Saturday, 30 June 2012


So I spent the last two days helping out in my cousin's wedding dress shop, Nell'Amore Bridal Wear Consultancy, in Halstead (on the Suffolk/Essex border) in an attempt to gain some retail experience. It was so much fun as I got to photograph the bridesmaid dresses and sit in on some of the appointments. For some of the future brides it was an emotional experience when they finally found the dress so it was lucky we had some tissues at hand!
Here are a few sketches I did whilst helping out. The lighting in there is fantastic as the shop front is two huge windows that light up the front room, perfectly showcasing the stunning gowns. We had to go outside a number of times to clean the windows where the small children had pointed at the dresses on display, which apparently can be a way to rate how popular some of the dresses are!

 This one proved pretty popular judging from the smudgy handprints. I just loved the buttons that went all down the back of the dress. Such a beautiful detail.

This was one of my favourite dresses. Figure-hugging, and completely covered in lace with a long train, oh,it was stunning. So classic and elegant.

 This was a quick sketch of one of the rail of dresses. We had to check inside the dresses for make-up marks and the construction of these things are amazing! It's all corset boning and details to make sure that the weight of the dresses doesn't pull them down. And no one wants that on their wedding day.
The different designs could be ordered in in different colours, with varying length trains and necklines with halternecks and straps amongst the favoured strapless. The chandelier you can see at the top adds to the vintage d├ęcor of the shop. The front desk and cabinets are old tea-cabinets from when the building was a grocers and the floor is really beautiful dark wood. I loved the layout so much, it perfectly fitted the old town and the beautiful classic dresses.

 This was another dress that caught my eye. I didn't see it on, but it is how I imagined it would look on the mannequin. The range was so diverse, covering your classic princess fairytale dresses, to some shorter styles, or the slinky number below.
Not dissimilar to the white dress Kirsten Scott Thomas wears in Gosford Park, it just goes to show that you don't have to wear a meringue style dress for a wedding and that there are enough choices, even in a smaller boutique such as this one.

The tiaras were also so beautiful, and I have to say I did get a little emotional just trying them on... Just. So. Sparkly. Some of the bridesmaid dresses were gorgeous, I'm a little annoyed I didn't sketch them. But some would be suitable for the balls I have next semester, so I may start saving now...

I never realised how important customer service is in an industry such as Bridal Wear. When a woman came in for her appointment, Lauren had to be completely attentive, dealing with small children, tears and the occasional awkward dress size. She really knew exactly what styles suited the customers and seemed to find styles which would suit the occassion, whether it was a garden party reception or a large glitzy affair.
It was a great couple of days!

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!


Written for Nell'Amore Bridal Wear Consultancy.


  1. Thanks for commenting my blog,I use to model wedding dress haha I love the fishtail style,great sketches :) xxxx

  2. Lovely sketches!

    Emma x


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