Gretchen Reynolds wants her customers to have a pleasant experience shopping at her namesake store, Gretchen’s Bridal Gallery, located off east 82nd St. in Indianapolis. Reynolds has owned and operated the store since 2017. She has a background in retail and along with her highly skilled staff, she works hard to make sure her customers feel special.
The bridal store, which carries bridesmaid, bride, bridal accessories, flower girl, formal and prom dresses, draw customers from far away with many customers traveling 90 miles to go to the store. “We actually have people that will come from Cincinnati,” Reynolds says. “We have a lot of people that come from the Fort Wayne area.”
At this time of year, customers are going to the store to try on prom dresses. The store is ready for prom season, one of its busiest times of year. Reynolds keeps up with fashion trends and makes sure the store carries fashionable and high-quality prom dresses. Reynolds says that bold colors are big when it comes to prom dresses. Metallic, neon and jewel-toned colored (like emerald or purple) dresses are the top trends for prom dresses. Long, fitted gowns are popular as well as fitted gowns with a corset top, influenced by the hit TV show, “Bridgerton.”
As with other increases in prices, a prom dress will cost more this year due to supply chain and cost of goods increases from China. “Our typical dress this year is about $400 to $600,” Reynolds says. “That is our average price point on our dresses.”
The store has approximately 600 prom dresses in stock and will not receive another shipment of dresses. She recommends customers start looking for dresses as soon as possible. “The earlier they can start shopping, the better,” Reynolds says. “If they find one they love, they should get it.” Reynolds says President’s Day weekend is the store’s busiest weekend for prom dress shopping.
Prom dresses are off the rack and do not need to be ordered. The store carries prom dresses in sizes 00 to 24. Due to standard European sizing in prom dresses, customers can expect to size up one to two sizes in a prom dress. Reynolds emphasizes not focusing on the size, but on a dress the customer really loves. Appointments are not required when shopping for prom dresses and she thinks it is a good idea to bring an aunt, mom, or grandmother when shopping for prom dresses. Reynolds thinks it is important to have a trusted adult’s opinion when trying on and purchasing a prom dress. Alternations are not included in the price of the dress. She recommends using Yong’s Alterations, located in the same shopping center as Gretchen’s Bridal Gallery. Reynolds has a trusted relationship with Yong’s Alterations and believes they do excellent work.
If a customer is looking for wedding dresses, Gretchen’s Bridal Gallery is known for their impressive selection of wedding dresses. Reynolds keeps up with the latest bridal styles and trends. “Big trends are having a two-in-one gown, which is a dress and an overskirt,” Reynolds says. “Or a dress that has removable sleeves, so you have two looks in one dress.” Instead of buying two gowns, a bride has two different looks with either a removable overskirt or removable sleeves.
Other wedding dress trends include puffed sleeves, ballgowns and dresses with square necklines, which Reynolds says is simple, traditional and elegant. A dress that needs to be special ordered ranges in price from $1,500 to $4,000 and the average price is $1,800. She recommends ordering a wedding gown at least nine months to a year in advance. This allows two months to complete the necessary alterations. As with prom dresses, alterations are not included in the price of the wedding dress.
The store carries the extremely popular Disney Fairy Tale Weddings collection of wedding dresses. Gretchen’s Bridal Gallery is ranked number five in the world for sales of dresses from the Disney line. The dresses range in price from $2,000 to $4,000.
Appointments are required to try on bridal dresses. Each appointment lasts 90 minutes and includes a stylist who is assigned to work with the bride during the appointment. The store carries a large range of sizes and customers can contact the store for more information on sizing. Reynolds recommends making a bridal appointment a month in advance. She advises only bringing two to three people to a bridal appointment. “Bring the people whose opinions matter the most,” Reynolds says.
If a bride is looking for an off the rack gown, Gretchen’s Takes is a selection of gowns in the store ranging in price from $1,000 to $2,000. “You take it with you that day,” she says.
Gretchen’s Bridal Gallery remains popular with customers since it is a one-stop shop for dresses for almost any event. The store even keeps formal gowns in stock year-round for galas like Zoobilation at the Indianapolis Zoo and Rev Indy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Reynolds believes what sets the store apart from other bridal stores is they work hard to make customers feel at ease when they are shopping. Reynolds says she and her staff do not believe in pressuring customers into buying a dress and prefer customers have a positive experience while shopping at Gretchen’s Bridal Gallery. “We actually truly care about the people who walk in our door,” Reynolds says.
Gretchen’s Bridal Gallery is located at 5447 E. 82nd Street in Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-849-9980 or visit gretchensbridalgallery.com.
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