Laura & Leigh Bridal opened in Cherry Hill, just outside of Philadelphia, in 2019 and it was clear from the start that owner Laura Calderone’s approach to wedding dress shopping would be different.
What sets Laura & Leigh Bridal apart?
It was always my vision to create a space where every person coming in to shop for wedding dresses felt accepted, wanted and welcomed. I wanted to create a team that prioritized experience and inclusivity above everything else. It doesn’t sound revolutionary, but in an industry steeped in traditional roles and where sizes run about two sizes smaller than what we’re used to, it was.
How does your store prioritize inclusivity?
Every stylist at LLB genuinely believes that every person who chooses to shop with us deserves a special experience and our attention, regardless of their budget, size, gender, sexual orientation, race, or personal style. We make sure to respect people’s pronouns. We only partner with designers who hold our values; for example, we won’t carry any designers who don’t have inclusive size charts.
Most importantly, we acknowledge that everyone’s wedding journey is different, so we try to tailor your experience to your unique needs. In short, no two experiences are the same, but they all equally receive the love and attention that the person shopping with us deserves.
What advice do you want to give brides shopping for a wedding gown?
Set yourself up for success! Make sure you go into your appointment with a positive mindset that you could find your wedding dress, because you never know when that special wedding gown will give you feelings. It could be the very first dress you try on! We suggest that you prioritize bringing the key people to all your appointments that you can’t make a decision without and surround yourselves with entourage members who will provide you with positive feedback.
What bridal gown trends are you most excited about for 2023 and 2024 weddings?
This year designers created wedding dresses that make people feel truly special with beautiful bows, bold statement sleeves, 3D elements, structural details and splashes of color. But the trend I’m most excited about is slits! I love how a slit in a wedding dress elevates the look and adds a hint of sexy to the dress.
What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ couples who are shopping for wedding dresses?
Do what makes sense for you! If you both want to wear dresses, great. If a dress isn’t for you, don’t feel pressured to wear one. It’s your wedding, so do what makes you comfortable and happy. If you do choose to shop for a dress, we suggest shopping with the same stylist, so your trusted stylist can use their expertise to make sure your wedding attire complements each other the way you do in real life. In general though, make sure you choose vendors who you feel comfortable working with and who will celebrate your love.
Photography by: Courtesy of (from top): Elizabeth Doty, Yana Shellman, Elizabeth Doty, Yana Shellman