Home Fashion + BeautyAccessories Bridal Atelier in Montclair: The One-Stop-Shop for Brides

Bridal Atelier in Montclair: The One-Stop-Shop for Brides

by Gabriela Lachapel O'Brien
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Instead of making a trip to New York City to find the wedding dress that will make brides say “yes” all over again, consider making an appointment at Bridal Atelier right in the heart of Upper Montclair. Under the eye of owner and stylist, Rachel Sweebe, every guest is made to feel like a queen. We chatted with Rachel to hear about how she navigated the fashion industry she was so passionate about to curate the intimate, high-end bridal experience people travel far and wide for in her own boutique. Read on to learn about this Montclair bridal boutique. 

How It Began

Bridal Atelier

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

Rachel began her career as a fashion designer after attending Polimoda in Florence, Italy, a world-renowned fashion school, and then the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She worked primarily in sportswear until the time came for her to begin the search for her own wedding dress

She was reminded about the elements of fashion that she loved the most, the creativity in design, the intricacies of the fabrics, and the details of the construction, and so she was inspired to make her own gown. She shopped for fabrics in the Garment District of New York City, designed a pattern, cut the materials, and used her couture sewing skills to create a 1950s style dress. 

Bridal Atelier montclair

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

The experience of creating a gown from start to finish invigorated Rachel, so she left her job in sportswear to design custom wedding dresses and formal gowns for friends and acquaintances. A few gowns here and there eventually turned into a wholesale production; each dress was handmade in New York with the finest European silks, sequins, and lace. Running this new venture stimulated a passion for how the brides were behaving in the market. 

Read More: Where to Order the Perfect Wedding Cake in Montclair + Beyond

Rachel had witnessed brides in the area travel to Manhattan in search of the perfect dress, making multiple trips to shop around, then after finding the dress, making a few more trips to get fitted, have alterations done, and select accessories. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? 

Bridal Atelier

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

Oh, and another point of contention is some bridal salons no longer offer alterations, which only adds a burden for the bride-to-be. As a designer, dressmaker, and now business owner, Rachel knew her expertise could lend itself to a one-of-a-kind experience bringing the lure of Manhattan’s Garment District to local New Jersey customers.

Opening the Store

Bridal Atelier

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

Rachel opened Bridal Atelier in September of 2017 with the promise of delivering an unforgettable and distinct experience for every single customer. Every bride has a private appointment with exclusive access to the entire store. Rachel spends time getting to know her customer and uses her knowledge to provide guidance.

Bridal Atelier montclair

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

Bridal Atelier also has an in-house alterations team, which saves brides from having to find a seamstress. Rachel and her team of experts are not only a one-stop-shop for buying, altering, and styling but they are also their customer’s biggest cheerleaders. They are as invested as the brides themselves in bringing joy to every moment possible and ensuring this is an experience to be treasured forever. 

Bridal Atelier Montclair

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

The selection at the store currently includes seven small-scale designers, including some of Rachel’s current favorites such as Anne Barge, Savin London, and Jesús Peiró. The store also hosts trunk shows.

What’s Next

Bridal Atelier Montclair

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

Rachel has noticed as a result of the pandemic, designers and brides are willing to be bolder with their styles and take bigger chances. Designers are adding more color, sometimes to the entire dress or with hand-painted elements, flirting with more dramatic necklines or lengths, and even adding sleeves. Rachel noted the bridal industry tends to lag a few years behind mainstream fashion trends however, sleeves are making a strong comeback.

See More: Where to Buy Wedding Dresses + Groomsmen Suits in Montclair + Beyond

She says, “We’ve recently seen the poofy bell sleeves (poofy is a very technical term) and shoulder pads in shirts and blouses, but these details are finally being seen in wedding dress designs and the brides are here for it.” 

Bridal-Atelier-Montclair

(Photo credit: @bridalateliermontclair)

While businesses have continued to shrink their physical footprints or, unfortunately, close altogether, Bridal Atelier has recently been looking to expand. Rachel shared that while she loves the current setting and neighborhood so much, she is in search of a larger space to offer more appointments and feature more collections. 

She said, “finding the right size in the right environment is always tricky,” but not to worry, she is not interested in leaving Montclair.

Check out the Bridal Atelier store on Valley Road and be sure to follow the shop on social

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