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History

Wedding Shoppe History

We're celebrating our 40th Anniversary! Over the years we've helped outfit over 200,000 weddings and have experienced tremendous growth - all thanks to you!


1977

THE BEGINNING

In 1977, Jim and Lois Fritz opened the Wedding Shoppe on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Grand Avenue is famous for its small, specialty businesses, many located in Victorian style houses. 

At the time, wedding retailers were mostly specialized, forcing brides and grooms to shop at several different specialty shops to find all their wedding needs. It was from this common practice that the Fritzs developed the concept of "Your One Stop Wedding Shoppe!"®. They hoped to create an establishment that had the charm, service, and selection of a specialty store, while carrying all the merchandise and services necessary for a wedding.

Jim and Lois Fritz

 

 

1980

DOUBLING IN SIZE

The Wedding Shoppe has always received the majority of its business through referrals from satisfied customers. As these referrals increased, so did the Wedding Shoppe’s business. Jim and Lois doubled the size of the retail store on the south side of Grand Avenue to accommodate the increase in business.

Wedding Shoppe Buildings 1980's

 

 

1985

ALTERATIONS BUILDING

To create more space for dress alterations, a separate custom fittings building is opened at 1201 Grand Avenue.

Wedding Shoppe Alterations Building

 

 

1991

CORPORATE OFFICE

With more satisfied brides and increased business, the corporate office is opened at 1197 Grand Avenue to provide brides with a superior call center and customer service. Unlike many bridal salons, the Wedding Shoppe provides brides with trained customer service. Their only job is to track your order from start to finish and answer any questions you may have during the process.

Corporate Office

 

 

1995

SECOND RETAIL STORE

The Wedding Shoppe continues to expand, purchasing 1192 Grand Avenue, and connecting it to the original retail store. This expansion significantly increases the size of the retail space.

Second Retail Store

 

 

2000

ONLINE PRESENCE

The first generation Wedding Shoppe website is launched. It provided brides with basic info about the bridal salon.

First Wedding Shoppe Website

 

 

"The advice I would give today's bride is the same advice I gave the 1977 bride. That is, enjoy your wedding day, the importance of the ceremony, the commitment to your spouse. 

Work with reliable vendors you can trust, and manage closely your most important wedding items such as your dress, reception, photographer etc. and it will all work out. If small things don't go exactly as you have planned, do not get overwhelmed or too disappointed, enjoy your day!"

Jim Fritz - Wedding Shoppe Owner

 

 

2006

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Wedding Shoppe wins the highest lifetime achievement award in the bridal industry, Outstanding Retailer of the Year, given by the National Bridal Market Association. Bridal designers vote to select one outstanding bridal salon. 

Debi Awards

 

 

2007

COMPANY GROWTH

The Wedding Shoppe reaches 50 employees.

The Wedding Shoppe continues to win more local and national awards including Best of Weddings by the Knot, Best Place to Buy Bridal Gowns and Accessories by Minnesota Bride Magazine, and Best Bridal by CitySearch.

Company Growth

 

 

2008

FEATURES & AWARDS

In 2008, the Wedding Shoppe wins Best Place to Buy Attendant Dresses & Accessories and Best Place to Buy Bridal Gowns by Minnesota Bride.

The Shoppe also wins Best on a Budget by The Knot.

This year, the Wedding Shoppe partners with Kleinfield NY to sell Alita Graham and is featured on The Wedding Guys.

 

 

2009

 

ONLINE STORE

To provide brides around the world with the same selection and service, the Wedding Shoppe launches a complete e-commerce and wedding planning web site.

In 2009, the Wedding Shoppe wins Best of Weddings and Best on a Budget by The Knot.

2009 e-commerce website

 

 

2010

AWARD-WINNING BOUTIQUE

The Wedding Shoppe wins Best Place to Buy Bridal Gowns by Minnesota Bride.

 

 

2011

AWARDS

The Wedding Shoppe wins Best Bridal Gowns on a Budget Under $2,000 by Minnesota Bride.

 

 

2012

KENNEDY BLUE

The Wedding Shoppe launches their first exclusive line of wear-again bridesmaid dresses, Kennedy Blue, that made it easy for brides to dress their bridesmaids in a comfortable, affordable, stylish, and re-wearable dress. 

This year, the Wedding Shoppe wins Best Bridal Gowns on a Budget Under $2,000 by Minnesota Bride.

Kennedy Blue

 

 

2016

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

At the National Bridal Market Chicago, Lois is awarded the Debi Lifetime Achievement Award. She is recognized for her constant hard work and success in the industry. She is the only recipient to have ever received this award.

Also in 2016, the Wedding Shoppe wins Best Bridal Gowns on a Budget Under $2,000 by Minnesota Bride.

Lois Lifetime Achievement Award

 

 

2017

40 YEARS OF BUSINESS

The Shoppe opened it's doors in 1977. Now in 2017, we're celebrating 40 years of making wedding dreams come true!

40 Years of Business