The hunt for the perfect dress for a bride’s big day can be daunting, especially when there are so many options, from style to color to accessories. Even more intimidating is the vast number of bridal shops that are available to be chosen from, particularly in a place like New York City. It’s hard to know which shop is the best one for you to get your needs met as a soon-to-be spouse. For the purposes of this article, we’ll stay away from the obvious bridal hot spots like Bergdorf, Kleinfeld, and J. Crew so that we can focus on the lesser-known bridal shops in the New York area where you can find a one-of-a-kind experience to rival the most glamorous of weddings. Here is a handy guide to the hidden gems of the bridal world in New York for the bride who craves a unique and unforgettable wedding experience.
Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier: This intimate and stylish bridal atelier is one of the most elegant bridal shops in New York. Brides-to-be in the big apple who aim for a chic and fashionable walk down the aisle head straight to this spot for a uniquely customized experience and a chance to spend their wedding day in a gorgeous couture gown from the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, or Vera Wang. Ever so posh, this lovely bridal boutique is a prime destination for the style-oriented bride.
Mika Inatome: Brides from all over run to Mika’s boutique for the designer’s signature style of the slim-fit gown. The aesthetic of slender-stitched, beautiful, and elegantly draped dresses is abundant at Inatome’s bridal shop. All gowns are custom made and fitted to the bride-to-be during the creation process, so you are guaranteed a perfect fit and a truly personalized experience in finding your dream wedding dress. Over five thousand brides have been swathed in beautiful fabric by Inatome, who has been in the business of bridal dress design for over twenty years.
Gabriella New York: Brides who want a truly one-of-a-kind experience on their wedding day would do well to make a stop at Gabriella New York, a fabulous bridal shop in Manhattan. This warm and inviting bridal boutique is full of beautiful dresses, veils, and unique accessories that can be found nowhere else. Gabriella Risatti lends her name to this lovely spot as well as her considerable bridal expertise and experience with designers such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Brides can purchase gowns from designers such as Reem Acra and Angel Sanchez, starting from about two thousand dollars and ranging up to twelve thousand.
The Bridal Garden: Brides who are passionate about contributing to a cause should look no further than the Bridal Garden. Here, bridal dresses are offered at a discount of up to 75%. The proceeds from each and every sale are donated to the cause of New York City education. The dresses are generously donated by big-name designers such as Lela Rose and Vera Wang, among others. While tailoring is not included, the amount of money saved on this philanthropic purchase would surely be enough for a bride-to-be to have tailoring done elsewhere.
Lovely: Aptly named, this wonderful bridal shop is nestled in a cozy brownstone in the West Village. The spot offers some of the most beautiful and romantic gowns that you have ever seen, made by both big-name, established dress makers and lesser-known “indie” designers alike. This is a great place to go for the bride who wants to avoid labels and go for a unique, fabulously envisioned piece to wear while walking down the aisle. Lovers of labels can also find their dream wedding dress here, too, with designer labels ranging from Nicole Miller to Claire La Faye being boasted by the oh-so-lovely shop.
Cymbeline and L’Fay Bridal: For the luxe bride, Cymbeline and L’Fay Bridal is the best place to go for couture gowns and luxury bridal style. The name Cymbeline might be familiar to fans of bridal fashion. The beautiful gowns hail from Paris, France, and have a justifiable reputation for being some of the most glamorous dresses in the world. Fashionable brides will love making a statement in these gorgeous and elegant dresses as they runway-walk down the aisle.
From well-known bridal brands to the best kept secrets in wedding day bliss, New York City is the best place to find the ultimate fashion pieces to make your special day better than you ever dreamed.
There are few things more charming than a winter wedding—the crisp feel to the air, the gorgeous winter color tones, and the cozy indoor venues all make these kinds of weddings a great option for brides and grooms who want a magical day after the temperatures have started to drop. Combine all of these charming aspects with the bonus of a Northeastern venue and you might just get the perfect scenario for exchanging vows. Here are some tips for spouses-to-be to in the Northeast to achieve the perfect winter wedding.
Color, Color, Color: The best part about winter weddings is the broad choice of colors. When snow is on the ground and the foliage has stopped flowering (making the landscape neutral), there is much more room to experiment with color. Whatever your taste is, there will always be a winter color option for you. Why not choose a bold, bright key lime or mango orange color for a visual taste of the tropics? Better yet, go deep and warm with rich jewel tones for your big day. No color is more romantic and sensual than a deep burgundy coupled with off-white or cream. During this chilly season, there is no limit with the color schemes you can get away with. Don’t be afraid to experiment and express yourself through your palette!
Cozy Venue: Of course, there is nothing quite as comforting as a warm and cozy place to rest after fighting through the chill and the cold on a wintry day. For the winter season, indoor venues are the best option. There are countless options in the Northeast region, including the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine, which is a historic and beautiful property that rests along the Kennebunk River in Maine. The spot’s elegant and gorgeous interior is the perfect place to celebrate you and your fiancée’s love and commitment. Another wonderful spot to hold you and your fiancée’s ceremony is the High Line Hotel in New York, New York. This perfectly restored and maintained property boasts fabulous examples of Gothic architecture and adorable vintage touches in décor, such as rotary phones and antique rugs. This 60-room hotel is a gorgeous place for you and your loved ones to cherish this most special day in your lives. The onsite 19th century chapel is the perfect place to exchange vows before taking the party to the hotel’s beautiful wood-paneled ballroom, complete with a 6-foot tall fireplace, perfect for photo-ops and perfect for a cozy reception.
Cozy Reception: After your guests have witnessed your declarations of love and life-long loyalty, what better way to express your love for all of them than by giving them the best party you can offer? A cozy and fun indoor venue is just the ticket for a winter wedding reception. The best way to work things out logistically is to keep the ceremony venue and the reception venue as close together as possible. For those choosing the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, mentioned above, David’s Kennebunkport restaurant, near this very hotel, is a beautifully intimate location where you can hold a great reception. Seating up to one hundred people, this cozy spot is a great place for your guests to curl up and find solace against the bitter cold outside while celebrating the love and commitment of their loved ones. The restaurant puts an interesting twist on traditional New England cuisine. For those getting hitched in Vermont, the Hen of the Woods restaurant in Burlington, Vermont is a great option for a warm and welcoming wedding reception. A favorite of locals and visitors alike, the restaurant is part of the Hotel Vermont. To maximize convenience, have your ceremony in the hotel before inviting your guests to join you for a fun-filled and delicious dinner reception in the cozy eatery. One more tip: if you plan to have a receiving line, take care to plan ahead so that your guests aren’t left out in the cold. Nothing is worst than standing out in the snow while dressed in your Sunday best, teeth-chattering and all.
This list of tips doesn’t come close to doing justice to the massive number of possibilities there are when planning a winter wedding in the Northeast. With all of the options in décor, venue, and location, there seem to be a million different ways to say, “I do.” The most important thing, however, is to plan a day filled with fun and laughter that you as well as your wedding guests will remember for years (and decades) to come.