"Quite simply the best bridal shopping experience ever!"

Abigail's Collection Blog

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!… Continue reading

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 reading

A Big Day, A Big Deal.

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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… Continue reading

We just love Mia Mia!

Adaline and GwenOver the years we’ve always loved chatting to Alan Hannah and his Wife Marguerite, they’re an extremely likeable and talented husband and wife bridal dress designing duo that head up the fabulous bridal business that is ‘Alan Hannah’.

We’re absolutely thrilled to be Essex Stockists of the Alan Hannah ’Mia Mia’ wedding dress collection … And it so utterly beautiful! Mia Mia by Alan Hannah offers brides a slice of couture at an accessible price whilst still using luxurious fabrics and detailing. MiaMia gowns really are very affordable, retailing at between just £1100 and £1800.

The gowns have a bohemian feel with beautiful touches of beading which highlight the fluid silhouettes and lovely movement of the gowns.  Silk duchesse, silk slipper satin and silk organza are the fabrics of choice.  These dresses are charming, elegant and graceful!  Stylish and thoroughly gorgeous!

Legato and EstelleMarguerite Hannah trained as a couturier in Cyprus and has been the designer for the Alan Hannah label since 1990.  In 1995, Marguerite won the first of eight British Bridal Awards presented by Condé Nast Brides in the UK.  Marguerite has won a number of awards recognising her unmistakeable talent in bridal couture, including Bridal Buyer Designer of The Year, Retail Bridal Association Designer of The Year and British Bridal Association Designer of The Year.

We welcome these beautiful gowns to our shiny silver dress rails and CANNOT wait to show them all off to our beautiful brides whom we know will, just like us, fall completely in love!

The Pleasure is All Ours!!

Abi-52I’m not going to lie, it’s hard work owning a bridal shop sometimes, especially a busy one with lots of customers and lots of staff!  But the truth is (get ready for the cheese) aside from being a Mummy it is one of the most rewarding, challenging and genuinely wonderful things that I will ever do – no doubt!  Sometimes something happens at work and I’m reminded of what an absolute privilege it is being able to assist with the styling of so many amazing people for one of the biggest days of their lives.  And sometimes I’m reminded what an absolute difference that we as bridal consultants can make.  This letter made me cry.  I decided I’d like to share it with you……  That’s all….

Dear Abigail and Team … I’ve tried so many times to start this letter of thanks and upmost gratitude to you personally and to Rob and the team and somehow I can’t muster the words to explain how amazing you all are. The battle that I went through, even to get a dress was outrageous.  As a plus sized lady the amount of shops I visited across Essex and beyond and the amount of times I was told ’we have nothing in your size’ was heart breaking.  I found so many people that generally couldn’t give a care in the world as to my feelings. Then by chance after really long day I walked past Abigail’s Collection. I rang the bell and was greeted by Rob, he said you… Continue reading

Who Says Romance is Dead?

So did you and your other half do anything super duper special n’ romantic for Valentines day?  Yep? Well we did too – although some would say we got sucked into the commercial vacuum that is ‘V day’ too….  My brother Alex calls it ‘Clintons Card Day’ which makes me laugh but in truth I love a bit of romance and I’m a lucky lady really because 13 years later and I still get beautiful roses and dinner together somewhere special….. My husband Rob arranges it always, he is a total darling, I love him!

This year we popped to one of our all time favourite restaurants; ‘The Blue Strawberry’ at Hatfield Peveral, it was absolutely wonderful as usual and anyone who has visited there will know what I mean when I say that it really is one of the best eateries in Essex, if you haven’t been then what are you waiting for?  Get your bums along; the food is excellent, the service unbeatable and atmosphere utterly wonderful….

Unusually the tranquillity at The Blue Strawberry was interrupted for a few minutes this valentines …. A couple booked into another part of the restaurant had an explosive and very public row, it was over as quickly as it started and really didn’t spoil the evening for anyone else, in-fact in an awkward kinda’ way I think everyone felt lucky that it wasn’t them involved with the situation and snuggled back to their dinner and intimate conversation with ease.  No idea why or what was really going on but… Continue reading

Yaaay!!! Wedding Ideas Award Finals – Whoop Woop!

Thank you vote pic

Okay so yeah, sure – You could say that we are a little bit chuffed!!!  As if our year couldn’t get any better??!  Not only have the team and I enjoyed a record few months at the shop and then boogied our pants off at the amazing charity party that we threw at Prested Hall where we raised a tonne of cash for the Help for Heroes charity but we’ve just had some more awesome news….

