What a difference a day makes!
Having spoken on numerous occasions to friends already wed, about the moment they found their wedding dress; they all concurred, that they instantly knew when they had found their wedding dress. It was an overwhelming feeling. I alas had not had this feeling, not even a twinge.
I decided to visit Boa Boutique in Richmond London, quite a way out for me, but it came highly recommended by one of my close friends Suzie, also getting married this year. One of the things I instantly liked about Boa Boutique was their use of a gorgeous mixture of models on their website, including black models! YIPPEE!
Designer: Charlie Brear (The Vintage Wedding Dress Company)
As I walked in I was greeted by bucks fizz, miniature cakes (yum!) and more importantly, I was greeted by my name! Whoooppeee! So many stores I have walked in have not greeted me by my name or have said my name incorrectly – A big no-no in my books. So already boxes had been ticked and I was immediately put at ease.
Boa Boutique has a beautifully decorated interior with elegant ivory console tables, mirrors, which are accented with gorgeous sparkly accessories elegantly draped around the store.
Image via: Boa Boutique Dresses: Naomi Neoh
Oh, did I mention this was my 6th bridal dress shopping appointment?
By this point I had already tried on well over 30 dresses and was advised that I had been to ‘too many’ stores. So I was starting to feel a little disheartened and underwhelmed!
Now I am not particularly fussy – quite the opposite actually, I had been going in with an open mind and trying on anything. But something just wasn’t resonating with me. The drama queen in me had started to panic – oh my god, I thought – I’ll be waking down the aisle in a bin liner at this rate! Although the dresses I had tried to date had been lovely, none of them felt perfect, or like ‘my wedding dress’.
And then there was Boa Boutique….Talk about saving the best till last !
As my two beautiful best friends, Claire and Lucy (my bridesmaids of course) and I were led to the back of the store, our jaws dropped and I’m sure we all got temporary jaw-lock. The store is deceptively large and the bridal area is simply stunning. Decorated beautifully with dark walls, light coloured floors and with expensive chandeliers, that highlight the beautiful light colour of the dresses. Dresses lined on the rails with ease and space between, allowing you to view them properly without having to have a fist fight with the dress rail to get them out. Shopping heaven. 🙂
Image Copyright: Boa Boutique
There was only me and one other gorgeous bride-to-be in the store at the time (it’s Boa Boutique’s policy). Did I also mention it was a Saturday? The last store I visited on a Saturday was like being in Primark…on a Saturday. Awful. There were at least 10 brides plus their excited guests. I very nearly walked out. I only advise going to a store on a Saturday ladies if you ring ahead first to check how many other brides will be seen at the same time as you and of course if you are happy to share…I digress.
Immediately I could tell the range of dresses in Boa Boutique were different to any I had seen in any other store to date. To add to my euphoric shopping experience; unbeknownst to me I arrived on designer day with New York born and Nottingham based designer; Elizabeth Stuart. I felt privileged to have her pick out some of her dresses for me and advise me what styles and accessories would suit my shape. Instantly drawn to her elegant styles and to her gentle personality – I said to her when I tried on one of her pieces it felt like I was naked. Beautiful silk materials, so soft light and elegant.
Image copyright: Elizabeth Stuart. Dress: Ambrose
The level of customer service in Boa Boutique was above and beyond any of the other bridal stores I have been to. Don’t get me wrong, some of the other stores were wonderful, Satin Bow Bridal in St Alban’s also stands out to me as a class above the rest. Somehow everything just all fell together in Boa. The service was exceptional.
It makes such a difference to the entire experience to have that personal attention to detail; to have someone so interested in who you are as a human being and get an idea of your personality to help enhance the decision-making. To have someone advise you, listen to you, take time with you and to address you by your name (and to offer you cakes and bucks fizz). Sheila and her wonderful team at Boa Boutique did exactly that. Perfectly perfect.
Don’t settle for anything less ladies. This will be the most important dress you ever purchase (unless you end up at the Oscars…but maybe that doesn’t cut it either), take your time and enjoy every moment and get the customer service you deserve.
PS. Did I mention I found my dress at Boa Boutique ? weeee! ;o)
Richmond upon Thames
Surrey, TW10 6QX