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You may have heard of our fantastic service, Reinvent The Dress, where one of our expert seamstresses takes a vintage family heirloom and creates a modern masterpiece that fits both your shape and style.
Recently, we have seen a greater shift toward setimentality in weddings, and more and more of our beloved brides are presenting us with heirloom pieces that they would like transformed for their wededing day. In addition to vintage gowns, many of our brides have embraced the idea of incorporating a vintage or heirloom veil into their upcoming nuptials. That is how our ‘Reinvent the Veil’ service began to bloom.
Penny, our head seamstress, is a true gem and designs a great deal of the boutique’s custom veils, right here, in her in-house studio. She has the skill set to take your family’s vintage veil and repair and transform it into something you never would have imagined it could become. This could simply be replacing your mother’s 1970′s ‘Juliette’ style capwith a more reasonable (less distracting) option, or going as far as transferring the lace from your grandmothers gown onto a new veil of your choosing.
It is possible to change almost anything about a vintage veil- the comb, the shape, the volume at the crown, or the entire style. We can re-use vintage elements in a way that makes your veil look entirely your own, or just make a few slight repairs on a piece that you would never want to change.
There is something so special about a vintage veil. They are intricate, detailed, delicate and above all, a treasured family heirloom. When you wear your ‘reinvented veil’, you will know that family members (present or in spirit) are a big part of your big day.
To set up a consultation with Penny, please ring the boutique at 860.669.4596.
*Please keep in mind, that depending on the complexity of the design and the volume of alterations at the current time, this process may take anywhere from 1 to 4 months.
**We also offer services to clean and restore veils through Orange Cleaning and Preservation. Prices are quoted individually and range depending on the services chosen and the level of difficulty. Please inquire for more details.
As one of the many services that we offer at The White Dress by the shore, we provide in-house alterations for brides and mother of the occassion. We have three talented in-house seamstresses who are true artists!
Some may be surprised at the amount of work and level of artistry required to alter a wedding gown. The video below by in WHITE member, Vintage Cinema, is a glimpse into our unique and extensive process.
We are so fortunate to draw our clientele from not only all parts of our home state, but also from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island! We recognize that we may not be the closest boutique for our clients to visit, but we think we are well worth the trip! Not only for the experience that you will have with us, but also for the incredible things that the Connecticut shoreline has to offer!
Our thought, is if you are traveling a distance to get to us, why not make a day of it?! Below, each of our stylists offers up their suggestions itineraries for a shopping experience at The White Dress by the shore.
Beth Chapman | owner:
I feel that the bridal shopping experience should be unique and memorable- which is exactly why I created The White Dress by the shore. I think the ideal shopping excursion for our brides would include an overnight stay at the historic Bee and Thistle Inn in charming Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can enjoy my favorite- a basil martini- in the garden, followed by a mouth watering meal at their award winning Chestnut Grille, while strolling musicians entertain you. After a leisurely breakfast and perhaps a tour of the Florence Griswold Museum next to the inn, you can join us on Sunday for a White Carpet Appointment. These exclusive appointments offer the entire boutique to you and your guests. They can browse our curated collections of gowns while sipping champagne and enjoying nibbles from a local caterer (perhaps even the Bee and Thistle!). The entire experience will be captured on film by a photographer. You will leave your appointment not only feeling pampered and hopefully having found the gown of your dreams, but with a SWAG bag filled with a bevy of treats, including a bouquet in the colors of your wedding.
Jillian Sandrey| stylist/marketing coordinator:
I am a resident of Guilford and think it is one of the most quaint towns in Connecticut. My vision for the ideal shopping day would include an appointment at The White Dress by the Shore, followed by an afternoon of shopping on the historic Guilford Green. There are so many charming shops! My favorites are Kimberly for fashionable finds, Lulu’s for cozy pjs, pretty intimates and amazing bath products and Mix Design Store for an eclectic ‘mix’ of gifts and home décor. If you are all shopped out, you can treat yourself to a massage or facial at Rituals Spa. And at the end of a long and pampering day, be sure to grab a glass of wine and a panini at Ballou’s Wine Bar.
Rachel Renzetti | store manager:
I consider myself to have two ideal itineraries, one that speaks to my childhood on the shore and the other, my years working in fashion in NYC. I grew up on the CT coast so I am a beach girl all the way…so, any ideal day for me includes a trip to the beach! Fortunatley, we have one of the most glorious beaches in the state just a mile up the road from the boutique. My ideal shopping day would begin with an appointment at The White Dress by the shore followed by an afternoon at Hammonasset State Park. After soaking up the sun, there is nothing like a cold margarita. I would end the day at Donahue’s Beach Grille for one of their infamous cocktails!
