First Communion Shopping near Frederick MD

We are coming up on March and that means First Communions are right around the corner! Before you know it, you’ll be searching for that perfect First Communion dress and accessories…  Is it just me, or is shopping for First Communions really difficult here in Frederick? When my daughter had her First Communion in 2018, we really had to search high and low to find options for dresses. I thought I’d share some of the resources and vendors I found, in the hopes that it helps some of you! Please note, some links in this post are affiliate links. This simply means I earn a small commission if you place a related order. It is at no cost to you, and those little earnings help me keep my website running, so thank you!

Dress shopping –

1. The Nordstrom at Tyson’s Corner – We were lucky enough to find out they were hosting a First Communion trunk show when we were looking for my daughter. They had soooooo many dresses, veils, gloves, and shoes. I did call to see if they were hosting one this year, and unfortunately they are not. The representative I spoke to suspected it was because of supply chain issues due to COVID. More reason to start looking early! I would certainly check with them if you need a dress or suit in the future. She did say she knew they currently have suits! Hopefully they bring the trunk show back. You can always give them a call to see what they have in stock. This was the only “real” shopping experience we had where she got to try on many dresses, we could see and feel them, and hold accessories up to dresses to see how they look.

2. The dress we settled on was designed by Joan Calabrese. The materials and workmanship of the beading is impressive. Pricing was slightly higher than other brands we saw, but certainly far from the top. The slight jump from more affordable dresses was definitely worth it for the quality. We still have it, and it looks like it did 4 years go. I has not yellowed at all or lost it’s shape, beads etc. See some of my favorite details on her dress below!

First Communion Joan Calabrese dress details, Dress beading, bows, material

3. Us Angels was another brand we saw a lot of and liked many options. My daughter loved a lot of the lace styles they had. It looks like you can order from them directly online which is wonderful! I would pay attention to their Communion Size Chart in the dress descriptions. We found with most brands, my daughter had to go down 1-2 dress sizes in First Communion dresses!

4. Trish Scully makes absolutely beautiful white dresses that are comfortable too. The pricing can’t be beat, and sizing always seems pretty true to size. We have ordered a number of these dresses in red, for Christmas, and my daughter is always thrilled with them. That being said, I have received one or two with small imperfections in the lace. I’m just putting that out there to set expectations. I would still give them 5 stars because the designs are stunning, and the little imperfections have never been anything anyone other than myself would notice. They have a small selection of veils and gloves too.

Custom work and repurposing wedding dresses –

If you are looking to have a dress custom made for you daughter, I highly suggest you visit It’s Sew Clare’s website to see some examples of her beautiful work. She is a very talented seamstress who sewed her first skirt at just 7 years old! She can create fully custom dresses, or repurpose a wedding or heirloom dress. You can even follow along on Facebook as she details the process of making a First Communion dress. Her talent is apparent and the attention to the little details is amazing. It is really a treat to see the process documented in photos. I love that she also created a matching purse to go along with one of the dresses, how beautiful! While we are on the topic of sacraments, her Baptismal gowns are also very impressive. Just something to keep in mind if you know someone with a little one on the way 🙂

First Communion Shoes –

Swea Pea & Lilli for the win here! My favorite pair, which of course I can’t find, is linked. These have by far been the most loved pair of shoes my daughter has ever had. We’ve gotten this brand in different styles and sizes for different occasions as she’s gotten older. They are so pretty, they are dressy, and she reports they feel good, so that is a major bonus!

Dream Pairs is another nice brand. Their white shoes are a nice bright white, which I love! They have pretty details and this is another pair my daughter enjoyed… as you can tell by the scuffs 😉 That being said, they held up pretty well for a dress shoe that had to endure some play. My daughter is actually wearing these shoes in one of the photos above. They are the perfect white to match a First Communion dress.

First Communion shoe shopping Maryland, Favorite dressy white shoes for girls

Nina also has a nice selection of girl’s dress shoes. I’ve always known them as a women’s shoe company and had no idea they made kid’s shoes too. These did not work the best for us, but I do have a very tactile sensitive little girl. If it doesn’t feel right on her, she really has trouble wearing it. We  have many friends who wear these though without a problem!

Out of state resources – 

Pennsylvania – 

Having searched for Swea Pea & Lilli shoes, I actually came upon this gem of a shop named Oxford Hall in New Cumberland, PA. They are located just over an hour from where we live in Frederick and it looks like a pretty straight shot up 15. They seem to have a big selection of First Communion apparel. My family may have to take a trip up there to check it out for my son’s suit this year! I will update this post if we do.

RI Friends –

If any of my Rhode Island friends or family are reading this, I can’t say enough good things about Teddy Bearskins in Wickford! They actually worked with us over the phone, my mom and dad would go in and describe what they were finding for us. They e-mailed me pictures, provided plenty of product details, and answered all of my questions. Had we been in RI to try things on, I’m positive we would have found everything there. Since we couldn’t try on, we did find all our accessories through them, the veil, the gloves, and the purse! They do have a big selection, and their customer service is top notch. See details of the veil and gloves we ordered below. I wish I could find her purse to share a picture too. 

First Communion gloves and veil from Teddy Bearskins in Wickford RI

Your turn –

Now that I have provided lots of resources for girls, who can help me with boys!? If you have resources for boys that you love, please let me know as I will need them soon! Additionally, if I’ve missed places local to the Frederick area, drop a comment below and a link for other shoppers. It would be awesome to find more First Communion shopping close to home.

Also, don’t forget to check back in once you have all your shopping done. I’ll be releasing dates for First Communion Mini sessions soon! Sessions are held in my home studio in Frederick, MD. I’m sure your little one will be picture perfect, and it’s certainly a milestone worth documenting in pictures! I’d love to see you soon. 

Cristina Elisa Photography is located in Frederick, MD and specializes in natural light, and black and white photography.

Contact Cristina to book your portrait session today!