3 inspirational wedding boutiques in Devon

PUBLISHED: 10:08 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:34 09 July 2020

A vintage lace dress from Days of Grace modelled by Claire Zorana Woltman. Photo: Maxy Maxwell Photography

A vintage lace dress from Days of Grace modelled by Claire Zorana Woltman. Photo: Maxy Maxwell Photography

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Vintage gowns, sustainable dresses and a bridesmaids boutique - personal stylist Chantelle Znideric shares some special wedding ideas from the county

An antique lace veil and dress from Days of Grace, modelled by Vivienne Onamusi. Photo: Liberty Pearl PhotographyAn antique lace veil and dress from Days of Grace, modelled by Vivienne Onamusi. Photo: Liberty Pearl Photography

1. Vintage Vibes at Days of Grace

Days of Grace is the culmination of collecting vintage wedding dresses, gorgeous lace, textiles and fashion and is housed in a ‘bursting at the seams’ boutique in Budleigh Salterton. Owner Linda Duriez has masses of experience with most of her work coming via word of mouth – always a good sign! Her vintage collection of dresses is inspired by art, especially the Pre-Raphaelites, Frida Kahlo, Klimt and the Impressionists. It thrills her that you can own something that was made, sometimes 100 years ago and that it can go on giving immense pleasure.

One of the beauties of having her boutique is gowns find her, so she never knows what’s going to come through the door from one day to the next. Families love to tell the stories of their grandmothers’ dresses and are thrilled that they will continue to have a life and bring pleasure to today’s bride. Linda swears the best thing about her job is her brides - the friendships she’s made over the years and the joy of being part of something so happy. What a privilege. Linda admits she’s not right for every bride but the ones who find a calling to her door want a softer gentler way of doing dresses. They don’t want to spend a fortune and they love the history and handwork. To her, it makes perfect ethical and economic sense.

Linda shares her top three tips on how to find your perfect vintage wedding dress: Trust your heart - the still small voice inside saying ‘this is what I’d like to look like, this is comfortable, this is me’. Too many advisers - I see brides get overwhelmed trying to people please. Let them come on your second visit when you’ve already almost decided. It’s your day. Mum or a trusted friend who will let you discover your style are always a safe bet. Dresses are like the ‘fella’. When you’ve chosen don’t go looking anymore.

Beautiful dresses to suit different body shapes from AbideMaids. Photo: Nick Walker PhotographBeautiful dresses to suit different body shapes from AbideMaids. Photo: Nick Walker Photograph

2. Handmade Bridesmaids’ Dresses from AbideMaids

Passionate seamstress and proud owner of AbideMaids boutique Kimberley Baker has been making clothes since she was 13! In 2014, after years of working on her own womenswear label, customers started to enquire whether she could make them some bridesmaid dresses and things really took off. Offering high quality, modern yet timeless bridesmaids dresses that can hang proudly in every girl’s wardrobe after the big day was her ultimate dream, which became a reality overnight.

Being flexible from the outset is key for Kim and working in this way always achieves successful results. She observes, “This way no one feels like they are being pushed into wearing something they don’t like.” Her tailored service means that styles can be made in the same colour fabric; therefore, bridesmaids can wear flattering styles yet still creating a beautiful ‘story’ as a collective.

Kim reveals her top three tips on how to choose your bridesmaid dresses: Be open minded when it comes to styles and the possibility of mixing and matching in order to keep everyone happy. Your bridesmaids will look far more confident and happier if they are wearing a style they feel flatters them and this will shine through in your photos! Think about colour and tones to suit their skin tone. Jewel tones are a popular choice for winter weddings; however, silver is still a popular year-round choice. If you have a certain style or colour that you would like your bridesmaids to wear, let them know beforehand. Then, find something that fits your desired look, rather than spending days trying dresses you don’t like! You can still be flexible but setting the guidelines beforehand will help everyone in the process.

Bridesmaids wearing the Daisy top from AbideMaids. Photo: Nova Wedding PhotographyBridesmaids wearing the Daisy top from AbideMaids. Photo: Nova Wedding Photography

3. The Sustainable Dress Collection by Sister Organics

Sister Organics is a collection of simple, yet feminine, dresses made to order in beautiful organic and sustainable fabrics. Designer Natalie Estlick designs and makes informal wedding dresses, bridal separates, dresses for civil ceremonies, as well as offers made-to-measure occasion wear in eco fabrics.

Sewing and making things has always been something Natalie has enjoyed. When she got married, it made her realise there was a lack of casual and natural wedding dresses on the market. Sister Organics was born! She admits working with natural fabrics and sourcing organic and sustainable cloth, trims and laces has become a bit of an obsession for her.

If you’re looking for style inspiration, Natalie is loving the trend for alternatives to the white gown; the blushes, pastels and watercolours. She’s even made a couple of green bridal dresses this year, which have been a really fresh alternative to the traditional white dress.

'Olivia' puff-sleeve V-neck top from Sister Organics. Photo: Claire Gillo Photography'Olivia' puff-sleeve V-neck top from Sister Organics. Photo: Claire Gillo Photography

She always loves lace and adores the top-to-toe lace look and long lace sleeved dresses, which are on trend for A/W 2020. Bridal skirts (with pockets!) and separate tops are still a favourite of hers for comfort and convenience, and she’s also partial to adding a long bridal cape, for a hint of drama, which provides an essential layer for those opting for a winter wedding.

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