Matt & Amanda

Store Owners

The White Dress is a family-owned, family oriented business started by husband and wife team Matthew and Amanda Schmalz. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, the couple lived in California for 10 years so Amanda could study Product Development at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and pursue her dream of working in the fashion industry. Upon graduation, Amanda worked styling guests on the Dr. Phil Show before she began pursuing her passion for bridal. She started with smaller boutiques and then landed a job as Regional Store Manager for a bridal company based in Beverly Hills. In the course of her 6 years with this company she opened and managed four locations throughout the United States. During this time her passion for beautiful gowns, assisting brides in choosing the perfect dress, and training new staff to provide excellent customer service was what drove her to succeed in this fun and exciting industry.

In July of 2014 Matthew and Amanda decided it was time to leave California and move back to the Pacific Northwest to be near family. Taking Amanda’s experience and Matthew’s attention to detail, they decided to open The White Dress in downtown Portland, Oregon. Amanda’s vision when opening The White Dress when the store opened was to have this special experience regardless of budget. It was important that the boutique would provide the same experience for brides with a budget of under $1,000 as brides with a budget of $10,000. Her main emphasis was making the store beautiful, welcoming and unique so that it was a special place to come for the perfect dress; all budgets, all sizes.

Matthew and Amanda have worked hard to create a unique environment to ensure that every bride feels exceptional when they are shopping for their special day. They provide comfortable private bridal suites, a welcoming and knowledgeable staff, and a showroom featuring closets full of beautiful gowns. When Amanda and Matthew first came to the space there was nothing, just a big, empty space. They built and designed this boutique from the ground up, from the plumbing to the chandeliers. It was all built to support Amanda’s vision.

We opened January 9, 2015. Our vision hasn’t changed, it’s only grown. Amanda has held to her original dream and The White Dress has now helped thousands of brides find their dream dress. Amanda has stayed with the designers she started with and has cultivated special relationships with them. We’ve expanded both our square footage and our inventory. Beginning with three bridal suites, we now have five supporting both small and larger bridal parties. We started with 70 dresses in our inventory and have expanded to over 300 dresses.

Amanda and Matthew’s family has grown with the White Dress, their son Calvin is now 1!

Four and a half years after opening, we welcome you to come in and experience for yourself our attention to detail, passion for the latest in bridal fashion and high standards of providing brides with a once in a lifetime gown shopping experience for yourself!


Senior Bridal Stylist

About Catherine:
I am originally from sunny Santa Clara, California. That is probably where my cheery personality comes from! I moved up to Seattle to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. After completing school, I decided to relocate to Portland to live with my best friend, train for triathlons together, and start a new job as a bridal stylist. When I am not at work or training, you can find me in the kitchen baking, swimming in the lake, or watching Disney movies with my friends.

What do you love most about being a Bridal Stylist?
I love being a bridal stylist because of the joy! I love getting to know each and every bride, hearing their story, and helping her to find the one that makes her feel beautiful. It is so special to be a part of a bride’s big day.

Describe a memorable moment with a bride:
I have so many memorable moments with brides! One that stands out to me was with a bride with whom I instantly connected. She fell in love with the very first dress I put on her. She felt instantly beautiful, started crying, and her family was so sweet and supportive! Nothing else could beat this dress so after trying a few others, we completed the look with a veil. We celebrated her beautiful bridal moment thinking about when she will get to walk down the aisle in it and marry her best friend.

Describe your personal style:
My personal style… hmm. Think, classic feminine 50’s housewife meets southern belle. I thrive in a high-waisted skirt, pearl earrings, hair curled and feminine prints. When it comes to eyelashes, the bigger the better! My favorite thing is to find a fun dress, slap a jean jacket on it and go to brunch. Put polka dots or a bow on any part of my clothing or shoes and that’s me!

Our customers love Catherine! Read their testimonials below:

“Catherine James was my bridal stylist and she was absolutely wonderful! She made me feel so comfortable, she really listened to my vision and we immediately got to work at picking out dresses that would align. I admitted to Catherine I was super apprehensive about getting that “special feeling” once we found THE dress; though she heard me out, she wasn’t at all discouraged. Shortly after, she put me in THEE dress and all the happy tears were flowing. I was so relieved to have had Catherine’s vision on my side; she made it so easy to trust her intuition and I will be forever grateful to her for creating such a special experience. Thank you so much, Catherine! <3”

“Catherine was my bridal stylist and she was so sweet! Very helpful, didn’t pressure me to try on anything I didn’t like, but was very good at showing me all of my options. I ended up finding “the one” all because she encouraged and gave me the confidence to try a dress on that I didn’t think would flatter my body type and it ended up being perfect! Thank you again Catherine & the white dress for such a great bridal experience!”


