Double Awards Winners… Super proud!!

twia awards

WOW this week started with a bang! On Monday 16th November we attended The Wedding Industry Awards 2016! We became proud double award winners for both ‘Bridal Retailer of the Year’ and ‘Menswear Retailer of the Year’ in East of England! Eeek… So exciting!

We got all dressed up for the evening in the stunning venue ‘The Granary Estates’. We excitingly awaited the awards whilst sipping on champagne. It was an epic evening as we won in both categories for the East Anglian region! As a business and many of you will know we are genuinely passionate about delivering a high level of customer service, strive to be the best that we can be and also provide an amazing shopping experience! We are a passionate and enthusiastic team and are so thrilled and excited. We are especially proud of these particular awards because they are voted for by you our amazing customers! Click to view our other award achievements.

A MASSIVE heartfelt thank you to our awesome customers who voted in their hundreds! We are so so proud, we couldn’t have done it without you all!

We’re celebrating … Double Awards Finalists!!

We’ve been popping the corks at Abigail’s Collection and celebrating having received AMAZING news that we are regional finalists for The 2016 Wedding Industry Awards.  Winners are going to be announced on Monday 16th November and we are already planning our party outfits.

To become TWIA awards finalists in both ‘Menswear Retailer of The Year’ and the ‘Bridal Retailer of the Year’ category is such a massive achievement and we are super proud.  It is with huge heartfelt thanks to our incredible Brides and Grooms who took the time to vote for us.  If you know our business well, you will be aware that we love entering awards competitions such as these and have been lucky enough to compete and win at TWIA in previous years, so it is VERY exciting.  Click to view our other awards achievements.

We are passionate about our business and strive to provide memorable and personal appointments, THANK YOU THANK YOU, this means so much!  Watch this space for regional awards results.


Dreamy Modeca Hits Our Rails

Modeca Collection

So delighted, so thrilled, so excited… These beautiful gowns by Dutch design company Modeca Collection are elegant, upmarket and classically beautiful. The Modeca collection is pure romance for brides-to-be who appreciate attention to detail in the cut, the fabric and in every bead and pearl which delicately creates ‘the one’ for brides in search of utter gorgeousness! Fabulous soft silks, chiffons and tulles are used to create these romantic dresses.  The Le Papillon by Modeca collection featwitures dresses in finest lace with vintage undertones and contemporary sophistication for the modern bride. Covered shoulders and higher necklines focus on a vintage feel and a classic vibe; sexy open backs also feature in this couture craftsmanship….. The team have been twirling and whirling, we simply LOVE these gowns.

Buying Bling and Awards Partaaaay!

Awards Tables

In less than a week the team and I are off to Harrogate to see all of our designers, watch the awesome catwalk shows and (perhaps most excitingly) we’ll be attending the 2015 Bridal Buyer Awards!  They’re literally the Oscars of our industry and we are so flippin proud and excited to be finalists in no less than three categories!!!  We’re finalists in the Customer Services category, the Bridal Retailer of the year category and for the Best Groomswear Retailer too! We will of course be so thrilled if we bag ourselves an incredible title but of course for now we are really celebrating the fact that we are three times finalists.  We wish all of our Competitors, Suppliers and Designers the very best of luck in the awards, win or lose we intend to enjoy a glitteringly glamourous evening … last time we ended the evening in a kebab shop!!!!  Who knows where this evening will lead this time lol …..

Pass the tissues…

Plus Size Wedding Gowns

We proudly receive a lot of thank you letters from our Brides, it’s one of our favourite parts of the job, opening the thank you letters and sharing them with our colleagues!  It is so rewarding to see the finished look for our Brides from their wedding day, we always feel like we have been the wedding planning journey too so seeing brides with hair and make-up done and looking all glam in their gorgeous wedding dress means a great deal to us.  As many of you will know, our aim is to genuinely help all of our brides find their dream wedding gown and that is the case no matter what their dress size, style or wedding dress budget …..

Today we received a thank you letter from a gorgeous Bride who is a size 36.  It reminded us what a difference we bridal consultants can really make to a bride when shopping for a wedding gown.  It also made us all feel very lucky indeed to do what we do and to have the chance to be of service to so many amazing ladies, this is what she wrote and I thought I would share it with you all ….

