Category Archives: wedding

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Boho Chic Wedding Styled Shoot

Usually when we do a styled shoot, we have one bride and maybe couple of bridesmaids. When our friends at Spago and Soli Photography approached us about doing a Boho Chic Wedding styled shoot with 5 brides, we thought they might be crazy! But hey, we are a little crazy ourselves, so we jumped right in…

It was a hot summer day here in Chattanooga, and trekking through the Tennessee Riverpark was not our ideal way to spend the afternoon, but the light and colors were SO worth it. The results were just gorgeous. These models were so uniquely beautiful and fit right in with what we are calling Boho Chic. See some of our fave images from the day below- although it was hard to narrow it down!

Vivienne Willowby by Watters

Tait & Shae Together Forever Separates by Martina Liana

Headpiece by Malis Henderson Designs Tyler & Sanja Together Forever Separates by Martina Liana

Taye & Peyton Together Forever Separates by Martina Liana

Malta Willowby by Watters

Thank you so much to all of the models and vendors who worked incredibly hard to make this shoot happen! You are all rock stars at what you do. Thank you for including us in the fun. We loved playing dress up with you!

Hair: Lele Hayes and Kara Burchard at Spago
Makeup: Candace Hernandez and Grace Young at Spago
Florals: Kaitlin with Petaline Floral
Gowns: Styled by Monica’s Bridal – Designers include: WTOO, Willowby by Watters, Martina Liana Together Forever Separates Headpiece: Malis Henderson
Pictures: Soli Photography

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Getting Ready for Our SAMPLE SALE!!

It’s that time of year again babes- time for our second annual Sample Sale! In order to make room for all the gorgeousness we are ordering for next season, we need to find homes for some of our gowns. This is a golden opportunity for you! To get you ready, we put together a few tips on how to make the most of our Sample Sale, happening September 5th – 9th, 2017.

  • At our sample sale, discounted gowns and accessories can be up to 80% off- but remember, these are not the current season’s styles. The discount will vary based on the style, age and condition of the gowns. We do our very best to make sure all of our sample gowns stay in great shape, so rest assured, the selection will be fabulous!


  • Sample sale shopping is not for the faint of heart! You should already have a good idea of the shape or style that you are looking for. Try on different shapes, if only to exclude them quickly and move on to what you love most. And be prepared to purchase that day- we will not hold gowns for any length of time.


  • This isn’t the time for your whole bride tribe to come. With minimal fitting rooms and space, things can get very crowded during the sale. We recommend bringing one friend that you trust and will give you honest, decisive feedback.


  • No repairs or cleaning will be done to the gowns. If you do want something fixed, you will have to pay the alterations fee for that repair. But remember! If the hem is slightly marked, or a few pieces of lace have frayed, these are easy, inexpensive fixes that our alterations department can take care of for you (and the gown has be discounted accordingly, so this should all balance out).


  • While you do not have to use our alterations department, gowns purchased at the sale are eligible for alterations in store. Appointments must be made for a minimum of 8 weeks before the event.


  • Sample gowns will be required to be paid in full on the date of purchase. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges will be given.


  • Sample size gowns are not all small sizes! In fact, they will range in size from a 2-30 (street size 0-26).


  • Come ready to have fun! As always, we want you to have the best experience possible when shopping for your gown. This is what we built our reputation on, and what we truly believe in. For this reason, appointments will be required Tuesday- Friday, but on Saturday, no appointment is necessary! We will be open normal business hours (10 am- 6pm Monday-Friday, and 10 am-5 pm on Saturday). Our stylists will be on hand on Saturday to answer any questions you may have and provide help however we can!


Happy Shopping!!!


The Monica’s Girls


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Dressing a Queen for the Chattanooga Cotton Ball

We were so incredibly honored to dress the Queen this year for the annual Chattanooga Cotton Ball. The Queen, Virginia, is one of the sweetest Belles we’ve ever had, and it was a thrill for us to work with her on this project. Not only did she get her gown with us, a gorgeous Watters Bridal Gown named Marion, but we also had the pleasure of helping to design and build her an entirely new train. We have worked with the Chattanooga Cotton Ball for 20 years now, and traditionally the Queen has borrowed a gown and a train from a former Queen. Not this year! Check our our behind the scenes pictures!

Obligatory selfie before the Queen arrives!


















Close ups! Check out that back detail y’all, I mean OMG…

That mantle is no joke y’all. It is HEAVY! Queen Virginia is a real trooper.


“Crowning” the Chattanooga Cotton Ball Queen


Time to pose for the media! Oh look- it’s the King! 😀

Last looks before being revealed! Look at those cute train bearers!!

The Chattanooga Cotton Ball actually started in 1933 as a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital. Agencies that benefit from the Ball focus on helping women and children. This year’s Chattanooga Cotton Ball was a tremendous success. While we don’t have all of the final numbers, the funds raised this year will benefit Little Miss Mag, Northside Neighborhood House and Chambliss Center for Children. A beautiful night for such a worthwhile cause!


