Hi friends! I’m starting a blog series to feature local wedding vendors in Colorado Springs. First up I stopped by the newest bridal boutique in Colorado Springs, Soiree Bridal Boutique (opened in October of 2019!), to chat with the owner and check out the space. Soiree should be first on your list when you start the search for your wedding dress!
Keep reading to hear from Erika, the owner, about Soiree and what makes her bridal shop different. It’ll be evident once you get into the post that Erika cares about every bride that comes in her store. She provides a relaxed, low pressure environment to find your dream wedding dress. Erika intentionally buys and carries unique wedding dresses for brides looking to stand out on their wedding day. If you’re looking for a relaxed environment with gorgeous dresses to start your search for your wedding dress, then Soiree is the place for you!
How did you get started in the bridal industry?
Erika: “My first job ever at 16 was at a bridal boutique. And I never really left the industry after that. I stayed in bridal and big events for the past almost 16 years. When the opportunity finally arose for me to open my own business it seemed really natural to go back to bridal. It was an industry I had seen the good and the bad sides of and still loved. I figured if you’ve seen the not great sides of something and still love it then it’s probably your industry.”
What wedding dress designers do you carry?
Soiree carries wedding dresses from Willowby by Waters, AlenaLeena, Lotus Threads, and several private labels too.
“I make a conscious effort to pick gowns that are genuinely unique, as in each one of them has something that’s different. Brides will put something on that’s a traditional silhouette but will say, ‘Oh I’ve never seen this’ or ‘I’ve never seen this lace anywhere.’ And it’s fun because they pick up on the things that I picked up on in why I chose them. It’s really rewarding to have a bride come in and see exactly the same thing you saw in a gown.
We try really hard to bring in gowns that you would have to go to Denver otherwise to find. A lot of the gowns found here locally are of the same aesthetic, so we try to bring in pieces that aren’t typical to the Springs. We’ve actually had some brides come down from Fort Collins. That has been really neat to find that we have gowns that are so unique that people will drive through Denver, the wedding mecca of Colorado, to come here.”
What type of brides do you typically attract?
“Generally the brides that find their home here are the brides that want to stand out on their wedding day. A lot of them have shopped around, have gone to three to four stores and still haven’t found the one. They usually find it here. Those brides that are not finding what they want in the conventional bridal store come and they’re looking for something that’s just unique enough. Unique enough to stand out. Unique enough to feel special, but still be very bridal. Those tend to be our brides. Those are the ones that come in and say, ‘Your collection just looked a little different.’ Those are our brides. They want something different, not crazy, just different enough that it’s not your uniform bridal gown. “
What are some of your personal favorite designer/dresses?
“It’s gown by gown. To me the name brand isn’t as important to how that gown makes a girl feel. When the right gown is on the right girl. Labels fall away. Tags fall away. This is it. This is the one. One of my girlfriends was saying, ‘It’s kind of like the wand chooses the wizard situation.’ And I was like, ‘It kind of is!”‘ You put it on and you say this is it. Maybe I bought that gown just for you and nobody else will buy it and that’s ok. That was it. That was your gown.”
“I love AlenaLeena just because she still drapes and cuts all her own gowns. She is genuinely a very unique designer. She will work with us to custom change gowns to fit the brides that come in here. Alena is very much, ‘Let’s make it work for your brides.’ My favorite one to work with is her and her aesthetic is beautiful. My favorite gown changes depending on what bride I’m dressing.”
How far out do you recommend bride’s come in to find their wedding dress?
“My ideal time window is 9 months prior. They’re far enough into their wedding to have a good idea of what they want, but they’re far enough out to where they won’t have to rush their order or most importantly they won’t have to rush their alterations because both of those add to the cost. My goal is to not add any cost that is unnecessary. Some of those things become necessary if they wait too late.”
What are some general tips for brides shopping for their wedding dress?
“My number one is that you come in by yourself first. Because listening to yourself before you listen to others is the most valuable thing a girl can do for finding her wedding dress. To come in narrow it down to your top 3, top 2, and then bring in other people’s opinions.“
What else makes your experience different?
“The thing I hear the most from brides very consistently is that they love how relaxed it is. It’s a very low pressure environment. We pay our girls a living hourly wage, so that they don’t have to pressure the bride for commission. They can tell a bride a $500 gown looks just as beautiful as a $5000 gown because they don’t have any incentive to sell that girl something more expensive. I think that low pressure environment is something we’ve repeatedly heard. I want brides to be comfortable.
In the bridal industry no matter who you are, no matter what part of the industry you’re in, you should be taking stress off of brides. That’s the number one thing is take stress off of them. And if you’re adding it on you should not be in this industry. That’s something we really strive to do is be that group of people that takes stress off of them and makes it a really pleasant experience.
One of the things I’m most proud of is, I’ve had brides come back, pick up their dress, after waiting months, and tell me, ‘I’ve never once doubted that this was the dress.’ As a person that sold them that dress, that’s the epitome, to have a bride come in just as excited about her dress 4 months later, as she was the day she first put it on. That’s what we’re going for every time.”
What else does Soiree offer?
“We have bridesmaids gowns, special occasion gowns, and flower girl dresses. You can rent or buy tuxes for adults all the way down to ring bearers. Wedding day coordination is another service we offer. Color palette sessions too, for brides early on who can’t figure out how to put colors together or don’t know what to put with their colors. We ended up doing that a lot during the dress session because they wanted help, so we developed a total separate appointment for the color palette. We bring in a lot of pieces from other local vendors and try to connect them with local vendors that can help meet those needs and support the community instead of ordering from Amazon.”
Soiree also offers Day-Of Event Coordination, Dress Concierge Service, and you can rent accessories for your wedding such as headpieces and belts.
To learn more about Soiree Bridal Boutique, check out their website and follow them on social media!
Check out 7 Wedding Traditions I skipped at my own wedding! Here’s the post!