If you’re interested in a day of pampering on the other hand, you just have to take the short walk over to our neighbor, Jennie Fresa. This skincare and makeup boutique has just added a blow dry & styling room which opens later this summer,so thrilled for an NYC luxury in our own quaint shoreline town! If you ask me, nothing feels better than a scalp massage and an expert blowout. While you’re there you can also indulge in some of Jennie’s other services- spray tanning, brow sculpting and a menu of incredible spa facials. She carries amazing beauty lines including Stila and organic facial care lines like Tata Harper and Dr. Alkiatis.
Jesse Daniels | stylist :
We are blessed to be located in an area of Connecticut so rich with history. Our boutique is situated among some of the best antique shops in the country! My ideal shopping day would include a bit of ‘antiquing’ at a few of my favorite spots, followed by an afternoon of gown shopping at The White Dress by the shore. Here’s the inside scoop on my favorite antique stores: The Clinton Antique Center (for a little bit of everything), Old Beautiful Antiques and Art (directly across from The White Dress by the shore), Miriam Green Antiquarium offering all sorts of “distracting curiosities”- from books to jewelry. My favorite spot for vintage books is The Clinton Book Loft- it has rooms and rooms filled with books from every genre and era. If you are a lover of vintage clothing, than Tova’s Vintage Shop in Old Saybrook is a must!
Shana Hull | stylist:
I am a die-hard shopper, so for me, the perfect day is all about shopping! And if it happens to involve a bargain, even better! After purchasing your gown at The White Dress by the shore, I say head on over to the Clinton Crossing Outlets , just a few miles up the road from us. While there be sure to hit my favorite stores: Kate Spade, J. Crew, Saks: Off Fifth, Micheal Kors and Tahari.
Holly Magnan| stylist
Right up the street from our boutique is Chamard Vineyard. It is an absolute gem on the shoreline and a must visit! My ideal shopping day would include finding the gown and accessories of my dreams at The White Dress by the shore and then heading to Chamard Vineyard for lunch in their bistro and a wine tasting. Friday and Saturday nights they offer live music and a selection of food trucks.What fun would it be to celebrate with wine and delicious food after having purchased your gown?!
Kelley Winter | stylist:
I am a ‘foodie’, so I always think of the best places to eat, wherever we go! My recommendation is for brides to visit us for a morning appointment, and then head right down the street to Lobster Landing, a hidden gem on the shoreline. They offer THE BEST lobster rolls you will ever eat! The building itself is over 100 years old and the location boasts incredible views of The Long Island Sound. It is a TRUE New England experience!
To schedule an appointment to shop in our boutique, ring us at 860.669.4596.
Jenny Yoo has introduced a new collection called “Social”. These adorable dresses are perfect for the aisle or a night out on the town! These stunners are truly dresses that can be worn again- or just worn! They are ideal for all of your wedding related events – bachelorette, shower, rehearsal dinner or even attending a wedding! With interesting patterns, textures and silhouettes, this collection is the talk of the industry. Scroll below to take a peek at these new styles and then so give us a ring to see them for yourself at 860.669.4596 to schedule an appointment for our Jenny Yoo trunk show that runs March 21st- 23rd. All of Jenny Yoo’s dresses will be discounted by 10%.
**Maids do not need to be present for purchase to be made. Payment can be taken over the phone and measurements can be provided at a later specified date.
As a mother, choosing your own ensemble for the wedding can be intimidating. You might find yourself dropping to the very end of your “to do” list. Luckily, The White Dress by the shore only needs an hour and a half to make you look and feel as beautiful as you deserve.
To make the process simple for you, here is what we reccomend~
You’ll set your appointment, so that we may give you our undivided attention in the comfort of our private mother of the occasion studio.
You’ll meet one of our highly trained stylists, who will be your personal expert in fit and construction.
You’ll explore multiple collections, hand-picked by owner Beth Chapman, at varying price points, so we can accommodate your taste and your budget.
And then, with your figure flattered in a celebration of your personal style…you’ll dazzle.
All of our dresses are made to order, so we’ll need a minimum of five months for proper delivery and alterations.
images by Abbey Scott
Below are some frequently asked questions and responses from one of our mother of the occassion specialists. We hope that this information will help you to navigate through the process~
Do I need to schedule an appointment? Yes! The White Dress by the shore is a by appointment only boutique, so that we may provide you with exceptional, personalized service. Each appointment is 1 1/2 hours in length, where you will work one on one with a stylist.
What if I just wanted to come in and browse? As our goal is to provide you with the exceptional, personalized service you deserve, we strongly encourage an appointment. Although browsing may seem more relaxing to you, it does not allow us to give you our undivided attention…and we wholeheartedly believe you deserve that. The majority of our collection is customizable. Simply viewing the collection without an associate will not allow you the opportunity to discover the myriad of style and color options availalbe.
