Today we have expert advice on choosing ‘THE’ wedding dress from Butterfly Bridal Boutique, Oxfordshire’s most beautiful bridal shop.
Many girls dream about their wedding dress from a young age; designer wedding dresses often grace the covers of OK! and Hello! magazines; you may even have a ‘secret’ Pinterest board of wedding dresses but many brides feel the reality of wedding dress shopping can be an overwhelming, confusing and stressful experience. However, we have expert advice to avoid the wedding dress stress.
Butterfly Bridal Boutique is a well established dress shop in Oxfordshire. Having planned weddings and attended dress shops for a number of years now, I feel this is one of the best bridal experiences a dress shop can offer. Rachel Watmough, the owner of Butterfly Bridal Boutique, is simply charming and helps brides to choose THE wedding dress perfect for them. The boutique is set over two floors complete with seated reception area, spacious and elegant fitting room and a spectacular bridal gallery showcasing an array of beautiful wedding dresses and accessories. I adore the butterfly feature on the studio wall, which hosts many cards and photographs sent from real brides to thank Butterfly Bridal Boutique for their help.
Rachel has kindly agreed to offer expert advice to wedding dress questions that many brides ask when dress shopping and today’s *Pearls of Wedding Wisdom*
* How did Butterfly Bridal Boutique begin?
I worked in a bridal boutique some years ago with the intention of purchasing the business in the long-term. Unfortunately, this did not work-out. For the next 5 years I worked at a local wedding venue, firstly in reception and then within 6 months was promoted to conference, events & wedding co-ordinator. I absolutely loved this job and gained invaluable experience about the wedding industry.
I was fortunate enough in the summer of 2010 to be in a position to part-fund a start-up business and the obvious choice was the bridal shop dream that I never gave up on. Our bank met us half-way with a new-business loan. The next 6 months was spent viewing premises, meeting with designers and working on our business plan. Butterfly Bridal Boutique opened their doors at 3-5 Causeway, Bicester, Oxfordshire, on Saturday 29th January 2011
* What can Butterfly Bridal Boutique offer brides?
First and foremost it’s all about offering the most fabulous bridal experience and secondly it’s showcasing a varied collection of beautiful wedding dresses by top designers. Being considerate of bride’s body shape, budget and current trends.
At Butterfly Bridal we believe choosing your dream dress should be a fun and memorable experience and offer a relaxed and friendly ambience in which to do it.
* If you had to describe Butterfly Bridal Boutique in three words, what would they be?
Friendly, helpful, dedicated
* How should brides go about looking for a bridal shop?
Word of mouth is a fantastic way of hearing about great service so we would recommend that you talk to friends, neighbours and work colleagues who have recently got married. This will reassure you that the shop being spoken about is delivering a fabulous service to their brides and brides to be.
Read reviews online, attend wedding fairs and do your research on the styles of dress and designers you like. Not all shops stock the same designers and dress styles. Ask the question when you are doing your initial research if there is a particular designer you are swooning over.
* When should brides begin to book appointments for a wedding dress fitting?
We advise Brides to start attending stores about a year prior to their big day with a view to ordering approximately 9 months before the wedding date. This will allow time for delivery and any alterations required.
On saying this we certainly have brides that start looking sooner and also brides with a shorter time-frame. We always do whatever we can no matter what the situation is, the closest we have accommodated a bride is 6 days before her wedding day!
* What information do you need from the bride before a first appointment?
Prior to a bride attending the boutique the more information she can give us the better. Wedding date, whether she has tried-on previously, if there is something in particular she is looking for – style, fabric, detailing etc. If she has any concerns which we can alleviate prior to the appointment.
* Whom should a bride bring with her for a first appointment?
In our experience bringing 2 people who a bride trusts and will give an honest opinion is the perfect situation. Attending with too many people, with varying opinions, can cause confusion for the bride, and can lead to a stressful first time appointment.
* What are your top three tips for trying on wedding dresses?
* Attend with an open mind
* Be mindful that our sample dresses will not be a perfect fit and as a standard will be too long. We will do our best to pin you into a dress but some imagination will be required.
* Do not be afraid to say that you do not like something, just as if there is something that you would perhaps have not tried on from seeing the dress on the hanger…..try it …. We find many brides find their dream dress this way.
* What signs should there be if you have found ‘THE dress’?
* Usually when a bride finds “the one” there is a feeling that you will not have felt from trying on any other dresses. Sometimes there are happy tears, sometimes you are left speechless.
* Finding your dream dress is a happy occasion, the dress you will be walking down the altar to marry your one true love.
* Most brides do not want to take the dress off once they have found one they love. This is another sign that this is “the dress”.
* Overall, this is one of the happiest days of your life so you should feel a million dollars in the dress you choose and we do everything we can to help you find it.
* What mistakes do brides make when wedding dress shopping?
* Thinking that there is an endless amount of “stock” in their particular dress
– Each dress is made to order and this takes time, hence why we strongly suggest you start looking sooner rather than later, we would hate for you to fall in love with a dress to be told that the lead time is months away.
* Brides relying too much on other people’s opinions
– Your Wedding Day is your day and “the dress” should be your choice. Whilst we understand that you want to have some views from your nearest and dearest at the appointment, do not let this change your view if you love a dress. After all it is you that will be wearing it.
* Being too picky
– We have a lot of first time try on brides who come in with a long list of things that their dress needs to have or not have.
A lot of dresses look totally different on the hanger than when they are worn and you may actually find that you love the dress when you are in it. If you think that you dislike satin for example but have never tried on a satin gown, we would advise you to try one, you may well surprise yourself!
* Picking a dress that does not suit your shape
– You may love a particular style of dress when you have been flicking through your wedding magazines. As the majority of us are not 5ft 8 and have a size 8 dress size (though I am sure a lot of us wish we did) not all dresses suit all frames.
This is where we come in. We see lots of brides in lots of dresses which is why our experience and guidance is invaluable. We can advise which particular shapes and styles flatter and suit a particular body shape or size.
* How many appointments do you expect brides to have?
Brides seem to have an expectation that they need to visit every wedding dress shop in the county. In our experience attending too many shops can become confusing and will potentially mean a bride missing-out on her dream dress in the early stages. I would say the majority of our brides, who’ve already visited one or two other stores, will purchase on their first visit. If their visit to us is their first experience of trying on wedding dresses brides generally will purchase on their follow-up visit with us. However, there is no hard-fast rule, and we certainly have brides who purchase on their first ever visit. If you love a dress why would you visit another 6 shops?!
Many thanks to Rachel Watmough of *Butterfly Bridal Boutique* for taking the time to answer these wedding dress questions and providing today’s *Pearls of Wedding Wisdom*
*Telephone: on 01869 320 556.
At ‘Sparkle Pearls and Lace’ – our wedding dress motto is ‘Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me’
* Pick the dress that feels right
* Choose the dress that suits you
* Love the dress that you will wear
Next week | Wedding Cake advice from the exquisite *Delovely Cakes*