Maggie Sottero Trunk show - 1st October 2016

  • By C DUDDY
  • 15 Sep, 2016

try on the Spring 2017 range months before it arrives to the shops!

The second weekend in September is the biggest date in the bridal wear calendar for bridal shop owners!!! The big annual bridal exhibition. And pretty much all the big names in bridal were there from across the globe!!! And guess what's even more exciting?!!!! Maggie Sottero Designs (who showed their new collection exclusively on the runway a at the event) will be giving us lots of the new dresses on loan for a trunk show in our shop on the 1st October 2016. So our lucky brides will get to see the new dresses about 4 to 5 months before they are even in any of the bridal shops!!! So book your space now - we're expecting it to book up fast!! Plus, as a bonus, you'll also get 10% off your Maggie Sottero wedding dress plus a £50 gift voucher to spend elsewhere in the shop if you order at the event. Tel 02871 813682 to book or fill in the booking form on our 'contact us' page on our website to secure your slot (please note that the dresses we are getting on loan are the actual dresses worn by the models this weekend - here are two of them!! - so they won't be in larger sizes!  Just wanted to give you all a heads up as they are difficult to try on for anyone over a size 12)

Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage Blog

By C DUDDY 16 Jun, 2017

Firstly, about 99% of wedding dresses will need some sort of alteration to get a perfect fit.  Very few people come up the exact measurements that are on the designer's charts, so the dress will normally need tweaked a bit to fit perfectly.  For example, if a pear shaped bride was buying a fishtail wedding dress and measured a 14 on her hips, a 12 on her waist and just over a size 10 on her bust, she will need to buy a size 14 dress and have the waist and bust area tightened to get a snug fit. 

Many brides will also need their hems adjusted to make sure they aren't tripping on their dress, and the vast majority of brides with trains will want the seamstress to add a hands-free bustle so that the train can be lifted up out of the way in the evening when the dancing starts.  Then there are those brides who lose weight, or want small changes such as adding straps to a strapless gown or having extra beading put on their dress, or sewing in bust cups or a bra.   And in exactly the same way that you would book your make-up artist, your hairdresser and your photographer, a bridal seamstress will often need booked in advance, especially for the busy summer months!  So make this your priority as it can be very difficult to get a good bridal seamstress on short notice!! 

At Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage, we have several seamstresses that we highly recommend to carry out work to our customers dresses, and when each bride orders her dress, we always tell them to book the seamstress right away.  Lorraine and Elaine who do most of our customers' alterations are often booked up for months and months in advance, so get your name on their list, even if your wedding is still a good bit away! (contact our shop for their contact details!)

Your seamstress will probably need you to come for your first fitting approximately 6 - 8 weeks before your wedding.  It's very important that you bring your shoes with you to all fittings as well as the correct underwear.  Different bras can make a big difference to how your bust will sit in a dress, so bring the one you'll be wearing on the day, as well as any special undergarments or a hoop/petticoat if you are wearing one.  You'll probably need 3 fittings in total, but some brides get away with 2 - and some need more depending on what needs done.

It's really important that you don't wear any make-up or fake tan to your fittings in case you get any on your dress, and make sure you let the seamstress know if your weight has recently fluctuated or if you think it will in the weeks running up to the wedding and she will chat to you in more detail about your options.

It's vitally important to come to your fittings on time - there are days where the seamstresses do blocks of fittings and they can have up to 7 or 8 fittings on one day - if everyone started running late, it throws her schedule off big time!!  And if you can't make a fitting, always let her know that you can't come and she can re-schedule with you.

Most seamstresses will bill you on time spent with you and your dress on her premises , so it's in your best interests not to be making into a girlie day out with a group of friends spending more time than you need to.  The seamstress will have things like pins and scissors out too, so try to get babysitters if you can as a bridal fitting isn't the best place to have toddlers and young children running about.   They'll get bored easily too sitting watching a seeing bride standing still and watching a dress getting pinned!!

Be careful too with your jewellery - you don't  want to be catching a bracelet on your dress and leaving a big pull on the fabric, so it's best to either leave things like that at home or take them off before your fittings.   Remember too that decision-making involving  trying on multiple items of jewellery or veils or shoes is not something that the seamstress will be accounting for time wise when booking you in for a fitting.  You can make those decisions in the bridal shop before you have your fitting to keep things moving swiftly along, and if you need to spend a little extra time in your dress to try in jewellery or a veil, then let the seamstress know in advance so she can allow for a little extra time.

