Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

 

The cake is cut, the bouquet has been thrown, the band has packed up and guests have drifted off home. No doubt every aspect of your wedding was planned down to the last detail but have you worked out what to do with your dress?

 

While many brides understandably want to keep the dress as a reminder of their special day, there are some alternative creative and thoughtful ideas out there for those who want to honour the memory of their wedding in other ways.

 

Whatever you decide, the one thing that you mustn’t do is to leave your dress languishing for years in plastic on a hanger at the back of your wardrobe.

 

Here are five smart things to do with this precious item after the big day.

1. Clean and preserve it

Whether you get married on a beach or in a barn, it’s quite likely that you’ll put the dress through its paces on the big day, and even if there are no obvious signs of damage or staining it is advisable to have it professionally cleaned after the event.

Marks that are left to ‘set-in’ can be almost impossible to remove at a later date. Once cleaned your dress should be enveloped in acid free paper and stored in a preservation box to prevent yellowing and the damage that can be caused by exposure to dust and light.

You should also avoid storing it in places that experience extremes of temperature, like your attic or basement, as this may encourage mildew to form.

 

Click here for more details on our wedding dress cleaning and preservation service https://www.bridesbysolo.co.uk/dress-cleaning-services/

 

2. Trash it

‘Trashing’ the dress is a fast growing trend that involves having a post wedding photo shoot during which you wreck your wedding dress in spectacular style. This is a great way to have some fun and make some more memories of your wedding.

 

Some brides choose do it on the day, for the enjoyment of all their guests, and then they can relax for the rest of the celebrations and not worry about messing up the dress. It may be that you’re not ready to do that straight away, but you could wait until your first anniversary to ‘trash the dress’. It’s certainly a good reason to have a party.

 

Here are just some ideas for ways to ‘trash the dress’: in the surf at your beach wedding, paint balling, quad biking through muddy puddles, an underwater photo shoot, horse riding, jumping in the swimming pool or into the river, a food fight… the sky’s the limit and you could even get your bridesmaids and the groom involved.

 

3. Repurpose it

Repurposing or upcycling in general is becoming increasingly fashionable these days, but people have been converting their wedding dresses for generations. It’s a great way to hold on to a part of something so treasured and symbolic of one of the most important days of your life, without giving over too much storage space.

 

And let’s face it fashion moves on and, just as you wouldn’t want to get married in your mother’s 1980s Lady Di inspired affair, the dress that you got married in is unlikely to be what your daughter would choose for her wedding. However, a lovely way to keep the dress in the family and use for the next generation is to have it made into a christening gown or blessing dress for your own children and grandchildren.

 

Here are just a few of the things that brides have made from wedding dresses: lingerie, occasion dresses, cushion covers, photo album covers, christmas tree skirts, quilts and whatever else you can dream up.

 

4. Sell it

According to figures from wedding planning website Bridebook https://bridebook.co.uk/, the average wedding in the UK costs around £27,000. These figures are based on 20,000 nuptuals celebrated in 2016 and, after catering, the second most expensive item in the budget is the dress. This figure doesn’t include the honeymoon and if you live in London or the South-east you should budget for another £10,000 on top of this.

 

It’s no surprise then that more and more brides are choosing to sell their dresses in order to recoup some cash. If you decide to go this route you are not only giving another bride the chance to wear your stunning dress, that might otherwise rarely ever see the light of day, but you’re also helping to offset the cost of that glorious honeymoon.

 

5. Donate it

Of course you could also donate the money you get for your dress to a favourite charity or check out Brides do Good https://www.bridesdogood.com/sell-your-dress who will sell your dress for you and put the proceeds towards working with the United Nations in their international campaign to end child marriage.

 

Another meaningful avenue for donation is to give your dress to be remade as funeral clothes for Angel babies, who were either still-born or died shortly after birth. There are various non-profit organisations who work to ease the pain and bring a little comfort to parents and families during this time of heartbreak.

 

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Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

Our Russian Princess, Yana, becomes an English Queen, as she marries her Charming Prince Gary.

It is the most romantic of dreams.  A holiday romance that blossoms into true love.  A finding of soul mates on a tropical island, ending in a fairy tale wedding… 

A Koh Phangan Love Story

Yana met Gary in Thailand, on the party island of Koh Phangan.  Their love story blossomed over the season, and continued as they took off around Europe to the party hotspots of Milan and Ibiza.  Separated for a few months that autumn, they met again in Thailand last winter.

