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How to Dress a Bride: Five Things to Consider

With more than three decades’ industry experience, the Designer-in-Chief at Opus Atelier, Sharon Hamilton McPherson, knows a thing or two about dressing brides. Here she shares the top five things you should consider…

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How to dress a bride
How to dress a bride

Sharon, or Mrs O as the brides who visit Opus Atelier tend to call her, has over 30 years’ experience in helping brides to find their wedding dress. She’s been dressing brides around the world, from Dubai to LA to the small town in West Kilbride where she works now – meaning she really has seen it all.

Here she reveals the essential things every retailer should consider when it comes to helping to style a bride for one of the most important days of her life.

Listen to the Bride

“As brides walk through our doors, they are welcomes into our beautifully tranquil boutique,” Sharon reveals, “where she will always have exclusive use of our salon, making it a very intimate experience for her and her bridal party.

“We listen to her ideas and inspirations, as well as what look she wants to achieve on her wedding day. It is an incredibly exciting time for her and one we head towards with fun and honesty.”

Explore Bridal Trends

“With our brides, it is essential that our ability, experience and skill is of the highest grade,” explains Sharon. “All our Atelier staff are highly trained in not only fashion, but bridal retail and trends. I attend every bridal and fashion week in order to bring back the most exciting and innovative trends each season.

“It is with this that we create our looks each season, by exploring what’s new and current in design and haute couture and transform it into bridal.”

Find out everything you need to know about bridal trade show London Bridal Week so you can do the same.

Challenge a Bride

It’s important to encourage brides to try something different, says Sharon: “As our brides share their ideas, it’s our job to take her to the next level. She has arrived at our salon for her love of great fashion, so here we ask her to take a risk to be extraordinary on her day and create a look that is both individual and visionary.”

Attention to Detail

Sharon loves to quote Coco Chanel: ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.’

“The same is true of bridal,” Sharon explains. “After we get our bride in the gown, we love nothing more than to be over the top and pile on skirts, tiaras, veils, leather jackets, shoes, jewels… anything the bride may have considered before slowly removing each piece bit by bit to reveal her true vision of her bridal self.”

Have Vision

“At the Atelier, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of fashion and will turn your vision into your reality,” says Sharon. “We will explore your ideas with the bride, and with passion, creativity and knowledge, create her individual look and unique bridal style. And we’ll have a great time ‘playing’ whilst we do it!”

Want to hear more from bridal shop owners? Maria Musgrove of Pantiles explained to us the questions you need to ask to guarantee a sale in your bridal boutique.

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