Ever heard of the Reading Bridal District in Cincinnati, Ohio? Located in a quiet city called Reading, pronounced “RED-ing”, the Bridal District is America's largest concentration of wedding shops with more than 44 wedding-related businesses located within a three-block radius of one another. Numerous bridal boutiques, menswear and tuxedo shops, florists, decorations and rental companies, and much more can be found in this historic district. It is an awesome place for brides-to-be.
Every year, thousands of brides from different places in the US visit the Reading Bridal District, which is centered on Benson Street. The Reading Bridal District is easily accessible through Interstate 75, Ohio State Route 126, or Route 42.
History of Reading City, Ohio
The first settlements in the region were in 1797 when it was known as Voorhees Town. The name was eventually changed to Reading at the behest of Harvey Redinbo, one of the first landowners. After that, in March 1851, it was formally constituted as a village. In 1886, the city established its first organized fire service. This was the outcome of a series of devastating fires that occurred as a result of citizens being required to carry lanterns whenever they ventured out after dark. On January 1, 1932, Reading was incorporated as a city. On May 19, 1943, it left Sycamore Township and established "Reading Township," a paper township. Reading is located in Hamilton County. Read more about Reading at Wikipedia.
Things You Should Know Before You Go
Although Reading, Ohio has a population of only 10,000 people, depending on when you visit, it may be crowded with limited access to bridal shops if you don’t have an appointment. Here are a few things to keep in mind before visiting the Reading Bridal District to ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
Get informed on the latest events
Visit readingbridaldistrict.com for a calendar of activities and information on sales before your visit. You may want to plan your visit around an event. And if you happen to visit during an event, the bridal shops may be completely booked and you may not be able to get an appointment at all. One of the district's most popular events is “Fall in Love”, an outdoor bridal market that closes Benson Street from Reading Road to Church Street every September.
Dress for success
You should expect to walk a lot. A dress try-on can be done in heels, but the rest of your visit should be done in comfortable walking shoes! Your feet will thank you!
If you intend to visit a bridal boutique, schedule an appointment with the store ahead of time. Making an appointment means that a bridal stylist and a dressing room are reserved exclusively for you. As for the best time to visit, weekdays are the best. Stores are less crowded, so you're more likely to have the place to yourself.
Home to the largest bridal district in North America
As stated earlier, the Reading Bridal District, which encompasses a three-block radius, is North America's LARGEST bridal district. You'll find not just the largest selection of bridal stores, but also all of the wedding vendors you'll need to create your perfect wedding. It truly is a one-stop store for brides of all sizes, budgets, and styles.
The most sought-after bridal shops in North America
Thanks to its history as a clothing manufacturing district between 1830 and 1880, the Reading Bridal District boasts some of the most sought-after bridal stores in North America. No matter what you're searching for, there's something for EVERY bride. You'll undoubtedly discover affordable bridal shops here, as well as something more couture and romantic.
In the June 1996 copy of Cincinnati Magazine B.J. Foreman wrote “In the world of weddings, Reading, Ohio, is a prime destination. They call it 'The Bridal Boutique Capital of the Midwest,' and whether you're shopping for a wedding gown or a wedding cake, a wedding veil, bridesmaids' dresses, or wedding invitations, you'll surely find what you're looking for along Benson Street.”
Reading’s Annual “Fall in Love” Bridal Show
Some people are unaware that Reading has an annual event called “Fall in Love” and you may want to make an effort to attend the Reading Bridal District's amazing bridal exhibition. This is an outdoor bridal expo, with Benson Street closed to traffic so that vendors can set up their booths along the street. Many brides and their entourages will be seen planning, shopping, drinking, and listening to live music.
You should also enter their enormous raffle, which will be chosen at the end of the night and includes fantastic prizes such as bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and discounts on wedding planning services, among other things. A show that is hosted by the popular Reading Bridal District often does not disappoint.
Reading Bridal District’s Best Kept Secret
One of the best-kept secrets about the Reading Bridal District is that the best bridal shop in Cincinnati, Renée Grace, is actually located just a few minutes outside the Reading Bridal District. Our gowns are made for the modern romantic, combining vintage features with feminine elegance. We design made-to-order wedding gowns with captivating silhouettes, beautiful laces, and remarkable fabrics.
Reading Bridal District Videos
Reading Bridal District Map
The 2021 Reading Bridal district map from readingbridaldistrict.com is located below. The map details the locations of 39 Reading Bridal District stores as well as parking locations along or just off Benson Street. Bear in mind that Renée Grace, Cincinnati’s only bridal shop where all dresses are designed and made in-house, is located about 4 miles north of the Reading Bridal District at 11176 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45241.