Their affair of the heart was soon confirmed, as Gary and Yana decided to spend their life together.

Seven weeks before the wedding, Yana called to say she’d arrived in England – and it was time to organise the wedding!  A week later, she was in the Brides by Solo boutique, as we crossed our fingers that we’d find a dress to fulfill her bridal dreams.

We were in luck.  Yana found not one, but two, dresses with which she fell instantly in love.  The first was a slim-fitting brocade wedding dress, which made Yana feel “like the Swan Princess out of the Russian fairytale…”

The second dress, laced bodice, illusion neckline and full skirts with satin underlay, was fit for a queen.  Yana went home to sleep on it, which wedding dress would it be?

In the morning we had her answer: “Queen it will be!”

Russian Queen marries her Prince Charming

In his dapper suit, groom Gary was the ultimate Prince Charming to match his beautiful bride.  His loveable nature shone as he greeted his gathering guests: his family and friends, Yana’s Russian friends, and an intimate group from the close-knit community of Koh Phangan.

Saying their vows, Gary and Yana forsaked all others for each other.  Raw emotion touched the bride and groom in gentle waves, spreading out to reach over all of us. On the back row, us Koh Phangan girls dabbed away tears of joy at the blissful union.

Yana looked resplendent in her wedding dress.  The dress not only fitted her – she fitted the dress.  She took our breath away all day long.  The perfectly fitting bodice, the intricate illusion back, the delicate buttoning detail – the voluminous skirts, fit for a queen!

She could have walked down the aisle in Westminster Abbey in that dress, I swear.

The Wedding Reception

The dovetailing of two different cultures continued into the evening.  The happy couple entered the reception to the congregation’s applause.  Then, on the threshold, bride and groom fed each other bread and salt:  an old Slavic tradition – ‘the bitterest thing to feed each other from now on!’

We greeted the bride and groom to offer our congratulations, and the party and merriments began in earnest.  In another Russian tradition, Gary and Yana each lit a candle.

Then together they lit a larger candle, signifying the union of the flame of their love.

Dancing Into The Night

The first dance was a classic from the Thai islands.  We were soon up dancing with Gary and Yana in celebration. Even the waiters joined in!  Serenaded by a stunning Russian MC over a sumptuous dinner, our Koh Phangan DJ took to the decks – to continue the party well into the night.

The evening ended with Yana the bride dancing on the tables, as groom and wedding party danced around her!

A love-filled wedding from start to finish, amazing company – and a divine dress.  “The best day of my life!”, says an excited Yana.

Congratulations to the happiest of couples, Gary and Yana, as they begin their fairytale life together.

 

Originally published on our Brides by Solo wedding blog for HELLO! Magazine in Nov 2014.

Wedding Photography by Vadim Nester

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Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

Lois looked the ultimate blushing bride in her Maggie Sottero dress for her Santorini wedding.

Lois, a teacher from Cambridge, met Alex, a London construction manager, at summer sports camp. Sports coach Lois fell for dashing lifeguard Alex that summer, and they’ve been together ever since. The bride and groom celebrated their destination wedding, on the dream island of Santorini, in August.

“We have been together 10 years – so it was about time!” says Lois.

“I had seen Maggie Sottero dresses advertised and I really loved them – I am a big fan of lace! I didn’t know for certain I wanted one, but once I tried on one of her dresses, I knew she was the designer for me.

The dress had arrived in the bridal boutique that morning, and I was the first person to try it on. Brides by Solo manager Odette understood the style I wanted straight away. As soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one.

My Brides by Solo experience was excellent – the service was personal and they made me feel very special. Even though they must deal with hundreds of brides every year, I felt that they really cared for my needs and understood my style.

I love lace and the detail on my Maggie Sottero dress was beautiful...

On the day, I felt like a princess! Everbody commented on how beautiful the dress was, and it fitted perfectly. A company called ‘Bella’ did my make up, they were brilliant – they managed to get it exactly how I wanted it.

My favourite memory is walking down the aisle, and seeing Alex standing there. Alex loved my dress – which is great, as we have very different tastes! He kept commenting on how lovely it was throughout the evening…”

32 friends and family gathered with Lois & Alex, for their Greek wedding on Santorini

“We had always imagined a simple and personal wedding, and Greece is our favourite place in the world. We love the culture, beaches, food and people – and we knew they would give us a great day. We got married at La Maltese hotel on Santorini at sunset.

The day was perfect, and we were so pleased people made the effort to come all that way – we really appreciated it.

