Buying Your Wedding Dress: Tips From Suppliers- Part One

When you get married one of the most exciting things is buying your wedding dress! But it can also be one of the scariest and daunting parts of planning your big day!  At the end of the day it is supposed a happy occasion and shouldn’t cause you stress. There seems to be all these traditions and rules about buying your dress. So….we know quite a lot about weddings but when it comes to your dress we decided to ask the experts. Thanks to some ladies on our Lush List we managed to pop these jewels of information together and hope that they help you out. 

Who should you bring to your bridal appointment?

Rachel Burgess Bridal BoutiqueThere are no rules whatsoever about how many people you should take with you when trying on dresses. Here in the Boutique I meet Brides who prefer to look at dresses on their own, and other Brides who like to bring key members of their family and closest friends with them – I’ve even had Brides who have brought their husband to-be with them to help make the decision.


My advice would be to trust your instinct and take people along to help make that decision who know you well. This is your time to try on as many dresses as you like – but stay true to who you are and find a dress that represents that perfectly, so that when you look back at your photos you think ‘yes, I totally did that my way’. If a dress makes you emotional and you fall in love with it – trust those tears! If you can’t stop thinking about a particular dress then that too speaks volumes!  My biggest tip would be to – HAVE FUN! This is such an exciting time and don’t ever feel any pressure to make a rushed decision!

photo-12-10-2016-16-25-58Photos Courtesy of Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique

Dress alterations and fittings.

CocoMio Bridal BoutiqueThere is huge celebration when you find your dress. Then the important question arises of what size and how will the dress fit to me?

We are very experienced and we will always measure your bust, waist, hips and length. We will also measure your arms if the dress has a sleeve. We will check all designer sizing charts and will choose the size based on the largest measurement in accordance with the dress style and knowing our expertise in this field. We make all brides aware that alterations are required with every dress and we recommend a seamstress so brides can book in with advance notice for two months before the wedding. Some of our designers will allow customisation with a heavy fee but if you change size wise then you are again paying double so most brides stick to the size being ordered and then get the dress altered after.


Alterations can cost anywhere between £80-£250 and again it may cost more if the dress has more work in it or heavily beaded. The alterations cost in Wales is only a fraction of some cities like London where it can cost up to £500 to alter an evening gown, no mind a wedding dress so don’t fret over the charges as it could be worse. We get many brides who travel from London and the surrounding areas to see our collection and use the work of a skilled seamstress here because it is cheaper to travel and gives the girls a road trip to look forward to.


So what happens at the seamstress? Well it is usually set out over 2-3 fittings. First one is trying on the dress and letting the experienced seamstress pin and tuck the dress in the correct places to ensure it fits and looks perfect. You leave your dress with them over a few weeks while they carry out the work and then you go back for your second fitting. The dress should be perfect at this fitting and if you are unhappy with anything then you should speak now so it can be sorted and a third appointment arranged. The dress will be steamed and ready to go for the wedding and placed back in the gown bag. If a bride wants to use their own seamstress then that is perfect. We have no obligation to our seamstress but we will always recommend a professional.

cocomioPhotos Courtesy of CocoMio Bridal Boutique

Why is it important to book an appointment?

One1 BridalA brides search for her gown can be a roller-coaster of emotions. There is the excitement for finding her dream dress, combined with a few nerves of the unknown when trying bridal gowns for the first time! Your consultant should consider your overall big day style, budget and body shape when guiding you towards the perfect gowns to try.

Since bridal gowns are generally grander than anything you will have tried before so our consultant is on hand to assist you in getting into them! The second step is pinning the gown as required so that you have the best idea of how you will look when the size is correct. Our samples range from a size 10-18 but with some insider tricks we can make most of our sample gowns fit all! Once duly accessorised you are ready for your big reveal to your nearest and dearest. Knowing you are the only bride in the store and receiving our undivided care and attention definitely gives you that luxurious experience you have always dreamed of!


It can take a surprising amount of work to organise a visit to a bridal store, rallying your entourage to find a day and time when they are all available. It would be extremely disappointing to go to all of that effort and arrive at a store only to find that there are no available appointments. By booking your appointment in advance you can relax and look forward to the wonderful experience that awaits you!

