Looking for a fun, judgment-free dress-buying experience ? Well, I’ve found it. It’s called Blush Bridal Lounge, located on W 35th near Mopac, which I’m sure most of you have driven past. Recognize this sign?
You may think Blush is just another stuffy bridal salon in Austin – but I’m here to tell you how it’s not. If you know anything about me, then you know that I am all about authenticity and I tend to reject the stereotypes attached to the wedding industry and its professionals. After an experience I had at a bridal chain, I decided to learn more about what local shops Austin had to offer. After I visited Blush’s website, I realized that this place was probably just as down-to-earth and Austiny as I am! And when I met the owner and manager, Erica and Kristin, I felt right at home!
Owner and operator of Blush, Erica has been in the wedding industry for over a decade, and not only does she know her stuff, but she’s one of the most authentic people I’ve ever met! She knows that brides often have negative expectations of what buying from a local bridal boutique will be like, but she shows you immediately that it’s going to be a good time! She opened Blush in late 2009 to create the experience she wanted for brides, and that is one where the bride feels taken care of and has a really enjoyable and fun experience. She’s down-to-earth, hilarious, silly, and all around bad-ass. She told me that a lot of people come in with walls up all around them. They’re on guard, like they expect to be assaulted by judgments if they don’t have a $10,000 budget, and she can see it immediately. But Erica relates to brides like real human beings who also happen to be looking for a wedding dress. There’s no agenda except to take care of your unique needs!
Kristin is the store manager, and she and Erica met 6 years ago when they worked at the same bridal shop. For 9 months she worked as the manager for Second Summer Bride (since its inception) and recently transitioned to managing Blush. I must say – she is fantastic at it! I heard her take a few phone calls while I was there, and she was so great with her clients. And if you read Second Summer Bride’s Yelp reviews, you’ll see that she has changed many a bride’s life with her warmth and skillful services. And she and Erica are so close – it’s a pleasure to be around! While I took pictures, they talked like lifelong friends.
Both Erica and Kristin are real women; they don’t expect every bride to have the same story or the same needs, and they also know that not everyone has a limitless budget. When I exclaimed about the mustache necklaces, Erica said, “we have something for everyone!” They really do. And because they own Second Summer, if something isn’t working out for you at Blush, they will know if there’s something for you at Second Summer – and vice versa!
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll start to feel less anxious about the whole experience 🙂 Then you’ll be led through a quick questionnaire to get a feel for what you’re looking for and what your budget is. After helping you pick some potential dresses, you try them on in the privacy of your own room. They have two smaller rooms and then a large room for brides that have more family with them. And this is really, really nice, because it’s kind of awkward trying to find the dress of your dreams in front of 6 other brides you’ve never met before (and their 5 family members). This experience is yours to have and it’s as special as it deserves to be.
Ooooh my goodness. While I may not know a lot about designer dresses vs David’s Bridal dresses, I can tell you that these are the most beautiful wedding gowns I’ve ever seen! Some of them are simple and elegant, while others are beaded so intricately that they’re works of art. Some will make you feel like a beautiful princess, while others will make you feel like a maverick that just stepped out of the forest. Plenty of selection, but not so much that it’s overwhelming.
A word of advice: these dresses are samples, which means that when you purchase from Blush, your dress is made to order. If you have a short engagement (say, fewer than 5 months), I would head over to Second Summer Bride, where the dresses are purchased off the rack (many of which are discontinued samples sent over from Blush!).
Enough words, here are the dress pictures!
Bridal accessories can really add so much to your look, and Blush has oodles! I’m really into sashes and they have so many stunning ones! Accessories go way beyond veils.
Go local before you go David’s
I am so, so excited to have found Blush and Second Summer Bride. They offer something that a chain could never dream of and I really believe that these lovely women are exactly who you want taking care of you during this really pivotal part of planning your wedding. I highly recommend checking them out before heading to David’s Bridal. They are ixi approved! 🙂