Choosing your wedding dress should be one of the most memorable moments of your life. Because, think about it: your wedding day might be the only opportunity you ever get to spend all day swanning around in a designer, bejewelled gown. We’re not saying you can’t do your weekly supermarket shop dressed like that, but you’ve got to admit, it’s verging on impractical.
So getting the dress that makes you feel beautiful and extraordinary but most importantly, still you (on a very good day) is why we’re here. At Tilly’s, we pride ourselves on being more than an ordinary wedding dress shop; we’re a luxury, designer boutique with a level of service to match. Not sure exactly what that entails? Let us enlighten you.
The First Appointment
This is the one where you need to come with tingling anticipation, a couple of your girls and an open mind. Once we’ve got you settled in (we lock the doors so you won’t be disturbed – precisely why we operate an appointment-only system), we’ll sit down and find out about you and your wedding. We aim to recommend dresses to you that not only reflect your vision for the day but also your personality.
After our chat, we’ll take you through our designer collections and together we will select around 6-8 gowns for you to try. Once you start to put the dresses on, we will then use our wealth of experience and styling know-how to showcase each gown’s potential.
Just so you know, the average size of our sample gowns is around UK 12-14, but don’t panic, the sample rarely fits anyone. That’s why it’s a sample; it’s meant to be pinned here and tucked there. We’re able to dress many shapes and sizes but sometimes we may need a little ‘creative license’ so it’s best to just trust us. And besides, your final gown will be in a different league from the sample. Consider that a promise.
The Styling Appointment
This is when the process reaches peak fun. Your dress has been crafted by the designer and delivered to us. Now it’s time to try it on. (Although, do bear in mind that it will probably require some alterations to fit perfectly – that comes later.)
For now, you can start trying on veils, and belts, and hairpieces, and jewellery to see what works. Browse through the incredible accessory collections we stock in the boutique but equally, feel free to bring in any pieces you’ve found on your travels. Either way, by the end of this session you should start to see your final look coming together.
The First Fitting
Our incredible in-house seamstress Kay has now retired (rather selfishly, I might add), so we can’t offer alterations appointments directly at Tillys anymore. But don’t panic! We have a loooong list of INCREDIBLE seamstresses, all located in and around the Warwickshire area, who we wholeheartedly trust to alter your exquisite gowns.
Each seamstress will quote you for your alterations on a case by case basis, but budget around £250 for a basic alterations package and you’ll be fine.
Need to know
Do I have to book?
Yes, that’s a must – we don’t take walk-ins. We want our brides to feel extra-special and completely comfortable so we lock the shop for every appointment. Naturally, weekend appointments are in high demand so if you want one of them, expect a four-week wait.
Is there a booking fee?
Yes due to the high demand of the exclusive styling experiences we offer to brides, we require a non-refundable booking fee. These range from £20-£50 depending on which experience you choose to book.
I’m an hour early – can I come in and browse?
Alas, no. We don’t have a waiting area as we like to offer our brides the full run of the shop. But don’t despair. Leamington Spa is teeming with cafes and bars. We’re particularly keen on Vinteas, which offers an afternoon tea that would put Claridge’s to shame. Conveniently, it’s also next door.
I want to bring my entire wedding party! Can I?
We don’t advise it. We comfortably seat two or three people per party – any more and it gets a little hectic. Similarly, we find children and sparkly things are a messy combination, so please leave them at home if at all possible.
What’s the deal with parking?
To circumnavigate any stress, we recommend heading straight for Royal Priors multi-storey on Park Street as there are literally hundreds of spaces.
Help! Something’s come up. I need to cancel.
My wedding budget spreadsheet is starting to scare me. What’s the damage?
Our collections currently start from £1,600 and extend to £3,100; the average price of our dresses is currently around £2,000. However, for the money-savvy bride, we have an outlet called Mabel and Maud Bridal Studio, in Rugby, Warwickshire where you can buy Tilly’s gorgeous ex-sample gowns at unbelievable prices. (firstname.lastname@example.org; 01788 577600).
And while we’re on the subject, we don’t offer discounts or price match. We are enormously proud of our collective experience, our bespoke service and the calibre of designers we stock, and we feel this is represented in our prices. Saying that, we do run regular promotional events where, for instance, we discount certain designers so keep your eyes on our Instagram