As we head into our FOURTH year we decided to spread our wings a little and add a couple of exciting designers to our collection - first up was the gorgeous Lusan Mandongus.
Lusan Mandongus is a sister brand to Annasul Y which we've had since we opened. I've always swooned at the Lusan dresses when we go buying so snapped them up at the first opportunity. Let me tell you ladies, they are STUNNING. We've gone for quite an array of styles with high necks, strapless, fishtail or floaty skirts with gorgeous light silks and lace or beaded lace with tulle. I love them but the only snag is they're not due in until October onwards although the team has teased us with one that is fast-becoming one of our most popular dresses in its short time here.
BUT, all is not lost. We've been lucky enough to bag a 'first look' of the dresses for our brides next weekend (23rd to 24th September.) This will be one of the first times brides will be able to see all of the dresses in one place and we'll offer 10% off any Lusan Mandongus dresses purchased over that weekend. The kind people at Lusan Mandongus have also opened a draw for anyone buying their dress to enter where you can win your wedding dress, how amazing would that be. We've had a similar draw at the Annasul Y trunk shows and last year, one of our brides WON!
So, if you're interested in the collection and would like to see the dresses then book in for next weekend ASAP because I'm expecting it to be busy.
LUSAN MANDONGUS TRUNK SHOW - 23RD & 24TH SEPTEMBER
10% OFF ALL LUSAN MANDONGUS PURCHASES MADE THAT WEEKEND
TODAY WE ARE THREE…
I can’t believe it. Today we’ve reached toddler stages of running a business and The Secret Dress House turns an amazing three years old and what a whirlwind it has been.
I’ve been so lucky to be able to ‘live the dream’ and work in such a stunning industry, I mean who wouldn’t want to do what we do and help brides find their outfit for their happiest day of their lives. I LOVE a good wedding and we get to play a part in hundreds each year.
From as soon as brides walk through our doors I adore the whole process - hearing about their plans and engagement stories, helping them choose ‘the one’, tailoring it for a perfect fit and seeing them days before the wedding to collect their dresses, sometimes I even have a little tear!
But I couldn’t have done this on my own. The dresses we stock are belters and my designers are a dream to work with, my team are second to none and have become my family, my actual family save my life every day with support, plenty of tea and often last minutes requests for childcare with my beaut of a boy Alfie but my husband, my darling darling husband has helped make ‘the dream’ happen and I love him to bits. I've bagged myself a good'un there gang.
To all of you THANK YOU, I’ll be raising a glass to you all later (might even share a bit with you guys on Saturday J )
As we head into our fourth year we’ve got a fun-packed schedule ahead with new designers coming into the boutique, designer days booked through September to December (first up Lusan Mandongus on 24th September, more news to follow) and events planned for the new year. Thanks for sticking with us for the ride, here’s to a long and prosperous future.
SAMPLE SALE DAY - April 3rd
Ladies, it's time to make like Monica Geller - dust off those whistles and bring all the bridesmaids because we've got our first sample sale of the year booked in - Sunday 3rd April from 11am to 3pm.
There'll be phenomenal bargains from all of our designers with a minimum of a 50% saving on the dress RRP. Designers include:
Eliza Jane Howell
Essense of Australia
with samples varying between sizes 10 to 14,
Dresses will be tried on and sold on a first come first served basis so get here early and there might be a little wait if there's a few people here at the same time. If buying one of our samples we'd be looking for brides to pay in full and take the dress away with details of a reputable seamstress for tailoring.
We'll look forward to seeing you there,
I’m ridiculously behind the times in telling you all this, but with moving house, growing a person and being busy in the boutique I’ve rudely neglected updating my blog post but I promise to be better now we’re settling down.
So…big news…we’ve made it as a finalist in the Best Retailer Website in the Bridal Buyer Awards. There’s only 7 finalists from across the country so it is a pretty big deal for us, to even be considered during our first year of business is no mean feat and we’re so honoured to be listed among other fantastic boutiques and websites.
Our website is our pride and joy so we’re happy to hear that others love it as much as we do. The observant among you will have noticed we’ve proudly placed the badge on our home page along with our other accolades. The winners are announced on 8th September in Harrogate so keep your fingers crossed for us.
Here at The Secret Dress House, we want to be with our brides every step of the way of their most exciting journey in life – from searching for the perfect dress to feeling fabulous walking down the aisle. We know that finding your dress is only the first step to fabulousness so we plan to work with the best suppliers in our industry to offer you top tips on make-up, hair, flowers, accessories and more.
