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'This is a destination business,' Monica Mayer says. 'And I want to provide each bride with a memorable, personal experience that they will treasure for a lifetime.'

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego resident Monica Mayer has brought her Divine Designs Bridal Boutique back to Lake Oswego. She offers brides private appointments in her salon to select that perfect dress for the wedding day.

Monica Mayer knows that selecting the right wedding dress is not a casual decision. That's why for the past 20 years she has met with brides in private appointments to help them find that one special dress to express the joy, love and beauty of their wedding day.

"This is not a time for chaos," she said while sitting in the showroom of Divine Designs Bridal Boutique. "I build a personal relationship with the bride. It's an amazing experience and I want them to enjoy the moments."

Divine Designs was originally located in Lake Oswego then moved by the owner to Westover Road in the bustling Northwest Portland shopping district several years ago. Mayer later purchased the business and when the lease on that space expired she moved the business back to Lake Oswego, where she lives. The business has been open at 16146 Boones Ferry Road in Lake Grove since February.

"This is a destination business," she said. "And I want to provide each bride with a memorable, personal experience that they will treasure for a lifetime."

Divine Designs offers collections of couture designers including Monique Lhuillier, Tulle New York, Anne Barge, Liancarlo and Ines Di Santo. Mayer says she listens to what the bride has envisioned and then guides them through the selection process, from gown selection to fit, fabric — which makes "all the difference," she says — and accessories. Her personalized service also includes alterations done by an experienced master seamstress "dedicated to making you and your gown shine on your wedding day."

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Monica Mayer says bridal veils are coming back, along with more classic styles of wedding gowns. She carries collections of couture designers and a full range of accessories in Divine Designs Bridal Boutique.

Mayer can also outfit bridesmaids and the mother of the bride, and accessorize all in the wedding party.

"Our intimate showroom, exceptional service and exclusive designer dress selection make Divine Designs your best choice to find the most important dress you will ever wear," she says. "Our designer gown selection is fashion-forward yet timeless, never trendy."

She says bridal fashions always change and she is delighted to see more classic styles coming back.

"There was a trend about five years ago of 'naked' dresses, dresses that lacked modesty and were inappropriate," she said. "Now you will see more sophisticated looks, and veils are coming back." She is looking forward to seeing what American actress Meghan Markle wears when she marries Prince Harry at Windsor Castle May 19.

Since she lives in Lake Oswego, moving the boutique back has improved her quality of life, too. Her daily commute to Northwest Portland has been replaced by a leisurely walk from her home to the boutique. And shop dog, Lucy, oftens get to come with her.

"Lake Oswego is such a connected community," she said. "I am looking forward to being part of that."

Divine Designs Bridal Boutique is open by appointment only. Call Mayer at 503-827-0667 and visit divinedesignsbridal.com.


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