BRIDAL GUIDE: Finding the ‘perfect dress’

COVINGTON, Ga. — Finding the “perfect” dress can be a time-consuming, detail-oriented process for brides to be. However, Jamesa Terrell, owner of J’Marie Bridal and Formal Wear in Covington, offers some tips on how to make the process even smoother. 

Terrell said her role in the process is not one she takes lightly either. 

“As a woman, we often dream about our weddings very young,” Terrell said. “So, I always try to tell people to, if money was not an object, give me an idea of what your dream dress would be. Then, it’s my job as a personal stylist to find what you would like in your budget.” 

Terrell has been in the bridal wear business since 2005 back in her hometown in Ohio. She’s owned J’Marie since January 2022 and officially opened the doors on March 17 of this year. 

At J’Marie, Terrell begins with a personal consultation with future brides searching for their wedding dress. Terrell aims to, by the end of that consultation, to narrow down the bride’s choices to four. From there, Terrell said the focus shifts to making the design. 

During this part, Terrell stressed that she and her staff get to work on catering the dress to each customer. 

“We try to do what we call a personal style,” Terrell said. “This day in age, people do research online and so they have an idea. We encourage them to give us some looks up to four. Then, we customize the look for them and look at their body type and what’s most flattering to them. We go through the whole process and make them feel really beautiful.” 

The next step in the process is working on the design of the wedding dress. 

Terrell said that she strives for J’Marie to get each design a customer wants as close as they can. 

“There’s a lot of different styles that we can get pretty close to your dream dress,” Terrell said. “It may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but, once you put it on, keep an open mind. I just try to find what their dream dress would be and then get as close as they like within their budget.” 

In addition to the process, Terrell aired some caution when considering a wedding dress. 

“You want to keep your body type in mind and what is most flattering to your body type,” Terrell said. “Whatever you’re most comfortable with, honestly. Your ideal dress is your dress.” 

Additionally, Terrell listed off a particular pitfall that she would warn future brides to avoid at all costs. 

The biggest thing was the fitting of the dress in relation to the timing of the purchase. 

“How far are you buying in advance as far as sizing and things like that,” Terrell said. “If you buy something that fits really good and the wedding is not for a year, you want to be mindful of those kind of things.” 

Terrell would advise brides to be to have the dress a little bigger and do the alterations.

All in all, a lot goes into the process of find “the dress.” However, there’s not feeling that can compare to when a future bride ultimately says “yes” and chooses the dress she wants to walk down the aisle in, according to Terrell. 

Terrell highlighted how she uses the “mirror test” to know whether or not a bride to be is fully satisfied or not.

“When they look in the mirror and it’s like ‘Oh,’” Terrell said. “And the mom is crying and everybody just takes this deep breath and that’s what I’m going for. I need that. I need you to love the dress. And that look is everything. I give it all I have to make them believe they’re beautiful and that the dress is perfect.” 

Though the process of finding “the” dress can be strenuous, Terrell did encourage for future brides to not lose the enjoyment of going through it, too. 

“Be present in the moment, because it goes really fast,” Terrell said. “You get so worried about all the things. You want to make sure you find the right dress and also enjoy the moment and the occasion you’re getting the dress for.” 

J’Marie Bridal and Formal Wear is located at 1192 Clark St SW Suite A, Covington, GA 30014. In addition to their wedding dresses, J’Marie also offers jewelry, tuxedos, flower girls’ dress, mothers of the bride and other wedding attire. 

For more information, visit their website at