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Tucked away in the Sanderlin Center of East Memphis is Bella Bridesmaids, but don’t let the name fool you! While outfitting bridesmaids for the big day is their main game, the styles they offer go well beyond bridal so that you can be the belle of your next ball! Today we meet the dynamic duo at the helm of Bella Bridesmaids as they share with us some of the hottest trends in wedding world.

Sisters Annie Kate (Sanford) Worley and Shelley Sanford are a mere two and a half months apart in age–they were adopted at birth–and have been raised essentially as twins, so it comes as no surprise that they shared a singular vision of owning their own business. It was only a matter of time before Shelley,who is a former school teacher, and Annie Kate, a former horticulturist at The Hutchison School, realized exactly what that business would be.

Bella Bridesmaids

Best friends, sisters and business partners. Meet the beautiful duo behind Bella Bridesmaids: Annie Kate (Sanford) Worley and Shelley Sanford.

“We both shared a desire to open a business after college, but could never pinpoint what it was that we wanted to open. Bella Bridesmaids fell into both of our laps at different times, ” Shelley says. With Shelley first taking ownership of the Nashville location in 2010, and Annie Kate the Memphis location in 2011, they were very close to realizing their life-long dream. Finally, they combined forces in Memphis a little over a year ago when Shelley decided to make the move back home. “We work  really well as a team, bringing our unique strengths to work with us each day,” says Shelley.

Bella Bridesmaids

Teamwork in action!

Here’s our Q & A with this dynamic duo about their business:

Do most brides come in with a clear idea of what they want for their wedding party, or do they let their bridesmaids direct this? Or is it more of a collaboration?

Most of our brides come to their appointment with a vision and one or two key decision-makers!

What new trends for the bridal party are you seeing emerge this year?

The trend in bridesmaid land is allowing maids to pick from a selection of dresses so that they are able to choose a bodice they are most comfortable wearing. (Thank goodness! Haven’t we all worn a bridesmaid dress that fit so badly it distracted us from all the fun?!) Brides are also selecting several colors of the same palette, which is beautiful in pictures. Right now we are seeing lots of long, chiffon dresses, but you never know what’s around the corner for next season! Mixing textures is also a growing trend. Lace, chiffon and tulle combined within a wedding party is a beautiful combination!

Bella Bridesmaids

Mixing textures and shades of the same color palette in the same party.

What colors are topping the list for fall 2014 weddings?

Blush, champagne and truffle are huge right now. Navy and shades of gray are always bestsellers, too!

Bella Bridesmaids

Blush, champagne and truffle are having a moment, but navy and gray will always be a sure bet.

You stock styles that go beyond the bridesmaid. Tell us about the services you offer for clients of all ages who are looking for the perfect special occasion dress?

We carry several lines that are geared toward partygoers of all ages and for all occasions in styles that are short, long, structured or whimsical. We even have a few designers who keep dresses in stock for quick delivery for those last-minute clients as well!

Bella Bridesmaids

Short show-stoppers!

Bella Bridesmaids

When long gowns are required, these elegant styles are just lovely.

What are some accessories that you recommend for the big day — or a big event?

To feel and look your best on the big day, don’t leave home without the following: Your NuBra, a pair of Soulmates (to keep those high heels from sinking in the grass at your outdoor venues), a pashmina to keep you covered (Memphis weather is so unpredictable and indoors the AC can often freeze you out!) and a fabulous custom clutch by LulaKate to keep your lip gloss and phone in!

Bella Bridesmaids

The wonderful selection of accessories at Bella Bridesmaids can easily make any gown your own.

Bella Bridesmaids

To match or not to match? Jewelry offers many options to complement gowns and can also be an outlet to let individual styles and personalities shine.

Bella Bridesmaids

Stylish and comfortable shoes are a must!

Whether you are planning your own wedding or looking for a special gown to attend your next big event, let the lovely ladies of Bella Bridesmaids help you find your perfect match. Not in Memphis? No worries, visit to find a store near you!

Bella Bridesmaids

Thank you for sharing your stylish tips today, Annie Kate and Shelley! Learn more about Bella Bridesmaids here:

And Christen Jones photographed the ladies of Bella Bridesmaids for our story today! Thank you, Christen!


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