Photo: Courtesy of Casa de Novia Bridal Couture
Your wedding dress is no ordinary dress, and ordinary rules don't apply. (For one, it may be the only time you need an appointment to try on clothes!) So whether you've imagined your perfect dress for years or have no clue, the experts at these Houston bridal shops will guide you to the gown that suits you, your body and your budget — all while giving you the rock-star treatment.
Casa de Novia Bridal Couture
Celebrating its 10th year, Casa de Novia ("house of the bride") has a reputation for impeccable service and stocking exclusives from biggies like Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Hererra, Monique Lhuillier, Lanvin Blanche, Ines di Santo, and Isabelle Armstrong. It's also home to the only Vera Wang boutique (a shop-in-shop) in the state and owner Luvi Wheelock has an adjoining ready-to-wear sister shop with the likes of Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Angel Sanchez and Yigal Azrouel. There's also an in-house seamstress. Read real brides' reviews here!
Ivory Bridal Atelier
Situated on the upper floor of Upper Kirby's West Ave development in River Oaks, Ivory Bridal Atelier is the brainchild of sisters Ronit and Sharon Levy, who collectively have worked for Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton and Laura Mercier. The shop, known for its special touches, accommodates brides in intimate, oversized dressing suites with a separate living room — outfitted with petit fours, baby cupcakes, and bubbly — for their guests. Expect unique gowns, starting at $3,200, from high-end designers like Reem Acra, Rivini, Anne Barge, Ines di Santo, Kenneth Pool, Lazaro, Alvina Valenta and Liancarlo — plus, headpieces and accessories from Sara Gabriel, Homa Bridal, and Badgley Mischka. Read real brides' reviews here!
Mia Bridal Couture
Mia Bridal Couture is an intimate, all-white oasis in the chic River Oaks Shopping Center with gowns from Alyne by Rita Vinieris, Amsale, Ysa Makino, Paloma Blanca, Judd Waddell, Watters Brides and Encore by Watters, Atelier Provonias, Enaura, Rivini and Sareh Nouri. The shop also has an extensive selection of accessories by brands like Blossom Veils, Elizabeth Bower, Erica Koesler, Erin Cole Design, Meg Jewelry, Paloma Blanca, Pronovias, Rivini, Thomas Knoell, Toni Federici, Amanda Judge, and Watters — and a bridal blog full of ideas and photos of local brides. In the event you need more options (or don't feel like braving Houston traffic from the 'burbs), owner Starla Flake has a sister store, Brickhouse Bridal, in The Woodlands. Read real brides' reviews here!
Joan Pillow Bridal Salon
Open since 2009, this second-floor shop in Highland Village is the second boutique for fashion veteran and hands-on owner Joan Pillow. She unveiled her first shop in Atlanta 25 years ago and took the concept a step further in Houston by adding eveningwear to her lineup of glamorous gowns from designers like Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Anna Maier, Naeem Khan, Inbal Dror, Romona Keveza, Mira Zwillinger, Jenny Packham, Berta and Le Spose di Gio. Plus, the salon takes after-hours appointments on Thursdays. Read real brides' reviews here!
Houston is one of only seven cities to have the Anthropologie bridal spin-off — pronounced "beholden" — and this Highland Village location is the country's first. The 4,000-square-foot flagship feels like a fashionable gallery with well-curated installations of bow ties, birdcage veils, vintage rings, luxe lingerie, Rifle Paper Co. cuteness and other décor staples like cake stands, toppers and table cards. Not to mention, the shop stocks all manner of dress, including wedding, bridesmaid, flower girl, mother-of-the-bride and party guests, all starting around $200. Read real brides' reviews here!
Houston Bridal Gallery
A jewel-box shop with shabby-chic style and a wide variety of dresses for brides-to-be, bridesmaids and flower girls, Houston Bridal Gallery carries Encore by Watters, Essense of Australia, Madeleine Fig, Matthew Christopher, Modern Trousseau, Nicole Miller, Pronovias, Ti Adora Bridal, and Wtoo Brides — most of which are less than $2,000. In addition to a half-dozen consultants, including owner Robyn Lounsberry, the shop has a seasoned in-house seamstress and offers heirlooming services to clean and preserve your wedding gown. Read real brides' reviews here!