AS DANNI HESKETH, OWNER OF NEWCASTLE-BASED Y.A.P BRIDAL, SO PERFECTLY PUTS IT, YOUR WEDDING DRESS IS: “THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CLOTHING PURCHASE YOU WILL EVER MAKE; REFLECTING YOU, YOUR PERSONALITY AND YOUR STYLE”.
This is one task on the wedding ‘to do’ list that you’re 100% going to want to be an amazing and memorable experience…and one that will lead you to that perfect match of a dress. Which is exactly where professional bridal stylists like UNVEILED Network member Danni come in.
Having started her career as a Saturday girl at Y.A.P Bridal whilst studying a fashion degree, Danni has since #girlbossed her way to taking over the reins and becoming the proud owner of this renowned bridal studio.
A chic, luxurious and welcoming space, Y.A.P houses an exquisite collection of UK and international labels that appeal to the modern bride wanting to make a style statement with her choice of gown.
The expert skills of Danni and her team mean they can help unite a bride with her dream gown ticking boxes for her individual budget, setting and style, with an insanely gorgeous range of pretty, romantic, feminine and boho designs to select from.
Here, we find out more about this North East bridal institution and its unique approach whilst getting Danni’s top dress shopping dos and don’ts.
Hi, I’m Danni Hesketh, the owner of Y.A.P Bridal, destined for the modern bride. We’ve been bringing statement-making bridal wear from the most iconic designers across the globe, to our multi-award-winning studio in the heart of Newcastle, since 2010.
WHERE DID YOUR PASSION FOR BRIDAL FASHION BEGIN?
Being a bridesmaid seven times growing up meant that I was lucky enough to create so many amazing memories with my closest ones on their special day. I fell in love with bridal fashion, and I always remember that incredible moment seeing the bride’s reaction as the curtain pulled back and she fell for ‘the one’, knowing that’s exactly what I wanted to do one day – to create those feelings for brides-to-be. In January 2011, I was lucky enough to start my role as Saturday girl at Y.A.P Bridal whilst finishing my fashion degree, and my passion snowballed from there.
TELL US WHAT MAKES YOUR STUDIO SPECIAL?
One super luxurious and relaxed bridal studio full of signature styling. Our ethos is to bring statement-making bridalwear from the most exquisite designers to our multi-award-winning bridal haven – which was named as tribute to our founder’s parents who wrote the initials Y.A.P (you are precious) on every love letter over 60 years of marriage. The emotional connection we instantly create with our brides makes the feeling of saying yes to their dress and becoming part of our precious family even more special. Our brides become part of our love story, and we become part of theirs.
The studio itself reflects our personality – chic, stylish and down to earth, with a soft bohemian vibe and ornate touches throughout. Think nude hues, whites, pastel velvets and pops of gold, a home-from-home for our guests.
DOES THE BOUTIQUE HAVE A SIGNATURE STYLE?
Y.A.P Bridal’s signature style is pretty, romantic, feminine and boho. Our team chooses our styles together based on what we know our future clients will love, and they reflect our brides’ vibe perfectly.
WHICH LABELS DO YOU STOCK?
Savin London –Savin brings to our studio rails the most iconic styles with breath-taking laces, silks and 3D florals – combined together in each bridal creation, totally encapsulating the brand’s vision for luxury and glamour.
Maggie Sottero – Inspired by regal romance, boho dreams and enchanting femininity, this label’s collection has luxurious fabrics, Swarovski crystals, hand-sewn embellishments and the renowned, slenderising comfortable fit on all of their dresses.
Madi Lane Bridal – An innate sense of style is synonymous with our Madi Lane Bride. It lingers in every fibre of her being and is exhibited in the finest of elements that make up her Australian-designed wedding gown.
Aire Barcelona – Aire Barcelona combine unique styling with romantic boho vibes within their bridal collections. Aire inspires the modern-day bohemian bride looking for fashion-forward styling and luxury fit.
Rebecca Ingram – Sister label to Maggie Sottero, Rebecca Ingram offers timeless elegance and superior quality to the value-conscious bride.
Libelle Bridal – Creating gowns that are both seductive and sensually unique. Our romantic brides-to-be will undoubtedly be attracted to these feminine, modern styles, which are full of sass – bringing a true ‘statement factor’ to your day.
WHAT SIZES DO YOU CARRY?
At Y.A.P, inclusivity is so important to us and our brides, so our samples are a mixture of sizes 12 through to 24, which means they can be pinned in and out perfectly for a wide range of body shapes. We can then order the majority of our styles in sizes UK 2 to 32. Our designers Maggie Sottero, Rebecca Ingram and Madi Lane, have perfected the structure and shapewear linings within their gowns to accentuate curves in all the right places.
WHAT SORT OF PRICE ARE YOUR GOWNS?