It was lovely as the wedding was so intimate, with our closest friends and family. We spent lots of quality time together – it was not only a wedding but a great holiday! There were 32 people all together. I had three bridesmaids – two friends and my sister. My brother was usher and the best man was Alex’s best friend David.

Santorini was absolutely our dream wedding. It was exactly how we imagined it. The views were breathtaking and getting married at sunset was always our dream. Santorini is such a beautiful island and the most romantic place I have been.

We want to go back every year for our anniversary (in my dreams!!!) Everything from the food to the band was outstanding and we could not have asked for anything more!

For our honeymoon, we went island hopping to Ios, a small island with beautiful beaches and great food. Next we went to Mykonos, which had beautiful sunsets. A truly fabulous two weeks!”

“I just want to do it all again – I can’t stop looking at the pictures,” says Lois, the beautiful bride.

Congratulations to Lois & Alex on their wedding – Lois, you looked beautiful in your Maggie Sottero dress!

Wishing you a long and happy life together.

Love from Brides by Solo x

 

Originally published on our Brides by Solo wedding blog for HELLO! Magazine in Sept 2014.

 

 

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Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

February 2015 is Sincerity Bridal Month at Brides by Solo!

Introducing our New Designer for 2015 ‘Sincerity Bridal’

Lace over satin… keyhole and illusion backlines…we are so excited about our new collection from designer Sincerity Bridal!

With a diverse range of dresses to suit all tastes, we are offering this quality couture label now – retailing at fantastic prices around £800!

Our new designer Sincerity Bridal is now available in our boutique!

Brides by Solo New Designer  ‘Sincerity Bridal’  Dresses £699 – £999

To promote this new label we’ll be offering a free veil (worth up to £120) with any dress purchased from their Collection in February.

A full 50% deposit is required to redeem this offer.  This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or promotions.

Reserve your February appointment on 01638 661648 now to view our new designer Sincerity Bridal!

 

Future dates for your diary:

March 2015 – Bridesmaids Promotion Month

In March we are showcasing our fabulous new Bridesmaid Collections for 2015.

10% off all new bridesmaids orders in March 2015 (50% deposit required on every order) .

April 2015 – Accessories Month

We have a promotion on all accessories during the month of April!

Wide range of head pieces at £10 each.

Sunday 19 April – Granary Barns Wedding Fayre, Wooditton

Exhibiting dresses and giving away Promotional Vouchers at Suffolk’s fabulous Wedding Venue:

THE GRANARY BARNS

Come and meet us on Sun 19 April and view some of our new Collections!  Free Entry 11am – 3pm.

 

We look forward to welcoming you to Brides by Solo, Newmarket’s Bridal Boutique soon!

Odette & the Brides by Solo team x

Tel : 01638 661648

 

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Our Russian Princess, Yana, becomes an English Queen, as she marries her Charming Prince Gary. It is the most romantic of dreams.  A holiday romance that blossoms into true love.  A finding of soul mates on a tropical island, ending in a fairy tale wedding...  A Koh Phangan Love Story...[ read more ]

Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

We are half way through our October Sale, and the dresses are flying off the rails!

Almost every dress in the shop is reduced for one month only, to make way for our new collections arriving in November and December.

Wedding dresses from £99. Designers Maggie Sottero, Donna Salado and Benjamin Roberts are all on sale at fantastic prices. Ex-sample party dresses. Shoes & Tiaras at £20 each.

We also have Bridesmaid Dresses on Sale.

All our short bridesmaid dresses are reduced from £30 (no sets).
Next season’s trend is to mix and match your bridesmaids, so now is a perfect time to grab your bridesmaid dresses…

Feel free to pop in and browse for your bridesmaid dresses anytime you wish.

Selling Dreams: 30 Years in the Bridal Business

Lastly, have a read of our latest HELLO! blog post which just went live here! We tell where it all began for Brides by Solo, and what secrets we’re about to spill next…

We look forward to welcoming you all to Brides by Solo soon. Only 2 weeks of our October Sale left! Please remember we are appointment only for Wedding Dresses, so call us on 01638 661648 to reserve your sale appointment today!