The team and I are well known for entering awards competitions and this year we thought, why not?  Let’s go for  it and enter The Wedding Ideas Mag awards.  We haven’t entered them before so we decided it was about time that we did so and anyway I watched the party stream live last year and though ‘Hmmm, that looks like a LOT of fun, we must enter, we must go!’

So the Wedding Ideas Team hold totally totally fab do in London where the cream of the crop get together and celebrate excellence in the wedding industry, it takes place in January and it’s when the winners will be announced.  In order to make the finals you have to persuade your customers and business friends to place a vote for you online.  So we launched a ‘Vote For Us’ campaign via Facebook and twitter last month and I understand from my team that all sorts of pleading, emotional blackmailing and nagging took place via e-mail … lol ….. Well, we’re delighted to say that it was all very much worth while because enough… Continue reading

Bridal Interview with Rachel

Bride’s Credentials…

Rachel Forbes-Pyman (née Livermore). Age 27. Home town Colchester. Now lives in London. Enjoys friends, baking, cocktails and being outdoors.

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A bit about the Groom…

Jolyon Forbes-Pyman. Age 27. Home town Colchester. Now lives in London. Enjoys anything sport related.

Wedding date 14th September 2013

I have known Jolyon longer than I care to remember! He used to go to cricket coaching with my cousins. As he reminded everyone during his speech his first memory of me is as a 6 year old when my Dad was combing through my hair in order to tie it back for a Gymnastics class.

We then parted ways until we were at Secondary School. Although we were good friends we never dated. We remained close friends through our time at University and then one fateful summer we both seemed to have a movie moment and realise that we wanted to be more than friends. Jolyon then hounded me until I agreed to go to Southampton for a weekend to visit some mutual friends. We went out for dinner, and the rest is history! I fell in love with him almost immediately.

The proposal… We both very much enjoy being outdoors and often go to my Step-Mum’s holiday home in Wales. It was whilst on a holiday there that I realised that Jolyon was the guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We were there again for a long weekend in February and were out on a long… Continue reading

Bridal interview with Robina Chappell

Bride’s Credentials…

Robina Chappell (was Clough). Had my 36th birthday 3 days before our wedding, which actually meant that nearly everyone totally forgot about it this year! We moved to Essex from south London as soon as we got engaged so we could start our new life together somewhere we really wanted to live. I wouldn’t count myself as a particularly “girly” girl (my main hobby is golf for a start) and I absolutely hate being the centre of attention but I still wanted to be a princess just for this one day.

A bit about the Groom…

David Chappell. He’s my toy boy – a whole 10 months younger than me. Fortunately his favourite hobby is also golf, so it’s great that we have something we can enjoy together.

We met on a commuter train when we both lived in south London. He started talking to me out of the blue, which, for anyone who has lived in London will know, is a really controversial thing to do on the daily commute. It took a few more chance meetings (and some not so chance meetings I later found out) before we actually went on our first date – which was a very romantic trip to buy bathroom tiles.

What she loves about him…

Well of course I think he’s gorgeous and sexy, but I love him for how much he cares about things – like me, our cats, even my goldfish. In some ways he’s a super geek- and… Continue reading

Wow!!! Well it was certainly all white on the Night!

brides dancing

So Sunday finally came along! It was so very exciting, three months in the making; the Abigail’s Collection ‘Wear Your Wedding Dress Again 2013 Charity Party’ was held and boy oh boy what a fantastic night it was!! 100 guests including business friends and our amazing customers joined Rob, the team and I and together we all literally had a ball!  I can honestly say that the feedback from the event was tremendous, it was a fantastic!

PBP-106Groups of girls (our guests) had spent the afternoon quaffing champers and getting their hair and make up professionally done before hopping back into their wedding dresses.  A huge thank you from me to Emma Brookes and Tina Crossley for recreating my wedding day look, I felt very lucky to have had their professional assistance and can see why my Brides totally rave about them!

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Our night to remember was all in aid of the inspiring charity ‘Help For Heroes’ and our raised funds are specifically for Chavasse VC House (one of the UK’s Help For Heroes recovery centres) which is based in Colchester.  It was exciting to see Guests faces as they arrived.  Prested Hall, our awesome venue event partner, was ablaze with Help For Heroes coloured spotlights (red and blue) and the entrance to the gorgeous building was laid with red carpet and gold ropes!  It looked fantastic and the atmosphere was totally awesome too!  Such an amazing night ….

 

 

NOKSo the night gave us the chance to celebrate in our wedding dresses once again… Continue reading

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