It's also important to bring someone with you (eg a bridesmaid) to see how to put on the dress and how to tie up your bustle.  They may have been shown how to do this in the bridal shop already, but it's always good to get a look again at the final fitting so it will be nice and fresh in their minds.   

One last thing is the cost.  When our brides try on their actual wedding dresses in our shop, we can often give them a rough idea if it's going to be an expensive job or not.  Some dresses are heavily beaded with intricate lace hems, and if dresses like these need adjusted, it's going to cost more than a plain dress with a straight hem.  Basically, the more time consuming it is, the more expensive it will be and if you're wondering roughly how much a dress will cost to alter, your seamstress can give you a rough idea.  This may go up if you decide on additions as you go along (eg extra beading) or if your weight fluctuates on the run up to the wedding and it needs re-adjusted, but a rough estimate will give you an indication of how much money to put aside.  It's a very highly skilled job and can be very time consuming to alter a wedding dress, and some brides forget to factor paying their seamstress for their time into their wedding dress budget, so it's good to get a heads up on what to expect.  


By C DUDDY 06 Apr, 2017
We'll be taking our summer break early this year and we're reducing our opening hours this Easter to work around holiday plans!!  We'll be closed from Friday the 14th April for a full week, re-opening on Saturday the 22nd of April (this is already fully booked).   We'll also be closing on Tuesday the 25th April and reopening on Wed 26th April. 

If you'd like to leave a message or request an appointment, leave a voicemail on our answering machine whilst we're away (02871 813682) and we'll be in touch as soon as it's picked up.  You can also email us on beautifuldaybrides@hotmail.com, but please note that we'll have automated replies on our emails until the 29th April, so please ring the shop if you need a reply sooner than that.    


Please note that I'll be turning off Facebook messenger on our Facebook page also whilst I'm away on holidays! (just in case anyone thinks it's not working)  Ciara xx

By C DUDDY 06 Dec, 2016
You've just got engaged and one of the first things on your mind is the wedding dress.  Questions race through your mind - what silhouette will I wear?  What neckline will mine be?  Will it be a modern style dress? Will it be vintage inspired?  When will I start shopping?  Who will I bring with me? Where will I go to look?  What is my budget?   How much research do I do before I go shopping?

There are so many questions and so many ways to go wrong when it comes to picking your dress. I've got to see these over the 12 years I've had my shop (Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage) and I hope to address some of these questions and help you steer away from making some of the mistakes that many brides make which will help you on your quest to find that perfect dress!!  And if you're having trouble choosing the one, it might be a good idea to take a look at this list and 
you may well find out where you are going wrong.


