I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Anna from Loveliest Bridal. We met via a creative collaboration for The Bride Link. Anna was so sweet to show us her beautiful new boutique in Bearden. Her gowns are just stunning! I invited Anna to chat about her business, passion for brides, and her new venture. Enjoy the full conversation below!
Tell us about yourself and Loveliest Bridal
My name is Anna Wiggins, a southern girl whose mission is to help every bride feel as beautiful as I did on my wedding day! Since completing my undergraduate degree in 2009, I have continually had this tug on my heart to start my own business. I have cycled through several ideas, pursuing some more fully than others, all while working full time, but none were just right. My (now) husband and I moved to Knoxville from Greenville, SC 3 ½ years ago, and I began working in philanthropy at East Tennessee Foundation (ETF).
In June 2015 he proposed to me on my dream trip to Switzerland. It was magical! I then began planning my wedding, which of course included dress shopping. I started looking for dresses in Charlotte, where my maid of honor, future mother-in-law, and another bridesmaid live. We visited an upscale consignment bridal boutique there, and I loved the concept! More importantly, once I visited other stores and had a basis for comparison, I greatly appreciated the fact that the entire boutique had been reserved just for my guests and me. It was so much more relaxing than future shopping visits I had.
I wanted to bring the wonderfully unique concept of by appointment only couture consignment bridal to our neck of the woods, so I began my research and after a year of planning and preparation, I opened Loveliest! (While the full name is Loveliest Bridal, you will find I often use the shorthand of Loveliest.) I still work part-time at ETF (to make ends meet while the store gets going) and am in the boutique for appointments. Every time a bride or her mom tells me how much they appreciate the fact that the boutique is reserved just for them and that they don’t feel rushed, I am reminded that I’m helping that bride and her guests have the wedding dress shopping experience they deserve – a positively memorable one!
What designers do you offer in your boutique?
Since I carry consigned items, the designers in my collection can change at any time, but currently I have dresses from Hayley Paige, Jim Hjelm, Modern Trousseau, Mikaella, Tara Keely, Paloma Blanca, Martina Liana, Leanne Marshall, Madeleine Fig, Anna Campbell and more. In addition to the consigned dresses I carry, I also offer made-to-order dresses from Olia Zavozina (out of Nashville, TN) and Atelier Pronovias (out of Barcelona, Spain) and accessories from Sara Gabriel (out of Denver, CO).
What advice do you have for newly engaged brides looking for that perfect dress?
- Find your venue first. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of looking for a dress, but to some extent it will need to fit the ambiance provided by your setting. A ball gown is probably not going to be the best fit for a barn reception. If you look for dresses before you are ready to commit, the selection is likely to change (especially at a boutique like Loveliest), and you may be disappointed to find the dress you really liked is no longer available.
- Keep an open mind! Unless you have already tried on wedding dresses, it is hard to appreciate just how much they can differ from traditional clothing items you have purchased in the past. Try different styles, colors, etc. to see what looks best on you.
- And when I say what “looks best on you” I really mean what feels best on you. It can be really hard for the bride to focus on how she feels about a particular dress with multiple expectations and opinions being shared, but in the end, if the bride FEELS beautiful, she will exude confidence and everyone around her will recognize that bridal “glow!”
- Speaking of opinions and expectations, I would encourage quality over quantity when asking guests to join you for your bridal appointment. Making such a big decision is hard enough without having differing opinions being voiced around you. If you can limit your guests to one or two others that will encourage you without letting their own opinions outweigh yours, the experience will be so much more enjoyable for you and your guests
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN! The process of finding a dress can be overwhelming, especially with so many options portrayed online. Take your time, breathe, enjoy a snack, enjoy a cocktail, and don’t be afraid to say yes once you find the dress that makes you feel beautiful!
How can our readers contact you for more assistance?
Loveliest is by appointment only so that brides and their guests are able to enjoy the boutique to themselves! To schedule an appointment for you or a friend, call Anna at 865-851-8126, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the form online at http://www.loveliestbridal.com/appointments/. More info and pictures can be found on Facebook and Instagram, using @loveliestbridal.