For as long as I can remember, I've been obsessed with wedding dresses. I remember going to weddings as a little girl and really only being there for THE dress. In 2011, I sat up till the wee hours of the morning in my dorm room at Whitworth University JUST to watch the Duchess of Cambridge step out of the carriage. I couldn't wait to step into a wedding boutique with my mom for the first time in the search for the gown; I found it within three dresses and although I bought it for a different wedding that didn't happen (more on that in another post!) I held onto it for the next 3 years until I found the right guy because I loved it that much. And to this day, one of my favourite things to see on your wedding day is your dress hanging up, ready to go.
I've fallen in love with a few designers over this past year, and if you're still looking for THE gown I hope this helps you garner a few more ideas. For those of you in Northern Ireland, I've also included which boutiques you can find these designers! Keep in mind boutiques often do Trunk Sales of certain designers and any new collections so I recommend finding out when those are and plan your visit around then. So grab a cuppa, a notepad and keep reading for my top 4 designers to look at this year if you're looking for that elegant but modern gown!
Rime Arodaky is a Parisian designer and fashion house. Their designs are a perfect blend of elegant and feminine but with a modern twist on shilouette. You'll find a range of wedding wear from the feminine, ballerina inspired gowns to sleek jumpsuits, but on the whole you'll find that their designs are easy on the eye and make a huge statement all while being refined.
My bride, Katie wore Rime Arodaky's Arwen and Salem gown at her wedding in Tuscany this summer! See some photos of it below and further photos on this blog!
Where you can find Rime Arodaky in NI:
2.Madi Lane Bridal
Madi Lane gowns are my new obsession! If I were getting married again, this is the designer I would go with. Madi Lane is an Autstralian designer who describes their gowns as, "aspirational and attainable." I couldn't agree more! The gowns are so incredibly fashionable all while giving off serious "girl next door" vibes. They are also size inclusive which is a big plus from me! With so many collections to pick from there are so many versatile styles which will suit any body type. They are so effortlessly feminine and chic with a little boho thrown in. If you like lace and illusion elements I would absolutely check them out! Their Elora gown is my current favourite!
While none of my brides have worn Madi Lane yet here is a link to the look book for their Aphrodite Collection which is to DIE for!
Where you can find Madi Lane in NI:
Pippa Bridal Studio in Coleraine
Jill Jones Bridal in Crumlin
La Boda Bridal in Banbridge
3.Eliza Jane Howell
It says it right on Eliza Jane Howell's Instagram bio, "Our blend of ancient techniques & new ideas make the perfect gown." That's exactly how I would describe Eliza Jane Howell pieces. The dresses are both designed and hand beaded in London. If you're especially in love with and inspired by those 1900's Art Deco, sleek designs EJH is the designer for you! They are vintage inspired with a modern twist that keep the gowns stunning and timeless.
My gorgeous bride, Bethany wore Eliza Jane Howell's Pompeii gown for her wedding at The Wool Tower this past September.
Where you can find Eliza Jane Howell in NI:
Petticoat Lane Bridal in Hillsbrough (Instagram Here)
Creative Ideas Bridal in Armagh and Cookstown (Instagram Here)
Seraphim Bridal in Greyabbey (Instagram Here)
White Gold Bridal in Broughshane (Instagram Here)
Maggie Soterro is just one of those designers who has something for everyone! From modern, slim line gowns, to boho elopement pieces to classic ballgowns, I find them to be size inclusive, age inclusive, budget inclusive and timeless. Having been in the design game for over 20 years, Maggie Soterro is not only staple in the bridal game but a designer you can't go wrong with in my opinion.
My stunning bride Erin wore the Maggie Soterro Mallory Dawn Ball Gown for her intimate wedding this past November, and oh. my. goodness. it is a jaw dropper!
Where you can find Maggie Soterro in NI:
Eden Bridal in Belfast (Instagram Here)
Perfect Day Bridal in Lurgan (Instagram Here)
Creative Ideas Bridal in Armagh & Cookstown (Instagram Here)
Wedded Bliss Bridal in Portglenone (Instagram Here)
I'm so excited for this list to grow this year as I come into contact with more of my incredible brides and their gowns! I love so many designers but these are the four that I can not get enough of at the moment. As you plan for your first (or second or third etc) visit to a boutique, I hope this arms you with inspiration and ideas! Always go into your appointment with a vision AND an open mind! I promise you'll know when you've found the gown!