  1. Don't go looking too early.   You really shouldn't go shopping until at least 12 - 18 months before your wedding . Couples tend to have longer engagements these days and the temptation is there to go looking as soon as you get the ring on your finger.  I've had requests for appointments to look at dresses 3 or 4 years before the wedding day!!  If you go too early, you run the risk of over-thinking things and seeing styles that will be gone or discontinued by the time you are ready to buy.  New styles are always coming along, and if you buy 2 or 3 years before your wedding and a new trend comes along 12 months before your wedding, you may find yourself getting tempted to change your dress - a very costly thing to do!!  And as wedding dresses are made to order, there's no exchange policy in bridal shops if you change your mind!!!!   So go shopping when you feel it's time to start properly looking for a dress to wear for your wedding .  For some ladies, this time may be 9 months before, for others, it's 13 or 14 months before - each bride feels ready in their own time.   The key point is to go only when you are ready. This might sound logical, but we get numerous 'out for ideas' appointments where the bride isn't focused and ends up getting overwhelmed and more confused.   Plus, she may go back months later to see a dress she loved when it was too early for her to commit and find that it's been sold or has went discontinued. Don't assume that if you see one you love that it will be still there later on for you to come back to.
  2. Don't go too late .  Wedding dresses have to be made to order, so if you leave it too late either, you will be at a huge disadvantage as you will have a very limited choice (ie. whatever the shop has in the size you are).  As a rule, most dresses need to be ordered about 7 months in advance (although some can be ordered a bit closer than that) so you will be cutting down your choices substantially if you leave it past this.    There is also a risk of 'panic-buying' your dress if you leave it too close to your wedding and you may pick a dress which you may regret!
  3. Choose your helpers wisely .   I have a whole blog post dedicated to this one!!  My advice is to bring one or two helpers with you, and to make sure that they are on the same wave-length as you.  If your mother or sister or best friend is very opinionated and is always pushing ideas on you, then leave her at home and bring her along to see your dress once you've picked it.   Remember the saying about too many cooks?!    I sometimes get brides who bring four, five or six 'helpers' and they are getting various opinions thrown at them before they even get to look in the mirror and end up feeling deflated if negative things are being said about how the dresses looks  (eg. 'that makes your bum look huge', 'you've got back fat in that one', 'you can't carry that style off', 'your shoulders are too broad to wear that neckline'.)  More of a hindrance that a help!!! - so choose wisely!!   Often your helpers will think they are giving constructive criticism, but what you find is that the whole experience just highlights your insecurities and turns into a bit of a nightmare of negativity.  
  4. Don't have tunnel vision .    Many brides spend hours online looking at 6ft tall models who are size 6 or 8 and who's figures are perfectly proportioned, and choose their type of dress based on what they see in these pictures.  They come to visit a shop and won't look at other styles, therefore limiting them to a style that may not be all that flattering compared to a different style of dress.  Try different shapes on and see which one works best on you!  It pays to keep an open mind when coming shopping, and don't forget that the staff in the shops have seen all the dresses on and will often be able to guide you to things that will be really flattering on.
  5. Picking a dress to please someone else.   This one follows on from point number 3.  All brides will want to get opinions from friends, and/or family members - I can count on one hand how many have bought in my shop in the past twelve years without bringing along a helper. However, she should be careful when it comes to taking opinions on board. Well-meaning friends may influence a bride to go for a dress that she doesn't really love.  Up until she asks people for opinions, a bride may be over the moon with the dress that she has been considering , but if the negative comments follow, she may decide to choose something else based on the lack of enthusiasm from her helpers and she could end up with a dress that doesn't make her as happy, or as I call it, a 'compromise dress'. Expecting others to refrain from voicing their opinions isn't realistic. Asking people for recommendations and advice is one thing, but asking them to give their verdicts about a specific dress is another.  In the end, the wedding dress only needs to please one person: the bride.  As long as she is happy with it, everything else should fall into place.
  6. Trying on too many wedding dresses.   If you end up trying on dozens of dresses, they all tend to blur together in your mind, and what happens is that looking back and trying to remember  a single one can be just about impossible. If you try on too many dresses, you are a lot less likely to experience that magical moment of discovering the perfect dress when you try on one after another - after another after another  over a period of several months. (back to point one in the first tip - this often happens when you start looking to early!!)  If possible, try to limit yourself to about 12 dresses at most  (unless the 12 are horrible and you need to keep trying to find one that you look good in!) You should only keep trying on more dress when you find that the ones you've been trying aren't the right dresses for you. In some cases, a bride-to-be may be tempted to keep trying on different styles because she just isn't ready to commit to a single one. This kind of thinking is dangerous and can lead to a lot of wasted time and confusion.  If a bride tries on too many dresses, she's far more likely to second-guess herself as well and later doubt her decision.   Don't fall into that trap!!  I did two surveys recently and found out that over 40% of brides found their dress in the first shop, so don't be assuming that something is wrong if you haven't visited 7 shops!!! That isn't the norm - far from it!  84% of brides buy their dress after visiting three shops or less, with the first shop being the most popular shop to buy in
  7. Trying on dresses that are way over your budget.   If you have a strict budget of £850, don't be tempted to try on a £1700 dress if there is no way that you can afford it.  It will only leave you feeling down in the dumps if you fall in love with it and can't re-work your budget to suit.   You will always look at the dress you end up buying and feel like it's second best and that you loved the price more than the dress.   I had a very depressed bride in recently who made the mistake of trying on and falling in love with a £5000 dress in another bridal shop which was four times her budget.  She was very frustrated trying to find one that lived up to this dress.  Always let the sales team know your budget and they will always help to guide you - they might even have a discontinued dress in the store room that would be perfect for you.
  8. Waiting for 'that reaction'   Some brides have been told that you will get a certain reaction when you find 'the one'.  Some people tell you that you should cry.  Others reckon you need to be jumping up and down with excitement.  The truth is, neither of these are common reactions and I can never predict how an individual will react when she finds her dress.  Some brides are more dramatic in general than others and they will have a different reaction compared to a more placid or easy-going bride.   If you find yourself saying that you really like a dress, but feel that you still need to keep looking, then it probably isn't the one and you're best to rule it out.  Some brides tell me when they visit my shop that they have a potential dress picked out in another shop but that it's not ordered, and I always remind them that they wouldn't be out trying more dresses on in my shop if it was 'the one.'  When you find 'the one', you won't be interested in any other dresses.  I often compare it to finding your partner - I ask brides if they felt they needed to kiss all the men in their town to be sure that their fiancé was the one for them.   They all tell me that they fell in love and didn't need to kiss any more frogs to know . Finding your wedding dress is a bit like that and you shouldn't put yourself under any more pressure when you find one that you love to keep trying on more and more dresses to try and get some sort of stronger reaction.  When you fall in love, stop looking!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The dress you will pick has to do one thing to you. It has to make you feel beautiful. You should look in the mirror and feel amazing!!!   For some, it's simply feeling like a million dollars.  For others, it's butterflies in their tummy or feeling their heart skip a beat.  For many it is feeling excited about your fiancé seeing you walking up the aisle in the dress you are standing in.  The earth won't move.  The tears may not flow, and you won't pass out with excitement, but you will will say  'I love this dress!!'   and the thought that for one reason or another you couldn't have that dress would probably make you feel gutted.                
                                                                                                                                                                    
