Otago. Home of the couch-burning scarfie, the snow-capped mountain and…the wedding dress.
Yes, you heard us right.
Off the rack or custom made, casual or couture – no matter what you’re after, chances are it’s waiting for you in the country’s deep (ish) south.
The designers are expert, the bridal stores are beautifully laid out and the personnel are warm, welcoming and all about making your wedding dress experience a truly delightful one.
So, pop on your puffer jacket and get ready to say ‘Yes, I absolutely, definitely do want that dress please’ in the stunning scenic south.
Bride and Winter is a beautiful boutique offering contemporary and luxurious gowns for the modern bride. Featuring gowns by Trish Peng and Made With Love (alongside many other international designers), you’re bound to find something you adore. Throughout your appointment, you’ll have exclusive access to the Bride and Winter showroom, as well as a dedicated stylist to help you find the perfect dress for your shape and style – ensuring you’re in very safe (and very fashionable) hands every step of the way. With sizes ranging from 6 – 24 (and prices that won’t make you run for the hills) this appointment-only boutique is an Otago must-see.
Located a mere stone’s throw from the Queenstown International Airport (if your throwing arm is in excellent condition), Nemo Bridal & Couture specialises in creating exceptional bespoke gowns with a touch of vintage charm. To complement their concept to creation services, Nemo also focus on existing dress reinventions, repairs and alterations and offer a range of gowns, veils, belts, and vintage furs for hire. And, to add another string to their already impressive bow, Nemo also source and stock a range of jewellery and accessories for sale - including veils, fur jackets, wraps, gloves, garters, horse shoes and wedding car ribbons.
Ivory and Stone is a predominantly online bridal boutique (with a lovely showroom in Hawea) offering unique, elegant wedding dresses at very affordable prices. Their designers source the finest materials and use expert craftsmanship to ensure each and every Ivory and Stone bride feels nothing short of fabulous. With a wide range of gowns available through their website, and the option of a custom-made dress also available, Ivory and Stone is Wanaka’s answer to beautiful and inexpensive bridal-wear.
If you fancy a stroll through the hills of Dunedin, make sure you stop by Beau Couture Design Studios. Originally from the UK and influenced by traditional tailoring, designer Natasha Postill is passionate about fabric, texture and all things couture. With her love of detail and her signature style, Natasha’s designs are highly sought after in the wedding world. Working closely with each bride, Natasha creates her concept – capturing their vision, style and personality – then, with the support of her team of industry specialists, Natasha’s playful one-of-a-kind gowns are brought to life.
If it’s superior craftsmanship, luxurious fabrics and intricately detailed embellishments you’re after (who are we kidding, we’d all love a bit of that) – then we’ve got just the gal for you. Not Margaret – although we’re sure she’s very good – but Central Otago designer and director of Margaret Wray Design House, Jamie Richards. With an eye for the exquisite and a calling for the classic, Jamie weaves her family’s history in dressmaking with her fifteen years of hands-on experience in London fashion houses, producing beautiful and empowering gowns that embody the essence of femininity and the subtleties of strength, adventure and grace.
For more information and to explore our many New Zealand bridal boutiques and designers, head to our Curator vendors directory.
Beau Couture Image Credit: Williams Photography
Cover Image: Bride and Winter