Top tips for Stress free, wedding dress shopping 💕

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So if you’ve found yourself here, at The Bottom Drawer Bridal, chances are, you’ve started the search for your dream wedding dress. And you know what? You’re in the right place as today i'm revisiting my top tips for a stress-free wedding dress shopping experience.

Finding 'the one' is probably one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning, if not the most exciting and it’s the perfect excuse to feel like a princess, with a bit of modern day dress up.

Being said, a lot of brides often make easily avoidable mistakes and this can get stressful. So, my bridal beauties, let’s get stuck in and find out how you can make your wedding dress shopping experience amazing…

1. EVERY BRIDE IS DIFFERENT. 

And that’s different in every aspect of wedding planning, just because your BFF bought the first dress she tried on, it does not mean that you will too. You may well end up trying on more dresses or even going to more appointments, whether that’s at the same boutique or trying different one. Don’t let this get you down, focus on you, your appointment and more importantly YOUR DRESS, forget about everyone else and their experiences.

2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. 

Look at dresses online and in magazines to try and get a sense of the styles you like the look of. Create a yourself a Pinterest board, stick pictures to your mirror — whatever helps you figure out what you like. Are there certain designers you keep going back to? Make sure you follow them on social media and keep yourself up to date with future styles along with where their stockists are.

3. BEWARE OF THE ‘INSTAGRAM BRIDE.

Relying too much on a Pinterest fantasy can backfire. Just this week, I had a Bride ask me if I’d ever been on Instagram as she felt I was ‘missing something’ Please remember a lot of these images are styled, the dresses can often be one off catwalk samples! Make sure when looking online, you know where the images are coming from, a lot of US & Australian designers aren’t available in the UK.

4. SET A BUDGET. 

This is probably the most important on this list. Be honest with yourself and establish how much you're able to spend on the dress before you make your appointment. A lot of Bride’s will tell me they don’t really have a budget but when they then step into a gown and fall in love, the £3000 price tag is too much. Even if you don’t have a set budget, try and have an idea in your mind what you would like to spend. Is £2k just too much or would you be happier at about £1500? It's good to have a little buffer in there so if you do fall in love and it’s £1750 then its not going to be too devastating to the purse. DON’T FORGET, you'll need to pay for alterations, accessories, shoes, a veil etc.

5. ALLOW TIME. 

Firstly bare in mind, you may need to schedule your appointment at least a few weeks in advance, especially during busy season! Although Weekdays may well be easier to book than Weekends. You'll need at least 3 months before the wedding for the dress to be made, but 6 to 8 months is the average; if you give yourself a year from appointment to wedding; you won't feel rushed.

6. BE OPEN MINDED AND WILLING TO COMMIT. 

Make sure you keep an open mind as to what you are looking for, I mean of course, keep your research with you, but if that style doesn’t suit your shape then don’t panic! Go to your appointment with the positive attitude that you will find the one and you will enjoy the experience so much more, go in with the attitude that you probably wont find it and you’re setting yourself up to fail before you’ve even walked in the door!

7. DON'T TAKE EVERYONE WITH YOU. 

You'll only feel outnumbered and overwhelmed by all the voices and opinions. It's really important to only bring those with you whose opinion you truly respect and want.

8. BE COMFORTABLE WITH YOU. 

What do you like on your body? Legs, Cleavage? Arms? Know what works for you in your day to day style and we can incorporate that in your Bridal Style. It is always best to enhance assets that you love and feel comfortable with - it is best not to be over - ambitious and chose something that you will end up feeling awkward in on the day.

9. BRING A PAIR OF HEELS IF YOU KNOW WHAT HEEL HEIGHT YOU WANT.

If you are not used to wearing heels it may be worth considering wearing flats on your wedding day too, otherwise you may end up with sore feet and no bride wants that! However, if you insist on wearing a pair of stunning skyscrapers  ( it is a VERY special occasion after all!) - do bring a pair of heels that will be similar height to ones you'd like to wear on the day, so the seamstress can make sure that your gown is correct length.

