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Schenectady bridal shop to get some TLC tonight


Schenectady bridal shop to get some TLC tonight

Ferri Formals and Bridals, entering its 25th year in business, will be featured in an episode on The
Schenectady bridal shop to get some TLC tonight
Mary Lu Aragosa owner of Ferri Formal and Brides on Union Street in Schenectady, looks over a dress modeled by Marissa DeBiase in the upstairs studio Thursday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Back in April, a dream turned into reality for Marylu Aragosa, owner of Ferri Formals and Bridals. The bridal shop, entering its 25th year in business, will be featured in an episode on The Learning Channel show “I Found the Gown!” tonight at 7:30.

“We were contacted about a year ago from Rick and Leslie DeAngelo, the owners of VOWS Bridal Outlet (the store featured in “I Found the Gown!’) and we agreed with them to come to visit the store,” said Aragosa. “In April they decided to pay us a visit and we were really excited to have them visit.”

“I Found the Gown!” is a TLC show that features the Boston-area bridal outlet, VOWS Bridal. Episodes display the outlet’s hunt for the perfect wedding dress for their customers. Since VOWS is a bridal outlet store, it only has samples of each gown and is limited in sizes, which is where stores like Ferri Formals and Bridals on Union Street come in.

In tonight’s episode, both Rick and Leslie DeAngelo visit Ferri Formals and Bridals to purchase a collection of dresses that were no longer styles that Ferri Formals and Bridals’ customers wanted. Some dresses Aragosa would not sell to VOWS. Dresses by Enzoani were one example of a designer that were off limits. In the collection of dresses, both DeAngelos hoped to find the perfect dress for VOWS costumer, Erin.

“It was perfect timing that they came to our store,” said Aragosa. “They came on a snowy day. We were just at a bridal shopping trip in April and the next day they came. We were really excited because we had all the fresh new designs that we had purchased and we had a need to make room for the new inventory. We made a grouping of dresses [to show them] that we were willing to part with.”

Negotiations for the dresses lasted over a half an hour between Aragosa and the DeAngelos, and by the end a couple of dresses were taken out of the selection and Aragosa lowered her asking price.

The timing could not have been better for the Schenectady shop. It was not only important for Aragosa to make room for her new inventory but Ferri Formals and Bridals is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

“It’s really exciting for us because we’ve been committed to serving brides for 25 years. We’ve been committed to offering the best designers to brides in our area,” said Aragosa. “It takes great relationships with designers, great relationships with your customers, great relationships in your community. It’s really an honor to be able to do that for 25 years and then be shown on national TV for doing that.”

The Capital Region has flourished recently in film and on TV. From Food Network’s “Throwdown! With Bobby Flay” and “Cupcake Wars,” to Ryan Gosling’s “The Place Beyond The Pines,” and now “I Found the Gown!,” the area is making itself known.

“I’m hoping that when people across the country see our shop, that they will have a greater appreciation for what a bridal shop in a small town can offer,” Aragosa said.

“At the convenience of a smaller town you’re going to get friendly service, easier parking, and lower price on alterations. I want them to see the value of coming to a smaller town as opposed to the hustle-bustle of a larger city.”

Alterations are one aspect of the bridal business that separates VOWS from Ferri Formals and Bridals. VOWS cannot make alterations in the store and sends customers to a seamstress, whereas the Schenectady bridal salon has a seamstress available for customers in-house.

Tonight’s episode is titled “What a Bride Wants.” TLC describes that episode: “Fashionista Michelle struggles to find the perfect dress. Meanwhile, moms throw their weight around as fashion-clueless Amanda flounders in a sea of dresses and Erin seeks a gown fit for a woodland princess.”

The portion of tonight’s episode that will feature Ferri Formals and Bridal will include some footage of Rick and Leslie DeAngelo’s visit at the shop and the negotiation process for the dresses.

TLC can be located on Time Warner Cable Channel 40.

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