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Our Boutiques

Get Dressed: TDR Bridal Birmingham

Sarah Symonds

If you’re still on the hunt for your dream dress and want to be made to feel like a princess as you choose your gown surrounded by happiness, enthusiasm and in gorgeous surroundings, then look no further than TDR Bridal.

Originally a trained florist, girl boss Rebecca has built her own empire from the ground up, opening The Dressing Rooms in Birmingham back in 2007 and growing it into the beautiful boutique it is today, with sturdy roots in her business savvy reputation and glowing customer service skills.

Just talking to Rebecca, you immediately know how proud she is of TDR, her gowns and designers, her team and her brides. The experience that each bride has in-store is paramount for her and it really shows. She fully understands the differences and nuances of each person that enters the shop and caters for them, making them feel like they are the only customer that matters at that point. Plus, becoming a TDR bride means you get access to a whole network of other TDR brides! How cool is that?!

She’s also currently offering UNVEILED readers an exclusive free upgraded welcome gift to make your experience even more special! Read on for the details!

Model images by Robyn Frances Photography

Hello there!

Hi, I’m Rebecca, Founder and Director of TDR Bridal Birmingham. I opened in September 2007 and have built my business up from nothing, based solely on reputation and customer experience in my store.

Where did your passion for bridal fashion begin?

I am a florist by trade, gaining my third year C & G in Floristry, specialising in wedding work. Opening a Bridal store was part of my final piece for my stage three exam. I then went on to do a HND in Business & Finance so that, when my children became old enough, I was all set to open The Dressing Rooms, or TDR Bridal as it is known today.

Tell us about what makes your boutique special?

There are so many things that make the magic happen at TDR! Of course it’s beautifully decorated and styled, it’s sumptuous but not pretentious, and it’s a place you can feel comfortable in. But more than that, it’s the feeling brides say they get when walking in, that they know they will find their dress here. They say they just feel happy the moment they arrive, they say we are relatable, kind, happy and enthusiastic and we genuinely care and are interested in their wedding plans, and that is what makes TDR so special.

Does the boutique have a signature style of gown?

Gosh no! Does every bride think the same, want to wear the same and look the same? We just love wedding dresses; it really is that simple.

We have lots of different styles and different price points because we don’t believe in a single “type” or “style” or “shape” of bride or woman – we all come in different packages, we are all unique and we love to celebrate that here! Yes, of course we follow trends but we are not dictated to by fashions and we choose what we believe to be beautiful on any shape or size, purely just because it’s a beautiful wedding dress, not because it’s our own style we are trying to impress on a bride, that just wouldn’t sit right with us.

Which labels do you stock and why did you choose them?

We were the first UK stockist to take on Enzoani so it’s a bit of a love affair to be honest. KC, the Head Designer, is a wonderful friend and a great supporter of TDR, this guy is just on a pedestal for us! His designs are always leading the way in bridal fashion whilst still making sure every dress is perfect for flattering a woman’s figure, making her look and feel amazing. From super sexy to the ultimate English country bride, Enzoani has it all. We are Platinum stockists for all Enzoani Brands. Blue By Enzoani is a more fashion-led brand from Enzoani; fitted silhouettes, fabulous A-lines and a definite signature is present in all the Blue By Enzoani Dresses. Etoile is the most affordable in the Enzoani range. These dresses are for the bride who wants that Enzoani look but whose budget can’t quite stretch, without having to compromise on the look they want. Beautiful, pretty laces and great cuts are what this label is all about.

We just adore Mori Lee! Madeleine Gardener, the designer, is oh-so-versatile and at the same time so on point with every dress she creates. Truly timeless pieces are mixed in with very fashion forward designs to create wedding dresses that so many of our brides fall in love with. We are the largest Mori Lee stockist in England.

Justin Alexander brings the clean lines, sharp styling, and an eye for detail. Carefully thought out, intricate detailing, beautiful fabrics and modern takes on traditional styles are present right the way through the Justin Alexander Collection.

Lillian West dresses are a boho bride’s dream. Soft English tulle, pretty floral lacs and dreamy styles make this the go to brand for that boho vibe.

Sottero & Midgley are Maggie Sottero wedding dresses just with a bit more va-va-voom! Only the very best designs make this collection, along with the best fabrics, laces and embellishments. Forward thinking, fashion leaders in bridal make this brand one of the most popular with our brides.

Ronald Joyce is very princessy, romantic and pretty. The designer, Veni Infantino, is a personal friend of mine and so every year we get a preview of these gowns and have an input into what makes the collection. These dresses are designed in the UK and Veni has her own studio in London, where any bespoke requests can be done.

Rebecca Ingram makes fab, flirty, fun dresses which are a great option for the bride on a budget. Designed and made by Maggie Sottero, with all the elements that are needed to make a good dress great, Rebecca Ingram has it all.

Finally, Elysee and Elysee Atelier are new to the market. I bought into these collections because they are something totally different and unique. The attention to detail is simply exquisite and the fit is like nothing seen before. Overskirts can be mixed and matched along with different sleeves, capes and colours. Stylish, sexy and forward fashion bridal by the world’s best designers.

What sizes do you carry?

We carry sizes from a UK 6 to a UK 32 with everything in between.

What sort of price point are your gowns?

Our gowns are prices from £695 to £4500.

