No matter what side of the aisle you’re on when it comes to bridal fashion (traditional or modern), there’s a Washington, D.C. salon that will get your vote. Find the dress of your dreams from top designers like Marchesa, or opt for a completely custom gown that’s inspired by a family heirloom. The capital city is even home to a “Project Runway” alum ready to dress you in a playful design. These are the best bridal salons in Washington, D.C.
1. Carine’s Bridal Atelier
They stand by their motto “your aisle is our runway” by being the only salon in D.C. to offer the crème de la crème of Fashion Week famous designers like Carolina Herrera and Monique Lhuillier. Even the head seamstress comes from the high fashion world; she previously worked at Vera Wang for 25 years and now works on the second floor of this salon dedicated to alterations.
2. Hitched Bridal
This historic location of this Georgetown salon certainly sets the vibe for the dresses. Here you’ll find lots of classic, simple silhouettes, intricate craftsmanship and clean lines that work for all body types. More than helping to find a sophisticated dress, the highly-regarded stylists spend a third of the appointment learning about each bride’s style.
If a business has been around since 1908, you know it has to be good. Yes, this shop has been dressing discerning customers for 110 years and recently underwent an eight-month renovation to bring new life to the historic store. While they have a new, sleek look complete with blush-colored couches and white walls, the tradition of offering top European and American designers remains. Here you will find gowns from Jenny Packham, Reem Acra, Marchesa, and Christian Siriano, that you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
4. Nazemi Bridal
From the actual gown, right down to the accessories, everything at this Georgetown salon is custom made. Not only will the seamstresses ensure every detail is perfect, but also that it’s functional. “My dress was heavily beaded, so I was a little worried,” said one bride. “They crushed it. I was able to party all night without tripping or any malfunctions.” This peace of mind comes at a bit of steep price, but you’ll know your dress couldn’t be more perfect on your big day. Now that’s priceless.
5. Diana’s Couture and Bridal
Looking to relive your mother or grandmother’s wedding day, but with a modern vibe? Owner Diana My Tran, aka “The Gown Doctor,” has you covered. For over the last 30 years, she has made a name for herself as the expert in recreating heirloom looks. She’s happy to use an actual gown or start from scratch to create a family-inspired dress. “If you’re looking for custom-made anything, Diana is, without question, the one to call,” raved one bride. “I had a vision for my wedding dress, brought in a sketch, and she delivered exactly what I wanted.”
6. Cherry Blossom Bridal
At this D.C. salon, it’s all about the curvy bride. They specialize in sizes 8 to 28 and have three types of appointments—bridal, silhouette check, and trunk show—to ensure you’re getting the exact experience you need. With a traditional bridal appointment, you’ll get 90 minutes with a consultant who will take you through a style interview in a private room before selecting dresses from designers like Maggie Sottero, Allure Bridals, and Lis Simon. Brides loved that plus-size women work in the store and that all of the gowns were cut to be flattering for curvaceous women. “I wasn’t sure I’d find given my apple body shape,” said one bride. “I was so relieved! I absolutely loved my dress, and looked incredible in it on my wedding day.”
7. Elaya Vaughn Bridal by Kate Pankoke
“Project Runway” All-Star Kate Pankoke is at the helm of this amazing bridal salon that exclusively creates made-to-order gowns. Her motto is to give every bride a couture experience without the price. You’ll get personal attention from the award-winning designer from start to finish. “Kate warmly greeted us and kept the champagne flowing the entire appointment,” said one bride. “And then the day after the appointment she followed up by email with the details of the dress I liked the most and the design alterations we talked about.” While every gown is custom, come here if you’re looking for a more playful, modern design.