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What to Expect at Your Bridal Appointment

Shopping for a wedding dress should be fun and exciting! That said, so many brides aren’t sure what to expect when they come to their first bridal appointment. There’s only one of each dress? You’re in the room with me? Can I bring everyone I know??  So to help with those questions,  here’s the low-down on what you can expect from your first bridal appointment and how to best prepare for a fun day!

  • Do a little homework

OK, this is not as hard as it sounds! Get on Pinterest (like you don’t have a wedding board already ;P) and pin some gowns that you like. Better yet, visit our designers’ page here and check out the designers we have in our store. If you like any of the gowns, pin them! Pictures are so helpful when you have a specific vision for your gown because sometimes it’s hard to put that vision into words. Then when you come to your appointment you can show us your ideas and that goes a long way towards us being as helpful as possible to you!

  • Trust your stylist

We promise we won’t make you put on anything you hate- you’re the boss after all! But, we will make suggestions if we feel like you are leaning towards something different than what your original “vision” was. “I know I want a ball gown” turns into “OMG I look fabulous in this fit and flare” in just a matter of minutes. Wedding gowns are structured better than any piece of clothing you’ve ever owned, so you may be surprised by what shape you actually end up loving yourself in. Know that we, above all, want you to be happy and make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the room so be open to trying something different. And yes, we will take credit when you choose something that we picked 😀

  • Did we just become best friends??

Girl, we are going to get up close and personal by the end of your bridal appointment. We will be in the dressing room with you so wear undergarments that you don’t mind us seeing! We’ve seen everything, so you can’t surprise us, but fair warning, you’ll probably lose your bra by the end of the appointment. We here at Monica’s also provide you a long line corset bra to try gowns on, so don’t worry about bringing a strapless with you. Our bras have lower backs than traditional strapless bras, so they tend to look better. And frankly, you probably won’t wear one on the big day, so don’t get too wrapped up in the whole bra thing.

  • Mind your “B”

No one likes the word “budget” but we encourage you to keep it in mind. As stylists, we will always attempt to be respectful of what you tell us that number is. We get asked a lot to try on gowns that are outside of a bride’s budget “because we’re just trying on for style.” We are happy to put you in anything you want (again, you’re the boss babe here), but the worst part of our job is watching the heartbreak on your face when you fall in love with a gown you can’t afford. If you know you’ve got a hard limit, try to stick to it.

  • We repeat, you are the Boss Babe

Having your friends and family with you at your bridal appointment is awesome. It’s a special day that they are very excited to be a part of, but remember, they are there because they love YOU! That said, your opinion is the most important one in the room. If you don’t like a dress- tell us! If you don’t want to try something on that your cousin brought to us, don’t! You run the show today girl. Make sure that you choose a dress for yourself and no one else (not even your groom- yeah, we said it)!

  • Your second grade teacher doesn’t need to be there

Ok, we are being funny here, but you really don’t need your ENTIRE bride tribe there. Too many opinions can be overwhelming and take the focus off of you and what you are really looking for. Plus, sometimes too many people can make it hard to hear your own thoughts, literally. (Seriously, we women are LOUD!) We suggest your mom, MOH, and maybe your future mother-in-law. At a Monica’s appointment, for instance, there are only three chairs per dressing room. We will allow you to bring as many peeps as you deem necessary, but only three will have a chair.

  • This can be super fun or stressful and confusing

We like to think wedding dress shopping is the second most fun thing in the wedding process, right after the proposal. However, it can easily go south if you put too much pressure on yourself. Some brides go to 10 different stores to make sure they don’t miss anything- and guess what they tell us? Everything starts to run together and look alike, and most of them come back to the first dress that they really loved. If your gown checks off every box on your list, you feel great in it, and you don’t want to take it off- you’ve probably found your wedding gown!

  • Find your sweet spot

We know how exciting this time is; you’re newly engaged and you are just dying to try on to see yourself in a wedding dress and experiment with styles. We recommend shopping at least 8-10 months before your wedding so that there is not only ample time for ordering and alterations. And (see above) so you don’t confuse yourself by trying on 300 gowns! Of course, once you find THE gown, the sooner you can order, the better. This will alleviate so much stress since so many decisions about décor, flowers, etc. can be based on your dress. Side note, if you don’t have a venue (which will dictate your date) how can you paint yourself into the picture in a wedding gown? We find it’s best to wait to come shopping until you’ve got your venue on lock.

  • Sample sizes and bridal sizing are annoying

If we carried a wedding dress in every size available we’d need a huge warehouse AND they’d cost $10,000 each to cover our overhead. For those reasons, we only get one or two of each gown. The size range spans from size 8-28 (yes, we have plus sizes!). The dress you try on might not fit you perfectly, but we do our very best to show you how the gown will fit and look on you. Once you say “yes” to a wedding dress, we will take your measurements and help you choose a size that will fit you best. And while we’re on that subject- ignore the numbers! Bridal sizes run 2-3 sizes different from our regular clothes. Ignore them- they are ridiculous and mean nothing!

