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All good things come to an end... we are closing on 31 July 2018
Posted on 27th April 2018

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I have to inform you of my decision to hang up my tape measure and step down from bridal retailing. I’m keen to spend more time with my husband and two young sons, both of whom are growing up way too fast. As the lease on my beautiful premises in Warsash, Southampton will end in August 2018 I feel this is the right time to make this happen and therefore the A Bride-2-Bee boutique will be closing on 31 July 2018.

“My customers are really important to me and even though A Bride-2-Bee is closing, this ethos remains a top priority. I’d like to reassure all of my wonderful customers with a current dress/accessory order, or have goods in the process of receiving a service, that they will receive their items and services completed in time for their big day and that NONE of our existing customers with goods on order will be adversely effected. I have ensured that all goods supplied by my trusted designers are due to be delivered to our boutique before the closure date. For any new customers, we will only be able to accept new orders for goods and services that we can guarantee will be able to be delivered before the end of July 2018.

“I have written by email and post to all our existing customers to advise them of the planned closure giving reassurance that their order will be fulfilled, re-confirming any outstanding delivery dates and providing details of suppliers I trust for any services they may require at a later date and to contact me if they have concerns or questions.

“We will be holding an End of Lease Sale of all our current stock commencing 28th April 2018.

“This has been a truly difficult decision to make, especially as I have a fabulous team who, in the main, have been with me in the boutique since I’ve been at the helm. I want to sincerely thank them for their unwavering support throughout.

“A Bride-2-Bee opened in 1999 and quickly became one of the premier and most popular bridals boutiques on the south coast of England.

“It may be the end of an era for us all. We have dressed thousands of brides over the years and we’re taking away hundreds of stories of the fun and frolics we have had in store with our customers, their families and friends and the hundreds of babies that have proudly been presented to us.

“We shall sorely miss this interaction but time stands still for no-one.

"Thank you everybody who has made my job the best job in the world."

Jennie Goodman

Proprietor

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Featured Bridal Designer: Sottero and Midgley
Posted on 12th March 2018

SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY "AS UNIQUE AS THE BRIDE THAT WEARS IT”

At A-Bride-2-Bee, we’re proud to be a featured as a Sottero and Midgley Premier Authorized Retailer, one of only two in the South of England.

For five generations, the Sottero family has created designs that capture the imagination and inspire beauty among brides around the world. This skill and artistry culminated in the establishment of Maggie Sottero Designs in 1997. Launching with their custom corset closure, they have continued to provide their incomparable fit that has come to be known in the industry as “Maggie Magic.”

Today, we’re highlighting one of our favourite brands which has just celebrated 20 years in the wedding business.

THE BEE'S FAVOURITE GOWNS

Allen

Why we love this dress:  We are delighted to share that 'Allen' has recently been crowned the winner of the Wedding Dress Of The Year category in The UK Wedding Awards 2018 with over 118,000 votes!! It's a ballgown dream of a dress, that combines the majesty of a full tulle skirt with the contemporary and modern look of a sheer bodice and half sleeves, it's no surprise this dress has stolen our hearts and won this coveted accolade. Because of the intensity of the sparkle of the Swarovski crystals and beading which adorn the bodice, you’ll catch the light and command attention whenever you step into a room.  With a classic sweetheart neckline and a modern bateau over the top, plus a low, square back, this is a look for the romantic, modern bride.

Emery

Why we love this dress: Vintage is back, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than in this incredible dress. Swarovski crystals and beads are stitched onto the bodice and sleeves which adds vintage glitter and glamour to a tulle gown. The illusion cap sleeves and back make it look as if your gown is being held on by diamond chains, and it boasts a full, floating skirt and a modern keyhole back.

Hardy

Why we love this dress: Not only is the fit and flare of this dress the perfect modern silhouette, the classic is shown as well. Beaded lace appliques fit the bodice, and the train gives this edgy and contemporary gown a whisper of whimsy. Accents of Swarovski crystals meet a full tulle skirt to add full-on glamour.

Kai

Why we love this dress: The sheath is a classic shape, but combined with illusion, beaded lace and crystals it becomes something more. The deceptively simple skirt is finished as an illusion cutout train to give it plenty of romance.

