paperswan bride

The ‘inside the boutique‘ series continues today with a gorgeous Wellington, New Zealand salon called Paperswan Bride. Jennifer, the boutique’s owner, was sweet enough to answer a few interview questions and she sent some extra images to go along with this gorgeous shoot from Siaosi Photography!

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How did you come to find yourself in the bridal industry? 

“Before I worked in the bridal industry I spent a decade working in publishing and advertising in London.  It was obviously meant to be, as just when I decided to make the leap into bridal a job came up at Stewart Parvin to help launch their flagship bridal store in London. Although I’d never had any experience working in retail I managed to convince them to take me on, and as they say – the rest is history!

Well actually the story does continue….after gaining some incredible experience working with Stewart and his team I then decided to return home to New Zealand to open Paperswan Bride.”

What is one surprising thing about owning a bridal boutique that most people wouldn’t know?

“That of course at the end of the day this is a business but for me it’s really about creating an unforgettable experience for my brides. That there is nothing that gives me more pleasure than when you see a bride and her mother leave the shop after finding ‘the one’ and falling into each other’s arms with excitement and glee. It’s such an honour to be part of that process and to share such intimate moments with someone else’s family. I’m not sure other people experience that in their own line of work but it’s a pretty special part of what we do.”

Paperswan Bride Paperswan Bride Paperswan Bride

What are your top tips and pieces of advice for brides who are shopping for their wedding dress right now? 

“My top tips would be…. 1. Don’t bring an entourage! Your mother, sister, or best friend is enough. Less is definitely more when it comes to your support party. 2. Know and trust yourself. You dress yourself successfully every day, you know what suits your body type and these rules still apply when shopping for your wedding dress, just on a much grander scale! 3. Don’t over-think things. Once you find your dress, buy it and move on to the next stage of planning.”

What is the inspiration behind the interior styling and design of Paperswan Bride? 

“Paperswan Bride is a small and intimate boutique where we only ever host one bridal party at a time. Because of that I wanted to keep the space clean and minimalist but still with a soft feminine touch. The colour palette is white and dusty pink with a combination of modern and antique furnishings. My favourite piece (apart from all the beautiful gowns of course!) is my French style mirror from Laura Ashley which I shipped in especially from the UK.

Most importantly I want my brides and their friend and families to feel completely at home when they come and visit so I serve a selection of teas on Mayfair china so they can relax and completely indulge in the experience.”

Paperswan Bride Paperswan Bride Paperswan Bride

Since you’ve experienced the bridal industry in both places, are there any unique differences in New Zealand weddings or the New Zealand bridal industry that makes it different from the American wedding industry? 

“New Zealand brides tend to be more casual and laid-back when it comes to the style of their wedding dress. In NZ we get married outside in vineyards or gardens and the summers are long and hot so the more light weight dresses with shorter trains are popular. New Zealand brides are definitely embracing lace and love the vintage look that is currently rocking the bridal world.

The wedding industry here is massive and it’s super exciting to see the big international bridal labels slowly becoming available. Paperswan Bride will be stocking Bliss by Monique Lhuillier from the end of this year and we are so thrilled to be able introduce this amazing collection of gowns to local brides.”


Mahalo to Jennifer of Paperswan Bride for providing such thoughtful answers and to both her and Siaosi Photography for the gorgeous images!

See more from the ‘Inside the Boutique’ series here.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.


  1. Such an adorable boutique! I agree with the advice of not bringing a large entourage with you. Keeping it small will definitely help the decision process.

  2. Love the color palette they used for the shop, also that they only have one bride in at a time. My first experience at a bridal shop was awful, two other brides were booked in as well and I felt really rushed. Paperswan Bride sounds like the opposite (and what a superb name for a bridal boutique!)

  3. What a beautiful boutique! And I absolutely love the dress in the first photo. Do you know the designer?

  4. What pretty colors! I too felt like Amy at a few shops I went to as a bride where there were to many other brides and not enough shop clerks to go around. Sounds like Paperswan is the perfect bridal store!

  5. Such an elegant space! Keeping the furniture in the colors in the same hues as the dresses makes the whole boutique seem so pulled together. That mirror is such a perfect frame for a bride finding ‘the one’ dress!

  6. I love Jennifer and Paperswan Bride! It is so obvious whenever I speak to her that she’s not one of those boutiques who just sees her brides as sales (like so many I visited in the UK) Can’t wait for my next trip to Wellington 🙂 x

  7. I bought my dress from Jennifer and I cannot recommend Paperswan Bride highly enough. My experience in store was what sealed the deal for me – I’m not a skinny bride and was feeling super self-conscious about dress shopping. Jennifer made myself, my mother and my grandmother feel completely at ease the moment we walked in the door. She was so incredibly helpful and genuinely seems to care about the customer. She’s also provided advice and answered every question I’ve asked about gown transport and veils etc. A soon to be relative-in-law is getting married soon and I’ve told her to check out Paperswan first because Jennifer sets the bar so high 🙂


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