Buying the perfect wedding dress can seem like a daunting task.
This is one occasion where, hopefully, you won’t be getting a do-over.
Add to that, your wedding photos are likely to last a lifetime, with your favourite shot or shots displayed somewhere around your home.
Suffice to say you are going to want to love that dress. And love the dress in a forever way, so that you in ten years still feels happy about the decision, style and look you went for.
Wedding dresses, or should I say wedding outfits as today there are playsuits and trouser suits aplenty for a cool, clean and modern look, are as individual as you are.
Rest assured – you’re in the right place
Luckily Paris is the perfect city for this type of high pressure shopping.
How can I make such a claim?
It breaks down to fairly simple Maths: Paris is the undisputed capital of not only fashion, but haute couture and artisanal savoir faire. A very particular attention to detail is still paid to the most beautiful pieces.
Whilst this type of luxury is not the sort of thing Generation Y is likely to be splashing their cash on on a regular basis, it might be interesting to buy this type of item to wear to your wedding.
Secondly, buying your wedding dress is not simply about arriving home with a white gown protected in a dust cover stashed in the back of your wardrobe. It’s so much more than that.
After all, if the shopping experience wasn’t part of the process and you were seriously confident about sizing, you could order online and be done with it.
Wedding dress shopping is something of a rite of passage. You may be going with your best friend, your mother, the person you’re about to marry or alone.
Traditions are made to be broken, but I think there’s something nice about putting time aside for a day dedicated to this special quest.
Paris is the perfectly suited place for such a day. If you’re local, the changes are you’ll be changing neighbourhood and trailing round new parts of town in search of soft silk and delicate dentelle.
As cinematic scenery goes, the proud Haussmanian buildings of the 8ème district are sure to give a sense of ceremony and grandeur to your outing.
It might be a shopping expedition charged in emotions. You may find yourself projecting forwards to your big day, or even second guessing styles and decisions.
Like everything else surrounding weddings, everyone tells you that you’ll
“Just know when you find the one!”
I think this can be a pretty unhelpful comment as it ignores several factors:
- If you’re getting married in Northern Europe even Spring can be quite a changeable season. Nymphesque negligees may have stolen your heart, but if 16 degree celsius and intermittent showers are on the cards, it might be good to have a back up plan.
- Perhaps yours is a French state wedding and you’ll have a cérémonie civile at the Marie before a reception or religious marriage later that day. It is very common to have an outfit change between the two, with a tailored look for the Town Hall and Fairytale Fantasy making an appearance later that evening.
- Wedding dresses rely on a good fit. If you think your body or size might change in the months before D-day you’ll want to take this into consideration keeping your options open. It is fairly common to be marrying months into your pregnancy. If you’re dress shopping straight after Christmas for a summer wedding with competitive runs and training booked in the Spring, you may be expect that you’ll likely loose 3 or 4 kilos.
Have a little time to reflect on all of this. Don’t get hung up on the do’s and the don’ts.
Do you feel safer with a back up dress that you know will look great no matter what? Great, do that.
Defining your Style
Before you start your search this is a helpful starting point.
Tastes vary hugely – Culture, Identity, your story and current trends may all play into what you want to wear at your wedding.
Recently there’s been a move towards an authentic, boho look with “looking like yourself on the day” held up as the Holy Grail of Wedding achievements.
Yet, if taffeta and lace is what you are after and wearing a dress you could only have dreamed of for your incredible day, there’s an address for that. You should definitely own that dream rather than following the crowd.
There are a few useful places to go for this inspiration.
I don’t know about you but I never previously loved Pinterest.. That said, if you’re planning a wedding it is a really helpful resource. Pinning images helps get things clear in your head and whittle down what you’re really after.
Searching Instagram hashtags is another great go-to. You can then bookmark these images and start your search for similar.
Armed with this inspiration and information you’ll be ready to head out and hit the shops.
NB: Some Boutiques will require you to book appointments in advance and will only be open on certain days. More advice on this later.
These next Dream Dress Destinations are High-end High Street Shop fronts. You can waltz right in after checking opening hours on Google.
Okay, so this one’s not exactly a secret. This Spanish brand has been conquering the bridal market for a few years now. The three generation strong family business sold majority shares in the company a couple of years back for 550 million euros. That is not only a lot of wedding dresses, but also hints at the company’s healthy growth.
And having seen their last few collections it’s hardly surprising that this is a classic choice for Château location weddings.
After all if you’re getting married here, you’re going to want a dress that can match up to the scenery!
Pronovias have three locations in Central Paris (and that’s not mentioning all the resellers, ie every esteemed Wedding Dress shop you’ve ever heard of).
There is their Flagship in the 8th at 8 Rue Tronchet, 75008. Behind Bourse, off one of the grandest roundabouts you’ve ever seen in the second, 9 Place des Victoires, 75002 & tucked away near the Tuileries at 7 Rue Saint-Roch, 75001.
