Year in Review: A Look Back at Your Achievements in 2019

We speak to 10 retailers from across the nation about what’s been successful for them in 2019.

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Adella Bridal, Norwich, Norfolk

Name? Amy King, Owner

Years in business? One

Labels carried? Hayley Paige, Jesus Piero, Dando London, and Theia Couture

How far in advance are brides ordering? Usually between 18 months and a year

Any demand for trends such as colour, embellishment, short styles? Brides are definitely getting braver with colour. We’re always being asked for alternatives to ivory, such as nudes, blush, and grey.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Separates and dresses with detachable elements, so brides can mix things up and show their personality through their styling.

What’s your bestselling size? UK 12

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? Desire by Dando London

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? Always! We’re on the lookout for anything that’s a little bit different.

Read More: Five Industry Experts Share Their New Year’s Business Resolutions

Cariad Bridal, Swansea

Cariad Bridal, Swansea

Name? Vanessa Phillips, Owner

Years in business? 14

Labels carried? Essense of Australia, Randy Fenoli, White Rose, and Phoenix Gowns

How far in advance are brides ordering? There’s no rhyme or reason! I’m currently selling to brides getting married in March 2020, but I’m also taking orders for 2022! I even sold a dress to a December 2019 bride recently.

Any demand for trends? Plain, plain, plain! My brides seem to be coming away from lace and while it’s still popular, they’re asking for more demure options.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Unadorned A-line Mikado or ball gowns

What’s your bestselling size? UK 20

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? B687 by Phoenix Gowns

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? Boho with a modern twist

Natalie Ann Brides, Liverpool, Merseyside

Natalie Ann Brides, Liverpool, Merseyside

Name? Natalie Ann McDonald, Director

Years in business? 26

Labels carried? Martina Liana, Essense of Australia, Mori Lee, Mark Lesley, and Eddy K

How far in advance are brides ordering? On average a year or more in advance

Any demand for trends? Lace is still very much the flavour of the month. Brides are also choosing crystal embellishments that dance in the light, rather than silver that sparkles.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Fit and flare with a V-cut front and spaghetti straps, which show much more of the back.

What’s your bestselling size? UK 12

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? Martina Liana 1078 and Essense of Australia D2771

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? I’m excited for bohemian styles. I picture brides floating down the aisle in straw type dresses

Love Me Do Brides, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

Love Me Do Brides, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

Name: Sharon Underwood, Owner

Years in business: 18

Labels carried: White One, Mori Lee, Christina Wu, Eternity, Adrianna Pappell, Eddy K, and Zac Posen

How far in advance are brides ordering? Brides visit the boutique anywhere between 24 hours and three years before their wedding

Any demand for trends? We are seeing a huge rise in brides requesting sparkly tulle gowns

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Ball gowns

What’s your bestselling size? UK 14 or 18

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? Millie and Maribella by Mori Lee

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? Better prices and private labels, so there’s less competition with other stores. I’m finding that brides are less style and designer-led these days. As long as you have the right silhouettes and a good choice of gowns, you can get them booked in!

Read More: How to Engage With Shoppers in the New Year

Olivia Cameron Bridal, Falkirk

Olivia Cameron Bridal, Falkirk

Name? Fiona Smart, Founder

Years in business? 14

Labels carried? Ronald Joyce, Victoria Jane, Sofia Bianca, Stella York, Sorella Vita, and Richard Designs

How far in advance are brides ordering? We’ve seen a change recently from brides leaving it quite late to ordering as far as 18 months in advance.

Any demand for trends such as colour, embellishment, short styles? Structured Mikado gowns. Ivory is still our bestselling colour, but we’re seeing more of a demand for blush.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Mikado ball gowns

What’s your bestselling size? UK 16

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? Stella York 6758

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? We feel we have a really diverse mix at the moment, so don’t anticipate taking new collections on in the foreseeable future.

Emily Bridalwear, Sheffield

Emily Bridalwear, Sheffield

Name? Emily Harrison, Owner

Years in business? 11

Labels carried? Martina Liana, Essense of Australia, Blue by Enzoani, Justin Alexander, and Mikaella

How far in advance are brides ordering? The average length of time from purchase to the wedding date hasn’t shifted massively for us, it’s still 12-14 months. Yet recently, we’ve been amazed by how many brides are requesting appointments for May and June 2020.

Any demand for trends such as colour, embellishment, short styles? Our demand for colour is still high. Brides come in wanting ivory and steer clear of colour, but they’re always amazed at the difference colour makes to patterns when they try a gown on. We still also have demand for long-sleeved options, so we have to make sure we have a range to let brides explore their options.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Bar two dresses, our top 10 bestsellers are all fitted, with over half of them being crepe.

What’s your bestselling size? UK 12, but sizes 18 and 20 are creeping up too

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? 2752 from Essense of Australia and 1078 from Martina Liana.