Best of luck with the wedding dress shopping!!!     xx Ciara          
By C DUDDY 03 Dec, 2016
Attention all bargain hunters!!  It's here!!!!!!   Our January sale - *for one day only!!  Wednesday 4th January 2017.  

Over 100 wedding dresses, reduced by at least 50% (up to 75% off).  A mixture of ex-sample dresses and current season dresses reduced just for the day, by designers such as Mori Lee, Maggie Sottero, Essense of Australia and Special Day.
Sizes 10 - 26 available (if you are smaller than a 10, remember than most dresses can be altered by up to two sizes).

In order to avoid queues for changing rooms (and general chaos!)  we operate an appointment system for our sale days, so make sure you reserve your slot!!  

*As a bonus for early birds, we'll be doing a special 'VIP first look preview evening' on the evening of Tuesday 3rd January.   We are just taking a limited number of appointments the evening before the sale day, and each early bird bride will get a longer appointment that the brides who come in on Wednesday (1 hr as apposed to 45 mins) an additional 10% off her sale wedding dress, and a glass of bubbly for her entourage (up to 5 per group) and chocolates.  And of course, she'll get first pick of the sale wedding dresses!!!    We only have 4 of these appointments available and they will be booked in on a first come, first served basis, so book ASAP if you want  to secure your slot! 
By C DUDDY 03 Dec, 2016

Being a size 18 or more can be very frustrating for a bride to be when she goes shopping for her wedding dress. With many shops having sample dresses which only go up to a 14 or 16, I have had brides come to my shop who have been left very disheartened (or sometimes even distressed)  after a previous appointment when they arrived to find that the other shop didn’t have any dresses to fit them, and they were forced to either squeeze into dresses that are 3 or 4 sizes too small, hold a dress up in front of them, or get their friend or sister to try the dresses  on to see what it looked like. I tell each bride who comes to our shop that they should always pick the dress that makes them feel the most beautiful and special – the one that they feel a million dollars in!! How can anyone feel special on a dress that they can’t even try on?

At Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage, we try our best to cater for all different shapes and sizes, and with dresses ranging in size from 10 to 30, we’d like to think that we have dresses that the vast majority of brides can try on. Approximately 20% of customers who visit our shop are in what is termed as the ‘plus size’ category, and to reflect this, we keep approximately 20% of our stock in sizes 18+, but there are always those dresses that we have in size 10 or 12 that a curvier bride wants to try on and we just don’t have them in her size.

At the trunk show, our selection of size 18+ dresses will double, and Maggie Sottero will be sending us an additional selection of dresses on loan, many of which we already have in smaller sizes in our shop which we wouldn’t normally have for curvier brides to try on. 

Here are a few tips for fuller figured brides looking to go shopping for their wedding dress.

