Get to Know Your Bridal Boutique Owner

Making People Happy Every Day! An Interview with Michelle McFarland, owner of The Wedding Shoppe


Michelle McFarland, once a member of corporate America, felt a strong urge to leave and do something meaningful with her life. She felt that spreadsheets and cash reports weren’t making a difference in anyone’s life. She wanted more. She wanted to connect with people and make an impact. After considering her options and what she felt passionate about, Michelle opened The Wedding Shoppe in December of 1999. Since then her business has flourished and she has been directly involved in countless brides’ happiest moments. Michelle. reflecting on the most successful part of her journey, says, “I get to make people happy every day!” We were thrilled when Michelle recently took the time to give us a little history and insight on her award-winning bridal boutique in Berkley, MI:

When we opened we were a Bridal Accessories ONLY boutique. In fact, our tag line was “Everything But the Dress!” After eight years of helping our brides find the perfect accessories for their big day we decided to add bridal gowns and maids to our boutique. I didn’t think it was possible to fall in love with this industry any more than I already was, but I was wrong! We are in love with our brides and helping them find their perfect dress! Oh, what an amazing feeling! Celebrating with our brides and their special people is the most amazing part of what we do.

I’m constantly inspired by the stories my brides and stylists tell.  Whether it’s a bride falling in love with a gown that shares a name with her grandma (we give all our gowns names based on their personalities) or a stylist sharing about the special connection she made with a bride and her family.  We are a business but we are not about selling.  We want every brides favorite wedding planning memory to be about finding her wedding dress.  We are about life changing moments and emotions and experiences!

My favorite advice for brides?  Finding the perfect bridal gown isn’t just another thing to check off your list.  Finding the perfect bridal gown becomes a part of the story you tell about your wedding.  It can happen at any moment.  Don’t be surprised if it happens at the first boutique or even in the first dress!  Celebrate it!  This is why it’s important to have your special people with you.  You don’t want your special people to miss out on this incredible life experience!  You want them to experience it with you, by your side.  Love can happen at any time (don’t we already know that??  You’re engaged!).  Embrace it and enjoy the moment of finding your bridal gown.

This summer we relocated into our very own building with 8,000+ square feet!  We designed our new building to deliver the experience of a lifetime to our brides.  Our brides enjoy our private bridal suites, custom designed lighting (to make them sparkle from head to toe) and our hospitality bar with coffee, tea and water.

As far as style-trends in bridal go, there are always hot looks in our industry, I mean we are all about fashion! I love the new fabrics that are being used. Crepes and stretch jerseys – they are amazing and feel great on the body.  Lace is always a go to look.  How can you get anymore classic and fashion forward at the same time than with lace? But the most important style trend in my eyes is a bride that finds a dress that speaks to her heart.  When she feels beautiful, sexy and the most confident she has ever felt in her life that is the utmost in style and trend.

You may be wondering why we don’t have loads of wedding dress pictures on our website like many of the other stores in Metro Detroit.  Because you are a unique individual with your own style.  You deserve more than the same old dresses that can be found in every store around town!  The Wedding Shoppe has many wedding dresses you can’t see anywhere else in the area or online.

We work with “Indie” bridal designers and emerging talent to curate an exceptional collection of gowns you will LOVE, all at affordable prices. I really value our relationships with our wedding dress designers. Many of them are my close friends. I have input into their designs each season and have many gowns in The Wedding Shoppe that I personally designed just for our brides!  I also attend multiple bridal buying markets all over the US each year (and sometimes Europe!) to stay current with trends and maintain my close relationships with my designers and other bridal stores.

The Wedding Shoppe undoubtedly attracts a certain type of bride.  She is fun, laid back and values the personal connection and the memories we make with her leading up to her wedding day.  We think that sounds like you!  Our wedding dresses reflect YOUR style.

Michelle has changed her life. She took a chance, bet on doing something she loves and established a successful bridal business. After 17 years in the ever-evolving bridal fashion world, she has made deep connections with her team, her exclusive designers and her clients. That meaning she was searching for back in her corporate America days? We think she nailed it. The Wedding Shoppe, built on love and happiness, is thriving.

Learn more about The Wedding Shoppe here.