A pastry tray lies on the table, glasses filled with wine sit next to the tray and white gowns in various sizes line the walls of the Swanky Okie Weddings Bridal Shop,waiting to be chosen and worn as the perfect wedding dress.
According to owner of Swanky Okie Weddings Chanda Carreon, everything at her store is affordable because after working as a wedding planner for five year sand a photographer for 14 years, she decided to help brides plan their dream weddings.
“I watched a lot of girls be upset because they either could afford the wedding they were throwing or they could afford the dress and they couldn’t afford both,”Carreon said. “So, I…decided as long as I could help it another girl would never have to make that decision.”
The mother of two said she offers several services including wedding dresses, planning and assisting brides with finding affordable vendors.
“My dresses are really reasonable and at this time, I can’t guarantee it will always be this way, but at this time I don’t have anything more than $700 in the store,” Carreon said. “They’re name brand…They’re not used dresses, They’re not damaged dresses.”
The business owner said she opened Swanky Okie Weddings because she understands what it’s like not to have your perfect wedding and she wants to help others achieve that.
“I’m not in it to make a buck as much as I am trying to help people,” Carreonsaid.
Carreon said she began her wedding career as a photographer which she decided to pursue as a way to make money and be with her son, Emiliano, who was in and out of the hospital.
“I needed something where I could stay at home with him and be at the hospital when I could,” Carreon said. “With photography I could just set appointments.”
The shop, Carreon said officially opened for business Nov. 9 and since then many brides have made appointments.
Carreon said it’s simple for brides to book an appointment and there are a few options to choose from on how one wants to find the perfect dress.
“Your Classic Appointment is just an appointment anywhere you go… in, you get about an hour’s time with an individual and try on as many dresses as you want,”Carreon said
The wedding planner said the shop also offers an Ultimate or Exclusive Appointment where brides can bring up to six or 10 people including themselves.
“There is a small fee for those. However, you’re provided drinks, finger foods,deserts and the entire place to yourself,” Carreon said.
Carreon said she doesn’t adjust the dresses because they are off the rack, but she has a few that can be customized and works with affordable seamstresses in the area.
The lifetime Shawnee resident said in addition to planning and photography she designs wedding dresses and has always wanted to have her own line of gowns.
“I am about to start my own line to where we will have the Swanky Okie dresses which I actually get to design myself,” Carreon said.Like herself, Carreon said her 11-year-old daughter Elena is also passionate about weddings and designing.
“One day this would be something she would love,” Carreon said.
The mother of two said another reason she opened Swanky Okie Weddings is because she wants women of all sizes and ages no matter their differences to feel confident and happy when choosing their dress.
“We like to have a good time. I want all brides to feel included…I don’t anyone to feel self-conscious when they come in…I want them to feel comfortable,”Carreon said. “It’s a place for everybody and nobody feels left out because they’re a different size.”
The Seminole State University alum said she works with a baker and wedding photographer in Shawnee who believe the same way she does and keeps their prices low.
“I love making people happy and 99 percent of the time they’re their happiest on the day their baby is born and on their wedding day and if I can do something to help that or know I was a part of that is the coolest thing ever,”Carreon said.
The Swanky Okie Weddings is located at 20 W. Main Street, Suite 102 which is tucked behind Gem & Ivy.
In the future, Carreon said she hopes to expand Swanky Okie Weddings into the second floor of the building the store is currently located.
“I’d like to have a much bigger place and be able to offer a much bigger variety that’s my goal going forward,” Carreon said.
In addition, Carreon said The Swanky Okie Weddings is hosting a Bridal Show March 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Grand Casino Resort.
“We have the Grand Event Center. It’s over 13,000 square feet…We’ll have a fashion show and all kinds of wedding vendors…They’re all either from here or in Oklahoma City.”
Swanky Okie Wedding are open For Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed Sunday.
For more information visit the-swanky-okie-weddings.square.site.