Bridal Beauty

A Havertown bridal boutique shares tips for customizing a unique look on your big day.

Philadelphia’s premiere bakeries, salons, and bridal shops are putting the final touches on their preparations for David Tutera’s Your Wedding Experience, a bridal show extravaganza, coming to the Philadelphia Convention Center on Feb. 28. Among these preferred vendors is Nilah & Company, a bridal boutique in Havertown.

Owner Nilah Petschelt is a dressmaker, tailor, and designer with 28 years of experience in the bridal industry. “We do a tremendous amount in wedding gown alterations, restorations of old vintage gowns as well as custom made gowns, and we also have a full line of veils,” says Petschelt. During “Your Wedding Experience,” Petschelt and her team plans on showcasing their collection of bridal veils and custom headpieces.

With nearly three decades of experience, Petschelt has seen many styles come and go. The current veil collection, showcased on the website, features a wide variety of gorgeous designs, including fascinators reminiscent of the one Sex and the City sweetheart, Carrie Bradshaw, wore in the big screen adaption of the hit show. According to Petschelt, however, the resurrection of this vintage style is primarily due to Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. “I think there’s also a lot of girls who like vintage, and the fascinators are all of the 1920s and 1930s as well,” Nilah added.

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In addition to custom veils, Nilah offers a variety of services to brides, including alterations, bridal makeup, post-wedding preservation, and consultations. “A lot of times a customer will buy a dress from another bridal salon but she wants changes made to it,” she explains. “She’ll have gone onto her Pinterest board and she’ll like the top of one part, the bottom of another, or the sleeves of one, or she likes certain appliques. Then we take the gown that she bought and we’ll redesign it to make it look more like what she’s trying to achieve.” Customization at its finest.

Nilah & Company also does vintage restorations. “We’ll get somebody who comes in with their mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown, and they want to wear it but they’d like to modernize it a little bit,” she says.  Petschelt offers structural and design recommendations to alter the dress according to the bride’s taste. She also offer suggestions for accessorizing and bridal makeup, elements of the look that “pull the whole package together.” “I usually ask them if they want something of their mother’s or grandma’s or aunties, something in the family they want to wear whether it be earrings, bracelets, or whatever, and we usually work the accessories around that.”

“It’s never the same,” Petschelt says, unable to pinpoint her favorite part of the consultation process. “After 28 years of doing it, a few decades of brides, you see a lot of different trends and styles. But the dream of marriage is still the same.”


Find Nilah & Company, and over 100 other David Tutera “Preferred” Vendors, at Your Wedding Experience on Feb. 28. Register now to plan your special day with the best Philadelphia has to offer. For more information and to register visit

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