bridesmaids · fashion · wedding

Should the “Dress Shapes for Body Shapes” rules be used when shopping for your wedding gown?

In our store the “Dress Shapes for Body Shapes”  rule is there to be broken! 

Here at the wedding rooms, we hand pick our dresses to suit all brides regardless of age, shape, size, budget, timescale, venue or location. We make sure that we really do have something for everyone, and love experimenting during the try on appointment to find your dream dress! 

You may be aware that there are certain ‘rules’ that should be adhered to when clothes shopping, as people tend to believe that certain styles and fits suit certain shapes. Over the years however, we have learnt that when our brides ‘say yes to the dress’, they sometimes fall in love with something that in theory shouldn’t suit their body shape! We have lots of brides to be who come to us for a try on with very fixed views on what they can or can’t wear. Our experience tells us otherwise and in our blog this month we take a look through the most common myths we hear in our store! 

Ladies with big boobs can’t have strapless dresses! – MYTH!

All of our dresses are extremely well made and altered to fit your exact body shape. They have an amazing amount of hidden corsetry, built in cups and structure. If you would like to wear a bra under your gown, we have lots of clever ways to conceal and secure your bra to ensure you will be comfortable, covered and confident for your special day. We believe that you don’t need to rule out strapless if you have a larger bust!

Pear shape must wear a-line! – MYTH!

Pear shaped brides can sometimes feel very self conscious about their lower bodies and their instinct is to cover themselves with lots and lots of fabric, ruffles and netted skirts. If you’re pear shaped, don’t automatically assume you have to have a ball gown! We have some FAB fitted fishtails and slimmer a-line gowns that flatter and skim all in the right places. Styles that skim the hip are the perfect choice , as they don’t add unnecessary bulk and clever detailing will draw the eye into your small waist.

Plus size can’t have fitted or fishtail skirts – MYTH!

This is one of our favourite myths! Our fishtail samples in store range from a size 12 to a size 26 and lots of brides that try on this style are amazed at how flattering they are and fall in love with them, regardless of their shape and size! Fishtails and fitted skirts are perfect for ladies with curves. Some of the best fishtails we have seen are on plus size ladies! Don’t discount this style just because you are over a dress size 10!

Mature brides  and second weddings can’t have a wedding dress – MYTH!

Mature brides and ladies who are having second weddings or renewing their vows often get talked into wedding dress shopping by friends. Quite often, they think they will get married in a simple trouser suit as they tell us they feel “too old” to wear a wedding dress!! 

This is a myth!!! We help so many mature brides, second weddings and renewals as it is still your special day. You want to look back on your day, and on your photos, and know you had what you wanted! We have many simpler styles, short dresses and plainer fabrics so that you don’t have to go over the top to look and feel a million dollars! If you do decide to go “full on Bridal,” then we can help you with that too!

Shorter brides can’t have big ball gowns – MYTH!

Ball gown dresses suit ladies with the right personality. There is no rhyme nor reason as to who they suit as they can be worn by brides of all shapes, sizes and heights! If your dream dress is a ball gown princess style then go for it – Disney princess here we come!!! 

You can’t wear a veil if you’re not getting married in the church – MYTH!

A high percentage of our brides are now getting married in civil ceremonies rather than in a traditional church setting however, the majority of our brides still buy a veil. Many don’t have them over their face in the traditional way however, they finish off the look perfectly as a fabulous finishing touch. We have sparkly , plain, lace, long, short, ivory, champagne, ribbon edged….. all sorts! Each veil is specially designed to suit the dress so try it on and have a play!

You must be covered up for a church – MYTH!

Yes, we agree that there needs to be a certain amount of modesty when it comes to a church wedding however, strapless dresses are completely acceptable. If you feel like you would like to be covered, but would like to have the option to become strapless later for the evening party, we can make and order a number of jackets, boleros, cap sleeves, spaghetti straps or other detachable options. This means that you can get two different looks, for day to evening, and still feel comfortable all day regardless of the setting.

Going abroad means not having a ‘proper’ wedding dress – MYTH!

We sell all styles of wedding dresses to travel abroad as our travel boxes make even the biggest dress, packable! Our boxes are the perfect size to use as hand luggage so that your dress, and all accessories, can all be packed into the box so they are with you at all times on your journey! They fit in the overhead lockers on airplanes and are perfect to keep your valuables in. After the day, they are perfect to store your dress and accessories safely away.

