Felicia Events sat down with Michelle Depoali to talk about Swoon Bridal, her wedding dress boutique located in Reno.
She gave us some insight into the wonder that is shopping for a wedding dress.
Felicia Events: Tell us a little bit about Swoon Bridal. What sort of services do you offer?
Michelle Depoali: I opened Swoon seven years ago after working in the bridal industry in San Francisco. I am from Reno (fifth generation Nevadan) and we were getting so many brides from Reno who had traveled to the city to find more fashionable wedding gowns. The time felt right to move back to my hometown and open Swoon. I love Reno and I love bridal and so it was a perfect mix.
We work to have an edited collection of the best designer wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and accessories. We work really hard to have an interesting and diverse collection. Fashion is important to us. Quality is important to us. I love beautiful things and want to share them with our brides. We’ve diversified the Swoon price point in the last few seasons. We have found some great wedding gowns around $1,000 we love and can stand behind. The collection starts around $1,000 and goes up from there.
We offer a personal experience. We care about every bride who walks in the door and that we find her the very right thing. It’s an intimate and sometimes really long relationship we foster with our customers. Our brides always tell us coming to Swoon was their favorite part of wedding planning. We love that.
FE: What is a typical experience for a bride who comes to Swoon?
MD: We see brides by appointment. Finding a wedding dress is really a process and so it takes time and focus. We chat with brides about what they think they want, walk through the store and pick out some starting places, and then get the brides into the gowns. Trying on gowns is the best work they can do. Most brides land somewhere different than where they thought they would. It’s fun to watch brides surprise themselves. It’s exciting for us because we live and die wedding gowns and so we can offer an expertise our customers really value and trust. It’s wonderful to make women feel beautiful in ways they have never quite experienced.
FE: You’ve won quite a few awards. How did that feel and did it change your business in any way?
MD: I’ve always maintained the highest of standards—it’s just the Swoon standard. Our awards are awesome, but at the end of the day, I just want our brides to be happy and so we are always working toward that goal.
FE: What’s the best advice you can offer a bride who’s just starting the wedding planning process?
MD: I would advise brides to be open-minded. We don’t wear clothes like wedding gowns everyday and so it’s hard to know what is going to be just right. I would also advise brides to limit the number of guests they bring with them to shop. It can look fun to invite ten people, but it’s a really personal decision and sometimes those decisions are best made with a couple of trusted friends and family members. Finally, I would say to think about budget. Again, it can be hard to know once you get into the thick of shopping what you will want to spend, but it’s helpful to have some sense of what is comfortable and doable.
FE: Finding a wedding dress is a big deal and every bride wants THE ONE. How do you personalize the experience for each bride?
MD: We really try to get to know our brides. A wedding dress should feel like the person who is wearing it and so we try to understand who she is and how that is best expressed. We always say you don’t want your wedding dress to feel like a costume. We also try to keep things in perspective. A wedding dress is a big decision, but not the biggest decision of one’s life. It’s a fun decision. We try to keep things fun for everyone.
FE: You have sample sales occasionally. Can you offer some tips for brides who might want to attend a sample sale?
MD: The sample sale is for a bride who has done some shopping and is ready to make a decision. With a sample sale there is one dress marked at one price for a limited time. A sample sale is for the bargain hunter who is willing to accept some imperfections with her gown to get a killer price. It’s a fun and smart way to buy a dress for certain, but it’s not for everyone.
Thank you Michelle for your time - Felicia Event loves sharing what our community has to offer!
Be sure to go visit Swoon Bridal
530 West Plumb Lane Reno, NV (775) 826-0505
Photography Credit - Courtney Aaron Photography