In a loft-style boutique with crisp grey walls and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, Victoria bride Arlene Brookall had “the moment.”
When Brookall got engaged, she began arguably the most challenging task of any wedding — finding the perfect wedding dress.
After trying on roughly half a dozen dresses, the soon-to-be-bride found the perfect dress.
“I was looking for something that makes me feel fabulous. I didn’t have any preconceived notions of what I’ll wear and won’t wear. It’s just that moment when you try it on, like I had with that ivory dress,” Brookall said.
It was also a special moment for Robyn Anukpe and Lily Kennedy, co-owners of Blue Bustle Boutique, a bridal consignment store on Quadra Street. Brookall is their second client to find her wedding dress at the boutique.
“I think this is such an exciting time in people’s lives. This is the fun stuff, it’s exciting,” said Anukpe, who got married recently as well.
Blue Bustle Boutique is one of the first bridal consignment stores in Victoria.
Brides make an hour-and-a-half-long appointment where Anukpe and Kennedy ask questions about the wedding, including venues and dress silhouettes they’re looking for.
The duo has roughly 60 dresses for brides to try on ranging from $100 to $1,500 (dresses must be no older than three years old and washed), along with veils, bridesmaid, flower girl, and mother of the bride dresses and accessories.
“We’re trying to fill a niche for women that either can’t afford a $2,000 to $3,000 wedding dress or women who can afford them and don’t see the point in spending that much money,” said Kennedy, who also owns Lily Kennedy Custom Gowns, a bridal alteration store in downtown Victoria.
“People still get the bridal experience. They’re not going to somebody’s house on UsedVictoria and trying on a dress in the bathroom. They still get to come here, try on a bunch of dresses and pop champagne when they find theirs.”
The boutique has received a positive response from the community so far from women interested in trying on dresses and those bringing dresses in.
Brookall heard about the store through Anukpe, who is also her hair stylist.
“It’s environmentally-friendly. I can re-use, re-purpose someone else’s dress that they loved,” Brookall said.
“They had their memories in it and we can share that energy. I think that’s amazing.”
Brookall and her husband haven’t set a date yet, but are leaning towards a destination wedding in Mexico — the couple’s favourite vacation getaway.
Blue Bustle Boutique is having its grand opening on Saturday, March 12 at 3-2553 Quadra St. For more information visit bluebustleboutique.com.