Brides by Solo

Based in Newmarket, between Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds, we stock the following Designers: Maggie Sottero, Rebecca Ingram, Lillian West, Mark Lesley Bridal, Catherine Deane, Brighton Belle and Romantica of Devon.

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Wedding Dress Shop based in Newmarket, Suffolk

  •  Wedding   •  Real Bride – A Disney Fairytale

Real Bride – A Disney Fairytale

Bride and Groom: Rachel O’Neill & Peter Gibbons
Date of wedding: 18th May 2019
Wedding Venue: The Aviator Hotel, Farnborough
Dress: ‘Amelia’ by Brides by Solo
Photographer: Peter Denness Photography
Rachel and Peter first met in 2007 via their love of roller coasters and theme parks. This led to Many years of romance, travelling and their mutual shared experience of visiting Disney theme parks around the world.
The ultimate trip came in May 2016 when they were visiting Disney is Shanghai, China, and Peter surprised Rachel with a proposal! Rachel said, “It was around 6pm in the evening and both of us were still feeling a bit out of sorts from the jet lag and by now we have walked to the very front of the park and could see what was just about a sunset – for China it was rather nice given the smog. Peter said shall we have a photo in front of the castle again? We posed for 3 normal photos and next thing I know Peter is down on one knee asking me whether I would be his wife. Completely and utterly overwhelmed, I obviously said yes. The photographer, who was Chinese, didn’t really know what was going on as it is not something that is done in the same way in China. However, there were Japanese groups around who were clapping and congratulating us.
It was the perfect setting against the castle and to this day, was a very magical experience.”

Your venue looks STUNNING and really different.  Tell us why you choose there?

Working in the wedding and events industry herself, Rachel wanted to get married in a venue with a difference.
They started by googling unique wedding venues in the UK and The Aviator came up. The one distinct feature of this hotel is the staircase and it really looked incredible from the pictures. Not only that, the hotel is extremely modern and has some really well thought out décor based on aviation; another passion they both share.

How did you go about finding your wedding dress, did you visit many shops?

The dress was always going to be one of the most important things for me. You always dream of what you are going to wear on your wedding day as a little girl and I couldn’t wait to start shopping for it. I started by doing a bit of research online and seeing what dresses I really liked the look of from pictures, then I met Odette from Brides by Solo at a local wedding fayre. I liked the look of their dresses on display and booked an appointment with her with my mum.
We drove over to Newmarket and it was a cold January afternoon and into Odette’s hand I fall. I tried on all different shapes and sizes and whittled them down to just 3. Over the course of the afternoon, I must have tried on about 25 dresses. I only visited Brides by Solo in the end, but I am still so glad to this day that I went with them.




Why did you choose Brides By Solo for the dress?

As soon as I walked in, I knew that Brides by Solo was going to be able to help me find my dream wedding dress, they have so many different dresses to fit every body shape, size and type going. There was a dress in this shop for me.

Odette and the team really know a lot and they were perfect – words cannot describe what they do there and the level of service their provide. We were allowed to choose whatever dresses we wanted to try on, which was lovely.

The first dress Odette put on me was my favourite out off all the ones I had chosen, they know their customers well! I instantly fell in love with it – mum was crying and I don’t think I was far off myself! I loved it, it was exactly what I wanted.

I chose Brides by Solo for so many reasons, they had a lovely stock of dresses suitable for everybody and no matter what shape, size or style, there is a dress in this store. They are so professional, courteous and welcoming, I couldn’t have gone anywhere else after being here and finding this perfect dress.


Did they do the fittings for the dress for you as well? How was that experience?

I ordered the dress in January 2018 and it was delivered in July 2018 and they stored it there until my fittings in-store in March 2019 with the lovely Sadie.

I honestly cannot say anything bad at all about their level of professionalism and service. I had lost some weight between July and March and hate giving people extra work to do! Sadie took it in her stride and sorted it all out straight away with no hiccup or anything.
A few adjustments and 6 weeks later I was back in the boutique for the final fitting. It was perfect, fitted like a dream everywhere and I couldn’t wait to get back in the dress 2 weeks after this.

The team at Brides by Solo care about each bride that comes through their door, everyone has a unique background and one they adapt to so well.
They made me feel wonderful, amazing and look a million dollars on the day.


Where did you get your beautiful bridesmaid dresses from?

I only had one bridesmaid, my Sister-in-Law Lisa; I had no requirement for bridesmaid dresses other than Navy and full length. I left Lisa to her devices and she found a lovely navy dress in Debenhams – it was perfect.