‘As a plus size bride I was dreading the idea of trying on dresses and sadly I had the misfortune of trying two other wedding shops in town before I came to you…. What made the whole thing worse was that I had literally had nightmares about dress shopping and until I had been to you it felt as though those nightmares had become a scary reality.  It was my friend who suggested coming along to Abigail’s Collection, she told me about your private appointments and now I realise that it was the best decision that I made during my wedding planning, it makes such a big difference having the entire room to yourself without other brides.  You were all welcoming and friendly, your dresses were really lovely, I fitted into loads of them and I was made to feel really special, not plus size, not like a larger bride or a ‘big’ girl but just really special.  My lace dress that I chose was gorgeous and I LOVED the bolero that you had made especially to match.  I LOVED my wedding day look! Thank you for making me feel and look a million dollars.  I just wish I could wear my dress again, it was the best day of my life and it is with thanks to Abigail’s Collection that I felt amazing, from the bottom of my heart thank you’.

Mwaaah, as you can imagine, we all needed tissues!  This letter made our day and we are really proud that customers feel really special when they visit us, that is exactly as it should be!

Suits You Sir

Rob consultation in room pic 3 rsSuch massively exciting news!  We’ve expanded! Yes, following our incredible national award win in January we decided to roll out our Groom’s Room portfolio and have opened a second Groom’s Room location in Barnston, near Great Dunmow.  We’ve joined forces at Martels Event’s Village with a bunch of other fabulous wedding and events businesses.  Groom’s and their entourage now have the choice to visit our Colchester or Barnston Branch!  Look forward to welcoming guests to our spankingly brand new and fabulous Groom’s Room.  Check out for more info and watch this space for more news on our Barnston Branch.

Proudly We Were Voted The Best!

Abi Neill Rob Neill Business Owners and Kirsty Vaughan Shop Manager Both Awards

Well January went off with a bang! So on January 15th, as proud double regional winners for The Wedding Industry Award’s (East of England) ‘Menswear Retailer of the Year’ and ‘Bridal Retailer of the Year’ – we were invited along to the national finals in London!  We got all dressed up and I squeezed into the sparkliest of all sparkly bodycon dresses (brave yes I know, lol) and hair sprayed my beehive hair do to within an inch of its life! I then tottered along in ridiculously high heels side by side with Husband Rob and our lovely Shop Manager Kirsty to The Café De Paris and it has to be said it all felt rather exciting, swanky and glamorous!

We sipped champagne, nibbled on divine delights and excitedly awaited the awards!  It was an absolutely sensational evening because we were awarded the UK’s ‘Best Menswear Retailer of the Year’ and also received a highly commended trophy for the ‘Best UK Bridal Retailer of The Year’….  We were all so so so so so thrilled, excited and utterly over the moon!  Customers voted in their hundreds and we have received all of the feedback from the awards team.  We are a passionate and enthusiastic team hell bent on delivering exceptional customer service and an amazing shopping experience, these awards mean the blinkin’ world to me, my Husband Rob and the team because they are voted for by you our amazing customers, and it is not based on the sheer quantity of votes it’s based on scores and detailed feedback and Judges at a seriously high level by industry professionals I respect a great deal.  From the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU…. We’re so flippin’ proud we even put them in our  window…..

Abigail’s Collection Of Awards

So we are feeling very happy, and proud and, well, pleased as punch with ourselves right now!

We’re really thrilled and excited to report that on Monday night we scooped two impressive industry award titles at a prestigious awards event in Norfolk.  The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA) are the only client-voted regional and national awards in the wedding industry and bravely earlier this year we decided to enter two categories; Menswear Retailer and Best Bridal Retailer.

It was an epic evening as we won in both categories for the East Anglian region!  If you know us as a business then you might have found that we’re all genuinely passionate about delivering a high level of customer service and strive to be the best that we can but of course we also know that the East of England has a lot of passionate and committed wedding suppliers, so to win these awards based on votes and customer feedback in both categories against some very strong businesses was simply flippin awesome!

With over 3000 established bridal retailers in the UK and over 100 in Essex alone.  It’s a significantly competitive industry and we retailers have to work hard to impress!  Our amazing customers often send us the most wonderful cards and thank you gifts following their wedding days but this was the ultimate thank you from our customers who voted for us!  Winning these awards means so so much; we literally haven’t stopped smiling since our names were announced!

The team now go forward to the National Finals of The Wedding Industry awards held in London on 15th January 2015.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU if you voted for us, it was the best Christmas present ever!

