"In the past, I've made a couple of custom wedding dresses for special friends [like jewelry designer Pamela Love] who I felt confident I could make feel beautiful on such an important day," explains designer Mara Hoffman. "Eventually, I decided I wanted to do the same thing for my customers, too." And that's how Hoffman, who's known for her colorful bathing suits and flirty summer dresses, started designing a bridal collection. That said, "My bride probably isn't someone who will spend a year and a half planning what she's going to wear," says Hoffman, who designed her own eggshell white charmeuse dress with friend, Richard Ruiz, and beaded it in the days leading up to the ceremony. "I imagine her running off to Tulum, to the desert, or getting married under a canopy." In other words, like Hoffman, she's a free spirit, which makes the launch of this collection very well-timed as it seems everyone from Love to interior designer Asia Baker to Tatiana Santo Domingo has embraced the boho bride aesthetic (think floral hair wreaths, loose wavy tresses, and a natural face). Love, who came across the template for her dress while looking through the racks at Hoffman's studio for something to wear to an event, says the finished product "was the most special dress. I think Mara's line is really for a flower child who wants to run barefoot in the grass after she says her vows."
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A design similar to Love's look-an ethereal V-neck dress with open latticework-made it into Hoffman's new collection alongside four other styles, including a bustier and long skirt set, a veil, and two swimsuits, because why not? (You can always throw them in a suitcase for the honeymoon.) While the five-look offering is decidedly small, Hoffman made sure to keep it within a wallet-friendly price range (around $1,500). "I want to provide an affordable alternative to what's out there in the market, while creating something very special with a lot of attention to detail," says Hoffman. "But ultimately, I'm just inspired by the act of devotion."