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Classic and Conservative for Prom Dresses and Bridesmaids

After moving a year ago, Cristina's Bridal has realized the advantages of its new One Main Street location.

This year's prom dresses are more classic and conservative with rich colors, according to Cristina's owner Christine Canto-Kalman. Although dresses are typically ordered 12 weeks in advance, area high school girls have been able to buy off the rack and have their dress altered.

"A lot of the girls have bought bridesmaid dresses this year." She added that the style seems to favor long dresses for juniors and short for seniors.

Although prom dresses are an important part of the business, the three level shop specializes in bridal gowns and designates the entire second floor for brides-to-be with gowns arranged by 20 designers, as well as accessories of veils and jewelry.

Most of the bridesmaid dresses, cocktail dresses and mother of the bride are showcased on the street level floor.

In additional to alterations, Canto-Kalman is proud of the personal services she offers to her customers. Bridal gowns range from $800-$7,000 in cost while bridesmaid dresses are reasonable priced between $180-$350.

"We always ask if a bride has a budget," she said. But they do encourage them to look through the entire collection and mark with rings what they want to try on. "This gives us a better idea of what they they like," she explained. Although strapless gowns are more popular, there is a wide selection with straps and sleeves.

According to Canto-Kalman, veils have come back into style, and the staff at Cristina's makes sure that every gown is tried on with at least one. While the shop has a selection of veils, the shop held a trunk show this past weekend with Toni Federici, an Illinois designer of head pieces, veils and jewelry. 

"We invited our brides to come back with their gowns if they had it or they could wear the samples and try out Federici's designs," she explained.

Canto-Kalman, along with her husband Steve have owned the business for 28 years, and has also been located at Park Street and 10 Main Street. Their 20 employees work hard to cater to their customers. 

The move from across the street took three days, and Canto-Kalman said she is thrilled with the decor designed by Sue Adams Interiors. The new location is more visible, and she is seeing a surge of "off the street" business.

Cristina's is located in The Bridal Center which allows one stop shopping for weddings. The other stores include Russo's Tux and Limousine, All Star Entertaining and Uplighting, The Ivory Corset, Photography by Linda, New England Bridal Affairs, Festejos Decor, Linens, Rentals and Shaperella.

The hours of Cristina's are Tuesday: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Wed-Thu: 9:30 am-8:00pm, Fri:9:30am-5:30pm, Sat:9:30am-5:00pm, the phone number is 978-470-3956, or check out the website.

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