By Seth Combs
(Published in the June 2010 issu
Summer and fall are prime seasons for San Diego couplings, and whether you’re doing it on the fly or planning ahead, Michelle Martin’s got you covered. Martin runs La Jolla ‘s premiere bridal boutique, M Bride, and over the years has dressed local ladies to the nines in premium designers and couture. Along the way, she’s picked up some useful knowledge for couples ready to take the plunge into matrimony.
PacificSD: When women come to you, what are they looking for in a dress?
Michelle Martin: Two things-something that flatters their shape and reflects their personality. A woman will come in and want a specific style. I can size them up and know that particular style isn’t necessarily going to look good on them. Say, a petite girl will come in and she wants a drop-waisted dress. That’s going to make her look like all torso and no legs. You want to create length for a petite girl.
Would you say comfort comes second?
Martin: Comfort is a big thing, but a wedding gown is never going to fit like a t-shirt and jeans. It’s a formal gown. There is structure to it.
Who are the hot designers right now?
Martin: Ines Di Santo is still really high on my radar. Monique Lhuillier is hot. Here’s some inside info: Vera Wang is coming out with a line for David’s Bridal, with dresses ranging from $500 to $1200, so I feel badly for those girls who spent 10 Gs on a Vera Wang last year and now their neighbor can get it for $500.
Anyone up and coming?
Martin: Some of the new dresses from Junko Yoshioka are really nice. They’re clean, modern, and they’ll look different from anyone else’s dress you’ve ever seen. There’s another line that I just picked up called Modern Trousseau. It’s a line out of Connecticut that uses all silk fabrics from Italy and they’ll actually make it to your measurements without charging you.
What advice would you give to men who are helping their fiancées shop for dresses?
Martin: Uh, shut the hell up [laughs]. No, I’m just kidding. Superstitions aside, I think it’s nice when the guys come. I would tell guys to read your fiancée’s face. It’s an emotional purchase, so give your input. They want it. Make sure it’s something she feels good in. Don’t read the paper while they’re trying on dresses. And don’t be on your phone the whole time. Pay attention, because that’s why they brought you.
What are the local hotspots where everyone wants to tie the knot? Any secret gems you think people overlook?
Martin: The Grand Del Mar and U.S. Grant are very big. The Scripps Forum is becoming a very hot place, because it’s right on the water. I think they’re booked up for the next year and a half. As for secret spots, I tell people to get out of the hotels. Renting big homes is very underrated. Most people don’t know that you can rent out the museums in Balboa Park. The Japanese Friendship Garden is beautiful. Hell, the zoo would be cool and different. Just not near the monkey house [laughs].