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Riviera Business Owner Says “I Do” to Bridal Store

Louise de Castro never dreamed she would one day be in the bridal gown business. But fate had plans for her, and as the owner of Bridal Elegance, she’s thrilled she could marry her business acumen with an industry entrenched in love and happiness.

Louise’s path to the bridal business began five years ago when she became a full-time caregiver for her elderly parents, who were both critically ill. She quit her job in human resources to devote her time to tending to the needs of her parents, who moved in with her family.

Always close to her parents, Louise was grateful she could care for them in their time of need. But she also experienced the toll that comes with full-time caregiving and realized she needed more balance in life. She just wasn’t sure how to make that happen.

At about that time, her daughter’s friend mentioned how fun and uplifting it was working in a local bridal boutique. Soon after, Louise found herself working every Saturday at the same shop while skilled caregivers cared for her parents.

“Bridal stores tend to be very happy places, filled with excitement and smiles, and it was the perfect fit for me,” said Louise.

So when the shop’s owner retired two years ago, it was an easy decision for Louise to purchase the business and voila, Bridal Elegance was born. Bridal Elegance specializes in modern, vintage, princess and bohemian bridal gowns, as well as plus-size wedding attire, bridesmaid dresses and accessories.

“We give clients a real say ‘yes to the dress’ experience, with one-on-one consults with stylists, lots of gowns to choose from, large dressing rooms and comfortable sitting areas for friends and family” said Louise. “We really focus on catering to the bride’s needs.”

With December the most popular month for engagements, Bridal Elegance is especially busy right now with brides-to-be searching for the perfect dress. Louise suggests brides order their dress about eight months before the wedding to allow time for it to arrive and for alterations. Most brides these days are leaning toward bridal dresses with clean lines and a simple design. And where do today’s brides meet their fiancé?

“I’d say at least fifty percent of my clients meet their significant other on an online dating site,” said Louise, a mother of four who has raised her family in the Riviera since 1994. “It seems that meeting through Bumble and Hinge is slowly replacing traditional ways of finding that special someone. But no matter how they meet, brides are always excited to find the perfect gown, and I’m grateful I get to play a role in that.”

Bridal Elegance is located at 2851 Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance. You can reach them at 310-406-3917, or visit them online at www.bridalelegancestudio.com