Know you’re doing something greater

DAYTON DAILY NEWS

‘Know you’re doing something greater’

Owners of Centerville wedding dress shop have sense of purpose

BY COSETTE GUNTER

After working as a nurse, Rachelle Spencer and former sea boat captain Martin Huffstutler opened their wedding dress shop in Centerville in January 2019.

The two shared a hobby of photography when they met, and they got married in 2016. Their love of photographing weddings turned into the shop seen today, which offers more than 900 dresses in-store.

“We never dreamt we’d be doing this,” Spencer said. “It’s very different for both of us, but we have a lot of fun with it.”

Dress For A Day rents and sells a variety of wedding dresses, with sizes ranging from zero to 30. The shop is accompanied by Spencer and Huffstutler’s photography business, M&R Wedding Photography, which is located upstairs from Dress For A Day.

With recent coronavirus restrictions, Spencer says the rental component of Dress For A Day has worked better with this year’s brides.

“A lot of brides are doing a smaller, more intimate ceremony now with close friends and family, then thinking maybe they’ll do a bigger celebration whenever they can,” said Spencer. “The brides don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Spencer said their business was doing really well until they closed in mid-March.

“We were hitting our stride when (the state shutdown) hit,” said Spencer. “We’re starting to see an uptick, though it’s been a little slow.”

They opened the store back in mid-May.

“When you’re in your business and you’re having hard days, just know that you doing something greater than yourself and bigger than your business,” Huffstutler said.

Huffstutler said the main purpose of the business is to help brides feel beautiful and happy on their wedding day.

“One of our main objectives when we started our business was that we wanted the brides to feel welcomed and warm here,” Spencer said. “It’s important for us to get to know the bride and hone in on they want, because everyone is different.”

Dress For A Day carries dresses that are priced anywhere from $70 to $900, with 100 rental dresses and 800 new dresses.

“We have everything it takes to make a bride,” Huffstutler said. “(Weddings are) a very beautiful and emotionally driven occasion, so I think (brides) should be treated rewardingly.”

Dress For A Day schedules brides for 90-minute appointments and, for coronavirus precautions, are only letting two guests in with the bride.

Spencer and Huffstutler both noted that they never want a bride to feel judged when they come into the shop.

“You shouldn’t go to a bridal shop and feel ignored based on your social or financial status,” Huffstutler said.

“Here, (brides) can be themselves and not have to put on a fake front,” Spencer said.

Dress For A Day and M&R Photography are located on Franklin Street in Centerville.

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