During your styling appointment, we discuss your ideal spend so we can match the dreamiest dresses which tick all of your boxes. Our collections to order from range from £800 to £3,500, and we also have an unreal selection of sample sale styles available to purchase off the peg, which start from £250 and range up to £1,800.
WHERE WOULD YOU ADVISE BRIDES TO LOOK FOR INSPIRATION?
Pinterest is full of so much bridal inspo – we have our own page dedicated to inspiring you with lots of mood boards based on dress styles for different venues and vibes.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH EACH APPOINTMENT?
Each bride-to-be that steps through our door is so unique, and so is her styling appointment. We begin with your personal stylist chatting through all things wedding and your style ideas, we really get to know you first so we can match the perfect gowns to your personality, your bridal look and your day. We have such a vast array of wedding dresses at our studio, and our stylists know each one inside out, meaning we can show you and can try the BEST dresses for you.
TELL US ABOUT THE FITTINGS AND ALTERATIONS PROCESS?
We have our recommended seamstress team on hand and ready to book your visit once your dress is all ordered with us. Your first visit for your final fittings at their store is usually around six weeks before your big day however they can be flexible if you live away from the North East or have a shorter time frame to work with.
WHY SHOULD BRIDES SHOP IN INDEPENDENT, LOCAL BOUTIQUES?
The experience – plain and simple. Your dress is such an important part of your bridal journey, and she is the most significant clothing purchase you will ever make; reflecting you, your personality and your style.
There is nothing quite like visiting our studio, trying on our designer gowns which are so beautifully made, touching the fabrics, seeing the detail and quality… and then there’s that moment when you find ‘the one’. Trust me, there’s no feeling quite like it.
WHAT DO YOUR BRIDES LOVE ABOUT YOUR SERVICE?
Our personable service is second to none. The Y.A.P girl gang of stylists are by your side throughout your bridal journey. We are so passionate and genuine, here to make your experience totally unique to you and your guests. Our brides love that we’re here cheering you on, matching the BEST dresses that tick all your boxes and are within your ideal spend.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR CLIENTS WHEN CHOOSING THEIR WEDDING OUTFITS?
- Keep an open mind – come with a few looks as ideas, and your stylist will match the dreamiest bridal wear to you and your day, quite often, a suggested ‘wild card’ you didn’t think you would want ends up being the one.
- Think about your underwear, heels and potential accessories ahead of your visit. Nude smooth pants are the way to go and means there are no distractions whilst getting a feel for the fit of different dresses. Having a heel height in mind makes the ordering and alteration process a little bit easier. Hair up or hair down, to veil or not to veil, will help you determine the look you want from your gown.
- Don’t be afraid to fall in love with the first dress you try on. Quite often, brides can panic that it’s too early to say those words in the first dress – don’t stress, we can still test the water with a few more styles to make sure those feelings are true.
AND THE NO-NOS?
- Don’t choose your gown for someone else – she has to be 100% your choice and feel like the bridal version of you, not based on others’ opinions of how they feel you should look on your day.
- Don’t try the most expensive gowns for the sake of it – be true to yourself and where you feel comfortable with your ideal spend. There’s nothing worse than trying a higher-priced dress falling in love, and realising she’s out of reach budget-wise.
- Choose your guests wisely – a few key members of your bride tribe to join you at your appointment whose support you would adore is so important. Yes, it would be nice to involve everyone, however, bringing a big entourage will only confuse you more and can make everything feel overwhelming – Great Aunt Sal’s style ideas will definitely be different to yours, and a very opinionated guest can put a real dampener on your experience.
WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE EMERGING IN BRIDAL FASHION FOR 2021 AND BEYOND?
Personalisation of your bridal style. From detachable sleeves to overskirts, capes and veils to wings and shimmer layers – 2021 bridal fashion is all about being unique and styling your bridal look your way.
AND WHAT ABOUT ACCESSORIES?
Our team hand-pick our accessories each season by Miranda Templeton, Aura Bridalwear, Arianna Tiaras, Richard Designs and Emma Bridals. We love to have a total mix of headpieces and veils to hand so you can style up your gown any way you fancy. From classic and timeless looks to quirky and alternative, we have a little something for every bride walking through our doors.
HAVE YOU GOT ANY SPECIAL EVENTS OR TRUNK SHOWS COMING UP?
Savin London will be heading to the North East for our Sample Trunk Show late April, time after Barcelona Fashion Week takes place – dates to be confirmed over on the contact page on our website.
PICK A FAVE…
Dress for 2021: We have a major crush on Blossom by Madi Lane Bridal – her botanical laces and illusion detail has us head over heels.
Trend for 2021: Being able to personalise your bridal wear is a massive must for 2021. We have a major crush on tulle bridal wings – so chic and romantic, they change up your bridal style in an instant and can be made to be detachable for partying on the dancefloor later on.
First dance track: Al Green – Let’s Stay Together.
Iconic wedding dress of all time: Hayley Bieber
Celebrity you would most want to dress: Margot Robbi