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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chicago Bridal Market


It has now been 3 weeks since returning from my annual fall trip to Chicago for the National Bridal Market.  This is always one of my favorite things to do for work but requires lots of time and energy.  The fun-filled day begins early each morning attending workshops and fashion shows.  In between scheduled events there are hundreds of booth to look at all the new items for the upcoming season.  By the end of the day, my feet are sore, I am exhausted but excited to go through the huge bag full of literature I have to take home.
So that is what I have done for the past three weeks.  I have looked at wedding gowns, bridesmaids, flower girls, mothers, prom gowns, tuxedos, accessories like shoes, veils, jewelry and decoration ideas like table favors, toasting glasses, cake tops and so much more.  Some days I am just confused over all the items available and trying to make decisions about what I need to stock at the salon.  Other days, I am so excited to see the new items that I have ordered being delivered.  And still other days, I am shocked how much shipping has increased and what needs to be done to lower my costs so I can pass along the best selection to my customers.
As you can see there are so many decisions to be made with owing a store. But I truly love the time spent making all the decisions.
So I would like to share with you some of my favorites from the 2013 Spring Market.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoy making celebrations memorable for all my customers!!
Kathy Ireland Wedding Gown
Tony Bowls Prom Gown


Tip Top Kids Special Occasion Gown

Accessories for the Bachelorette Party
Wedding Collection by Ivy Lane


Tuxedos by Jim's Formalwear

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gown of the Week for August 29


As this busy day comes to an end, I want to quickly make a post for a new gown. This week I would like to focus on a discontinued sample gown. If you watched the new show last Friday, "I found the gown," you will realize that lots of brides-to-be are looking for a deal. Well, that is exactly what Rushville Bridal has for you. We have a good selection of sample gowns reduced to $95 and another larger selection reduced to $195.

Today feature gown is from Mary's Bridal. This taffeta gown has a ruched bodice with heavy silver embroidery and beading. The dropped waistline flows to a full skirt. The lace up back allows for a comfortable fit for a size 12 or size 16 bride.

But the most important part is understanding what it means to buy a "sample" or "stock" gown. This term can vary from store to store. In my case, sample gowns are the gowns that I purchase from the designers for my fall and spring inventory orders. I hopefully will select the gowns that the brides will love so that I can take multiple reorders. After a certain period of time, one of three things will happen.
1. The designer may discontinue the gown. Even if the gown seems to be a good style for my store, it just may not be doing well in other areas of the country. Or sometimes there is a problem with the fabric choice or beading which makes if difficult for the designer to complete orders. So the designer decides to no longer produce this product. At that point, I still have the gown but cannot place special orders. In order to make more room for new gowns, I will reduce the price to sell it quicker.
2. Sometimes, hopefully not very often, I just select the wrong gowns. If gowns are in the store for several months and few brides have tried them on, it is time to move it out for something new. So again, I will reduce the price to make room for something else.
3. Unfortunately in this slower economy, some designers have not weathered the struggle. In the sixteen years I have been in business, I have had at least one designer each year that has gone out of business or ended at least one segment of their business. Sometimes designers have tried to add on additional lines like bridal, prom, bridesmaids, flower girls and mothers to find they are not a successful in the additional areas. So they stop producing some lines. But as before, once I have purchased a gown, it is mine to keep regardless of what happens to the parent company. These gowns will also find their way to the clearance rack.

So if you are looking for the ultimate deal on a designer gown, come in to see us. Just remember that the clearance gowns are only available in the size and color on the rack. If there are any problems with the gown, we will not make corrections or clean a gown. Keep in mind that we paid at least twice the amount as the price we are selling them for (usually 3 or 4 times the amount).