Are there dresses that will coincide with my budget? It is helpful to come to your appointment with a budget in mind. This will help your dedicated stylist to guide you to the dresses that are applicable. Although mother of the occasion dresses range in price (dictated by a number of variables), we certainly have a diverse selection, accommodating various budgets. Our mother of the occasion collection ranges in price from $500 – $2800.
Do I have to wear the same length dress as the bridesmaids? The quick answer is that length is dictated by “personal preference.” However, sometimes other variables come into play, which can be discussed during your appointment. These may include, but are not necessarily limited to, bride’s preference, venue, setting/location, tone/feel of the day, what the bridesmaids and/or other mom is wearing.
Do you have anything that won’t make me look like a “typical” mom? We certainly have a variety of silhouettes and designs to choose from. Some moms choose a “mother of the occasion” dress from our selection, while others choose a less formal dress from our ”bridesmaid” collection. In our consultation we will determine what option is best for you based on your budget and style needs.
What can I do if I don’t want my arms to show? Some moms have a concern about their arms, although you all look terrific! Our collection offers many options. We can customize many of our dresses to add a sleeve or we can compliment your ensemble with a coordinating jacket, bolero or a stole.
I do not want strapless. Are there other options? Absolutely! Generally speaking, any dress is customizable, whether through the designer or during our alterations process. We can provide you with a “visual” during your appointment, allowing you to see your options.
Are the colors on the rack the only available options? The sky is the limit, or close. Color options vary by designer and fabric, whereby the selection is quite extensive.
Are the dresses available in other fabrics? Fabrics, like colors, vary by designer’s choice. Once the silhouette is chosen, we can advise what other fabric option may be available.
Can you accommodate large sizes? Of course! Although size charts and special sizing vary by designer, we do our best to make the dress happen for you.
What if I am having difficulties “seeing” the dress/outfit, considering my size? We (and you) are so fortunate to have one of our designers right “in our backyard.” Should you choose a silhouette from Modern Trousseau, you have the option to order a muslin, which includes all of your fittings. The muslin process affords you the opportunity to work directly with the designer and her pattern-maker. Your dress is initially constructed in a cotton material (muslin), that is made from your specific measurements and is then appropriately fitted to your body. The muslin then becomes the pattern for the final product- your gorgeous ensemble- while allowing you to “see” the dress before it is finished. Amazing experience plus supporting your local businesses, equals a formula for success!
What is required to order a mother of the occasion ensemble (gown/outfit)? Once we have determined your selection, three things need to happen to place your order with the designer- 1. we take your measurements, in order to determine the appropriate size according to the specific designer’s size chart; 2. you sign a policy form, which not only confirms your size but provides additional information regarding your order; 3. payment, which is required in full.
How much do alterations cost, and/or are they included in the price of the dress? Alterations vary upon need, and at The White Dress by the shore, are priced a la carte. Thus, they are not included in the price of the dress, as each client is accommodated according to the work that needs to be done. Furthermore, at your first fitting you will receive an explanation as to what alterations are needed, along with the total cost. Generally speaking, mother of the occasion alterations range from $175-$300, with an average of $250. If this range is out of your budget or if our specific alteration days and times do not align with your schedule, we have a network of outside seamstresses that we my refer you to.
What does a fitting entail and how many do I need? Although there are exceptions to every rule, moms usually have a total of 3 fittings. A dedicated fit specialist is assigned to you to attend all of your fittings with you. Each fitting is 1 hour in length, with the final pick up allotted at 2 hours (you may not need the full 2 hours, but we reserve this time in case additional work needs to be done). Additionally, in alliance with the cost of alterations, the number of necessary fittings will be determined at your first fit appointment.
How far in advance do I have to order? Although the lead time for a mother of the occasion dress is not necessarily as long as a bridal gown, you still need to plan ahead! Your dress should be ordered 5-6 months prior to the wedding, in order to accommodate alterations. With that said, dresses can be ordered with a lesser lead time, however, please be prepared to pay a rush fee (this varies by designer).
I don’t have enough time to order a dress, what are my options? Not to worry! We have an incredible selection of sample gowns that we sell off the rack- meaning gowns that were once our floor models are now being sold ‘as is’ at a great, discounted price! Click here to link to our selection- keep in mind, we usually only sample our Mother of the Occasion styles in one size and color so this option can be more limiting. The size of these gowns usually ranges between 8 and 18. Additional alterations and repairs may be required when purchasing a sample.
Ring us at 860.669.4596 today to work with your personal stylist to find your mother of the occasion ensemble. Stay tuned to the blog for amazing mother of the occasion trunk shows!