BUCKTOWN — Some brides are marching out of Downtown and into Bucktown, as their search for a perfect wedding dress is taking them away from Oak Street's tony shopping district to a new Damen Avenue boutique.
"It's a dress that makes everyone happy. A wedding day is one of the most important days of a woman's life besides having a baby," said veteran designer Jane White, owner of Palazzo Bridal, a boutique at 1872 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown.
Italian for "palace," Palazzo recently relocated from a second floor studio at 49 E. Oak St. at Michigan Avenue and Oak Street to Bucktown.
It was a search for a ground floor space that led White, who's been designing wedding dresses for 20 years, to Bucktown.
White and her husband and business partner Said Hamid live in Lincoln Park. They "heard about Bucktown and knew it was up and coming. It's a fun neighborhood. We fell in love with the space and want to be in this neighborhood," White said of Bucktown.
Palazzo offers 70 dress styles every two years, which White designs as a collection under the Palazzo by Jane White label.
"It's not a custom fit. Brides choose from within the collection," White said.
In a status update on her Facebook page, White describes the "Cindy" dress as having "no fussy details" such as beaded embroidery or appliques.
Vogue editor Mieke ten Havre recently got married while wearing the "Cindy" dress, which she purchased at Veka Bridal Couture in Brooklyn. In July, Southern Weddings featured a Palazzo gown from White Dresses Boutique in Huntsville, Ala.
Veka Bridal Couture and White Dresses are among several small boutiques around the country that carry Palazzo by Jane White dresses.
Though White's dresses begin at $2,000, a grand opening sample sale through the end of November offers discounts ranging from 35 to 75 percent off, with sale prices between $700 to $1,500.
Married for 30 years, Hamid and White have seen a lot of changes to wedding culture, they said.
The Internet and social media has slowed down the number of handwritten cards and photos of brides wearing dresses that White receives by postal mail.
Thumbing through a large album packed with handwritten thank you notes and photos of brides wearing their White-designed dresses represents a flashback to the 1990s and early 2000s.
"It started happening six or seven years ago. I knew the Internet was happening but this was how I realized it, it's all online now," White said, adding that TheKnot.com, a wedding planning website, is where many brides see her gowns in addition to referrals and word of mouth.
And while the paper notes have slowed down, the customers haven't stopped giving their thanks to White. Today brides are more likely to tag Palazzo's Facebook page or write an email, she said.
Palazzo Bridal by Jane White, 1872 N. Damen Ave. Hours 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Sundays by appointment. Ph: 312-337-6940.