Every time I drive into Thame, I go past a beautiful bridal boutique and ever since the first day I saw it I have wanted to go in and look around and meet Anna, the lady behind Anna McDonald Bridal Gallery. So when I came up with the idea of writing a blog post about dressing the bride on the wedding day morning, she was my first port of call.

The shop is breathtaking and any bride to be would be thrilled to make a visit. From the moment you walk in it’s like entering a magical world with the bespoke hand crafted cabinets and display units and Anna and her business partner Adele are so welcoming. The boutique provides a personalised service by appointment only and specialises in high end designers providing gowns by Justin Alexander, Charlotte Balbier, Johanna Hehir  and Marylise. They also provide exquisite accessories by Euphoria Couture.

Opening in 2008, Anna spotted a gap in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire market for a high quality specialised boutique with a fabulous personalised service. The idea and the hard work has paid off with Anna receiving numerous awards, however she strongly believes that her greatest achievement is the ongoing growth and success of the boutique. She puts this down to sticking to her core principles of personalised and excellent customer service.

Anyway, on with the advice and I asked Anna about her tips and advice for dressing the bride and staying calm on the wedding day morning.

QSo how long should the bride allow herself to get dressed on the wedding morning?
A – Well she definitely doesn’t want to leave it to the last minute. She should be the last to get dressed however we recommend allowing 30 minutes to dress and this doesn’t mean the last half hour before she get’s into the car. The dress needs time to settle and so will need re-tightening after the initial lace up. We usually say 10 minutes after the initial lace it should be tightened and then again after a further 10 minutes and so on. In the mean time she should have a glass of champagne on hand to calm the nerves and help her relax.

QAnd what about for a button up dress?
A – For a button up dress it’s slightly different as obviously it won’t need to be re-tightened but don’t underestimate how long it takes to do up those buttons especially if you have artificial nails on. A crochet hook is an essential tool in this case.

Q – How does the bride need to stand and where should she have her hands?
A – She should be stood up straight with shoulders back and she shouldn’t touch the dress ideally. With all the adrenalin it’s easy to get sweaty palms and these can mark the dress.

QSo what about tips for the Mums or bridesmaids who have to lace or button the bride in?
A – We always recommend that whoever will be dressing the bride on the day should come to at least one of the fittings so they can learn how to fasten the dress. Oh and don’t forget to have a wedding day SOS kit on hand.

QWhat should be in the wedding day SOS kit then?
A – We give out a fantastic list put together by wedding planner bride&glory but here are some of the things you should have on hand: handkerchief & tissues, hair pins and a comb, make-up for touching up, deodorant, perfume, mints, blister plasters and gel cushions, safety pins and a sewing kit.

Anna’s advice is bang on and something I would echo and if you would like images of you getting dressed on the wedding day morning I would recommend that you need to be in your dress about an hour before the car is due to leave. This may seem like a long time before but time goes very quickly and the last thing you want is to be madly running around trying to get your dress on before the car speeds off to church. Plan ahead and your morning will be relaxed and fun and you’ll have the images you want.

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Anna always has lots of events happening at the boutique so to keep up to date with what’s happening you can visit her website.

Anna Mc Donald Bridal Gallery
The White House
East Street, Thame
OX9 3JS
Tel: 01844 214 190

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