We’ve decided to come up with a programme of master classes to get you looking glamorous on your big day and the first stop is beauty. Your make-up choices can be as defining as 'the' dress so we're offering a master class that will run on Thursday 6thMarch, with the wonderful Antonia from Elle Au Naturel, to help you gather top tips on your perfect look. Why not bring your bridesmaids and pick up fantastic ideas that you can all utilise on the big day? The evening’s itinerary will run as follows:
6:30pm – drinks (and cake, there’s never not the right time for cake) reception at The Secret Dress House
6:30 to 7pm – a chance to browse the boutique for dresses and gorgeous accessories
7pm – one hour long master class tutorial begins with Antonia
8pm – Q & A with Antonia, browse the best make-up products, chat to The Secret Dress House team
9pm – event ends
Tickets will cost £20 per person, available by calling the boutique on 01737 243686 (on-line booking coming soon) and there will be exclusive discounts for any purchases made on the night. Space is limited so reserve your space today. Can’t wait to see you here.
I just didn't get it, I wasn't even close to having a clue. In the lead up to our wedding my wife seemed to go through bridal appointments like hot dinners and there were enough bridal magazines loitering around the house to fill a super-sized branch of WHsmith’s.
When I was asked for my thoughts on wedding dress styles I feigned my interest, after all, to me all wedding dresses look the same, how different can an ivory dress look, to me brides rarely look anything but beautiful on their day.
So i thought to myself 'Exactly how hard could this decision be?' I am a relatively simple boy, easily pleased and apart from a new found penchant for a bespoke suits (which my wife nudged me into) I’m not exactly a style guru. To be honest the only way i thought she could get it wrong would be to go really over the top with gargantuan proportions of big and bling, with this in mind I played it safe answered understated. Actually I think it came may have come out as ‘plain’. Nice one Stevie, she can't go wrong there I thought to myself. In hindsight what I was really saying to her was I don't care, you’re going to look beautiful just as long as you don't f**k it up and wear something ridiculous.
This response probably sent her into blind panic as my wife's default dress code is anything but plain.
Fast forward 6 months. When the music commenced, my wife eventually floated down the aisle I was a bit of a naughty boy and turned around to catch a glimpse. To say the penny dropped at that moment is an understatement of colossal proportions, even thinking back nearly two years later I feel choked with emotion.
You see, at that moment she looked nothing like I imagined. She looked like a bride but not like any typical bride I'd seen before. She stood out more like my own Khaleesi Queen than a tried and tested typical bride.
Obviously I am completely biased but in short she looked amazing, incredible, and a million times better than i could imagine. She had picked a slim line champagne coloured dress with an intricately beaded over dress and an amazing side tiara.
What I loved the most about it was she looked completely different, unique but 100% Kelly, and that re-enforced exactly why i fell in love her.
My advice, never pick a dress to placate anyone else. Be brave and selfish and choose the dress that you feel the most comfortable with, the one that conveys your personality. Your partner loves you for being you, don't let anyone compromise that.
Time sure does fly when you’re having fun and what fun we’ve had. We opened the boutique in September 2013 (Friday 13th to be exact, I like to think ‘unlucky for some…others’) and my feet haven’t touched the ground.
Taking over the premises of a previously established boutique has certainly stood us in good stead, but we still wanted to put our own stamp on the place and lead with a strong brand that will be instantly recognisable to brides.
The summer saw us working on our logo, ethos, website, redecorating and styling the shop, culminating in the most exciting of them all – our first delivery of dresses. Even though we’d been working hard on ‘The Secret Dress House’ since the spring (and it had been a dream of mine for much longer), the dresses arriving was when it all became VERY real to me and the butterflies took over. They didn’t really go away then for a good few weeks – the excellent quality and styles of the dresses spoke for themselves but there’s always that nagging unreasonable thought where you think ‘would people like the dresses I had chosen?’ ‘Would people understand the name?’ ‘Would they like the vibe of the shop and be relaxed and have fun during their appointment?’! You can imagine the confidence wobbles, but looking back now I needn’t have worried.
Of course, after receiving the full collection it was obvious that the amazing dresses spoke for themselves. We’ve picked fantastic designers that offer a little bit of everything – sparkle, lace, volume, silk, column – you name it, we’ve got it.
It’s also nice to hear that brides really like the shop, we wanted that feeling of wonder like when you find a ‘secret garden’ so it’s great to hear the ooohhs and ahhhhs as soon as they walk through the door. I have the lovely Alison from Union & Co (http://www.unionweddings.co.uk/) to thank for that, we worked together on the shop styling and thanks to her amazing flair it is second to none.
So it’s needless to say that since September we’ve been rushed off our feet and 2014 is already looking like it is going to be amazing. We’ve got designer days booked to take us up to April and keep your eyes peeled for details on our late night openings and master classes in the coming weeks. I’ve loved every minute of it.
I shouldn’t end though without say this though, without our wonderful family and my fantabulous husband I wouldn’t be sitting here now ready for my next appointments. To you I owe everything, THANK YOU.