t help but get lost in the brides’ gorgeous gowns. So, for all you newly-engaged brides, we wanted to share a few of our favorite bridal shops here in the South. Whether you’re all about classic style or modern trends, we’ve got the boutique for you – plus, a few tricks of the trade from yours truly!

First, we’ve got a little peak into the dress shopping trip of our very own Katharine. You see, not too long ago, our “anti-bride” went on a very special trip to Kleinfeld in search of the The One herself. To aid in her search, she enlisted a few of her favorites to come along for the ride. Read all about SW’s trip to the Big Apple here. P.S. Isn’t she absolutely stunning?!

Special thanks to our friend Jeff Holt for documenting the trip!

Now on to our picks for your big trip!

A. With one of the state’s largest collections of formal wear and a wide range of price points, Town and Country Bridal Salon has been New Orleans go-to salon since the 1930’s. Featured designers include Melissa Sweet, Jenny Lee and Jim Hjelm. Town and Country also houses a talented team of veteran tailors to ensure your dress fits perfectly.

B. Lara and Emily had the pleasure of meeting Heather, the owner of Bleu Belle Bridal, at the last Engage conference. She couldn’t have been sweeter or more Southern, and we know the warmth she radiates carries through to her Savannah shop. Stop by Bleu to try on gowns from Vera, Oscar, Monique, and a whole host of other designers that are fancy enough to go by one name!

C. Houston Bridal Gallery is a one-stop shop for brides in the Houston area, providing everything from tuxedos and gifts for your attendants to gown storage and post-wedding preservation. They also boast unique gowns at affordable prices. With such designers as Justin Alexander, Sophia Tolli and Stephanie James Couture, you’re sure to find the perfect dress in your price range.

D. How could you not have a fabulous time at a salon started by two best friends who met in seventh grade? Hitched, located in Washington, DC, carries Amsale, Anne Barge, Christos, Lela Rose, and Modern Trousseau, among others. Our preppy pals will be delighted to hear that they also represent Lilly Pulitzer!

E. At the The White Room Bridal Salon in Birmingham, Alabama, you will find classic elegance, sophisticated styles and exquisite fabrics and lace. Designers include Amsale, Paloma Blanca and my favorite line for this spring, Watters Brides. The White Room also has a great selection of debutante gowns, mother of the bride and special occasion dresses to choose from.

F. Known for its New York loft vibe paired with Southern hospitality, Solutions Bridals offers Orlando and Gainesville brides the latest trends in the bridal world. Designers include Bridals by Marisa, Badgley Mischka and Lazaro.

G. The Poinsett Bride in Greenville, South Carolina is owned by a daughter and mother-in-law team that believes dress shopping is so personal customers should be treated more like family than a customer. Designers include Alvina Valenta, Rivini and Legends by Romona Kevesa . With the Perfect Fit by Paula (one of the owners) under the same roof, your dress is sure to fit like a glove!

H. Located in the heart of uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, Hayden Olivia offers a handpicked selection of modern couture bridal gowns from leading designers. Designers include Modern Trousseau, Anne Barge and Ines Di Santo. Along with the hottest couture gowns, Hayden Olivia also has a wide selection of “must have” accessories and shoes.

I. Focused on providing a relaxing atmosphere, J Major’s , is located in the historic Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. They are home to more than 15 of today’s top bridal designers including Claire Pettibone, Two by Rosa Clara and Lea-Ann Belter.

J. No Southern bridal shopping list would be complete without Bridals by Lori. Located in the Sandy Springs community of Atlanta, Bridals by Lori is the South’s largest full-service bridal salon. They offer an expansive collection of designers including SW favorites Amsale, Monique Lhuillier and Judd Waddell. Bridals by Lori is also the star of the ever-addicting Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta.

As promised, here are a few tips to remember when heading out in search of the perfect gown:
— Give yourself ample time to find and order your dress, as well as to be fitted.
— Do your homework: look for inspiration photos to bring along with you on your shopping trip.
— Keep an open mind. Many dresses look completely different on the hanger than they do on your body!
— Listen to the consultants: they know what they’re talking about, and can suggest the best silhouettes for your body type.
— Establish a budget prior to walking through the doors. Once you see all the beautiful beading and lace, your wallet seems to expand without even realizing it.
— Most importantly, feel beautiful. You’ll know when it’s the right dress – you won’t ever want to take it off!

