Photography: Milton Photography
For Lillian Bowdring, helping brides sparkle truly runs in the family. The owner of The Bridal Boutique runs three busy bridal salons with the help of her daughters, Lyia, Dorothy and Kara. Lillian has been in the bridal business for over 20 years; she started as a buyer for a major bridal store and eventually decided to set up her own shop. “It was important to create a boutique that provided wonderful customer service and a memorable bridal experience,” says Kara.
The three girls grew up wanting to be princesses, so it was no surprise they wanted to help their mom treat brides like royalty. Lyia runs The Bridal Boutique in Calgary, Dorothy has just opened White & Ivory in WEM, and Kara does marketing for all three boutiques.
“Our boutiques are a true reflection of each of our individual personalities,” says Kara. The flagship store in Edmonton carries a variety of designers from Eddy K and Essense of Australia to Pronovias and Martina Liana.
In 2015, Lyia opened a store in Calgary to easily accommodate the large number of brides driving up to Edmonton. The Calgary location carries Hayley Paige, Lazaro, Rue De Seine and Katie May to cater to the fashion-forward bride. Dorothy recently launched White & Ivory in West Edmonton Mall to carry gowns that are affordable yet glamorous.
Blush recently caught up with the ladies for a Q&A session:
What is your favourite bridal look at the moment?
Kara: Daringly low backs are everything! [That’s] probably why I chose one for my own wedding.
Lyia: Sleek and sexy looks that are red carpet worthy!
Dorothy: The high neck and long sleeve combination of lace and sparkle.
Lillian: Separates with skirts that are tulle, tulle and more tulle.
Which celebrity’s style do you admire?
Kara: Olivia Palermo- simple, classic and chic.
Lyia: Kim Kardashian- clean lines, and everything Lanvin.
Dorothy: Kylie Jenner- Always a trendsetter.
Lillian: Kris Jenner- “Momager” and always fabulous.
What is it like working so closely with family?
Kara: We couldn’t ask for anything more than working with each other. We are truly blessed.
Kara: Our advice to brides when looking for ‘the one’ is to firstly do your homework and research by determining a budget and sticking to it! Try not to be afraid to step outside of the box, and–most importantly–remind yourself to enjoy the whole experience.