We are planning and consulting with other bridal shops and government bodies all the time. It does look like wedding dress shopping will not be how it used to be for quite some time. All of us in the industry know how important and exciting this experience should be! Wedding dress shopping should be fun, carefree and full of inspiration. We have prided ourselves on our in-store experience for years and are saddened that the whole experience will have to change.
All appointments will be private within each showroom. Only two of our three fitting rooms will be in operation and less appointments will take place per day.
Dresses will need to be pre-selected before the appointment by yourself, unfortunately you will not be able to browse through the rails. You will be required to use antibacterial gel and gloves provided.
We will have to steam clean dresses and disinfect all surfaces between appointments so appointment times will be strictly adhered to.
As we will be unable to get within 2 metres of you. Your guest will have to assist you with dressing. You will only be allowed to bring 1 star guest with you.
Most gowns take 12-16 weeks to be made and delivered into the UK. You comfortably have 6-7 months for everything to run smoothly so if you do wish to wait, we understand. On the flip side of that though, we do not know if we will be hit again so leaving it too late may be a gamble.
If you are sick of waiting for things to improve; want to get the excitement started and are happy for all the previously mentioned changes to service then we can book you in.
We have comfortable sofas to accommodate 3 of your nearest and dearest and will even provide a glass of bubbly for you all to start the celebration with. We do, however, also have to ensure that the showroom experience is the best it can be for you, your guests and other bridal parties.
Some woman are very body conscious and shy around strangers – large parties of guests can be intimidating for other brides, so, after listening to our brides feedback, we have found that 3 guests as a maximum works the best.
As The bride hearing too many opinions can be overwhelming for even the most confident of brides, so keep the guest list short and sweet. If you want to book a retry appointment with more people at a later stage then we can arrange it.
Please do not bring more people on the day. We reserve the right to cancel your appointment if you bring more people then we were expecting.
We kindly ask that our customers let us handle the gowns. Our beautiful dresses are very delicate, very expensive for us to buy, and are also organised in a very specific way. Sadly we have had stock damaged with makeup, food, drinks, pushchairs and heels. We thank you for your understanding.
We are a photo and video friendly store. Your guests may take as many as they like!
As stylists, we recommend taking a video to get a feel for the movement, weight and embellishments of the dress, as these can often get lost in photographs.
Our main collection dresses are priced between £600 and £2500.
Our Designer Outlet dresses range from £300 to £1600.
The majority of our samples are available in sizes 12-16. We also have a great selection of dresses in sizes 18-28. Bridal does run smaller than the high street and often has no stretch, so do not be disheartened if your size 12 body is fitting a size 14 dress – its just a number and no-one will know. We have lots of different tools and tricks that will enable you to visualise the closest final fit if a dress is too big or too small!
Our appointments are typically 1.5 hours long and trust us, after that you will be inspired but tired!!
Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before your appointment is due to start. We want the showroom to look its best for you, with tidy stock and cleaned surfaces! We would also hate to rush anyone out of the building who may be before you.
There is a 2 hour car park (Portswood shopping centre) directly opposite the store behind Iceland. They do have a camera system so please make sure you arrive no earlier then 5 minutes before your appointment.
For the main collection dresses we need a 50% deposit to get it ordered with the designer and into the country. The balance is then payable within 21 days of the dresses arrival.
For designer outlet dresses or rush orders we require the full amount on the day of purchase.
For brides shopping 2 years ahead we have interest free monthly payment schemes which we can discuss with you.
Dresses can take anything from 10-26 weeks to come in so we recommend shopping early and working alongside us with your weight loss plan and a gown in mind.
We can advise you of timescales for measurements and discuss the size options with you. All dresses can be let out one size (1.5 inches) and taken in approximately 2 dress sizes (5 inches).
Please remember that our stylists are experts at their jobs and know how to bring out the best in every woman’s figure no matter what their body shape is. Also ladies, please note that bridal runs 1-2 sizes smaller then high street sizes and is more often than ot made of “stiffer” materials with no stretch. Do not get obsessed with the number; a bridal size 10 is NOT a highstreet size 10, so stay healthy and forget the number!
We certainly do!!!! We work alongside So Perfect – two amazing seamstresses who are available to our brides on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!
So Perfect have over 40 years of alterations experience in wedding gowns between them and we have had the privilege of working alongside them and watching them work their magic with our brides for well over two decades! They are an independent company who work under the Brides Of Southampton umbrella and have workrooms on site so the gowns can stay with us in a controlled environment.
We recommend allowing two to three months from your first fitting to your wedding date as an ideal timeline. Depending on the time of year you are getting married you may need more or less time. There are far less weddings in winter months meaning that alterations can be turned around much faster than in the Spring and Summer.
So Perfect are our recommended company and by using them you have the confidence knowing that they know the dresses and specialise in this sector, but you are not obliged too use them. Wedding gowns have so many complex details—boning, hems, bustles, illusion necklines and so on—that it’s best to find a professional who’s seen and worked on such gown components in the past. We all know someone who can do a bit of sewing but make sure if you do decide on having the gown altered elsewhere that you are 100% confident in their ability!
As wedding dresses are made to standard sizes and not made to measure most gowns need some sort of alterations. The scope of work can vary greatly, and so many factors can play into it including your body proportions, your height, the shoes you are wearing and what materials and embellishments are on the gown. With the help of a professional seamstress, you’ll be ready for your wedding day with a gown that suits your figure flawlessly.
About 10% of our customers are “perfect fits” so plan for alterations and if you do not need them, we can simply arrange for the gown to be pressed for you!
The average dress will need 20-30 hours of work. Lace and beads are taken off by hand and reapplied the same way – it is very labour intensive and you have to bare in mind that seamstresses are people not machines; there is only one speed that they can sew!
The alterations prices range from £75-£350 for standard alterations (customisation’s will be extra) – the service includes two 1 hour appointments, the work involved and a full steam pressing service.
Shoes and Underwear! If you don’t have the exact shoes you’ll be wearing, bring another pair that is exactly the same height. Most wedding dresses cannot be worn with a bra and most body sculpting underwear can actually be more problematic for your fit and comfort so please, if in doubt call ahead of your appointment and speak with one of the team who can advise you.
While you might have legions of loved ones, it’s not a good idea to bring everyone to your first fitting, but you’ll definitely want someone to come with you. Consider inviting your star guest to accompany you to your fittings for their reliable opinion and another set of eyes. The seamstress will need room to work around you and you will need to walk up and down several times to check the hem.
On your second visit to us (your final fitting) we recommend bringing 3 guests including the person who is going to dress you on the day so they can get all the top tips from a pro! This is also the time to try on your accessories for that final pre “I DO” look!