Reading Bridal District Parking
There are several parking locations located along Benson Street that have been highlighted in the map below. Please note that public parking in the Reading Bridal District is limited to 4 hours from 8 am-6 pm Monday-Sunday.
Reading Bridal District Resources
Reading Chamber of Commerce
The Reading Chamber of Commerce operates https://readingbridaldistrict.com/
a website offering information and directory information for businesses willing to pay the $375 membership fee to be listed on the website. Membership in the Reading Bridal District automatically includes membership in the Reading Chamber of Commerce. They also offer a Facebook page which you can visit here: https://www.facebook.com/ReadingBridalDistrict/
If you have general questions about the Reading Bridal District, you can call the Reading Chamber of Commerce at 513-741-7951 or email [email protected]. You can also visit https://readingohiochamber.org/
Local News Fox 19
You can see a video news report of the most recent (2021) "Fall In Love" event on Fox News 19 Now.
While it's essentially inactive at this time, you can check out the profile for the Reading Bridal District on The Knot. This is a well-known wedding platform and if you're getting married, you've probably already come across it!
Again, the profile for the Wedding District on Foursquare is essentially inactive. However, if you're planning a trip from out of town, it's probably not a bad idea to check out the profile and see if you can glean any information from it.
How to get to the Reading Bridal District
If you’re driving to the Reading Bridal District, plug "8900 Reading Rd. Reading Ohio" into your phone or GPS and it will bring you to the intersection of Reading and Benson. From there you will want to head West on Benson Street to head into the Bridal District. There is public parking along Benson St.
If you’re in downtown Cincinnati, you can take bus route 43 which travels along Reading Rd through the city of Reading and has a stop at Reading Rd. & Benson St. From there it’s a very short walk West on Benston St. into the heart of the Reading Bridal District!
Unfortunately, there aren’t many places to stay in or near the Reading Bridal District, so unless you are staying with a friend or at one of the few AirBNBs located near the Reading Wedding District, you probably won’t be walking. With both the Airbnb's locations that are currently available at the time of this writing (Fall 2021), you will want to head to Benson St. and walk West into the Bridal District.
Places to stay in the Reading Bridal District
As mentioned above, there aren’t a lot of options for places to stay right in the Bridal District. There are no hotels, no options available on VRBO, and only 2 well-suited locations listed on Airbnb.
Your best bet for staying in the Bridal District is this Cozy City Studio located above Lucy’s Restaurant. This is literally located right next door to White Wisteria Bridal Boutique, one of the wedding shops located on Benson St. in the Reading Bridal District. Priced at under $100 per night, it’s hard to imagine any drawbacks, but there are a few. 1. It’s just 1 room with 1 Queen size bed. So it’s best suited for a couple or someone traveling alone, which is not the case with most brides coming to Reading for wedding dress shopping. 2. It’s a new AirBNB with only 3 reviews. Granted they are all 5-star reviews, so that’s a plus. You just may want to keep in mind that it’s a new and potentially inexperienced Airbnb host.
This Urban 2nd Floor Condo in the Heart of Reading can accommodate up to 4 guests in 2 beds for less than $100 per night. According to the Airbnb map, this condo is located East of Reading Rd. However, we spoke directly with the host (Richard) and learned that the condo is actually located in the Lucy’s Restaurant building next door to White Wisteria Bridal Boutique.
This option titled All the Comforts of Home is pretty close to the Bridal District, but probably too far for walking. Still, it’s noteworthy with over 150 reviews and a near 5-star rating. Additionally, the unit is rented by a Superhost so you know you’re dealing with someone with a lot of short-term rental experience. If being within walking distance of the Bridal District is not a priority for you, definitely give this rental a look!
What are the Reading Bridal District Hours?
The wedding shops in the Reading Bridal District are normally open from 11 am - 7 pm Wednesday through Sunday. Most of the shops are open slightly earlier on Saturday, and many shops are closed Monday and Tuesday.
Don’t Forget to Visit Renée Grace Bridal!
The Reading Bridal District is great! It has everything you need to plan your dream wedding, but don’t forget to plan a visit to Renée Grace located just 4 miles north of the Reading Bridal District at 11176 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45241.
What’s Unique About Renée Grace?
Unlike the wedding dress shops located in the Bridal District, Renée Grace is a wedding dress designer and manufacturer and that offers brides some unique options:
- Each dress is custom-made to order according to the bride's unique measurements, ensuring a perfect fit.
- Brides are welcome to mix and match dress elements to create unique designs that are all their own
- Brides are able to work with a dress designer to create a custom dress from scratch