This place puts you in the mood for everything wedding-related. From the invitations and the dress to that perfect Champagne and chocolate truffle, owner Nicole Boughton has the details under control.
- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- DRESS FOR THE OCCASION : The Wedding Gallery of San Luis Obispo offers brides a one-stop shop where they can relax and take care of a lot of details big and little at once.
# Boughton cares about brides. She wants to help relieve their wedding stress by providing everything they need in one place: The Wedding Gallery of San Luis Obispo. At 1335 Broad St.,in San
Luis Obispo the gallery which opened about a month ago displays the work of every type of wedding professional, so the bride can see the big picture and make a wise decision, all while sitting on a comfy couch and sipping tea.
"My whole idea was if I just give them a place to plop down, they can just see their vendors, and it's a lot less stress for them," Boughton said.
A third-generation San Luis Obispan, Boughton began as a wedding photographer.
"I'm the producer that brings everybody together," she said. "I just wanted some friends to get together and work as a community. I'm really community based. We would see each other at weddings, and we would all be great friends, so I just wanted to see each other every day. I was tired of having brides meet me at Starbucks."
Boughton isn't a coordinator. In a word, she's the middleman between the couple and wedding professionals, and she only presents vendors that she knows and trusts. She knows what works best with a budget and considers her boutique to be a meeting place. New vendors are constantly coming in, but some currently available include coordinator Jennifer Norton, Jack Hutchinson Videography, Phoenix Fine Catering, Storybook Pictures, and more.
"Come hang out and have Champagne and chocolate, and we'll look at everybody's work," Boughton said.
While the new boutique serves San Luis Obispo County, it may be even more useful to visitors.
"My heart goes out to the people coming in from out of town. The destination bride will have one-and-a-half days to do as much as she can. They might just want to pick up everything in one place," Boughton said.
Boughton's boutique also has a conservation edge she's all for making wedding planning greener.
"If you don' have to go to Paso to see the winery, and then down to Oceano to see the vineyard, and then over to Cambria to see Cambria Pines Lodge, you're going to save a couple hundred bucks in gas, easy," she said.
Boughton lived at SLO's Establishment when she was younger. She's pro-community and environment, and hopes to help conserve San Luis Obispo's historic feel with her new business.
"I've seen San Luis grow up. There is just this certain family atmosphere. Everybody knows everybody else. Even though we've got industry coming in and corporate coming in, I really wanted to keep what I remember San Luis being. I'm capturing that old family atmosphere here," she said.
The gallery's slogan is "Love is Here."
Boughton does more for a couple than rent a room she gets involved. The goal of her shop is to support a couple in marriage. And even beyond the wedding, the gallery can help a couple find financial planners, marriage counselors, and real estate brokers.
"Love is here. We love what we do," Boughton said. "I just want people to feel the enthusiasm and the love. I want the professionals to do it for the right reason. It's not about making an extra $900 on the weekend. We are here for marriage. That's a big deal. It's about love. We are all called upon to do great things with love."
The gallery is the end product of a long love journey for Boughton, both in business and in her personal life.
"I've never been married that's ironic," she said. "Bad divorce, then you're jaded, then you have somebody who breaks your heart, and then you start losing faith in the whole deal. And that was me. Then I had my little boy, and he just opened my heart back up. When I started shooting weddings, I felt that there is something bigger than me. And it was really, really real. This whole thing is bigger than I am. It picked itself. It picked its location. It picked its colors. That's my story."
The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, noon to 3 p.m., and by appointment. For more information, call 542-9426 or visit weddinggalleryslo.com.
Intern Meagan Dupre compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to firstname.lastname@example.org.