5 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping from Expert Isabel O'Neil
March 26, 2014
We've been known to swoon over a gorgeous dress or two on occasion here at SMP. A dress is the heart of a bride's beautiful presence, so it's only fitting that choosing a dress should be an equally memorable occasion. Enter Isabel O'Neil. Not only was this modern boutique started by a real bride, it's an experience filled to the brim with pretty. Keep reading for our interview with Isabel and her tips!
SMP: What inspired you to open your own bridal boutique?

IO: I always had an interest in working within some aspect of the wedding industry since college. In recent years and since my dress shopping experience six years ago, I discovered that there were limited options for brides, not only for the gowns but also the experience. I had to purchase my gown in California and many of the brides that I know have had to go out of town to find their gown. I saw a gap in the Tampa bridal market and just knew it was the perfect place to open the boutique.
SMP: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the design of your boutique?

IO: The inspiration behind the design and styling of the boutique was to create a modern and luxurious space where brides and their parties would feel welcome and relaxed. There is a lot of influence from the Hollywood Regency style and many of the pieces used were vintage and some pieces were refurbished by me with the help of a designer/friend (Lori DeGroot – Eldee Design)! It has an intimate feel with a great seating area for the brides’ loved ones.
SMP: Who is the Isabel O’Neil bride?

IO: An Isabel O’Neil bride has an eye for detail, admires quality and design and has an appreciation of service. She is a bride who is looking to reflect her amazing style in her entire wedding. She doesn’t want to feel like every other bride and is looking for a gown that speaks to her style and personality.
SMP: Can you describe the experience a bride will have at Isabel O’Neil?

IO: The belief at Isabel O’Neil Bridal Collection is to provide a unique and personalized shopping experience for brides that will be enjoyable and unforgettable. The boutique is open by appointment, so brides will have privacy and the freedom to spend the time they need to select gowns and try them on for friends and family while sipping on champagne and receiving unparalleled service. The boutique carries an exclusive assortment of couture gowns, veils, and accessories and is the only one in the bay area featuring wedding gown designs by Romona Keveza, Ines Di Santo and Alyne.

1. Start shopping for your gown at least 9 months prior to your wedding date.

2. Only bring friends and family to your appointments that are important to you and supportive!

3. For appointments and fittings, come with make-up on and your hair done like you would on a date, so that you feel good about yourself when you are trying the gowns on.

4. Don't be afraid to try on different silhouettes.

5. Never judge a gown by the way it looks on a hanger or mannequin!
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Bridal Boutique and Dresses: Isabel O'Neil Bridal Collection | Photography: Amy Pezzicara, Pezz Photo