  • Do your homework  . When inquiring about booking an appointment to try on wedding dresses, always check that they have dresses in your size before you book in.
  • Remember that bridal sizing is different to high street sizing . High street sizes have become a lot more generous over the past 30 years, so you will probably need a different size to what you normally wear.
  • Remember to keep an open mind  and let the bridal consultant pick out a few different silhouettes and styles for you. The dresses don’t often have the best ‘hanger appeal’ and the bridal consultant will have a good idea what will suit you as she will have already got to see the dresses on other brides.
  • Don’t leave it too late to go looking .   If you’re thinking of losing weight, be careful not to fall into the trap of putting shopping off as you’ll find yourself with a very limited choice. Aim to have your dress ordered at least 7 or 8 months before the big day, and remember that if you do lose weight in the run up to the wedding, your wedding dress can be altered to fit.
  • Never order a dress that’s too small  with the intention of slimming into it. This very often goes disastrously wrong when things don’t go as planned – wedding planning is stressful enough without worrying about slimming into a dress
  • Leave negativity at the front door . This goes for you as well as your helpers. Nothing can take the fun out of wedding dress shopping than people making negative comments about your body, and we find that most negativity, whether it’s from the bride or someone else with her, is related to a bride’s weight. And it always ends up darkening the mood and taking the fun out of the whole process.
  • Remember to pick a dress that makes you feel beautiful  – just the way you are!!


If you're a bride with those extra curves and you’re worried about going shopping, you’ll find that coming to our ‘curvy couture’ event will be perfect for you and you’ll have a much better range to choose from.  At the event, we also give 10% discount to anyone who places a deposit on a wedding dress plus a £50 accessory credit, and the good thing is that even if you are not ready to get measured or to pay the usual 50% deposit, you can pay a smaller £200 deposit and revisit us approx  6 -7 months (if time allows!!) before the big day and get the size finalised and the rest of the deposit paid.   Also, none of our designers charge extra for the size 18+ dresses unlike many other wedding dress designers, so you won't have any nasty little hidden extras added on to your bill.


This is our seventh Curvy Couture weekend and they do book up fast if past events are anything to go by, so book early to avoid disappointment.  The feedback from past Curvy Couture weekends has been fantastic and all the brides who come to this event comment on how impressed they are with the choice of styles.


Tel us on 02871 813682 or email us on beautifuldaybrides@hotmail.com to book in or with any queries. 

Hope to see lots of you lovely ladies at the event .


Ciara xx 



By C DUDDY 15 Sep, 2016
The second weekend in September is the biggest date in the bridal wear calendar for bridal shop owners!!! The big annual bridal exhibition. And pretty much all the big names in bridal were there from across the globe!!! And guess what's even more exciting?!!!! Maggie Sottero Designs (who showed their new collection exclusively on the runway a at the event) will be giving us lots of the new dresses on loan for a trunk show in our shop on the 1st October 2016. So our lucky brides will get to see the new dresses about 4 to 5 months before they are even in any of the bridal shops!!! So book your space now - we're expecting it to book up fast!! Plus, as a bonus, you'll also get 10% off your Maggie Sottero wedding dress plus a £50 gift voucher to spend elsewhere in the shop if you order at the event. Tel 02871 813682 to book or fill in the booking form on our 'contact us' page on our website to secure your slot (please note that the dresses we are getting on loan are the actual dresses worn by the models this weekend - here are two of them!! - so they won't be in larger sizes!  Just wanted to give you all a heads up as they are difficult to try on for anyone over a size 12)
By C DUDDY 17 May, 2016
All dresses in the sale are dresses which have been used as sample dresses, and will be reduced by AT LEAST 50%, with discounts of up to 75% (starting at £195).  The selection of dresses will include current season dresses (reduced for that day only and then reverting to full price) and discontinued dresses.  Most dresses will be Maggie Sottero gown and  Essense of Australia, with some by  Special Day, Mori Lee and White One.

Book now to secure your  private slot

Thursday 19th May 2016

 Many dresses will be from our current collection and will only be reduced for the 1-day sale and will then revert to full price once the sale is over.  Full price dresses will not be on show that day - just the sale dresses, so if you want to see non-sale dresses, please book an appointment for a different day.


People always ask me about sale days and what advice I would give anyone looking to come to one, so here's a list of top tips that I've put together which should help you to on your quest to find a dream dress at a bargain price!

Top tips for attending a sample sale..

1. Get out beforehand and try dresses on.
Try not to make a sample sale your first bridal shopping trip.  The girls who come prepared with ideas from trying on beforehand are the girls who have the most success at getting a bargain.  You will be restricted to the number of dresses you can try on (5 max in your allocated time slot!!)  so you don't get the normal private consultation to try and figure out what shapes and styles you prefer and which ones flatter your figure.  When you come to a bridal sample sale, you should already have a good idea of what style you are looking for, what size you need and what suits your shape.

