We ask real brides about their bridal boutique experience. Bride Sara Louise bought her Enzoani wedding dress from Emma Hartley Bridalwear in Lancashire.
Browse our edit of bridal boutiques in the North West here.
Sara Louise visited four boutiques in total as she shopped for her wedding dress, so we asked her what made her experience at Emma Hartley Bridalwear stand out:
“The whole experience from walking through the door for the first time, to taking my dress away, was the most amazing and perfect experience with Emma Hartley Bridalwear.
“It was extremely personal, welcoming, friendly and customer-led. Time wasn’t an issue and there was never any pressure to buy. My first appointment was with Heidi and I felt that she listened and knew exactly what I wanted.
“Heidi helped me find my perfect gown, giving me different options of how I could alter it and also providing advice with underwear, accessories and shoes.
“I returned for dress fittings and again, this was a lovely experience and the alterations made the dress perfect for me.
“In one particular shop, it felt like a very rushed experience and I had to wait a long while after my appointment time to be seen. I then started trying dresses on and was asked to make a decision on each dress I tried and whether I liked it more or less than the one before.
“I felt that this put pressure on me as I didn’t want to make an impulse decision. This put me off trying anymore and I knew I wouldn’t buy from that shop as it felt very sales led as opposed to customer-led, which is so important.”
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We asked Emma, owner of Emma Hartley Bridal, for her top three tips for brides visiting her store:
1) Always book an appointment. We always feel terrible when a bride and her party arrive without an appointment and we are unable to accommodate them.
2) Bring along any ideas you have about the style you would like to wear on your big day also a couple of people whose opinion you really value. Too many differing opinions can be very confusing for brides.
3) Enjoy the experience and don't feel under pressure to crowd please. It's your day and your dress so follow your heart. If you find a dress that makes your heart sing order it and enjoy celebrating that you have found 'the one'.
Keen to start your own wedding shopping journey? Make sure you read our guide to how to shop for your wedding dress.