“ Address: Ethos Court / Unit 2 / 2 City Road / Chester / CH1 3AT „
I'm reviewing this bridal shop as it is where I bought my wedding dress for my wedding last year. I had never been into a bridal shop before, so I was a bit unsure what to expect. However, I was very happy that we started with this one because it completely put my mind at ease and made me feel comfortable in a situation which can hardly be described as glamorous - stripping down to your underwear in front of someone you've never met before, and having two people prodding and pulling you into various dresses!
The shop is located in Chester, on City Road which is the road leading to the train station. This makes it easy to get to by public transport, and there is also parking on the rooftop of the shop for anyone visiting by car. I can't see their opening hours online, but from memory I think they were open from 9:30 on Saturdays. You do need to make an appointment if you're trying dresses on, as they like to allocate a member of staff to help you get in and out of the dresses, and also to offer advice.
==The Dress Collection==
The shop stocks a selection of dresses, including bridal dresses, prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride outfits, and accessories such as veils, hair pieces, and jewellery. The shop is not huge, but it does have a good variety of dresses, and the prices are clearly labelled which is vital to ensure you (a) don't make a fool of yourself by having to check you can afford it, and (b) you don't fall in love with a dress which is way out of your budget. The prices are in fact very sensible, and as some of the collection is on their website, you can get a good idea of how much you'll need to budget to get the dress you're after. Designer dresses start from £255, although I have seen dresses for as little as £99 in their regular sales, so it's worth taking a look online. I don't remember seeing any dresses that were ridiculously overpriced, and this is definitely what I would call a budget shop. By that, I simply mean you won't have to re-mortgage your house to buy a dress here, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the quality or style. I bought my dream wedding dress for around £300, which seems like a lot but when you consider many brides budget over £1,000 on the dress alone, this was a good saving.
I think this is where this shop excelled itself for me, because the staff are really friendly and put me at ease much more than any of the subsequent shops I visited with my bridesmaid. The lady who helped me was just that: helpful. There was no hard sell or patronising "you can't afford that" looks. She simply asked what my budget was, and what kind of dress I was looking for, and I told her about a couple I'd seen online. She pulled those out, and also a couple of other ones which were similar, and I'm so glad she did because one of those was the one I fell in love with....the first one I tried on!
The assistant was lovely and dealt with the whole stripping off thing in a really laid back and dignified way. My bridesmaid and I had a laugh with her and she also gave me advice on other bits and pieces such as accessories and veils, but again without trying to sell me anything. The changing room was huge and full of mirrors, so my friend got to sit on a sofa and watch me try on different dresses. After trying a few on, I tried the first one on again (typical woman!), and the assistant let my friend take a photograph on her phone which is very unusual as they don't usually like you doing that.
Once I'd ordered the dress, I paid a deposit (although I can't remember how much it was now, I seem to remember it was 50%), and they kept me informed on the date it was due in. It took about 8 weeks to arrive which was fine because I'd ordered well in advance of the wedding, and I went for a second fitting with my mum.
The only strange thing about customer service is that they don't offer alterations in-store, so I had to take the dress with me to visit a lady they recommended who did alterations. This was a bit of an inconvenience, but not the end of the world to be honest. To take the dress I had to pay the balance, which meant that if I'd wanted them to store it for me I would have to have paid around £10 per month. I decided to take my chances and store it at home, as we had an empty cupboard at the time where it could be kept away from my (now) husband's prying eyes. They did, however, offer to steam clean the dress after I'd had it altered, as they appreciated that it might cause problems dragging in and out of cars and houses.
To get an idea of the type of dresses stocked here, and also a guide on prices, you can visit their website at http://www.adaytoremember.uk.com
I would highly recommend this shop to anyone looking for either bridal or evening dresses, as it is affordable and relaxed. Out of the shops I ventured into whilst wedding dress shopping, this was by far the most relaxed experience, and didn't make me feel inadequate for having a lower budget than a lot of brides. Although it's a city centre location, there is free parking for customers, and the staff are friendly and approachable without trying to sell the most expensive options. I had no issues with the service or the quality of my dress, but I'm knocking a star off for not offering in-store alterations. Not only is this an inconvenience but it also means you have to pay the balance on your dress earlier than you may have planned, because you have to pay for the dress in full before taking it from the shop. This then means you also have to pay for storage for them to store the dress for you, because technically it now belongs to you rather than the shop, so it could be quite costly if you don't have space to store it at home.
(Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)