Elizabeth Dye “Hanami” gown, $4,400, from Elizabeth Dye in Portland.
Q & A with Former "Bachelorette" and Bridal Designer, Desiree Hartsock
Q: You moved to Portland last year. What brought you here?
A: My husband, Chris [yes, she met him on The Bachelorette!], grew up here, so we always knew we would make the move from Seattle one day. After having our youngest son, Zander, we knew it was time to be closer to family.
Q: Your studio is in Southeast Portland. Have you drawn any artistic inspiration from that community in your work?
A: I really love the low-key but artistic vibe that SE has, and I’m definitely inspired by all of my surroundings, like the murals.
Q: Can you describe your journey through the bridal world, from originally working in a bridal boutique, at about the same time as your Bachelor/Bachelorette days, to launching your own line, Desiree Hartsock Bridal?
A: I have worked in bridal since I was 18 and was working in a bridal boutique before going on the show, but I have always dreamed of designing wedding gowns for my own brand. I feel so blessed and excited to have the opportunity to do just that now.
Q: What are you loving the most in bridal fashion right now?
A: There is a new push to design outside the norm or tradition, and I love it! It’s inspiring to see new takes on classic styles and the creative ways designers are going about that.
Q: You recently launched a new collection. What was your inspiration? Describe what brides can expect to see.
A: My recent collection is entitled Reign to encompass the strength of femininity in a bold yet whimsical way. I am always inspired by nature and its effortless beauty, so I like to incorporate that into all of my styles with the use of comfortable and flattering silhouettes paired with soft tulles, chiffons and bold floral laces.
Q: What advice would you give a bride when choosing a gown?
A: Stay open-minded. You never know what you will end up liking! Also, trust your own feeling about the dress and not your friends’/family members’ opinions because it’s your day and you get to dress it your way
Q: Any tips that brides might not think about?
A: It can take from four to six months to order a wedding dress from almost any bridal store, so plan ahead to ensure you have time to find the dress of your dreams.
Dresses by Desiree Hartsock Bridal are available at select bridal shops nationwide. Visit desireehartsock.com/stockists to find a shop near you. Select styles are also available online at desireehartsock.com.