The 5 Best Things About Working in a Small-Town Bridal Salon

People always ask me: “Do those say yes to the dress moments really happen?” After working at a bridal salon for two years, I can most definitely tell you that they do. While these heartwarming moments occur regularly, we also see our share of momzillas, bridezillas, and everything else that you see on reality TV. So, what do I find enjoyable about working there? From small talk to those big moments, there’s so much that is enjoyable in this line of work, but here’s some of my favorite things about working at Erie’s own Bridal Elegance.

  1. You get a sneak peek of the dresses before they hit the floor

I mean, how much better could that be? When inventory comes to our door, you better believe I’m one of the first ones in line to see our new shipment from Sherri Hill or Stella York. Seeing the new arrivals first hand allows us to see the trends for the season (whether good or bad), and it gives me an idea of where my next paycheck will be going. We get to know these styles extremely well while setting up the floor layout, and it’s super cool to work with my boss on what we put on display and see the dresses come out of the box.

  1. Working with brides is insanely fun

Probably my favorite part of my job are bridal try-on appointments. Also known as BTOs, we work one on one with our customers to help them find their perfect wedding dress. Most of the time the bride is beyond excited to start searching for her dream dress, and a lot of laughs and tears ensue. Selling the dresses is one of the best feelings in the world, and it’s amazing to see how the dresses can be transformed with the addition of straps, lace, and accessories. Working with brides is like gaining a new best friend in an hour and a half, as you become their confidant, personal stylist, cheerleader, and advice giver in the span of one appointment. It’s an amazing process to be a part of.

  1. There are so many opportunities to meet and get to know people

Like I just mentioned, we work one on one with our customers to ensure great customer service. We carry this service model to all areas of our store, from our bridal consultants to our high school age “Prom Girls.” I started off as a “Prom Girl” before moving into the wedding world, and being a “Prom Girl” was the greatest first job I could’ve had. I am now Head of the Prom Department, and I stress to all my co-workers that listening and talking to the customer is the key. By listening to our customers and finding out what they like, you really get to know them as natural conversation follows. You find out what people’s favorite food or sport to play is, and it’s conversations like those that you might not necessarily get in a regular retail job, which is one of my favorite things.

  1. We get to be a part of planning the best day of someone’s life

The excitement in our shop on a Saturday is insane. From mothers to sisters to the brides themselves, they are so ecstatic to plan their big day. Not only do we help with the dream dress, but we do alterations in house, we have accessories and shoes to buy, we help the bride pick out their invitation packages, and we have a tuxedo shop attached to our salon. Our goal is to make our bride’s experience as personable and fun as it can be, and these additions to our services allows us to be a part of the planning, and it’s fun for us to add all the accessories to a look. As my boss always says, “It’s all about the experience.”

  1. We get to be super creative with our advertising

One of the girls I work with oversees our social media accounts. Since Bridal Elegance is a private business, we also get to pick and choose what advertising will be most effective for our target market. We are always looking for new inspiration to make our social media appealing to prospective customers of all ages, so we get to do some very creative pictures and videos. A lot of the time, I am “forced” to model for our feeds, even though I never complain when I must put on one of the gorgeous dresses we have.

Working in the bridal industry has its ups and downs depending on the day and what kind of customers you get, but it is such a fun line of work to be in and every day I am grateful to be a part of this amazing industry. And what could be better than getting paid to work with dresses?

Tori Altsman, '22

Just a girl who likes to sing songs, dress nice, and take pictures of her dogs.