How to get the most out of bridesmaids shopping…

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So the date is set! Your amazing wedding gown is on order! Now is the time to kit out your gorgeous bridesmaids with a fabulous look that they’ll love. It sounds easy but in truth this is one area that can go a little Pete Tong for the bride. Picture this; three bridesmaids with different body shapes, all different heights and each with VERY different style ideas. Here’s a few tips to ensure that all of your girls enjoy bridesmaids dress shopping with you.

  1. Arrange a pre shopping get together

Suggest a time for you to get together BEFORE hitting the shops so that you can share and chat through your vision of your wedding and discuss style ideas together. In truth this is really so that you (the bride) have the opportunity to really express your style and colour ideas whilst obtaining feedback from your girls on their preferences too. Hopefully by doing this when you do hit the shops you’ll be a bit clearer on what it is you’re looking for together.

  1. If colour is in important

At the start of your bridesmaids shopping appointment make sure that you study swatches of available bridesmaid’s gowns first, there is nothing worse than finding a gown you love but realising it cannot be made in your specific shade of aqua!

  1. Mix & match

If your bridesmaids really do vary in terms of their own style preferences (or body shape) you could consider same colour, different dress. Hopefully a win win for everyone, this option shows styling confidence and expresses your bridesmaids individual personalities too.

  1. Time is of the essence

Most bridal shops need at least 4 months to get your bridesmaids gowns made, ideally you’ll be shopping for your bridesmaids gowns at least 6 -12 months before the wedding. It is a plus to get your gowns ordered ASAP because menswear can then be chosen which often directly relates to the colours selected for bridesmaids.

  1. Beware of high street and online purchases

Our bridesmaids gowns start at £110 and are made especially for your bridesmaids on that bases you can be confident that nobody else will be wearing the same dress. Buy on the high street however and you do risk guests attending in the same dress (it happens, its mortifying) Be very careful with online overseas cheap gowns very often the sizing is inaccurate and the quality is poor plus once you’ve added shipping you’re not saving a huge amount. We are often asked to come to the rescue when dresses have been exceptionally disappointing

We are often told we have one of the best selection of bridesmaid’s dresses in Essex, we are based in Colchester town centre on the high street which is half way between Ipswich and Chelmsford. All of our appointments are entirely private with the whole department dedicated to you! … Be sure to book on 01206 574575 and click here for more information on your gorgeous collection of bridesmaids gowns.


The London Bridal Show 2016…

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Over the last couple days Olympia Exhibition Hall in Kensington played host to The 2016 London Bridal Show. It’s been a brilliantly fun couple of days and some of the Abigail’s Collection team headed there in style in a stretch limousine to view the latest bridal trends on the catwalks, socialise with industry friends and buy some gorgeous new gowns for our future brides… Eeek, it was so exciting and is one of the highlights of the year for us.

During the weekend we kept our eyes peeled for some new bridal beauties.  We walked (and dashed) around the halls checking out all of the latest that the best in bridal has to offer! We were looking for some gorgeous slinky, chiffon and satin numbers and of course some stunning new lace designs. We were more than blown away by some of the gorgeous new collections that our designers had to offer.  We’ve totally fallen in love with some of the new gowns we’ve ordered and we can’t wait to get them in-store to try on our future brides.

The catwalk was fab!  We dashed to grab front row seats and see the latest trends. The runway featured some fabulous designers who showcased their finest new styles.  We spotted a few key 2016 trends; vintage glamour, boho and princess.

There were lots of ooo’s and arrr’s from us during the show; Lace fabrics are still prevalent throughout and was combined with slinky chiffon, soft bodied tulle and pretty crepe. The princess look is wow with full ball gown skirts cut with twinkly sequin bodices. Boho brides will be in seventh heaven in easy draped chiffon and unstructured tulle featuring pretty floor 3D appliqué and flowers. And our vintage brides can still enjoy glamorous beaded lace with feature cut out backs, drapey jewels, illusion sleeves and high necklines. The Audrey look is well and truly in with designers delivering statement pieces; styles include strikingly plain, clean lined, structural ballgowns, a-line ad fishtail cuts in smooth mikado satin and duchess satin, less is more in terms of embellishment, these gowns are all about plain striking dress shapes.

We have a very strong collection of bridal and bridesmaids gowns on their way to us.  From Lillian West’s new boho bridal look to Modeca’s vintage collection.  We’ve selected some strikingly plain and elegant gowns from Eglantine and Private Label featured some gorgeous lace and beaded dresses.  Bridesmaids dresses that we selected from Mark Lesley included stunning chiffon, high necklines and twinkly beaded embroidery. The White Rose collection was as gorgeous as ever, we have an incredible collection already and have added some very pretty new designs to our rails …. We’ve just got to make sure we keep the team out of them lol! Check out some of the show images here.

 


Gorgeous new gowns hit our rails…

 

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Receiving new samples in-store is SO exciting and we have had a tonne of new gorgeous gowns arrive through our Abigail’s Collection’s doors this month. Beautiful new bridesmaid’s designs by Mark Lesley … Eek exciting! These gowns combine stunning chiffon and lace for a really elegant and vintage look, available in a multitude of colours and sizes and all made to order.

