The Renewal :: An Interview with Annapolis Formal & Tuxedo

I’m so excited to share today’s renewal post with you! Why? Because it is my interview with Flavia from Annapolis Formal & Tuxedo! If you read my “Yes to the Dress” post and my “10 Things I Learned About Dress Shopping”, then you know how wonderful of an experience I had with Flavia and her mom, Dora, while shopping for my renewal dress(es) {NOPE, still not telling what/which dress(es) I chose!} So, I wanted to know more about this amazing shop, and Flavia was kind enough to answer all my questions! And, Liz and Ryan from Elizabeth Ryan Photography, took some great shots of Annapolis Formal to share with you too! Enjoy!

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about how your started Annapolis Formal?
A: Well, actually my uncle Andy Dziekan started Annapolis Formal almost 30 yrs ago! My mother Dora has been working at Annapolis Formal & Tuxedos since then.

Q: How long have you been in business?
A: I bought the store 3 yrs ago and love it!

Q: How do you suggest that a bride prepare for her first dress shopping appointment? Should she bring anything? Pictures, undergarments, shoes?
A: First, we believe it’s important when making an appointment to keep the number of your group to one or two individuals whose opinion you value the most. If you bring too many people, you end up leaving with your head spinning due to so many different opinions. Next, come in with an opened mind. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had brides against a certain style or fabric and end up buying exactly that! A good strapless bra and some heels are always a good idea for trying on wedding gowns. Pictures are good to give us an idea of what you like, but personally, I like to start from scratch. I watch to see what the brides pull from the racks and then I go from there.

Q: Do you need an appointment to try on dresses?
A: Yes appointments are a must…Our shop is a small and personal boutique and we want to give you our undivided attention!

Q: How long will the appointment last?
A: Appointments are 1 hr long, but don’t worry you’ve got plenty of time for decision making. Second appointments are common.

Q: I experienced the dress shopping “moment” at Annapolis Formal first hand. It was an amazing afternoon that I won’t forget. Can you share why you feel your shop is different than other, perhaps more commercial salons?
A: Well, our boutique is very small and we make it a point to be very personal. We’re definitely accommodating in terms of time, if you have a hectic schedule and can only come in after hours, no problem! We can stay open late for the working bride or open the shop a little earlier if need be! Also, the ladies in our shop have been doing this for a long time! Combined, we have over 27 years of experience! We have seen it all and are happy to share ideas and experiences with you. We also do not work on commission. We truly want you to be happy with your purchase, so we do not pressure you into anything. We want you to buy from us because you WANT to buy from us, not because you feel pressured. We don’t like pressure, a wedding is stressful enough!

Q: Since I fall into this category and I know there are probably a lot of brides that have this question, I want to ask how you handle situations where the bride might be concerned about the sample size dresses being too large or too small. Do you have a variety of sizes and styles for brides to try?
A: Designers send our gowns in sizes 10, 12 and a few 14. We clip the gowns in the back or hold them for you to get an idea of what the gown would look like. For the most part, you can get an idea of what the proper size will look like on you.

Q: Do you counsel brides on best fit/style for their body type?
A: First, I like to hear what they have in mind, and then I go from there. I ask them to pick out 3 or 4 gowns that they like and then I will pull gowns that I know will fit their shape best and have the brides try those on as well. Nine times out of 10 they end up choosing the gown I pulled :)

Q: What is the best piece of advice you would give a bride when choosing her wedding dress?
A: Don’t ever feel pressured into buying a gown and don’t talk yourself into liking a gown. It’s a huge investment and you have to LOVE everything about it!

Q: Do you have bridesmaids dresses too?
A: Yes we have long and short gowns.

Q: What about tuxes?
A: Do we? Yes and we’re so excited to have new styles for the spring! We have several wedding suits in charcoal, navy (which looks fantastic with our khaki pants..very nautical). Tuxedos are definitely fashion forward. We have new Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and few others that are European trim fit with flat front pants and the fabrics are super 100’s!

Q: And, attire for the little ones in the wedding too?
Q: Yes, we carry flower girl dresses and ring bearer tuxedos.

Q: Do you have a favorite dress or new trend in wedding dresses to share?
A: This is so hard to answer! I love all my gowns. There is a lot of lace this season and sleeves and straps are coming back! I do have a favorite fabric….. SILK! It feels like heaven!

Q: Describe Annapolis Formal in five individual words.
A: Friendly, Experienced , Honest, Intimate, Personal

And, there you have it!  If you are getting ready to start dress shopping or have struggled in finding the perfect dress, I would definitely make an appointment with Flavia at Annapolis Formal!  Happy dress shopping everyone!

One thought on “The Renewal :: An Interview with Annapolis Formal & Tuxedo

  1. I have worked part time at Annapolis Formal for 16 years…I worked briefly at another shop and have visited many other shops in Annapolis, Baltimore,Washington and Virginia…it is a priviledge to work for a “family” shop…a shop which puts people, and a great bridal experience, over any other concern….sure, we would love it if you found your perfect dream gown at AF…but if you don’t find your dress here, we want you to walk out the door smiling… with new knowledge of bridal couture and having had a wonderful experience…every bride deserves that and I think Flavia, Dora and the rest of the AF family provide that every day…

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