Shopping For Your Wedding Gown in the Midst of a World Health Crisis: How to Not Lose Sight of Finding Your Dream Gown & Why You’re Getting Married, In Sickness & In Health!
By Jennifer Morello, Owner of The Fancy Frock, Wesley Chapel
Dear Current & Future Fancy Frock Brides,
There are soooo many differing articles, statistics, opinions and controversy out there today surrounding the current state of our world’s overall health crisis, so instead of choosing to focus on these ‘points’, which we are all probably already tired of hearing, I would like to candidly, honestly educate and encourage brides on how to not lose focus of your goal & stay on task if you have been planning an upcoming wedding either in 2020 or 2021. (Here’s where I hope to utilize my teaching skills again & keep things as lighthearted as possible!)
So, we are all now aware of the basic importance of using common sense in how we can help ourselves & others to stay healthy but here’s where we can apply this to bridal gown shopping. First, I want to preface this with the strong encouragement to new brides-to-be that are planning a wedding for 2020 & 2021 to begin shopping immediately & don’t put off waiting to find your gown. The bridal industry supply chain issue doesn’t differ from everything else and gown production is slightly behind, but we can’t currently foresee how this will affect future production down the road.
At this time, most designers are producing orders based on wear date- not order date- to ensure that each bride receives her gown in a timely manner. I normally operate like this as well but its important to remember that if your wedding is in fall/winter of 2020, you’re cutting it close. If your wedding is in spring/summer of 2021, it’s definitely time to shop now to be prepared for the possibility of future delays in production/shipment. This is a true concern but that’s why I love educating my brides- to empower them with knowledge!
Be a proactive bride! Brides that are getting married in 2020 at this point should have normally already found and ordered their gown but if they haven’t, there is always off-the-rack & quick ship options. For 2021 brides, they should be ordering with the expectation of 10-12 months before the wedding to ensure plenty of lead time. Bridal shop owners are not giving these dates to scare brides into purchasing (most store owners like me are genuinely passionate about helping their brides), but as much as you, we don’t want to lie awake at night worrying when our brides will be receiving their gowns so as of now, it’s never too early to start shopping for your gown! The Fancy Frock carries many unique, beautiful styles that are in perfect condition for purchase, although many of them come from designers that do carry some inventory so have high hopes! And please, for the good of everyone, do not order from random, overseas companies without doing extensive research- otherwise you run a great risk in not receiving anything at all. Trust your bridal consultant!
Now, when you actually begin shopping, please be mindful of symptoms of illness of yourself, those who you are with and even your consultant- do not hesitate to adjust or reschedule your appointment if you or anyone in your group has become ill. Here at The Fancy Frock, we have smaller, enclosed (cozy) spaces for fitting areas and seating so it’s important to be diligent in good hygiene practices for all. Please limit guests to 2 and it’s probably wise to keep smaller children & the elderly (or immune-compromised) at home, for many obvious reasons but even more so now for their health. If Grammy isn’t feeling well, we can face-time her from the comfort of her recliner! We will regularly clean the shop to ensure a sanitary space for our guests as well.
Finally, the best take-away advice I’d like to give all of my current and future bridal clients is to keep your focus in a positive and hopeful direction- do not allow this illness, albeit serious, put a damper on the next several months of your life as you plan a future together with the love of your life! Life must and will go on, we must still carry on each day with new hope, faith and wisdom, and to make good choices. This too shall pass and we need to remember that we can only control what we can and whatever is out of our control probably has a higher purpose. Focus on the importance of why you’re even shopping for this gown and trust your heart combined with wisdom and awareness, and you can still have the dream wedding you’ve been planning!
Through March, we are running a Spring Sample Bridal Sale to ease some of the anxiety and cost with purchasing a wedding gown during these stressful times, but don’t put it off- there is limited availability as we are a smaller, intimate and personalized boutique and only so much time in each day!
If you would like to come see us at The Fancy Frock, we would love to assist you in finding your dream gown in a timely, productive and fun manner! We have some amazing, unique gowns to see and our designers do carry some inventory and are currently running on time, so for the 2020 & 2021 brides, I look forward to meeting you and would be delighted to assist you in this personal, beautiful journey.
Remember, Fancy Frock Brides are wise, they are proactive, they are unique, they are special, they are focused, they are empowered...therefore they are happy & successful brides!
Love, Jen :)
Currently, our open hours are modified.
As always, we are available for private bridal appointments on weekends, please call 813.973.1999 to schedule your appointment!
Open store hours:
Monday - Friday
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturdays- private bridal appointments
If you need measurements done or other services in-store, please call ahead to assure availability!
If you don't already know this, God has a funny way of bringing things about and sometimes what we plan for our own lives isn't even half of what He can & will do with it!
The very first time the thought of opening a bridal boutique in Wesley Chapel came to me was almost 9 years ago, and it was mostly a product of my constant daydreaming & desire to somehow be more creative. Some of us must be creative to be happy, and as a teacher, that option was quickly disappearing. Partly out of curiosity, I began to make a plan but it was to be a few more years before the shop would actually become a reality....and it wasn't until I fully surrendered to God's plan- not mine- that the concept of The Fancy Frock began unfolding...
I won't go into the whole story now (which is quite amazing & supernatural) but if you're ever interested, please do ask! I love telling it over & over, and I love sharing how God has worked through this shop. Even the way Suny & I were brought into this together is a remarkable story that we still just shake our heads at in amazement, but we can leave that for discussion in person if you are curious!