A short dress isn’t a ‘real’ wedding dress! – MYTH!

This is one of the most heard comments from brides who want a short dress from their nearest and dearest as they discuss their wedding dress ideas! We love a short dress here at the wedding rooms, with a whole “short and vintage” collection and many of our long gowns can also be ordered in a short version. Are you a shoe person? If so, a short dress is the ideal way to showcase your wedding shoes, especially with the gorgeous Irregular Choice Bridal designs!!

In theory, you should always stick to a style that suits your body shape HOWEVER, as you can see, there is a perfect dress for everyone! Sometimes, these break the ‘rules’! If it makes you feel A-MAZING, then really, who cares about the rules as they are here to be broken!

fashion · wedding

Your first visit to The Wedding Rooms as a bride to be!

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The most important thing to remember is you will always be greeted with a smile! We know bridal shops have a reputation for being scary and everyone dreads that “pretty woman” moment as you are looked up and down with a glare, but rest assured we are not like that! We like to joke that we are “normal” whatever that  may be, and we find a genuine welcoming smile goes a long way to immediately reassure you that you will be looked after and it really will “all be fine!” We do prefer if you could contact us to book your appointment in advance just so we can make sure we have a changing room and member of staff available, but if you do visit us on a whim, we we always try and fit you in whenever possible. 

The first thing we do is find out a bit about you, the wedding venue and any ideas (even if it is no ideas at all!!!) about what you think you would like or not like to wear. Some brides have an exact idea and are super dooper excited while others are a bit more overwhelmed by the entire prospect and haven’t a clue where to start; so whichever best describes you we are here to help and guide you through every step of the way!

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We usually start by choosing a small number of dresses to begin with, just so we can get a feel for what it is you are after and we are very lucky to have 3 private changing rooms where your try on appointment will take place. These “rooms” have changing cubicles for you to get into our dresses, seating areas for your guests and of course mirrors so you can see how fabulous you look. As we pride ourselves on fantastic personal customer service, we will be there to help you get in and out of the dresses and assist in helping you style your look.  It is amazing how a look can be created, altered and modified with the addition of a  belt, sleeves or straps and of course those all important finishing touches of veils, head peices, shoes and jewellery. When we are helping you get into and out of the dresses, we do so in the changing cubicle to respect your privacy, and obviously if you are particularly shy or self conscious just let us know and we will look after you.

The bridal try on journey is an interesting one as once we have got to know your likes and preferences we almost always go back out into the store and cherry pick some more dresses for you to try on. We use our years of experience and extensive knowledge of our dresses to choose styles and designs that you may have not even thought of, and by-passed on the rail completely. Our job is to show you the possibilities available to you, and after all if you try on a dress and don’t like it, for whatever reason, we just try on another! The “No’s” are as important as the “Yes’s” as without the “No’s” you are never absolutely sure that you have found your dress!

If you have any questions about your first appointment, or would like to book in to come and see us, just contact us.

If you enjoyed this Blog and want to know more –  try The Impossible Choice: Our Top 5 Tips for finding YOUR wedding dress!

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fashion · wedding

The Wedding Rooms meets The National Wedding Show!

