Wedding planning can quickly become a living nightmare. And wedding dress shopping? Unless you’re Gisele, it can quickly become an exercise in self-loathing and indecision.
Enter anna bé bridal boutique.
If names like Vera and Monique make you swoon, but names like Waters and Tara LaTour make your wallet happy, then this boutique should be the first stop on your hunt for the perfect gown.
Nestled in a cozy spot in Lohi, the space is a great reflection of the apparel it carries: part high-end elegance and part hipster cool. With exposed brick and a grand staircase in the foyer, the boutique is an inviting and welcomed change from the typical, saccharine bridal shop décor.
The owners, Anna Walsh and Breanna Doll, are beautiful, chic and fun. Snuggled into one of the white leather couches in their shop, we settle in for some serious girl talk and bridal gossip.
303 Magazine: What made you two decide to open a bridal shop together?
Anna Walsh: We were working together and were out for drinks and talking about what we would do in our dream jobs. It just started spinning. I brought up wedding planning. Breanna brought up wedding invitations. We both had such awful experiences [shopping for our own bridal gowns]. In some way the working relationship is like a marriage. We’ve been through so much, and at the end of the day it’s so fun to build a business with someone who is more than just a business partner.
303: What’s behind the name of your store?
Breanna Doll: We used to work together at a marketing firm, and the creative director gave us all nicknames. We had come up with more traditional bridal store names like “Blushing Bride,” but nothing really felt right or unique enough. The creative director used to call Anna “Anime,” and I changed it to anna bé. I just liked how it sounded.
303: What were your own wedding gowns like?
BD: I wore a Lela Rose gown. (The Grove, to be more specific.) I wanted a different neckline. This one has kind of a wide neckline and a low back, and the lace is gorgeous.
AW: This is part of how we ended up doing bridal. When I was shopping, I couldn’t find anything. I didn’t like the experience. I ended up having my dress made, and it was a disaster. To this day I hated my dress. But it got me here.
303: What are your favorite designers in the shop?
AW: Tara LaTour. She’s a smaller, newer designer. She just graduated a few years ago from Parsons. You get to meet the designer and watch her career. It’s more of a personal relationship.
BD: I love how focused she is on the design and fit.
AW: Another would be Amy Kuschel, a new designer. She just pays attention to the fact that all girls just want to look their thinnest.
BD: Their best.
303: You were 5280’s Top of the Town, you were in Lucky Magazine as one of the coolest bridal boutiques, and you are a repeat winner of The Knot. How do you set yourselves apart from other bridal shops?
BD: The experience we try to give, the customer service and our collection. We focus on all three of those things. The experience is really important. We want our brides to feel comfortable and to have fun. It’s maybe the most fun of the wedding planning experience.
AW: I think we know that there’s thing that go into that like the aesthetic of the place. We can have different appointments going on but yours is still going to feel very private. We try to keep the collection to a manageable size. The people that work here are great at listening to the clients and how to help style them.
BD: Budget-wise too. From the beginning, we tried to keep our collection something where we could have shopped when we were buying our gowns. We wanted to be able to shop at our own store. We start at $1800 and up.
The friends just got back from a hectic time at market in New York City where they previewed the latest in bridal couture. Whether you’re a bride or a guest, what can you expect to see walk down the aisle this season? Long, fanciful veils and lace. Lots of lace.
Too bad we’re already married or we’d definitely be cruising anna bé’s merchandise for the lovely fabric. But, for those of you who did just get some bling on your ring finger, anna bé is having a winter sample sale on December 18-19. (No appointment needed on the 18th, but make one for the 19th.)
For all the rest of the Mrs. out there, don’t write this store off just yet.
Walsh and Doll just opened Soirée, a collection of designer gowns (think Rebecca Taylor, Ella Moss and Shoshanna) that are perfect for rehearsal dinners, vacations or just an evening out. (We certainly plan on stopping by to search for our holiday party attire.)
If your wedding is going to be big or small, at a cathedral or in a field, or if you just want a new party dress, anna bé is sure to have something for that special occasion.
And if nothing else, swing by and say hi to two of Denver’s leading bridal ladies.
Check out this video of the owners at market:
1575 Boulder St.