Eagle, Idaho’s only bridal store
By McCale Ashenbrener
Photos by Emma Thompson
As Susan Ballard sat in the cozy corner of the elegant bridal boutique, couched in white lace and tulle with hot tea in hand, she felt pure joy watching her daughter try on the possible wedding gowns that would take her into the next magical moment of her life. She never imagined that four years later, after retiring from a career in teaching, she would find herself living in Idaho and holding the keys to the same bridal boutique where she and her daughter found the “one.” Ballard bought Bridal by Marie and in a mere two years is one of the top three finalists for best bridal shop in the state of Idaho and has been selected as the best bridal boutique in the Treasure Valley.
The care and attention Ballard felt from the original Marie, of Bridal by Marie, has guided her as she has made the boutique her own since her purchase in 2017. A visit to Bridal by Marie is an experience. “It’s highly personal, one-on-one in a relaxed and tranquil environment. I work strictly by appointment only, so each bride and her entourage has the entire boutique to herself during her appointment,” explains Ballard. “Unlike other bridal salons where there might be more than one bride in the shop at a time working with a consultant, it’s just me and my bride. There is no other distraction, thereby creating a calmness which allows her to make a decision based on pure emotion – without anyone else getting in the way.” Planning a wedding is joyous and magical, but can also be incredibly stressful. The care and attention to detail clients receive as they enter Bridal by Marie is a welcome respite from wedding planning and an intimate and indulgent experience for the bride and her friends and family.
As a girl Ballard remembers playing under the big weeping willow tree in her front yard, her vinyl black Barbie case open with Barbie’s white lace and tulle wedding dress there on the little plastic hanger. As she grew older, she imagined herself “in a long flowing romantic gown with a cathedral length veil.” A gown she remembers wearing fondly one summer day long ago. Ballard brings this nostalgia and warmth to her work, inviting brides and their families into her shop as if they are entering her home. “I set the scene before the moment the bride sets foot in my store. There are usually refreshments already set out, beverages, some interesting sweets, chocolate, and of course, a box of Kleenex.”
Ballard feels fortunate to pay forward the love and care she initially felt as her daughter found her perfect wedding gown at Bridals by Marie six years ago. Her upscale bridal boutique is nestled in downtown Eagle, Idaho and has a large selection of designer gowns in a variety of colors with affordable prices. If you are in the market for an intimate and individualized experience in choosing your wedding dress, call (208) 938-2499 to make a personalized appointment and learn more at bridalbymarie.com