Monique Lhuillier

The beading shines brightly, the lace is a dream…would be a few ways to describe Monique Lhuillier’s designs since we exclusively started carrying her collections in 1998! Monique’s love for fashion has been a lifelong passion and it has always shown in her work. From embroidered ball gowns, to a lace sheath, she has reinvented what it means to be a bride with each season. And with a look for every personality, almost any bride can be a Monique bride! Take a look below and see which bride you would be!

The Bold Bride

The Modern Bride

The Bohemian Bride

The Romantic Bride

The Whimsical Bride

The Glamorous Bride

If you love what you see above, you won’t believe what Ultimate Bride has in store for this weekend only! Book your appointment for the Monique Lhuillier Fall 2015 Trunk Show, a collection inspired by the surreal beauty and fantasy of a jewelry box!

 November 13-15

By Appointment Only



Bridal Market

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Illusion necklines… tulle skirts…embroidery…are some ways we can describe the bridal beauty we experienced in New York city during Bridal Market! Ultimate Bride spent a few days with our exclusive designers, exploring their newest collections while meeting with some fabulous people in the bridal industry!  While we saw classic bridal, we also saw pieces that really took risks for that bride living on the edge! Thank you to our designers for really showing us a wonderful time, until next time!

Let’s take a look at a snapshot of what was Bridal Market 2014!






Jenny Packham really wowed us with new accessories to compliment her vintage inspired gowns!



Romona Keveza’s Legends collection was stunning, especially this Audrey Hepburn inspired gown!






Project Runways, Austin Scarlett, chose a Gone with the Wind theme for his bridal collection presentation! We thought was gorgeous!




Monique Lhuillier was nothing short of dreamy at bridal market! This piece from her Platinum collection really stood out.



Here is Marina, pictured with Carlos, designer for the label Liancarlo. His artistic genius really stood out this collection with new embroidery and beadwork!




Marco, from Naeem Khan, was presenting us with this gorgeous chiffon embroidered gown. The neckline was just beautiful on this!



Anna Maier always stuns with their lace and this time was no different!


Here is our consultant, Marina, posing with Israeli designer, Berta and our friends from Chic Parisian, a bridal salon in Miami!



This off the shoulder, lace Oscar de la Renta ballgown was jaw dropping! Inspired by the gown Amal Allamudin wore when she married George Clooney.




Here is Israeli designer Mira Zwillinger, show-casing one of her newest pieces, embodying nothing but elegance!



What an honor to meet Herve, one of the very talented designers for Carolina Herrera!


Coveted designer, Naeem Khan, was kind enough to host a cocktail party during market weekend! We had a wonderful time!


A Tribute to a Legend

Oscar de la Renta


7/22/1932 – 10/20/2014

Iconic designer Oscar de la Renta, who was trained by designers Cristobal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo, dressed names such as Jenna Bush, Jackie Kennedy, and Ann Ford. Starting his ready to wear label in 1965 and introducing bridal to in 2006, Ultimate Bride was fortunate enough to carry his first bridal collection in Chicago. To this day, we remain exclusive in carrying the Oscar de la Renta bridal collection. Oscar de la Renta’s name will always be synonymous with style, class and distinction. We bid him a bittersweet farewell, but his designs will always live on.


Ann Ford – Bridal Gown 1965


Amal Alamuddin pictured here with Oscar de la Renta getting fitted for her wedding gown -2014


Kate Bosworth in Oscar de la Renta – 2014


Jenna Bush in her Oscar de la Renta wedding gown

Grooming your wedding day

Every bridesmaid needs a handsome guy to walk her down that aisle, so let’s take a look at different options there are for your groomsmen to look their best!

Every wedding has it’s style, so using the groomsmen attire to bring out that style is always a great idea!

The Black Tie Groomsmen: Nothing like a polished tuxedo to bring that formal touch to your black tie wedding! To make sure the groom stands out, maybe have the groomsmen in a different color tie or vest than the groom!

The Semi Formal Groomsmen: For a wedding in a modern venue, a gallery or museum perhaps, going a bit more modern can really mix things up! Try a grey suit and even use a pop of color for the tie!


The Casual Groomsmen: Getting married on the beach in Mexico? OLE! Try something to ensure your groomsmen don’t get overheated in the sun! A light colored button down shirt and linen pants is a great way to have the guys looking stylish and dressed up without the extra layer of a suit jacket!

Tip to the Groom: Since the cost of being in a wedding can add up fast, think about gifting an accessory to your best bros such as a belt or tie!

Meet Mira!

Ultimate Bride is thrilled to welcome Mira Zwillinger to our exclusive designers and we cannot wait for our trunk show this weekend, September 18-20! Take a look below for some background on Mira and her daugher and get excited for her new collection, it’s STUNNING!
Established in 1991, Mira Zwillinger’s approach is a celebration of elegance, timeless glamour and supreme craftsmanship. In 2006, she was nominated Designer of the Year in her home country and word quickly spread to the US! Using the finest fabrics and materials sourced from Milan and Paris, combined with a meticulous attention to detail, Mira creates eye-catching couture collections without any compromise, each with their own story. Of particular interest is her delicate use of the finest hand embroidery and ornate beading from Italy. Luxurious fabrics abound, including lace, chiffon, taffeta, silk crepe and brocade all within a subtle color palette. The recent years Mira’s daughter, Lihi, joined the business and together they design the collections. Lihi, who comes from a street wear background, adds a new chic freshness to the gowns. Every one of Mira’s designs is meticulously handmade in house by her team of ten experienced skilled seamstresses and craftsman.
Mira-and-Lihi- I

Mira and her daughter, Lihi

Meet Our Buyer!



