Bridal fashion receives a fun, new twist at Lovely Bride, an Old City boutique that specializes in non-traditional gowns featuring indie designers from Etsy along with the classic names in the industry.
Non-traditional in bridal can range from subtle indie elements like lace with an open weave that creates a bohemian look to something atypical, like a silver gown that looks less bridal but is what a bride wants to wear on her wedding day.
Lovely Bride opened its original New York City store in 2010 and expanded its brand into a franchise with six locations across the nation. Because each city and each bride is different, it was important to the founders that the stores are owner-operated.
With roots in retail and a dream of owning a store of her own, Ivy Kaplin thought Lovely Bride would be a great fit for Philadelphia and opened her store about two years ago.
Her biggest difficulty was finding the perfect space but the Old City boutique has turned out to be everything Kaplin hoped for – warm and homey meets non-traditional.
“I decided that bridal was a really good fit for me” said Kaplin, “It allows me to work one-on-one with customers for an experience that is so important in their life.”
An appointment-only policy allows the store to keep an intimate and comfortable atmosphere for each bride.
“Bridal is definitely different that buying a T-shirt,” Kaplin explained, adding that at each appointment, the bride works directly with a stylist to find a dress that is right for them.
On weekends, the store plays host to trunk shows. A featured designer’s newest collection is displayed for brides to get an exclusive first-look. Dresses that are not yet in stores can be purchased at special discounted prices.
Lovely Bride carries about 14 different brands with a range of designers that are well-known in the industry like Watters to indie designers who’s gowns are handmade in the United States, Kaplin said.
Handmade gowns can take up to 200 hours to make, depending upon on the intricacy of the gown and if the designer uses the couture process.
Dresses are made to order, so Kaplin recommends ordering your gown nine to six months before your wedding.
– Text, images and video by Jenna Leo.