Maxwell Rose

Why we love this dress: Every boho bride will want this laidback look. The allover lace motifs drift over deramy tulle and softy draping Inessa Jersey making it sexy too.  The barely there spaghetti straps glide from a lace-edged V-neckline to crisscross over the plunging back - perfect for any outdoor wedding.

Channing Rose

Why we love this dress: Uber flattering on all body shapes, this wedding dress features striking lace motifs accented in beautiful beading with embroidered lace borders. The plunging illusion sweetheart neckline and illusion open back, all accented in lace motifs, provides a bit of sexy. The clever bit: lined with shapewear for a figure-flattering fit.

A-Bride-2-Bee is a premier authorized stockist of Sottero and Midgley with a huge collection of gowns available to try on in store.

Call us for more information or view our full range online here and view our selection of wedding dress designers we currently stock here

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TO TRY ON OUR WIDE SELECTION OF WEDDING AND BRIDESMAID DRESSES HERE

Stay tuned to social media for updates on in-store events as well as invaluable wedding inspiration!

Like our page on Facebook here.

Follow us on Twitter here.

Join us on Pinterest here.

Follow us on Instagram here.

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How to Successfully Accessorise on your Wedding Day
Posted on 1st February 2018

Chances are you will have heard of the famous maxim: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” When it comes to accessorising on your wedding day, you’re supposed to stick to that; so, the new could be the dress, the old could be the veil, a piece of jewellery could be borrowed and a blue ribbon would complete the rhyme. Older versions of the saying also add ‘and a silver sixpence in her shoe’, but since nobody has sixpences anymore, this has fallen out of fashion.

However, this is just a saying, and it’s much more important to accessorise your wedding dress in the way you want to. But choosing bridal accessories can be much more stressful than choosing everyday details, however, we bees are here to help!

Pay attention to the colour of your gown

If you’ve gone for the classic ‘white’ gown, consider what shade it actually is, it will often be ivory and ivory can come in a whole host of hues! Some metals look better with creamier tones, and some with brilliant white. For example, on-trend rose gold can look amazing with darker ivories and even blush tones, traditional gold works well with a range of ivories, and whiter gowns suit silver. Don’t pair a rose gold necklace with a dress sparkling with silver beadwork either — make sure your look is put-together. This applies to veils as well, be careful to match your dress colour to your veil colour.

Don’t forget your hair!

Most brides wear some kind of headpiece. Decide early on if you want to, and how it will look with your gown. A birdcage veil might not work with a ballgown, and a tiara might be too much on top of a cocktail-length dress. You’ll also have to ask your hairstylist if they can help secure it in your coif, or it could become loose at a crucial moment.

Break in your shoes

Of course, every bride wants shoes that go with the gown on her wedding day. But don’t make the mistake of buying gorgeous shoes that are impossible to walk in! Your feet will swell from standing all day (and dancing all night!) so don’t order too small. Wear them around at home with socks and your shoes should get used to your feet in no time but get your chief bridesmaid to bring along a pack of plasters just in case. If you want to wear heels for the ceremony but change out of them for dancing, do the same for your flats, but remember your gown will be longer so will need lifting as you walk/dance. Don’t forget your heel stoppers if you plan to walk on grass or they might be a requirement if you’re marrying in a stately home.

Don’t feel like you have to be ‘the perfect bride’

Your wedding day is about you and your loved ones. If you’re uncomfortable wearing earrings, or you don’t want to wear contacts instead of glasses for the ceremony, then don’t! Accessorizing should be a way to help your personality shine through, not to suppress it for the sake of photos.

 

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NEW BRIDAL TRENDS FOR 2018
Posted on 9th October 2017

WE HAVE JUST RETURNED FROM A BUYING TRIP AT THE BRITISH BRIDAL EXHIBITION IN HARROGATE; THE BIGGEST BRIDAL TRADE EVENT IN THE WORLD AND AN ANNUAL MUST-VISIT FOR OUR TEAM! READ ON TO DISCOVER THE NEWEST STYLES ARRIVING IN-STORE AS WELL AS THE HOTTEST TRENDS STRAIGHT FROM THE CATWALK.

