American store David's Bridal opens flagship shop in Westfield Stratford City
Whether you dream of a traditional white wedding or envisage wearing something a little edgy at the altar, a prestigious American bridal store is bringing its collection of hundreds of gowns to Stratford next month.
David's Bridal is the go-to destination for one in three brides-to-be in the States and the brand will be officially opening the door to its UK flagship store at Westfield Stratford City on Thursday (October 3).
Lucy Richards, UK merchandise director, said there was "pent-up demand" for the firm's products in London, something proved by eager customers gathered outside the shop doors half-an-hour before its soft launch earlier this month.
"There's a small brand recognition," said Lucy, who will spend a significant chunk of her time at the store, which spans more than 3,000sq ft. "But for the majority of our customers, we are new, fresh and something very different.
"We have picked the dresses from the American range - we haven't taken everything, just what's most suitable for our brides.
"We have been careful with the assortment and we have catered to our European bride.
"Already, our White by Vera Wang collection is proving very popular. We are in a very fashionable part of London and brides around here are very aware of what's going on."
While the more pricey gowns in Wang's collection will set customers back up to £1,600, prices at David's Bridal start at £295, with sizes from 4 to 30.
Myriam Ben Yedder, managing director of David's Bridal UK, said the wedding trend was similar in the US and UK, with the first thought on the mind of a bride-to-be being "what do I love?"
"We want our brides to feel beautiful, celebrated and rewarded," she said.
The pair compared the in-store experience as "little shops within shops", with Truly by Zac Posen, vintage styles by Melissa Sweet and Galia Signature just some of the ranges supplementing the brand's own collection.
They said customer service was also key, with an alteration service on site.
Although if no changes are needed, a bride-to-be can walk out of the shop with her dream purchase on the same day, as well as picking out the all-important wedding accessories, mother-of-the-bride attire and bridesmaids dresses. For upcoming nuptials before Christmas, Lucy said colour couture dresses were standing out.
"Colour is again leading a trend," she said. "We have got a number of dresses in colour in the David's Bridal range - we have got some very pretty pink dresses and blossom dresses with a pink and green trim. Metallic embellishment is also very strong for the autumn - they are very detailed and we think they will be very strong."
Myriam said the store's debut on the British retail scene had been in the pipeline for the past four years.
"We are very excited about bringing the brand to the UK," she said. "Westfield Stratford City is a premium shopping mall and with the Olympics, it's a very well known destination in the UK and abroad."
Go to davidsbridal.co.uk.