You will have a team for tailored advice and to ensure a dress which is perfectly adapted to your needs, body and style.
These prestigious, romantic dresses come from the Pronovias collection and the Pronovias Atelier.
Price wise you are probably looking at something between €1950 -€11 900.
On the opposite end of the scale, if you’re a young no fuss tomboyish bride you may well find your perfect outfit at Sessùn’s bridal boutique.
This brand dreamt up by an Anthropologist from Marseille manages to be timeless, and yet current in its ethical stance and authentic approach. Sessùn founded their bridal line, Sessùn OUI in 2014 and celebrated the 20 year anniversary of their brand in 2016.
Their standard fare draws you in with divine knitwear, tailored tweed and nostalgic cheesecloth dresses. The quality is good, the prices upper end off-the-peg or prêt à porter, but by no means silly.
It is easy to see where their following for wedding outfits comes from: It’s their regular clientele in their twenties and thirties getting married, who want something nice but for two or three hundred euros, not thousands.
The label also deals in playsuits, bridal separates and geometric patterns on lace.
Visit their boutique located at:
63 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris
It’s in the gorgeous Saint Germain area, so it would be a shame to leave without taking a little time to explore.
You could go shopping mid-morning feeling fresh and svelte and tak on a tour of History’s hidden treasures after lunch.
Parisienne Rock n’ Roll style brides can’t get enough of Rime Arodaky. The label describes itself as the “Bridal House for Rebel Goddesses”.
I love how her brand marries Haute Couture style dresses, which can be elaborate, ornate and elegant, but are easy to pair with a white leather jacket, worn barefoot on the dancefloor with tousled hair at the end of the night.
Rime Arodaky has her showroom located in central Paris. If you like her style and want a full works wedding gown minus the convention, this might just be the perfect address for you.
NB. You’ll need to make an appointment at the Rime Arodaky showroom, located at:
28 rue d’Aboukir 75002 Paris
Tel: +33 1 75 42 99 95
If you’re staying on the beautiful East side of Paris near the Bois de Vincennes, you might want to stay in this green, airy neighbourhood and come by Promise to try on different dresses.
Promise is a Showroom not a shop, so once again you’ll need to make an appointment.
Here are the details:
31 cours de Vincennes 75020
Tel: 01 42 78 01 72
Promise are petite and intimate in the best way possible. You’ll find four collections of wedding dresses and two collections of evening dresses all from European designers they work with.
Due to the area and the individual appointments, this might be a nice place to come if you know you want a traditional, high quality wedding dress and fear being overwhelmed by endless choices.
Camille’s designs are the winning discovery for brides looking for beauty in simplicity.
We’re looking at a young brand, born in 2016, stepping out with a new wave of ‘Made in France’ designers, who are modern and fresh but insist on French quality without cutting corners and outsourcing to cheaper countries.
The lines and aesthetic are incredibly attractive. Her website, which would be equally fitting for a gallerist of photographer, hints at this vision.
Camille Marguet is a young French brand that you won’t find elsewhere.
Located in the cool 19th neighbourhood. You’ll be following the cool crowd and potentially discovering this hip part of North Paris.
These stunning dresses are created ready to wear, semi tailored to you, or entirely tailored and made up to your sizing and requirements. All creations are achieved using artisanal savoir faire in their Paris atelier.
Hence this is the antithesis of any type of fast fashion and you should count three weeks to eight months for tweaking the tailoring or your dress to be made to measure.
La Mariée Parisienne
I had to include this address, if only for its name!
Once again, it’s a world away from the Grands Magasins of the Champs Élysées shopping district in the eighth.
This spot might particularly appeal if you, or your wedding party have connections to the residential, family friendly fifteenth arrondissement. Residents of this neighbourhood feel a sort of homogeneous pride in their safe haven, which has village like vibes in parts.
This boutique is no exception to the trend. You’ll find comfortable quinzième vibes, an array of designer dresses from different collections (starting at around €650), as well as formal outfits for children, all this with a keen knowledgeable team on hand to advise.
Style wise, like the 15ème it’s traditional and tasteful. You’ll find glamorous gowns, romantic robes as well as more modern or vintage offerings.
Once again be sure to make an appointment by calling in advance on:
Tel: +33 (0)1 55 43 80 75
Enjoy dressing up followed by lunch on the bustling Rue du Commerce.
Promissa, a dress for the day
Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with the look of big brand dresses, but your passion is cooled by the price tags?
Here is a nifty solution – Promissa, located in the edgy fashion forward 10ème district is offering to rent you the dress of your dreams.
With a collection of creations from the likes of Pronovias, St Patrick, White One, Aire and Rosa Clara, you’ll have plenty of choice in their collections to find a perfect fit.
Prices start around the 400 euro mark. Whilst not bargain basement budget, you will be making a considerable saving, compared to buying the same label new.
Get in touch on their website, or by phone:
+33 (0)1 53 26 07 02
Have an amazing experience finding your wedding dress in Paris!