Next to the big day itself, wedding dress shopping is undoubtedly the most anticipated item on a bride’s to-do list–for better or worse. On the one champagne-endowed hand, you’ll spend the day with your nearest and dearest (or most fashionably savvy) girlfriends getting next-level excited about your big day. On the other, for many brides, the spades of options can very quickly become overwhelming.
This is where a professional’s steady hand is key: they’ll talk you through what’s right for you, what other brides have loved, and what will work best for the day you’ve planned. Say yes to the dress with the best of Brisbane’s bridal boutiques.
Two Hearts Bridal Studio
Whether you’re prioritising that honeymoon budget or simply don’t want to watch your bank balance vanish in a single day, there are plenty of reasons to hunt down a quality wedding dress at a more accessible price. Luckily, this is where Two Hearts Bridal Studio shines. After over 30 years in the fashion industry, they’ve built up an award-winning collection of modern and traditional gowns, veils and capes.
When Freddie Met Lilly
While we love online shopping as much as the next person, there’s no doubt that the tech age of retail lacks the personal touch. Designer Vanessa Hoe launched When Freddie Met Lilly after noticing a distinct lack of personalised bridal services and vowing to fix it. The leafy private studio in Bardon lends a stunning backdrop for one-on-one appointments, where you’ll have every chance to look through their bespoke, made-to-order collection of bridesmaid gowns, cocktail dresses, suits, and bridal gowns.
The team at Babushka Ballerina are champions of the ‘your day, your way’ philosophy for their brides-to-be. Once you’ve booked an appointment to visit the showroom, you can opt in to their bespoke design service for a one-off piece of your own, or tour curated collections by names like Rue De Seine, Divine Atelier, and Delila Fox. Oh, and be sure to say hi to their in-house relaxation consultant (slash studio pup), Daisy!
The Veil Collective
Unlike the family heirlooms tucked in the attic (thanks, Nana), The Veil Collective breathes modern life into a timeless tradition. Their contemporary range spans an impressive list of exclusive international designers, including Alena Leena, Love Honor, Vagabond Bridal, Esty Style, and Jeannelle L’Amour Bridal. If you’re not already on the north side, this one’s well worth the trip.
Already sorted your something old, something borrowed, and something blue? Discover something new at Ella Moda, where designer Ella Stephenson revels in the creation of couture gowns for the modern romantic. From ready-to-wear collections to bespoke pieces and a complete custom couture service, Ella Moda’s range of sophisticated, handmade gowns are sure to make that walk down the aisle one for the picture books.
Like any big event, the single-use and mass-made purchases can stack up quickly during wedding planning. Eco-minded brides will love Bloom’s commitment to #slowfashion, which emphasises ethical and sustainable design processes. As well as their range of exclusive local and international designers from the likes of Alex Perry to Danielle Frankel, Bloom offers a special line, ‘Ode by Bloom,’ which features previously-owned or ex-display sample gowns for the conscientious buyer.
White Lily Couture
This is no ordinary shopping day, after all. White Lily Couture delivers an experience, starting from the one-on-one stylist consultation before venturing into your personal fitting room. If you’re feeling extra bougie, book the Luxe Lounge, where you’ll be treated to a cocktail on arrival to your own private lounge, nibbles, and a bottle of bubbles as you tour through over 200 eye-catching gowns.
Made With Love Bridal
Daring v necklines, plunging low backs and luxurious French crepe dresses—you’ll find them all at Made With Love Bridal, where they create beautiful and modern dresses for beautiful brides (ie, all of them). Don’t worry if you’re not quite daring enough to bare it all—the MWL collection includes plenty of structured bodies too. Book in an appointment at their Albion boutique to find your perfect cut.
Karen Willis Holmes
With their Paddington boutique housed in an old Queenslander, Karen Willis Holmes’ store as as stunning as the dresses you’ll find inside it. The sheer range of styles here may be enough to send indecisive brides reaching for another glass (or five) of champagne, but whether you’ve already got your eye on one of the stunning designs or you’re ready to swish and twirl your way through every neckline and fabric type in the collection, you’re bound to find your dream dress here.
Brides of Brisbane
The words ‘spoiled for choice’ are just what any bride wants to hear. Brides of Brisbane are the heralds of Queensland’s largest collection of bridal gowns, with styles, shapes and sizes to suit every bride’s dream wedding. Whether you’re leaning towards chic, boho, or minimalist, you’ll find spades of made-to-order and off-the-rack options from over 10 international designers, as well as veils, overskirts, and jewellery.
Ok, so you want the stunning designer dress—but the sustainability warrior in you is shaking their head at the thought of dropping thousands on a dress you'll only wear once. Enter: Bessette Bridal. This New Farm boutique rents stunning, high end dresses from as little as $300, so you can have it both ways. They also sell secondhand dresses if you want something you can keep—or you can bring your dress in to sell on consignment if you've already found that perfect dress for your day.
While you’re at it, start accessorising with 7 stunning Brisbane jewellers to add to your bling collection.
Image credit: Individual boutiques