The calm, upscale ambience of Calvet Couture Bridal Boutique belies its high volume of customers. “On the weekends — Saturday and Sunday — we can see up to 55 brides,” says Alexandra Calvet-Brown, who glides around her airy showroom in a BCBG maxi dress and flats. “The most we’ve done on a Saturday is 47, and that’s crazy!”
Fueled by a love for fashion, the former event planner opened Calvet Couture in 2013 in College Park, but the store quickly outgrew its original space. The boutique has been in its current Winter Park Village location since 2016, carrying over its signature mint-and-cream color palette. Designer wedding dresses line the perimeter of the 6,000-square-foot shop, while cozy sitting areas and lofty mirrors subdivide the spacious floor.
“I wanted it to be fun and homey — for brides to be able to walk in and sit down with their families,” says the 32-year-old Orlando native. Patrons complete an interactive interview before ever setting foot in the store; at their appointment, they’re greeted with champagne and a gracious, energetic consultant. Calvet-Brown feels the shop’s airy, inviting vibe differentiates it from other area bridal boutiques. She also gravitates toward more modern designers such as Hayley Paige, while maintaining a balance of other styles. “The hardest part about buying is that you have to buy for others — not necessarily yourself,” she says. “That’s what a lot of stores miss. You have to remember that what you love is not necessarily what your customer is going to love.”
That self-awareness is working — Calvet Couture employs nine people and has served more than 6,000 brides, about half of whom hail from the Orlando area. The other half come from cities like Jacksonville, Tampa and Palm Beach, as well as international markets as far as South America and Saudi Arabia.
What’s more, Calvet-Brown has opened a second location, taking over what was formerly Blush Bridal in Sarasota. The University of Central Florida grad commutes to the Gulf Coast store twice a week, but her heart will always be in Orlando, where she lives with her husband in Orwin Manor. The two enjoy brunching, golfing, and frequenting neighborhoods like Mills 50, Ivanhoe Village and Winter Park. “We love different areas of town for different reasons,” she says. “I’ve been in the center of Orlando my whole life, and it’s really interesting to see how it has grown — that we have those different options.”