Fashion Forecast: A Bridal Professional’s Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping

When I look back at planning my own wedding, I think that the most enjoyable part of the whole process was finding my dress.  I mean let’s be real… it’s usually the thing that future brides dream about the most when they think of their wedding (whether they are actually engaged or not!).  Every girl dreams of that show stopping moment when all eyes are on them and they bring a tear to their partner’s eye the first time that they see them. For this reason, everyone wants to look their very best and feel their most beautiful on their wedding day.  Other than having the makings of a fairy-tale moment on the big day, the amount of pressure that can surround getting there is quite anxiety provoking. But stay calm… we’ve pulled out the big guns to get some expert advice on what you can expect to see this season as you sachet into a bridal salon near you to pick out your dream dress.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Peggie Donowitz, the owner of The One Bridal Salon in Charlottesville, VA to get the inside scoop.  But before you take her advice, let’s get to know her a little bit better…

How did she fall in love with wedding fashion (enough to eventually open her own bridal boutique) you might ask?…

“I think the answer to that question has a few different layers.  I have always loved clothing and fashion and have been told by others that I have ‘an eye’ for what looks good together.  I am often invited along on shopping excursions with friends particularly when they are shopping for a special occasion. Several years ago, I decided to try my hand at fashion retail, and just happened to land in a bridal salon.  I knew just about nothing about wedding dresses, having spent my professional career as a Registered Nurse. But, I discovered some things: one, helping a bride find her dream dress is amazing fun and it never gets old, two I do have an eye for what looks good on someone and how to put them in a dress that will compliment their body type and also fit their vision for their special day.  I also discovered that many brides particularly from Charlottesville area, were traveling to Richmond and DC to find their dresses and to experience the elegant but fun dress shopping experience they were looking for. That is why I decided to open The One Bridal Salon to bring beautifully selected wedding dresses and accessories to brides in Central Virginia.”

And trust me ladies and gents, by the looks of her amazing boutique, which she had a huge hand in designing, she definitely knows her stuff!  One could easily get lost in the racks of stunning wedding gowns and bridal accessories that line her walls. So now that we’ve gotten to know her a bit… here’s what she has to say about what we should be on the lookout for this season:



“I had my first opportunity to attend the New York Bridal Fashion week this past October.  It was amazing and fun and overwhelming all at the same time. So many beautiful dresses, so little time!  To keep it simple, I will share 3 fashion trends that I saw at Fashion week for spring 2019. The first one and the one that I think is the most fun is the wedding jumpsuit or pant suit.  Often brides are opting for comfort and for the bride who wants one look for her ceremony and a second outfit that she can dance the night away in the jumpsuit is the perfect answer. One of my favorites was by Justin Alexander.  The second trend that was present just about everywhere, was the Meghan Markle look. The impact of her wedding gown was definitely captured by several designers, with clean, minimal lines, sleeves and higher necklines. Huarte by Atelier Pronovias captures the look perfectly but adds a bit more sparkle and drama, I love it!

Another trend that has been popular and continues to be, is the “off the shoulder look”. It offers a youthful, fun look with a romantic and glamorous profile.  No wonder it continues to be a popular trend. I have added a couple of off the shoulder dresses to my collections, new for the 2019 season.”

And what is her advice for finding the right dress for YOU?  It’s the same as mine more or less… great minds definitely think alike!

“I think the single most important piece of advice is to keep an open mind.”  This can be applicable in a few different ways.

  1. Dress Style:  Many brides comes in thinking they know exactly what dress style/silhouette that they want for their wedding dress and leave with something else.  You won’t know what looks good on you until you try it on, no matter how many dresses you have looked at online.
  2. Your Budget:  It’s important to set a dress budget but it’s important to use the first one or two dress shopping experiences to learn what your budget will buy.
  3. Your Bridal Consultant:  Although you have just met her, trust her.   She knows her dresses and can guide you to ones that may surprise you when you try them and they may turn out to be the one.”

So there you have it… from the mouth of a wedding fashion professional!  Now go out there and find your perfect wedding gown! You’ll probably want  to start at Peggie’s place… you just might find “The One”… (did you really think that I wouldn’t sneak at least one corny joke into this post…ha!).

Leave a Reply