Wedding season is upon us and it’s one of the most magical times of the year! Finding the right wedding dress for yourself is always a memorable and exciting time. Brenda Maldonado of Bella Lilly Bridal owns such a chic wedding dress boutique that we just couldn’t help but to have a shop crush on her! We are so thrilled to be featuring Brenda on how she has achieved her goals and managed such a successful business! Here is Brenda with her exclusive Best Friends For Frosting interview photographed by Stephanie Fay Photography:
What inspired you to open up this fabulous boutique?
My very own bridal experience. I fell in love with weddings the minute I go engaged and more with wedding dresses. Seriously, how amazing our wedding dresses!!! I have to admit that I tried on a lot of dresses and I mean A LOT!! Even after finding the dress and after my wedding, I continued my buy bridal magazines because I just loved seeing the newest styles and fabrics. Although I had a great job in corporate America, I knew there was something better for me. For years, I would dream of one day opening a cute bridal boutique. My husband pushed me to pursue my dream and Bella Lily came to be!! Our boutique is a combination of what I wanted as a bride, a chic yet relaxing boutique with the upscale feel but still within reach for most brides. When you walk into our store, it is not over the top bridal, it is a simple yet elegant canvas for the wedding dresses to be the main focal point. We always tell our brides that finding the dress is amazing but the fun is in the search for the dream dress.
What is your favorite style of wedding dress?
For my wedding day, I wore a ballgown but now would probably go with a softer style. I like the light and flowy gowns. Soft tulle, lovely lace with touches of sparkle. Elegant and timeless. A dress that a bride can dance all night in!!!
Who is your favorite designer?
Wow, this is a hard one to answer….each designer has so much to offer. I love Truvelle by designer Gaby Bayona. Her dresses are the perfect mix of elegant and effortless. Her dresses are classic with a touch of “wow”, such as ombre effect on classic lace, rose colored beading where you least expect it. I feel she is redefining bridal and creates dresses that brides don’t even know they want but once they see the gowns, they have to have them. There are other designers that I just love and if I could, I would have every dress in my boutique because of the amazing designs.
When you were a little girl, how did you always dream of the “perfect” wedding?
A Disney wedding…I am a huge Disney fan and grew up going to Disneyland every year. As a little girl, I wanted to be Cinderella. I wanted the big ballgown, the horse and carriage, the castle in the background. I wanted to dance and have my dress change colors like Sleeping Beauty. When I became a bride to be, I still wanted to be a Disney bride but the logistics were pretty complicated so we decided to go with a hometown wedding instead but we did go to Disney World for our honeymoon.
What has been your funniest “bridezilla” moment?
We just opened our doors and we have been very lucky. We have had amazing brides, so no “bridezilla” moments at our boutique. That being said, we do have champagne to offer our brides, which may help avoid any stressful moments.
What current wedding trends are you seeing lately?
Destination weddings. A lot of brides our forgoing the typical wedding venues and are taking their weddings on the road. I have had brides getting married in the mountains, on the beach, and even on a cruise ship. Brides are avoiding the extensive guest list and keeping it small. A few friends and family at locations far from home. Brides are also embracing simplicity. Soft dresses with minimal embellishments, loose waves, soft makeup, small bridal parties, unfrosted cakes. I feel brides our definitely going for the less is more bridal style.
What is your biggest tip for someone trying to decide on a wedding dress?
Be true to yourself and your personal style. Don’t play dress up on your wedding day. Try to be a bridal version of you. I tell brides that they have to be comfortable in the dress they chose. You must own the dress, do not let the dress overpower you. But I also tell brides to try dresses outside their comfort zone. Trying on wedding dresses should be fun and you may fall in love with a dress you never would have tried on, so just go for it!
Where would you like to see your business in the next 10 years?
I hope to establish Bella Lily Bridal as a place a bride can come, relax, and truly enjoy their bridal experience. I see our boutique growing in terms of space but not too much as we want to keep the intimate feel brides are truly embracing. I would also love to carry a few more designers. There are so many amazing designers and we would love to grow along with them. We want to be the boutique that embraces talented designers and brings their beautiful designs to our Arizona brides.
Could you ever see yourself being a wedding dress designer?
Honestly, I don’t know. I definitely get a lot of feedback from our brides which does get me thinking about a gown in a slightly different design, but I don’t know if I am as visual and creative as our designers. I can see myself collaborating with a designer on a gown or two but again, designers are so amazing at what they do. For now, I will just admire the beautiful gowns that fill our space and see where the future takes me.
Exclusively photographed for Best Friends For Frosting by Stephanie Fay Photography