So yes, I’m only 19, and no, I’m not even close to getting married, but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t dream.
I have another blog for my job where I write all about the local area, local business reviews, events etc and so I was tasked to review Cheadle Bride. This is where the best experience ever comes in…
So I booked an appointment at Cheadle Bride, pretending I was getting married of course, to experience the way the store works, how they treat people who visit and what exactly happens when you go for a bridal fitting. And let me tell you… I was amazed.
I watch lots of TV, Say yes to the dress, Don’t tell the Bride, everything that people see as ‘car crash TV’, I LOVE!! So I knew that the women at the store wouldn’t think twice of me bringing some people along with me. I took my two aunties, my little cousin and my god daughter (Bridesmaids and flower girl 😉 ). My mum and sisters and grandparents wanted to come with me as well but we couldn’t find a time when I would be free at the same time as them!
I did Performing Arts at college so my acting skills are very believable, which came in useful when the staff there were asking about my wedding.
When we first walked in, I was surprised at how small it was, but after being there for a little while, I realized that they had a lot more than you would think.
There were a couple of manikins dotted around, a chaise longue in the middle of the room and the two side walls were filled with dresses. I took a seat and Gwen, (one of the two women in the store) handed me a clip board. I filled out my information, name, wedding date, preferred style etc and then she began telling me about how it works.
So there were a few different dress designers, each one had their own little section. Gwen told me to take a look around, choose a minimum of 5-6 dresses and put them on the hooks at then end of each section. There was every style you could imagine!! Long dresses, short dresses, patterned, coloured, lace, two pieces… the list goes on.
So every girl has thought about what kind of wedding dress they would want, and I had a very particular style in mind, but when it came to looking, I thought I may as well try on a variety of styles. It turned out that the style I had in mind was the complete opposite to what ended up being my favourite at the end of the day.
Once I had chosen 6 dresses, Gwen took me into the changing room, told me to get undressed whist she waited outside and then told me to call her in once I was done. She then came in with the dress I wanted to try on the most, this one just so happened to be on mannequin so I didn’t think I would be able too but she was more than happy to take it off for me. It was my dream style, elegant, beautiful, I loved it!!
So Gwen helped me to step into the dress, explained about how it won’t be my size but if I was to choose that dress, it would be altered to fit me perfectly. All the dresses in the store were different sizes which I thought was great as it meant that any woman in any shape or size would have the opportunity to try some dresses on.
Gwen then explained to me that she was going to put her hands up the dress, gather all of the layers together so that I could take them off her and make it easier for myself when walking out of the changing room, where I stepped on a stool. There was a mirror in front, a mirror behind and a mirror to the side so I could see all angles of the dress without turning or looking over my shoulder.
When I tried it on, at first it felt so strange. This dress was maybe a little too small for me and very fitted so it was slightly difficult to walk in, but it still felt so weird looking at myself in a wedding dress.
So let me just get this out there, taking a 1 year old wedding dress shopping, probably not the best idea, she just wanted to get up and run around but we didn’t really want that with all the dresses and tiara’s, I don’t think my auntie wanted to pay £300 for a broken Tiara! But Gwen was brilliant, she put nursery rhymes on the computer and she loved it, the crying stopped, in fact, we didn’t hear a peep out of her until it was time to leave!
We were all offered a drink multiple times throughout our visit, and Gwen also gave me a dressing gown to put on between trying on dresses. Honestly, I wanted to wear the dressing gown for my ‘wedding’ I’ve never felt so cosy in my life!!!
From trying on the different dresses, Gwen took everything I said into account and suggested some other dresses to try on that I didn’t pick out originally. In all honesty, I think she knew me better than I knew myself.
We had a lovely chat whilst she was helping me in and out of a multitude of dresses. Gwen was just so friendly and open and honest about everything the job entails. If you’ve ever watched a wedding show then you’ll know that some women can be a complete Bridezilla and demand something impossible or completely out of their budget, I asked Gwen if she ever has to deal with these kind of brides and if so, how does she deal with it and she explained to me that most of the time, the reason they are like that is because they have something very particular they want and more often than not, it would need to be custom made.
I tried on a dress I liked but there were some things I wasn’t so keen on, Gwen was so helpful saying how this could easily be changed and altered to how I like it. It felt so personal and as though I could pretty much have whatever I wanted, every brides dream.
I came in wanting a fitted, lace dress with a big train, I left wanting a simple princess dress with a bigger skirt and no lace. Gwen told me what suited my shape and build and I agreed with everything she said. My aunties had a lot of opinions but in the end, all of us agreed on a top and skirt combo. I fell in love. I wish I was getting married, just so I could have bought the dress. What was better for me is, because I’m so small, I find it hard dancing in a long dress, and if you knew my family, you’d know how much we all love to dance, especially at weddings!! So with the dress I chose, it meant that I could have changed the skirt in the evening to something more dance friendly. I didn’t even think a bridal top and skirt would be an option and I thought I would have had to get a second dress if I wanted to dance all night long.
Now even though I’m not actually getting married, it was an amazing experience for me, I loved seeing how much my mind had changed by the time I left and how Gwen had pointed things out to me that I didn’t even realize. I left with a smile on my face, and I’m sure my mother (who constantly says I’m a nightmare to shop with) will be very pleased to know that when I do actually get married, she won’t have to sit and watch me try on 50 thousand different dresses like she does every other time I drag her clothes shopping!
After leaving, Gwen emailed me with my top choices, a photo and price, I thought this was a really nice and personal touch that would have been great, especially if I was actually getting a dress and didn’t have my auntie taking hundreds of photo’s of me in each dress I tried on. I won’t be able to share any of the photo’s due to the designers wishes which is completely understandable, but also, it would be bad look for the groom to see me in the dress anyhow 😉 .
The prices of all of the dresses varied but it turned out I had a very expensive taste (I knew that anyway) but I best get saving!!!
A little touch I loved was this card that states everything you can expect from Cheadle Bride..
I couldn’t recommend this store enough for any bride to be looking for her dream dress for her big day. The staff were amazing and friendly, so welcoming and helpful and they made my experience so much better.
I will 100% be going back when the time comes for me to actually buy a wedding dress, but in the mean time, all you local brides to be should definitely book an appointment, you won’t regret it!
To make an appointment you can call them on 0161 485 6888.
Thank you to Gwen and Pam for giving me the best experience ever and making me feel like an absolute Princess, even if it was only an hour. I can’t wait to get married now!! (Qu the worried boyfriend text).
Bye for now xo