  • Crying is NOT required

Although we do keep tissues on hand, not everyone cries. If you do- awesome! (Ok, that sounds mean, but it’s always sweet to see a misty-eyed bride say “yes.”) If you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t found THE dress. You didn’t cry the last time you found the perfect pair of jeans, did you? Not that we’re judging 🙂


We could literally write a book about bridal appointments, so we know we’ve left some things out. If you have more questions, call or email us! We are here to help, and we can’t wait to see you!

XOXO, The Monica’s Girls

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Martina Liana Tester Show June 10th!

We are SO EXCITED to announce that we will be having a Martina Liana Tester Show this June (June 10th to be exact)! Martina Liana was kind enough to choose us for this exclusive show two years ago and we are super honored to host one again.



So what’s a TESTER show??

A Tester show, my dear, is an exclusive look at a designers gowns that have never been seen by the public. In fact, these are the gowns they are working on for Spring of 2018! Designers use these shows to get feedback on things like fit, colors, fabrics, and consumer preferences. Do ladies want longer trains? Is lace still a thing? More sparkle??

Then they take these notes back and make changes to the gowns to be reflect what their customers want. Sometimes, they may even cut gowns from the line and do not produce them.



But what if I order a gown that gets cut from the line?

Then you, love, just hit the jackpot. If you order a gown at a Tester show, but it is changed or cut from the line, they will still make the gown for you! So you could end up with a ONE OF A KIND wedding gown! Def worth some bragging rights in our book.

So what you need to know about our Martina Liana Tester Show, coming up June 10th?

  • First, check out Martina Liana to see if that’s your style. We will be exclusively featuring these gowns that weekend, so it’s a good idea to make sure that they are generally the look you are going for.
  • Second, know that these gowns are priced from about $2000 and go up from there. Also, delivery on these gowns will not start until 2018, so your wedding must be scheduled for January 2018 or later.
  • Third, make an appointment! As always, that day we will be appointment only and you MUST have one in order to try on gowns.  Appointments last about 90 minutes, and although we welcome as many of your family and friends as you’d like to bring, please keep in mind that there are only three chairs per dressing room.


We can’t wait to see everyone- and we can’t wait to see these gowns! You’ll be seeing them for the first time- just like us!!


Gowns: Martina Liana Styled by Monica’s Bridal

Hair and Makeup: Spago

Photography: Soli Photography

Florals: Petaline Floral

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Whimsical Two Piece Wedding Dress Styled Shoot

We had the privilege of working with some amazing vendors on a styled shoot, and the results are nothing short of amazing! Just goes to show that when you put talented people together and ask them to do what comes naturally, great things happen!

We hiked down Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, Georgia to find this gorgeous little water fall. The other hikers were not real sure about what a bunch of women carrying makeup, garment and camera bags were doing in their inner sanctum, but they were very gracious in letting us share their space.

Our model, Amber, simply killed it- I mean look at that stare y’all! And can we talk about these flowers? Succulents and the most decadent flower crown I’ve ever seen. That thing was heavy, but Amber didn’t seem to mind.

Amber’s whimsical two piece wedding dress is a fav of ours here at Monica’s Bridal. It is part of the Martina Liana Together Forever Separates line (specifically the Cody Corset and Shae Skirt).

This line allows brides to mix and match pieces to make the perfect gown for them. Often, brides are scared of two piece gowns- they think that they have to show some midriff! To that we say- nah girl! Of course, if that’s in your wheelhouse, we are happy to help you show a little skin, but typically a two piece gown will fit together to look like a full gown. Usually people can’t even tell. But if you prefer, you can have the two pieces sewn together to make one whole gown.

Another plus to having a two piece dress is the ability to wear your wedding dress again in lots of different ways. We’ve had brides change into a short shirt for their reception or wedding exit, and we’ve had brides wear their top and a skirt (or even pants! gasp!) to anniversary dinners or other events. One bride even cut her skirt short and did an anniversary wedding shoot with it! Let’s not forget the ever important (ahem) bridal lingerie. And of course, you need something to wear on your honeymoon, right?? It’s a shame to put the most beautiful gown that you’ll ever wear in a closet forever, why not wear part of it again? #smartinvesting 😉

(Editors Note: We do not recommend using this to get your sweet parents to up the budget- but we won’t stop you from asking!) 

Don’t ask about the hike back up- there may have been more than one Snapchat that showed us about to die (did I mention we aren’t hikers?). But we made it! And of course, there was chilled champagne waiting on us in the car- so all’s well that ends well, right??


Photography: Brittany Photographs

Gown: Martina Liana Separates by Monica’s Bridal

Hair & Makeup: Amanda Ryan Hair

Flowers: Blooming Collective TN