Sponsored Advertising Content: Southern Living has partnered with to form a guest blogger network. Today's post is provided by guest blogger Janie Medley of The Bride's Café. Check back every Monday and Thursday for new ways to explore the state of Virginia.

I may be a bit biased, but I think Virginia Weddings are truly some of the most beautiful weddings filled with so much romance from couples all over the state. Fashion plays a key role as it is the bride's wedding gown that becomes a focal point of her walking down the aisle.

One of my favorite bridal boutiques in Richmond, VA, is Annalise Bridal Boutique, located in the heart of downtown Richmond in the historic Shockoe Slip area. It's truly the perfect location, surrounded by so much rich history of the city, great hotels and restaurants, and after your visit to the boutique, you can experience a bit of sight-seeing in the area.

So, to experience the bridal gown shopping experience first-hand, I asked a few of my talented friends in the wedding and fashion industry to meet me at Annalise Bridal Boutique. We got together and hosted a mini style shoot to showcase the prettiness of Fashion + Floral.


Owner, Lindsey Livesay opened the doors to Annalise Bridal in October of 2015. The shop is simply beautiful, from the artfully crafted wooden ceiling which displays the prettiest chandelier to the all-white contemporary furniture. Lindsey has truly done her homework when selecting all the details to make her bridal boutique the perfect place for brides-to-be to visit when looking for the perfect wedding gown.

The selection of designer gowns ranged from Anne Barge, Blue Willow, Amy Kuschel, Liancarlo, Hayley Paige and Blush by Hayley Paige. Lindsey is continually adding to the selection. You can also find beautiful veils by Sara Gabriel, sashes and headpieces by Amanda Judge and jewelry from Erin Cole at the boutique.

I asked Lindsey to share three tips to help a bride on her search for the perfect gown...


JM: Who should a bride take with her when shopping for their bridal gown?

LL: I recommend to my brides to keep it small and sweet by bringing a group of 2-4 loved ones whose opinions matter most to you. I also find that many brides will come alone for the first time to narrow down the options, and then return with some family and friends once she's picked out a handful of contenders. Do what you think is best for you!


JM: How much time should a bride allow for an appointment?

LL: We block 2 hours for our appointments. Every salon is different so be sure to ask so you will be aware of how much time is left throughout your appointment. If you put on a sample that you know is not the one, take it off and move on. You don't want to waste time that you could be trying on realistic options.


JM: What advice would you give to a newly engaged bride on how to begin her gown selection? What should a bride look for when selecting a gown?

LL: First, do your best to determine how much you are willing to spend on a dress and establish a budget keeping in mind alterations, shoes, and accessories to complete the look. Do your research to find styles that fit the theme and venue of your wedding as well as silhouettes that best fit your body type. Use your research as a guide but keep an open mind while shopping and try on many different styles to be sure you end up with the very best for you. Ideally, you'll want to begin shopping around 8 to 10 months before the wedding. But schedule your appointment early because salons can book up quickly especially on the weekends.


So for all the brides-to-be in search of the perfect wedding gown, make certain you add Annalise Bridal Boutique to your "wedding to-do list"! After dress shopping, make sure to explore more of historic Shockoe Slip. You can grab lunch at The Tobacco Company and if you're planning to stay overnight, you'll love The Jefferson Hotel or Quirk Hotel. There are so many wonderful venues in our beautiful city, there's truly something for everyone.


Stylists: ReVive

Model: Anne Dreyfuss

Additional Accessories: Stella Dot By Katie