best bridal shop surrey

Has bridal fashion been inspired by Meghan Markle & Princess Eugenie?

Meghan Markle & Princess Eugenie Wedding Dress Inspiration…

One of the most common questions asked when guests arrive to our boutique is “do you think the royal weddings have influenced bridal fashion”? In a very simple word – yes. When we first opened our boutique in April 2018, there was hardly any demand for super sleek and simple gowns in mikado or satin.

Photo Source - TimesLIVE

Photo Source - TimesLIVE

Photo Source - Brides.com

Photo Source - Brides.com

Photo Source - People Magazine

Photo Source - People Magazine

Six months later in the autumn and into winter, there has been a huge change in bridal fashion, I believe inspired by our two beautiful members of the royal family, Meghan and Eugenie. Markle’s simple Givenchy wedding dress was demure and elegant from head to toe in a figure-hugging fabric that showed her lean and statuesque figure with full sleeves. Her evening gown for her reception was also a simple gown with clean lines and crisp finish. It was a glorious halter neck that made a statement feature of her beautiful shoulders and slim figure.

Her stunning tiara and extra extra long veil has also inspired our designers to up their ‘sparkle’ game and we’ve been seeing an increase in popularity for BIG tiaras as well as new ranges of veils that are now available in ‘abbey’ length to rival Markle’s exquisite veil. They are over 3ft longer than the cathedral veils we stock so definitely pack a punch!

Photo Source - Cosmopolitan

Photo Source - Cosmopolitan

Eugenie wore a stunning satin off the shoulder gown with a gloriously long train and again it had full sleeves. I think this has certainly inspired the next year of bridal fashion as brides aren’t afraid to have a little more train than they may have normally chosen. Interestingly, Eugenie chose not to have a veil and instead gave all the attention to an awe-inspiring emerald tiara, a loan from her majesty – how kind!

Photo Source - Hello Magazine

Photo Source - Hello Magazine

Photo Source - Cosmopolitan

Photo Source - Cosmopolitan

Photo Source - Hello Magazine

Photo Source - Hello Magazine

I also think it made a lot of us look back to Kate’s wedding dress when she married Prince William back in 2014 and remember how drop dread gorgeous her gown was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The long lace sleeves, plunging neckline and exquisite skirt and train. The world fell in love with her style all over again! Kate’s evening gown was also to die for, again in simple satin accessorised with a beautiful long-sleeved angora shrug.

Photo Source - Brides.com

Photo Source - Brides.com

Photo Source - rd.com

Photo Source - rd.com

Photo Source - people.com

Photo Source - people.com

Our wedding dress shop in Surrey is now know for having a very varied selection of gowns, all different from one another and these include some gowns inspired by our Duchess and Princess. Our wedding dress designers Modeca, Ella Rosa and Phil Collins all have some gorgeous bridal gowns that embody simplicity and are truly stunning and effortless. You can see some of the designs we carry below in the royal gallery!

A lot of girls also have a preference for some sort of sleeve or strap on their wedding dress. Strapless gowns have a beautiful and clean finish but 90% of our brides prefer a little more coverage, just like the royals. We carry a range of dresses with wide straps, off the shoulder straps, thin delicate beaded straps and illusion necklines as well as strapless dresses.

As we offer completely private appointments for our brides and their tribes, with a fun yet relaxed and completely no-pressure environment, we are recommended at some of Surrey, Sussex and London’s most beautiful venues that are fit for a royal occasion! These venues include – Wotton House, Hartsfield Manor, Burford Bride, Gate Street Barn, Denbies Wine Estate, Gildings Barn, Kingswood Golf Club, Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa, Russets Country House, Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens, Kent House Knightsbridge and Patrick’s Barn.

For more inspiration on finding your perfect wedding dress, whether that means channelling inspiration  from our royal family or creating your own unique look from boho to barbie, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and keep up to date with our wedding dresses and visit our beautiful bridal boutique in Surrey for your exclusive appointment.

Hannah & Team

    

Wotton House – One of Surrey’s finest hotel wedding venues….

It’s not difficult to fall in love with Wotton House. From the impressive gravel drive way leading up to an imposing façade, the long and winding corridors within and the beautiful classic yet contemporary styling of the reception suite. This is all before we’ve even stepped foot in the quite simply mesmerising library which is licensed for civil ceremonies or outside to the gardens and al fresco secret ceremony garden.

One of the main features for us is the Old Library at Wotton. This room with its’ feature pillars and almost gothic charm, is licensed for civil ceremonies for up to 140 and surely one of the most glorious in the county to exchange vows. The long aisle, fireplace, dressed pillars and vaulted ceiling is completely charming and undeniably has the wow factor.

Be Unveiled Photography - Dress by BRIDE by Aster - Decor by Flowers by Elaine

Be Unveiled Photography - Dress by BRIDE by Aster - Decor by Flowers by Elaine

You’ve just said ‘I do’. Your guests erupt with cheers as you are announced a newly wedded couple and you kiss in an embrace that feels as if it could last forever. You slink back down the aisle, hands locked together and are offered a glass of champagne before you are whisked outside to have photos in the enchanting gardens at Wotton.

