Upscale + Bridal + Consignment = Loveliest? / by Anna Whitener

As a new Knoxville business with a unique twist on a traditional concept, many folks are trying to figure out exactly what it means to be an “upscale bridal consignment boutique.” Upscale and consignment may not initially sound like they belong in the same sentence, let alone bridal and boutique (gasp!). So…I’ve decided to answer some FAQs in order to explain why those words come together to create a concept that not only works, but defines bridal - at its “Loveliest.”

1.     Are your dresses cheap?

  • Simply put, no. If you are looking for the least expensive dress you can find, I would not suggest Loveliest. There are several local options for dresses under $1,000 that I can recommend.
  • Our focus is on VALUE, so we offer designer dresses that typically retail for $2,000 - $7,000 at 25-70% off of their initial retail price.
  • Loveliest strives to offer designer dresses that you would otherwise have to travel outside of Knoxville to find. The intake process for consignment is selective and ensures we carry a range of wedding gowns distinct from other local stores.

2.     Does consigned mean all your dresses are used?

  • This one is all about semantics.
  • Some of Loveliest’s dresses have in fact been worn in a wedding. If so, they have been professionally dry-cleaned and often come with the advantage of having a bustle already added!
  • Most of the Loveliest inventory comes from other upscale boutiques. These dresses are known as sample dresses and have been tried on by other brides but not worn outside of the retail setting and generally not without the constant care and oversight of a bridal consultant.
  • Additionally, some of our gowns come from brides who purchased wedding dresses they did not end up wearing. Minds change…so do sizes! We love these brand new dresses and the ability to offer you a discount on them!
  • Finally, Loveliest also stocks Sara Gabriel veils and accessories, made by hand in Colorado and two made-to-order dress lines: Olia Zavozina (handmade in Nashville), and starting in January, Pronovias Atelier (handmade in Barcelona).
  • As we order new collections in coming years, the samples we carry in these lines will be sold off the rack like the consigned samples we have received from other boutiques.

3.     How many dresses do you carry?

  • Depending on when we last received a shipment of samples from another boutique and how many individuals have consigned their dresses in recent days, our stock ranges from 50 – 70 dresses.
  • We intentionally do not want to carry so many that you become easily overwhelmed. Additionally, we focus on unique dresses and other than our two made-to-order lines do not intend to carry multiples of the same dress.
  • Of course, as brides continue to say “yes to their loveliest,” we will seek an ever-changing selection of great designer dresses to accommodate a broad range of sizes, styles, and price points.

4.     Will I have to have my dress altered?

  • Most likely.
  • These alterations can be quite similar to a made-to-order dress. A wedding dress ordered in a particular size typically requires the hem to be taken in, the bustle to be added, and often a few other tweaks, as most women are not the same size in the chest, waist, and hips, and dresses must be ordered in the size that coincides with her fullest measurement.

5.     Do you handle alterations in house?

  • Trust me, you do not want me personally altering your dress, but yes, Loveliest works with a skilled local seamstress (who happens to also be incredibly sweet and love her brides as much as I do!) trained in the bridal industry. She is available to meet with brides at the boutique on Thursdays as needed.

6.     Beyond the unique consigned couture dresses you offer, what makes Loveliest different?

  • Appointments in which the entire boutique is reserved for you and your guests!
  • Personalized touches based on your personality and preferences!
  • Flexible schedule!
  • Extended appointment times!
  • Beautiful, comfortable, cozy boutique!
  • My genuine excitement and support for you in this stage of your wedding planning journey!