When soon-to-be-brides first say "yes," typically two other questions follow the original proposal—where will the couple say "I do," and what will they be wearing when they say it. Many of those brides (and their grooms) choose our fair valley as the place they plan on reciting their nuptials. And the dress? Until recently, that detail had to be ordered from a big-city boutique given that the nearest retail options for dress, veils, and all other bridal accoutrement being located in Denver. Enter Amanda Chapline—a scion of Houston's bridal scene who recently opened her own salon-front on Vail Village's buzzing Bridge Street. "My boyfriend and I have been coming here for a while—skiing and visiting with family and friends—we’re really familiar with the area, and I have friends that have gotten married on Beaver Creek and on Vail mountains, so I knew this was a big wedding destination," she explains. "When we decided to move out here and we started getting more involved in the community we thought, 'How is there not even a retail outlet for someone to go get a veil last minute? Or accessories?' That kind of sparked my interest."
As a longtime bridal stylist and consultant (first as a side-gig in college in Oklahoma before working her way up into management of bridal boutiques in Houston), Chapline's vision was to create something of an outfitting base camp for local and destination brides—offering all the chic touches of being located in the epicenter of a luxury mountain resort. With two stories of pastel and marble finishes, a top-level, gold-accented bar area, and views of Gore Creek as it trickles by the showroom, Chapline's La Vallée Bridal accomplishes just that, while also serving as a place that brides can get recommendations on everything from local planners to hair stylists to make their Vail Valley dream wedding a reality. "I try to offer as much as I can—I want it to be a very concierge experience," she says. "We can help set up appointments, or make reservations, or if they want a spa day I can give recommendations. And when a bride comes in for an appointment to try on dresses, the whole experience is really that from the start til the end she really feels like she has the whole place to herself. We wanted it to really be that exclusive luxury experience."
As such, VIBs (very-important-brides, as dubbed by Chapline) can book out the top floor for a styling appointment with their entourage and sip on bubbles as they browse Chapline's collection of five designers (and over 100 dresses), all of whom have signed with her as their exclusive retailer in the state of Colorado. Last minute gifts can be purchased in the retail shop downstairs, where veils, garters, and other last-minute accessories lost in transit are available for purchase. Landing her own retail space in Vail Village has been a dream (as of press time, word of the bridal shop on Bridge Street had already reached as far as St. Louis, where brides were calling in to book their appointments), but for Chapline, it all goes back to her original love of the industry gleaned from years of working bridal in Houston and Oklahoma. "I love it because of the personal relationships you tend to build with brides," she says. "It’s the biggest day of someone’s life and for me to be a small piece of that is so gratifying."
La Vallée Bridal
227 Bridge Street, Vail Village; 970-763-5744, lavalleebridal.com
Texan brides, rejoice! Chapline and her boyfriend and business partner Jonathan Klein recently took over longtime bridal boutique Mia Bridal Couture in Houston. 713-622-2022, miabridalcouture.com