Lastly, in our search for the best bridal shops in the South, we came across some pretty fabulous boutiques that cater specifically to bridesmaids. You didn’t think I could forget about those special ladies that will stand by your side when you say your vows, now did you? (Especially considering I’ll be donning a watermelon pink frock and serving as matron of honor for my sister’s upcoming nuptials!) LulaKate (K), Bella Bridesmaid (M) and Twirl Boutique (L) are our top picks for best Southern bridesmaids shops. They’ll have your girls looking prettier than a little red wagon full of speckled pups!

What do you think? Did you find your perfect gown at one of our picks? Did I miss your favorite shop? What was your favorite part about finding your dream dress? We want to hear from you!

Have a question? leave a comment below or send me an email.

P.S. We completely forgot to add them to our logo collage, but we couldn’t end this post without giving a shout-out to b. Hughes Bridal in Nashville, TN. A fabulous selection of dresses and even more fabulous people!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Erin reply

    Despite this morning’s conversation about DC/Virginia being included in the south or not, I have to say I had the GREATEST experience at Hannelore’s Bridal in Old Town Alexandria, VA. It was really an amazing experience and I felt totally catered to and special–the staff went out of their way to make it a memorable experience (complete with a champagne toast after picking “the dress”!). They had really reasonably priced dresses as well as couture gowns on the floor and tons of accessories! I had the best time and highly recommend it to anyone! Also, I have to say, HOW AWESOME IS IT THAT YOU MET RANDY AT KLEINFELD’S/FROM SAY YES TO THE DRESS!? He is so my favorite person to watch on TV!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Erin! Thanks so much for letting us know about Hannelore’s Bridal! I’m so happy you had such a great experience. I love learning about great new shops in the South! xo, Marissa P.S. Randy is such a doll, you’d love him!

  2. avatar Kate reply

    I just wanted to chime in that I got my dress at Hannelore’s too … and I also had a fantastic experience there! I definitely recommend it for all the Virginia brides out there!

    • avatar Erin reply

      Kate: YAY! I loved Hannelore’s and have been trying like crazy to spread the word about them. I find out about them through a coworker who also had a great experience though (albeit almost ten years ago!). I’m going to bring my ‘maids there to get their dresses, too, so they can experience it too (although I’ll be downstairs with them, I’ll try and get them to sneak upstairs too!).

  3. avatar Hillary reply

    I would LOVE to know who makes the dress she has on!!!!!!! It is absolutely gorgeous, yet simple!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Hillary! The dress in the bottom photos is the one Katharine eventually chose for her wedding! It’s the “Blakely” by Amsale. We all love it, too!

  4. avatar Kelly reply

    Don’t forget The Bride Room in Nashville, too! It’s absolutely fabulous, and they just celebrated 10 years of providing couture wedding gowns to Southern brides! (

  5. avatar Sarah reply

    I got my dress at The White Room (TN) and loved their selection and service. All of my bridesmaids purchased their gowns there, along with my mom and mother in law. The girls are super sweet and refreshingly honest with how different style dresses look on you. I loved my experience and I’ll recommend anybody.

  6. avatar Paige reply

    I loved both Warren Barron Bridal and Carolina Herrera in Dallas at Highland Park Village. I purchased my dress at Carolina Herrera and my amazing one-of-a-kind cathedral veil from Warren Barron. At both shops, the customer service was impeccable, and the sales associates were so invested in helping me find my perfect dress/veil. They’re both located in the same shopping center and together have the biggest collection of current and past favorite designer dresses in Dallas. I live in Austin, but all the trips to Dallas were more than worth it! Love them both!

  7. avatar Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] searching for the dress? Marissa found the best Southern bridal shops just for you! And, being the style-savvy lady she is, she even included some tips for finding the […]

  8. avatar Mary reply

    You can’t leave out Low’s in Brinkley, AR!! It has the most amazing selection of dresses! Located just an hour west of Memphis, it is a frequent stop for brides in the Mid-South. Plus, they run semi-annual sales in January and July that just can’t be beat!

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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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