Our Annual Sale Ends on 31st October 2014

Odette & the Brides by Solo team x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Smart things to do with your Wedding Dress after the Big Day

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Holiday Romance to Happily Ever After

Our Russian Princess, Yana, becomes an English Queen, as she marries her Charming Prince Gary. It is the most romantic of dreams.  A holiday romance that blossoms into true love.  A finding of soul mates on a tropical island, ending in a fairy tale wedding...  A Koh Phangan Love Story...[ read more ]

Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

We were very happy to welcome our Velvet Wedding Competition winner into the shop recently.  Kirsty Wallace and Ben Musgrove were the lucky couple who won an entire wedding in our Velvet Magazine competition.

Not only did Kirsty win a Brides by Solo wedding dress, our lucky winners also won a fantastic venue in Granary Barns.  A whole host of other local businesses are now helping Kirsty and Ben plan their big day.

We’re delighted Ben and Kirsty won this competition.  They are a lovely couple, always courteous and happy, a real privilege to work with. We’re so pleased to be offering this lovely wedding package to this super couple!

Kirsty and Ben are due to get married in April, and Kirsty’s wedding dress is now on order.  It will be arriving in the shop between January and February, which, two months before the wedding, is the perfect time to start wedding dress alterations.

We can’t give too much about Kirsty’s wedding dress away, but we did ask her to describe her Brides by Solo experience for you…

“I have visited Brides by Solo 3 times now,” says Kirsty, “and each time I have been made to feel very welcome.  It has a lovely relaxed atmosphere.  Odette has looked after me each time and was excellent at giving advice and really put me at ease.  I can’t remember how many dresses I tried on, it seemed like a lot!”

“I had no idea what sort of style I would like, so on my first visit I tried on lots of completely different styles!  It’s so funny looking at yourself in the mirror for the first time.  I really liked certain aspects of lots of different dresses but kept going back to the same one.  I loved everything about it!

“I could picture myself on the day, so I knew it was ‘the dress’!!”

“We’re extremely excited about the wedding and still can’t believe we won!”

We can’t wait to see Kirsty in her wedding dress next April. We will be featuring her as one of our Brides by Solo brides in our HELLO! Wedding Blog. If you, too, are interested in being a featured bride, do please let us know!

Odette and the Brides by Solo team x

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Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

Wedding Dress Heaven at Harrogate Bridal Show!

We LOVED LOVED LOVED being at Harrogate Trade Fair this year and seeing all the new 2015 Collections.  We sourced a new Designer SINCERITY BRIDAL, which will be in the shop January.  The dresses are beautifully made in a wide range of styles, and will all be under £899.  We’ll be holding a preview week early January to show off their 2015 collection.

Maggie Sottero as always stole our hearts.  I was impressed by the new way their underskirts are slightly different shades to the floaty fabric overlay.  I’m happy to see chiffon coming back into their collection, and not every single dress is lace.  Saying that, they have some timeless classic lace dresses, with straps and low v-backs, that are sure to go down a storm here!

Mark Lesley excelled themselves with their new bridesmaid collection.  Finally we’re seeing different styles come through for the fashion-conscious bridesmaids.  These styles will be arriving between November – January and we’ll be seeing even more colours added to the already vast range, including a gorgeous Turkish Blue.

Brides by Solo’s Top Picks for Spring/Summer 2015…

Due to high demand we’ve bought lots of tea length style wedding dresses, with and without straps.  Some beautiful 1950’s and 1960’s styles, as well as contemporary styles.  Not everyone wants an ivory dress, so we’ve ordered our samples in lavender and almond to mix things up.

Our HELLO! Wedding Blogger, Mel, wrote about our Harrogate Trade Fair experience here (the bridal equivalent of London Fashion Week!), featuring all our Brides by Solo’s top picks for Spring/Summer 2015.

I asked my colleague, Sadie (it being her first time at the Harrogate Trade Fair), what her highlight was.  She said it was knowing there were no collections that we’d rather have in our shop than we already have.  A good feeling.  She also rather liked the nightlife, but that’s another story!

All new Collections will be instore from January 2015.

Odette x

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Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

Why do Brides by Solo stock Plus Size Wedding Dresses?

The average size of the UK woman is now a size 16. Therefore we feel it’s imperative to hold a large range of dresses around this size (and larger) so every bride has the same amount of wedding dresses to try Many bridal shops will only stock sizes 10-14, if you are looking for a larger size then do check this with the shop before you visit. Brides may try a dress on in a much smaller size only to be told they can order it in a larger size if they wish, without being able to try it before they buy. Not only is this risky to see how you are going to look on your big day, but often smaller sized wedding dresses are constructed differently to a proper Plus Size Collection.

What differentiates a Plus Size Collection from a normal dress collection?

