Mark Ingram is the official Dana Harel stockist in NYC. We caught up with Mark to hear his recommendations on how to find your dream wedding gown.
How many years have you been in the bridal industry? Prior experience?
I’ve been in the fashion industry for 39 years now. My career started in retail as a buyer at Bonwit Teller and then Bergdorf Goodman. I’ve been in the bridal industry for 22 years. In 1996 I started to work for Amsale, and then I opened my eponymous bridal luxury boutique Mark Ingram Atelier in NYC.
With so many wedding dresses and designers, how do you choose the wedding gown of your dreams?
Recognize your true personal style and your fashion comfort level. Also, don’t veer away from the energy and style of your wedding. For example, if your having a beach wedding, you may want to go for something more clean and effortless. Not an over the top dress with an exaggerated train.
With that said, I believe that your wedding dress should be exciting, one that you have fun in. It should create smiles and fun.
How can brides make the gown shopping process as stress-free as possible?
I’d recommend setting the wedding gown budget before you start to shop. Is it a set number or are you willing to be flexible enough to possibly compromise on something else in your wedding? Once you know what you have to work with, the decision process becomes easier.
Also, I recommend choosing a reputable salon where you feel comfortable. Rely on friends and relatives’ past experiences or relationships with a salon. Ask friends where they had the best consultation and selection.
The salon should be one that you are able or want to visit on several occasions.
What are some bridal dress trends that you’re seeing a lot of?
I’ve been seeing a lot of dresses that have long sleeves, interesting necklines, and brides are going more for simple styles with grand gestures (i.e. longer trains). An example for this is the royal wedding dresses of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.
How long in advance should you select your wedding gown?
As it can take some time to choose your wedding dress, I think that you should make the purchase 8 months prior to the wedding. This way you have time should any issues or alterations arise. You don’t want to put yourself in a place to be under pressure for finding a wedding dress.
For brides marrying in August through October, these are the peak months in the US for a salon to complete their brides fittings and final styling. You want to be certain to get on their calendar when it is convenient for you to attend fittings.
Also consider if your wedding is a destination location. Use the date that you need to leave town as your timing for your gown to be completed and ready to go!
What are your thoughts on having two wedding dresses, one for the reception and one for the party?
At Mark Ingram, we’re seeing this trend tremendously. I think its a brilliant idea as the second dress is easier to maneuver. You want to have fun in your dresses and enjoy your wedding party.
How many people should come with you shopping for your dress?
I always recommend 2 -3 people max – otherwise it can get confusing with so many opinions.
Your favorite Dana Harel Bridal Dress?
The Kylie gown. If a girl cannot afford to buy two wedding dresses (one for the reception and one for the party) then the Kylie gown is perfect as it can be transformed into a party dress by removing one of the tiers. Not to mention, that the gown is fun and resembles a Dior gown.
Advise for future brides?
People can loose their minds by overthinking every detail. And so, you should enjoy the process of shopping and finding your wedding dress, but don’t stretch it out too long.