One thing I can say for sure is that when you come into my boutique and/or receive alteration services from Suny, you will walk in and immediately feel a difference. You will also receive our very best in every way possible as we are constantly striving to be a stand-out shop that you'll not only love visiting but will remember long after. We feel truly blessed to be able to do what we love and have such passion for. We are pretty sure you will see & feel this too when you visit The Fancy Frock & Alterations by Suny. We may not be the biggest out there, but the best things usually come in smaller, neatly, uniquely & creatively wrapped packages!
The Fancy Frock, a quaint, hidden gem, is located in Wesley Chapel, FL just north of Tampa. Here we not only enjoy but strive to do things differently. Our mission is to make each bride feel uniquely special and to embrace her natural beauty through welcoming comfort, passionate creativity & extensive knowledge while always being authentic, transparent and kind.
Nature knows what it's doing so we work with it and our selection of personally selected designers and styles each showcase unique elements that enhance these features.
We are down to earth realists here while at the same time hopeless romantics, and we feel that a truly beautiful bridal gown is naturally classic, feminine, ethereal, and portrays a sense of soft cleanliness, and maybe with a bit of whimsy...but always with just a bit of the true bohemian spirit & vintage goddess- a bride that desires to be unique in her own right, who embodies modern femininity and desires to march to the beat of her own drum...who loves and lives with a bit of reckless passion and who is willing to put her whole heart and soul into love. You are not just shopping for a dress here, you are seeking the experience we love to provide and can relate to!
All of our designer bridal gowns range between $1,000- $2,000 and derive from private labels by popular designers or they are lines that you won't easily find at every bridal shop. Again, we are unique and want our brides to be this as well! Our selection consists of beautiful, uniquely detailed laces and luxurious fabrics in natural, botanical patterns, some with beading that only enhances the designs with a subtle twinkle and our focus is on timeless, unique lace with a boho/vintage/botanical/natural vibe.
We are so in love with what we do here and we know you will feel it too! If you are a bride who seeks a no-fuss, down to earth, fun, creative, personalized and all-inclusive bridal experience, and desires to find a bridal gown that is as special as you are, then we look forward to meeting you!
~ "Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty' ~
Meet Jen & Will...
Owner & Manager of The Fancy Frock
As for me, I always knew I would do something entrepreneurial but had no idea it would be to this scale. I am a certified teacher with an M. Ed. in ESE so my 'trained' expertise is in education, not business. Regardless of this, I always knew my love for color & design would ultimately win out! I have always loved design in all forms and have been obsessed with color, patterns & texture for as long as I can remember. I was the kid who lived for new crayons & the paint with water books my grandma used to buy for me! I have attended art school for interior design and am certified in Art K-12 but now I get to apply my true passion to my love of helping others and making them look & feel their best on their special day while being creative.
The original concept of The Fancy Frock was created from my need to relieve stress when I came home from my day of teaching, thus developing the hand made, custom accessory line, Plumes 'n Blooms, that can be found here at the shop and on my Etsy site. It has evolved into an enjoyable & successful perk of owning a bridal shop providing one-of-a-kind bridal accessories & boutique items for women & little girls.
We all have natural, God-given talents and I am thankful to have found mine.
When you walk in the door, please don't feel as if I am staring right through you, my mind is just already working full speed ahead to discover your unique combination of skin tone, hair color, eye color, etc. in order to assist you in finding the perfect dress or accessory. I'm a very good listener and tend to get excited easily, especially when being creative. I also talk with my hands and can be quite animated- this is the Italian & Pisces in me :)
I've recently married my soulmate and the most amazing man in the world, Will! If you come in, you'll surely meet him as he is a tremendous help with the business! I have 2 gorgeous kids, daughter Emily, age 26 & son Granger, age 19 & my adorable & entertaining stepson, Gio, age 9. You will occasionally see them in the shop helping me out.
One last bit of info on me- mention anything about Depeche Mode to me and you'll be a friend for life! :)
Meet Suny & Lizzy...
Owner of Alterations by Suny
& Co-Manager of The Fancy Frock
Suny is a highly skilled, master tailor & seamstress bringing over 40 years of experience & expertise to the boutique. The alterations department is owned solely by Suny which allows for the best pricing along with top quality service & attention to detail. She provides alterations & tailoring on all types of clothing, uniforms, jeans, costumes, window panels and pretty much everything else!
She is also acting manager for the boutique & is very knowledgeable in all things bridal...and basically in all things of life! Suny is my sidekick, my daily form of entertainment, my shoulder to cry on, my book of knowledge & my prayer warrior...she's my rock...and this is why most people now know her as 'Super Suny"- because she truly is! I've never met a harder working woman than Suny and this is why she has become very popular & highly respected in our community!
Suny came to the states from Cuba in the mid-80's and had always dreamed of owning her own alterations business. She lives locally with her supportive & always kind husband, and has 2 beautiful, grown children. Her 2 adorable grandsons are her ultimate pride and joy! Her chocolate poodle, Rocky, sometimes visits with us here!
Alterations & Tailoring Specialist Assistant
Lizzy is our newest addition to The Fancy Frock Family! In addition to being a very dear, personal friend to Suny, Lizzy is also originally from Cuba and moved to the U.S. in the late 90's. She has over 25 years of tailoring & alterations experience. She lives in Pasco County with her husband, son & dog, Rosie.
(Can you tell we are all animal lovers?!)
Boutique Hours: Mon - Fri 11-5, other hours by appointment
Boutique Phone: 83.973.1999
Weekend & evening hours available for private bridal appointments
Alterations Hours: Mon- Thurs 10-6, Fri 10-5
Alterations Phone: 813.973.1333
*Se Habla Espanol
1045 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel, FL 33544, US
We prefer to work by scheduled bridal appointments within the boutique, please call for availability and read the helpful info in the "Need to Know' section of our site!