If you plan on visiting a few stores in the same day having appointments booked and a schedule in mind means everyone will know where they should be at what time and you can even schedule in a little lunch/dinner or some cheeky cocktails!

We always recommend booking an appointment although we are not strictly appointment only, so of course if a bride arrives and we are available we happily offer her the full ONE1 Bridal experience.

one1weddingdressescardiffPhotos Courtesy of One1 Bridal

I hope that these have helped! Make sure you check back over the next few weeks to get the next installment of Buying Your Wedding Dress.

Featured Post: Pritchard and Moore – Wedding Boutique with a twist

 Good morning lovely people! Today we have a very special Featured Post.  A wonderful new bridal boutique has opened in the gorgeously leafy Cardiff superb of Whitchurch.  However, this is no ordinary bridal boutique.  Fancy buying a stunning wedding gown which not only is incredible, but also leaves you with a warm and fuzzy ‘I helped someone’ feeling? Read on and find out how…….

All images courtesy of LJ Meeks Photography

Pritchard and Moore – Wedding Boutique with a twist


Wales’ newest bridal boutique opens with a unique twist 

A NEW bridal boutique with a unique twist opened earlier this summer in the heart of the popular suburb of Whitchurch.

Pritchard and Moore is a luxury stand-alone bridal boutique on Tyn Y Pwll Road, stocking designer wedding dresses and accessories from the likes of Ellis Bridal, Jonathan James, Justin Alexander, Blue, San Patrick, Eva Jordan, Catherine Jane, and Ronald Joyce.


The shop itself offers an indulgent atmosphere with beautiful, high quality dressing room facilities and the attentive, specialist service expected from a bridal boutique.

Yet unlike a traditional independent boutique, all the profits from sales of wedding dresses go straight to Cancer Research Wales, the Welsh charity behind Pritchard and Moore.

Cancer Research Wales has sold wedding dresses at its Bridal Suite in Whitchurch since 2011, but has expanded the idea to launch Wales’ first stand-alone, not-for-profit bridal boutique.

Many of the dresses stocked at Pritchard and Moore have been donated directly by designers or are ex-season stock given to Cancer Research Wales from other bridal boutiques. Other designer dresses have been donated by former brides who would like their special dress to be worn again and raise money for a vital cause.


Brides searching for their dream dress for their wedding day can expect the same level of service and luxurious surroundings that they would find in any other bridal boutique, but also know that the money they spend is going straight to teams of leading cancer research scientists in Wales, who are making progress every day in the search for better treatments and cures for cancer patients.

Prices for a typical designer wedding gown range from £300 – £600, which is a significant saving on the usual prices of a designer wedding dress.

The store’s name comes from two longstanding Cancer Research Wales trustees and eminent research scientists, John Pritchard and John Moore, who have both contributed enormously to the landscape of cancer research in Wales and beyond.


The charity was set up in 1966 by a team of scientists and is marking its 50th anniversary. All the money raised by Cancer Research Wales stays in Wales to fund pioneering research into earlier diagnosis and developments in prevention and treatment of cancer.

Alison George, Pritchard and Moore Manager, said: “From the moment you set foot into Pritchard and Moore, you are our special guest. With unparalleled customer service, we ensure your visit with us will be one to remember. Our warm and welcoming staff believe your dress search is more than simply shopping – we provide a luxurious and exclusive experience tailored exclusively for you.”


Laura Priddle, Fundrasing Manager of Cancer research said: “This is really a unique opportunity for brides to make the world of difference to the fight against cancer when finding their perfect dress. Weddings can be expensive events but by purchasing a dress from Prichard and Moore, they are not only potentially saving money but making a long lasting contribution to a vital cause.”

