Yes! To The Dress

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - by Ferris Robinson
Allison Brown Howell in a dress from Monica's.
Allison Brown Howell in a dress from Monica's.

The very first yes is to him, of course. To your darling fiancé who you will spend the rest of your life loving and honoring and cherishing.  

The very next yes it to, you guessed it, the DRESS. Immediately after you agree to the marriage, reserve the church and commit to a venue, you must find a dress you can say Yes! to. 

Your wedding is going to be your day. You are the star here, and you are going to stand out in whatever dress you choose, be it billowing white lace or an understated gown, or even a low-key suit. 

It is of utmost importance that your dress makes you feel special and beautiful, and is everything you ever imagined on this important day. Dolores Murphy of Monica's Bridal Salon says she's nothing more than a 'lady with experience.' But clearly she's much more. "After 15 years of helping brides choose their wedding dresses, I've learned a little," she admits.

Dolores gets to know the bride a little bit before the trying on of dresses. She listens to the bride's ideas, gets a feel for her personality and what sort of things she likes. Then Dolores presents her with choices to try, and they winnow down hundreds of choices to a final two or three.  

It sounds overwhelming, but Dolores says it's not as complicated as it sounds. "We basically listen to the bride, and pay attention to what she says. So really almost unconsciously the bride is choosing her dress just by talking to us," Dolores says. 

The styles change in wedding gowns just like the do with everything else, and the 'fit and flare' gown, sort of like a mermaid feel, is popular, as are the ball gown styles. But the strapless bridal dresses are the most popular. "We can add straps to them now," Dolores says. "Maybe just a lace neckline, or netting with a keyhole back." 

Obviously a wedding is a little more important than a cocktail party or a gala, and at Monica's it is treated as such. "I love my job," Dolores says. "I have a tiny picture of the bride when she first walks into the shop, and after I get to know what she likes and what kind of wedding she wants, I feel very involved. Then I get to know the family, the mother and siblings, and the groom and his family.... and well, I get very attached!" 

Dolores gives the bride feedback as she tries on dresses, and helps her choose the most flattering gown for her big day. "You really need to start thinking about the dress as soon as you have the church because it can take five months by the time everything is said and done," she says.  

The bridal gown sets the tone for the entire wedding, be it formal or understated, so everything hinges on the dress. The bridesmaid dresses are the next big decision, and their color affects everything as well, from the bouquets to the table linens to the flowers on the cake to the mother-of-the-bride dress. "I tell my brides to trust their own instinct when choosing the bridesmaid dresses. This is her day. I love the mothers. Their goal is the same as mine; to make sure the bride is happy." 

Dolores orders an extra swatch of fabric from the bridesmaid dresses, and insists the bride carries it in her purse. "You wouldn't believe how many times that material is matched up to flowers and linens and icing!" she says. 

It's that extra mile that makes Monica's special. "We provide turn-key service for the entire wedding party," she says. But clearly it's much more than that. It's personal for Dolores Murphy, and there's nothing she loves more than being part of a wedding. 

(Ferris Robinson can be contacted at ferrisrobinson@gmail.com)


Heather Hogan Phelps in a dress from Monica's.
Heather Hogan Phelps in a dress from Monica's.

McKamey Animal Center's Annual Doggie-1000-Egg Hunt Takes Place April 8

The annual Doggie-1000-Egg Hunt at the McKamey Animal Center, located at 4500 North Access Road in Chattanooga will be  Saturday April 8, starting promptly at  10:30 a.m . Early registration is encouraged starting at  9:30 a.m . The cost of the event is $5 per dog or two cans of dog food per dog entered. The donated canned food is used for the residents at ... (click for more)

Mayor And City Council Declare Vietnam Veterans Week

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, with the support of the Chattanooga City Council, has declared March 26-April 1, as ‘Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Week’. While Wednesday, March 29, has been declared by the U. S. Congress as Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Day, local government felt that more than one day should be designated to offer a ‘Thank You’ to the thousands of area veterans who ... (click for more)

2 Shot On Rawlings Street Friday Night; 1 In Critical Condition

Two people were shot, Friday night, and one is in critical condition. At approximately  9:56 p.m.  Chattanooga Police officers responded to the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on a report of a person shot. Officers arrived on scene and located one victim lying next to a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. A second victim arrived at a local hospital suffering from ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Geno: Our ‘Me’ Culture

By almost every measure, Geno Auriemma is the best basketball coach in America. His University of Connecticut women are riding a record 109-game winning streak that dates to Nov. 17, 2016. Stanford barely beat them in overtime 3 years ago, but, before that, they won 41 straight. That means UConn is 153-1 and, in the current 109 streak, they have double-figure wins over the opponents ... (click for more)