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 6 Gown of the Week

Look at this dress!! It is the ultimate playful gown. The bodice is made of pleated organza and features heavy beading of white sequins, pearls and bugle beads at the empire waistline. The ruffled skirt has feathers attached with each layer. The organza train is detachable from the back of the dress.
This gown is a definite if you want two different looks for the ceremony and the reception. Or a total makeover from the elegant gown at the ceremony and a more playful party dress for the reception. Or maybe you want to renew your vows or get remarried in Vegas!!
As always gowns from P.C. Mary's can be seen on their website at www.marysbridal.com. Mary's has a wide range of styles and prices. The most expensive gowns from this designer are in the $1500 range. Mary's also has an informal line without trains that retail prices start at $299. All gowns from Mary's are available in sizes 4 to 30. Additional charges may apply for larger sizes, special cuts, and rush service.
When I saw this gown at the Chicago Bridal Market in April, I fell in love with it. It is so pretty and different. But before placing every order, I have to consider if the gown is the right style for my store and customer. So I came home without placing the order wanting to think about it a little longer. Then my sales rep came in to see me. When I looked at the gown the second time, I just had to have it. I am still not sure that this gown will be a best seller for me. Hopefully, it will give a little different look to my inventory and bring me a new customer!! If not, I think I will schedule a trip to Vegas for my husband and I to renew our vows!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gown of the Week for July 31

Ok, we both knew it was going to happen. I missed my weekly blog for Tuesday. I even know how to schedule these to happen of specific dates but still didn't get it done. So here it is, one day late.
For being late, I will give you one of the best gowns in the store!!
I know business owners shouldn't say they have favorites. And I should promote all my designers equally. And each and every designer I have in the store fills a specific niche. And I do love every designer I have in the store. But with all that being said, if I had to pick one designer to wear myself or for my daughters, it would be Kathy Ireland!!

To begin with, the design of these gowns is outstanding. She always puts together a stunning collection that is different from any other available. Next, the Mon Cheri team uses the finest quality of fabrics and lining to make every gown feel like it is specially made for the bride. Finally the construction is unbeatable!! The inner constructions is so good that undergarments are usually not needed. That is a huge savings to most brides. So even if this particular style isn't for you, look through the other designs by Kathy Ireland that will have the same great qualities. The website for Kathy Ireland by Mon Cheri is kathyirelandformoncheri.com .

Now for this special gown. This style is a strapless dress with a directional pleated bodice. The design makes it great for all body shapes and sizes. The full skirt features pick-ups accented with floral and feather appliques. The back has a button-look closure (you don't really have to button all the buttons) leading to a chapel train (lays about 2 foot on the ground). You can order this gown in crinkle taffeta which is what I have in the store or silk shantung. The silk is a natural fabric which is not available in different colors. Natural silk is comparable to a very light ivory. The taffeta is available in white, ivory and spun gold. My sample is in white but I also have other styles in the ivory and spun gown if you would like to see the other colors. All of the Kathy Ireland gowns are available in sizes 2-20 and 16W to 28W. Regular shipping is approximately 18 weeks. There are also some changes available with this gown such as custom lengths, adding sleeves and adjusting train length. These changes will require additional charges and more shipping time.

Please stop in to feel this wonderful gown for yourself. You will not believe the quality for the price!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gown of the Week for July 24


I almost forgot that it was blog Tuesday. This week is band camp for me. I am busy from 8 to 4 teaching the color guard routines for the football season. So I will pick a gown that is simple but elegant with a short description.

The gown for this week is from the Forever Yours Bridesmaid collection. The satin fabric is available in75 different colors. Yes, that is 75 colors for the main color of the gown and 75 colors for the trim. If I wasn't so tired from being outside in the heat all day, I would tell you how many color combinations are possible. But I will let you figure that out on your own. And if you don't want to figure it out, well we know that it is ALOT!

Also as shown, this gown is available for flower girls and junior bridesmaids. Infant sizes are 12, 18 and 24 months. Toddler's are 2T, 3T, and 4T. Flower girls sizes are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14. And finally Junior Bridesmaid sizes are 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16. The Junior sizes are typically for taller girls. Bridesmaid sizes range from 1 to 30.

The simplicity of this gown with the added extra of the buttons going all the way down the back, make this a perfect gown for all occasions. Forever Yours will also offer options such as short, tea length and matching jackets.

