Now that you’ve found the one you want to marry, the hunt is on to find the other ‘one’ – your wedding dress.
Even if you’re not getting married in London, you might want to take a shopping trip to the capital – with your mum and bridesmaids in tow. And who could blame you – seeing as London is home to Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Ian Stuart and other hallowed bridal labels? Whether you have something in mind or are looking for inspiration, we’re here to help. We asked Laura Ramella – wedding planner at The Royal Horseguards – to let us in on the best places to shop for wedding dresses in London. And here’s what she told us …
Here at The Royal Horseguards Hotel, we’ve had years of experience helping blushing brides find the right gown.
If you’re in London to shop for your wedding dress, here’s where you might want to go…
The National Wedding Show London, 22-24 February
If you don’t know where to start, the National Wedding Show brings together London’s finest boutiques and designers. You’ll be able to suss out the boutiques and can make an appointment for a full fitting later. Some brides spot something they fall in love with instantly and buy their wedding dress there and then, so you never know what you might find – you could stumble across the one, without even meaning too, so you should definitely bring your mum or someone whose advice you trust completely, in case you need a second opinion.
All eyes will be on you on your special day, and what you wear says something about you: are you a classic Grace Kelly type, or the queen of vintage chic? This show has something for everyone. Highlights this year include:
- The Designer Area, featuring dresses in every shape, style, fabric and colour you could think of
- The Catwalk will bring the dresses to life and give you a feel of how they would look on
- Wedding guru Kate Smallwood and experts from the industry are on hand at the Inspiration Sessions to give you invaluable tips and advice
- The vintage wedding trend has been hugely popular recently, so make a beeline for the Vintage Area if you’re picking it as a theme
Couture and designer wedding dresses
London brides are spoiled for choice when it comes to couture and designer shopping options. You could try …
- Phillipa Lepley’s Fulham Road boutique – her couture creations take multiple fittings and months and months to create, so make sure you allow enough time to have the dress of your dreams run up.
- Temperley - (the label that designed the emerald green dress Pippa Middleton wore to her sister’s wedding reception) has a massive boutique in Notting Hill, full of exquisite dresses.
- Browns Bride - at Browns you’ll find exclusive bridal lines from the world’s most sought after designers including Vera Wang, Monique L’hullier, Peter Langer, Reem Acra and Oscar de la Renta.
If you want something more fashion-forward, respected wedding planner and author of the London Bride blog suggests trying a Sassi Holford number from the So Sassi collection. The dresses come with trendy peplums, bows and more modern hemlines.
You’ll also find red-carpet worthy gowns at Jenny Packham’s flagship bridal boutique on Elizabeth Street, Suzanne Neville’s Knightsbridge showroom, Caroline Castigliano’s Knightsbridge and Berners Street shops and Ian Stuart’s Dulwich studio.
Go back in time with a vintage look
Vintage has been a popular theme for weddings recently. If you’d like to channel glamour from the 1920-1950s with lashings of romantic lace and ladylike silhouettes, look no further than the Heavenly Vintage boutique on Westbourne Avenue.
As well as genuine, one-off vintage dresses, owner Helena Butler has created a stunning collection of brand new but vintage-inspired dresses. Pour over the images on the popular wedding blog, Love My Dress.
If you want it your way
Sometimes, off the peg simply won’t do. If you want an entirely bespoke gown that’s made to suit your individual skin tone, personality and figure, State of Grace in Notting Hill is the place to go.
Founder Lucia Silver and her team will act as your fairy godmothers, listening carefully to your vision and taking your hand through each stage of the process. You will remember how you felt on your wedding day for the rest of your life, so it’s important to look like yourself and love what you’re wearing.
For the more daring
Inbal Dror is known for highlighting a woman’s curves with bolder elements like plunging necklines and backless dresses that cling to the body.
For the first time, Inbal Dror dresses will be available to buy in the UK exclusively from Morgan Davies Bridal in London. You can catch a peek at these gorgeous gowns here on the A Little London Wedding blog. But as the Bridal Musings blog points out, they are very tight fitting, meaning you’ll have to be body confident to wear one.
Laura has worked as a Wedding and Special Events Manager at The Royal Horseguards and One Whitehall Place for over a year, and has worked to arrange events within the hospitality industry and in five star hotels for a number of years. Laura’s passion, attention to detail and lovely manner has endeared her to our brides, who have been very pleased to have her help in making their wedding day truly memorable.
Are you getting married or shopping for your wedding dress in London? If you’ve picked your dress already, our readers would love to know where you found it.