Where would you advise couples to look for inspiration when beginning the dress hunt?

Well, Brides Up North and UNVEILED Magazine of course! (Thanks Rebecca!)

There’s so much out there and so much to take in, it can get a bit overwhelming. My advice would be start online figuring out the styles that you are attracted to, look up those designers and check for your local stockist. Just keep in mind that even when you think you’ve found the one o line, nine times out of ten it definitely isn’t when you actually get to try it on, so an open mind is always beneficial. Look out too for bridal shops with prices on their website, you know then exactly what you’re getting before your appointment, as honesty and transparency really matter when it comes to putting your trust in a shop.

Always, always check out reviews online! This is really important. Another key indicator that you’re going to a great bridal shop is whether or not they are RBA members so that’s worth checking for too.

How do you approach each appointment?

Every bride who books an appointment with us automatically gets access to her own online Client Portal with all our dresses on, where she can “favourite” the ones she loves and we in store, can see this too and have them ready for when she arrives. Every bride is given a private suite and can choose and pre-book her chosen suite if she prefers. Refreshments are available in every appointment for a bride and her guests and we have no limit on numbers during non-Covid times.

Our stylists are experts at what they do. They know all 400 styles in store and will instinctively know after chatting to the bride, just what she is looking for. The bride can choose a selection of dresses and once the trying-on starts, the stylist may pull dresses herself that the bride may have missed. Above all, this is a celebration, we have fun, we compare, we discuss, and we evaluate whilst making sure that the bride feels safe and confident with us and with her purchase.

Once a bride places her order (which is all done electronically via her client portal) she gets exclusive access to our private Facebook group, joining over 1100 TDR brides and receiving direct access to all our TDR Staff 24/7. The brides also get my personal mobile number so that if, at any time, there is an emergency and they need to speak to me directly, they can just call.

We also do lots of other appointments with the bride, for example a lovely one is our accessories appointment, where we experiment with veils, headwear, jackets, capes, petticoats and shoes – just making the whole process an extended special time.

Tell us about the fittings and alterations process?

All our alterations are done in-house. This is something that is very important to us and something we are very proud of. There are shops out there that just give out a business card, but we don’t believe that is a service, it’s simply passing on part of the process to someone else. We like to oversee the alterations, to know the bride is happy and that everything fits perfectly. Even though we offer this service in-house, our dresses are priced the same as any other bridal shop. We don’t add a premium for this service.

Why should brides shop in independent, local boutiques?

Goodness me, there is such a difference between a high street chain and an independent boutique. First off, an independent has a real relationship with the real designers, not some made up name ‘designer’.

Secondly, when you order in a boutique, the dress is made especially for you and no one else ever, will have tried that dress on. It is yours and yours alone. In a high street chain your dress could have been tried on potentially by hundreds of brides before you, it could have been shipped up and down the country to fill stock gaps and most likely could have been cleaned several times, so effectively you are buying a sample dress. In a boutique, we significantly reduce the price of all sample dresses because they are just that, samples – shop soiled, tried and tested, and a boutique wouldn’t expect a bride to pay full price for that.

Thirdly, you simply won’t get the same individual and high standard of service at a high street chain that you will get at an independently owned boutique. They simply don’t have the infrastructure in place to offer what a boutique offers and we’re proud of that!

What do your brides love about your service?

I think more than anything our brides feel safe and looked after with us. We genuinely care about them and we support them every single step of the way, I think they really appreciate that.

What are your top 3 tips for clients when choosing their wedding outfits?

  1. Choose your boutiques wisely.
  2. Take people shopping with you who really care about you and want the best for you.
  3. If you feel it’s the one, don’t sleep on it – this is a once in a lifetime moment you will never get back.

And your no nos?

  1. Don’t fall for pressure sales; if you don’t feel it, move on.
  2. Don’t listen to others. Follow your own “feeling”.
  3. If you’re not 100% sure then don’t buy it and just walk away. That’s fine too.

What trends do you see emerging in bridal fashion for 2021 and beyond?

Boho is huge right now, so relaxed vibes, soft lines and floaty ethereal fabrics are hot trends but then the opposite end of that is also really strong currently too. Fitted, sexy, alluring shapes with hints of nudes under lace to create an illusion effect or completely plain with structure and cut as the focus. To be honest though, every bride kind of has her own inner style that we love to see evolve and expressed in her wedding dress.

And what about accessories?

We stock literally hundreds of styles of headwear, along with beautiful veils from all over the world. Insider information here too – we are due to launch our own online store for all our accessories very soon, so watch this space!

Pick a favourite:

Dress for 2021? Seraphine by Elysee

Trend for 2021? Boho/ off the shoulder straps & sleeves

First dance track? Songbird by Fleetwood Mac

Iconic wedding dress of all time? Barbie By Enzoani – not what you think!

Celebrity you would most want to dress? Zendaya

Is there a special gift that you would like to offer to our readers ?

Our exclusive offer to UNVEILED readers is a free upgraded welcome gift when they place their order with us. To redeem this simply quote BUNU21. Details of the upgraded welcome gift are in store.

How can brides get in touch with you and book an appointment?

Brides can book an appointment directly online with us – we are open 7 days and we do three late nights too, till 8pm. Brides can also email us on [email protected] or message us on Instagram or on facebook, or call us on 0121 423 2777.

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