Richmond’s newest bridal boutique, Annalise Bridal Boutique

Lindsey Livesay opens up about what drew her to the wedding business and how you can make your experience silky smooth.

Why Richmond, and why a bridal boutique?​

​Lindsey Livesay: I, a Tennessee native, moved to Richmond in 2013 with my husband, who was born and raised here. We moved from DC to be closer to family and have a bit of a slower paced lifestyle. At the time I was in the final months of planning our own wedding and, like a lot of brides, didn’t know what to do with myself when it was all over with!

I became enthralled with the wedding industry and all the creative avenues you can go down when planning a wedding. I went to school for business, knowing one day I would like to own my own business but not sure what that would be.

I actually first started researching what Richmond was missing within the wedding industry, and then a friend suggested I look into bridal shops. Once I did that, I realized there was a huge opportunity to bring something very special to Richmond that didn’t exist. I learned that many brides were traveling outside of Richmond and even Virginia to find designer dresses they desire. As I started a business plan, the idea of creating this business consumed my thoughts because I believed so firmly Richmond truly needed something like this.

Three years later my dream came true, and after seven months of business I am grateful for the support we’ve had and reassured that this is exactly where I was always meant to be.

What draws you to the wedding industry? And why this particular part of it?

LL: I strongly believe in marriage and the blessings it brings. I love that weddings bring your closest family and friends together to celebrate ​your love for each other, and it’s such a cheerful and beautiful time. The journey of being someone’s partner in life is not a cake walk, but to be able to look back on photos, video, or notes from your wedding day can always remind you of where it all started, and I love that.

My passion for dresses comes from my desire to make people happy. I love that I get to guide my brides to a gown that makes them feel the most beautiful. I not only want to help brides find the dress of their dreams, but I want to make the whole process from start to finish as fun, easy, and memorable as possible. There’s enough to stress about when a planning a wedding, so my goal is to make sure that finding the dress is stress-free and that each bride ends up 100% happy with her wedding day look!

What’s your advice for women who are just starting to shop for their dress?

LL: Start researching early. Learn about the time it can take for a dress to come in, the different styles to choose from, and price ranges of gowns or designers you might be interested in. It’s best to have a budget in mind when you begin to shop and consider the extra costs such as shipping, taxes, and alterations (which can range from $250-$500+). Find inspiration in magazines or online, but don’t overdo it! Pinterest can be useful but can also overwhelm brides with too much, so just be wary of that. Most importantly, many brides are surprised with what they end up choosing so keep an open mind throughout your shopping experience and you’ll likely find your dress sooner!​

How have you seen the wedding industry change, in your experience?

​​LL: The online/digital age has changed the wedding industry tremendously. There’s so much information, inspiration, ideas, etc. out there available at the click of a button. Most wedding planning is done online now and even smartphone apps that will help guide someone through the entire planning process. I think future digital innovation will continue to change the way the wedding industry works and wedding vendors have to be able to keep up with the ever-changing times.

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Find Annalise Bridal online, or just walk by the shop on 1309 E. Main Street and ooh and ahh. You’ll need to make an appointment before you get moving.

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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