“I had been engaged a few months before I went shopping for wedding dresses. To be honest, I was slightly dreading it! I knew what I was looking for and was worried that I would be forced into something different by well-meaning shop assistants or worse, the rude assistants, or being asked how much weight  I was planning to lose rtc/ I had heard various horror stories from friends. In the run-up to dress shopping, I researched designers I liked from magazines and where there were articles and was ready to start booking appointments. Then one evening I drove past a little boutique in Penarth and in the window I saw ‘The One’, a beautiful 50s style polka for a dress that could have been taken straight from my imagination.

Rachel boutique was the last I visited on the day of dress shopping. The first dress in tried in was the spotty one. I dried on lots of other gorgeous Helen Rhiannon dressers but my mind was made up – the polka dots were mine!!!

My next appointment at the boutique was for measurements and consultation with Helen. I never imagined when I went looking for a dress that it would be handmade and fitted by the actual designer! I loved every appointment I had. Helen was so attentive and is genuinely interested in every one of her brides and on making the dress right for them.  Helen was really supportive with the little tweaks I wanted to make such as introducing the blue colour theme into the dress by making a blue bow and sent on several fabric swatches so I could choose the perfect shade.

My next appointment with Helen was to try the almost finished dress. Helen had made it so exactly to my measurements that all that needed doing was adding the zip and hemming. It was great to see MY dress as it would look on my wedding day, although I was slightly sad that I wouldn’t need any more fittings,  and just needed to pick up the finished article a few weeks before the wedding!

I loved wearing my dress and got so many compliments – even from passing strangers as we were having our photos done! I would love to go through the whole experience again. Hopefully, though I won’t be needing another wedding dress 🙂 but would definitely recommend Helen to any future brides.”

Claire chose her dress from the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique, Penarth.

Photography by Simon Gough.