There is absolutely no shortage of photo opportunities at Wotton House. Whether you have your couple shots in the roman temple or the Italian gardens, come rain or shine, you are guaranteed memories to last a lifetime. Their 17th century gardens are deemed as such historical interest, they have been given a Grade II listing in addition to the house. Wotton have two recommended photographers; Simon Pope from Be Unveiled or Hayley Bray Photography. They have both worked at Wotton for years and are exceptional photographers, capturing special moments expertly and discretely.

Roman Temple Outdoor Ceremony Garden at Wotton House  Photo credit ‘trulyquirkyweddingvenues.com’

Roman Temple Outdoor Ceremony Garden at Wotton House

Photo credit ‘trulyquirkyweddingvenues.com’

It’s time to eat! Catering at Wotton House is as beautiful as the surroundings, so you and your guests are in for a culinary treat. Choose from an extensive selection of seated menus, afternoon tea or buffets. Invite extra evening guests to celebrate in style; Wotton House are licenses for up to 200 guests in total for an evening celebration.  

Their bedrooms have, along with the rest of hotel recently undergone a £6 million refurbishment, using soft colours and contemporary touches, making Wotton House a truly unique award-winning venue. Many couples choose to host their family and friends at Wotton the night prior to their big day, extending the celebrations and being able to wake up relaxed in the morning, knowing their Parents, Bridesmaids, Best man and guests are all on site. The morning after your special day, all your guests can join you for breakfast and recount all of the days happy memories.

Hayley Bray Photography - Evelyn Suite at Wotton House Hotel

Hayley Bray Photography - Evelyn Suite at Wotton House Hotel

Fun Fact - Did you know that there is supposedly a tunnel at Wotton House leading all the way into Dorking that the servants of the house used to use. There is still a visible doorway in Dorking somewhere!

We are hugely proud and privileged to be the only preferred bridal supplier at Wotton House, offering every bride a unique, relaxed and fun bridal experience. An extra bonus of being a Wotton House bride is that we offer a 10% discount on any of our bridal gowns and we are also based in Dorking, Surrey. Whether you are looking for a classic yet unique princess dress or fitted silhouette wedding dress, we look forward to welcoming you to our Surrey boutique!

Hannah & Team BRIDE

An Interview with a Bridal Designer...

Today I was lucky enough to talk to the brains behind the incredible bridal brand Modeca which came to be in 1946 in the Netherlands. I spoke with both the designer himself, Alden Misolas and the amazing Helena who has been with Modeca for years and heads up the marketing for this sensational brand. See below our questions and their answers to find out more about this Dutch powerhouse!

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Can you tell me about how MODECA came to be?

Modeca Bridal has come a long way; they first started in 1946 in Oldenzaal, The Netherlands, as a little shop that sold lace, buttons and other little haberdashery. After a while, Modeca successfully moved on and started designing hand crafted bridal designs. From that point on, the business has completely flourished!

Today, Modeca is run by Dick van Zutphen, the owner and director of this well-established Dutch bridal house. In 2016 Modeca Europe celebrated 70 years in business and our international partners celebrated in this success with us.

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Where do you take your inspiration from?

Alden Misolas is the head of design at Modeca Bridal, responsible for all bridal collections under the Modeca Bridal umbrella: Modeca Collection, Curves by Modeca, Le Papillon by Modeca, Jazz by Modeca.

"Before I start a collection, I first gather all kinds of inspiration that might inspire me when designing dresses. I closely watch what the trends of the season are in ready-to-wear, as well as in haute couture. That way I can apply modern details to my dresses. I am also very much influenced by the works of leading fashion designers such as Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, just to name a few here. They also have a big impact on my creations."

Do you design with a certain style/type of bride in mind?

"My designs are always destined to all types of women," says Alden Misolas. "I try to make the collection as varied as it can be, without missing the specific handwriting that belongs to the collection itself. It is always a joy for me to see that the dresses are worn by all types of body shape. Each bride deserves to feel beautiful - especially on her wedding day”.

What does it mean to be a MODECA bride?

A Modeca Bride shines bright because of happiness and self confidence in her dress. We like to bring magic to each and every dress and each and every bride with our designs and attention to detail. We truly believe that it is more important to notice the bride behind the dress than the other way around!

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What was your inspiration for your 2019/20 collection?

With our 2019 collections, we tried to differentiate the Modeca Collection with the Le Papillon by Modeca line even more than in past years. The Modeca Collection is the main collection of Dutch bridal house Modeca and has always been classy of with a hint of sexiness, without being over the top. Le Papillon by Modeca is a young collection; it is wearable and affordable Dutch couture.

Jazz by Modeca will stay as a 'separates line' with a fun and flirtatious feel. Brides can play with different combinations of body tops with skirts and pants. This year we introduced a plain crepe dress that can be combined with three different tops which will also create three different looks. It’s a fashion forward collection for a fashionable bride."