Did the boys hire their suits or buy?

We decided in the end that we would hire the suits rather than buy. We knew what we wanted for the boys and once we had down a trail of them, we knew we were happy.
We hired from Moss Bros which was perfect and convenient with the 5 boys being in 5 different parts of the country. With them being a national store, this was very easy and convenient for us and the rest of the Groomsmen party.
We went for simple navy tails with cravats and pocket squares. We decided on a navy for Peter and a sky blue for everyone else to differentiate between everyone and they all then had 2 pocket squares in these two colours.


Were you nervous on the actual day & what was the best part of your day?

I will be really honest here and say that I was not at all nervous. All the people I was with on the day including Natalie; our make up artist, our photographers and videographers all of whom had done multiple weddings before said how chilled and relaxed I was about everything.

I couldn’t wait until 1pm when I could marry my then fiance and just enjoyed my morning without any worry at all.
Being an event planner and someone who loves organising things, I had done everything I could at this point. It was all down to the venue and us to execute it how we wanted it to go. It was faultless throughout.


The morning was a barrel of emotions from excitement through to emotional, but for me nerves didn’t play any part. I know my fiance and it was just family at the ceremony and breakfast, so there was nothing to be nervous about for me. I just enjoyed every moment of it as you don’t get this opportunity often!

There were so many parts of the day which I would say are the best as we couldn’t have asked for anything to go any better than it did.


I would say if I had to pick a point it would be the moment my entrance song started playing by our Guitarist (The One – Koladine) and 2 years of planning had come down to this very moment.
Watching my eldest Nephew followed by his mum and my youngest Nephew go ahead of me was very emotionally.
Walking into the room with my dad (which was always a dream for me from being a child) to see all of our closest family and then laying eyes for the first time that day on my husband to be was all just amazing. We laughed, we cried and we smiled throughout, it could not have gone any better.


Any tips for future brides on planning your special day?

Absolutely, the biggest thing that I would say is to just enjoy every single moment of the entire experience. Right from the planning the venue and ceremony, to piecing the day together with your suppliers to the day itself, just enjoy everything.


Some parts of it may be stressful, but don’t dwell on them. Keep at it when you think you have hit the ground and do exactly what you want to do – it is your day after all!
The positives always outweigh the negatives, so just do what you want to do and most importantly enjoy it – it goes far too quickly!


Find the right suppliers that work for you. If you are doubting something about them, then don’t go through with the booking.

Make sure everything is exactly what you want it to be and get the right people that fit well into your plan to assist you.

There are so many people out there that provide wedding services and it can be a mountain to climb to work out where to start – perceiver with it even if it doesn’t seem like it is going the right way, you will find the right person for your dream day.


What was the dress cleaning and experience at Brides by Solo?

Due to my honeymoon, I wasn’t able to get the dress back into the boutique until around 5 weeks after the wedding. As soon as I messaged the team, I dropped the dress in the next day and just a couple of weeks later, my dress was cleaned and ready to box.

The dress looks as good as new and like it has never been worn, but you know it has and holds so many amazing memories of our day just looking at it.


Doing this has enabled me to keep hold of this treasured item and look back anytime I wish to.

I chose an amazing box and together we boxed it up ready to be put away – but never forgotten about.

If you are unsure about what to do with your wedding dress, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend getting it cleaned up and then put away in a purpose built box to keep and treasure forever. The day that we have children and we show them the dress, will be a very special moment, only able to be done thanks to the wonderful service of Brides by Solo.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We had a 3 week trip and started with flying to LA to spend 3 days at Disneyland California.
We then journeyed on to the middle of the South Pacific Ocean and an idyllic location of French Polynesia. We spent a week here on the islands of Mo’orea and Bora Bora. We had such an incredible time, it was sad to leave after just a week.
We swam with sharks and rays, parasailed on the calmest of seas, rented a roadster and toured the island, hired our own boat, had a trip on a catamaran and just enjoyed the time together.


After French Polynesia, it was back to the USA and we spent 4 days in Seattle seeing the Boeing Factories, going on tours and taking a Seaplane over the city. Breath taking and something completely different to what we had spent the last 2 weeks doing.

The final part of our trip was around Chicago where we spent a week. We saw the sites of Chicago before driving over to Cedar Point. A theme park in Ohio in which our relationship first started back in 2013, we spent 2 full days here and had behind the scenes tours and all access ride passes. We finished our amazing trip with a river cruise in Chicago before flying home.  The memories and experiences will last a lifetime.

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