We have dipped in and out of The National Wedding Show since 2008 as it really it a monumental task to exhibit! As a bridal store we temporarily move home with approximately 100 wedding dresses, dress rails, hangers, gown bags, mirrors along with boxes and boxes of extra little bits that are needed to run our pop up shop for 3 days! The planning for each show begins months in advance with stand plans, show guide information and of course health and safety forms!!!  As all of our staff and half of our shop relocate to the NEC, our store in Kidderminster closes for the duration of the show, which is no mean feat considering how busy and hectic our diary is! So why do we do it?   The answer is quite simple – we love it! The atmosphere of the show is incredible with so many excited and happy brides to be with their families and friends all planning their special day. It is also nice for us as we get to meet lovely brides from outside of our usual geographical catchment area, with ladies travelling back to us for their fittings from as far as York and Cornwall!
Here is our story:
Wednesday is let’s get organised day! Those of you who know us know we love our lists! Lists make us happy and of course we have a “master list” for the NEC that simply goes from one show to the next. It is added to after every show as we realise we should have brought another piece of our rather random day-to-day shop kit that helps us look after our brides! As the store is still open, we pack up as much as we can behind the scenes and then just after closing, all of the dresses are bagged up ready for transportation the next day!
Thursday is set up day! When we arrive at midday the stands are bare with just the outer shell wall built. Our muscles are put to the test as we have to carry (yes carry!) everything we need from the outside set up area behind the halls to our home for the next 3 days! In keeping with our tradition, the first thing we do before we do anything else is…….have a cup of tea! Once we have regained our strength (tea is medicinal to us) after our dress weight lifting, we begin the set up process and it is hard to not be distracted as the rest of the show magically appears around us. Suddenly the lights and music come on, the carpet is laid, the other stands are set up and it all comes together to become the glamorous show we know and love!
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Friday is the beginning! The change of pace from our daily shop life is quite a shock to the system as the average bridal try on in store is approximately an hour whilst at the show it can be a short as 10 minutes before they are saying “yes to the dress!” Friday is the quietest day of the show, and it gives us all a chance to settle into the new routine and restricted space compared to our shop which is just under 2000sq foot! Our entire stand and viewing area would fit into one-quarter of our usual work space! Just before the show opens at 10am, we are all checking to make sure everything is ready for our first bride to be and then we hear the announcement “The National Wedding Show is now open!”
Saturday is a day of madness! This is the busiest day of the show and within minutes of the show opening the aisles and stands are full of excited brides looking for wedding inspiration. We always make sure we have a large breakfast before the show as often the first chance we have to eat our dinner is often as the show closes! We have learnt from experience to have little snackettes and bottles of water on the stand and Nicky now insists on bringing Cadbury’s Mini Eggs to every show!
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Sunday is certainly not a day of rest! Although Sunday is the last day it is still really busy! We are by now absolutely in the swing of it and as much as we are looking forward to returning to our huge shop with our beloved SPACE, we start to reminisce fondly at the memories we have of the show! There is a collective “phew” from the exhibitors as the show closes for the final time, and as the brides leave the halls the dismantling begins as we all begin to pack away everything and say “goodbye” to our mini “the wedding rooms!”
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One of the nicest things about The National Wedding Show is the comeradery among the brides both in the changing area and outside on the stand. It is really lovely to hear complete strangers telling each other how fabulous they look in their dress and listen to them share their wedding stories with each other and sharing helpful hints and tips for their planning!

We are on countdown to the next show which starts at the NEC on 3rd March 2017 at 10am – we will see you there!!nws13_logo_pink

wedding

The Impossible Choice: Our Top 5 Tips for finding YOUR wedding dress!

Almost all of our brides to be walk into our store with the same confused and bemused expression and are wondering how on earth they will make the choice and decide upon their wedding dress. A few of our brides know exactly what they want, some have pictures, even folders full of dress ideas; most however have no idea whatsoever and haven’t worn a dress in years – and this is where we come in!

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Our job is to help and guide you through the “journey” of choosing a dress. We often joke about the “J” word (journey) as it makes it sounds like the X Factor but it really is! As you try on and like or dismiss each dress you are stepping closer to a choice as it is merely a process of elimination! One dress will just make you feel awesome, sometimes you really don’t know why that particular dress is YOUR dress…..it just is!!

Here are our Top 5 Tips for finding your perfect dress:

  1. Do your research and book appointments: The best research you can do is ask people who have recently got married for their recommendations. The internet is a fab way of locating local bridal shops and it is best to keep it local if possible as you will need to go for fittings and alterations nearer to the wedding. All the bridal shops we know (and we know a lot!) prefer appointments as it ensures that you have a member of staff and changing room allocated for you. If you do decide to try your luck and on the off-chance see if they can see you, that is fine but if they have an appointment booked in or due in, they will always take priority.
  2. Be open to suggestions: If you are a bride with a clear vision of your dress, allow yourself to stray from the path just a little bit to make sure you are heading in the right direction. The ladies with an exact style in mind often are fixed simply because they think due to one reason or another (size, shape, age, wedding venue ) that they can only wear that style. Just experiment with styles, if you only try on what you think you will like how will you know what you could have had if only you had tried it on!
  3. The Entourage: Only take people with you that will help you in YOUR choice. The word YOUR is in capitals as it is very easy for people to tell you what they like, or what they would have but it is important to remember that it is YOU who are wearing the dress. It is only you who knows how the dress makes you feel and you must feel happy, lovely and confident in your dress.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say if you don’t like a dress: This may sound strange but for some reason brides think they must like every bridal dress just because it is a bridal dress! If you like every dress you try on a decision will never be made so it is ok to be a bit critical and admit that it’s a “no” as the next dress can be tried on and the “journey” (I do love that word!) can continue!
  5. Say “Yes to the Dress”: Admit to yourself that you do actually need to buy a dress as you need something to wear down the aisle. Some ladies enjoy the search so much they don’t want to commit to a dress and then leave it so late the dress they have finally chosen cannot be made in time. The minimum delivery time for bridal dresses is around 12-16 weeks with some designers 6 months so when you find your dress, order it! It sound a bit of a cliche but you will know when you find your dress –  I promise!
wedding

Our 2016 story and what’s to come in 2017…

At our Christmas mini break (a meal, disco, a night at the hotel and breaky) at the Stourport Manor, we counted that of approximately 150  people enjoying the party at least 10 were our brides from our last 14 years. It was lovely as they took time from their own festivities to come and say “hi” and have a catch up, and it really is like greeting an old friend and we love that we had a small part to play in making their wedding day the best day ever! As usual when we are all together great fun is had by all and it was a fab way to finish a lovely year.

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So how would we sum up 2016?

This year has been a crazy one even by our standards and  a year of change both front of house and behind the scenes. The year began with a shop re-decorate and move around and whether it is just because we are always working in the future with delivery dates and fittings, or we are just getting old, but this year seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye! Our recent Facebook Christmas Countdown with our favourite moments of the year was fascinating as we realised exactly how much we had managed to fit in and why we were so thankful of our lovely break over Christmas and New Year!

This year saw the return of us exhibiting at the National Wedding show at the NEC which is astonishing in itself as we all (except Jenny) said would never happen again!  One of the best things about the National Wedding Show (apart from Jenny’s fabulous steak!!!) is meeting brides who wouldn’t normally have visited our store and welcoming them to the madness of the wedding rooms!

We love our customers, making them happy is why we do what we do, and we have had some amazing pictures this year from our lovely ladies! We get very excited when we see the pictures from your special day – here are our few of our brides from this year.

A major change this year has been saying “goodbye” to some of our dress designers, and welcoming not one but two of the most recognised and mainstays of the British bridal industry to our store! Just before we headed off to Harrogate in September we couldn’t believe our luck when we asked if we would like to become Amanda Wyatt stockists. They design the most beautiful bridal and bridesmaid dresses and  have absolutely fabulous accessories so we really were clicking our heels in delight!

Our other new bridal designer in store is Romantica, which is a perfect fit as we have worked with them for years with their bridesmaid and sister brand Pure and Opulence. They will fit perfectly alongside our already amazing designers and we can’t wait for you all to see their designs in the new year!

Here’s to 2017!

We have lots and lots planned for next year already with the Bridal Fairs getting booked in, new collections arriving in the new year, designer launches and of course our manic Prom week during February half term! Yet again we are starting with a shop face lift after the daunting (and slightly traumatic) task of re-carpeting virtually the entire shop! It looks wonderful and was worth all of the hard work of moving every single dress, cabinet, chair and sofa around! Next year also sees a very important anniversary for Jenny who first made the brave move to set up her own business in 1987, which continues on to this day in the form of the wedding rooms and Jenny Lane Sewing Services! I am sure we will use this as an excuse to have a get together and of course a rather large cake in celebration!

We would like to thank you all for being part of our story and we can’t wait to see what happens next!

bridesmaids · wedding

Bridesmaids- Can everyone really be happy with the dress choice?

Many brides find the idea of shopping for bridesmaid dresses extremely daunting as it means keeping a number of people happy without compromising the theme and colour of the wedding.  A group of adult bridesmaid will almost always be different dress sizes, heights, colouring and all have their own likes and dislikes when it comes to what they would like to wear so how on earth do you make everyone happy?

