PITTSTON – Gerri Bridal Shoppe on South Main Street is the “go to” place for many area brides-to-be — not simply because of nearly 500 wedding gowns in everything from silk to taffeta to tulle, but because of the expertise and personal attention of its owners.
The shop was started by Regina Jerrytone in 1965.
Jerrytone had originally worked at Zimmerman’s Bridal Shop in Wilkes-Barre where there was one too many “Reginas.” It was there she was first called Gerri, a name that would define her legacy in the bridal business.
Now located on Pittston’s Main Street and owned by Jerrytone’s daughter Judy Monko and granddaughter Michelle DeBiasi, the shop offers wedding gowns, mother-of-the-bride gowns, prom gowns and other dresses for various special occasions.
“We dress women for formal events,” said Monko. “And we love doing it.”
Monko, who has worked at the shop originally located on North Main Street throughout its history, looks back at wedding day memories not only of her customers, but of her own family.
“When I got married, we forgot to have a fitting for my wedding gown and it was too long,” she said. “So I said, don’t worry about it; I’ll just wear high heels.”
Both DeBiasi and Monko said that, in the wedding world, some things change, but some things forever stay the same.
“We enjoy doing theme weddings and destination weddings,” said DeBiasi, “but a lot of brides still love everything traditional.”
Wedding dresses are now more likely to be off-white, champagne or ivory, rather than the traditional white.
“Every couple of years, pink or blush trends,” said Monko. “It’s now much more about what the bride looks best in.”
One of DeBiasi’s favorite memories is that of her oldest customer.
“She came in at 72 and she wanted to wear white,” she said. “And, we also dressed her bridesmaids.”
The shop also does alterations, an added benefit for customers who want to look their best at their special event.
The key to success, Monko said, is knowing the customers you serve.
“No bride, no customer is the same,” she said. “They range from those getting married at the Stegmaier mansion to those who are having a barn wedding to those who are having a beach wedding.”
With DeBiasi ready to take the reigns when her mother retires, the bridal shop, nestled on South Main Street amid plenty of foot traffic and a revitalized city, seems to have a bright future.
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