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Bliss Bridal and Formal Wear

“A Wow for Every Audience” “A One Stop Shop”You know the experience – you put on a certain article of clothing, and you stand up straighter, you spend a little more time with your hair, or picking the perfect pair of shoes. Your step has a little more bounce, or your smile broadens a bit.

And people notice. They smile back, or complement your outfit, maybe chat a little longer.

There are all kinds of sayings about what we wear makes a difference: “Clothes make the man.” You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” “Fashion is instant language.”

And is there any time when we want to “speak” more eloquently with what we wear than at that special occasion – a prom, an elegant event, or most of all, at our wedding?

Bliss Bridal’s slogan is a promise: “A wow for every audience.” And that means not only will you likely find what you’re looking for in the boutique, but whether you have a definite picture in your mind of how you want to style your big moment, or you have no idea and need a lot of help, owner Gina Bush is going to make sure you leave with that “wow” in your heart.

Bush didn’t start out dreaming of owning a bridal shop. Her career as a paralegal was about as far away from that as possible. But a co-worker remarked on her never-failing good taste and careful dress and speculated that she presented herself as perhaps an events planner, or wedding consultant. “I had an aunt who wanted a bridal shop,” Bush reflected. “But I’d never thought of it.”

“Not long after a woman in town decided to sell her bridal wear shop, and when I talked about it to a friend, she urged me to do it – she said it was ‘me!’” After talking to her husband, she went to the shop to talk to the owner, and a customer, mistaking her for someone who worked there, asked for some help picking a gown. Bush made a sale. And that was the beginning.

Bush soon realized that while every business needs a brand identity, in this case, she was the brand. She has to keep an eye on trends, manage her inventory, stock a great selection of accessories, and be able to, literally, size up a customer when she walks in the door.

“I have to meet each customer where she is,” Bush explained. “She may have a dream of how her wedding or special event should look. I need to enter that dream and help her make it real. Another girl may come in looking for a prom dress and have no idea what’s going to work – she may pull the exact wrong dress off the rack, and my job is to steer her towards something that will make her feel perfect.”

I asked Bush about trends – what was new? She stressed that yes, there are trends, like straps. They’re sometimes in, or sometimes out of fashion. Right now, most customers want them. Or blushes of color under the white of the bride gown. “Terra cotta for fall wedding brides-maids is very popular,” she said. “And maybe a little less lace than in some years. But what’s important is what the bride is dreaming of, and what will make her feel that one-of-a-kind feeling as soon as she puts her dress on, and sees her wedding party all together.”

Bliss Bridal’s other slogan is: “A One-Stop Shop for your Formal Wear needs.” Bush says that she not only keeps a full line of jewelry, accessories, even lipsticks that can coordinate with the dresses, but that she has two seamstresses who can add or remove a flounce or shorten a sleeve, fit the dress perfectly to the figure, and give it that “final fitting” perfection every customer is looking for. “I think of myself as first and foremost a stylist for my customer, especially my bridal customers. She wants to look perfect, but she also has to choose colors for her bridesmaids and mother of the bride, mother of the groom. She will be choosing flowers, a photographer, how the reception room will look. It’s a lot to consider. So we start with her – she’s the centerpiece, and we want her to look and feel unforgettable. Everything else should coordinate with her, in a way that flatters everyone in the party, and makes everyone feel happy and special.”


In addition to bridal wear, Bliss Bridal offers formal wear of all kinds: bridesmaids gowns, mother of the bride, mother-in-law gowns, first communion, dinner dance or other formal occasions. And of course, prom dresses. And Bush has expanded her line to include christening dresses, baby and children’s wear for a “dress-up” occasion. “Even little kids, especially little girls, love the feeling of being in a special outfit for a big event.”

“These are memories, not just dresses,” says Bush. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, even if it is a Junior Prom. We all want to look back and feel that “wow” again when we think of it.”

Bliss Bridal and Formal Wear

4 W. Genesee St. Baldwinsville, NY 13027


Hours: By Appointment

Nancy Roberts