10. WEAR THE RIGHT UNDERWEAR. 

Not 100% necessary at your first appointment, but helps for further fittings. 

11. DON'T WORRY ABOUT PHOTOS AT THE APPOINTMENT. 

The dress you try is a sample, sample sizes NEVER fit properly!! Remember that your dress will be made FOR YOU and your measurements!

12. WHEN YOU KNOW, YOU'LL KNOW. 

Some girls cry, some get giddy and some just simply grin from ear to ear, everyone’s different and that mean’s everyone’s reaction to ‘the moment’ is going to be different. Just don’t force it, When you find the right one, you're not going to want to change anything about it because you already love it when you look at it in the mirror, and know that it’s only going to get better every time you put it on between now and the wedding.

13. DON'T MAKE WEIGHT PROMISES THAT YOU CAN’T KEEP! 

Some brides will insist on getting measured for a smaller size than what they are when they try on the dress, but even with the best of intentions they don't reach their goal. Not only is this going to be heartbreaking, it’s going to be disastrous for your wedding plans and wreck havoc with your budget.

14. YOU'LL HAVE TO SIGN A CONTRACT. 

Don’t freak out, but a wedding dress is a pretty major expense for the majority. And because Wedding dresses are be very expensive, made-to-order pieces, both the Bride and the Boutique need to be protected.

15. YOU'LL SAVE MONEY BY GOING TO A TRUNK SHOW/DESIGNER WEEKENDS. 

Boutiques will often offer discounts and you'll be seeing more dresses from that designer than the boutique usually carries. You might also meet the designer!

16. DON'T BUY ONLINE. 

Chances are you’ll be getting a knockoff from China; you might end up losing money in a scam, and, or getting a dress that's not what you expected. 

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#ceremonygoals

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It's that time of year again, #tmwuf17 at Godwick Barn is just around the corner and that can only mean one thing... some serious #ceremonygoals from Swaffham Florist and The Little Lending Co.

I'm so lucky to be asked to be involved every year and provide the bridal goodness, but to be honest, no ones looking at the dress when the alter looks this good...

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A bold but natural palette born from the earth and lots of textural interest; a richness of deep mulberry, warm mustard, pale ash dust and soft pinks make up the color range for the shoot. Dull highlights of vintage brass and copper with an abundance of candlelight finished the look.

A large naked tipi ceremony frame was erected and dressed with a mix of flowers and foliages as the focal point and draped with taupe cotton fabric twisting around the poles. Flowers look wild, asymmetric and un-tamed with a mix of textures and unusual mixes from The Swaffham Florist with a base of dark foliage conatus, winter hydrangeas in shades of mulberry and plum. Blush green Anthuriums, wax flower, rich pink Amaranthus to give movement and trail and favourites of the season black cosmos to add depth. Bullrushes were also collected and cut into the arrangement.
— Penny at The Little Lending Co
Our girl wears bridal separates in a full tulle skirt and lace top by Sassi Holford from The Bottom Drawer Bridal, with soft loosely tousled up-do on hair by Flamingo Amy and sprigs of fresh flowers tucked in. A strong make-up look with glittering eyes and bold lip by Love Moi Make-up. We accessorised with a delicate handcrafted owl headpiece by Animalesque with real feathers and also fresh eucalyptus crown.
— Penny at The Little Lending Co
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I cannot tell you how excited I am for this year's set up, just 2 weeks to go!  Hope to see you all there, make sure you register to attend....

Victoria x

CREDITS

Photography Darina Stoda Photography

Styling The Little Lending Company

Venue Godwick Great Barn

Flowers The Swaffham Florist

Bride Sassi Holford at The Bottom Drawer

Head Piece Animalesque

Cake Buns Of Fun

Make Up Love Moi Make Up

Hair Flamingo Amy


Summer Sample Sale at The Bottom Drawer

So I am so excited to be hosting our first annual Summer Sample Sale this August with some absolutely stunning gowns available at rather ridiculous prices.

Here's the important info...

