December 20, 2023

Exclusive Array of Unique Wedding Gowns Is Available at New Princeton Bridal Salon

GORGEOUS GOWNS: “The entire selection is yours for an exclusive and private bridal shopping experience. Before you say ‘I do,’ say ‘Yes to the dress’ at Princeton Bridal!” Matija Tomasello, owner of Princeton Bridal, is shown by a selection of exclusive and hand-curated wedding gowns.

By Jean Stratton

Whether it is for the traditional June wedding or the popular October wedding day — or any date in between — in addition to their partner, the bride’s No. 1 choice is the dress!

Brides-to-be now have a special opportunity to select the wedding gown of their dreams at Princeton Bridal in the Princeton Shopping Center.

Opened last August, the shop is filled with 50 to 75 stunning wedding gowns of all styles. Owner Matija Tomasello is an experienced bridal consultant, who offers private appointments for the brides. Her goal is to provide a warm and welcoming event leading to the very special upcoming moment in the life of the client.

As she explains, “My business model was to have a very personal relationship with clients, and all by appointment. I only see one bride at a time, and each session is an hour and a half. Sometimes, she will bring her mother, sister, or best friend, and I have room for four people to be here together. We also offer our guests refreshments.”

Advising Brides

“When the client comes in, we’ll talk for a while, and I will get a sense of her personality,” continues Tomasello. “Some clients are quite explicit about what style they want, and others will ask for advice. Sometimes, they will try on as many as five to 10 dresses.”

Tomasello, who grew up in New Jersey, has a history as a bridal consultant. After graduating from Rutgers, she traveled to San Diego, where she got her start in the world of weddings and advising brides.

“It was so fulfilling, and I learned so much,” she recalls. After several years, however, she decided to explore other interests, including real estate. “This was another learning experience,” she points out, “and I was continuing to look for the right fit.”

After marrying, she and her husband moved back to New Jersey in 2019, and she began to think about what she enjoyed most. Soon she was the mother of two daughters, and she began to explore her options.

“With a growing family, I wanted to stay with my girls, watch them grow, and never miss a second! But I was thinking about when I was happiest, and I realized it was when I was working as a bridal consultant. It was the most fun, and I saw that I had a passion that fueled me.”

Gorgeous Gowns

After moving to Princeton, she decided to open her own shop, and found the Princeton Shopping Center to be a desirable location.

“I researched everything, and really took it step-by-step,” she reports. “There didn’t seem to be any bridal shops in the area, and none in Princeton. The Shopping Center location is very convenient, has excellent parking, and seemed just right for my store.”

Located in the former Bon Appetit setting, the shop features expansive windows, which offer a view of many of the gorgeous gowns within. They also provide a light-filled environment for clients to view the gowns.

The dresses are all customized and from wedding gown specialist designers, including Eisen Stein of Israel, Wona Concept from Ukraine, Karen Willis Holmes and Moira Hughes from Australia, and Etoile by Elysee and Tara Lauren of the U.S. A number are exclusive to Princeton Bridal in the area.

Selecting the designers and the dresses is both a labor of love and a very time-consuming experience, notes Tomasello.

“I have spent countless hours curating these specific designers, and then curating each stock piece for my brides. I am very proud that every bride who has booked an appointment with me is amazed at how many beautiful options they have to choose from.”

White remains the color of choice, but the styles and fabrics offer a myriad of exciting choices. There is certainly something for everyone’s taste.

Sophisticated Elegance

Sleek and sophisticated elegance, ball gowns, mermaid, strapless, long sleeves, removable trains — all are popular, says Tomasello. “Dress styles vary so much. I have had brides purchase ball gowns, A-lines, fitted sheaths, mermaids, styles with simple clean lines — you name it. It is hard to say if one is more popular than another. It is pretty even across the board. Also, some trains are removable, so the bride can dance the night away during her reception!

“With gowns, there are really three important components: the construction, the design, and the silhouette.”

Regarding fabric options, as with the styles, choices are abundant, adds Tomasello. “I can’t really say that one material is more favored than another because weddings can be indoors/outdoors or summer/winter, all of which brides take into consideration. I would say that most popular now are Mikado (stretched satin), stretch crepe, silk variations, organza, tulle, satin, and always lace.”
Beaded embellishment is also in demand for many brides, she adds.

Princeton Bridal’s wedding gowns are of the highest quality, from the most respected designers, and prices reflect this, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 and up. Many brides typically select gowns in the $3.000, $5,000 to $7,000 range, and even up to $15,000.

Princeton Bridal also presents trunk shows once a month, and these can include gowns new to the shop as well as accessories. In addition, accessories, such as jewelry and veils, are always available at the store.

Tomasello suggests booking an appointment five to seven months ahead of the wedding, as it can take that long to order the dress.

“There are also rush options, if necessary,” she points out. “These have an added fee, and occasionally, sample dresses from the floor are available. In the future, we also plan to have sample sales.”

Special Adventure

Tomasello is very encouraged as she goes forward with this special adventure. The number of clients is increasing all the time, and they are not only from Princeton and the area, but also from Philadelphia, New York City, and upstate New York.

“People are finding us online as well as via word-of-mouth, and I am so happy with the local support from the town, the Shopping Center, and also the neighboring stores have been wonderful. I look forward to becoming very well known in the community as the place to go for a special wedding gown.

“I do think we are set apart by our very customized and personalized approach,” she continues. “We are very attentive to the bride when she is here. We want our guest to feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed. I enjoy seeing the pure happiness on every level when the client is here. It is really a joyful and happy experience for her.

“And when I get a review from the bride, saying how happy she is and that the dress was perfect, it means so much to me.”

In an important way, Tomasello feels this is more than just a business for her. As she observes, “Having my children reminded me who I was and that the amount of joy we have in this world needs to be shared. Princeton Bridal is not so much a success in having my own business; it is more of an opportunity to create a small difference in our world by making women feel beautiful inside and out, and happy!

“And last, if there is just one thing I could say to the bride on her wedding day, it is: ‘Take a moment by yourself, and say out loud: Do not forget this moment.’”

Princeton Bridal hours are by appointment. For further information, call (609) 255-8533, and visit the website at