Tell me why you started MODECA CURVE?

"This season we introduced the beautiful Modeca Collection - Curves," the designer explains. We started with a small capsule collection of about 9 dresses, starting from size UK18. The idea behind this collection is to give curvy brides a beautiful, well detailed dress with sophisticated sexiness. I truly believe that curvy brides deserve to have the same amount of attention as every dress we offer. The Curves collection offers the same detailed beadings and embellishments that you would expect from a glamorous and well designed gown.

Since we all have been working on the designs for the 2020 season, it is my great pleasure to announce that Modeca will change the capsule to an independent collection, called 'Curves by Modeca' which will be launched in 2019 ready for 2020."

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What is your favourite MODECA gown from any year and any collection and WHY? 

"I am not sure if I can truly point on a favourite gown...," Alden Misolas starts thinking. "Since I started in bridal design, it became my passion to cultivate ways of working creatively with shapes and colour as most traditional wedding dresses are ivory..

I work with all kinds of fabrics, weather it’s soft chiffon or taffeta or mikado. I love creating soft dresses but also voluminous ones; each kind has its own appeal. I mostly go with the flow, working with the elements available whilst considering new trends in bridalwear. Right now, we’re focusing on soft and luxurious fabrics that can be voluminous but also lightweight."

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Because our designer couldn’t pinpoint his favourite gown, I’ll take the liberty of doing it for him and say that for me, right now, my absolute favourite is ELEANORA! The soft smokey pastel grey shade combined with pale salmon pink flowers and ink blue leaves is absolutely exquisite! (See below!)

Hannah x

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HOW LONG IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO ORDER MY WEDDING DRESS?

A lot brides are unsure of how long to wait until they order their dress. Some over estimate and start looking as soon as they have a ring on their finger; mainly due to excitement which is understandable! Some will come into our shop 6 months beforehand and say “I have loads of time, I don’t need to decide any time soon!”  So what’s the right answer? How much time do you need to order your wedding dress?

The ‘Need to Know’ Part

Every bridal boutique will have their own designers that they stock. There are exclusivity rights that are determined by location, given by each designer to it’s stockist. They vary between designers and some could offer a radius of 10 miles, some could be 20, 35 or 50 miles. The biggest range I was ever given by a designer was 100km, so even though the closest wedding dress shop to ours was East London, we were unable to stock them in our Surrey bridal shop. I digress….

Gowns will take anywhere from 3 months to 6 months to be made and delivered to your boutique. There is no rule of thumb and no rhyme nor reason. Some designers offer ‘latest’ guaranteed delivery dates and some don’t. There are external variables that dictate how long your dress will be and sometimes it might be down to quality control, influx of orders or external factors such as natural disasters that are beyond our control.

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 So which type of bride are you anyway?...

The Super Excitables (or the ‘Get it Done’ Brigade)

These two scenarios are on opposite ends of the timeline and you want to fall somewhere In the middle to give yourself plenty of time with a safety blanket of time built in. Two years is a long time in advance and I would always recommend, if you’re a magpie type of personality who follows trends, wait until closer to the time to start shopping. You run the risk of falling in love with a dress and then falling out of love with it in the long wait until the big day. Fashion and trends change and you don’t want to be left feeling you jumped the gun! If you are in it for the long-haul and know that you won’t fall out of love with your dress, then continue shopping away to your hearts content! If you find your dress however, don’t’ make the mistake of waiting 12 months to purchase as you may find that your dress is no longer being made!

The ‘Last Minute Lovelies’

Sometimes a bride will email us and say her wedding is in 3 months time. Unfortunately, in these cases, it is past the point of no return and a reputable boutique would not take the order. I have had to refuse brides in the past when they reference a dress that they have seen on our website but their wedding is in a few months time. It’s hard because you want to help everyone, but realistically, even if a designer offers a rush service, which not all of them do, a rush means 6-8 weeks. This is a forecast and not a guarantee. On top of this, you need your alterations and a good seamstress is worth her weight in gold! If you have left it too late, I recommend sample sale dresses at boutiques that stock designers you like. Alternatively there are websites that sell pre-owned wedding dresses. All you’ll need is your alterations and a dry clean!

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The long and short of it is, start looking for your dress 10-12 months in advance (unless you know you are going to be super fussy, in which case start 12-14 months prior). At the latest, I would say start looking 8-10 months prior. It’s always better to build in a safety blanket of time in case your dress takes longer than expected or if you need amendments to your dress once your alterations have begun.

WHEN SHOULD I HAVE MY ALTERATIONS DONE ON MY WEDDING DRESS?

This will usually take place 8-10 weeks before the big day. If you have decided to shape and tone up for your big day, make sure you stop making changes after your final fitting. Like I always say, live in a bubble. Don’t exercise, don’t eat, don’t go to work, don’t sleep, don’t breathe too much...just exist for the next 2 months so your gown fits you absolutely like a sexy little glove! 😊

If you’re still searching for your dress or any other suppliers, why not check out our industry friends page and see who we adore!

Hannah x

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