When: Saturday 19th (9am-5pm) & Sunday 20th August (10am - 4pm) 45-minute appointments available throughout the day (by appointment only)

Where: The Bottom Drawer Bridal, 3 High Street, King's Lynn, PE30 1BX

How to Book: Email victoria@thebottomdraweruk.co.uk or call 01553 773667 to book your appointment, but be quick, Saturday is now very limited!

Now the questions...

What is a Sample Sale?

This is the bridal industry term for an amazing opportunity to get your hands on the last few dresses we stock from previous collections (including 2017 styles) to make room for brand new 2018 arrivals.

As this will be your last chance to buy certain gowns, we will be selling these beautiful gowns at a highly reduced price and, for those of you, beautiful brides who have done their research, I can certainly promise you, these are deals you won’t want to miss.

Sample sales are ideal for the brides who lust after a designer dress, but doesn't have the budget to match, for those of you who have less than 6 months to go before their big day (therefore no time to order new) or for the ladies who have done their research and know exactly what style and fit of dress suits them.

What can I expect?

Appointments are strictly 45 minutes long and unlike a lot of Sample Sales, you still receive an exclusive boutique appointment, so that's our full love and attention with all the dresses to yourself for you to try. Finding that perfect dress is, no matter how much it costs and we never waiver on the very best customer service for our beautiful Bottom Drawer brides.

There will be gorgeous gowns from Alfred Angelo, Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and House of Mooshki with prices starting from just £300!! Yes, that is right, £300!! The price does reflect the condition of the gown you see, but our collections are regularly refreshed, so our dresses are in great condition. 

All the sample dresses for sale ‘off the peg’ which means that it will be that particular gown that you will be buying, and the gowns included in this event generally range from a bridal size 10 to a size 12 (please note that a dress can be taken in by up to a couple of dress sizes too).

As well as our sample gowns, we will also be offering 10% off our current collection too, so dont worry, if you fall in love with a sample gown but it doenst happen to be the right size, you can still grab yourself a bargain!

The gowns are sold as seen and non-refundable and full payment will be required to purchase the gown, and dresses do need to be taken away with you on the day. We can also put you in touch with our recommended seamstress and dry cleaner too.

Can I bring someone?

Of course! Although we do ask that you limit it to just one or two. Bring someone who is honest and decisive, Sample Sale dresses are not something you can go away and think about, they are available to take away there and then and at that price for one day only, so you need someone there you can trust to provide their opinion!

So final and most important question,  how do I book?

Simply email or call 01553 773667 ASAP to book your appointment and I can confirm what we have available.

This is a rare, once a year, opportunity to snap up your dream gown at a crazy price – what exactly are you waiting for?

Lots of love,

Victoria x x

Featured - A contemporary, minimal wedding shoot with modern bridal fashion - Festival Brides

I'm so lucky to be able to do what I do, and when Mrs Little Lending Co calls for dresses for a shoot, there is literally no other answer but "just tell me when and where!" 

The Festival Brides shoot took place at Langley Abbey, near Norwich, just a few days after the Most Curious Wedding Fair at St Andrews Hall. With The Little Lending Co.'s and Swaffham Florist's stand from the show as the shoots inspiration; minimal, chic, luxurious, texture being the keywords, we decided it had to be separates from Sassi Holford and a gorgeous peach toned Maids to Measure gown. 

"A contemporary, minimal shoot with modern feminine fashion. Luxe but simple details with striking honeycomb structures with wild and untamed florals.
The shoot came from my collaborative concept for the Most Curious Wedding Fair in Norwich back in April with Swaffham and Fakenham Florists. We wanted to incorporate lots of textural and tactile flowers and foliage using Pampas grass to really shape the arrangements, which would capture the imagination of the curious couples at the fair. A palette of washed taupe, dusky pink and a dark inky blue adds a some edge, mixing linens of cotton, linen and velvet through the shoot plus brass and gold candle holders for timeless appeal. A simple cake stack in brushed water colours reflected the palette too.
Paired back bridal fashion came from Maids to Measure with a soft pink tie back dress, Rembo Styling slim silhouettes with geo lave patterns and fresh, new gem stone pieces from Eclectic Eccentricity with slick footwear from Florence.
Undone chignon and tucked up pony’s for the hair and feminine soft pink dewy, iridescent make-up all part of the look for our girls."
Penny - The Little Lending Co.

