Bridal Boutique in Baton Rouge begins to welcome their 50th year

Darian Graivshark
Gilley's Gallery with different types of paintings to choose from.

As 2019 approaches, Marie Gilley will be celebrating her fiftieth year as the owner of Bridal Boutique.

The opening of her first location in 1969 was on Government Street in Baton Rouge inside of a house. The current location, 8750 Florida Boulevard, was opened in 1978. Attached to the boutique today is an art gallery, Gilley's Gallery.

"We just keep expanding. In 2017, we even added a room inside of another room. That is where the bridesmaid dresses are," Gilley said.

Bridal Boutique has one of the largest selections of bridal attire in the south, and it is becoming a tradition for many families.

"Our boutique provides such personal experiences that people who have gotten married many years ago have brought their daughters into this store to search for their dresses. Maybe even grand daughters now. It's important that we give them good experiences, because family is our number one priority," Gilley said.

Gilley got into the bridal business while she was also a medical technologist. She ended up working both of these jobs part-time, then eventually moved to her boutique full-time after about five years.

"I realized how crucial it was to be more involved with my business in order to make it prosper. When I began full-time is when I really began to see the business grow," Gilley said.

Although it is a bridal business, they do provide a variety of dresses. Those include formal, Mardi Gras, debutante, and even flower girl dresses, to name a few. The boutique can even provide the "full wedding package" will shoes, veils, and accessories. This way, it allows the brides-to-be to purchase everything in one location instead of different places.

"Some brides will even purchase a second dress to wear for the reception. This is a trend I'm seeing recently. I've seen so many changes since I've started this, as well as so many styles come and go. One thing I don't think will ever come back, though, are those poofy sleeves," Gilley jokes.

The longevity of Gilley's business is something that means a lot to customers and manufacturers. They all know that they can trust her and the business.

"It is crucial that you go into a locally owned business to get one-on-one experiences. It helps to put a face to a business, too, in case there are ever any issues. Try not to ever order online. I see too many brides that come in crying because what they ordered looks nothing like the photos online. You never know what kind of quality you are going to get like that," Gilley said.

To celebrate Bridal Boutique's upcoming fiftieth celebration, Gilley is planning on doing some sort of prize opportunities for their shoppers. However, she is not completely sure on what those will be yet.

The boutique is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. in Baton Rouge.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.