Do You Need a Bridal Stylist?

Engaged couples have thousands of decisions to make in preparation for a wedding. From the napkins to the cake frosting, all of the choices are overwhelming. But some decisions need to have an objective eye. This is especially true when choosing a bridal wardrobe, including bridesmaid’s dresses, groomsmen suits as well as mother dresses, and other members of the bridal party such as flower girls and the ring bearer.

Enter Bridal Stylists whose goal is to make a cohesive visual look for the bride and the entire bridal party. A best friend, maid of honor, or parent may not be as objective as you are hoping. Consider building a bridal stylist into your wedding budget. Typically, a bridal stylist will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000, depending on the level of service you want—virtual, partial styling, or a full-service experience. Here’s what a bridal stylist can do for you:

• Offer support from the first dress appointment to the fittings, the accessorizing, and the undergarments, to your big day when the stylist makes certain that you look picture-perfect.

• During your portrait photos, they fix and fluff your dress (and your bridal party) so that everything looks on point. The stylist will steam your gown and repair or fix any unexpected dress issues that can become big ones as the night goes on. They save the day with solutions to critical issues like a strap breaking or an undergarment showing. 

• They are your fashion advisor and orchestrator whose only goal is to make you achieve your dream look while also feeling confident and beautiful.

Francesca Di Sprito

With over 20 years of experience, bridal stylist Francesca Di Spirito likes to get to know the bride personally with one-on-one meetings to understand her vision for the wedding look, before starting any dress-buying appointments. “It’s important to get to know my bride as a person before we even begin to think about their wedding look,” she says. “I want to know how you met your fiancé, how you are as a couple, and what are the things that bring you joy together and individually.” This builds a strong foundation making the year-long process of styling the entire wedding wardrobe as seamless as possible. 

Similarly, Julie Sabitino who is a stylist at The Stylish Bride has one major goal: To make the bride feel confident and comfortable on her wedding day. “A bride needs to feel comfortable in what she’s wearing both physically and emotionally for her to enjoy her day,” she says. “That’s a very different view than what a lot of people think about styling. It is not about ‘suffering for fashion’ which is pretty much the antithesis of what I believe. It’s about understanding the bride and her needs and then making the process as enjoyable, easy, stress-free and fun as possible.” As weddings get bigger or more elaborate with more events, the stress level to look perfect is so intense for many brides. “I want to make sure that customer service across the board is excellent, and that all the stores they visit are amazing. My team and I streamline the process for the bride.”

Bridal stylist and boutique owner, Hollie Briant, learned the bridal ropes on the shop floor where she did basic tasks like steaming bridal gowns and learning how to handle them with extreme care. After a brief departure from the industry she returned to the bridal world with her shop, You and I Bridal, in Dubai where she is currently based. “I missed those lifetime moments that you get by being a part of the bride’s dress journey,” says Bryant. She starts the process with a bridal consultation, getting to know the bride’s vision for her dress, while also getting to know the couple themselves. “Looking at a sea of dresses is very daunting to brides and can easily overwhelm them. Sometimes it’s their first time trying on, and others come in after overshopping and are completely confused,” she says.  Having a stylist to focus on the bride’s vision for her dress and keeping within her budget is essential. “I ask my brides three questions to determine if it’s the right dress for her: Can you envision yourself getting married in this dress? Do you feel beautiful? Do you feel like a bride? If the answer is yes then it’s your dress,” says Briant. 

Alterations are the most crucial element in the dress journey according to many stylists. “I’ve probably been to well over a thousand wedding dress fittings,” says Sabitino. “A bride can buy the most beautiful dress and if it doesn’t fit you well, it’s not going to look good,” she says. Di Spirito concurs. “Finding your gown is half the job,” she says. “Proper alterations are key when getting the gown to fit you perfectly. Unless you’re going down the custom or Bespoke route, most gowns are ordered in straight sizes. This means that although the gown is ordered in your natural size, it isn’t going to be a perfect fit until it’s altered. I always remind my brides; that your gown starts as a template. It becomes your true gown after alterations.”

Weddings happen in any part of the world these days so it’s important that stylists have a global network and are not limited by geography. “I just came back from a 3-day wedding in Lake Como,” says Di Spirito. “It was so beautiful, and my bride was happy every day. It was special to see the whole look come together and the couple enjoy their big day. It’s why we do what we do as wedding professionals. All that hard work pays off just to see the couple and their guests enjoy the wedding experience.”

Sabitino’s work is also global. “We opened dressing teams in France and Italy recently and we’ve had one in London for several years now. In the States, we have teams in New York, Boston, Chicago, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and Denver. And we also have an on-site dressing service where we go to weddings and steam, dress, sew, prepare, and style.” With 42 freelance stylists in 10 different cities, having a bridal stylist is within every bride’s reach. 

Hollie Briant’s shop can be found in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and at @YouandI_Bridal Boutique on Instagram where you can message her for an appointment. 

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