Ultimate Bride has been a landmark on Oak Street for over 30 years and continues to made headway in terms of bridal couture, thanks to Elena Grapsas, our buyer! With over 20 years in the industry, Elena has a vast knowledge of not only bridal but the fashion world!



Here is Elena posing with world famous bridal designer, Monique Lhuillier!

In 1992, Elena started doing paperwork in the office of Ultimate Bride but it wasn’t long before her predecessor took her under her wing! Elena quickly went from the office, to a manager, then eventually buying the store in 1997!

Since then, she maintains strong relationships with our exclusive designers, such as Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, never missing a bridal market! Elena has an eye for what’s trending in bridal but knows how to keep things classic!

She was recently featured in an article in Brides Magazine so take a look below for some of her excellent advice on bridal gown shopping!


How to Sample!

 Whether it’s a quick engagement or finding the deal of a century on a designer gown, buying a sample wedding gown can sometimes be the right answer to your gown needs! But even for the most experienced shoppers, this can be quite the task! While shopping for a sample gown, there are a few things to consider, so let Ultimate Bride be your guide to finding your dream gown at a dream price!

sampple sale


Since bridal sizing runs small, make sure to take that into consideration when looking at the size of the sample gown. Since most samples (not all) are an 8 or 10, its safe to say those are most comparable to a 6 and 8 in everyday clothing. Note: Every designer differs a bit in sizing, so make sure to try them on!


Tall gals, you are in luck! Most samples are constructed  long, so if you are 5’7 and planning to wear a 2-3 inch heeled shoe, a sample gown should be suitable for you! If you are taller than 5’7 and planning to wear a sample gown, you could always consider wearing a gorgeous flat shoe! Brides who are shorter than 5’7, you have heel options, as the gown will most likely need to have the hem shortened!


The price of the sample gown is at the discretion of the bridal salon. Each salon will determine what the sample will cost based on the retail value of the gown, the condition it is in and what season it is from. Discounts range and can be anywhere from 20% to 60% off. Each store differs in their process so it’s best to go in with an open mind!

Happy shopping ladies!

houston sample sale


Being engaged is such an exhilarating time, and sometimes the busiest time! Between fittings, vendor appointments and wedding planning, it’s easy to forget about one important factor, YOU! Let us guide you to a healthy way to enjoy your engagement and look your best on the big day!


  • It is not only important to stay well nourished but to choose the right foods! Always keep a healthy snack in your purse such as a granola bar, some almonds or even an apple when you are going about your day!
  • Getting creative with your recipes is also a fun way to bond with your fiance and practice being husband and wife! We love for healthy recipes that are easy to make!
  • Saturday morning trips to the grocery store or a farmers market is also a fun activity to do with your significant other! What’s better than fresh fruits and vegetables picked by your loved one!






Staying Active:

  • Wedding planning can often times become stressful, and what better way to release some of that stress than a long walk with your fiance!
  • Trying a new activity like a new yoga class with your bridesmaids could also be a great way to get some quality time with the girls while getting some great exercise!




Meet Our Milliner!

Loving fiance: check. Wedding gown: check. Fabulous wedding shoes: check. Just two more necessities to complete your wedding day look:a gorgeous headpiece and veil! From floral to jeweled, to lace and tulle, let our in house milliner, Debra Shirley create a custom look for you!

Debra has been with us for 20 years and her designs just keep getting more gorgeous! We met with her to get some input and advice on how to make your bridal look unique, take a look at what she said!

“After greeting a bride, I first notice the shape of the wedding gown itself. Then I pay close attention to the particular details of the dress.  My first goal is to compliment the overall look of the bride while wearing her dress. I consider specific design lines and details especially on the back of the gown when determining which veil length will be most flattering. 

In many cases, the best option is a sheer, understated floor length veil that will give a continuous flow to the ensemble.  This way, there is no cut off point, nothing to pull the eye away from the features of the dress or from the brides figure.  Beyond the length and shape of the veil, the possibility of adding custom details such as matching lace or beading is discussed. I am quite fond of a hint of matching detail to truly gel a bridal look together. If not on the veil, then in a decorative hairpiece that remains on after the veil has been removed for the reception. I believe that wearing a headpiece that compliments the wedding gown is the perfect way for the bride to feel polished and put together throughout the evening.”

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If you are one of the lucky brides to get your dress at Ultimate Bride, Debra can make your headpiece and veil dreams come true!


To see more of Debra’s beautiful creations, check out her website!

To Veil or Not to Veil?

The good news is that this question has not one right answer! To each their own! Depending on your wedding style and your personal style, you can choose if you will wear a veil and if you do, what kind! The options are endless so let us guide you to make the right choice!


Length: To your elbow, your fingers or your toes, the detail on your gown should dictate what length you choose so that the end of the veil does not interfere with any beautiful detail! A cathedral length veil is always a classic choice and makes for a breath taking entrance into your ceremony!

Edging: To accessorize a classic gown or emphasize one specific design element, pairing a veil with a lace, crystal or embroidered border can really bring your look to the next level!

PicMonkey Collage


Bird Cage: An incredibly timeless style that has made its way back to modern bridal! Personalize it by adding a crystal headpiece or a fabric flower!

birdcage collage

And if you chose not to do a veil, have no fear, your options are also endless! Tune in next week to our exclusive interview with our in house milliner, Debra Shirley, who can custom create any bridal head piece of your dreams!