Despite her store being named one of the top 50 bridal salons in America by Brides magazine, I Do Bridal Couture owner Ramsey Sims remains humble. Even with a booming business, Sims is involved with every part of the shop, from finding designers and ordering dresses to ensuring her customers have the best customer service. Ramsey stays true to her commitment to brides: to personally offer a great dress-shopping experience. Below, she shares a few of her secrets.
1. How did I Do Bridal Couture start? It started back in 2012 when I convinced my husband to come to market with me in April, and we opened the store in July. But I sat on the idea of opening a store for about two years, just researching it and trying to find designers that no one else carried.
2. How has it grown or changed since then? We’ve already expanded into triple the square footage, and we completely renovated after a year of being in business. The lines that we’ve picked up are some amazing lines, just some really good designers who trust me to carry their gowns. That’s a big honor.
3. How do you find these designers and dresses, and how do you keep your store’s inventory fresh? We attend market twice every year, and I work very closely with the designers’ representatives. If there’s something that I feel that brides are asking for, I talk to them and say, “Can we do something special for our store?” Then, just keeping in the know and really listening to what brides want so that way I can go back to the designers and let them know what people are asking for. The reason I have these designers in the store is because I work very closely with them. I have a really good relationship with all the designers. It’s very important to me.
4. Can you share a hint of what customers will see in your store in the future? New and fabulous designers. I’m always looking for the best of the best.
5. What’s something you want customers to know about your store that they might not already know? I think a lot of people think this is a franchise or something like that, but it’s all me. I’m the sole owner, and I care very deeply about the service and pleasing the bride and making the experience like no other. I’m very accessible, and for me, I think that’s extremely important. If people have questions or concerns, I want the dress as perfect as they do. So I’ll bend over backward and do anything we need to do to make them happy. I do my best to not tell anybody no because I don’t like to hear the word no. I want it to be an amazing experience and for them to look back and really love their dress and love getting it from here.
6. What advice can you give to a bride looking for the perfect dress? Come in with an open mind and have fun. I know once you see something, you can’t get out of your mind. So try on that style, but be open to trying on different styles. I can’t tell you how many times people come in and they say they want one thing, then they end up with something completely different. We really listen to them about their wedding and their vision. We try our best to pull different styles, just to make sure they know exactly what they want. We want everyone to be in love with their dress and very sure.
7. What’s your favorite wedding trend for spring and summer? We’re very classic and timeless. I try to pull gowns that are fun, but you’ll still look back and love your gown 10 years later. But I’m really loving veils. Some of the designers are doing body veil trends, which—if it’s done right—can be amazing. It’s on your shoulders and goes over your dress a little bit like a cape. It’s super long. Rivini has definitely outdone themselves with that. Also, I just picked up a new designer, Alvina Valenta, and I love the whimsical look. I love when girls come in an ask for a ball gown. I think it’s your one time to wear whatever you want, and a ball gown is so elegant and so classic.
8. What makes this dress shop different than others? When I was getting married, I was just like, ‘This is my time to get attention and get doted on.’ And I realized that was somewhat lacking. That’s why the experience here is extremely important for us. We love to dote on our brides and give them our undivided attention. That’s why we’re by appointment only. It’s so we can allot the time to give that bride our undivided attention and have fun. Another thing is our designers. Pretty much, the majority of our designers are not carried by anyone else in Louisiana. It’s not just Baton Rouge, it’s Louisiana. So for me that’s a big deal because I want brides to feel like their dress is super special, and they can’t just go to any store and see it everywhere.
9. Will you describe the store’s style? My store is very classic, but super fun—we have a glitter wall—and very clean. We have two private suites, but it’s still cozy, too. The look is very clean and classic with a little bit of a twist.
10. What’s your favorite product sold at I Do Bridal Boutique right now? We just picked up a new accessory line called a.b. Ellie, and their belts are just so amazing and so well made. They do some amazing beaded straps.