Come in to try this one on. It is a real hit!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17 Gown of the Week


This week I selected a gown for all occasions. This Mary's gown is officially in their Modern Maids or bridesmaid line. It is available in over 50 colors of soft satin. Sizes range from 2 to 30 with pricing starting at $189.

Mary's has also included a matching shrug which makes this a perfect gown for any mothers in the wedding party. It can be ordered to match the bridesmaid or in a coordinating color.

Although this is a great bridesmaid or mother's gown, I have stocked this gown in ivory for informal weddings. We are seeing so many more beach, outdoor and barn weddings. Brides do not want to deal with the huge train at a location where it can be torn or stained. This is also the perfect gown for the simple wedding but with enough extra bling to make the bride stand out.

And who thought is was impossible to have a new gown for under $200? Many brides tend to think that bridal salons only sell the most expensive gowns. I think this is a common misconception due to the prices of gowns that are featured in bridal magazines and on websites. And let's not forget the TV commercial that is constantly telling us they can't be beat. Which is just not true. I have always been very conscious of price points and work very hard to find the right fit for our area. I will not settle for cheaply made product with large price tags. You can be sure that what you find at Rushville Bridal will be more than you expected for the price asked. So don't be afraid to look for alternatives and ask lots of questions. After all, this will be your once in a life time chance to be the bride!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10th Gown of the Week

The feature gown for this week has been around for quite some time for the bridal industry.  Most designers will create new designs twice per year.  Collections will vary by designers but usually new collections will include 12-20 new gowns.  In order to make room for the new gowns, some older styles will need to be discontinued.  Many gowns will have a two to three year run in the collection.  If the gown is a very poor seller, it may be discontinued within the first year while the best sellers may be available for five or more years.

Our gown for today is from the very first Davinci Bridal collection in the spring of 2004!!  This gown has been in production for almost 10 years which is very rare for the bridal business.  And it is still one of the most popular styles to be tried on at my store.  I have other gowns that have been available for several years but are very rarely tried on.


This gown features an off the shoulder neckline with a heavily beaded bodice with scalloped lace edges.  Attached at the basque waist is a multi-layered tulle skirt.  The full tulle skirt has lace appliques, pearls and sequins.  The hem line has the matching scalloped lace edges.  This design is continued onto the full cathedral length train.
 
I believe this spectacular gown is still popular for many of its features.  First it is hard to find off the shoulder gowns.  Although some brides and designers consider this a hard fit, it is still very popular.  Second, is the full tulle skirt.  Many brides who want to princess or Cinderella look, fall in love with this gown.  There are many designers who make full ballgowns but many do not use the tulle skirt.  Third, is the price.  If you compare this gown to other designers with this much beading and number of layers of the skirt, the price will easily be in the $1000 range.  But Davinci has always been conscious about making beautiful gowns at reasonable prices.  This gown starts at $670!! As always the price can vary depending upon things like the size ordered, shipping costs and delivery options.

So if this looks like the gown of your dreams, I highly recommend coming in to try it on.
If this is not the style you are looking for, check out the Davinci website with all their available gowns at www.davincibridal.com .

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gown of the Week for July 3, 2012


The second edition of my Gown of the Week features a beautiful bridal gown from Moonlight. Although I love the designs from Moonlight, I am more impressed with their use of fabrics and embellishments. Every gown has some aspect that draws the eye. For this gown that is the studded rhinestone belt at the waistline. This belt is sewn into the gown and is completed with a bow at the back. Since it is sold as part of the gown, there is no additional charge for this belt. The strapless sweetheart neckline gown is made from bridal satin. This is one of the softest satin fabrics available. The full skirt completes the gown featuring a large gather for that extra flair every bride is looking for. Moonlight gowns may be found at www.moonlightbridal.com . Gowns from this designer are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Another unique aspect of Moonlight gowns are the custom changes they will make to all their designs. They will change necklines or train lengths, add sleeves and alter patterns on skirts. This will truly make your gown a one-of-a-kind creation!
As an added bonus, I found this gorgeous picture of a feathered fascinator. I have several styles of headpieces also known as fascinators in the store. These have become as popular as tiaras. The fascinators feature feathers, rhinestones, pearls, netting, flowers and much more. There is definitely something to fit every bride's personality! Fascinators have a wide range of prices, styles and sizes so shop early enough to order your special selection if needed. Although accessories usually do not require as long as gowns to order, they will take approximately one month to arrive in the store.

