Formalwear varies from simple to extravagant

Although Morgan Beachler has only fitted brides with their dream day dresses since setting up shop in Winchester last November with The Valley Bride, she’s helped a number of bridal customers with different styles in mind.

Her storefront provides an intimate boutique setting for personal bridal appointments complete with refreshments and an exclusive jewelry line in the works through Trinkets by Thandeka.

Valley Bride carries dresses by three U.S. designers: Aria, Siri and Eugenia Couture. Beachler said that she keeps a professional rapport with some of the designers themselves and she hopes to widen her selection with their distinct styles.

“Instead of expanding with different designers, I’m just going to go deeper with them,” she said.

Through the designers, brides can look for their favorite silhouettes and dress elements with options that range from the lavish and elegant to the simple and retro.

“Right now they’re still looking at a lot of lace,” Beachler said. “They’re still kind of doing the vintage/outdoor weddings.”

Although lace is a popular classic option, she said she’s looking forward to offering dresses with some different new textures. After she orders new dress designs within the next month, those coming in to browse will be seeing embroidered tulle, floral jacquard and Beachler’s favorite, organza overlay with small embroidered dots.

Beachler will hold a one day sample sale on Sept. 26 where she’ll clear out some of her old stock to make room for new orders that will come in by January. From what Beachler’s seen from the designers, simple and understated will be the name of the game next year. Many brides appreciate intricate beading patterns and detail work, but the extra cost isn’t always worth it.

“I think when people see the end product … it’s like everything else, you just don’t see the work that goes in behind it, and that’s a lot of work,” she said.

Some brides are set on a certain silhouette or fabric, but Beachler said open-minded brides can end up pleasantly surprised when trying on a dress they didn’t consider when it was on the hanger. Most of her clients have walked away with a dress they love – even if it’s not necessarily the one they had in mind when they walked in the door.

Having also worked as a wedding coordinator, she said she’s seen too many brides ordering their gowns online who are met with disappointments and no easy way to get refunds or make returns.

“I’m not saying it’s all a scam, but they’re really taking a risk getting things online and not working with a company,” she said.

Another popular element of dresses that Beachler said seems nicer in theory than it is in practice is dramatic backs and sweetheart necklines. Frustration with those bodices can be remedied with illusion necks and backs that are more flattering and fit more easily.

Beachler said cool fall weather usually doesn’t have to be taken into consideration for weddings in the area until around November. Many designers offer coordinating jackets, and brides can go for stylish long-sleeved dress options in the cooler months.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com