Soiree Productions and White Couture
December 12, 2007
Parkite Lillie Garrido used to be a corporate recruiter for a big five accounting firm when she lived in Orange County, Calif. and planned the recruiting events for the firm nationwide. Once, one of the partners asked her to plan a wedding.
"I had a great time, and it was around the same time I moved to Park City," Garrido said. "In July of 2000, I stopped working as the official events planner and got Soiree started."
Garrido moved to Park City when her husband became director of government affairs for Questar. It was then that she started her own wedding company in Park City, Soiree Productions, and ran it from her home.
Recently, however, she opened a brand new designer wedding gown studio, called White Couture, in Jeremy Ranch at Quarry Village.
Garrido said it’s a convenient way for local men, women or children to find designer wedding gowns, tuxedos or any other elegant event wear, right here in town.
"Most of my clients wanted to fly to other big cities to find wedding dresses," Garrido said. "They didn’t think they could find designer dresses in Utah We have everything under one roof."
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Garrido carries designer tuxedos from a vendor in New York City, as well as wedding dresses from top designers in New York. The shop also carries semi-formal wear, prom dresses, little girls’ dresses, gifts and accessories.
Garrido flies to the bridal market in New York each year to decide which designers’ dresses to carry based on her clients’ requests. She currently carries six top designers’ wedding gowns, as well as two top designers’ bridesmaids dresses. These designers include Vera Wang, Rivini, Judd Waddell, Carmela Sutera, Birnbaum & Bullock, Romona Keveza, Jane Wang and Badgley Mischka.
Each month, Soiree wedding studio features a trunk show, where designers come to Park City to help clients pick out and be fitted for their dresses.
Last week, White Couture brought designer Jane Wang out for a trunk show. Jane Wang is a new designer from New York City who found her niche in wedding dress designing while her husband was working as a wedding photographer.
"My husband is a photographer who carries lower-end dresses at his studio and I always told him I could make prettier dresses than the ones he had," Wang laughed. "That was a joke, but it became a reality."
Wang attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she studied wedding dress, lingerie and sweater design for five years. When she graduated, she started a new line of wedding gowns. She said she uses some of the same techniques and popular styles of the day, but some of her own unique styles, as well.
"I tried to interpret the trends, but at the same time, I didn’t want to go overboard," Wang said. "I like things asymmetrical so they don’t all look the same. I just add special little touches to each dress."
Wang’s dresses were quickly picked up by clothing franchises in New York. Garrido discovered her when she attended the bridal market this year and now carries seven styles from Wang’s line.
One of the great things about the trunk shows, Garrido says, is the brides-to-be who come to the shows can see Wang’s entire line, which includes 27 wedding gowns.
"Jane [brought] 27 dresses, but on any other day, you would only see seven in the store," Garrido explained.
Another perk of trunk shows is that participants receive 10 percent discounts on dresses or accessories they purchase from the designer featured in the show.
The shows are appointment-based, but Garrido invites everyone who is planning a special event or wedding to take the opportunity to see the formal wear White Couture carries.
"The great thing about trunk shows is our clients benefit from working directly with the designer," Garrido said.
Garrido said the designers will take special requests from clients and will make alterations.
Garrido encourages brides-to-be to start looking for their dress and plan early, as the White Couture designer dresses take about 16 weeks to order, alter and ship. She said if a bride cannot find a dress she likes in the store, catalogues are available and dresses can be ordered.
"As long as we carry the designer, we can ship the dress in," Garrido said.
Soiree Productions is called a wedding planning studio for a reason. The shop also serves as a vendor library and planning studio for weddings or other formal occasions. Because Garrido has been planning weddings in town for awhile, she said she knows the best vendors to work with.
"We call it a library, but really, it’s a resource center," Garrido said. "We work with banquet coordinators."
Garrido has coordinated weddings at various venues in Park City, including restaurants, like 350 Main.
She also plans weddings outside the state. Since she is originally from Orange County, she still plans weddings out there. She also recently planned a wedding in Hawaii.
"We have some clients who need a wedding planner," Garrido said. "If we can help them plan a little bit of their event or all of it, we have everything encompassed under one roof."
White Couture designer bridal and tuxedos is located inside the Soiree Wedding Library at Quarry Village at 8178 Gorgoza Pines Road, Suite E. For more information, or to see a list of upcoming trunk shows, designers or dresses, visit http://www.myparkcitywedding.com or call 435-655-2943. Appointments for the trunk shows are appreciated, but Soiree is open to the public.