Monday, June 25, 2012

How much is too much?

I'm sure as many new bloggers take on this activity, we are sure that it will be so easy and we can do this several times per week.  But as you can tell, this is not the case for me.  I want to put together great information at a reasonable rate.  If I blog too much, surely followers will not take the time to read the information because it is too much.  If I am busy with the everyday chores of running a business and do not blog for several weeks, then followers might forget about my services when they are needed.  So I am going to try a new approach.  I will be posting a "Gown of the Week" feature. I am thinking that I will do this on Tuesday afternoon of each week.  Each blog spot will contain a new gown recently delivered to the store.  If no new gown is available, I may select accessory items.  These will  be short and sweet and to the point.  This way the public receives the information while I can conserve some time.  Then approximately every 4 to 6 weeks, I will do a more in depth topic about weddings, proms or other special occasions. So today we will start with Gown #1.

Our first Gown of the Week blog is a beautiful wedding gown from www.marysbridal.com .  This gown is made of taffeta.  Taffeta is a super light weight material that is great for hot summer weddings.  It is available in both white and ivory in sizes 2-30.  Regular delivery from P.C. Mary's is about 12 weeks but occasionally stock pieces are available for quicker delivery.  Now for the truly unique features!!  This gown has detachable long lace sleeves.  This can give you a very different look going from the ceremony to the reception without purchasing two different gowns.  There is also a cathedral length detachable train and a removable modesty panel for the bodice. The gown is pictured with veil and tiara V802,  also from Mary's.

P.C.Mary's also offers a selection of bridesmaids, mothers and flower girl gowns to complement this gown.  Check the website for styles M1261, M2112, M2102, F978, and F981.

Our sample piece for this style is in white size 18.  As one of the top sellers for Spring 2012, we may not have this one in stock for a long time.  If you would like to see this gown and try it on, we would suggest you doing so as soon as possible.  Call 765-932-4909 or 1-866-920-3094 to make your appointment today!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Finding the Perfect Dress 101 by David Tutera

We all love David Tutera and his wonderful bridal shows.  We just wish he would be able to give every bride some guidance for their wedding day.  Well, now he is.  This is a great video by David showing many of the different silhouettes for bridal gowns.  Review the video to be familiar with the different styles before coming to the store.  But remember to try more than one silhouette so you know which is your favorite.

Finding the Perfect Dress 101


Below are some of David's styles available at Rushville Bridal Boutique.







Thursday, March 22, 2012

10 Mistakes Brides Make When Dress Shopping

10 Mistakes Brides Make When Dress Shopping

Before you hit the salon, read these top bridal blunders to avoid. Browse our gown gallery [1] with hundreds of gorgeous styles.
By:
Kristen O'Gorman Klein
Home Page Title:
Dress Shopping Mistakes
Home Page Abstract:

Avoid these 10 common blunders!

bridal reflections nyc
Photo Courtesy of Bridal Reflections

Bringing an Entourage

We know it’s the most important dress you’ll ever wear, and you want to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. But having 10 different opinions makes it much harder to come to a consensus—and it can bring you farther away from what you actually want. “I have always been a believer that the most a bride should bring when dress shopping is two people,” said Cristina DeMarco, of Bridal Reflections in New York, NY.

Most brides do best with just their mom and maybe a sister or best friend, said Debra Lash, of The Wedding Tree in La Crosse, WI. “They generally have the bride’s best interest at heart, not what they want her to wear.” One of our real bride bloggers, Theresa Misso, recently wrote about her dress shopping experiences [2] and said, “When you're standing there in a big dress, and random people in the store are ohh-ing and ahh-ing and all you want to do is take it off, you’ll need an honest, reliable companion to say, ‘I love it. But it’s just not you.’”