The main thing to remember is that it is the brides wedding! We know that it’s important for all of the bridal party to like their dresses, but it is the bride and their partner who will be looking at the photographs for the rest of their lives. The bridesmaid’s should compliment the bridal gown beautifully. It’s best not to choose a bridesmaids dress with more beading, detail or embellishment than your bridal dress as not to steal the thunder from the bride!

The Appointment

In our experience, the best way to begin the process is to book an appointment and take along as many of your bridesmaids as possible and if you can, take all of your bridesmaids to the appointment. This is by far the quickest and least stressful for all and in our experience, this way has the highest success rate.

Colours

If you have an idea of a colour you would like, bring a sample of the colour with you. It doesn’t matter if the colour is shown on a bit of ribbon, scarf or a napkin; it just helps us to all know what colour we are after as everyone’s colour perception is different.  We have had a bride asking for a deep red colour and when she brought the chair cover she was trying to match in, the actual colour needed was purple! If you have no idea what colour you are after, that is fine too! Once you see your maids in different dresses and different colours, a preferred colour will soon emerge and so too will a preferred dress option.

Today’s Bridesmaids

Over the last few years, what is expected with regards to a wedding has relaxed enormously and this is also the case with bridesmaid dresses. The traditional rule book has been thrown away and you really can choose styles, fabric and colours as you wish to ensure your maids compliment to the overall look of your wedding beautifully.  The gown and colour choice that is available is just fabulous and it really is possible to please everyone!

There are a number of different “looks” for your bridesmaids.  They can all have the same dress in the same colour, the same dress in different colour, the same colour in different dress or different dresses in different colours! It all sounds very confusing so below are a few pictures as examples from some of our amazing suppliers, the fabulous Kelsey Rose, Wtoo by Watters and Amanda Wyatt.

The easiest option is the same dress in the same colour as then you haven’t the additional choice of who has which dress or colour! If you have “Tweens”, which are girls age around 9-13, many designers will do a junior range which fills the gap in between the flower girls and adult styles. These are usually a bit more age appropriate, with added straps and no bust shape. Once the girls are approximately 13-14 years, they may be classed as adults as their body measurements no longer fit within the junior range. Flower girls are usually perfectly happy in a dress that twirls around like a princess and these dresses oftencome  in ivory, or the same colour as the bride. Some designers do a coordinating flower girl dress to tie into a particular design set of the junior and adults which can add an extra “cuteness” factor to your wedding.

So don’t dread bridesmaid shopping – embrace it! Once the maids are trying on dresses it will all become clear what design and colour makes everyone happy! We are always around to help with any questions, so always feel free to get in touch!

wedding

A bit about us….

After years of debating and considering whether or not we should do an official “the wedding rooms blog” we have finally decided that (with the help of Sonja at We are love Mondays) that it really is something we should and could do! The reason for our procrastination is mainly due to the fact that we just do what we do, and have done so for so long we weren’t convinced people would want to read about the daily life of a bridal shop in the middle of England! So many people enjoy reading our “goings on” on our Facebook page and Instagram we thought now was the right time!

So how long exactly have we been doing this?
Jenny, the founder of the oldest part of our business first started in 1987 and I (Sara) have grown up surrounded by wedding dresses! Whilst others in my class were struggling to thread a needle in middle school sewing class, I was heading home after school to hand embellish crystals and pearls on bridal dresses. Sewing has always been a huge part of our lives.

Our daily working life for the last 14 years, when we moved from alterations only to owning our own shop is all about helping people find that dream dress! We all know that feeling when you find an outfit, pair of shoes or hand bag or have a fabulous hair cut that makes you just think “OMG I look amazing and I can’t wait to show everyone how fab I look!” We absolutely love matching ladies to their dream wedding, bridesmaid, prom or evening dress. We have the ultimate job satisfaction as we watch our ladies blossom in confidence right before us as they look back at themselves in their perfect dress.

Over the years we have amassed a huge amount of knowledge regarding all things associated with weddings and prom, and thanks to all of our lovely customers over the years we have also collected an astonishing amount of helpful hints and tips from them which we will be passing onto you all via this blog! We hope you enjoy reading all about what we get up to at The Wedding Rooms, Kidderminster in Worcestershire, right in the heart of England.

love

Jenny, Sara and the wedding rooms girls x