In the world of both fashion and bridal there is no one size fits all, for we are all beautifully different and individual; from our heights, busts and bums to colouring, complexions and hair hues.
And a desire to help ladies embrace their uniqueness is what led our new Sponsor that we’re introducing on the blog today to set up shop, by opening a welcoming bridal boutique that specialises in stunning curve collections.
Located in Prestwich, North Manchester, friends Katherine and Sally Ann are the proud owners of recently-launched Bridal 1632, that stocks gorgeous gowns in sizes up to a 32 and has differing size sample gowns to help fuller-figure brides-to-be embrace their curves and find a dress that makes them feel both body confident and beautiful.
Keen to learn more, we’re chatting to the lovely duo about their boutique, service and approach, whilst taking a look at some of the wonderful designs that brides can expect to find hanging on their rails.
How did you become involved in the wedding industry and what led you to set up your own boutique?
Bridal 1632 say: We’ve been friends for more than 20 years and Sally Ann has worked in the bridal industry as a seamstress for numerous years. We both felt strongly that the wedding dress shopping experience isn’t always a pleasant one for curvier women and there is a lack of choice when it comes to trying dresses on. We set out to change that and decided to open our own boutique and specialise in curves ranges. Our sample gowns are all different sizes so there is something for everyone and we do all our own dress alterations in the boutique.
How would you describe the look and feel of the boutique?
We wanted to do something a bit different with the interior and steer away from the pastel palettes you find in many bridal shops. We took inspiration from Manchester’s industrial heritage and used reclaimed scaffolding to build the dress rails! We’ve softened the look with a huge velvet sofa and crushed velvet curtains framing the changing area. The dresses are a real contrast against the décor and provide the wow factor!
What designers do you stock and can you tell us a little about each one?
Ladybird – we were attracted to Ladybird because their ethos is very closely linked to our brand. They embrace the diversity of women and have lots of different ranges and dresses up to size 34. The dresses are superior quality and fantastic value.
Eternity – we fell in love with the Christina Wu Love range, it’s designed specifically for girls with curves and the designs are really modern and sophisticated. They really stand out with exquisite detail and beading. We also stock gowns from the Eternity Bride and Art Couture ranges.
Veromia – we thought the Sonsie range would be a great fit for the boutique. It’s an award-winning range designed specifically with curves in mind and the dresses have great structure and corsetry.
Rosa Couture – they also have a great Curves range with some very unique gowns and we also love the Blush range which is ideal for destination weddings.
How do you pick the right designers for the boutique and what do you think makes a good bridal collection?
We’ve chosen designers with great curves ranges so we can offer our brides a wide choice of gowns to try on when they visit us. For us a good collection would contain a variety of different styles with a few stand out unique pieces. Dresses with great structure designed with the curvier shape in mind.
What current trends are you seeing in bridal wear and can you forecast any future trends to come?
Simple and elegant lines are still extremely popular, and we think capes will be a big trend this year with people opting for that rather than a veil. Big tiaras should be popular too, after the two royal weddings last year!
What preparation would you advise brides to do before visiting the boutique?
We usually just advise brides to browse through our website before their appointment so they can have a good look at all the dresses. We can then pick out dresses they love. We also suggest visiting with an open mind, so ladies go with flow and have a fun and enjoyable experience.
How do you and your team help brides to find their dream dress?
We offer a two-hour private appointment for a bride’s first visit and it’s very relaxed. We like brides to have a browse and choose the dresses they want to try on. From there we just go with the flow and use our knowledge of the collection to help the bride decide on the right style of dress for them. We don’t believe in the hard sell – you will know when it’s right! Sally Ann can provide expert advice on alterations during each appointment and this is really helpful if a bride wants to alter a dress to make it bespoke by adding sleeves or extra embellishments.
What size and price range of dresses do you stock?
We stock dresses up to size 32 and all our sample gowns are different sizes, so we have something for everyone. Dresses are all under £2,000 and prices start from £750.
Do you stock accessory ranges at the boutique and, if so, can you tell us a little about them?
We have lovely jewellery and hair accessories by Twilight Designs, veils from Elizabeth Dickens, and we also design our own bespoke jackets and veils.
What is it that you love about the world of weddings and what do you enjoy most about your job?
Our favourite part of the job has to be meeting our brides and seeing their reaction when they find the dress! Trying different styles out and making them love their figures even more. We really enjoy attending wedding fairs as well and shopping for new collections.
Who is your biggest celebrity bride style crush and why?
We absolutely loved Princess Eugenie’s dress last summer. It was so elegant and her decision to show her scoliosis scar was really inspiring.
What sets your boutique apart from others?
We cater for women with a natural curvy shape by stocking sample dresses in a wide variety of sizes. All our appointments are private, so brides feel relaxed and confident. We do all dress alterations ourselves with everything done here at the boutique.
How can Brides Up North readers get in touch or find out more about the boutique?
Any other exciting news to share?
We have a number of Designer Day coming up over the next few months – look out for more details of such events on our website.