Shopping Too Early

Many couples are opting for longer engagements these days, but don’t start shopping more than 12 months in advance. “The moment a bride starts trying on gowns, she’ll inevitably fall in love with one,” said Lash. “If she’s not ready to buy, it quickly becomes difficult for her. In other words: Do not visit bridal salons until you’re ready to make a purchase.”

It’s important to have the rest of your wedding details in place before you can truly shop for a gown, since many factors can influence the style of the dress. Consider your venue: “An ornate gown with tons of embellishments and a sizeable train might look stunning in a ballroom but completely out of place at a beachfront ceremony,” said Tolu Ogbechie, one of our real bride bloggers [3]. Also, the colors you choose for your bridesmaids and d├ęcor can influence whether you choose white or an off-white shade.

But, at the same time, don’t procrastinate. Most dresses take anywhere from five to eight months to come in, according to DeMarco. You can sometimes place a rush order if you need it in under five months, but it’ll cost you.

Trying On Too Many Dresses

priscilla of boston dressIf you’re a fan of Say Yes to the Dress, you’ve undoubtedly seen a bride who’s tried on 100+ dresses without finding the right one. Most brides try on between four and seven gowns, said DeMarco, and shouldn’t try on more than 10, because it can lead to confusion.

Often, a bride is trying on dress after dress because she’s just not ready to end the shopping experience and make a real commitment. “The most common mistake that a bride makes is not purchasing her gown when she finds it,” said Lash. “The danger that befalls her is she becomes overwhelmed and forgets what she originally set out to find. She begins to doubt herself and starts to lose faith in the experience.”

Not every bride has “that moment” when the tears start rolling and you know you’ve absolutely found “The One.” Real bride blogger Crista kept searching until the tears started rolling [4]. While trying on a Priscilla of Boston [5] gown (pictured right), Crista noted, "As I gazed upon my reflection, I noticed my family standing around me, teary-eyed. Although I was touched by their reaction, I wondered, ‘Why aren’t I crying?’” said Crista. “I decided not to purchase that dress and left the salon contemplating my shopping experience.”

Being Swayed by Steep Discounts

Try not to be too tempted by the lure of your dream designer gown for 70% off. “The biggest mistake I have seen brides make is purchasing a gown online or from a shop for a deep discount ‘only today,’” said Lash. “You get what you pay for.”

Sample sales are popular among brides, but you must keep in mind that you are typically truly purchasing just that — a sample: The dress has been tried on by hundreds of brides and could have been torn, stained, or otherwise damaged during the process. Before making a purchase, check the gown very carefully for any damage—and if there's anything that can’t easily be fixed, put it back. Some brides end up spending hundreds in alterations to fix what’s wrong with the sample when they could’ve found a similar brand new dress for not much more money.

kimberly sanicki wedding gownBut don’t be totally discouraged: Sometimes you truly can find an amazing gown at a bargain price. Kimberly Sanicki, of Wanaque, NJ, found her perfect wedding gown (left) at a “Running of the Brides” event thrown by Filene’s Basement. She found a stunning Essense of Australia gown for just $500, marked down from $3,000 [6]. Before handing over the cash, Kimberly and her mom thoroughly examined the gown to check for any flaws. “My mom made sure it had every crystal, and it did not need to be cleaned or even hemmed,” said Sanicki.

If ordering online, check the return policy carefully. If it says the dress is sold strictly as is and can’t be returned if damaged, close that browser and back away from the computer. One of our real bride bloggers, Tolu, successfully purchased her gown online [7] at a nice discount. She warns other brides, “There are a lot of websites that offer dresses made overseas [8]. This could be a cost savings, but I do not recommend it. There is a very small chance that the dress you receive will actually be the one shown in the picture.”

Demanding the Wrong Size

Wedding gown sizes typically run one or two sizes smaller than street clothes, so try not to get hung up on the number. “Do not fixate on the actual size but instead on how your measurements compare to the particular line on the specific designer’s size chart,” said Gesinee of Gesinee’s Bridal in Concord, CA.