2. Bring a friend
Don’t bring a whole entourage, but bring someone who will be brutally honest. Weddings are expensive and any discount you can get, especially if it’s on your dress, is well worth it - but only if you will be happy with it. Brief your friend to be brutally honest and listen to  her (or him!)  And remember that on a 1 day sale,  you can't go for a look and come back again the next week.  
So if you need your friend/sister/mum with you to help you make the final decision, then make sure she comes with you to the sale event.

3. Wear the right underwear

This is a wedding dress appointment necessity regardless, but make sure you wear the right undies! You need to do everything you can to see how the dress will fit you.   Plus, we ask for no fake tan, and that only light make-up be worn.

4. Bring your purse!!!!!!!!!!!
You'd be surprised at how many people don't think about this one - remember,  it's a one day sale, and we don't hold items over .  So bring your purse (we accept all major credit/debit cards) so that if you do find 'the one' then you can actually buy it!!! (and many of the dresses will be reverting to full price after the event).

5.  Ask the sales assistants about sizing.
Bridal sizes are generally a bit smaller than high street sizes, so when you are looking, bear that in mind.  But also, don't be afraid of looking at dresses which are a little bit bigger as they can always be taken in.  If in doubt, ask one of our sales assistants for guidance on the sizes when you are looking through the dresses.   All dresses will be grouped in sizes to make it easier.  The majority of dresses will be in sizes 12, 14 and 16, but we still have a good selection of smaller and larger dresses (it just means that the 12-16 bride will have a better picking choice!)

Please note that the vast majority of dresses will be ex-sample dresses, which means that they have been tried on in our shop and/or have been worn in fashion photoshoots/catwalk shows.  They may have minor issues that need addressed, for example, some may need dry cleaned or spot cleaned or may have a few missing beads or buttons, and we have priced each dress accordingly to take this into account.   You are getting a genuine designer dresses for a fraction of the full retail price and are able to see them and try them on , unlike shopping online where many of the 'bargains' are in fact poorly made copies of designer dresses, made with inferior materials.  
By C DUDDY 13 Apr, 2016
Some tips and points for those who have booked appointments to come and visit us!!!  Please note that we normally allocate a 75 minute slot for each bride for a first visit, and we normally have to stick strictly to this as we'll have other brides booked in to accommodate.  


Getting yourself prepared: 

- bring a strapless bra if you have one.  Alternatively, a white or nude bra if you can.  We will have to come into the fitting room with you, so just a heads up too on that in case you'd be embarrassed in skimpy underwear and would feel more comfortable in your big knickers!! 

- please keep make-up to a minimum.  Heavy foundation, lipstick and rub-off fake tan often stain our dresses.  Some light make up is fine though (we all feel a little better with a bit on!!)  but just keep it light! 

- bring photos of dresses that you like with you - you can save them on your phone and show us them at the start of the appointment  to give us a good idea of what you are liking.  Have a browse on our website and Facebook page for some inspiration!! 

- bring some helpers if you need them, but  we only have seating for three people (4 at a push - it can get really crowed and hot in our bridal room with too many bodies getting in each others' way!) and remember to bring people with you who are good at seeing things from your point of view and will help guide you in a positive way.   We won't turn your entourage away if you bring more than 4 people, but remember that quality is better than quantity (and that old saying about too many cooks!!!!)  Make sure your helpers are positive, reassuring .. and helpful!!!!   Bringing negative people with very different opinions to you on what you should wear can really make the whole process more difficult!

- we welcome babies and children in our shop, but find that in general, it's a long sit for younger children and toddlers and they often get bored and want to go exploring around the shop.  We have a toy box which will keep them entertained for a while, but we often find that trying to run around a bridal shop trying to keep an active young child in tow can be stressful for the bride and for her helpers and is often distracting.  If you can, try to get a baby sitter - you'll feel more relaxed and focused if you do, and it just makes it a nicer experience! (but if you can't, don't be worrying!!) 

- if you can't make it  (for any reason, whether you found your dress elsewhere, or you're ill or something has come up) just remember to get in touch by phone, email or Facebook messenger and let us know that you can't make it.  We often have other brides looking for last minute appointments, so it always nice to know in advance if someone can't come to their allocated slot.


