Leslie Rosenbaum, Lillian Ruth Bride by Wedding Wonderland, 9 Market Square, Suite 201, Knoxville, August 2017
Slipping into a second story walk-up, Lillian Ruth Bride by Wedding Wonderland opened quietly last week at 9 Market Square, just above Soccer Taco. It joins Red Door Photography representing second floor retail on the square. Leslie Rosenbaum is the owner, having purchased the business recently. Previously located in west Knoxville, Wedding Wonderland became Lillian Ruth Bride by Wedding Wonderland with the change in ownership.
Leslie explained that the name is her grandmother’s and the move to Market Square was something she felt was needed as brides have come to expect an experience when they select their dresses and the kind of space she now occupies is consistent with the vibe young women desire.
Originally from Knoxville, Leslie has lived in Nashville since 2003 and, while there, worked in four different bridal shops beginning in 2006. The shops ranged in size from small boutiques to very large stores, but she knew she wanted to put her stamp on a business of her own. She moved back to Knoxville with that intention and closed on the business just last week and realized her vision of a smaller, downtown location.
Not wanting a suburban “box” she loves the exposed brick and hardwood floors in her new store. She also felt the size needed to be large enough to be functional, but not so large that it lost its personal feel. And of the second floor location, she says a bridal shop is a destination, not something that requires foot traffic generated on the street. She’s seen it work before and she’s confident this will be no different. They’ve already had young women coming to appointments which were made when the store was out west and the response to the new location has been very positive.
She envisions mothers and daughters or young women and their friends making a day of it by having lunch downtown, coming for the selection and fitting and then having margaritas downstairs at Soccer Taco afterward. Soccer Taco is a key in this case because you enter the restaurant and take a sharp left through a door that leads to the stairs to the business. It’s up one flight.
The store sells new bridal gowns along with accessories like veils. The five designers’ gowns represented include Enzoani, Justin Alexander, Lea Ann Belter, Kenneth Winston and Astrid and Mercedes. Prices range from $1,000 to $5,000, which Leslie says represents a mid-range for wedding dresses. Mother of the bride and bridesmaids dresses are also available. Stock in the store will switch every six months as new fashions are introduced. Alterations are outsourced locally and vendors are welcome to bring cards to the store to be shared with prospective brides.
Each bride making an appointment will have a personal consultant who will work with them from the beginning to the end of the process. A major reason for providing the continuity is to allow the bride to learn more about the process as they are guided through toward the wedding day, developing a time line for when decisions have to be made and orders placed.
Leslie says the days are gone in which a set of dresses and a mirror was all that was required to make a bride happy. Television shows about the process have caused young women to expect more. They want photos for Instagram and they want a cool background. They want their television show. She says while the average is about an hour and a half to pick a dress, some brides try on a dress or two and are done. It’s a personal thing.
It’s a new store, a new look and location, but it has a trusted history in Knoxville and Leslie hopes to keep that history and spirit of service alive for a long time. Come in and look through 150 dresses to get started on your personal bridal journey. You can also give them a “like” on their Facebook Page, follow them on Instagram or check out the website.
At least stop in and say, “hello,” to Leslie (and Liz who moved from the other store) and welcome our newest downtown business. Store hours are 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Tuesday through Friday and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome during the week.