Dress shopping is a perfect excuse for a day out with the girls. Hit the Sydney CBD and Eastern Suburbs and you’ll find a plethora of bridal fashion to delight the senses and thrill your sense of style.
The Dymocks Building on George Street is a great place to start. On Level Three you’ll find Bridal Reflections, who stock San Patrick, Henry Roth, Calèche, Jasmine, Secret by M as well as Atelier Diagonal (one of Pronovias’ newer labels), and a selection of Henry Roth bridesmaids dresses, so your girls can get in on the action. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Plus, they’ll make you feel completely comfortable and relaxed.
Also on Level Three is Fashions by Farina, who stock a extensive range of gowns from around the world including: Pronovias, La Sposa, Stella York, Essense, Martina Liana, Two by Rosa Clara, Aire Barcelona, Wendy Makin, BellaDonna by Wendy Makin, Brides Desire, Watters, Halo, Peter Trends, Elizabeth De Varga, Mori Lee, Ronald Joyce, Victoria Jane and Karen Willis Holmes. Their staff are highly trained and very experienced, and they also offer alterations. They also stock an exquisite range of veils and headpieces to complete your bridal look.
If all this dress shopping has your tootsies feeling a bit sore, or you need a bit of a break, head up to Level Four to the Thai Massage Centre and indulge yourself in a footrub, or a neck and shoulder massage (these guys are amazing!) Not ready to get back to dress shopping after that massage? No worries, head back down to Level One and locate Fleurette Beauty. Because really, everyone always needs a mani and a pedi!
If you’re up for a little more shopping now that you’re rejuvenated and relaxed, it’s time to head for the inner CBD suburbs! First stop Newtown. This is where couturier and all-around-Aussie bridal legend Karen Willis Holmes hangs her hat. Her studio in Gladstone Street is a bride-to-be’s dream. It’s in the heart of Newtown, well known for its vibrant café and bar scene and rich bohemian culture. The historic flourmill studios has the warmth of the original timber, historic brickwork and the massive old steel fire doors. Karen not only creates one-off couture gowns, she also has a divine off-the-rack range. If you’re keen on having a couture gown consultation, make sure you get an appointment beforehand. Her helpful and friendly staff will make your gown shopping experience a dream.
Time for a well-deserved coffee? Or perhaps lunch? You’ll be heading towards the Eastern Suburbs anyway, so stop off at one of Sydney’s favourite hotspots, Bills in Crown Street Surry Hills. His menu features organic, locally sourced produce and some of the best coffee you’ll find anywhere. (Try the corn fritters or the Ricotta hotcakes, they’re both to-die-for!)
Once you’re all caffeinated and your appetite is sated, head for William Street in Paddington, which is where you’ll find couturier Lilli Marcs. If you’re looking for a made-to-measure gown, Lilli’s relaxed, easy-going style and chic, feminine aesthetic will blow you away.
Last stop on your bridal trek of Sydney’s CBD is Rhonda Hemmingway Couture in Double Bay. Not only does Rhonda offer a complete couture and made-to-measure service, but she also stocks Pronovias gowns. Her salon on the leafy, cobbled New South Head Road will have you swooning, and her staff and service are positively impeccable. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of her book ‘Secrets & Confessions of a Wedding Dress Designer’ on you’re way out, it’s a killer read!