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Planning a wedding is an exciting yet daunting task, and finding the perfect wedding dress is often one of the most anticipated parts of the journey. We’ve previously talked about what to expect when wedding dress shopping, how to make the most of appointments and how to know if your wedding dress is the one. However, not all brides have the same amount of time to find the perfect dress and have a tighter timeline.

In this blog, we talk to Catherine Milyon, the owner of Chic Parisian Bridal Store in Miami, who helps brides to find wedding dresses on a tight timeline and to make the most of their wedding dress shopping experience.

We’ll explore valuable insights shared by Catherine as she has nearly 50 years of experience in the bridal industry and offers a unique perspective, catering to both local and international brides. Let’s delve into the tips and tricks that can make your wedding dress search a seamless and enjoyable process, even with a tight timeline.

The History of Chic Parisian

Chic Parisian is not just a bridal store; it’s a family business with a rich history. Founded almost 50 years ago by my parents when they were in college. They began as a custom house and with my Aunty’s custom-made dress displayed in the window, people would come in and place their orders. After several years, they realised custom wasn’t for them and decided to move into high-end retail, specializing in exclusive, high-end labels from around the world, like Monique Lhuillier and Mark Ingram. Chic Parisian now serves a diverse clientele, including local brides and those who travel from South America and the Caribbean.

Understanding the Distinctive Clientele

We cater to two main types of brides: local brides with the luxury of time and international brides seeking a destination shopping experience. Brides who live in Miami typically follow a more extended timeline, allowing for appointments, fittings, and a year-long process.

On the other hand, international brides, especially from South America, often have a shorter time frame, flying in for a week, choosing a dress from readily available options, and leaving with it within a few days.

The Challenge of Special-Order Dresses

In a world driven by fast fashion and instant gratification, the concept of special-order wedding dresses can be challenging for today’s brides to grasp. Unlike off-the-rack options, bridal designers available at Chic Parisian create dresses based on specific measurements, leading to a longer production timeline. When our brides order a dress, we don’t have five size 6 dresses hanging there and ready to ship, we take their measurements which then fall into a size chart, and we order it, and it goes into a production line. The handmade details and customization contribute to the uniqueness of each dress, which is why it takes a longer period of time for it to get into the store.

The Shopping Experience and Inventory Management

I rely on intuition and a deep understanding of my client’s preferences. We stock a diverse range of sample sizes, ensuring that brides of all body types have options. Additionally, we have a bridal outlet next door, offering discounted designer dresses that have either been discontinued or are from previous seasons.

With a substantial clientele from South America, we take extra steps to maintain exclusivity for these brides. A lot of the South American communities are very small, even though the countries are big, they all know each other, and they’re all shopping at the same time. We say getting married is contagious, so all their friends are getting married at the same time. We keep detailed records of dresses sold to specific countries and communities, ensuring that no two brides from the same social circle end up with the same gown. We even ask the bride-to-be who else she knows getting married and the stylists ensure they don’t show the same dress, especially to their friends. This personalized service adds an extra layer of assurance for brides traveling to Miami for their dream dress.

Magic Alterations

Anyone can sell a dress, but the real magic lies in the alterations. Our alterations department is magic and well-known for its expertise in making dresses fit perfectly, regardless of the tight timelines and unique challenges posed by international brides. They can make the gowns smaller or bigger, they make it work and have been doing this for such a long time, so they know how to service a bride who’s travelling and needs to take it with her in just a few days. It’s a science!

Fine Bridal Outlet

Our outlet, Fine Bridal, is a haven for brides seeking designer dresses at accessible prices. All dresses go through the main store first, making the outlet an extension of Chic Parisian’s commitment to quality and style. Brides looking for a quick turnaround or budget-friendly options can find hidden gems in this outlet, ensuring that every bride has the chance to wear a designer gown.

There is usually 60% off the designer dresses and because they have to take them off the rack after each season or when the line is discontinued, it gives people the ability, who maybe don’t have the budget for a designer dress, to be able to get a designer dress at a slightly better price. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what a dress looks like, how old it is, or what the price is, eventually, somebody comes in and that dress and that bride together are magic.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can connect with us at hello@thestylishbride.com