Wedding season is upon us and that means that there are so many beautiful brides to see. Not only that but if you're planning your own wedding it's a great time to get ideas. If you're looking for a wedding dress in Austin you're not going to be struggling for choice with so many beautiful bridal salons around. Here are my top 6 places and why you should think about getting your wedding dress from one of them if you want the most beautiful bridal portraits.
This is the one I hear about the most. While I respect that Google reviews etc. may not put it in the number one spot but word of mouth counts for more in my opinion. What sets this place apart is their uncompromising standards. They are an appointment only salon which means if the phone rings it goes unanswered if they are busy with a bride. They will call you back, you will get your appointment, but you will also get undivided attention from your consultant. Even on Say Yes to The Dress you can see the consultants hopping between brides rather than being fully 1 on 1. There are some people that don't appreciate this, but when you're the bride and you're stressfully trying to figure something that won't make you look like a meringue or a white whale you'll appreciate having someone dedicated to bounce off of.
As an Austin wedding photographer, I get to be the 1 on 1 with my clients and it can be invaluable when it comes to really listening to what they want from their wedding photos.
With over 150 samples, 15 exclusive designers, and one of a kind accessories there's no way you'll have to worry about having “the same dress that the bride from last week” had.
Possibly one of the largest selections around. This is a great place to go if you need to see all your options in person before making a decision and there's something for every budget and even a large plus size selection. This is a bulk store, there are so many dresses it can be overwhelming. Subsequently, there are often not enough consultants to go around and those that are maybe rushed. It's important when approaching a store like this to have some idea of what you want so you can narrow it down and save yourself time. As an Austin wedding photographer, I've found that indecisive brides sometimes need more guidance than a store like this can provide, but it's great for getting ideas!
As with many salons they require appointments for dress fittings and even for trying on. Don't expect to walk in on the day and be able to put on any dress you fancy. They'll note down the dress and you can either set an appointment to try or keep it in mind when choosing another salon down the line.
I've even seen recommendations from a wedding planner to check this store out even if you do have an appointment elsewhere just to really feel what a wedding dress looks like. Many brides simply envision a “white dress” without getting into specifics such as the difference between a sweetheart and a straight or a bustled train and a cathedral. This way you can see them all!
With an Austin and a Houston location, this is perfect for the boho bride. Their dresses range away from traditional and more towards the unusual with lots of lace and even long sleeves, something a lot of bridal dressmakers eschew. Their designers are very much smell line couture and not off the rack which means you'd better look on their website at their ideas. You might even get lucky and catch a wedding dress sample sale for a bargain. This is a fairly small salon, especially compared to Belle Saison, mostly because of that exclusivity. Surprisingly, unlike the others, you do not need an appointment to try anything. It's a good idea to make one but you can simply walk in and try any dress you like.
I love bridal salon's like this because as a wedding photographer it's an opportunity to capture what might be a one of a kind unique dress that stands out. That's what sets the selection here apart – unique. The bride who wants to have a one of a kind wedding where no one else matches her needs an Austin bridal salon like this.
The first thing you'll say walking in is wow. Between the ultra-modern vibe and the stunning chandeliers, the word “atelier” is certainly evident. This is the fashion house of bridal couture and the shop is as beautiful as the gowns. There are more than enough consultants to go around and while they're not as exclusive as Serendipity and a little more mainstream than Unbridaled it's a good mixture of the best elements of both. As an Austin wedding photographer, I can really appreciate the design of this shop. It's well lit and well spaced which means you'll get a better idea of what your dress will really look like when I'm taking pictures of it. The lighting is especially important because that can make the difference between a cream dress and a champagne one.
One caveat seems to be that the alterations service isn't the best so it may be worth taking your perfect wedding dress elsewhere if it does need adjustment. However, possibly one of the most unique things about this shop is that they also have a bridal consignment section. The adage about “something old” doesn't necessarily mean your wedding dress has to be the something new. This can get you a stunning gown at quite a discount which will allow you to spend your budget elsewhere, like your wedding photography!
You would be forgiven for thinking this is a house, it's a quaint little building with a golden feel inside. While it doesn't have a massive selection it has a lovely atmosphere. Blush is a very modern shop and like Unbridaled their flagship designs and designers are all on their website. They also allow you to create a pinned favorites list direct from their site and they have over 100 plus size gowns. Yes, 100 plus sized gowns, making them the biggest plus bridal destination for wedding dress shopping in the area.
Photographing plus brides can be just as challenging as finding the right wedding dress for a plus figure. It's all about angles and shapes. Just like the wrong dress can make you look awful so can the wrong photographer. A great way to make sure you've got the right one is to have your photographer shoot bridal portraits before the wedding. You get a trial run of your dress and you get to make sure that your photographer can deliver the stunning images you want before the big day.
Another appointment only salon. This is a good place to come if you're not sure what you're looking for but you don't want the overwhelm that somewhere like Belle Saison can give because there's just too many dresses to choose from. This store does not cater well to plus sizes as their dress selection is quite small altogether as you would expect from a boutique shop. The benefit of a boutique style location is that it's much more personal. This is something many brides find missing about their wedding dress shopping experience because it can seem very commercial. Similarly, you want your wedding photographer to be able to focus on the details of your wedding and about what makes it yours which is why a personal consult is so important. Meeting your photographer and discussing your needs is just as important as talking to your wedding dress consultant about what shapes of dress you like if you want to find the right one.
Whether you're choosing a dress or choosing an Austin wedding photographer it's important to make the right decision. Just like trying on a wedding dress you can “try out” your photographer beforehand with bridal picture and engagement shoots. You'll want to remember that beautiful dress forever so the pictures you take will help you to do that.