Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day. But it can be hard to know where to start. Will you be buying a new dress, picking up something second hand or hiring a gown? Are you looking for a wedding dress that says vintage boho bride or a couture gown for a fairytale princess?
With dresses ranging from simple and elegant to hoop-skirted and embroidered, wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming. That's why we've put together this guide to the best wedding dresses and bridal boutiques in Brisbane.
When you're in the boutique, that's a few things to think about as you browse the rails for bridal gowns.
With so many shapes and styles to choose from, you're bound to find a dress that suits your body type. Bear in mind that V-necked gowns can be slimming and will draw the eye to the chest if that's the part of your body you want to accentuate.
A-line dresses are flattering for many figures and help create a smooth silhouette while Empire-waisted dresses emphasize the bust and draw the eye away from the hips and thighs. More willowy figures can look fabulous in a drop-waist as it shows off slender hips.
A dream wedding dress is one that celebrates your best assets, and makes you feel like a queen.
It's vital that, as best as you can without a crystal ball, you make sure your wedding dress is weather appropriate. No one wants to be mopping their brow during a photo shoot in the sun, or be shivering through a smile in a snap you want to treasure.
For summer weddings in Australia think lighter skirts, and sleeveless or lightly strapped necklines. And there's a host of beautiful shawls and jackets for winter brides, although if you're tying the knot in Brisbane or elsewhere in Queensland, you might not need one.
This is a big one for many brides. Your wedding gown is likely to be the most expensive outfit of your life, but how much you spend is entirely up to you. One survey found that half of Australian brides spent less than $2,000 on their wedding dress, with the rest spending more.
The most common price tag in Australia was between $1,000 and $2,000, with around a third of brides spending this much. While around five per cent spent more than $10,000 on their wedding dress.
Hiring is an option for those looking for a designer or high-end gown on without paying out the full price. It all depends on whether you want to keep your dress as a reminder of your special day, or are happy to wave goodbye when the festivities are over.
And look out for sample sales offering ready to wear dresses! You might just snap up your dream wedding dress at a bargain price.
Your dress will be central to the aesthetic of your whole day, so it's important it fits in. Tying the knot in a country barn with flower-crown-sporting bridesmaids? It might be best to go for a boho vibe. Or if your day is more traditional, it's important your dress ties in with the theme.
And it should be complemented by your bridesmaid dresses. While your bridesmaids should look their best too, their outfits should complement yours, not outshine you.
Go with your instincts, but stay open minded. You never know, that dress you're not sure about might just turn out to be The One when you try it on.
Best wedding dresses in Brisbane
For the Brisbane-based bride-to-be, there are a host of fantastic boutiques and bridal shops to explore. We've chosen our 12 best wedding dresses in Brisbane from our favourite five boutiques to help you start your search for your ideal match.
By Bertossi Brides
This sleeveless sweetheart gown is crisp and elegant. With a nipped in waistband and clean lines it’s a flattering choice, and it’s structured bodice will enhance curves. Stylish and simple its embroidered full skirt adds a touch of princess magic. And yes, those are pockets!
With a flattering A-line and flowing train, this Gia dress is gorgeously elegant. A sweetheart neckline is covered with sheer illusion lace, embroidery and beading and the soft tulle skirt will sweep down the aisle. Sleeveless, this wedding dress is perfect for a summer ceremony.
By Atelier Pronovias
Made in Barcelona by Pronovias Atelier, this asymmetrical mermaid bridal gown creates a stunning silhouette while the one-shoulder neckline is a modern take. Available with ivory crepe or gold brocade, this gown has a breath-taking illusion back complete with beaded appliques.
Luv Bridal $2,900
This figure-hugging fishtail gown with a low waist accentuates curves and pours into a beautiful train. Simple and elegant at the front, the eye-catching open back is surrounded by a pretty lace edge which elevates this gown and adds a touch of summer sensuality.
This fabulous princess wedding dress has regal lace sleeves covered in beautiful floral embellishments. The ballgown tulle skirt is also embellished and accentuates the sleek illusion bodice.
