Florissant Trish Layton fell in love with everything about weddings at the age of 16.
She was working for a catering company back then and learned to fold napkins, set a table and how to cut and serve a 10-tier wedding cake.
As an adult, she has worked as a hairdresser and with cosmetic companies. She missed being apart of wedding planning, so she volunteered to help her church with floral arrangements.
It wasn’t until a few years ago, when Layton was planning her own wedding, that she saw first-hand how pricey the “big day” could be.
“It wasn’t that we were being tightwads, but we were just overwhelmed with cost,” Layton said.
While shopping for her gown, she said she also felt ignored and unimportant in the store.
Layton didn’t want other brides to experience this—so using the gift money from her own wedding, she opened The Bridal Exchange in Florissant in 2010.
“My philosophy was, what do people do with their stuff after their wedding?” she said. “I told my husband, there’s a need for this.”
The boutique specializes in new and gently worn wedding gowns, formals as well as floral design, accessories and décor.
“We have things in here that in a normal retail store should sell for five times what its marked, but the goal here is to make things acquirable and budget friendly,” Layton said. “Not everyone has the Kim Kardashian budget.”
Layton said regardless of your budget or circumstance—every customer is treated with the same attention at The Bridal Exchange.
“Every mom’s daughter is a princess, from the moment they are born to the moment they walk down the aisle,” she said.
The Bridal Exchange Family Affair
As The Bridal Exchange business took off in Florissant, the boutique began to outgrow the building.
“When we were in Old Town we go too much stuff too quickly and couldn’t really accommodate people,” Layton said.
Layton knew it was time to move. She decided on a new location at 1522 Caulks Hill Road in St. Peters because of the size, visibility and proximity to her parents’ home.
Pam Layton, of St. Peters, said she quit her marketing job as soon as her daughter asked her to come work with her in the boutique.
“All these years, she’s been here to help and I knew if I came out here and I still lived north, I’d need someone here,” Trish said. “It’s good to have someone with experience in how to price and talk to customers.”
Pam said she enjoys working with her daughter and she’s proud of her accomplishments.
“When she gets done with one of those venues, it’s just beautiful,” she said. “And it’s fun seeing brides try on the dresses and ask ‘What do you think?’”
What the mother-daughter duo enjoys most about their jobs is seeing the emotional brides, mothers and bridesmaids finding just what they’re looking for.
“About two weeks ago, there were two brides whose best friends bought their wedding dress as gifts,” Trish said. “There were tears everywhere. One was the bride’s sister, who worked overtime to surprise the bride and her mom.”
Trish and Pam agree that these are the moments for which The Bridal Exchange was created.
“We price stuff in a way that makes it possible for a maid of honor or best friend to do that,” Trish said. “We just try to make the dream a reality for a lot of people. “
Dresses, Flowers, Candy and More
Most of the dresses at the boutique are between $100 dresses to $500.
In addition to wedding gowns, at The Bridal Exchange you’ll find:
- Mother-of-bride, flower girl, and all types of formals.
- Have something from your mother’s gown you’d like to incorporate to yours? The boutique also features custom-made headpieces, belts, jewelry.
- If you can’t find what you’re looking for, Trish will refer you to one of her seamstresses.
- Décor including table settings and chair covers
- Fresh or silk flowers.
- Jar sets to rent for a wedding candy buffet
To contact Trish Layton, call (314) 629-8027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.