We’ve also had some new show stopping bridal gowns delivered from our fabulous designers Private Label, Mon Cheri and Modeca… Lovely soft silk, chiffon and tulle have been used to create these beautiful dresses which feature some stunning embellishment. The lace combined within some of our new designs gives a real vintage look and the stunning illusion and open backs add a sexy feel! All of the team are simply in LOVE with these dreamy dresses.

Click here to check out all theses and more!


Belchamp Hall Photoshoot

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We were delighted to have been involved in a photoshoot yesterday at the stunning venue Belchamp Hall in Sudbury; built in 1720 this estate oozes vintage glamour providing the perfect backdrop for your wedding day.

Belchamp Hall is a spectacular venue which combines stunning grounds and a beautiful house, catering to up to 50 people – perfect for a small intimate wedding. We were privileged to meet the Estate Manager and owners who were extremely friendly and welcoming; we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Belchamp Hall as an amazing venue for a special wedding.

Shoot wise; firstly, we created a gorgeous boho look for a model who wore the amazing Modeca Stacey gown which we complemented with a pretty floaty Mark Lesley lavender bridesmaid gown. We also created a glamourous vintage bride with the elegant Modeca Savanna bridal gown and an exquisite gold bridesmaid’s gown to complement. We even had a handsome Labrador called Mongo who joined the shoot looking very fetching in his co-ordinating floral neckpiece; how adorable he was

We worked with some incredible suppliers on this photo shoot; Award winning make-up artist Emma Brooks and Tina Crossley of Beautiful Hair ensured our models looked even more beautiful! Sam French of Wild Poppies Flowers For You created several wonderful displays and a fabulous statement floral hair piece.  Helen of Amelie’s Kitchen created a spectacular wedding cake and Dee Neicho Jewellery Designs made some fab hair accessories. Huge thanks to David of Humble Productions and Gavin of Gavin Conlan Photography – we are really excited to see the film and pictures and can’t wait to share them. Thank you to all involved it was a really fun day!


Wear Your Wedding Dress Again Charity Party 2015!

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WOW what a night! The Abigail’s Collection ‘Wear Your Wedding Dress Again 2015 Charity Party’ finally came along. Over 100 guests including business friends and our wonderful customers joined Abi, Rob and the rest of our team and what and amazing night we had. The feedback from the event was utterly fantastic… we had an absolute ball!

This event was all in aid of the inspiring charity ‘Help For Heroes’ with funds raised going specifically to the Chavasse VC House (one of the UK’s Help For Heroes recovery centres) based in Colchester. Really exciting to seeing all our lovely guests as they arrived at the stunning Prested Hall (our tremendous venue event partner). The entrance to the beautiful venue was laid with a red carpet and gold ropes with Help For Heroes coloured spotlights lighting up the building… It was an incredible atmosphere.

This event gave us the chance for people to re live their big day and to celebrate in wedding dresses… We walked the red carpet whilst our awesome photographers Simon and Stuart from EPS Photography snapped ‘pap’ style pics. We had the fabulous stilt walkers (in wedding dresses) and fire act on arrival whilst the gorgeous Bombshells from Halo entertainment; 1940’s tribute act were playing they were flippin’ magnificent! The ultra-talented Hotshots played a couple of their sets and DJ’s Chris, Dave and Paul from Dreamwave Events threw down some party tunes.

A huge thanks to Dreamwave Events, Aurora Pearl and Jade’s Flower Design for making our venue look stunning! Prested Hall staff served some delicious canapes and we kept the bubbly flowing throughout the evening whilst Alan from Four Ace Entertainment wowed our guests with cool card magic. We scoffed the scrumptious and impressively designed Help For Heroes cupcakes made by the marvelous Heart and Soul Cakes. Our Butlers in the Buff were wonderful… As you can imagine they were a big hit! A massive well done to Mitchell & Andrew you did an absolutely exceptional job helping raise money by selling our raffle tickets.

Our luxury raffle was an amazing success with some brilliant prizes from Blue Strawberry, Poplar Nurseries, Cooper BMW Chelmsford, Perrywood, Smile & Wellbeing Clinic, Barker Shoes valet box and of course our superb venue Prested Hall.

The Candy Cart looked gorgeous and Premier Crew did a sensational job with all of the scrummy sweets which all our lovely guests thoroughly enjoyed, so much so we started to run out! The excitement isn’t over…Toby from TSJ Films has just made a fantastic short video of the evening, it was tremendous evening and the film captures the atmosphere! Check out TSJ film of the evening here.

Altogether the process has be an exciting, moving and overall successful charity project. After the last Wear Your Wedding Dress Again Charity Party 2013 we were keen to raise money for Help For Heroes again and also throw an awesome party! It’s with thanks to all of the incredibly supportive and generous companies mentioned above that we were able to throw our Guests a really rather special and spectacular charity party! Here’s to lots more together and hopefully a couple more totally awesome ‘Abigail’s Collection Wear Your Wedding Dress Again’ charity parties thrown in along the way….

Click here to check out all the amazing pics from the events on our Facebook Page.

Last but by no means least a very big thank you to our wonderful team.  High Fives all round, we did it and together we raised an outstanding £4000 for Help For Heroes £1000 more than our event in 2013 which is incredible! Well done everybody, we should be proud xxx


Double Awards Winners… Super proud!!

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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

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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!