Only a couple of the dresses in Big Rock Little Rooster are white. Sure, it's a bridal shop bursting with wedding dresses. But most are in off-white or ivory shades. And the rich jewel tones of full-length formal dresses add a real jolt of color in the back corner.

Only a couple of the dresses in Big Rock Little Rooster are white.

Sure, it's a bridal shop bursting with wedding dresses. But most are in off-white or ivory shades. And the rich jewel tones of full-length formal dresses add a real jolt of color in the back corner.

"We tried to pick dresses that aren't necessarily the stereotypical wedding dress," said shop manager Kristin Cooke. "We want things that are a little more sleek and sexy for a destination wedding; we want something that's a little more artistic and, maybe, risky, against what would be a typical wedding dress."

Big Rock Little Rooster wants to be the destination boutique for brides who love fashion. Owner Rebecca Reeder's carefully edited selection of gowns include collections from Vera Wang, Amy Michelson and Christos.

The shop is also hoping to further establish the Short North as a one-stop bridal spot, pointing customers to businesses and services like Rose Bredl and On Paper. And an experienced wedding planner just joined the staff at Big Rock.

But if you're just looking for something for a special occasion, you'll find it here too. Sterling silver and beaded jewelry made by local designers Jamie Linscott and Cassie Evans are displayed in a weathered cabinet. And Reeder plans to expand the evening dress selection for the winter - off-season for weddings.

Inside, the aesthetic is a strikingly elegant clash of textures. A chandelier hangs above a worn farmer's workbench repurposed as a counter; stark black walls are decorated with chalk drawings of elaborate frames.

The dresses hang in sample sizes on rolling racks around the space, tagged with handwritten remarks. Most are frothy, off-white concoctions, many bejeweled and covered in tulle.

Brides are encouraged to make an appointment, during which time they'll have the place to themselves, but walk-in customers can usually be accommodated for a fitting.

"We want them to come in and touch and play - it's a wedding. It's supposed fun, not like a museum," said Cooke, adding that the shop's quirky name was meant to allude to its playfulness.

More about that memorable moniker: "There are many ways to interpret it. The bottom line is, it's a little bit of country, a little bit of rock 'n' roll," Cooke said. "The later it gets into the evening and the people are out drinking, the more I hear colorful variations of what it could mean."