Six years ago, Andrea Whitehead was newly engaged, living in Toronto, and looking for her dream wedding dress.
After a day spent browsing Toronto’s bridal boutiques, she left with not only the dress, but also the idea for her future dream job — to run her very own wedding boutique.
Whitehead, a graduate of Indiana University and the International Academy of Design in Toronto, interned with a couture bridal designer. That later opened up the opportunity for jobs with two couture designers.
During this time, the Princeton, Ind., native worked to learn how to create and run her own superior bridal boutique. After a visit with her husband, Chris Lunn, to Evansville in May 2011 for a relative’s wedding, the couple explored the idea of relocating to the quaint town of Newburgh, Ind., which “runs off of its charm,” Whitehead says.
In March 2012, Whitehead and Lunn purchased “an amazing structure that needed a lot of bringing back to life,” located at 3 Market St. in Newburgh. After six months of restoring and making it their own, The House of White became a reality.
The House of White features seven to eight designers, with dresses for the more casual bride to the most elegant of gowns. Dresses range in cost from $1,000 to $4,500.
Whitehead recommends purchasing a dress 8 to 10 months before the wedding date to allow time to take measurements and alterations, which are done across the street from The House of White at Alterations by Olivia, 300 W. Jennings St. While some brides choose to plan the majority of the wedding before buying a dress, Whitehead suggests saying yes to the dress first.
“The wedding gown is the wedding,” she says. “It’s what most people remember from the day and what is in about 90 percent of your wedding photos. Let yourself be the centerpiece and plan your day around it.”
To complement the wedding dress, The House of White also has bridesmaid and mother of the bride dresses, jewelry, headpieces and veils, and other accessories.
Before choosing a dress, Whitehead says she likes to sit down with the bride and have a personal conversation about style and what the soon-to-be bride feels comfortable wearing. There’s no time limit or pressure, she says.
“We work one on one with the brides and try to keep it as intimate as possible,” she says. “We try to make it very relaxing, in a situation where there are a lot of eyes on the bride and a lot of pressure on the purchase.”
To devote her entire attention to her customers, Whitehead asks future brides to book an appointment before stopping in to try on dresses.
“You see all different kinds of brides,” Whitehead says. “Some want something very classic, and then some want something different. They’ll say, ‘Can you offer something for the non-typical bride?’”
Whitehead greets all types of brides, whether they come alone or with the entire family, with open arms. She also makes sure she has the latest styles and trends by traveling to New York twice a year to purchase the store’s inventory. Whitehead says dresses that are now popular are those with lace, or dresses that play with variations of color, including pinks, champagnes, and greys.
“A lot of brides want a gown that’s going to look timeless,” Whitehead says. “They want to know that when they look back in pictures, they aren’t going to hate it.”
For more information, call 812-858-2998 or visit houseofwhitebridal.com.