When Bridal Babes creator Ashley Young got engaged to the love of her life, Charles Young, in 2016, she immediately went to work planning her ideal wedding. However, one of the issues she faced during the process was finding the perfect dresses for her bridesmaids. With her bridal party consisting of women of all shades, shapes and sizes, they struggled to find a dress that complemented each of them.
“I had a difficult time finding attractive, curve-hugging bridesmaid dresses,” the marketing-employee-turned-entrepreneur shares. “I ended up finding a cocktail dress that was midi length, had stretch, and was in a bold, vibrant color that popped on my bridesmaids’ skin tones. Dresses like these are so hard to find that my bridesmaids immediately went viral when I posted their pictures!”
It was then that Ashley and Charles realized they needed to create a business to help the countless women who would have the same need. In 2019, the couple launched Bridal Babes, a bridal tech company that provides brides and bridesmaids of all sizes, body shapes and skin tones with fashion-forward dresses through an immersive online experience.
“We created Bridal Babes because there was a huge void in the bridal space for gowns that complemented all women. We never want a bride-to-be or her bridal party to experience the struggles my bridesmaids and I did searching for gowns. It’s no secret that there’s a lack of inclusivity in the wedding industry, and we are determined to make space for all women,” says Ashley.
Building a company that was disrupting the way that women traditionally shop for bridesmaid gowns, the Youngs were initially met with numerous barriers to entry.
“The wedding industry is very traditional and very vanilla,” says Ashley. “However, as we stuck to our core tenets of innovation and inclusivity, our clients and word-of-mouth marketing took us to heights we could have never imagined. Last year, we were featured on Shark Tank, which took our brand awareness to new levels, allowing us to reach even more brides and bridesmaids who are looking for something new and fresh.”
Today, Bridal Babes has serviced thousands of diverse bridesmaids and has developed a new category in the bridesmaid gown market, having been first-to-market with its virtual bridesmaid consultations. The brand provides brides and bridesmaids with a unique and stress-free shopping experience, offering everything from bridesmaid dresses to bride-to-be attire to honeymoon couples’ tees.
“We have a wide range of virtual offerings which allow entire wedding parties to find their wedding looks with ease from the comfort of their home! Our stylists are trained to work with bridal parties of all shades, shapes, and sizes," explains Ashley. "We help select the perfect gowns that will complement all of your bridesmaids and your overall wedding aesthetic.”
Brides-to-be and their bridal parties can join free, live Q&A sessions to learn about restocks, the ordering process, and new styles. They also have the option to book a virtual consultation, where they will chat with a Bridal Babes stylist about the needs and styles of the individuals in the bridal party, and then select the perfect look. A convenient, custom bridesmaid purchasing page and swatch are included.
“It’s a seamless, stress-free way to find and purchase your gown as well as your bridal party’s gowns without running around to every store. You can also follow and engage with us on Instagram and TikTok, where we showcase new styles, past clients, and sneak peeks. From there, you and your bridesmaids can go on our website and order your gowns, which can arrive as soon as a week after you place your order,” Ashley explains.
In addition to shopping online, individuals in the DC/MD area can attend Bridal Babes’ March and April Bridesmaids and Bubbly events at the company’s design studio in Maryland.
“We’re taking our virtual consultation IRL and providing an in-studio shopping experience for our clients. This time of year is the busiest for wedding planning, so Bridesmaids and Bubbly gives brides and bridesmaids a stress-free and celebratory atmosphere to find their dresses. There will be champagne, photo opportunities, personal stylists and more,” adds Ashley about the experience.