Denver Brides and Brides-to-Be, meet our Lovely Bride Denver bridal boutique and owner Carly Rowader. The shop turned just turned one in August but despite being the new kid on the block, Lovely Bride Denver received the 2019 Reader’s Choice award for Best Wedding Gowns from 5280 Magazine. YASS!
While we put the champagne on ice for the Lovely Bride Denver team, take a moment to get to know more about Carly and take a peek inside her Rino Arts District wedding dress shop:
What inspired you to open a Lovely Bride location? After a life of many careers with no real direction, and my father passing away, I took a job as a bridal stylist. It was a way to feel light and fun, while connecting with people during such a special moment. All of a sudden, all of my work experience and skills had found its niche, and it was such a great experience. I left the industry for a while to get some management experience under my belt, but missed bridal immensely. When I had discovered I could potentially have my very own Denver bridal boutique with Lovely Bride I told my mom and she said “There is no better business for you”. I loved Lovely for its energy. I was so happy to see their celebration of female empowerment, inclusivity, and transparency. I’m proud to be part of the team today.
What do you love most about working in the Bridal Industry? A wedding gown is the dress of a lifetime for most people. It is an article of clothing that represents commitment, family, unity, and so much love. This makes purchasing a wedding gown a deeply personal, vulnerable, and an incredibly special decision. I get to help brides connect all those dots. I get to be the person who helps them into a gown and hear them say “This just feels like me. It feels like us. It just feels like who we are as a couple.” It’s such a special moment to share that feeling with them. What’s not to love?
Your most inspiring moment as a Female Business Owner? Well, from start to finish, my store was 2 years in the making. When the day finally came to host our Lovely Bride Denver Grand Opening party, I was in awe of the support I had received. Seeing a line of people outside my store waiting to enter the party, and then a crowd of people during my thank you toast was a moment I had been envisioning for quite some time. I was filled with gratitude and ready to take on the world. To be able to claim a business as my own was powerful. I know there will be more inspiring moments, but this one I’ll never forget.
Favorite Dress(es) or Designer(s)? I have loved Sarah Seven since my early days as a stylist many years ago. Her clean, modern designs stood out to me because they make people shine as they are. Not to mention, your body is guaranteed to look 12 out of 10 in her gowns. The fit is incredible! Kennedy, one of her OG designs, has had a special place in my heart forever. Maybe that’ll be my gown one day…
What makes your Denver Bridal Boutique unique? We are so lucky to be in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Denver. The Rino Art District is filled with incredible and inspiring graffiti. Our alley is beyond Instagram worthy. We kept that industrial edge in our store with our exposed beams and brick wall, that were barely white washed. The shop is still feminine and soft, but has kept its industrial roots.
One wedding trend you or your brides are loving right now? We are seeing lots of bridal hats (think Lack of Color, not your mom’s 80’s cap) with florals added. Very boho. They are so fun and funky, and a way to change up your look after you walk down the aisle. Or with! Whatever you prefer. But I think those who that love that look are going to die over the new Lovers Society collection….I know we did. Can’t wait for those gowns to come out later this year! Their gowns are the perfect balance of romantic and boho.
Best moment in your first year: We hadn’t been opened for a year when we heard we won 5280 Magazine’s Top of the Town 2019 award. Each year, this incredible local magazine publishes an edition dedicated to the best of everything (from food and cocktails to local shops and even Denver bridal boutiques) in Denver. When we got the notice in the mail that we had won Reader’s Choice for Best Wedding Gowns, I couldn’t believe it. There are plenty of other shops here, and many have won several times. To be the new kid on the block and win anything was huge. But to know we won because people took the time to actually vote for us? I cried.
Favorite local restaurant? Cart-Driver has to be our favorite spot within walking distance from the store. Which is slightly problematic because it’s a wood fire pizza place. I could eat their pizza every day. Their chefs make all the items from scratch, several small batch cocktails, and delicious appetizers. Oh…did I mention prosecco on tap? It’s the nicest, cutest, coolest, classiest little pizza joint in Rino with wonderful people working inside.
Favorite local bar? Such tricky questions! I am in love with Hudson Hill. They have such a great store. During the day, it’s this fresh and light coffee shop. At night, it turns into a great romantic date-night spot. They offer some of the most unique and interesting cocktails, delicious finger foods, and their music plays from an actual record player.
Favorite thing to do or see in your city? I love a good bike ride on the Cherry Creek trail to the Lohi neighborhood. It’s a fun way to see the city from a different perspective. There’s plenty of art on the walls on the path, and we always finish the ride with scoop and a cone at Little Man Ice Cream. It’s worth the wait.
Make an appointment to experience the Lovely Bride Denver bridal boutique in person and find your wedding dress! And be sure to follow Lovely Bride Denver on Instagram to get more updates on designer sales events, new arrivals, and more Rocky Mountain wedding inspiration.
Photographer credit: Ashleigh Wurzbach.