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I’m so excited for this new blog series! Each week, I will be introducing a local wedding vendor that I LOVE working with! This week, I talked with Stacey Etzkorn, store manager at Tesori Bridal in Fayetteville! Tesori has some really friendly and helpful bridal gown consultants and has a reputation of being one of the best bridal gown boutiques in Arkansas! Their gowns are simply stunning and they have an amazing variety of gowns as well.

Read our Q&A below and discover some of Stacey’s recommendations when it comes to choosing a dress for your big day.

Q: What do you do at Tesori?

A: I am the store manager. You will see my smiling face at the store almost every day! I run the daily ins and outs which can consist of scheduling appointments, shipping and receiving merchandise, contacting our designers on orders, coordinating with vendors on photoshoots and events, and assisting our brides on finding their dream dress! I absolutely love working with brides, bridesmaids, and mothers of brides and grooms however, I am the queen of the behind the scenes!

Q: How did you get involved in working in the wedding gown industry?

A: Funny story! I was a Kindergarten teacher for 7 years and felt like my path was taking me in a new direction. Did I know what the immediate direction was? Absolutely not! But I listened to my heart and took a leap of faith. I took a part time job at Tesori. I knew nothing about the bridal industry. Zero.

I knew I had a lot to learn but Tesori took a chance on me and it has turned out to be a life changing event! I like to think I am a bit of a sponge and will absorb anything and everything I can to learn. I read the pages of product guides, stared at gowns to know specific details and designs, and asked a million and one questions so that I could build up my knowledge of our designers and the industry. My drive to learn turned into a love and passion that I never knew I had! Part time, turned to full time, and full time turned into a management position. I wake up every morning happy and excited to come to the store. I am insanely blessed to be a part of the Tesori family!


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Q: What’s the most important thing a bride should consider when choosing her gown?

A: The most important thing a bride should consider when choosing her gown is herself. The end goal for a bride on her wedding day is to feel confident, comfortable, perhaps a little bit sexy, and ultimately an elevated version of herself. The bride will look back on her wedding day photos for years to come and she will want to love her gown in 30 years as much as she did on that day. The gown should reflect the brides personality and personal style! A bride wants to find a dress that they feel gorgeous in. Not just a gorgeous dress they happen to be wearing.

Q: What advice do you have for brides who are considering eloping? Does that influence the type of dress they should consider?

What about brides who are thinking about a ceremony and reception gown?

A: I am such a lover of weddings! Whether that be an intimate elopement of the bride and groom, a small wedding of immediate family, or a huge wedding of 300+ with all the friends and family you can imagine, the most special detail of all of these is the love of the bride and groom. Although there are many styles of weddings, the bride’s gown does not have to be influenced by how small or large of a wedding or where the wedding is taking place. If a bride wants to wear a ballgown for a beach wedding, she can! If a bride wants to wear a gown made of head to toe beading for an elopement in the mountains, do it! Sure, it might be a little heavy to hike up to the peak but ultimately, she feels absolutely beautiful standing next to the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

Try to keep an open mind when it comes to styles, silhouettes, and detailing of a gown to where you choose a dress you never want to take off rather than making a gown fit your venue or style of wedding. For the bride who is wanting to have two gowns, one for the ceremony and one for the reception, I love it! Many brides want to have two looks for a grand surprise and who wouldn’t want to have professional pictures taken in two stunning gowns! Two gowns can also help brides who are struggling to choose between two silhouettes of dresses. Perhaps you are a bride who loves a big ballgown with an extra long train but also loves the look of a sexy fitted mermaid. Two dresses might be for you so that you get both looks! Perhaps you are a bride who wants two looks and are sticking to a strict budget. Two gowns can be more expensive so try looking for gowns that can give you a two in one look! You can purchase overskirts separately in addition to any fitted gown. Let’s say you like a particular fitted style but really want that dramatic entrance walking down the aisle with a full skirt. Purchase an overskirt that pairs well with your fitted silhouette. You can walk down the aisle, and even have your first dance, with the skirt on over and none of your guests know it is not a ballgown. Make a quick change by pulling the skirt off and shock everyone at your reception with the fitted and more fun gown on its own. The two gown look is trending to give brides the best of both worlds!


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Q: What tips do you have for brides who just aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to selecting their gown? 

A: The first tip I give to brides who are not sure where to start when gown shopping is being open to trying on a variety of styles! The process of starting to shop can be overwhelming when a bride is deciding what details and silhouettes she does or does not like. Try a hand full of each. Tell your consultant that you would like to try a ball gown, A-line, fit and flare, mermaid, trumpet, sheath, etc. and gowns that are clean, minimalist, full of lace, beading, and sparkle. Trying one of each can help focus in on what you are envisioning for your wedding. Pinterest boards are also a great way to get the ball rolling on gowns you are interested in. Most brides come in with a few photos of gowns that are styles they like. These photos and boards are a wonderful way to show your consultant a place to start.

Many brides will find gowns in store that they immediately like straight from the hanger. Keep in mind that gowns on hangers and in photos can be completely different once on your body and vis versus. If a gown in store peaks your interest at all, try it on! More times than not, I work with brides who have an entire board full of photos, the bride tries on styles of the same, and immediately the bride does not like that particular style on herself. That is okay! Not to stress! Try on other silhouettes that you were hesitant to try as you will either love a gown you were surprised by or the new silhouette solidifies that you do not like that style.

Gown selections are a process. Try on gowns from your Pinterest board. Try on gowns that have lace when you might not love lace. Try on the sparkly gowns that your 12 year old sister picks for you. Try on the princess ballgown that mom and grandma are swooning over. You will either love the gown or not at all and never have the fear of “what if”. All of that to say that when you are making your ultimate final decision to say yes to your dress, choose a dress that checks all of your boxes so you are true to yourself and your style!

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your work?

A: This is a loaded question! As I mentioned earlier in the post, I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I, myself, was in Kindergarten. While teaching in a classroom setting, I was constantly helping young children learn and collaborating closely with colleagues which in turn allowed me to learn. Helping others has always been my first priority in my classroom and in life. I was worried that by leaving the classroom I would lose my opportunity to learn from and help others. Boy was I wrong! The most rewarding part of my work at Tesori is helping brides find their dream dress. The second I meet a bride and we chat about the style she is envisioning for her big day, I want to do everything in my power to help her find that. I genuinely love seeing the look on the bride face when she knows a gown is hers. The look is priceless and it truly makes my heart happy! Seeing the joy and excitement from the bride and her guests is one of my favorite parts of my day. Ladies, I have been known for getting wrapped up in appointments and shedding some happy tears right along with you!

Tesori is located in Single Tree Plaza in Fayetteville, at 577 Milsap Road, Suite 3. You can learn more about Tesori Bridal by visiting their website and you can follow Tesori Bridal on Instagram. More contact information is provided below.

Contact Info:

Stacey Etzkorn

stacey@tesoribridalformal.com

Store phone: 479-966-4622

General Store Email: ciao@tesoribridalformal.com

Instagram: tesori_bridal

Location: Single Tree Plaza in Fayetteville – 577 Millsap Road, Suite 3, Fayetteville, AR 72703

Tesori’s Website: http://www.tesoribridalformal.com/


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