Every year we get to catch up with our much-loved bridal wear designers, discover the latest in bridal wear fashion and, perhaps best of all, return with new bridal gowns and accessories as well as bridesmaid dresses for our customers to enjoy in our Hampshire boutique - ensuring YOU have the best picks for YOUR wedding day.

Of course, it’s a lovely treat to be supplied with dinner and bubbly at the glitzy award ceremony as we watch models sashay down the catwalk in the latest designer collections but we assure you that we’re working hard too (I know you don’t believe us!). It really is an amazing few days.

We spotted many emerging trends that brides-to-be are sure to love next season - they were chic, sophisticated and super glamorous while others were pure, simple and classically timeless.

Here’s our breakdown of the best looks, hot off the catwalk:

  • Long, lace sleeves as well as Bardot sleeves.
  • Combinations of different fabric overlay.
  • We noted a clear divide between clean structured lines vs. dramatic embellishment.
  • Cut out details on sleek silhouettes.
  • Deep V necklines
  • Dramatically low, and seriously sexy backs.
  • A focus on beautiful detailed trains.

A-Bride-2-Bee are stockists of one of the widest collections of award winning bridal designers, such as Maggie Sottero Designs, Allure Bridals, Sweetheart Gowns, Kenneth Winston and Ella Rosa.

Call us for more information on our new arrivals or view our full range online here and view our selection of wedding dress designers we currently stock here

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TO TRY ON OUR WIDE SELECTION OF WEDDING AND BRIDESMAID DRESSES HERE

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Brides Stories: Beth
Posted on 25th August 2017
 
THIS MONTH WE’RE SHARING beth’S ‘BRIDE STORY’ OF HER PERFECT DAY THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE BEAUTIFUL SOLENT HOTEL & SPA IN JULY 2016. READ ON FOR BETH'S INVALUABLE TIPS ON HOW TO REALLY MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BIG DAY.
 
WHAT WAS YOUR WEDDING THEME OR COLOUR(S)?

The colour was Cadbury's purple the theme had a modern feel.

 

What were the most memorable moments from your big day?  

Walking down the aisle and seeing my hubby-to-be waiting for me, looking all dapper.  The speeches - all three speeches were fantastic, and a word slip by my dad was utterly hilarious – I will never forget it.

 

Why did you choose A Bride-2-Bee to supply your bridal gown?

I have to be honest, the ‘preferred supplier’ voucher I was given from my wedding venue was obviously an incentive and made me aware of A Bride-2-Bee. Their website was clearly laid out by style and price, which really helped narrow down my choice, and I knew the price upfront unlike many other wedding shops where the price isn’t displayed. I found the staff very helpful and they were very patient with me trying on a multitude of dresses. Also, they actually allowed you to take photos on your own devices to take home. Another shop I went to disallowed this – crazy I know!

 

Please describe what you enjoyed about your experience at A Bride-2-Bee?

I loved the chilled-out atmosphere. There were just two other ladies trying on dresses when I was there and we each had our own dressing rooms and catwalk area, so we weren’t on top of each other. My mum was able to sit comfortably on a sofa without the chaos experienced at other wedding shops we had visited together.

 

Do you have any advice or top tips you would like to share with other brides-to-be?

Everyone says that you will know when you find ‘The Dress’. I wasn’t quite so sure about this to start with. I actually put back the dress I finally bought as I thought it didn’t have enough ‘wow’ factor. After trying on a few more, I felt utterly confused and thought that I would never find a dress. I then put my robe on and sat down with my mum on the shop’s sofa and looked through the photos my mum had taken. When I came to the photos of me in the dress, I couldn’t keep my eyes off it – the dress looked amazing – so elegant (even though it was several sizes too big and held in with bulldog clips). I didn’t choose it there and then as I wanted to mull it over and was also torn between another dress I had seen elsewhere. When I got home I created a table of the key things I was looking for in a dress and marked the two against each other. Although the other dress actually ticked more boxes, I couldn’t stop thinking about the one at A Bride-2-Bee. So, I advise to go with your heart/gut feeling and you won’t be disappointed.

