Reading Bridal District 2023 Guide + Tips for Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress at a Discount

Have you imagined floating down the aisle toward your true love, wearing a dream of a wedding gown, since you were young? This is the case for so many brides, and our team at Blue Bridal, located in the Reading Bridal District, is passionate about making that dream come true - without breaking the bank in the process. We can’t wait to share the inside scoop about how to find your perfect wedding dress at Reading Bridal District, so read on! 

I. The Reading Bridal District: A Bridal Shopper's Paradise

We mentioned the bridal district in Reading Ohio - what is it anyway? This amazing center of all things wedding industry is North America’s largest bridal district. That means that there are more than 40 wedding-related businesses and vendors in the same area so you can cover all your wedding needs! 

Did we mention it is historic and charming too? With beautiful old brick buildings, lovely shops, and tree-lined streets, the Reading shopping outlets are a fantastic destination or getaway for you and your best friends and closest family to visit to prepare for your big day. 

When you visit the bridal district in Cincinnati, be prepared to have your mind blown at the variety of experiences and shops you can visit. You’ll come across vintage stores, budget bridal shops, florists, boutique dress shops, and so much more. 

Blue Bridal is an off the rack bridal boutique, which means that our gowns are offered at a discounted rate and that most are not made-to-order, but are generally purchased and brought home that same day. We range in size from 2-32, all generally priced around $1200. We are the only place that can save 30-60% off brand new designer gowns in the district that you see on the street at other bridal stores! We not only carry overstock items that we have collected from top designers, but we also carry designer originals that you literally will never find anywhere else!

II. What to Expect When Shopping for a Wedding Dress in the Reading Bridal District

Because there is so much to see and do in the bridal district in Cincinnati for couples preparing to get married, it gets super busy on the weekends. Try to visit during the week when it isn’t as crowded so you can have a more intimate and relaxed experience, and plan to make appointments for your wedding gown shopping visits, rather than searching “wedding dress boutiques near me” and stopping in without an appointment. There may be a chance that they are booked and you won’t be able to shop that day! If anything - call ahead!


While some shops do allow for walk-ins, setting up an appointment is likely to mean you will be paired with a stylist who has received information about your preferences and may have even begun to pull some dresses for you to try on. Having an appointment also ensures you’ll get to visit all the shops that are highest on your list and that you can plan out your visit and feel more prepared. 

When you join us for your appointment at Blue Bridal, you and your guests will be guided through the process by an experienced and professional bridal stylist. At our discount bridal store, they will help you try on a variety of gowns and give honest feedback and information about the dresses, all while making sure you’re comfortable.

Who to bring with you

We know it can be tempting to invite all of your bridesmaids and every cousin and friend and sibling to come to your wedding gown shopping appointments. However, we always recommend keeping your group size small, and only having the people whose opinions you really value. We think a group of 3-5 people is frequently most comfortable because It can be a day with a lot of emotions, and being able to be fully present and fully at ease makes it a lot more fun. 

What to wear

If you’re visiting the bridal shops in Cincinnati in the Reading Bridal District, you may be able to walk to your appointments and will likely be on your feet a lot. The advice we offer is that you wear supportive shoes and loose-fitting clothing so that you can move freely and stay cool. Undergarments that you’re comfortable wearing in front of your stylist but that don't leave wrinkles or lines when you’re in front of the mirror, turning to check out that gown.

III. Tips for Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress at a Discount

Know your budget

We always recommend that couples work together at the beginning of the wedding planning process to set a budget for categories such as outfits, catering, venue, and more. Having a budget is crucial to keeping your costs in check and you should try to allocate to the categories to match with your values and vision for the day. 

Know your wedding theme and venue

Just like you probably wouldn’t wear a winter coat and jeans to a beach vacation in Mexico, you will want to factor in the venue and time of year for your wedding when considering a gown. Silk’s lovely movement is great for outdoor venues and spring and summer events, and long-sleeved satin sheath gowns are fantastic at winter weddings, and though you can always select something outside of convention, we recommend still being mindful of the factors of temperature, movement, and venue. 

Top 2 Bridal Outlets in the Reading Bridal District (Blue Bridal + Reading Bridal Outlet)

When you’re shopping for wedding dresses in Cincinnati OH, we’d recommend that you visit us at Blue Bridal, as well as our sister store, Blush Bridal. Blush Bridal is an upscale boutique featuring a range of designer lines, and Blue Bridal is a discount bridal store.

If you’re planning to visit the Reading Bridal District, consider attending their annual event each fall - the Fall in Love Bridal Show. You’ll be able to get a taste of everything the local vendors have to offer in a relaxed and fun setting. We especially love the giveaways. Weekend getaways, jewelry, cash, and so much more are featured. Check this site to stay updated on this year’s event. 

IV. What to Do After You Find "The One"

Unless your dress fits like a glove, consider visiting a professional seamstress soon after picking up your gown. Alterations like adding or removing straps, taking the dress in, or letting it out a bit are all things a good seamstress can do. 

Don’t forget to shop around for accessories like jewelry, shoes, hair accessories, and veils. Some shops offer discounts or specials when you purchase your gown and accessories at the same time, and another great money-saving tactic is to use accessories as your “something borrowed” items for your big day - vintage is chic! Also, don’t forget to pick up your wedding dress preservation kit! A lot of boutiques sell them like Blue Bridal and Blush Bridal. 

VI. Conclusion

As you plan your dress-shopping experience, we hope you remember these tips to optimize savings and max out on fun. For us, it’s all about finding a bridal shop in Cincinnati that has a range of styles and price points, being prepared for your visit with a budget in mind, staying comfortable during your visit, and moving forward with confidence. We want to empower each bride to enjoy the experience, and most importantly, have fun! Book your appointment, we can’t wait to see you! Your dream dress is here!