  • Instagram: @pritchardandmoore
  • Twitter: @pritchardmoore
  • Facebook: PritchardandMoore

pritchard_moore-1-of-25 pritchard_moore-2-of-25 pritchard_moore-3-of-25 pritchard_moore-4-of-25 pritchard_moore-5-of-25 pritchard_moore-6-of-25 pritchard_moore-7-of-25 pritchard_moore-8-of-25 pritchard_moore-9-of-25 pritchard_moore-10-of-25 pritchard_moore-11-of-25 pritchard_moore-12-of-25 pritchard_moore-13-of-25 pritchard_moore-14-of-25 pritchard_moore-15-of-25 pritchard_moore-16-of-25 pritchard_moore-17-of-25 pritchard_moore-18-of-25 pritchard_moore-19-of-25 pritchard_moore-20-of-25 pritchard_moore-22-of-25 pritchard_moore-21-of-25 pritchard_moore-25-of-25


As a little added bonus, one of our Real Wedding brides, Lisa, donated the dress featured here! To see the dress in its second wedding (Lisa was the second bride, and it will no doubt make another bride very happy thanks to Lisa), have a look here, at Lisa and Steves beautiful DIY Barn Wedding! Thank you Lisa xxx


Featured post: Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique

Good morning Cwtchers!

Today on the blog we have the absolutely beautiful Lush Lister Rachel Burgess telling us all about her amazing boutique in Penarth, South Wales.  I personally experienced Rachel’s customer service and stunning dresses myself when wedding dress shopping and it really is so unique- exactly what I hoped and dreamed wedding dress shopping would be like.  We have much love for this lady!

Hello! I’m Rachel and I own a little Bridal Boutique in the seaside town of Penarth, South Wales. In this little corner of paradise surrounded by other independent businesses the Boutique is the only one of its’ kind doing what we do, not just in Wales, but in the entire UK.

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique-'Rae' By E&W Couture - Photo By Costa Sister Productions

We are proud beyond words to have six Welsh designers creating exclusive Bridalwear and accessory collections for the Boutique, alongside a collection of original vintage dresses (1930’s – 1970’s). We don’t stick to many rules, only to show off a female figure beautifully (without flaunting too much, if you know what I mean!) and giving women an opportunity to do Bridal their way.

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique 'Prim', 'Rae', 'Greta', 'Mable', 'Willow' handmade by E&W Couture. Photo By Costa Sisters Productions

The service the Boutique offers to a Bride & her nearest and dearest is very special – they have the Boutique exclusively for 2 hours with my undivided attention. We close the curtains, lock the door and put the kettle on. One of the most flattering experiences is that brides want to know where their dress is coming from and this enables me to support and promote the incredible design talent we have right here in Wales.

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique 'Ava' (side) handmade by Helen Rhiannon. Photo by Simon Gough Photography

We have Brides who travel from all over the UK to meet their designer and be part of the exclusive process we offer to our clients.  After their wedding day it’s so lovely to see how many Brides pop back in or write letters to tell me all about their day and relive it all over again!

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique - 'Emmeline' by Amy Mair Couture. Photo By O&C Photography

One of our lovely Boutique Brides recently said “The experience I had shopping at the Boutique was like no other. So relaxed, no pressure and I loved the fact that I could put my own touches to my wedding dress”.

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique - 'Emmeleine' detail - by Amy Mair Coture. Photo By O&C Photography

Our little Boutique is giving Brides the opportunity to create and nurture their dream wedding dress, in a safe and relaxed environment, without any pressure. The Boutique helps Brides to represent who they are on their wedding day, and by going through this amazing design process they are supporting our British manufacturing industry.

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique - 'Efa' (back #1) handmade by Amy Mair Couture. Photo By o&c Photography

The experience Brides get here at the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique is completely unique, “Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique in Penarth is truly fantastic and made my whole wedding dress shopping experience fun, exciting and a real joy!

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique 'Alicia' (back) handmade by Helen Rhiannon. Photo By Simon Gough Photography

Our top three tips for Brides:
– There are no rules in weddings – go for it the way you both want to do it!
– Trust your instinct when trying on wedding dresses, it’s important that the dress has to feel like ‘you’!
– Enjoy dress shopping and trust those tears!

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique 'Chloe' (sitting down) by Helen Rhiannon. Photo By Simon Gough Photography

Who we stock :
Amy Mair Couture, Angharad Mullooly, Claire Hill Designs, E&W Couture, Kate Barlow & Helen Rhiannon Designer Label.

Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique- 'Willow' By E&W Coture. Photo By Costa Sister Productions

Contact Details:
Phone: 02920 709 701

Also find us on:
Facebook: Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique
Twitter: @Bridal_Penarth
Instagram: Rachel_Burgess_Bridal_Boutique

Choosing Your Wedding Dress by Laura May Bridal

Today we have been joined by the lovely May from Laura May Bridal who has some expert advice on choosing your wedding dress and tells you what to expect from an appointment at their award winning bridal boutique.


At Laura May Bridal we would advise coming in to see us with an open mind as the majority  of our lovely brides walk in to our boutique with an idea of what they want and then leave with a dress they never dreamed of wearing on their big day!

poppy 1There are so many different styles out there that at first it can be very overwhelming and only when you start trying on do you start to see which dress could be ‘the one’!  At our boutique every bride that visits us will be guided by a professional bridal consultant, trained by both Myself and Laura, who will help them throughout their appointment in order to find the perfect dress. Our bridal consultants listen to what the bride likes, what her wedding theme is, bridesmaid colours, how she want to feel and look on the day and where she has chosen her venue in order to find the perfect dress. All of these things play a big part in determining what dress is for the bride and whether they suit the wedding she has planned!

10553468_753279554756652_5045812134086356346_nBooking the wedding venue is a must before trying on dresses. After all this has been determined we would try on different styles and shapes to see what style of dress is preferred and once this is done we then narrow our style of dress to hopefully one particular shape and style until the bride puts a dress on that she just does not want to take off. This is usually a sign she has found her dress! :)

1907913_760537440697530_4507761408998470071_nMany of our brides find their dress on their first visit to our store but many others go to another three before they confirm the dress is the one. It is a big decision and one that needs to be right and must not be rushed. When the bride finds the perfect dress……she will know.

Laura May Bridal are going to be joining us at CWTCHFEST next month, to find out more and to book tickets to this unique event showcasing so many fabulous Welsh Wedding Suppliers Click the link below.

buy tickets here

Sponsored Vendor: Introducing Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Cwtch the Bride only accepts sponsored posts from companies we think will be useful to you :) 

RBBB Logo White

We are delighted to welcome Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique to Cwtch the Bride this week. Rachel launched the Bridal Boutique in October 2012 and she specialises in gorgeous vintage style dresses handmade in Wales by Welsh designers. We asked Rachel a few questions about the boutique which she has answered below. All images were supplied by Rachel and were taken by Simon Gough Photography.

Rachel Burgess

Rachel Burgess

Hi Rachel, we’re so excited to have you on Cwtch the Bride today; can you tell our readers a bit about yourself? :) Hello! Thank you – I’m equally very excited to be on the blog today too!  I’m Rachel and I’m the owner of the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique in the seaside town of Penarth. In our little Boutique we specialise in true vintage dresses (1930’s-1970’s) and handmade dresses by Welsh Designers. We’re proud to be bringing something a little bit different to the Bridal scene and all the handmade dresses are made here in Wales by the designers themselves.

Collection #1, 'Helen' handmade by Helen Rhiannon, Photo By Simon Gough Photography

How and when did you start Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique? I have been a bridesmaid several times (7 to be precise…. 8 times next year!) therefore I have been to a lot of Bridal shops with my girlfriends, and even though we always had a lovely time, I just found that there was something missing….for me, anyway. I used to be a Stage Manager who worked on musicals & opera all around the UK and therefore coming from a theatrical background I feel it’s important for people to represent who they are – and I think it is equally important for a Bride to do so on her wedding day and not fall into the category of what people think a Bride ‘should be’.

One day I mentioned my little secret dream of opening my own Boutique to my neighbour, and headed back out on tour with another theatre show. Shortly after that she phoned me to say the perfect shop had come up for rent in Penarth and she had already spoken to the landlady for me and she would meet me when I got back…… I was in shock! I met the landlady on a Saturday in May and I had a look around the shop – it was perfect – I signed on the dotted line there and then! It was one of those moments when my heart just said ‘do it otherwise you’ll always wonder – what if?’. With a lot of help from friends – painting, decorating and their constant support, the Boutique officially launched on 24th October 2012, and I’ve not looked back since!!!

