For nearly three decades, eager brides-to-be have turned to Jo Ann Owers when searching for the perfect wedding gown. As the creative force behind the store she opened in 1986, Jo Ann has turned Brides & Belles of Tyler into one of the top bridal shops in East Texas. Her secret? Staying ahead of the trends and offering stellar service along the way. “Our goal is quality, value and superb service,” Jo Ann says. “That is the same motto that we have used for the entire 27 years that we have been in business.”
“We are always happy to be part of our bride’s shopping experience and we hope we make a new friend in the process,” Jo Ann exclaims. “Every bride is an individual and wants a unique experience. It still gives me a thrill when we are part of that wonderful occasion.” Jo Ann states, “It is the bride, and not her budget, that is important.” With over 500 bridal gowns to select from in prices ranging from under $200 to over $2,000, Brides & Belles of Tyler is sure to offer the perfect gown to fit every pocketbook.
In addition to the 500 gowns in stock, they also provide a sizable shoe department with over 100 styles perfect for the bride and special occasion customer with prices ranging from $50 and to $160. They offer satins that can be custom dyed as well as many metallic finish shoes, featuring gold, silver, platinum and bronze. “Many customers comment that we have more shoes than some shoe stores,” Jo Ann comments.
One challenge she welcomes is finding the right bridesmaid gown for the wedding party. There are so many options and Brides & Belles prides themselves on having some of the best dresses in that category.
Whether your budget for those special attendees is $99 or $250, Brides & Belle’s has over 600 styles to choose from. They can assist brides in finding a good compromise in style when several body types are involved in the wedding party and most dresses can be ordered in sizes 0-30.
Brides and their wedding party should start their shopping excursion as soon as the beautiful bride is engaged. Gowns can be ordered three to four months ahead of time and will prevent the extra expense of a rush cut charge and the added pressure of time constraints.
And since no true Southern Belle can be whole without her accessories, Brides & Belle’s also provides a range of evening bags, jewelry, gloves, headpieces and veils to complete every ensemble.
“The reason we attend five markets a year is because we want to have the newest and hottest accessories for our customers coming in all the time,” she adds.
Over the years the company has grown considerably.
Starting with less than 1,800 square feet, the shop now exhibits more than 6,500 square feet to host its impressive inventory. Now, almost 30 years after opening her doors, Owers is proud to say that she still loves coming into work, helping young brides and making new connections.
So, as you approach your special day in the sun, know that Jo Ann, Phyllis and their committed staff have built a reputation for making already stunning brides sparkle throughout the East Texas region.
Ask the Expert
Q: Are there any new wedding dress trends you’re especially excited about right now?
A: There are several new wedding dress trends that I am especially excited about. First of all, I’m particularly excited that sleeves are back! Also, bateau necklines, which are similar to a boat neck, are incredibly flattering to a lot of brides, and usually have a complimentary “V” or low backline. We really like this look for Spring 2013. Key-hole backlines are another popular back detail that appeal to many brides. Lace continues to be a hot ticket for Spring and Summer weddings.
Q: Is there a specific shape/style of gown that looks good on most body types?
A: An A-line dress with a fitted bodice can flatter any figure for a bride-to-be, whether she’s very slim or a bit curvier. The flaired skirt on an A-line dress accommodates all shapes and sizes as is flows gently from high hip to the floor.
Q: What information should a bride be prepared to share with their consultant when shopping for a gown?
A: When a bride first arrives at my store for her consultation, she must be prepared to share three very important pieces of information: her wedding date, the location and her budget. If it’s an outdoor wedding in the summer, I would show her different styles than I would if she were having it in a church at 7 p.m. at night! In regards to her budget, I would not want to show her dresses that were out of her comfort zone. Starting with these three pieces of information is very helpful.
Q: What’s your number one money-saving tip for couples on a tight budget?
A: My number one tip for a couple on a tight budget is to start your planning early; remember that if you give yourself six to 12 months to plan and pay for your wedding, it’s much easier to budget. At Brides & Belles we offer an easy, no-interest layaway plan for our brides that helps with this common issue.
Brides & Belles of Tyler
3524 S. Broadway Ave.
Tyler, TX 75701