When it comes to weddings with fabulous Southern style, I can’t help but get lost in the brides’ gorgeous gowns. So, for all you newly-engaged brides, we wanted to share a few of our favorite bridal shops here in the South. Whether you’re all about classic style or modern trends, we’ve got the boutique for you – plus, a few tricks of the trade from yours truly!
First, we’ve got a little peak into the dress shopping trip of our very own Katharine. You see, not too long ago, our “anti-bride” went on a very special trip to Kleinfeld in search of the The One herself. To aid in her search, she enlisted a few of her favorites to come along for the ride. Read all about SW’s trip to the Big Apple here. P.S. Isn’t she absolutely stunning?!
Special thanks to our friend Jeff Holt for documenting the trip!
Now on to our picks for your big trip!
A. With one of the state’s largest collections of formal wear and a wide range of price points, Town and Country Bridal Salon has been New Orleans go-to salon since the 1930’s. Featured designers include Melissa Sweet, Jenny Lee and Jim Hjelm. Town and Country also houses a talented team of veteran tailors to ensure your dress fits perfectly.
B. Lara and Emily had the pleasure of meeting Heather, the owner of Bleu Belle Bridal, at the last Engage conference. She couldn’t have been sweeter or more Southern, and we know the warmth she radiates carries through to her Savannah shop. Stop by Bleu to try on gowns from Vera, Oscar, Monique, and a whole host of other designers that are fancy enough to go by one name!
C. Houston Bridal Gallery is a one-stop shop for brides in the Houston area, providing everything from tuxedos and gifts for your attendants to gown storage and post-wedding preservation. They also boast unique gowns at affordable prices. With such designers as Justin Alexander, Sophia Tolli and Stephanie James Couture, you’re sure to find the perfect dress in your price range.
D. How could you not have a fabulous time at a salon started by two best friends who met in seventh grade? Hitched, located in Washington, DC, carries Amsale, Anne Barge, Christos, Lela Rose, and Modern Trousseau, among others. Our preppy pals will be delighted to hear that they also represent Lilly Pulitzer!
E. At the The White Room Bridal Salon in Birmingham, Alabama, you will find classic elegance, sophisticated styles and exquisite fabrics and lace. Designers include Amsale, Paloma Blanca and my favorite line for this spring, Watters Brides. The White Room also has a great selection of debutante gowns, mother of the bride and special occasion dresses to choose from.
F. Known for its New York loft vibe paired with Southern hospitality, Solutions Bridals offers Orlando and Gainesville brides the latest trends in the bridal world. Designers include Bridals by Marisa, Badgley Mischka and Lazaro.
G. The Poinsett Bride in Greenville, South Carolina is owned by a daughter and mother-in-law team that believes dress shopping is so personal customers should be treated more like family than a customer. Designers include Alvina Valenta, Rivini and Legends by Romona Kevesa . With the Perfect Fit by Paula (one of the owners) under the same roof, your dress is sure to fit like a glove!
H. Located in the heart of uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, Hayden Olivia offers a handpicked selection of modern couture bridal gowns from leading designers. Designers include Modern Trousseau, Anne Barge and Ines Di Santo. Along with the hottest couture gowns, Hayden Olivia also has a wide selection of “must have” accessories and shoes.
I. Focused on providing a relaxing atmosphere, J Major’s , is located in the historic Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. They are home to more than 15 of today’s top bridal designers including Claire Pettibone, Two by Rosa Clara and Lea-Ann Belter.
J. No Southern bridal shopping list would be complete without Bridals by Lori. Located in the Sandy Springs community of Atlanta, Bridals by Lori is the South’s largest full-service bridal salon. They offer an expansive collection of designers including SW favorites Amsale, Monique Lhuillier and Judd Waddell. Bridals by Lori is also the star of the ever-addicting Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta.
As promised, here are a few tips to remember when heading out in search of the perfect gown:
— Give yourself ample time to find and order your dress, as well as to be fitted.
— Do your homework: look for inspiration photos to bring along with you on your shopping trip.
— Keep an open mind. Many dresses look completely different on the hanger than they do on your body!
— Listen to the consultants: they know what they’re talking about, and can suggest the best silhouettes for your body type.
— Establish a budget prior to walking through the doors. Once you see all the beautiful beading and lace, your wallet seems to expand without even realizing it.
— Most importantly, feel beautiful. You’ll know when it’s the right dress – you won’t ever want to take it off!
Lastly, in our search for the best bridal shops in the South, we came across some pretty fabulous boutiques that cater specifically to bridesmaids. You didn’t think I could forget about those special ladies that will stand by your side when you say your vows, now did you? (Especially considering I’ll be donning a watermelon pink frock and serving as matron of honor for my sister’s upcoming nuptials!) LulaKate (K), Bella Bridesmaid (M) and Twirl Boutique (L) are our top picks for best Southern bridesmaids shops. They’ll have your girls looking prettier than a little red wagon full of speckled pups!
What do you think? Did you find your perfect gown at one of our picks? Did I miss your favorite shop? What was your favorite part about finding your dream dress? We want to hear from you!
Have a question? leave a comment below or send me an email.
P.S. We completely forgot to add them to our logo collage, but we couldn’t end this post without giving a shout-out to b. Hughes Bridal in Nashville, TN. A fabulous selection of dresses and even more fabulous people!