You say minimal, modern, chic, I immediately turn to the gorgeous Sassi Holford, with beautiful clean lines, amazing figure flattering shapes and stunning fabrics, Sassi knows how to dress a woman! 

For the shoot, we decided to go for the separates range, with the Edith Bodice and Maisie tulle full length skirt, super clean and crisp, with enough softness to match the pampas grass and amazing texture of the walls at Langley. Alongside our Bride, our Maids wore 'Soho' by Maids to Measure (a long time favourite of Penny's) which happened to be in the colour 'Just Peachy' perfect to sit along the taupe, blush and navy featured in the amazing florals and beautifully hand painted cake.

I am still massively obsessing over our Brides gorgeous ponytail and Maid's glitter lips, just need to work out when I have combine both those looks for myself! 

As always, all my thanks to Penny for inviting me along to the shoot, always an honour to be asked along! Love working with all you guys! 

Make sure you check out Festival Brides for the original post and even more gorgeous images! 

Xx

 

Concept, Styling and Props: The Little Lending Company 
Photography: Camilla Andrea Photography 
Flowers: Swaffham and Fakenham Florist
Hair: Be Extended 
Make-up: Love Moi Make-up 
Dresses: Maids to Measure and Sassi Holford at The Bottom Drawer Bridal 
Shoes: Florence at The Bottom Drawer Bridal 
JewelleryL Eclectic Eccentricity 
Cake: Buns of Fun 
Stationery: Wonderland Invites
Venue: Langley Abbey 
Models: Anna Ho and Nina Dalziel

White Gallery 2017

A little over 4 weeks ago, Team Bottom Drawer heading on down to London and attending White Gallery, the only bridal buying event to exclusively feature high-end bridal wear and bridal accessories.

Not only is it our chance to catch up with our designers and get a first look at the brand new collections, it's also an opportunity for us to meet new designers, meet other boutique owners and basically see whats going on in the world of luxury bridal retail.

Our first point of call upon arriving at Battersea Park is always House of Mooshki and their infamous Bar for a cheeky glass of Prosecco while browsing their new collection; after being really annoying and asking the models to change (several times) we selected 5 brand new beauties to come and join us later in the summer. Penny, Nina, Phylis, Mavis and Anya. 2 cuter than cute tea lengths, a full length ballgown (with detachable cape!), a super, sparkling hi-low gown and stunning floral embellished mermaid! We can't show you the collection images just yet but we can show you these gorgeous drawings from head designer Phil.

Next stop was the amazing Charlotte Balbier, who is always the perfect host with Pink lemonade and cookies! Charlotte has her collection ready for viewing and after a quick browse, it's time for the models to show us what the dresses are made of! Now what can I say about the Bohemian Blush collection, just that WOW!!! Perfect for all you boho romantic brides, stunning ballgowns, elegant chiffons, perfect lace and super sexy sheer bodices! (Don't worry if Nan's not ready for the sheer, we will have bodices for you to wear underneath!)

I'm so excited for the Bohemian Blush Beauties to arrive later this summer and for now here's a little sneak peak of whats to come...

Lastly our final visit for the day was to the gorgeous Sassi Holford. Her collections continue to wow me every year, just how elegant and stunningly simple her designs are. Perfect for the chic, minimalist, modern bride.

We haven't yet made our final decision on what new beauties will be joining The Bottom Drawer Bridal Collection, but we will be later in the year! So don't you worry; and to whet your appetite, here's some of our favourites... (and yes, That is a Jumpsuit!)

Such an action packed day but so much fun, catching up with Maids to Measure and meeting Sinclair's beautiful bubba, finally meeting the babe behind I am Florence Shoes (so lovely to finally meet you Wendy!) and checking out brand new designers (Cherry Williams!! Your collection was amazing!) and high light of it all... meeting the one and only Randy Fenoli!!!!!