When I was getting married I still lived in England, so naturally I started my search for a dress there, but with no success. When one of the bridal boutique managers asked me what look I was after, and I replied ‘Baroque’, she looked deflated and said that the UK tendency that year was towards smooth lines and minimal. We were both disappointed. Me because I realised that finding my dream dress was going to be harder than I though, and she because she wasn’t going to make a sale – not from me anyway.
So, I waited until I’d actually moved to Italy and began my mission to find the most stressful dress of my life, in and around Rome. To my great relief I was spoilt for choice. Italians do ‘fancy’ so well that I could have bought 3 or 4 dresses quite easily and my husband-to-be also had success with his attire.
Well, our 10th wedding anniversary has been and gone but I felt inspired to list out some of the places that have beautiful ornate wedding gowns for all budgets in the hope that it will help take some of the stress out and increase the divertimento!
A number of bridal atelier are by appointment only but most people in the fashion world speak English nowadays so language shouldn’t be a barrier. Another great place to start is at the Wedding Fair – Roma Sposa. It’s a huge deal with stands for wedding gowns, menswear, limos and wedding car hire, wedding venues, the dreaded “bomboniere” plus a host of other things for your special day.
I should explain, if you don’t already know, bomboniere are gifts (usually of value) that the “bride and groom-to-be” give to the most important members of family or close friends. We almost went insane trying to find something that we actually wanted to give – but that’s another story.
This year (18 – 21 October, 2018) the Roma Sposa event has moved from the Fiera di Rome to EUR’s Palazzo dei Congressi and looks set to be one of the best editions yet.
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If you have access to a car you might want to head out of the city to some of the mega-bridal stores in the suburbs. The dresses are no less worthy and because these stores are basically warehouses you get a huge choice at both ends of the price scale. I liked Radiosa (especially since they carry the Spanish Pronovias line) about 30 minutes from Rome in Aprilia. It has everything you could possibly need: gowns, accessories, footwear, outfits for the mother of the bride, groom’s department, etc. Then there’s Davino Sposa in Ciampino town which offers outlet prices on some of its stock.
In Rome centre, try smaller boutiques such as The Woman in White, Elvira Gramano, Marsil Alta Moda, Alessandro Angelozzi, Miriam Pieralisi…
So that’s it. Short & sweet. Best of luck!