Harrogate Bridal Show

Last Saturday, I made the long, long trip up north to Harrogate to visit the Bridal Show – a bi-annual show where all the great and the good in the Bridal Industry congregate to see what’s hot and new for the upcoming Wedding Season!
For me personally, it is always a fantastic opportunity to look at the new trends in Bridal, Prom and Accessories and see what all the designers have to offer, as well as meeting them in person.
There is also a catwalk show for Designers to show off their dresses on real models as opposed to just being on mannequins or hangers – and we all know what a massive difference it makes seeing a dress on a body! The show takes place inside a theatre and as you can see, is an amazing setting!
The Bridal Show also offers a Business Advice Clinic, where Boutique owners like me can meet with Industry experts and chat over what improvements could be made to running your business. I always find these invaluable, as not only do I love to learn, I also pick up new hints and tips to help take my Boutique forward.
So what did I learn about what’s hot in Bridal over the next season? Well, sparkle, sparkle and more sparkle – you can never have enough anyway in my opinion!! A line dresses continue to be hugely popular with intricate botanical lace. Feathers were a feature on some dresses and my opinion is that if this is a bit overwhelming, but you love the idea of it, then make it a feature in your hairpiece, belt or maybe a wrist corsage. Corset style bodices decorated with lace and prominent boning were also a consistent theme and I have an absolutely stunning 2022 dress by Kelsey Rose called Bali which incorporates this trend beautifully. It also has detachable sleeves – the perfect way to individualise your dress! Separates are also a new and popular trend for the modern bride – I will shortly receive some stunning chiffon trousers, along with a tulle skirt and a selection of tops to choose from. Not only is this sustainable fashion, taking your outfit from day to night if you wish to switch elements – but also being separate means you can wear them again adding a colour element.
Bali by Kelsey Rose
At the Romantica showcase – I love stocking their Pure Bridal Range and they had some fantastic new dresses I hope to stock next year.
At the Morilee stand, they are my largest supplier and they dominated the main hall with their dresses. I love their Voyage range and the quality and value they offer is unrivalled.
Accessories always make or break your look and my supplier Warren York had some exceptional new hair vines, a gorgeous pearl studded Alice Band and (mic drop moment) a glitter veil – these are on order and I cannot wait to share these with you in the Boutique!
I absolutely love Prom Season, love the colours, the styles, the glamour and helping girls find their dream dress for their big night is such a joy! Prom 2022 can look forward to corset bodice styles – this is a trend that is here to stay! Incredible sparkle and glitter fabrics and glamour, glamour, glamour all the way! I always like to source dresses in unusual colours and wearable designs. I cannot wait to show the new designs from my suppliers Hermione collection and Gino Cerruti – check out my Instagram reel for a sneak peak at some of next years dresses!
At my Prom suppliers Hermione Collection stand – the glitter sparkly dress above is undoubtedly my dress of next Prom Season and I can’t wait to see who wants to wear it!
It was such a pleasure to be able to go back to Harrogate this year – the last time was 2019 before the pandemic and I have come back renewed, buzzing and excited for the future! I hope you have enjoyed reading about my trip and yes I was knackered by the end of it!!

My favourite Celebrity wedding dresses and a brief history of why we wear white!

Hello, welcome and thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog! 

This time, I thought I would take a look at some (in my opinion) of the most iconic celebrity wedding dresses of the 21st Century. 

You may, or may not already be aware that the fashion for wearing a white wedding dress originated with Queen Victoria (those Victorians were responsible for so many things we enjoy and have today, not just Christmas cards, their engineering feats were incredible, from funicular railways to the Velocipede, but that’s a whole other blog!!) 

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The Evolution of the Wedding Venue

Hello again and welcome back to my Maria’s Bridal Boutique Blog! This time I wanted to delve a little into the evolution of the Wedding Venue and when it became possible to marry at a location other than a Church, or Registry Office.

Nowadays, the choice of Wedding Venues is huge! It is possible to get married almost anywhere, with almost any type of theme! From traditional, rustic and country style weddings, to Disney, or Harry Potter themed extravaganza’s, the world, literally is your oyster!

So how did we come to get all these opportunities to make our wedding fantasies become actual reality?

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Stepping Back in Time

Welcome lovely people to the first of my bi-weekly blog posts! I will be covering a range of topics on all things Bridal and can’t wait to share these posts with you all!

For my first post, I thought it would be nice to step back in time and find out what getting married was like for my Grandma (102) and my Mum, bearing in mind our current restrictions and compare their weddings to those of today.

North Somerset Wedding FeaturingMy Grandma was married on June 19th 1943 (during the 2nd World War) at Brentree Church in Bristol. She was 25 and my Grandad was 32. There were no coupons for white material, so Grandma spent 8 Guineas on a beautiful pale blue suit. There were 25 people at their wedding. Definitely comparable with our current numbers and more like the norm for that time. Grandma had 1 bridesmaid, who wore pink. Following the church ceremony, they had a 2 course sit down meal at The Carlton Hotel in Kingswood. There was white wine for the meal and toast. They were incredibly lucky to have that much food and alcohol bearing in mind rationing. There was no partying late into the night because of air raids and no lights were allowed after dark, so Grandma and Grandad caught the train from Bristol Temple Meads later that day to their honeymoon destination of Ilfracombe, where they were staying for 4 days. (They couldn’t stay any longer, because Grandad was a fireman and couldn’t get leave for any longer). Why catch a train to Ilfracombe instead of driving? There was no petrol!

Similarities with weddings today? Grandma and her bridesmaid had bouquets of English flowers created by the local florist. She had her hair done at the local hairdressers and they had a car for her to arrive at Church and take them to the Hotel for the meal. She also employed a cake maker from Bath to make their wedding cake (a gift from her sister in law).  Although the wedding dress boutiques were off-limits, she still managed to save enough to go to an upmarket dress shop to purchase her suit. On return from their honeymoon, they moved into their new house in Brislington, located 2 doors down from Grandma’s parents! It was their first experience of living together, not being allowed to move in with each other until they were wed.

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