You're engaged.....Congratulations!!! As a recent bride, as soon as I got engaged, I started looking at wedding gowns. I created a Pinterest board to organize all of my ideas and to help me find designers and styles I liked. From there, I started looking at price points and seeing what fit into my gown budget and then searching out bridal salons and shops that carried designers and styles of dresses I was looking for. My top 5 list consists of the New Orleans Bridal shops that I visited, had appointments at and one that became MY Wedding Gown shop that took care of me at every step go the way!
1. LVD Bridal: 3512 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 I was invited to their open house right after I moved full time to New Orleans and was so excited to check out the services , the gowns they carry and learn about what sets LVD Bridal apart from every bridal salon out there. . As a wedding photographer I get so excited to see new designs and check out what is going to set the trends for the season. LVD Bridal carries designers from Haley Paige, Jenny Packham, Sarah Seven and the list goes on. Their inventory changes a lot as they are carry wedding gown consignment and samples in a variety of sizes from dozens of designers which means you're not even coming close to paying retail prices for these gowns! What I love about LVD Bridal is the fact that they carry the sequined, bedazzled showstopper sleek gowns that are very Gatsby-esque; gowns that I had a hard time finding when I was wedding dress shopping and those bo-ho chic, minimalistic gowns. Literally something for everyone! Now the cool part. This shop is by appointment only and they only have one bride in the shop at a time to allow for specific one on one care for you and your family. How amazing is that!!? Set up your appointment with LVD Bridal here and give then a follow in Instagram @lvdbridal.
2. James & B Bridal Outlet: 1169 Robert Blvd, Slidell, LA 70458. This shop is right around the corner from me. They carry Gowns from Rebecca Ingram, Sottero and Midgley and my personal favorite Maggie Sottero. Maggie Sottero gowns are notorious for their stunning use of lace and for literally having a gown design that is perfect for every bride. In 2017 I had virtually every bride wear a Maggie Sottero gown. They give you a lot of gown for not a lot of money.James & B carries gown sizes from 0-32 and you can contact this shop here and you can see all the pretty in their Instagram @Jamesandbbridalhouse
3. Bliss Bridal: 3624 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115. Bliss Bridal is an elegant Southern Bridal Boutique that is currently taking appointments only, no walk-ins. They offer wedding gowns from designers Justin Alexander, Allure Romance and Moonlight Bridal. They also offer Bridesmaid gowns, bridal accessories and Tuxedo/Suit Rentals. they are a one stop shop for all your wedding day attire needs! According to Bliss Bridals website, their price points are between $800-$3000 and they have loads of gowns in the price points in-between. When I was wedding gown shopping, I made it a point to stop in and see the selection of wedding gowns and found a handful that I liked. The team at the salon is super sweet and extremely helpful. They are so excited to assist you in finding your dream wedding gown and are ready to set your appointment. Check out their instagram feed for load of gorgeous gowns @beablissbride.
4. Town & Country Bridal: 1514 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130. Town and Country Bridal is a staple in wedding culture in New Orleans.
From their website: "Located in the heart of the Garden District for nearly a century, Town & Country is an oasis for the discerning bride. From bold and robust silhouettes to simple, clean-lined dresses, Town & Country offers a hand-selected, curated mix of wedding dresses that meet every taste and budget. Natural light, knowledgeable stylists, and personalized attention are just a few of the ways Town & Country distinguishes itself as a fresh presence in New Orleans. We are the destination for brides seeking sophistication in an intimate salon setting. Bohemian chic wedding dresses, vintage-inspired gowns, and beachy wedding dresses are all part of the mix." - Town & Country Bridal
5. Pearl's Place: 3114 Severn Ave, Metairie, LA 70002. Pearl's Place is THE place for all of your wedding day attire needs. In early 2019, during the week leading up to Mardi Gras, my cousin flew down to meet me for her first Mardi Gras and to get some much needed wedding dress shopping done. Pearl's Place is one of three shops in the US that carried Eliza Jane Howell wedding gowns. I did all my research and even went to Kleinfeld's in New York looking for THE WEDDING DRESS. I came close in New York, but didn't find the one. Enter my appointment at Pearl;'s Place. My salon stylist was incredibly knowledgable and I relayed what I was looking for from a few designers to give the vibe of what I wanted and she ran to the back and pulled THE DRESS. Wedding dress shopping was made incredibly easy with the team at Pearl's Place. My dress came in way under budget and they were able to ship it to me up in Baltimore, where I was living at the time. I really can't say enough wonderful things about the service and care I was shown at Pearl's Place and am forever referring them to newly engaged brides. If you'd like to get a look at their current stock and the daily happenings at the salon give them a follow on Instagram at @pearlsplace.
Pro Tip: Make your dress appointment a solid year before your wedding date if you can. Gowns can take upwards of 6 months to be made and delivered to the bridal salon, especially if there is a large amount of hand beading and sequined detail. I ordered my gown at the end of February 2019 and it arrived at the salon in August/September of that year. My wedding date was in January of 2020 and I had ample time for any needed alterations and time for bridal portrait sessions.
Tracie Smith is a wedding photographer based out of New Orleans, Louisiana and Baltimore, Maryland. I am always ready for the next adventure and I have traveled and worked all over the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. My approach to photography is very non-posed, focusing on relationships, not a static 20 poses, and most importantly putting YOU first!
My goal is to create moments that are not in existence for you yet. As we embark on this wild ride to “I Do”, WE are going to live our lives out loud showing all the vibrancy joy, and many shades of colorful love you share with the world.
I travel at minimum monthly for weddings, portrait work and with digital creators all around the US and internationally. So, if your dream wedding day is grand or intimate, romantic, colorful, offbeat, on a farm, in the city, at a manor, at the bottom of a canyon or on a glacier, I am ready to rock out with you and pour you a glass of champagne to celebrate these magical moments with you. To get the lowdown on my upcoming travel dates or when I’ll be in a town near you, drop me a message here to set up your personalized travel portrait/elopement/engagement session with me!