No matter the time of year, wedding season or not, there’s no such thing as planning too early, especially when it comes to that big day. Conveniently, Chicago is filled with incredible boutiques to ensure that special day is as gorgeous as it should be. Here is a list of where to find your dream gown downtown, along with a few venue and dress pairing ideas to help brides-to-be visualize their fairy tales in the Windy City.
The boutique carries carefully curated dresses from designers around the world, all hand-picked by owners Melissa Russell and Natalie Bauer. The duo strives to give brides a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the chicest bridal couture, along with accessories and bridesmaids dresses.
Dimitra’s Bridal Couture
This Gold Coast gem can pull any of their designer dress collections to fit a bride’s unique style. The boutique prides itself in its seasoned experience and expertise (the shop’s namesake, Dimitra Maroulis, has a background as a European couturier seamstress), while giving brides exclusive service to curate her dream dress. In line with Maroulis’ worldly vision and expertise, gowns come from all over the world, via designers like Reem Acra, Inbal Dror, Lihi Hod and Stephen Yearick.
Jenny Yoo Collection
Jenny Yoo, an alum of New York City’s esteemed Parsons School of Design and a former designer for Ann Taylor, is the pedigreed force behind this contemporary bridal shop. Her collection of distinct designs gives brides the chance to find a wholly unique gown on their wedding day, with styles that run the gamut of materials, cuts and colors. Her goal is to provide brides and bridal parties with dresses that will create indelible memories.
One of the original locations for this nationwide bridal icon, the Gold Coast’s BHLDN is a shop clearly focused on celebrating the beauty of a wedding and creating special moments for brides. It’s a sentiment made clear from the moment you enter the looming brass doors, ascend the travertine staircase and gaze into the enormous Parisian mirror. Altogether, the whole experience will make you feel like a Disney princess, with plenty of modern and vintage dresses to choose from, along with headpieces, jewelry and shoes.
The name really says it all. This Oak Street mecca is rightfully regarded as one of the country’s finest bridal salons, a crown its held since opening in 1982. The boutique prides itself in style expertise, which means having the best collection of designer bridal gowns in the Midwest, as well as in-house services such as alterations and milliner (aka women’s hat-maker).
Once you have your gown ready to go, the next big step is finding the perfect venue to compliment. After all, the dream dress deserves the dream destination.
The Gown: Justin Alexander Satin Dropped Waist Ball Gown
The Venue: Pazzo’s
This shoulder-less dress sports a form-fitting bodice that erupts into lavish satiny waves below the waist. It looks right at home in the majestic, cathedral-like atmosphere of Italian-inspired Pazzo’s in the Loop.
The Gown: Tony Ward Mermaid Gown
The Venue: Chez
Sultry and chic, Tony Ward’s ivory Mermaid gown features sheer long sleeves and a lacy fringe that descends into a flowy gown around the knees. It fits perfectly at Chez Event Venue, a lofty pillar-filled venue that exudes understated elegance.
The Gown: Daughters of Simone Kait Gown
The Venue: Galleria Marchetti
A bohemian wonderland like Galleria Marchetti, bedecked with enough lush greenery and light to make the whole place feel like a giant garden party, merits a dress like this one. Resembling a lavish flower child, the sleek dress has long frilly sleeves, an open back, plunging neckline and cascading lace that provides a small train in back.