‘Tiffany needs more length, Heather’s neckline should be lower and if Janelle doesn’t say yes to that one, I’m never watching this show again.’
When you’re deep into a Monday night re-run of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, wedding-dress decisions can seem mind-numbingly easy. However, when it comes to finding, loving and saying ‘yes’ to your own dress, it tends to be a very different story.
No matter how much scrolling you’ve done when it comes to seeing dresses in (and on) the flesh, everything can change. Sometimes – no matter how many images you’ve pored over and saved – fits can un-flatter, details can disappoint and the silky sheath dress of your dreams can, sadly, look a bit more ‘pyjama’ than perfect.
If this sounds at all familiar – please don’t panic. Our City Series is here to help. Over the next few months we’ll be focusing on a New Zealand city near you (with a few international stop-overs in the mix) to highlight some of the best stores, showrooms and wedding-dress wizards on offer.
To kick things off, we’ve gone (pretty close) to the country’s top. Get ready to say yes in …
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Hera Couture and Daisy Brides believe everyone deserves a dress that fits, flatters and feels incredible to wear. Designed by Katie Yeung, these labels focus on quality fabrics and intricate detailing – some draping here, some lightweight support there – to ensure every dress-wearer feels airy, confident and all kinds of beautiful. Visit the custom showroom on vibrant Karangahape Rd to experience the full collection with either a trained stylist or Katie herself.
If romantic and feminine sounds right up your alley, we suggest making your way to the Rue de Seine flagship store – located on Newmarket’s lovely Kent Street. There, you’ll find gowns with all kinds of deliciously dreamy features: flowing silhouettes; bold beaded florals on nude fabrics; hand-crochet detailing; and bohemian-inspired embroidery and lace – all carefully (and very romantically) crafted for the care-free spirits among us.
Brooke Tyson offers a fresh take on ceremonial wear for the more adventurous brides and star-crossed-lovers among us. All fabrics, sequins, laces and beads are sourced from these very shores, meaning every dress is made with a whole lot of love right here in New Zealand (with bespoke gowns available on request). Thanks to Brooke’s love of intricate detailing (and clever collaborations with artists and jewellers) each piece produced is beautifully and creatively unique.
Newly-launched Kenny & Harlow offers a collection of classic and flattering custom-made designs for dress-wearers with an eye for elegance, sophistication and incredibly high-level tailoring. Head to their showroom (located in Newmarket) for a personal and thoughtful wedding-dress experience.
If you’re a dress-wearer who wants to keep things nice and simple, Hayes is the place for you. With handmade to measure silk gowns and separates, Hayes embodies the ‘less is more’ approach to keep things elegant, relaxed and gloriously simple.
As an icon in the New Zealand bridal industry since the ‘70s, Felicity’s knows the importance of finding the right dress all too well. Located amongst the bustle of Auckland’s High Street, this boutique offers a range of ready-to-wear bridal gowns (and bridesmaid dresses) from designers including Made with Love Bridal, Martin Aliana, Miss Stella York and Jack Sullivan Designs.
Established in the ‘60s by Vinka Lewis – an entrepreneur who paved the way for modern bridal design – Vinka gowns are created with exceptional design, timeless beauty and enhancing your best features in mind. Try on gowns from their in-house designer collection to establish what you like, then let talented designer Anita work her magic.
If modern and minimalist is where you’re heading, Juliette Hogan is the place for you. With an abundance of beautiful fabrics, timeless designs and subtle sophisticated cuts, her bridal collection exudes elegance, reflecting the simplicity and luxury synonymous with the much-loved Juliette Hogan brand. A modern classic.
Jessica Bridal offers the best of both worlds. Their showroom (located on Broadway in Newmarket) showcases an incredible selection of internationally-designed dresses, as well as beautiful designs from their in-house brand, Jessica Couture. With a high-quality tailoring service and a wealth of bridal-knowledge, the team at Jessica Bridal really are here to help.
Over the years, the name Anna Schimmel has become synonymous with current and classic femininity. Each dress is personally designed, crafted and hand-finished by Anna, creating a seamless quality across the board. And, not only are these dresses personal and flattering, they’re also working to do good in the world – with a year of education given to a girl in Togo, Africa for every single wedding dress purchased. Oh, and they fund permanent protection for rainforests too. Perfect for those who want to look good, feel good and do good.
Looking for sophistication, femininity and effortless elegance? A Trish Peng bridal gown encapsulates all of this and more. Based between Auckland and Los Angeles, Trish Peng and her team of expert couturiers work thoughtfully, precisely and creatively to create world-class, custom-made masterpieces – carefully tailored to each dress-wearer’s measurements, style and overall aesthetic. Head on over to her Epsom showroom (or if you’re lucky enough to be in LA – pop in there to say hello) to check out a bit of Trish Peng magic for yourself.
If eye-catching designs, high-quality fabrics and flattering, elegant fits are what you’re after – look no further. Visit the Amber Whitecliffe flagship store (nestled in leafy Parnell) or, if you’re based elsewhere, jump online and immerse yourself in Amber’s selection of sophisticated, feminine and proudly New Zealand Made dresses.