Customized gowns within reach

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After combining sugar, spice and everything nice, little girls grow up and meet their very own Prince Charmings; however, finding the right dress can be just as difficult as locating the owner of the lost glass slipper.
A local dress shop has different ideas on how to make navigating the confusing world of finding the perfect dress a bit easier.

Thirty years ago, local businesswoman Pam Weight auditioned for a stake musical and in the closing scene her character needed to wear a white dress.

“I wanted to have something that I thought that people would wear in heaven,” Weight said. “I wanted something that was really feminine and really beautiful. That is how my business started.”

Weight put her sewing skills to work and created a costume for herself. After the play was over, Weight continued to receive compliments on the dress. After four months, she decided to start a business.

“From the beginning, I knew that the dresses needed to be rentals,” Weight said. “They needed to be up-to-date with the styles and trends and they needed to be affordable. I was so excited about the idea, I knew I’d figure it out.”

Beginning in early April and going through about mid-September, Weight estimated she sees about 30 brides each weekend.

A few years ago, a BYU co-ed did a survey to find some of the fears brides have with renting a dress. In her survey, she found girls want to make sure their dresses are in style, clean, fit well and they can have it for as long as they need.

Weight made sure to address all of these issues. Her team makes sure they’re on top of all the latest trends by going to shows and events.

“These are the most popular styles with my twist,” Weight said. “We limit how many we make because we don’t want everybody to have the same dress.”

Every dress is cleaned and preserved immediately after each rental. Brides have individual consultations and fittings to be sure everything is perfect for their special day. A dress may be rented for five consecutive days.

“I can’t tell you how much you’ll want your money after the wedding,” Weight said. “There are about 12,000 listings every day on eBay, KSL and craigslist for wedding dresses. If you rent, you’re saving about $800 and that’s money you can spend on food, decorating your apartment and school.”

Weight understands a wedding day is one of the most special days in a girl’s life.

“The gown is a costume that shows how special of a day [the wedding day] is,” Weight said. “We want it to be out of this world.”

Lindsey Buck, a sophomore at UVU studying web design, recently decided to go to Gowns by Pamela for her upcoming August wedding.

“I loved the idea that you can get the dress for half the price because you’re really only going to wear it for one day,” Buck said.

Dani Degen Love, a BYU student from Orem, wore a Gowns by Pamela dress in her September wedding.

“We made an appointment and I kid you not, the first dress I put on was the dress,” Love said. “The girl helping me listened so well to what I was looking for and nailed it on the first try. Not only did I find the perfect dress, I didn’t have to sell off my organs to wear it.”
Love could not be more in love with her experience.
“They treated me so kindly and even ordered a smaller skirt for me so everything would fit properly,” Love said. “During the fitting they took the dress in to make sure it was just right. They were professional and so helpful in every way, even in teaching my mom how to tie up the back correctly. I had an incredible experience there, and I would suggest to anyone who is looking for their wedding dress to check them out.”
The Provo store is located at 3549 N. University Ave., suite 150, and appointments can be made by calling 801-224-4335. Styles include A-line, empire, mermaid, column and ball gown. Sizes are available from zero to 26. Rentals start at $299 and go up to around $425 and include the dress, a petticoat, a corset, the veil, a headpiece, standard alterations, steaming, cleaning and five days of consecutive use.
Spencer Love only had good things to say about the dress his wife rented from Gowns by Pamela.
“My wife absolutely loved her dress and had so many compliments on it,” he said. “In fact, other people walking around the temple grounds actually asked to take her picture to have a picture of the dress. They didn’t even want me in it, just her.”
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