By Shalese Kocher

When you walk into Sealed With A Kiss, you know it’s going to be a superb shopping experience. With walls of wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses and shelves full of veils, hair pieces and jewelry, there’s plenty to choose from to complete your wedding day look.

Beyond the plush sofas, mirrors and pedestals, however, the real magic begins. In the back room you”™ll find owner Susan Sorbello’s workspace where she does alterations for her brides, creates custom gowns and designs her own line of couture wedding gowns. She also designs custom veils, headpieces, sashes, and jewelry!


With over two decades of experience, Susan is a fashion designer through and through. She is trained in the art of couture gown making, spent years learning from Lillian Lovelock at the Reading College of Arts and Technology and qualified with The City & Guilds of London in Extended Fashion Skills. Originally from England, Susan now lives in Charlottesville and owns a bridal salon there and right here in Short Pump.


On the racks at Sealed With A Kiss, you”™ll find quality gowns from other designers as well as Susan Sorbello gowns that are designed and created right here in Richmond. Susan finds inspiration in all sorts of ways for her pieces – her next collection comes from a song that she loves. Listening to Susan talk about the collection she’s working on, you can see the passion in her eyes for creating gorgeous gowns for gorgeous brides.


“My number one goal is to have a bride find the dress of her dreams,” Susan says, “it is not to sell a dress. I do this because of the fashion. Being a fashion designer is a little bit like being an artist – you don’t do it because you’re in it for the money!”

The staff at Sealed With A Kiss salons share the same passion. Susan says, “We want to help brides find what they’re truly looking for. Sometimes we have to customize a dress a bit or combine two dresses, and we’re fully capable of doing so. If they have a clear vision or even a partial vision of what they want, we can create it from scratch.”


After spending an afternoon in the salon myself, I can’t recommend Sealed With A Kiss and its staff enough. After all, what could be better than getting a gown made by Richmond’s own Vera Wang?


Visit one of Susan’s two locations or find Sealed With A Kiss online ( to find the gown of your dreams!

201 Towne Center West Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23233

505 East Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902