Buying, Boogieing and Cheesy Chips!

We’re just back from Harrogate (the British Bridal trade expo) where we do our wedding dress, bridesmaid, Mother of the Bride and menswear buying each season and Boy oh Boy we are sooooo excited!  We’ve bought some more gorgeous new curvy girl wedding dresses for our beautiful plus size ladies from the award winning Sonsie label.  Also selected were some extremely stunning new wedding dresses for our main 2015/16 bridal collection. We’ve got lace, we’ve got texture, we’ve got drama and we’ve got elegance!!  The new bridal styles that we’ve chosen from our designers are simply divine, we are thrilled with the new designs! And we’ve totally nailed our new look Mother of the Bride collection with some beautiful new designs sourced for their drop dead gorgeous look and ultra impressive (and accessible) Mother of the Bride price tag!!!

Rob got busy shopping for the latest for our trendy Gents in The Groom’s Room where we continue to offer tailor made, bespoke and ultra smart hire wedding suits, all at amazing prices and still extremely well made and cut! Before visiting Harrogate, we asked you, our amazing customers what it was that you wanted from us and basically that’s what we’ve just popped out and bought!  Sure we went a little nuts with all of the razzle and the dazzle!  We swooned at the swishy fabrics on the catwalk and Oooo’d at the bridal bling, you could say that we’re all terribly excited and we just know that our Brides and Grooms are going to L O V E what Abigail’s Collection has to offer going forward!

Eeeeek, excited, us?  Naaaah, not much lol lol …. just wait and see ….

PS – Okay sure, we didn’t win Menswear Retailer of the Year this time which was disappointing  BUT we’re not really doing badly having won 16 awards to date including two Bridal Buyer Oscars and 5 customer service beaut’s so all in all we can’t really complain about our awards record and anyway, you win some, you lose some….. and yes we really did party the night away regardless, it was as they say, a total blast and we had such a great evening.  The glamour and glitz came to a major halt however when we decided that we needed cheesy chips in order to avoid a major hangover!  So we all tottered (in our tuxes,  heels and long evening gowns) to a classy kebab!!  And yes I can confirm that thankfully hangovers were averted, phew!

A Big Day, A Big Deal.

Spains Hall Shoot EDITS001

Let’s face it – your wedding day is a BIG day!  It’s huge!  It’s the one day when you really have to look and feel your most fabulous!  It’s the one day when all eyes are on you, when you have to dig deep into that bag of positive self esteem and drag from it all of the self confidence that you possibly can.  I’ve been there too and although in the main I’m quite a confident person I’ll be honest looking back at my wedding day and (particularly) to the build up to it I know that I was actually extremely nervous and the pressure of how I was going to look for what felt like the performance of a lifetime was actually a lot for me to deal with!  I got stressed, I got vain, I got emotional and I got caught up with the notion of chasing a sort of bridal perfection!!!

I think these days it’s a big deal for most Brides whatever their look, size, shape or physical insecurities are – And most Brides have them you know; at the time of my wedding I was insecure about a tonne of stuff!  For me it was my ears (one’s smaller, no hole, it’s deformed basically), my boobs – back then I was a 32AA (concave), Oh and I hated my upper arms (still do) and at a dress size 14 I needed a wedding dress that was going to zinch me in at the waist and skim off my curvy hips.  Oh yes and to top it all off I get that major blotchy red rash up my neck and face when I’m feeling self conscious, or if I drink wine!??! Both of which I did on my wedding day – All in all quite marvellous, not, lol….

But looking back and in the grand scheme of things I didn’t really have a great amount to worry about.  I was marrying the man that loved me (and still does, mwahh), that wanted to spend the rest of his life with me warts and all (nope, don’t have any of those)…..  my friends, family and loved ones were there were to support me on my big day, not judge me.  And to be honest any that might have dared to ‘judge’, well quite frankly they could jolly well judge off!

The moral of this here little blog is this; Celebrate your imperfections, celebrate your bridal style whatever that may be, bin the OTT vanity, have fun planning your wedding, don’t let the bridal pressure of looking amazing get to you and spoil it.  Remember the day is all about you and your loved one saying ‘I do’, it may feel like a performance but in truth it’s your wedding ceremony, and it will, I’m pretty sure by a beautiful, fabulous day! …. Don’t forget for morale support, styling advice and assistance with any aspect of your wedding day outfits, just shout, we’re here to help you any which way we can x