It was love at first sight.
BHLDN’s first-ever brick-and-mortar store anywhere enchanted from the sidewalk and wooed me just steps into its Highland Village door. Forgive me for gushing, but the bridal (and special occasion) boutique is simultaneously beautiful, quirky, whimsical, simple and lush.
And this is from someone who got her happily ever after back in 1996.
Cut from the same creative cloth as Anthropologie, BHLDN’s sister store is a head-to toe location for a modern bride who still wants to get caught up in the fairytale. BHLDN isn’t just about weddings though. It embraces the art of celebration.
This is a museum where you are invited to touch the art and try it on for size. Brides and their parties can slip away in the private areas complete with comfy seating and separate dressing rooms.
The interiors are cohesive and yet individual to the purpose of each room. The front of the store is filled with light and a showcase for the bridesmaids and cocktail dresses, many of which can serve the same purpose. Brides who fall in love with a look can get it for their wedding party within 24 hours; a wedding gown can be ordered on a Wednesday for a Saturday event.
BHLDN’s in-house designers create both special occasion and wedding gowns, but the store also works with designers such as Tracy Reese.
Down a wide hallway, lit with fixtures taking flight, is the Décor Room, a colorful and demure spot Martha Stewart would most definitely approve of. A large marble table sits in the middle of the dark-paneled room, surrounded by shelves laden with stationery, books, table decorations, handmade cake toppers, sparkles, ribbons and other creative doo-dads. Items in the Décor Room are often one-of-a-kind, so shoppers would be wise to purchase what they like.
The shoe salon and accessory space is a playful nod to the “something blue” so often associated with weddings. Bright blue walls surround the shoes that range from traditional bridal to fun eye-catchers. The groom gets a few special pieces exclusive to Houston in the form of cufflinks, wedding bands, bow ties and boutonnieres. Pop from the shoes to the array of fascinators, jewelry and toppers ranging from lacy wraps to chunky crocheted numbers.
Slip away into the Lingerie Room, a warmly lit space filled with seductively sweet lingerie, coffee table books and little touches like ivory parasols. Each department within BHLDN has its own manager and stylist, which is especially important for lingerie.
The store is designed to pull shoppers to the back of the boutique and into the bridal gown gallery. It’s magical in here, with high ceilings, soft light and gowns of all kinds displayed on slate-hued mannequins. This is a museum where you are invited to touch the art and try it on for size. Brides and their parties can slip away in the private areas complete with comfy seating and separate dressing rooms.
Considering how wedding gowns fetch thousands of dollars, the BHLDN selection is moderately priced starting at $600 for a tea-length day gown and topping out at $6,000 for a full-length handmade dress. Gowns range from a zero to 12 and BHLDN staff say they are true to size and are sewn with alterations in mind if necessary. The Houston store will have a tailor on hand by appointment or will refer women to a BHLDN-approved tailor.
BHLDN has wisely introduced a line of separates that go beyond the aisle and into holiday like the Frolicking Feather skirt ($850) that is available in black or white. Little touches abound such as hair accessories and gloves with a vintage flair.
It’s easy to be swept away by romance of BHLDN. The name is inspired by the Dutch word “To Keep” sans the vowels and it seems likely that’s just what brides will do with this new Houston boutique.