Vintage Chic Bridal Boutique an integral part of ‘say yes’ moments

Vintage Bridal Boutique

Owner: Shelby Duggan

Address: 400 Bluff St.

Phone: 563-581-9945.

Services: By-appointment bridal gown sales.

Shelby Duggan went to nursing school, but she knew that wasn’t what she wanted to do with her life.

Her calling, instead, was the wedding industry.

“I loved being a small part of that special day,” said Duggan, who opened Vintage Chic Bridal Boutique, 400 Bluff St., on Dec. 1, 2018.

Before that, she had been a practicing nurse, working on disability claims from home. But her desire to put her creativity to use outshined a health care career.

“With the prior history of being in weddings, I thought bridal would be a really good fit,” said Duggan, who spent time as a wedding photographer with her mother.

She started out working at a local bridal shop, but soon went out on her own. After Duggan’s mother retired from the photography business, Duggan opened Vintage Chic in the former photography storefront in the 1500 block of Central Avenue.

In March, she moved to her Bluff Street location as business started to outgrow the first location.

“My shop exclusively focuses on the brides,” Duggan said. “So that’s really my passion. I just really love being a part of that, ‘Say yes,’ moment and providing the best experience possible.”

One of Duggan’s most memorable customers was her first — the night before the shop opened, Duggan was there until about 4 a.m. preparing to open. That inaugural appointment was at 9 a.m.

Everyone who steps into the boutique is important for Duggan.

“Every, ‘Say yes,’ moment for a bride is so special to me,” she said.

Maria Anderson, of DeWitt, Iowa, recently visited Vintage Chic after stumbling across the boutique online while searching for area bridal shops.

“I did not have a great experience in high school going to a bridal shop looking for prom dresses,” Anderson said. “I was kind of looking outside of the norm of where people usually go.”

The “user friendless” of the Vintage Chic website, sticking to a budget and the shop’s Facebook presence swayed her to set up an appointment with Duggan.

“Shelby was fantastic and incredibly personable,” Anderson said.

Anderson said Duggan reached out via text before the appointment in preparation for their meeting.

“Shelby kind of got a feel for my style, but also had lots of options for me to try on, and just was very respectful, mindful of my budget and what I was comfortable in,” Anderson said.

Vintage Chic began with off-the-rack dresses as a way to “fill a niche for affordable bridal gowns in the area,” according to Duggan, who also began working with bridal shops across the country to obtain dresses. She stocks a private label as well.

“I think I have the best dresses in the tri-state area,” she said.

As the shop has grown, the number of off-the-rack dresses has decreased, but what has remained is Vintage Chic’s by appointment only – and only one appointment at a time – business model.

“Brides love that,” Duggan said. “They love having the one on one experience.”

Anderson agreed.

“Being the only people in the bridal shop was incredible,” she said. “We got full attention and especially with COVID right now, we didn’t really have to be worried about being around other people.”

Because the brides who visit Vintage Chic are so important to Duggan, she said she wants their experience to be a pleasant one.

“My brides are everything to me,” Duggan said. “They’re not just a number to me.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit