Founded in 1980, Columbia, Missouri, Nolte’s Bridal (and Nolte’s Flowers) offered gowns, tuxedos, flowers and stationery in the first of three stores in the city.
The company’s floral branch quickly found its niche providing flowers for country clubs, large home entertainment and the nearby Governor’s Mansion. Meanwhile, the gown salon was dressing not just high-end prom, but also the Midwest’s most beautiful brides and Miss America’s.
As national bridal magazines started featuring “Real Weddings”, the first such wedding that was not from the East Coast or the South, was entitled, “A Moment in Missouri Magic.” For a wedding planner, it was the ultimate compliment. “Elegant Bride” May 1991 showcased this unique celebration coordinated by Michael Nolte.
The following year, the Kansas City bridal market beckoned. What was conceived as a satellite store, launched in the yet to be developed Hawthorne Plaza. The intersection of 119 and Roe became such a desirable shopping destination that the owner realized his attention needed to shift to Kansas City. After two years of two locations, the Columbia stores were sold and the Nolte family moved to Leawood.
During this time, National Bridal Service took note of the success and awarded membership (Top 200 stores) into the organization. Likewise, Michael Nolte, became the first man (in a then female-dominated industry) to be certified as a Wedding Coordinator. He is now Vice President of the organization and wrote the course work for future certification of wedding planners enrolled in Weddings Beautiful.
In 2007, Nolte’s Bridal opened a second Kansas City location in the northland’s beautiful Briarcliff Village. During the five years there, Mary Carol Gerrity, owner of Briarcliff neighbor, Nell Hill’s, co-authored “Stylish Weddings” with Nolte.
2008 was exciting for the company as the retailer, planner, author and speaker added “Designer” to his resume with the introduction of his own line of bridal gowns. The Michael Nolte Collection opened in 40 bridal stores in the U.S.
Nolte was also the founder and host of the upscale bridal event, WHITE, for many years in Kansas City. It was an afternoon designed for engaged couples and their parents as they enjoyed small group vendor visits, a sit-down luncheon, presentation “Ten Tips to Keep Your Wedding Amazing” and a runway show.
He is a frequent speaker for intimate wedding planning seminars and large international industry conferences.
Now with a 2012 expansion at Hawthorne Plaza allowing the entire inventory to be under one roof, the company is one of the longest running privately-owned bridal salons in the country.