For the day itself, have a surprise up your sleeve. My husband and I booked Roulette and Black Jack tables which we announced to our guests during the wedding breakfast. Everyone loved them and it was great way to fill the time after the wedding breakfast and reception.

 

Is there anything you would change or do differently in your wedding planning or on the wedding day itself?

As much as you plan a wedding to the finest detail, a wedding will never run without a hiccup. Simply relax and let your venue coordinator guide you through the day. If something goes wrong, just laugh it off and forget about it – to be honest, no one else will probably have a clue.

ARE YOU A BRIDE-2-BEE BRIDE? SHARE YOUR STORY WITH US AT ENQUIRIES@ABRIDE2BEE.CO.UK!

PLANNING YOUR WEDDING? FOLLOW US ON PINTEREST FOR ENDLESS INSPIRATION FOR YOUR BIG DAY. 
 
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What to Expect at a Wedding Dress Fitting
Posted on 8th July 2017

When you get engaged, it can be difficult to know what to expect from the wedding planning process! You’ll likely have a million and one questions: How do you plan a hen party? How do I stay calm when walking down the aisle? What should I expect at a wedding dress fitting?

While we can’t help too much with the first two questions, here at A Bride-2-Bee we can certainly let you know a little bit more about what happens when you step inside our bridal store.

Your 1st Appointment

Consultation

First, your Bridal Consultant will greet you and ensure that you and your guests are comfortable – you might be here a rather long time! Once settled comfortably, we’ll find out a bit more about your wedding and your ideas for what you want from your wedding dress, things like:

  • Have you tried on any wedding dresses before?
  • Have you seen anything on our website or social media that has caught your eye?
  • Do you have any ideas in mind about the style you would like?
  • Where is your venue?
  • What is the theme/style/feel of your wedding?

Trying on Wedding Dresses – the fun really begins!

These questions will all inform the types of gowns that will be appropriate for you. For example, a bride getting married in a church may want to opt for something more covered up, while destination weddings can lend themselves towards more daring styles.

We’ll walk and talk you through our award-winning designers and give you a handful of coloured ‘pegs’. You and your guests’ job is then to browse through our collection and pick out the dresses you’d like to try, popping one of your pegs onto the hanger. Everything is accessible - you can pull the gowns out, feel the fabric, appreciate the delicate details – we believe this is important while searching for your dream dress. When you’ve selected your gowns, it’s time to start trying on! We have huge changing rooms and we’ll help you in and out of the gowns you picked out. After trying on a few dresses and showing your friends and family, you and your Bridal Consultant will have gained an understanding of the types of gown that are working best and make you feel confident.

Focussed Search

If you haven’t landed on a firm favourite, your Bridal Consultant will offer you a further selection of gowns that she feels will tick all of your boxes, and she may even bring out a wildcard – perhaps a silhouette that you may not have considered before or detailing that will work perfectly with your theme. Towards the end of your appointment we’ll encourage you to retry your favourites, and perhaps add some accessories, to narrow down your list until you are sure you’ve found ‘The One!’.

When You Find ‘The One!’

Often, many brides will totally fall in love with a gown after this process and this is when we get the bubbly out to celebrate. Your Bridal Consultant will take your measurements and order in the appropriate size for you and 50% of the dress price is paid. We’ll also give you a bundle of info about what happens next and the additional services that we offer, so please take the time to read this.

If You’re Still Not Sure

We don’t pressure any brides into making decisions they’re not sure about, so we will happily book a second appointment to allow you to try on your favourites again with a fresh mind.

Once the Dress Has Been Ordered

It can take 3-6 months for your chosen gown to be made by the designer, so it’s a good idea to start searching for your dress early on into the wedding planning process, we suggest at least 9-12 months before the wedding day.

Once the wait is over and the gown arrives in store and has passed our quality checks, we’ll invite you in for another appointment, this time to try YOUR wedding dress – exciting!! We can also use this appointment to try out any bridal accessories if you didn’t decide on these previously. The final 50% price is paid and then you can take your dress away with you – making sure your OH doesn’t sneak a peek!

Book an appointment today with our friendly expert team here at A Bride-2-Bee to start your bridal gown shopping journey in style.

