It didn’t take Jan Peterson long to figure out there weren’t many places to find a wedding dress in northern Utah in the early 1980’s when she was searching for her own dress. She and her mom decided to change that. In 1984 the Bridal Corner opened its doors in North Ogden and now 35 years later, they are as busy as ever.
“My mother had a good business background and we put it to work to start the business,” Peterson said. The two are co-owners of the popular full-service bridal shop. When it first opened, it was located in an upstairs and basement location on the northeast corner of 2600 North and Washington Boulevard. After about 20 years and with the business growing, they jumped at the chance to move across the street in a new development and one-level shopping.
Peterson said they have worked hard over the years to keep up with trends – both nationally and with Utah brides. “We like to have a variety of looks so brides can always find what they want,” Peterson said. For a long time they mostly served brides in the northern Utah area, but now they have brides coming from Idaho, Wyoming and Southern Utah to the shop. “Almost all of our advertising is word of mouth,” Peterson said. Plus they get a lot of repeat customers. Not repeat as in for second or third weddings, but mothers who bought their dresses at Bridal Corner bring in their daughters. That is something that always warms Peterson’s heart.
She thinks that comes from the personal touches they give to brides when they walk through the door. They run mostly by appointment only so they can give brides undivided attention and then they add personal touches here and there. They might play the song of the bride and groom while they try on “the dress” or help find something special to tie in the mother with the daughter or sisters. Peterson even will help the brides find special scents to use on their wedding days. But it all comes naturally for the mother-daughter duo. They don’t run on high pressure sales pitches – they take the lead from the brides.
And as for brides, Peterson loves them all. “I don’t believe in bridezillas,” Peterson said. “There is a sweetness to the brides and you can always find a way to make them happy and make them feel beautiful,” Peterson said. Peterson admits that sometimes dress shopping can be intimidating for the brides and it’s their job to make it fun and enjoyable. “It doesn’t have to be a scary thing,” Peterson said.
Peterson thinks that shows like, “Say yes to the dress,” have helped brides and their families to appreciate dress shopping and to also not get sticker shock from dresses. The Utah market is a bit different than national markets because Utah weddings tend to be less expensive, but television shows have opened Utah brides eyes to national trends and they are trying different things like maybe not inviting as many people to the wedding and spending more on other things.
The Bridal Corner does rent dresses, but Peterson finds that most people like to buy after they see the cost of wedding dress rentals. The Bridal Corner is a full-service shop where dresses, undergarments, veils and even shoes can be purchased in one place. They also do alterations and get everything ready for the big day and bridal photos.