Planning on losing weight before the big day? “If I had a nickel for every person I have measured who said they were going to lose weight, I would be rich!” said Lash. Play it safe and order a size that fits your current body. Any dress can be taken in, typically up to four sizes without affecting the look of the dress, but most can only be let out one full size—if that. “You need to be realistic, in case you don’t lose your targeted weight,” says DeMarco.

What happens if your dress doesn’t fit when it comes in? First, don’t freak out and go on a crash diet. “There’s always something you can do,” said DeMarco. “You can order fabric from the designer, add beading, or even put in a new back to accommodate the measurements needed.”

Photo Credit: Timecut Studios (left); Courtesy of Priscilla of Boston (right)

Next: 5 more common gown-shopping mistakes >> [9]

Designer Henry Roth checked in with real brides to see their biggest fears and stresses when it comes to buying a wedding gown — plus, great advice from brides who have already made their purchase!

the wedding tree
Photo Courtesy of The Wedding Tree

Sticking With One Style

“Ninety percent of our brides leave with something completely different than what they had in mind when they walked in,” said DeMarco. Bringing in pictures of dresses you like is a good start, but if your consultant recommends something different, give it a try. It’s impossible to tell what a dress will look like on your body just from seeing it on a hanger. “If a bride is fuller in the hip area, she might have a mind set that she can’t wear a fitted dress,” says DeMarco. “However, what she may not know is that a more fitted dress would show off her curves, fit beautifully, and make her appear more slender as opposed to covering up.”

Need advice on which shape is most flattering? Get some recommendations here [10].

Buying a Dress You Don’t Love

“The biggest mistake I’ve seen brides make is settling on a dress because someone influenced them to purchase it instead of going with her heart,” said DeMarco.

This is why it’s so important to choose your shopping companions wisely. “Many people that may accompany the bride will look at each gown and decide if it’s best for them—not for the bride whom they should be helping,” said Lash.

If you find yourself liking a dress but also having doubts, or if you're feeling pressured from a part of your entourage or a salesperson to make a purchase, it's okay to go home empty-handed, sleep on it, and return at a later point if you're still dreaming about the dress.

Trying On Dresses You Can’t Afford

You see a stunning gown a mannequin that’s way out of your price range, but you want to try it on just for fun. What’s the harm? “It can lead to heartbreak and disappointment,” said Lash. “You need to be able to afford anything you try on.”

Make sure you are completely clear on your budget before you hit the salon—and make sure that the salon you choose respects your budget. One of the top complaints Lash hears from her brides is that other salons showed them dresses that were out of their respective budgets. “We have a strict policy in place to keep the customer within budget, which makes her happier with the entire process,” said Lash. “Happy bride equals happy life for bridal shop employees!”

Not Accounting for Extra Costs

Let’s say you have $2,000 set aside for your attire. That doesn’t mean you can buy a dress with a list price of $2,000. Alterations typically cost extra, and you may also be charged tax and delivery, so don’t max out your fashion budget on just the dress. “Almost every gown will need some alterations,” said Gesinee. Whether it’s something, small like a hem, or something major, like taking in (or letting out) the bodice, it can add up. You'll also need to account for undergarments, shoes, a veil and/or hair accessories, jewelry, and any other accessories you'll want to complete your bridal look.

Not Choosing Your Store Wisely

If you’re a plus-size bride, call ahead to see if your desired store carries a sizeable amount of plus-size samples—not all do. Otherwise, your only option is to play “paper dolls” to get an idea of what a style would look like on you, said Gesinee.

“It is very hard to determine fit by holding up a gown to your body,” said Lash. “If a bride loves one of our gowns in a size 12, we will find one with an exact or similar fit in her size to try on.”

Also, make sure that your store is an authorized retailer for the designer you’ve selected, said Gesinee. This is especially problematic when buying online. If the retailer isn’t authorized to sell that particular designer, there’s a good chance that you won’t receive an authentic gown. That means that the designer won’t stand behind it if anything is wrong. To find out which stores are authorized in your area, check the individual designers’ websites or call the number listed.