When Little White Dress Bridal Shop (LWD) opened its doors to Colorado residents, owner Cate Malone could have never imagined that boutique would grow to what it is today. Now located in the RiNo neighborhood, LWD offers up an exclusive selection of gowns to brides from all around the country with a full in house alterations team helping make each gown perfect. The shop is housed in the Epworth building which was built 100 years ago. A previous church turned community center, “LWD is one of a kind, and the building is one of a kind,” said Malone. So we sat down with Malone to learn more about the building’s history and Little White Dress, as well as senior bridal consultant, Megan Kalen, to learn more about popular bridal styles happening this year.
303 Magazine: First off, can you tell our readers about Little White Dress and your mission as a bridal shop?
Cate Malone: Little White Dress Bridal Shop has been in business almost 10 years now. We were originally located in Castle Rock, and then we moved to the Highlands neighborhood in Denver in January 2011. In January 2016, we moved and expanded again. We are now in the RiNo neighborhood and now have a staff of 30 who love bridal and who are amazing. Our mission is to provide a welcoming, caring, comfortable and special shopping experience to each and every bride we are fortunate enough to have visited us. We give brides access to designers that are not available at any other bridal shop in Colorado, and we have a large selection of different styles and sizes to try on. Each bride receives a lot of care and attention from their own personal bridal consultant.
303: Tell me a bit more about the history of the building. Has it influenced your decision making in any ways?
CM: The Epworth building was built 100 years ago (by a woman!) and was originally a church and community center for the Five Points and Curtis Park neighborhoods. The Neo-Classical architectural influences are stunning in their grandeur and simplicity. The building was vacant for 30 years with a lot of damage from water, fires, graffiti inside and out, broken/boarded up windows and debris, but four years ago, Larry Nelson and his wife Ruth Falkenburg purchased the building and brought it back to its original grandeur. The high ceilings, the blond brick and the large windows have certainly influenced my decisions about the layout, design and decor of the space for LWD. Our brides and their families and friends love all the natural light, spaciousness and classic simplicity. I think space has a very inspiring and calming influence in its beauty and uniqueness.
303: Tell me a bit about the shopping experience at Little White Dress.
CM: Most brides look forward to the day they can shop for their wedding gown for many years, and we acknowledge that and remember that with each bride. We are friendly, helpful, joyful and knowledgeable because we really want the day that they find their wedding gown to be a life long, happy memory. Each of our bridal consultants only works with one bride at a time, and appointments are generally about 1 1/2 hours long. We offer 14 different bridal gown designers featuring a variety of styles. We have carefully selected our designers from around the world for the quality of their work and for the quality of their business values and practices.
303: What makes being based in Denver so special to those who shop at LWD? Is there anything unique about Denver brides you notice compared to others?
CM: Denver is wonderful and special in so many ways. Brides travel from throughout Colorado and from around the country to visit us. They can enjoy the great outdoors, sporting events, concerts, restaurants and bars, theater and much more during their time in Denver. Denver brides are becoming more diverse because they are moving here from all over the world, but overall, Denver brides are independent, educated, active, friendly and fun.
303: What tips and tricks do you have for brides in search of their perfect dress?
CM: The opinions of others can be important or beneficial, but remember that your opinion absolutely matters most. Your shopping experience should be educational, special, fun and as stress-free as possible. You deserve a gown you love and caring and professional assistance and service. Trust the experience and suggestions of your bridal consultant. Think about how you want to feel on your wedding day. Trust how you feel in each different bridal shop you visit, and how you feel in each gown you are trying on.
303: What bridal styles seem to be popular this particular wedding season?
CM: What I love about current bridal fashion is there aren’t any rules. The biggest trend I’m seeing is bride’s making their own call on what feels best for them. That being said, we’re seeing brides being drawn to two very different looks: clean, fitted gowns or ball gowns. Rather than brides wanting to be dripping in crystals and ornate detailing, we’re seeing brides opt for a more pared down look with simple, clean gowns where the detail is in the construction of the gown and in the silhouette. On the opposite end are the brides wanting to make a statement. The regal look is back and brides are loving a full skirt with a long train. There’s something about a ball gown that makes a bride feel oh so bridal, and our brides are finding feeling a little bit like a princess hard to resist!
303: Anything else you’d like to add?
CM: In addition to bridal gowns, bridal accessories and in-house alterations, we also have a really cute area of our building dedicated to bridesmaid’s gifts, wedding day necessities, shapewear and special separates, outfits and dresses for the bride to wear to her engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, day after brunch and honeymoon!
This interview was edited for length and clarity