April 2021 Feature Story - Katie Wadhams

Katie Wadhams | Stylist | Lovely Bride Rochester

Katie owns and operates the beautiful Lovely Bride branch out of Rochester, NY and she carries some of the most unique and gorgeous gowns.

I've worked with Katie on multiple projects and she never ceases to amaze with the creativity and uniqueness in her collection of bridal gowns. Even better, she is such a sweet soul and is always amazing to collaborate with.

Check out her story below and some of the beautiful designs she's brought to my shoots.

Enjoy her story below.

Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be/do when you grew up?

I’m originally from the Finger Lakes area. I went to college for communications and then lived in New York City for most of my 20s and early 30s working in marketing for national retail brands. I don’t think I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up! I just fell into marketing and happened to be good at it.

Lauren Victoria Photography

What brought you to where you are today?

I became totally enamored with the retail industry when I was in NYC and always wanted to have my own boutique but struggled to figure out how I could do that in a unique way. When I decided to move back upstate to be near family, my mother reminded me how much I’ve always loved wedding dresses and the rest is history!

What do you do professionally?

I’m the owner of Lovely Bride Rochester so I work really hard every day to make wedding dress dreams come true.

Lauren Victoria Photography

What is the number one struggle you find in owning and running a business?

My biggest struggle is giving myself permission to take off my “business owner” hat sometimes and just focus on being a mom, wife, friend – and taking a little time for myself.

What does a day at work look like?

Each day is a little bit different from the one before. I generally spend weekdays in front of a screen – keeping track of the books, corresponding with brides, monitoring trends and corresponding with designers. On the weekend, I spend my days with brides! I love doing appointments – it allows me to keep our selection relevant and understand what our customers really want. There is also nothing more satisfying that helping a bride find “the one.”

What year did you start your business/profession and how long did it take to acquire a consistent client base?

I opened Lovely Bride in July of 2015. I would say it took us about 2 years to establish ourselves and for the business to feel “steady.”

Lauren Victoria Photography

What do you do to stay involved in the community?

We participate in a lot of styled shoots. It helps keep us connected with other wedding vendors in the area and flex our creative muscles a bit. It’s an awesome way to network and find other like-minded businesses that attract similar customers.

What do you enjoy most about running your company/working for a company?

Being my own boss is pretty cool – it allows me to set a schedule that makes sense for me. I have a great team that I love being a part of and mentoring. But really, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I just really love wedding gowns and getting to be around them every day. It’s a happy job and I feel lucky to be able to do it.

Lauren Victoria Photography

Where do you see the business in 5 years?

I’d love to see the business continuing to thrive – making brides happy and still carrying some of the coolest wedding gowns in Western NY.

What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business?

Do your homework! Talk to similar business owners or mentors to be sure you know what you are getting into and what it takes to succeed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help so you can be prepared starting out.

If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Never ask anyone else to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. And approach everything you do with kindness.


Katie Wadhams

Instagram: @lovelybriderochester

Facebook: @lovelybriderochesterny

Website: www.lovelybride.com/stores/rochester-bridal-shop/