Recommended wedding dress shop in Market Harborough
Where to begin?
I can’t even start to explain how much I adore Bethan and Rhiannon, the leading ladies at Courtyard Bridal. Every time I meet them we end up chatting for far too long and I come away feeling on top of the world!
So I can only imagine how amazing their brides feel and how much they must enjoy the experience of choosing and buying their wedding dress from Courtyard Bridal.
But neither of them has any idea how clever and enchanting they are. They’re far too humble for their own good … so this is my chance to big them up and tell you that THEY NEED TO BE ON YOUR WEDDING DRESS RADAR.
So, read on, lovely.
Picture throw your head back laughter, relentless sisterly banter and actual tears as you read this. This interview was an emotional rollercoaster…
Courtyard Bridal on working with family, finding ‘the one’ and double chocolate biscuits…
How did you get into the world of wedding dresses?
[Bethan] Our Mum opened the boutique in Kettering in 2002. I was a Biomedical scientist at Kettering hospital at the time, and worked in the shop as a Saturday girl. I was paid in chocolate biscuits (double chocolate biscuits for overtime!). I soon built up to three days a week and loved it so much I went full-time. Rhiannon joined full-time in 2003 before having a family. Rhiannon and I bought the business in 2012 when Mum was planning to retire … but when it came to it she couldn’t tear herself away! It’s very much a family business and we love that.
How does the fun of finding a wedding dress start?
[Rhiannon] Most brides email or message us on social media. We make an appointment and when they come in we chat about their wedding venue, whether they’ve tried anything on yet and how they feel so far, if they’ve seen anything they like, and whether they’ve got a particular vibe in mind for their wedding.
[Bethan] It doesn’t matter if they haven’t got a vibe or style in mind yet. Lots of people don’t know. But it’s often just that they haven’t articulated it in their mind yet. Once we start chatting they realise they do know what kind of style they’re after.
[Rhiannon] The whole process of buying a dress can take a long time so we recommend that brides start looking around 12-18 months before their day. That means we can place the order around nine months before which allows plenty of time for the dress to be made and fitted by our in house team of seamstresses.
What’s your favourite thing about working in a wedding dress boutique?
[Bethan] Having a cuppa when it’s not busy!!
[Rhiannon] When a bride really finds her dress. Not just buying a dress, but when she genuinely feels it’s the one for her. The atmosphere changes and it gets quite emotional. We get swept up in their moment and cry with them. It’s wonderful. I also love it when brides send photos … especially Sarah Vivienne ones ;)
[Bethan] My favourite bit is making new friends. Some of our best friends were previous brides. I love it when they pop back in after the wedding and still follow us on Facebook even after 10 years. We often get past brides who come in with their daughters! One bride this year said she walked past our shop every day when she was 10, and now she’s 27. How old are we?!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
[Bethan] oh, dealing with brides who are emotional having lost someone close to them. That’s hard. We really feel how sad it is for them. 😭 #actualface
What’s your least favourite part of the job?
[Rhiannon] That moment when a bride’s heart breaks as one of her very large entourage, each with a different vision to the bride, declares they don’t like the dress she’s just put on and fallen deeply in love with. Having seen how much she loved it in the changing room when we first helped her into it and then stand back and watch her heart break … there’s no coming back from that.
It’s understandable because you’re never going to have ten people together with the same taste. It’s our job to see past personal taste and appreciate whether someone looks good in what they’re trying on. But it’s a very rare bride who is self-assured enough to ignore what other people think.
And lastly, what’s your best piece of advice for brides who are looking for their wedding dress?
[Rhiannon] Trust your instinct. Choose your dress with your heart. It’s all about the feeling. Don’t be swayed into or out of a decision.
[Bethan] Don’t sweat the small stuff on the day. Don’t get hung up on what things are going to be like. Let go and accept help. No-one will know if you forget your perfume or if the napkins are at the wrong angle.