And remember to keep positive!!!!   Almost half of  brides-to-be  find their dress in their first shop - it's a lot more common than you think!!!  The vast majority will find their dress within the first three shops, but even if you've visited more shops than this, don't get disheartened and keep looking!!  I firmly believe that everyone will find a dress that makes them feel beautiful and when they find it, they will know!!    And remember that we offer payment plans which we can discuss with you should you find your dress to help you spread cost of the deposit and the dress itself (subject to time frames!) 


Looking forward to seeing you!!

Ciara 


There's a link to our google maps page in the comments section below so you can check where we are going beforehand.  Our postcode is BT47 3GE for those using Sat Nav.  (please don't enter Clooney Road as the address on a Sat Nav as it is will take you to the beginning of Clooney Road which is about 7 miles away!!!) 





By C DUDDY 11 Mar, 2016
We were delighted to pick up the award for Bridal Boutique of the Year (western region) at the Europa Hotel on the 22nd February this year - we had a great night (organised by Oceanic events) and we were thrilled to take home this award for our shop - we had some stiff competition!!!  Just need to get it up on the wall now!!!!  Ciara x
By C DUDDY 03 Feb, 2016
You've said 'I will', the ring is on your finger, you've set your date, and after hours of looking through magazines and scrolling through bridal shops' websites, you decide it's time to go shopping for your wedding dress. But where do you start? I'm sure you have loads of questions, and hopefully this blog will give you a few answers! 

Here's everything you need to know to get started.


1. Make sure you are ready to buy before you go shopping.
Wedding dress shops have stock which changes all the time.  Between getting in new dresses, to dresses going discontinued and getting sold off the peg, the collection each shop carries is always evolving.  If you are not going to be ready to buy until a year before your wedding, then wait until a year before the wedding.  If you go two (or even three) years in advance, the sales consultant will be working with the dresses that she has on that given day when she is helping you to find your dress, and she won't know what is going to be in next year so  only go early if you're content to pick from the current selection of dresses.    And don't leave it too late either or you may not be able to order in your dream dress.  The dresses you try on in the shops are what we call our 'sample dresses', but each bride gets a dress made to order for her and this takes time.   If you leave it until  6 or 7 months or less before your wedding, you won't have the same choice as a bride who comes out earlier.

2. Book in advance.
Most bridal shops work by private appointment  in order to give a professional one-to-one consultation. If you just show up, there's a very good chance that another bride is already there and you will won't get to try dresses on.  A quick phone call or email will ensure you won't have a  wasted trip.

3. Ask questions when you are booking.
If you are looking for something specific, be sure to ask before you arrive.   For example, if you are looking for a specific designer, make sure you check that the shop you are booking with carries that label.  Or if you are adamant that you want a tea-length wedding dress or a destination wedding dress, don't assume that all shops will have a selection for you to try on.  Check first.  The same goes for plus sizes.  Some shops only carry wedding dresses from size to 8 - 14, whist others (such as our shop) carry a wide range of size 18+ dresses up to a size 32.  If you are a plus size bride and arrive to a shop which doesn't have anything over a size 14, you are going to very disappointed when you won't be able to try any dresses on, so run this by the shop first when you are at the booking in stage. 
Also, if you have a friend or relative who has purchased their dress in the shop you are visiting, make sure the staff are told about this in advance so they can hide that other bride's dress before you come in - you don't want to pick the same dress as your future sister-in-law, so let the bridal shop know her name when booking so they can get organised to make sure this doesn't happen!

4. Keep an open mind
Many brides come in knowing exactly the sort of dress they want to wear on their wedding day. Many of them will end up wearing that sort of dress, but many more will wear something very different, so be prepared to  allow yourself some flexibility and don't rule anything out  because it's not what you imagined yourself wearing.  The brides who come in with open minds almost always find that they have a better shopping experience!  

5. Getting yourself prepared for trying on dresses on the day.....
If possible, wear a strapless bra.   If you don't have one, try to wear a white or nude bra.  You will have a consultant in the room with you, helping you in and out of dresses, so wear knickers that you are comfortable being seen in!   If you're going to feel embarrassed in a skimpy thong, then wear your Bridget Jones pants!   If you feel more comfortable wearing opaque tights, then that's no problem!   If possible, try not to come straight after the gym or after a hard day's physical work on a hot day!!  Staff will have to get up close and personal with you, so bear this in mind, and feel free to ask for baby wipes or deodorant.  Most bridal shops keep a supply for brides wishing to freshen up if you don't have your own and are only to happy to let you use them.