'Lil' handmade By Helen Rhiannon - Photo By Simon Gough Photography

What’s do you love most about the Boutique? That’s a tricky one – I adore so many different aspects of the Boutique! I LOVE that I get to meet such fabulous women, all of which are creating their own unique wedding day, bespoke to them. I also love that we have so many Welsh Designers involved in the Boutique and giving our Brides the opportunity to meet her designer during the creative process is very important to us. That moment when a Bride gets so excited about finding her dress makes me squeal with excitement because she looks incredible! So many of our brides are travelling from all over the UK to have an appointment in the Boutique because they know that they want something that little bit different. I always get emotional when a bride comes to collect her dress – I think because by the end of the process I’m so proud to call so many of these lovely ladies my friends!

'Margo' By Angharad Mullooly Photo By Simon Gough Photograhy

Does a Bride have to book an appointment to visit the Boutique? I would always recommend booking an appointment yes, the Boutique is small and cosy so for appointments the bride has it exclusively for her and her nearest and dearest for two and a half hours. I lock the door, close the curtains, put the kettle on and we have a lovely time trying on as many, or as few dresses as she wants in a safe and non pressured environment. Therefore, I would always recommend booking an appointment as I wouldn’t want a Bride travelling to the Boutique only to find we are busy and there are no available appointments for that day. 

Collection #3- Vintage Dress 'Lilly'. Photo By Simon Gough Photography

Which Designers do you stock in the Boutique? I’m very lucky that I get to work with a very talented bunch of Designers, they are all such fabulous women and we have a great time working together! Helen Rhiannon (who won best Designer Award in Wales 2013 at the Welsh Fashion & Beauty Awards) has a stunning collection of handmade dresses which are exclusive to the Boutique, her dresses are timeless and show off the female figure perfectly. Another Welsh dress designer who is also exclusive to the boutique is Angharad Mullooly, Angharad’s designs ooze a non-structured Boho vibe and are created using vintage fabrics which are beautiful so each creation is completely unique. The accessory designers I work with are Claire Hill & Kate Barlow. Claire specalises in unique birdcage veils and elegant back necklaces, while Kate creates beautiful fabric bouquets and fabric based hair accessories. It’s an absolute joy to work with each of these ladies and I love the variety of styles we have all created together.

'Joanie' handmade by Angharad Mullooly Photo By Simon Gough Photography

Have you noticed any emerging trends in bridal wear for 2014/15? We don’t really stick to trends in the Boutique – we love to promote beautiful dresses which show off a figure beautifully without exposing too much (if you know what I mean?!). We love to pay attention to back detail on our dresses as it’s important for us that the dress has the ‘wow’ factor from every angle. Our designers pride themselves on using gorgeous luxurious fabrics which are soft to touch and extremely comfortable to wear. We want our Brides to be comfortable and to be able to dance the night away in style!

Collection #3- 'Betsy' handmade by Helen Rhiannon and handmade headpiece by Claire Hill. Photo By Simon Gough Photography 'Lil' #2- handmade by Helen Rhiannon - Photo by Simon Gough Photography 'Sasha' (back) by Helen Rhiannon. Photo By Simon Gough Photothraphy

Do you have any advice for brides choosing a dress for their big day? Yes, absolutely – HAVE FUN! This is such an exciting time and don’t ever feel any pressure to make a rushed decision. Trust your instinct and take people along to help make that decision who know you well. This is your time to try on as many dresses as you like – but stay true to who you are and find a dress that represents that perfectly, so that when you look back at your photos you think ‘yes, I totally did that my way’. If a dress makes you emotional and you fall in love with it – trust those tears!

Collection #3 'Lorelie' by Helen Rhiannon. Photo by Simon Gough Photography Collection #3- 'Mair' by Helen Rhiannon. Photo By Simon Gough Photography 'Frenchie' (front) handmade by Helen Rhiannon- photo by Simon Gough Photography 'Louise' by Helen Rhiannon. Photo by Simon Gough Photography 'Sasha' (front) by Helen Rhiannon. Photo By Simon Gough Photography

WOW! I think you will all agree that these dresses are absolutely STUNNING! I want to get married again just so that I can go and try on some of these beauties! 

Thank you Rachel for sharing these with us and for telling us all about your Bridal Boutique. If any of our brides to be are still looking for the one, give Rachel a call on 02920 709701.

Charlie x