{review} La Crème

Style Shoot | Gown: La Creme | Photo: Julie Nicole Photography

From décor items to unique bridal fashion, La Crème’s boutiques are a favourite with brides

Request more pricing, details and info from this vendor!La Crème is a gorgeous fashion boutique whose name speaks for itself. Tucked away in St Jacobs, one of Ontario’s quaintest villages, savvy brides, moms and wedding guests alike come from far and wide to find ‘the dress,’ shoes and accessories for their special occasion.

While brides come for the incredible selection of destination, garden or second wedding dresses, the shop also sets the bar for making the Mother of the Bride and Groom look and feel incredible in contemporary dresses and gowns. Owned by Nancy Boudreau, La Crème has a reputation for high-style, top service and turning colour schemes into fashion statements. The trendy boutique has built its clientele, won awards, set trends, and at some point over the span of its 20 plus years in business, become a favourite with brides.

Nancy has used her extensive knowledge and passion for gorgeous fashion and her love of elegance to create the La Crème brand. It is her belief that there should be an element of “magic” in every special occasion, and her ability to dress every woman so that she feels good about herself has led to La Crème’s success and outstanding, award winning history. It’s not just brides that are shopping for the wedding day at La Crème. Let us explain…

A family affair…

La Crème was the vision of owner Nancy Boudreau and her sister Carolyn Duncan almost twenty years ago when they opened their first shop in St. Jacobs. It started out as a gift and home décor store, offering some of the area’s most incredible collection of items (the type you’d rarely see anywhere else) and quickly became popular. Years later, in 1995, La Crème, which quite literally carried all things cream, white and gold and a line of clothing they’d selected especially for their boutique’s own style and that of their clients, opened at the other end of The Village.

Through word of mouth over the years, brides and their mothers started to hear about La Crème. Their ivory, cream and pastel gowns were being purchased as wedding and mother of the bride gowns even before Nancy or Carolyn considered it a wedding and bridal collection.

Today, La Crème carries one of the area’s largest selections of formal gowns and dresses. They can be ordered in sizes two to thirty and in a rainbow of colours. But La Crème also has an extensive collection that you can take away with you on the day you visit. Says Nancy, “Shopping is easy, stress free and simply enjoyable.” La Crème carries not only ‘the dress’, but, you can complete the look with beautiful accessories and comfortable, yet elegant shoes…all in one visit!

With their professional staff of fashionistas who have a true passion for finding the perfect dress for each customer, brides and their wedding parties (including mothers of the bride and groom) are able to book private appointments at La Crème’s intimate location to try on their specialized gowns, which they describe as being simple and elegant to over the top, but not over the budget.

“La Crème is truly a family business,” Nancy told The Ring. Since the beginning, the two sisters and Nancy’s husband, Gary, say they have been blessed with the help and support of all of their family members from kids to grandkids and even parents. Carolyn has brought her accounting expertise to help keep the business strong, Nancy says she develops the concepts and merchandise and Gary adds his vast retail expertise to complete the team. “As you can see, family has been the backbone of La Crème since its inception,” says Nancy.

For the past five years, Nancy says she has been blessed to have her daughter, Brittany Burgess, as part the incredible La Crème team of fashion consultants. Brittany is now an integral part of La Crème, assisting Nancy with buying fabulous dresses, accessories and more. Brittany also brings her keen sense of style and dynamic personality to the La Crème team.

Together, Nancy and Brittany created La Crème Bridal in Guelph (which they recently sold in order to concentrate on the very busy La Crème St Jacobs shop). That store became well known throughout the area as ‘the bridal shop,’ with the La Crème knack for adding a touch of “magic” to every bridal experience.

Reputation and community…

We’re not the only ones who think La Crème is fabulous as they were awarded the Canadian Retailer of the Year award from the Canadian Gift and Tableware Association (CGTA). They have also worked with Tony Bowls of Paris Prom, Tony Bowls Evenings and Tony Bowls Gala, as well as James Hjelm of James Clifford Collections.

Over the years, La Crème’s fashion shows and events have raised funds for the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Breast Cancer Foundation, Parkinson Society Canada and Hospice of Waterloo Region, to name a few. They’re also a major sponsor and participant in the annual PMS (Pamper Me Senseless) event, which raises funds for research and prevention of women’s cancers.

A passion for fashion…

Nancy says that the staff at La Crème offer incredible service and expertise, which comes from on-the-spot training over years of working with brides, mothers of the bride and wedding guests. Though they’ve never actually kept track of how many weddings they’ve been a part of, Nancy says it’s safe to say, several hundred.

“Our staff comes from a wide range of fashion and creative backgrounds,” says Nancy. “Customers began coming to us because our fashion and fashion expertise made them look and feel so fashionable and amazing,” she adds.

One of our favourite things about La Crème is the relationship that the staff builds with their customers. Nancy explains, “Customers and staff often develop relationships of trust and friendship that endure through the years. What sets La Crème apart is simply PASSION…for  fashion, for the customer and the customer’s experience.”

It is no surprise that the notes of thanks and accolades from customers are never ending. Past brides unanimously agree that La Crème knows fit and fashion so well that they often recommend styles that the customer had never thought of, and as result, brides, MOB’s and bridesmaids alike have never felt so beautiful, or received so many compliments.

Such was the case for Jean Rebellati, who bought a wedding dress for her second marriage from La Crème. She told us that the staff members all had an opinion on how the dress looked. “I would be pleased to recommend La Crème to anyone. It is a beautiful store and I felt like a princess just looking and trying on the dresses,” says Jean.

