This month, we interview the sister duo behind From This Moment Bridal Studios in Surrey. They chat to us about their entrance into the bridal industry and their favourite part of owning a boutique.
Name of store: From This Moment Bridal Studios
Store owners: Hayley Harding and Claire Grugan
Location: Ewell, Surrey
Number of years trading: 15
Brands stocked: Justin Alexander, Adore by Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Sottero & Midgley and Rebecca Ingram
Average price point: £800-£2300
Number of staff: 2
Claire and I are sisters and have owned From This Moment for 15 years, we are based just outside of Ewell Village, between Epsom and Kingston Town. We have four fronted bridal rooms, which include our reception area, our viewing room, and two very large changing rooms ,we are very lucky to have parking to accommodate up to ten cars directly outside on our private forecourt. We have a relaxed atmosphere in our store and pride ourselves on our outstanding customer service, which speak volumes as the majority of our clientele stems from recommendations.
The main reason for starting the business was after my experience getting married, and the poor service I received on buying my own gown. Claire was in between jobs, and when I was on maternity leave the opportunity arose, so we decided that we wanted each and every bride to have the most enjoyable experience choosing their gown, as this is the start of their wedding journey.
I don’t think there is ever an “ideal bride”. We love the individuality of every bride we meet, as this is what makes our job so interesting! You could potentially put the same gown on three different brides and each one could look completely different.
When a brides finds her gown, we celebrate with a photo by our flower wall and tree of love. They can hold either a “I said yes to the dress” or “I found the gown” board - most brides love a little boomerang shoot too!
The best part of our job is 100% when your bride finds her gown, and that look of excitement on her face! Especially if it is one you chose for her and completely different from what she thought she wanted.
One of my funniest memories was one evening, when we had an appointment for Menswear, two guys in their late-twenties came in to be measured for a black tie event, and were acting very cocky. I thought I would get my own back by telling them they needed to get undressed down to their underwear for me to take their measurements. One of them went into a panic, and as they walked down to the changing toom, I heard him murmur to his friend that he was embarrassed as he was wearing really baggy Primark boxers. This did however slightly backfire on me: when I measured his inside leg as I went to stand up, his manhood fell out the side of his baggy pants and hit me directly on my forehead.
1. We are family-owned and run, and hold a genuine passion for our jobs.
2. Our shop is named after the song I walked down the aisle to!
3. Claire bought her own wedding dress - Maggie Sottero - at the Harrogate Bridal Show, without even trying it on!
It’s all in the planning and the research - and good luck!