If it looks too good to be true…

I’ve seen a few posts recently about online dresses from lots of different sites.
They seem so appealing due to their price!!
Why are they so affordable and bridal boutiques or legitimate sites more expensive?
There is a reason why they are cheaper, I’ll list a few:
  • They steal images, so they have no commercial photography costs , no brand building advertising costs.
  • They use low grade fabrics, low grade trims, low grade crystals ( plastic instead of glass etc)
  • They use low grade boning.
  • They use unethical methods of supporting and paying employees
  • They do not provide a bricks and mortar retail environment where you can go and try, and establish what shape suits you, get advice on fit, feel the fabrics. ( some do offer a chargable service to send out to try, which is good, but most don’t

This is just a few examples above.

So how do brides find out what will suit them if the online company does not send out, what to do?
These companies ( can you believe!) Encourage you to go visit the very independent stores whose designers they have ripped off , they encourage you to utilise their staff, access the use of those businesses running costs ( rent, staff, sample dresses, electricity, insurance, advertising etc) take up their time and expertise. These are expensive costs which is why dresses in real boutiques, selling genuine designers, where you can touch, feel, asses the quality, TRY ON and be advised and use an hour or three of their time to get the perfect dress, why they are more costly.
Then they Encourage you to walk away after effectively using that expertise for free ( you see now why many have starred to charge) walk away and order a knock off replica online once you have accessed expertise to see what suits you.😮
I am an independent boutique owner, selling designers dresses, plus my own bespoke designs.
If I did not have to staff my boutique, insure it, rent it, heat it, spend usually around 4 to 5 hours with each client communicating and helping them choose ( not including fitting and sewing time) then I too could slash prices, If I did not go to the expense of hiring models and doing photo shoots of my dresses, if I just stole other people’s photos I could charge less. But its ethically and morally wrong
I am not anti online shopping, in fact I have a lot of clients who purchase remotely, ( etsy, shopify,Instagram) mostly the ones in USA , Australia and New Zealand , but I would NEVER ask them to go waste another independent businesses time. Instead I take the time ( from my business costs) to communicate with them, take extensive measurements, do video calls. Also I protect them and adhere to distance selling rules.
Our beautiful, talented, passionate indie boutiques and designers in the UK are struggling, the world is being consumed by alibaba, aliexpress, temu, amazon, shein ( do love shein mind!!🤣, as it is hard to find daywear when you, like me are a size 22, but they mostly ( not alwats) do their own photos)
For those on a lower budget there are lots of options, all boutiques always have samples at up to 75% off, you can buy pre loved, vintage, retro etc.
Please help be part of the solution, not the problem.
BEX proud to be an indie bridal retailer and designer.
Thanks for listening xxxx
Below is a photo of a vintage/ retro dress that I hand coloured, so its totally original, as it was a 40 year old dress that I customised, I had it on etsy, but the client came to my studio and had it fitted, it was about £400 plus alts, so very affordable, an original one off. But look at all those copt sites. What on earth would you receive, they dont have a photo of the front for starters so did they just take a wild guess!
I’m bloody certain it would not be a vintage/retro dress that had been hand coloured!!

Bexbrides -The Beginning

So Bexbrides 10 years! can you believe that? growing, moving changing like a strange but lovable creature in my life, I often think what am I doing? how did I get here? ( you know like that bizarre realisation you have driven somewhere but don’t know how?)

I feel a little bit like I took in a strange animal, and that I have no idea how to feed it, or what to do with it. But I’ve just done things that I thought were fun, or different and each day it’s still there, alive ( or is that my kids…) I wake up and there it is , Bexbrides panting and waiting like a crazy puppy waiting for me to take it on its daily adventure.

But times move quickly out in cyberspace, it’s a different, alien world to mine, which is all fabrics and lace, ribbons and thread, and pigment and beads.Daydreams and musing. The big wide tinterwebby abd its workings are a mystery, it’s just a place I go for inspiration and to lose too many hours on pinterest or Facebook.

But!! its also a place where my lovely clients find me ( as in reality my secret lair is pretty damn secret…)

So people who know about this shizzle…yeah they exist, I had to go on some training courses about blogs and social media and Google analytics?? I mean WTAF is that? they did have cool coloured sharpies though and biscuits…

What I found was out was I need to blog, so you can all listen to my mad ramblings ,and some thing about seo and rankings and er something..oh and see my images etc..

So ( yea I know I’ve used to many sos , I do like to so! get it? ha ) I needed a new website, as my old trusty one could not keep up with the times, and it hated iPhones with a passion.

So ( ha ha) here it is my 1st Blog post on my new website. ( built my my amazing hubby, he’s a keeper…)

Oh? yeah I need a subject, a topic, a story? So where to start, Trends,my designs, my inspiration, my awards, my ideas, what do blogs talk about? ooh real weddings Hmnnn…

Well its the eve today of our wedding anniversary .( Chris and Bex, Chris the long suffering husband/lover/friend/tinterwebby tech person and Bex the crazy dress lady)

Well how about this 20 years ago on the 20th April 1999 I started a journey with Chris Earl.A childhood friend who I has not seen for 16 years or so, who I met up with for tea, moved in 5 days later and who was to become 10 years later on the 20th April 2009 my husband, having put up with me for 10 years, and helping me produce 2 small humans ( one is now taller than me!) Five years ago we renewed our vows and there has already been a very good blog written about this, I’ll link it below so you can read our story.

But for this blog, my 1st it’s our wedding I want to remember, for it was what made me decide to start on this crazy Bexbrides journey, previously I had an Interior Design Business called Bexrooms, but the strange creature that was bridal and dressmaking stalked me and my dreams. So I thought what the heck let’s give it a go. How hard can it be 🤣

Three premises moves ( though on the same site) later, several awards, lots of hard work, hundreds of brides and 10 years down the line, in a bridal industry that has changed beyond almost recognition from a decade ago I still awake to that crazy puppy in my head saying “Right what’s today’s madness ”

I am blessed to have a job I love, supported by family and friends and colleagues. Most especially my Husband Chris.

I still love it, I love all my clients, who love all my crazy ideas.

Live Love Laugh ( and yes I do have the wall sign…)

Have to have piccys on a blog so here are a few of our wedding in 2009 which was Medieval Princess meets Doctor Who theme . ( yep crazy then, crazy now)

As it was the wedding planning and all the dresses I made ( and Chris,’s 8th Doctor Who outfit )that started this craziness, hope you like the photos, in random order as I’m not that clever, ( though my tech hubby probably knows how, but I’m trying to wear my big girl pants and do this myself🤣.)

images by Stephen Cooper Photography

So 5 years ago we did it all again, as I just love weddings! so we renewed our vows,

photos by Victoria Edward’s Photography.

there is a full blog post on Chris and my story, I’ll post link at the end.

Bex. xx

ps this time it was Victorian Doctor Who theme, with Chris as the 1st Doctor Who.


love Bex xxx ( and my family xx)

Hope you enjoyed the photos and that you will stay with me in my journey each month as I blog more random weirdness, from my crazy bexbrides Secret Lair/ Attic.

further reading on how we met, as yes that’s a crazy story too can be found here