Wedding dress shopping should be a celebration – they should be fun, carefree and full of inspiration and although there will be more “rules” we are confident you’ll still have an amazing time despite the hurdles that Covid has presented us with!
All appointments will be private within each showroom.
You can bring along 2 adult guests with you – we have a maximum number of people allowed in at one time and this includes our team members. If you find your dream dress then we can arrange for other loved ones to come in for a 30 minute retry to show them “the one” on another day and we also have Wifi for guests to join us virtually!
A minimum of 4 Dresses will need to be pre-selected before the appointment by yourself. Please email us the names of your choices at least 3 days before your appointment so we can reserve them for you.
You will be required to use antibacterial gel upon entry and masks will need to be worn on the premises.
We will be cleaning dresses or quarantining them for 72 hours and will be disinfecting all surfaces in-between appointments so we ask that touching is kept to a minimum.
We reserve the right to cancel your appointment if we believe you or any of your guests to be unwell.
We have comfortable sofas to accommodate 4 guests in our upstairs showroom and 3 guests in our designer outlet downstairs!
We kindly ask that our customers let us handle and carry the gowns. Sadly we have had stock damaged with makeup, food, drinks, pushchairs and heels. This does not mean you cant look through them, but we would recommend having a look at the website beforehand as they look so different in “real life” on a hanger.
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.
We do – Please make us aware in advance if a member of your party requires special assistance. Our store has two showrooms – one on ground level and the other below. The downstairs showroom is only assessible via a staircase so we will need to ensure that your appointment is upstairs.
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!
If you are looking to purchase a dress off the peg then we recommend picking gowns that are 1-2 sizes bigger then your skinny jeans – all gowns can be let out half a size and taken in up to two dress sizes comfortably.
Our appointments are typically 1.5 hours long.
There is a 2 hour car park (Portswood shopping centre) directly opposite the store behind Iceland. They do have a camera system (and a £75 penalty fine) 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 (quick delivery) we require the full amount on the day of purchase.
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 (up to 1.5 inches) and taken in approximately 2 dress sizes (4-5 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 not made of “stiffer” materials with no stretch. Do not get obsessed with the number; a bridal size 14 is NOT a high-street size 14, so stay healthy and forget the number!
We certainly do!!!! We work alongside an amazing seamstress who is available to our brides on Mondays and Fridays!
We have had the privilege of working alongside Bogusia and watching her work her magic with our brides for well over two decades! She is an independent seamstress who work under the Brides Of Southampton umbrella and has a workroom on site so the gowns can stay with us in a controlled environment. For more incite into what she can do check out our “other services” section and real brides to view her work.
We recommend allowing three – four 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. Once the seamstress is fully booked we will not be able to offer any more appointments so the earlier you organise it the better.
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! You are not obligated to use this service and we do have other external seamstresses that we can recommend if you require evenings or weekends.
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 and ready for you!
The average dress needs 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 hand sew!
The alterations prices range from £75-£400 for standard alterations (customisation’s will be extra) – the service includes two 1 hour appointments at Brides Of Southampton, the work involved. The first appointment is where the gown will be pinned and the second is to try it all on and collect it. Some customers will need a third appointment if customisation is required or they are happily expecting a baby.
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. 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 1-2 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!
We do not. Once a gown has been ordered we are contractually obligated to pay the designer. The dresses are classed as special orders and made to your colour and size requirements so once they are ordered and made they are yours. We can from time to time swap a dress order within a designers collection but this is at the designers discretion so take the time to get it right and do not buy something if you are unsure of.
We want all of our brides to LOVE their gowns and are not “pushy” sales people. We would rather you had two appointment’s to be sure then feel rushed or pressured and make a mistake. Its perfectly normal for any bride to doubt her choice (ask any other bride) but with our experience and listening skills your dress choice will be your own, the one that gets you excited and lights you up inside!
Wedding dresses are often available as a sample in store to try for at least 7 months to order provided that they are not discontinued by the designers or ourselves.
Dresses can be discontinued for a multitude of reasons – the dress may not be popular, the fabric may not be available anymore or the designer simply wants to streamline their collection. There is no way of knowing how long a dress will be available for so do not shop until you are ready to order. There is no worse feeling for us as stylists then having to tell a bride-to-be that her dream dress that she saw a year ago is no longer available.
New dresses often arrive in August and January.
We certainly do – please email us if you have your eye on one of our main collection dresses and need it off the peg so we can check for you.