So I usually try not to write posts which are too localised so that no one is left out, but I really wanted to write this one to sing the praises of three local businesses which I feel deserve a shout out!
*This isn’t a sponsored post so I haven’t been paid to write about these shops. However it would be rude not to accept any gifts as thank yous, right?! ;-)*
I should disclose that I have visited many more bridal shops than these 3 mentioned, (and not all were positive experiences) but I won’t be sharing any negative reviews, only applauding the shops I feel are very worth taking the time to visit!!
If you don’t live in Aberdeenshire and you are not getting married then this post will probably be of zero interest to you! But please share amongst your Aberdeenshire, bride to be, friends!
Ok so the first shop has to be the one where I ultimately bought my wedding dress and that is Elmar Bridal in Peterhead.
Firstly the shop is immaculate! The white and grey decor is clean and modern and exactly what I imagine a bridal shop should be! They have a vast collection of dresses and you are invited to look through EVERY dress! They literally go through each and every dress with you and you just say yay or nay as to whether you want to try any of those bad boys on! (On my first visit the owner pulled a dress which I wouldn’t have pulled out myself but when she held it up, I didn’t dismiss it right away and so she encouraged me to try it on and guess what, its my wedding dress!!!) Each and every member of staff takes an interest in your appointment even just to offer a smile as they pass. They have all been so lovely!! I have been for three “try” on appointments now as well as making appointments over the phone and purchasing my dress over the phone too and I have had nothing but excellent service every step of the way!! All the dresses are of similar price and very reasonably priced for wedding dresses too! I found the fact that there wasn’t huge differences in price made it easier to choose, since for a lot of us price unfortunately is an important factor in deciding. Elmar don’t do alterations which for me wasn’t an issue. They will however recommend places to have alterations done. They also don’t store your dress between it arriving in store and your big day. Again this wasn’t an issue for me and it was explained very early on in the process of buying my dress that this was the case. The shop offers you hire of hooped underskirts for a reasonable fee depending on if your dress requires one. As a complementary service they will take your dress back to the shop to be steamed just before your wedding so it is looking it’s best on your special day. The shop also stocks wedding accessories and bridesmaids dresses.
Ok the next “shop” I wanted to share with you is Coach House Bridal in Longside. The reason I put shop in quotation marks is because this little gem is secretly hidden away within a house in the village of Longside. If you are imagining a cramped little back room you could not be more wrong!! Catriona has renovated the space into a beautifully large and stylish bridal boutique! We were immediately put as ease in the relaxing room with sofas and offered a cuppa! (always a winner!) Catriona herself was so lovely that I instantly warmed to her and felt like I was choosing a dress with a friend! That being said the service was very professional and Catriona really knows her stuff! The fact that the boutique is in a house and not a shop meant that we had the place to ourselves with meant it was very private and we didn’t feel rushed at all. I have been married previously and this time I wanted a dress that felt more “me” and less like a photo of a bride in a wedding magazine! Most other shops said “but its your big day” Which of course it is but I think Catriona really got what I meant when I told her what I was looking for and didn’t make me feel like I was trying to play down my wedding by wanted something different. She really listened and understood what I was trying to explain! The service Coach house offer is bespoke in that you can choose a dress you like from the samples in the boutique but your dress can be made to your specifications!! So you can change anything about the dress to make it exactly your dream dress!! I found the prices to be very good, particularly considering the fact that they are bespoke!! The real highlight of our visit to Coach house bridal had to be meeting Catriona’s mini assistant Helen though (Catriona’s daughter!) If you haven’t visited Coach house bridal I’d recommend you do! Just as a side note, if you are a nervous bride and feel a bit daunted about the prospect of entering a busy bridal shop then Catriona will put you at ease in her relaxed setting for sure!
Ok the last shop I want to share is Angharad Bridal in Elgin. To be honest I had never heard of this bridal shop, not being from the Elgin area myself, which is why I was really keen to share it with you. I think we are all guilty of shopping in the places we already know or have heard of because its easy but in doing this we are missing out on lots of hidden treasures of shops across Aberdeenshire! I for one do not generally go out of my way to look for new places, however my sister and I had a very rare child free day together and had headed up to Elgin which is about an hour from where I live, just for a change. My sister suggested we have a look at wedding dresses so we googled bridal shops in Elgin and up popped Angharad bridal! We popped our heads in, not expecting for a minute to get an appointment without any notice but hoping to maybe have a little browse of the stock. Angharad (the shop owner) couldn’t have been more welcoming! We got to come in and try on dresses there and then since she had a free space!! This was the first bridal shop I stepped into (This time round! My last wedding was ten years ago! Wow now I feel old!) and I’m so glad this was the one I started with as Angharad and the girls at the shop really held my hand (Not literally! That would just be a bit creepy!) and helped guide me gently to discover what it was I was actually looking for and what suited me, which as everyone tells you isn’t always what you expect before trying dresses on! (See my upcoming blog post, coming soon!) One of the girls in the shop offered me a hair bobble when I realised I didn’t have one to tie my hair up! That kind of personal touch isn’t something you always find in much larger stores that see 20 brides a day and its the kind of extra service that makes a small business like Angharad stand out from the crowd I think! It must be over a year since I visited the shop and that small gesture still stands out to me! Angharad herself is clearly passionate about her dresses from the way she warmly speaks about her trips to choose the shop’s stock to the brides that have spent their special day in her chosen pieces. And along with the girls in the shop they know exactly the next dress for you to try, off the top of their heads! Angharad bridal is a small store selling designer gowns, so if you are looking for something really special then it is worth the trip to visit the shop!
I hope you have found these reviews helpful. Each shop is very different from each other I realise now I come to write about them so hopefully there is something for everyone!
If you are embarking on choosing your wedding dress then I wish you lots of fun along the way as well as a wonderful wedding day when it comes!
Thanks for reading!!