When someone said we would be visiting a bridal museum on our San Jacinto Valley (SJV) trip, I admit, I wasn’t excited. Heck, it was over 30 years ago that I shopped for my wedding dress, and I wasn’t interested in looking at them. But that all changed when I walked into the Victorian Bridal Museum and La Boutique Consignment & Bridal Shop.
First, we were warmly created by the curator and owner, Eve Faulkner, who’s been collecting these Victorian bridal gowns for decades. It’s a collection that started when she and her husband began hosting weddings in the 1980’s in their Victorian home. In the following twelve years, they hosted over 800 weddings to raise money for their church’s building fund. It was at that time through the questioning of the brides she worked with, that the fire was lit, and she began to research what Victorian brides would have worn. That began her desire to collect and preserve these precious gowns and wedding memorabilia.
A move to Orange County prompted her to open her first museum location, but upon her husband’s retirement, she relocated it to Hemet where it is today and where Eve provides lectures, historic storytelling, seminars, private classes, tours, and exhibits of her collection.
But the reason the collection touched me wasn’t just looking at the dresses, it was hearing Faulkner’s description of the bride who’d worn it (or likely worn it if the original owner is unknown). It was a way to connect with the brides and wives of the past and to peek into their lives which are so very different from ours.
About the Victorian Bridal Museum and La Boutique Consignment & Bridal Shop
You’ll also find a bridal consignment shop with a dressmaker who can make over vintage wedding gowns and costumes for today’s brides. It’s a way for many women to honor their mother or grandmother by wearing their dress but still maintaining their own style sensibility.
There’s also a consignment shop filled with fabulous finds – plenty of designer labels, red carpet worthy gowns, feathers and sequins, and more. Plus daytime dresses, resort wear, and accessories. They also sell some of their vintage dresses and accessories. You can shop them online here.
The Victorian Bridal Museum and La Boutique Consignment & Bridal shop outgrew its location and has moved to the historic Old Hemet Opera House (146 North Harvard Street, Hemet, CA). Contact Eve Faulkner for more information or to book a reservation for a tour.
Want to Learn More About Victorian Bridal Museum and La Boutique Consignment & Bridal Shop?
- Visit them online at VictorianBridalMuseum.com (hours)
- Purchase the Victorian Visions Bridal Museum Video, a 30-minute video featuring the gowns that go back to 1835. Some are related to famous people including President Abraham Lincoln. The video gives you a close-up look at the costly laces and trims and the intricate and detailed embroidery.
- Get more details about this fabulous vacation location by connecting with Visit San Jacinto Valley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as via their official website.