Los Angeles brides (like pretty much every bride around the world) dream of finding something different when it comes to the dress. Whether it’s a red-carpet worthy gown that’s timelessly elegant, eclectically vintage, or modern and romantic, the good news is we live in a city that offers all of the above (and then some).
But where do those fashion-forward brides in the know go for a unique wedding dress, one that looks like it was made especially for them without the atelier price tag? We rounded up the top wedding dress boutiques where you can find custom and curated designs from local and independent designers that will fit every budget and style.
Designer Patricia Nevil dreams of creating the “perfect silhouette” for every bride that comes through her door, balancing what’s in fashion with what looks best on their figure. “They’re not mutually exclusive,” says Nevil, who along with her business partner Corina offers custom made wedding gowns as well as dresses from their latest collections, which are all made in Los Angeles. “Our bride knows how to shop, what she wants and how she wants to be perceived by others.” It’s no wonder celebrities like Iggy Azalea and Lady Gaga are fans.
»1482 South Robertson Blvd., 310-657-5398, Tue.-Sat.: 9a-5p, by appointment only. Price range: Starting at $2,800, with an average price of $3,500 to $4,500.
One visit to Shareen’s downtown warehouse and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to vintage heaven. With racks and racks of every kind of retro dress imaginable, it’s not until you see another bride trying on one of her custom wedding gowns or curated vintage bridal picks that you really start to drool, realizing you’re not in Bridal Kansas anymore. “If I were to have a slogan for my company it might be ‘Shareen…for the reluctant bride,’ ” says designer and owner Shareen Mitchell. “My brides are a bit embarrassed by anything insincere, inauthentic, or that plays into the hand of stale tradition.” Here, here!
»1721 N. Spring St., Downtown, 323-276-6226, Tue.-Sat.: 10a-5p, Sun.: noon-6p; by appointment only. Price range: Starting from $800 to $2,900, with an average price of $1,700.
Boho babe. Garden nymph. Modern Victorian. Those are just a few of the muses that come to mind for designer (and Los Angeles resident) Claire Pettibone, who creates a fairytale-like experience not only with her wedding dresses, but with her castle-like flagship store on Beverly. “I am constantly inspired by the variety and beauty of my clients, while remaining true to my own artistic vision,” says Pettibone, whose cult following includes celeb brides such as Nikki Reed and Patricia Chan, who said “I Do” to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in one of her dreamy creations.
»7415 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-360-6268, Tue.-Sat.: 10a-6p, appointment suggested. Price range: Starting at $3,600 to $10,000, with the majority in the $4,000 to $7,000 range. The budget-friendly “Romantique Collection” ranges from $1,500 to just under $3,000.
Often the last stop for brides who are fed up with the corporate vibe of other wedding dress stores, Bride Boutique offers a laid-back and quaint atmosphere in Echo Park for the wedding weary. With independently designed wedding dresses and handmade-to-order bridal attire that are “easy to wear,” brides rave about owner Maria’s knowledgeable and no-stress approach to finding “the one.”
»1528 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, 323-921-5008. Appointment hours: Mon.-Thu.: noon-8p; Tue., Fri., Sat.-Sun.: 10a-6p; Wed.: closed. Price Range: Starting at $1,000 up to $4,500. The majority of the collection is $1,500 to $2,700.
Stone Fox Bride, Delphine Manivet, Donatelle Godart, Anais Anette, Odylyne The Ceremony, and Alexandra Grecco are just a few of the curated designers on display at this beachside bridal boutique that caters to the “California inspired” bride. Offering brides champagne or beer and personal music playlists at their appointments, where else but Venice can you shop for a unique wedding gown and a leather jacket at the same store?
»530 California Ave #4, Venice, 323-686-8171, Tue.-Sun.: 11a-6:30p, by appointment only. Price Range: Made to Order start from $1,800 to $8,000, with the majority falling between $2,500 and $4,000.
Lindsay Goldenberg Jones is the founder and editor of WomanGettingMarried.com. From wedding venue reviews to an in-depth look at how much things will actually cost you, her site gives you the real (and fun!) information you need to help plan your perfect wedding.