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? We don’t need new styles, it’s sizes we’re investing in! We want our collection to shift across a broader range of sizes, with plus sizes from UK 24 and upwards.

Peony Bridal, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland

Peony Bridal, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland

Name? Elsebeth Sayers, Proprietor

Years in business? Four

Labels carried? Mark Lesley, San Patrick, Louise Bentley, Ida Torez, and Oksana Mukha

How far in advance are brides ordering? We seem to be experiencing one extreme or the other! It’s either nine months or 18!

Any demand for trends such as colour, embellishment, short styles? We tend to be known for our elegant, less-is-more collection, so we’ve had a great response to dresses that can be customised. Brides want to feel individual. The traditional look is also big, but with a current trend twist.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? The plain and elegant look. Previously it was a fit and flare style, but our brides are definitely swaying more towards A-Line these days

What’s your bestselling size? UK 10

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? Lara by San Patrick

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? We’re always looking for something new. I love that classic Audrey style, but with a modern influence, such as a side plunge or back detailing. If a dress features polka dots or a bow, I’m sold!

Knowles Bridal

Knowsley Bridal Suite, Liverpool

Name? Amy Bellis, Owner

Years in business? Two

Labels carried? Kenneth Winston, Ella Rosa, Oksana Mukha, Modeca, and Donna Salado

How far in advance are brides ordering? We’re finding brides are ordering 12 months in advance. This gives them enough time for the dress to arrive and for any alterations to be made.

Any demand for trends such as colour, embellishment, short styles? We’ve noticed our brides are moving away from ivory and loving nude and blush tones. They want a classic look, but with a modern twist. Gowns with detachable trains have also been very popular since brides love the idea of changing their look for the evening.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Fishtails and mermaid dresses. Our brides are loving figure-hugging styles, as well as long trains.

What’s your bestselling size? Between an 8 and a 12. We have a range of sizes in store, which we select based on how we think each dress would look in each size. Most of our smaller sizes are fitted styles, so our brides can see the overall look rather them pinning them into a bigger size. This really works for us.

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? Kenneth Winston 1751. Everything about this dress is stunning and we knew as soon as we ordered it that it would be a favourite. The beaded detailing and sequin overlay screams glamour and the illusion back has been a massive hit with our brides.

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? For our 2020 collections, we’re looking to order some gowns with a lot of sass. Although many women love the traditional look, we want to invest in some sexier styles. We’re thinking of fitted gowns with lots of beading and maybe plunge necklines for daring brides!

Read More: Making First Impressions Count in Sales

Pure Brides, Norwich, Norfolk

Pure Brides, Norwich, Norfolk

Name? Anna Hare, Owner

Years in business? 15

Labels carried? Maggie Sottero, Essense of Australia, Sottero & Midgely, Enzoani, Rebecca Ingram, and Eternity Bride

How far in advance are brides ordering? Around 12 months

Any demand for trends such as colour, embellishment, short styles? Bolder applique, sleeves and straps

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Our top 3 bestsellers are all completely different. One is a boho ball skirt, the other is a fitted crepe skirt and the final one is a sparkly lace ball skirt.

What’s your bestselling size? UK 12, but UK 14 is a close second

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? D2752 from Essense of Australia, which we only started stocking in April, so it makes me very happy!

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? Bolder and more contemporary styles. We’re really excited about our buys from the Harrogate Bridal Show 2019, as we’ve chosen some edgy gowns to sit alongside our safer styles that we know our brides love.

Love in Lace, Edenbridge, Kent

Love in Lace, Edenbridge, Kent

Name? Claire Martin-Quirk, Owner

Years in business? Less than a year

Labels carried? Madi Lane, Vagabond Bridal, Luna Willow, Alena Leena Bridal, and E&W Couture

How far in advance are brides ordering? This Summer we’ve had quite a lot of short order brides. In some cases, we’ve delivered dresses in less than 12 weeks! Most Brides order a year in advance, though, which allows plenty of time

Any demand for trends such as colour, embellishment, short styles? Our brides love mocha, nude and blush tones which we have lots of, especially within our ranges from Australia. All over embellishment and sparkle has been less popular this year.

What has been your bestselling type of styles in 2019? Our bestsellers have mostly been plain. Clean and minimalist crepe, satin, and satin-crepe have all been extremely popular as well. Our brides love a long train and patterned or embroidered veils

What’s your bestselling size? UK 12, although our samples range from a UK 10 to UK 14 and most dresses can be ordered up to a UK 20.

What has been your bestselling dress so far this year? The New York by Luna Willow. It’s sleek, effortlessly cool and fun to accessorise. We love seeing how our brides style the dress differently!

Are you looking for anything new in 2020? Romantic and whimsical bridal dresses that are timeless yet on-trend - perfect for modern brides!

Giving customers a good reason to come into your store is key. That’s why we’ve rounded up seven fantastic ways you can drive more footfall to your bridal boutique.

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