Milwaukee Wedding Vendor Spotlight: Love Lives Here Bridal

Amanda Ergen-Jennings will make a dress just for you.


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“Shortly after college, my friends started getting married and asked me to make dresses for them,” says Amanda Ergen-Jennings, who spent a year at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology while earning a degree from UW-Madison’s textile and fashion design program.

Soon she evolved from making friends’ dresses into a full-fledged business focused on ready-to-wear and custom-design gowns under the Love Lives Here Bridal label. Each design flaunts minimalist, clean lines – nothing too flouncy or frilly – and, if custom, nails the fit. “The focus is on fit and comfort, something that makes you feel elevated while dancing the night away.”

When she’s not jetting off to wedding-industry shows and markets to promote her designs to boutiques, Ergen-Jennings is busy stitching and sewing, using skills she learned as a kid from her grandmother. She works alongside headpiece, belt and veil designer Jackie Barutha (Jaxie Bridal) in a Bay View warehouse.


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“Everything is made in my studio,” explains Ergen-Jennings, who modeled her business after a European-style atelier. For custom gowns, the bride-to-be visits the studio to collaborate on a design. “It’s a one-of-a-kind original she helps create,” she says. “I really love seeing the creative light come on in brides.”

Recently a client wanted a silver (not white) dress, but worried guests wouldn’t recognize that she’s the bride. Ergen-Jennings coaxed her into the silver dress, saying simply, “They’ll know the bride because you’re the bride.”

ADVICE: “You don’t have to be what everyone expects a bride to look like,” says Ergen-Jennings. “Search for something that feels like ‘you.’ If it feels forced, it’s not the right fit.” Along those lines, opt for a designer or wedding-dress retailer who will listen to you, she says.


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s January issue.

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A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.