I have no shame in admitting that one of my favourite parts of a wedding is that moment that the bride is seen for the first time. There’s that brief moment of silence before, where the air is thick with anticipation as everyone in the venue turns and waits with baited breath for the music to begin again and the bride to emerge. It’s a beautiful sight, and bar a brief glance to see the unashamed grin on the grooms face, I’m always mesmerised. It is no surprise therefore that one of the things I was looking forward to most post engagement, was the wedding dress shopping. But where to begin? I suddenly felt overwhelmed. So I have created the ultimate guide London’s best wedding dress shops, to ease a little of the stress and maximise the enjoyment- whatever your style.
I am a little bit bias when it comes to this shop, as it was the store I ended up buying my wedding dress from. What I loved about the Riki Dalal dresses is that whilst they maintained the feel of a wedding dress, they were also a little bit unusual, with gorgeous detailing, cut outs or sparkle, without ever bordering on the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding line. An Israeli designer (I fell in love with wedding dresses from Israeli designers!), they also came in at a much more affordable level than some of the other brands I loved, such as Berta. At Riki Dalal you have the privacy of the downstairs room to yourself, and the lovely ladies will provide chocolates and fizz (or grapes if you manage to resist the delicious chocolates) whilst you have the special experience of trying on dresses.
Not only does Grace Loves Lace scream ‘festival bride goals,’ you won’t want to leave the showroom itself. Hidden away in Shoreditch, there is this oasis of beautiful soft furnishings, flowers and stunningly presented wedding dresses makes it one of London’s best wedding dress shops. The Australian brand focuses on (you guessed it), lace dresses, a lot of which have a beautiful boho bride feel to them. I very nearly bought my dress from here… and if I could have had two dresses I would have done! The girls are lovely, and you will be treated to gorgeous fresh rose tea as you shop.
The Wedding Club is home to all the designer wedding dresses a girl could dream of. I specifically went as Berta bridal were having their trunk show here. Suffice to say, no one told me the prices of a Berta dress before I tried them on… I went to this dress fitting on my own and the lady helping me was so lovely. That said, given the price of the dresses themselves, the fitting didn’t feel quite as special as some of the others I attended. Still- they have an incredible range of dresses and the staff have brilliant knowledge.
If you’re on a strict budget for a wedding dress, David’s bridal is a brilliant option. Whilst they are home to big America designers such as Vera Wang and Zac Posen, they also have dresses from £225, making it easy to find the dress you love well within your budget. They also sell bridesmaid dresses- having had an absolute nightmare finding some to match my dress, I would have been grateful for the service being in the same store!
Along with Grace Loves Lace, something about this store just felt really relaxing. What was brilliant here was that I was allowed to go through the racks themselves and pick out pieces I liked. I was then also given some recommendations based on these. It felt a lot more personal, as supposed to simply trying on styles I’d already picked. There was also great variety here, from the glamorous Justin Alexander to the romantic Temperley Bridal. Whilst I didn’t find the one, I felt very relaxed trying on some beautiful dresses.
I have to say a huge thank you to this shop. Out on a wedding dress shopping day with 4 of my bridesmaids, we’d accidentally had a bottle too many of prosecco before arriving. Already excited (it was the first time they came dress shopping with me), the girls were rallying around picking out dresses (and even helped another bride with her choice). The shop was lovely, providing more drinks and I tried on some beautiful dresses here. Highly recommend. Plus there’s a gorgeous pub next door to carry on the drinking after!
Wedding photography by the incredible Joe Kingston.