Also, you will be expected to come  fake-tan-free so that you don't soil the dresses, and make-up should be kept very light  (no heavy foundation or lipstick.)   Bring heels if you wish (although you can always borrow a pair of ours if you forget) - but we have a box for you to stand on if the dresses are too long.

6. Bring your essential helpers with you.
If your mum needs to be there to help you pick your dress, make sure she is with you when you are going looking.  Or your best friend or sister. Some brides come on their own, but most don't feel confident to say 'yes to the dress' without a certain close person by their side to give their approval.   If they are essential to helping you pick your dress, make sure they are with you.   Equally, be careful not to bring too many people.  Too many people normally means too many opinions, and that can make things more difficult, especially if any of the helpers are seeing things from different viewpoints.  Bring one or two helpers, and make sure you are all on the same wavelength!

7. Get babysitters if you can.
We understand that this isn't always possible, and at Beautiful Day, we are very happy to let you bring babies and well behaved children to our shop, but not all bridal shops allow children on the premises (be sure to check with each shop). Young children and toddlers get bored easily if they have to sit in the same place for an appointment that lasts over an hour, and a bridal shop full of expensive dresses, mannequins, sparkly tiaras and shop displays aren't really designed for children to play with (our toy box can only keep some children entertained for so long!!).   If they do need to be constantly supervised, it can be very distracting for the bride   and her helpers.  We've had brides who have cut appointments short getting stressed with toddlers having tantrums or children toppling over mannequins.   Each bride should feel relaxed so she can focus on finding her wedding dress ,  so try to organise bridal shopping around babysitters if possible to make the whole process easier and more enjoyable!

8. Bring your purse!!
You wouldn't go to buy a new handbag or shoes without bringing your purse - the same goes for wedding dress shopping.   If you find a dress, you'll have to put down a deposit (at Beautiful Day, we can even take a partial deposit which you can pay up for if time permits) so come prepared. If you don't want to be carrying cash around with you,  make sure you have a debit or credit card so that if you do find the one, you'll be able to get it ordere d  and relax knowing that it's all done.

9. Don't book too many appointments to start with.
See how the first one or two goes and take it from there.  Some brides book numerous appointments together as they think that they need to visit loads of shops in order to find 'the one'.  In reality, 75% of brides will find her wedding dress in her first or second shop visit .  If you don't find one you love, then certainly, book more appointments in additional shops.  And  the trick is to stop once you find one you love !!  
Some brides keep looking at more and more dresses and accumulate a list of dresses they love, and each time they raise their bar of expectations higher and higher -  and this is when they get confused and often get overwhelmed and find themselves second-guessing themselves.  And remember,  it's ok to fall in love with the first dress - it happens quite a lot!  

Remember, if you do buy and have a future appointment booked in another shop, remember to cancel the appointment - the staff there will be very grateful for the heads up!! 

Once you find a dress and order it, the worst thing to do is to keep looking at pictures of other dresses (or worse still, to go looking in other shops!!) And  don't look at pictures of the dress you picked  either unless absolutely necessary. If you look at it too much, it will lose a little bit of its magic, and  you still want to feel special and magical wearing it on your wedding day .  Try to remember that feeling you got when you were looking at yourself in the mirror  in the shop.  You're not going to get that same emotional feeling about your dress on a Monday morning looking at a picture of it on your mobile phone, so don't panic if you do look at a picture and don't get excited about it.  This happens quite a lot and sends some brides into panic mode!!  But each and every one of our brides love their dress just as much, if not more, when they come back to see their actual dress when it arrives.

Happy shopping ladies, and I hope this blog has given you some food for thought.  Remember to stay positive, don't focus on things that you see as negative about yourself, and remember that a wedding isn't a competition about who has the most amazing dress - just focus on being a beautiful bride and being yourself!   Be true to yourself and remember to step back and look at the big picture and  remind yourself to keep it real!    

You want to feel beautiful and to look your best - not for the neighbours or relatives or for your circle of friends, but for  you  (and to impress your future spouse of course!) and remember to   follow your heart  when deciding on which one to grace the aisle with and I promise you won't go wrong if you do that! 


Ciara

To book an appointment at Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage, tel  02871 813682 (or 04871 813682 from the Republic of Ireland) or go to our booking form on the 'contact us' page of our website 
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