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Wedding Dress Styles to Flatter Every Figure
Posted on 21st May 2017

For most women, there’s no dress quite as important or exciting as their wedding dress. It’s an opportunity for the bride to pull out all of the stops, pampering herself and dressing like a princess. However, with so much emphasis on you, knowing what type of gown to choose can be daunting. Often, the types of dresses you love on the hanger or in the magazines can fall flat when actually tried on, leading you to disappointment and distress!

Here at A Bride-2-Bee, we understand that the brides we style are unique and diverse, so we stock a variety of gowns to suit everyone. Here, we round up our fabulous womanly figures, and advise on the styles that will showcase them best:

Hourglass 

The fishtail, also known as the mermaid or fit and flare, style of dress is incredibly popular and fashion forward. If you are blessed with hourglass curves, there is no better way to accentuate them than with this figure-hugging style. Shorter ladies are best to avoid this dress silhouette.

 Love the fishtail style? Try our Allure Raine gown: 

Although similar to the fishtail style, the drop A-line dress is not quite as figure-hugging, making it a great alternative for showing off a curvaceous figure without being as daring. Try Sweethearts Gowns' Emma dress: 

Petite

If you have a smaller frame, a simple yet sophisticated straight or sheath dress will suit you perfectly. This style is known for elongating the figure, following the body’s natural line and adding length. Curvaceous ladies are best to avoid this design.

Try Allure Bridals 9469.

Apple Shape 

Straight or subtly flared dresses  which flow through your waistline are perfect for ladies with an apple shape. Dresses with V necklines and lots of upper-body detail will help to take the eye away from the midsection and vertical patterns are extra flattering.

Cosmobella's Camilla gown is perfect for this body shape:

All body types, but especially good for pear shapes

Many of the brides we style choose to go for an A-line gown, or fuller ball gown, and for good reason - this classic silhouette will suit almost any figure, making you feel confident as you walk down the aisle. The A-line style doesn’t have the ‘va va voom’ of other shapes, but is a sweet, sure-fire classic.

Try Jakayla by Sottero and Midgley: 

This is just a small selection of the styles of wedding gowns available in our Southampton boutique – there really is a silhouette to suit every bride, and guided by our expert Bridal Consultants, you’ll be sure to find ‘THE ONE’ for you!

Discover the full range of wedding dress shapes out there by following us on Pinterest

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Who Should Be Part of Your Wedding Party?
Posted on 13th April 2017

As soon as you and your other half decide to tie the knot, it can seem as if the list of things to organise and arrange is endless. Besides finding the venue, picking a photographer and writing your vows, an essential part of every wedding day is the party that you choose to help keep you and your groom sane!

What is a Wedding Party?

While the reception is a part of every wedding that both the guests and the couple look forward to, blowing off some steam while celebrating in style, the actual wedding party is something very different. This is the group of people that the couple chooses to help them organise the wedding, and to ensure nothing goes wrong during it! Essential members of the wedding party include:

  • Best man
  • Maid of honour
  • Bridesmaids
  • Flower girls
  • Father and mother of the bride
  • Father and mother of the groom
  • Ushers

How to Choose the Members of Your Wedding Party?

Ultimately, you need to be surrounded by positive people that make you feel calm and confident during one of the most important days of your life! If you’re finding it hard to choose your wedding party, here are some things to consider:

  • Make an initial list of options

This will help you and your partner start the initial discussion.

  • Consider family (from both sides)

After all, weddings are as much about family as they are your friends. Even though you may not see your siblings as much as you do your friends, they will always be your relative and including them in your wedding party can help you to create special memories, acknowledging your bond.

  • Give informal invites before finalising your decision

Once you have decided who you want to be part of your wedding party, ask them informally first to ensure that they would like to attend your wedding and that they have no prior commitments. If your chosen maid of honour is busy, then this may affect your final decision.

  • Clarify the commitments you expect each member to fulfil

Again, this will be another deciding factor when picking your party. Identify the roles and responsibilities you expect each assigned member to fulfil, and clearly explain this to them when you invite them to join!

Once you have chosen your wedding party and your plans are underway, take the stress away from your wedding dress styling with the team at A Bride-2-Bee.

 

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