How do you ever start the hunt for your perfect wedding dress?

It must be one of the first things that goes through your head when you get engaged. I've been working with Siobhan from Indie Grace Bridal the most gorgeous designer bridal boutique, for a few years now. It amazes me how she continues to source the most beautiful, individual gowns you could ever imagine. For any of you recently engaged or still searching for your perfect dress read on. Siobhan shares her story and top tips on how to find your dream dress.

When did you get the idea to open a bridal boutique and what's your favourite part of the job? I'd just finished college and was bridesmaid for the 1st time when it struck me that bridal shops here where all selling the same labels and styles. That's over 10 years ago now and we are 4 years in business so it took me a while to put the idea into practice.

Bridal has come a long way here since then. Northern Ireland has such a strong offering in the bridal industry.

My favourite part of the job is when brides send a thank you email accompanied by their wedding day pictures. I love seeing our brides relaxed and happy in their dress and getting a look at how it all came together knowing I played a small part in something awesome that they will always remember.

You have the most beautiful dresses. How do you choose what brands to stock?

There are 4 main factors that are really important to us:
First and foremost we look for beautiful fabrics and high quality craftsmanship were dresses are made to order for each bride. Fast fashion is something I try to avoid.

Second, I look for good people to work with and by that I mean people who are passionate about what they do and really care about a job well done, that can be seen in the final product.

I look for consistency in collections so by that I mean each year they are presenting consistently awesome collections at the fore front of bridal fashion.

Lastly I look for exclusivity. I am passionate about offering my brides something they can't find elsewhere, something they can feel excited about that they've not seen before. We aren't trying to appeal to everyone but we want our brides to love us and we want them to stand out!

Obviously a lot of brides have had to reschedule their weddings from 2020. Are girls sticking with their original dresses?

I've found when brides have come to collect their dresses even though the wedding is likely almost a year away they've felt trying their dress on has given them a bridal buzz in the midst of all the negativity/disappointment associated with trying to plan a wedding at the moment.

So far I've not had any brides that I'm aware of opt to change their dress although we have had a few brides expecting a precious little one between old wedding date and new wedding date which is exciting.

What do you feel makes a beautiful bride?

A bride who has chosen a dress that is truly reflective of her personality.

There is nothing more perfect then a dress that allows a bride to just be herself.

You can tell when a bride looks relaxed, feels good and is enjoying her day uninhibited. It absolutely results in a beautiful bride and stunning pictures too!

I'm never a fan of seeing the dress first, it should be the beauty of the bride that strikes you when you first see her, totally enhanced by a well suited dress. I love it when people comment that the dress looks like it was made for her!

What advice would you give to brides looking for THEE perfect dress?

Know your style. Have a browse online and select a small number of boutiques that stock the styles that appeal to you and reflect your style.
Visit the boutiques websites to check the price ranges of their collections too.
Be open minded and remember the one will be the dress you feel relaxed in and the dress that you compare everything else back to.

Thanks to Siobhan for this absolutely great advice. You can contact Siobhan at Indie Grace for an appointment here. And remember BE YOU NOT THEM !!

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