Senior Bridal Stylist

About Carly:
I am a Portland native and I love my city! Growing up here has been such a gift. I attended Lincoln high school and as a teenager began to pursue acting. I still love the arts and will always remain passionate to the craft. I consider myself a jack of all trades I love fashion, literature, film, fine arts, fine dining and I guess all things fine! I have been very blessed with an amazing close-knit group of friends so when I’m not at work I’m likely out with my ladies exploring new restaurants or taking karaoke way too seriously. I value humor above all else there is no better thing in this world than laughing with my friends and co-workers.

What do you love most about being a Bridal Stylist?
I never saw myself doing this in a million years- I had never seen “say yes to the dress” before working here and weddings were never something I had ever put a lot of thought into- but since starting in 2015 so much joy has been brought in to my life it’s hard to put in to words- Helping a bride find the dress she wants to wear on the day she becomes someone’s forever is a dream come true. Every day is something new and every bride is a snowflake! I love a good challenge and there is no better feeling than finding the dress that checks every single box!

Describe a memorable moment with a bride:
It’s hard to pick one!! There are so so many- I suppose the ones that stick out the most are anytime I get to do a custom because it allows me to be creative and it’s fun making dreams come true! One of my brides had decided she wanted a long train- a very very very long train – she ended up extending her train 13 feet and the final result was GORGEOUS! I’m an incredibly sentimental person so I typically remember all of my brides- I can think of a moment with each of them!

Describe your personal style:
I am a risk taker! I like to think outside the box and put things together that you wouldn’t normally think would work and wearing it with confidence! I’m an impulse buyer and an impulse dresser as well- I can throw on a black tulle skirt with a tie dye crop top- throw a trench coat over it and add a pair of combat boots one day- and then a pair of black jeans with a vintage top and heels the next. I like being different and standing out but I will know immediately if its too over the top. I like to find the perfect balance between unique and tasteful.

Our Customers love Carly! Read their testimonials below:

“My dress shopping experience was amazing at The White Dress (1000/10)!!!  I had a large group with me and was a little nervous to see if we could fit everyone in the same room but when we got to our room there was a seat for everyone! I was extremely impressed with the layout of the boutique – it’s much larger than what it looks like when you first walk in! I was #BLESSED to have Carly as my dress consultant- she listened to what I was looking and picked out dresses without hesitation! My friends and family were able to pick out dresses too which I thought was brilliant since they got to be apart of the decision making. They made sure we had enough complimentary champagne for the group too! 🙂 Carly picked out dresses she thought I would like and I actually fell in love with one of them! I said YES to my dress and haven’t been able to get that dress out of my mind- I can’t wait to wear it again!  Carly is awesome at what she does and knows how to make you feel comfortable throughout the whole experience! If you get to work with her you’ll truly have a great time! Thanks again Carly for everything!!”

“I said “Yes!” to the dress today at The White Dress and I can’t say enough good things about the experience.  The shop is gorgeous. I love that each party gets their own private suite so when you try on dresses you’re not standing in front of everyone in the store. The champagne was a nice touch too.  The dress selection and pricing was great.  The very best thing though was my stylist, Carly.  I don’t think many people realize how physical this job is! The dresses are heavy, the beauty lights are hot, the brides are picky and everyone needs help getting dressed.  Carly was such a supportive partner in this experience. She chose dresses for me based on my Pinterest board and budget. She never pressured me to buy AT ALL. Yes, you get a discount if you buy a dress on your first visit but I think that’s just a nice benefit.  There was no pressure to buy. She helped me in and out of (a lot of) dresses and made sure I looked my best before stepping out of the dressing room. I felt she genuinely cared about my wedding and that I would absolutely love whatever dress I ended up purchasing even if it wasn’t from her. I left the first night and needed to sleep on my choices but the next morning I knew what I wanted and went back spontaneously to try it on again. Carly was so accommodating to my surprise visit and was just the best stylist I could have had. She worked so hard for my happiness and I’m so grateful for this once in a lifetime experience.  Thank you, Carly!”