‘We Appreciate That Brides Put Their Trust In Us’
For all the love stories Katelyn White and Katie Watson have heard, the most unexpected ‘meet cute’ was the one between their parents.
‘They met on their respective honeymoons at a comedy show and both couples realized they were from Baltimore, and actually lived in very close proximity to each other,’ Katelyn says. ‘They became good friends, started families at the same time, and each had three kids. They still celebrate their anniversary together every year.’
It seems only fitting, then, that Katelyn and Katie would eventually go into the business that pointed their families toward one another three decades prior. In 2014, Katelyn—who was working in the world of professional sports at the time—asked Katie if she would be interested in becoming business partners.
‘My sister and I had gotten her wedding dress and all of the bridesmaid dresses from Hitched 8 years ago and it was such a positive experience,’ Katelyn says. ‘Both of our dads started their own small businesses—even sharing an office—and we saw them build those from the ground up. When the opportunity to own Hitched presented itself, we took it.’
In any great relationship—romantic or platonic—two people complement one another. Katelyn, recently married, says her understanding of what brides are asking for and going through when they come into Hitched has changed since going through the process herself.
‘There are so many moving pieces and in entrusting others with my own wedding, it made me appreciate when brides give us their trust to do the same.’
Katie, who’s single, approaches Hitched’s clients with a different perspective.
‘I come at each fitting from an unbiased point of view, just absorbing,’ Katie says. ‘During the appointment, their wedding becomes my wedding.’
Katelyn and Katie say what they love so much about the bridal industry is how different each day is from the next. With a base in Georgetown, the Hitched team also travels to New York every October and April for Bridal Market to preview the newest collections from their designers.
‘The weekend is a high-energy, jam-packed few days fueled by beloved slices of New York pizza,’ Katelyn says. ‘It’s a great opportunity for our team to select which styles we’ll bring back to our DC brides.’
Fun, for sure—but a lot of behind-the-scenes work that most don’t realize.
‘People always say we have the best job because we get to look at pretty gowns all day,’ Katelyn says. ‘While that’s true, there’s so much that takes place on the operational side of things to ensure that we are delivering the best product for our brides. We’re very lucky to work with an incredible team of vendors who have the same end goal.’
The wedding is the shared end goal, but each bride has a different love story. And for a short time, Katelyn and Katie are a small part of that story. They have a growing collection of wedding invitations displayed in the front of the store, and have been invited to many of them.
‘It’s such an honor, but unfortunately we’re open on Saturdays, so it’s not often that we’re able to attend,’ Katie says. ‘That being said, when the wedding photos come in, we all congregate around the computer to look at them. From the moment when they first become a Hitched bride to when they are picking up their finished gown, there are so many details that have been discussed, so it’s really exciting to see everything come together.’
By the end of the process, the Hitched team has gotten to know not only the bride, but who they brought to the boutique, as well.
‘We always love a witty, shoot it to ya straight grandparent, or an adorable Dad who is brave enough to step past the front doormat to see his daughter say yes to her wedding dress,’ Katie says. ‘You get to be part of a special, exciting moment, and it’s fun to feel that energy. It’s truly extraordinary to see our brides leave not only with a beautiful gown, but with beautiful memories from their experience with us. Our family values are very much at the heart of our business, and we see these brides as part of the Hitched family.’
For these friends, it’s a family affair. And three years in, Katie and Katelyn feel like they said yes to the business—and the partner—they were supposed to be with.