Our Plus Size wedding dresses are cherry-picked from five different Designers who specialise in making dresses for the fuller figure. The dresses have inbuilt corsets to support and flatter the figure so you do not require any additional undergarments/ corsets while wearing the dresses. Many smaller sized wedding dresses do not have the same corsetry.

Our dresses have the added option of straps and/ or boleros being added to each design. Our in-house seamstress can work uniquely with you to customise your dress and to obtain that perfect fit for your wedding day.

I am losing weight and don’t want to order a dress too early in case I lose weight / change shape?

While some brides want to celebrate their curves, others tell us they are losing weight and don’t want to order a dress too early. it takes 4-5 months for a new dress to be ordered in new and we then need approximately 7 weeks for alterations, therefore a minimum 6 month turn around is usually required (sometimes Designers can send us selected dresses quicker if already in stock). So if you find your dream dress a year in advance, we can delay the measuring for you until nearer your wedding date. Our team of bridal consultants measure brides every day and are expert in helping you decide on the best size. If you are losing weight we take this into consideration when consulting the size chart and will work with you on this.

I don’t wear dresses and feel I need guidance what shapes would best suit & flatter my figure, I’m a size 28?

Every customer is unique in their personality and style of wedding and we listen to you and take these things into account when advising you on styles to try on. Our trained Bridal Consultants are also expert in advising which dressses willl suit which figures best. We know this because we fit brides day in day out and know our stock of 200 dressses inside out. We won’t waste your time suggesting styles we know won’t work for you. As we have such a large collection of dresses in the shop we know we have enough dresses in every category to suit every bride. Our Plus Size Collection comprises dresses sized 18-30 and come in a range of fabrics including chiffon, satin, organza, and taffetta.

How do I obtain that perfect fit on my wedding dress?

As two of our Bridal Consultants are also fully trained bridal dressmakers, you’ll probably find the lady who assists you in finding your wedding dress will also be the lady who does the alterations for you nearer to your big day. This give you the confidence that the look you wanted from the start is carried out to the end detail. Fittings are carried out in the shop and our expert dressmakers will ensure your wedding dress fits you perfectly before it leaves the shop.

Book an appointment to find out why Brides by Solo have been selling wedding dresses for 30 years and why – we’ve been told – we have one of the largest collections of Plus Size Dresses cover Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds & Cambridge.

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Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

We offer all our brides an INTEREST FREE payment plan on bridal attire. This means they can spread the costs for their wedding for up to two years. We start as low as £50 a month and take cash, cheque, debit or credit cards. If you come and chose your dream wedding dress 18 months before your wedding date you can start paying it off each month but we can delay your measuring until nearer the wedding date in case you change shape. A 50% deposit is required to order dresses, so once you’ve hit the 50% mark you can order your dress any time after that. The above also applies to bridesmaid dresses, these can also be paid on an interest free payment plan.

Why not ask a friend/relative to buy your wedding shoes, veil, tiara or garter as a birthday or Christmas present?

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Our Russian Princess, Yana, becomes an English Queen, as she marries her Charming Prince Gary. It is the most romantic of dreams.  A holiday romance that blossoms into true love.  A finding of soul mates on a tropical island, ending in a fairy tale wedding...  A Koh Phangan Love Story...[ read more ]

Brides by Solo - Wedding Dress Boutique located in Newmarket, between Bury St Edmunds & Cambridge

Congratulations! All babies welcome! We are currently in the middle of a baby-boom. Every month a bride or three telephones to say either she is pregnant or her bridesmaid is pregnant. No 1… do not panic. The sooner you can let us know the better so we can work with you to get the dresses to fit. There are lots of ways around this situation. We can change your zip back dress to a tie lack back and we sell the panels and lacing inhouse so they can be changed straight away in a timely manner. Some dresses have a seam allowance we can let out.

If one of your bridesmaids are trying for a baby at time of measurements please let us know and we’ll take into account how far pregnant she could be by the wedding date and order an appropriately larger size to be on the safe side (knowing we can alter it back down if she doesn’t fall pregnant by then).

In 30 years of business we have never not sent out anyone in a dress so far!

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Holiday Romance to Happily Ever After

Our Russian Princess, Yana, becomes an English Queen, as she marries her Charming Prince Gary. It is the most romantic of dreams.  A holiday romance that blossoms into true love.  A finding of soul mates on a tropical island, ending in a fairy tale wedding...  A Koh Phangan Love Story...[ read more ]