Owner Jonda Prather, left, holds a dress for Jennifer Norman as they finalize looks for a wedding themed photo shoot Wednesday, June 26 at Belle Bridal Boutique on Central Avenue in Middletown. Prather says her shop specializes on plus size bridal gowns. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

New downtown Middletown store focuses on plus-size bridal fashions

Belle Bridal Boutique owner Jonda Prather said the store at 1028 Central Ave. caters to women who wear sizes 16 through 32W and also offers veils and jewelry.

“We guide you in the right direction toward a custom-made gown that suits your style and curves,” Prather said.

Finding the perfect wedding dress is important, she said, but the journey should be special. That’s why the store’s bridal consultants are trained to ensure that every bride has the same experience, Prather said.

MORE: Host a party or a have ‘getaway weekend’ at this historic Middletown home

It’s also why the store offers brides customized and private appointments, as well as walk-ins. In-store appointments take between one to two hours and on-location appointments, where Belle Bridal brings three gowns to a bride, last for three hours.

Prather said she purchased the business last year, when it was located in Reading’s Bridal District, but decided to move because being in the bridal district, “brides would love a gown but would not commit because they had other appointments scheduled.”

“We’re a destination shop where brides can have more of a one-on-one experience and not be thinking about going down the street to their next appointment.”

The business was founded in 2011, and Prather purchased it in 2018 before deciding to move it to Middletown. She said she chose to do so because the city’s downtown is on the rise and attracting more small businesses.

MORE: New hotel space highlights multiple recent moves in downtown Middletown

“My uncle (the late Robert “Sonny” Hill) was the mayor of Middletown and he would always have good things to say as we were riding around,” she said. “I’m actually seeing it turn around and I wanted to be part of the wonderful movement of small business coming back to the Middletown area.”

Belle Bridal Boutique offers a “Brides and Bubbly Night,” where brides bring their bridesmaids for a private, after-hours appointment where Belle Bridal Boutique provides the sparkling wine, music and “light bites” and the bridal party tries on gowns.

It also offers the opportunity to hire a specialist to be available on-site for day-of services, assisting a bride with her gown and taking care of things like corset lace up, buttoning, bustling, carrying a bride’s train while walking around between pre-ceremony photos and the reception.

“This way, you keep those in your wedding party stress-free,” Prather said.

For more information, call 513-429-3779 or visit www.bellebridalboutique.com.

X