On the blog on Wednesday, Mark Ingram of Mark Ingram Atelier shared with us what his hopes are for each bride that steps through his door (you can find our Q&A with him here). Wanting to hear first-hand what the Mark Ingram experience is like as a bride-to-be, we asked some Mark Ingram brides for some insight, too. Below, three real Mark Ingram brides, Heather, Michelle and Erica offer advice on “the hunt,” and share their experiences as they sought out their ideal wedding dress at the Atelier.
What stood out to you about Mark Ingram Atelier?
Heather: Mark Ingram Atelier is like personal shopping for brides. They’ve curated a thoughtful collection of gowns, have great relationships with their designers, and lend expert advice. It’s clear Mark is involved in the day-to-day business and has hand-selected a team of unequaled individuals to celebrate his passion.
Michelle: They actually listen to you. I’m a very particular person and I know exactly what I want. Often times places will try to pin what they want or what is the trend of the moment on you. Not there, they actually strive to fulfill your needs and what works best for your body.
Erica: The entire experience. Indira could not have been more delightful to work with as well as the rest of the team. I knew when I walked in I would be leaving having picked out my dress. I love that there were not racks of dresses to go through. Indira did a great job of getting to know me, the style of my wedding and style I was looking to achieve. She really took the time to understand and my dress exceeding my weediest expectations.
What made the experience of selecting your gown at Mark Ingram special?
Heather: This one’s easy…Alene. Alene is fabulous and has fitted many of my closest friends.
Michelle: They got personal with me. They weren’t afraid to tell me if something wasn’t working or to offer their opinions. So many people like to yes a bride to death. Again they actually listen and pay attention. They really took the time to get to know me and help me make the right decisions. This didn’t just go for my dress, this went for my shoes, accessories and even how I should wear my hair.
Erica: Hands down, Indira. I had just come from another designer and my mom and I were sort of “blah” about about everything I tried on. From start to finish she was amazing. I knew I wanted to wear Inbal Dror. I told her I wanted to look “pretty” but wanted my husband to walk down the aisle and say, “Damn, my wife is hot.” She laughed then brought out the most stunning gowns I had ever seen. She nailed it. Indira brought out the veil and that’s when my mom and I lost it.
Do you have advice for a bride-to-be searching for her ideal wedding gown?
Heather: Work with someone who comes highly recommended and will give you honest, expert advice. Let that person guide you to be more adventurous in your search. There is rarely an “Aha!” moment. Try new styles and designers. See what works and go back to the top two or three. This is such a fun process, does anyone really mind trying on more dresses?
Michelle: Try and think a little outside the box and a little outside your comfort zone. This isn’t a time for your everyday look. This is your day to really standout and look incredible. I was so stuck on how I thought I should look and nothing I tried on worked. As soon as I took a little leap and tried something a little different it was a game changer.
Erica: Do some research ahead of time. Be open minded to dresses, try on different styles. I hear stories of brides going to five to ten different designers or wedding ateliers and they end up even more confused each time they go. Sounds like my worst nightmare. Limit the amount of people you go with. There are really only a few opinions that matter. I suggest mom and sister – they will be honest because they want you to look your best and happiest on your wedding day.
How did it feel to step into your dress on your wedding day?
Heather: Predictable. Mark’s team of tailors are unmatched. Debbie had apprenticed for Peter Langner in Italy – she knew his lines and how not to compromise the look and feel of the dress when custom fitting it. We got as creative as sizing a bodice prior to Peter making the gown, so that it would fit like a glove and we wouldn’t have to go back in through all the delicate detail. I don’t think I have or will have another piece of clothing fit better than that dress. Now I just need an excuse to wear it again.
Michelle: Like a queen.
Heather, Bride – Heather & Warwick were married last September at Grace Church in NYC. Heather wore a Peter Langner gown from Mark Ingram Atelier. See the details of their day here.
Michelle, Bride – Michelle & Matt were married last fall on the beach in Montauk, New York. Michelle wore an Anne Barge gown from Mark Ingram Atelier. See the details of their day here.
Erica, Bride – Erica & Marcus were married last in February at The University Club. Erica wore an Inbal Dror gown from Mark Ingram Atelier. See the details of their day here.
Photos by Ira Lippke and Nathan Smith
Photos 1-3: Heather & Warwick at The Tennis & Racquet Club, by Ira Lippke
Heather wears Peter Langner from Mark Ingram Atelier
Photos 4-6: Michelle & Matthew at The Crow’s Nest, by Nathan Smith
Michelle wears Anne Barge from Mark Ingram Atelier
Photos 7-9: Erica & Marcus at The University Club by Jason Walker
Erica wears Inbal Dror from Mark Ingram Atelier