Q&A with The Bridal Gypsies Owner Polly Parsons
The first lesbian-owned bridal boutique in the Hill Country offers clients an unforgettable shopping experience.
Polly Parsons, owner of The Bridal Gypsies (602 Old Fitzhugh Rd., Dripping Springs, 310-251-6766) has created a “high-class hippie couture” aesthetic at her Dripping Springs boutique. She travels the world, hand-curating every item she carries, including one-of-a-kind wedding dresses—from vintage gowns to French couture, as well as dazzling accessories. Think floor-length white feather headdresses, bouquets of brooches hand-bound with Russian silk, and rosewood bowls from Tunisia (the latter make memorable bridal gifts). “You won’t find any piece in this store anywhere else,” she says.
Parsons, 49, greets clients at her appointment-only boutique with champagne, cool music, and her undivided attention. She started her boutique after an early career in theatrical and concert video production, and after running the foundation of her late father, the iconic pioneer of alt-country music Gram Parsons. At The Bridal Gypsies, she aims to make the shopping process as special as the big day itself. “Shopping for your wedding should be a joyful, feminine, romantic experience,” she says.
LWT: What inspired The Bridal Gypsies?
PP: I’m a romantic at heart. And I’ve always loved couture and the old beautiful movies of yesteryear—Judy Garland, all the MGM films. I always wanted to create a magical place devoted to whimsy and fantasy.
After I moved to Austin from Los Angeles, I was talking with my friend Deborah Carter, who owns Pink West Salon here in Dripping Springs. And she said to me, “Oh, sweetheart, you have to come out here; we’re the wedding capital of Texas, but we have no bridal boutique.” And so off I went. I opened September 1, 2016.
LWT: Had you experienced more traditional bridal boutiques before you opened?
PP: Haven’t we all, with a friend, sister, or loved one? It all looks much the same—it’s gotten a little … cold. I don’t want to sound harsh, but it’s usually more of a business arrangement, where there are thousands of gowns hanging from the ceiling, and they’ve all been touched by a hundred people. My idea was for a magical, loving, inspirational space, with music and champagne, and beautiful gowns and amazing treasures from around the world. It’s a boho-chic vibe crossed with a bit of Audrey Hepburn.
LWT: What fashion advice do you give most often?
PP: Don’t forget to wear what you’re most comfortable in. Try a little bit of everything on, but remember when it comes down to it, what you love wearing the most is what you should wear on the day of your wedding. If you love the idea of wearing a gown, absolutely wear a gown. But if that’s really not your thing on a daily basis, wear a pantsuit. Do what you’re most comfortable with, for sure. And, by the way, I’m adding a dapper men’s line soon.
LWT: What’s your approach with lesbian weddings?
PP: It’s really a different feeling to work with two women, planning an incredible day that wasn’t possible for us until recently. I’m not married—I’m single right now, but I’d love to meet the right girl. It’s a whole new world for us to dream about and plan for. I love that lesbian weddings can dance around all of the traditions, picking and choosing exactly what works.
The other thing I’d say is: don’t forget that bridal shopping should be a romantic, loving date. Go to a place that supports you as a couple and treats you like the brides you are, since this is all a part of a really beautiful moment in your life.