By Wendy Makin
This flower-powered gown is ideal for a free-spirited bride. The sheer lace sleeves embroidered with pretty flowers and the button-detail on the low cut back create a vintage feel. The floating skirt skims the hips but doesn't hug, and evokes a festival vibe while the V-necked front draws the eye while remaining demure.
An absolute show-stopper, this divine dress features a bodice encrusted with beads and Swarovski crystals with elegant double spaghetti straps leading to a criss-cross scoop back.
The V-neck bodice works with flowing locks or an up-do, and the tiered tulle and horsehair skirt come straight from a fairytale. The zip is covered with crystal buttons and a detachable beaded belt is also available.
By Wendy Makin
From the same collection as Belladonna’s Magnolia, this gorgeous sleeveless dress has the same hint of whimsy but with a more traditional shape. The intricate, bead-adorned sheer bodice reveals a sweetheart neckline above a waist-accentuating band. The flowing ethereal tulle skirt leads to a train which perfectly complements a veil.
By Bertossi Brides
Evoking the iconic Audrey Hepburn, this chic silk organza gown is embroidered with a geometric pattern. The matching jacket is idea for winter weddings, but is a fabulous addition whatever the weather. The shorter skirt shows off slender legs and is ideal if you want your bridal shoes to be play a big part in your look.
By Wendy Makin
This low-cut sleeveless bodice celebrates curves with its shape and modern lace-work that draws the eye. The structured waist and full tulle skirt create a show-stopping hourglass. This versatile dress would suit a princess bride, but pair it with lace-covered Converse and it’d be perfect for an indie queen.
Available in plus sizes, this capped-sleeved wedding dress shows off curves with it's V-neck and flatters with asymmetrical embroidery moving from the bodice down the skirt. The ballroom gown tulle skirt elongates the body and will look stunning sweeping down the aisle.
Luv Bridal $2,199
A classic V-necked gown, with a back lower than the front. The intricate floral lace bodice leads to a nipped in waist and flowing tulle skirt with a train. Its shape is traditional and timeless, but the differently textured bodice and skirt are a modern take. A dress fit for a 21st century princess, without the heftiest of price tags.
Featured bridal boutiques
Belladonna by Wendy Makin: 906 Stanley St East, Woolloongabba, Brisband, Qld, 4102
(07 3391 0200)
Opening hours: Mon 10am to 5pm, Tues to Sat 10am to 4pm.
BellaDonna Bridal Studio is owned by wedding dress designer Wendy Makin who set out to create more affordable gowns using high quality fabrics. Belladonna has been dressing brides since 1999 and aims to offer a top quality shopping experience.
Brides of Brisbane: Level 2, 141 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, Qld, 4000
(0422 500 032)
Opening hours: Mon to Thu 10am to 4.30pm, Fri 10am to 7.30pm, Sat 9am to 4pm.
The Brides of Brisbane showroom offers more than ten labels including Pronovias, Maggie Sottero, Sottero and Midgley, Rebecca Ingram, AIRE Barcelona, Rosa Clara, White April, Zavana Bridal, Cizzy Bridal. Their experienced bridal stylists guide brides-to-be around their designer, plus size and 'take today' collections.
Luv Bridal: 10/8 Springlands Drive, Slacks Creek, Qld, 4127
(07 3806 0008) Luv Bridal also has showrooms on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
Opening hours: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 10am to 5pm, Thu 11am to 7pm, Sat 9am to 4pm, Sun 10am to 4pm.
Paddington Weddings: 41 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, Brisbane, Qld, 4064
(07 3368 4933)
Opening hours: Tues and Weds 9am to 5pm, Thu 9am to 8pm, Fri 9am to 4pm, Sat 9am to 3pm.
Paddington Weddings offers award-winning designer Anne Bertossi's Bertossi Brides collection of wedding dresses. With more than 25 years' experience, Anne is a couture bridal designer operating from a workers cottage in Paddington, Brisbane. The boutique also offers locally crafted bridal accessories.
White Lily Couture: 43 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Brisbane, Qld, 4059
(07 3367 8870)
Opening hours: Mon to Wed and Fri 10am to 5pm, Thu 10am to 8pm, Sat 9am to 5pm.
White Lily Couture's bridal collection includes modern, romantic, boho and luxe wedding gowns. Dresses are sourced from around the world as well as local Australian designers.