Many of the staff members have been in the fashion business most of their working lives from owning their own clothing stores to working in design – both fashion and interior. Nancy says they bring a very creative touch to everything they do. “Most of us have planned weddings, decorated, and coordinated weddings for friends as well as clients.”

Aside from on the job training, Nancy and Brittany have attended seminars with the “Wedding Planner to the stars” – Mindy Weiss, who has planned weddings for Avril Lavigne and Eva Longoria, to name a few.

While all staff members can (and will) meet with brides, Nancy says the managers, if not working directly with the bride, oversee the consultation and provide additional expertise for the bride and bridal party. But that each staff member has “a true passion for fashion and love the challenge of finding the perfect gown or outfit.”

Kirstie Herbstreit bought her wedding dress from La Crème, told us that her experience with the team there was amazing. “The service was top notch and not too in-your-face,” she says.

Unique styles for unique style…

Nancy has found that brides and mothers of the bride and groom who visit La Crème have very different styles; but what is the same among them is that they want something that’s not “typical” but reflects their tastes. “They want to leave with a wonderful feeling from the experience and with the dress of their dreams,” Nancy adds.

In fact, it is La Crème’s belief that next to the bride, her mother and the groom’s mother are the most important part for the bridal party. The staff ensures that they look not only beautiful, but that their dresses are appropriate for the venue and the style of the wedding.

“La Crème has beautiful gowns for women my age,” says Jean, who was in her 50s when she bought her wedding gown. She adds that La Crème’s style is elegant and the dress was even comfortable! “I loved my dress as soon as I put it on,” says Jean, who also purchased earrings, a necklace and later a tiara that matched the dress perfectly. “I didn’t need to look elsewhere, I was completely happy with my choice.”

Nancy says that brides also love La Crème because they know that the level of quality and attention to detail is exceptional. “Our sense of style is strong and we’re up to date on all of the fashion trends… We aren’t a ‘warehouse’ of gowns… instead, we cater to the more unique and individual needs of each bride.”

Kirstie says that the dress she bought from La Crème was a style she had never seen anywhere else. “I bought the second wedding dress I tried on at La Crème. I also purchased a headpiece, which they are custom colouring for me,” she adds.

Helping brides find the perfect dress is something that Nancy says the staff at La Crème finds real joy in doing. “Once we’ve helped the bride or mother find the gown of their dreams we see their stress levels reduced… It’s inspiring to work with gorgeous gowns and accessories and get to know the [client]… It’s fun to be involved on so many levels.”

Intimate ambiance and the personal touch…

The comments that Nancy says she hears most often from customers is that the “atmosphere and service makes them feel so special. They love the ambiance and intimacy…”

“We make the experience magical,” says Nancy. La Crème will also do weekend and evening appointments to accommodate your busy schedule.

Customers seem to be thrilled with the individual attention and the “expertise that has them leaving with a gown or dress that they feel so special in,” says Nancy.

The best part about the personal touch at La Crème is that they say they won’t knowingly sell the same dress to other guests who are attending the same wedding. They keep a registry of which event each dress is being worn to!

With that said, it’s no surprise that La Crème doesn’t advertise extensively, since customers are constantly singing their praises, and word of mouth brings new customers daily from far and wide. Their service truly goes far beyond “good customer service”.

What’s in-store…

After extensive travel to bridal shows all over North America, Nancy says La Crème has found incredible, original gowns and dresses that suit every budget with many gowns ringing in below $1500. The gowns and dresses at La Crème St Jacobs are beautifully made, follow current fashion trends, and are sourced from the top Bridal and Fashion shows in Chicago, Atlanta, and New York.

Kirstie’s wedding dress was 100% silk and she says “was well worth the price of under $1000… My friends were actually amazed at the prices I paid and the quality I received.”

While La Crème carries an assortment of wedding related items from planners to guest books and wedding, shower and bridesmaid gifts, it’s their bridal attire that is their specialty and most popular products – particularly second marriage and destination wedding gowns – “gowns that range from simple and elegant to ‘over the top’, but not over the budget,” says Nancy.

Some gown lines are limited and come from small, affordable designers. Nancy and her daughter have personally met the designers and hand-picked the dresses for their brides.

To finish off the look, La Crème also offers accessories such as jewellery, shoes and evening bags, as well as birdcage veils, tiaras and traditional veils. They can even outfit many of the wedding guests from their formal wear line.

Walking you through it…

Call, email or stop in to make an appointment to try on gowns. Once you’ve found the perfect dress, a 50% deposit is due right away with the remaining balance either split into payments or paid in full when the dress comes in.

Nancy says La Crème needs to order your and the mother of the bride or groom’s dress at least four to six months before the wedding date. “Sometimes smaller designers can get something in if they have it in stock and in your size, but you should leave yourself plenty of time,” adds Nancy.

Jean told us that her wedding dress came in earlier than she was expecting and La Crème gave her the name of a seamstress who did a wonderful job. “The whole experience at La Crème was positive and stress-free,” she adds.

When the dress arrives, you’ll go back for a fitting and La Crème will keep the dress for you until the big day. They’ll also steam it so when you pick it up, it’s ready to go for your walk down the aisle.

Details, details, details

• Phone, email or stop by to book an appointment to try on their bridal collection – they’ll do private, evening and weekend appointments, if needed.
• Nancy recommends coming in at least 6 months before your wedding to ensure the dress will arrive in time.
• A 50% deposit is due when you’ve found the dress of your dreams with the balance due in installments or in full when the dress comes in.

LaCremeLogo-STJACOBSContacting La Crème

La Crème is located at 1369 King Street North in St. Jacob’s. They can be reached at 519-664-3275. Nancy Boudreau at La Crème can be reached directly by email using the form below. 🙂 You can also visit La Crème online at www.lacremedecor.com.

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