Sisters to open upscale bridal shop

Two sisters who found they had to go to the Twin Cities to find their ideal wedding dresses are hoping to keep the search closer to home for other brides.

Erin Rallis and Kayla Thompson are opening Marie & Marie Bridal on the third floor of Equity Square at Eighth Street and Phillips Avenue.

“We’ve both been married in the last five years and realized there’s an opportunity for a higher-end boutique that really catered to the bride,” Rallis said. “It’s something we’re both really passionate about, which made us excited, so that combined with the need in Sioux Falls made us give it a go.”

The sisters grew up in Sioux Falls but left for college. They both have business degrees – Rallis from the University of Minnesota and Thompson from the University of Nebraska.

“She’s got a lot of experience in marketing and event planning in retail, and I have more experience in finance and IT, so we really thought we could play off both our strengths to create a really cool experience for the bride,” Rallis said.

They plan to carry brands such as Badgley Mischka and Theia, with dresses ranging from $1,000 to $7,000. The store will carry veils and accessories as well as bridesmaid dresses.

“We put a lot of thought into the designers we chose,” Thompson said. “Going to market was really fun. Every dress we chose we had a model try on, and we think we picked beautiful pieces that are very high quality.”

The name Marie & Marie has a family connection.

“All the women in our family have the middle name Marie, and it also means ‘bride’ in French, so it had a really cool, unique twist,” Rallis said.

The store has a nontraditional retail location on the third floor of a downtown building, but the owners say it’s the right fit.

“We talked about it, and a lot of times brides don’t just walk by a bridal store and decide to pop in,” Rallis said. “You create an appointment. It’s a destination. And we love the views and the natural light. It overlooks downtown Sioux Falls and the Cathedral, and we thought it was a really beautiful setting.”

The plan is to open in mid-February. The store is looking for a seamstress and also will hire a handful of additional employees. Applicants can contact the owners at hello@mariemariebridal.com.

“We’re just really trying to create a fun experience for the bride,” Rallis said. “We want her to look back at this experience and remember it as one of the most fun, memorable moments of her wedding-planning experience.”

Sisters to open upscale bridal shop

Two sisters who found they had to go to the Twin Cities to find their ideal wedding dresses are hoping to keep the search closer to home for other brides.

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