There’s really only one way to shop for bridalwear in London: book an appointment at a boutique, arrive with your mum and, using hushed tones, try on a series of lace-adorned frocks until you settle on one that costs roughly the same as a small car. Well, now there’s another way: David’s Bridal.
The occasionwear superstore has just arrived from the US to occupy a massive, two-floor shop in Westfield Stratford – and it’s all about fun. You can turn up with a posse of pals and try on bridesmaid dresses, look at mother-of-the bride outfits, pick up children’s tutus and top up on tiaras, underwear, shoes, sashes, veils and more – and you won’t feel priced out.
This is a shop that forgoes inordinately expensive silk in favour of high-tech polyester which looks and feels (almost) as good as the natural thing. Among the hundreds of gowns, there’s a dress for every shape and every style – and if you don’t believe it, you can book an appointment with one of the intensively-trained staff who can walk you around with an iPad and show you which style suits your figure, wedding theme and budget.
If a wedding isn’t on the cards, the staff are nonplussed: they actually welcome those hankering after a bridal try-on session (even if there's no ring on it) as their philosophy is you'll get hitched eventually, and when you do, David's Bridal will be your first port of call.
Too desperate? Then just stick to the ground floor where you’ll find a sea party dresses. The range runs from a ruffled purple mini to a sophisticated silver cocktail gown (in sizes from a UK 4 to a UK 30), though prices stay around the £100 mark. Like the bridalwear, the party dresses feature the work of guest designers including the ever-popular White collection by Vera Wang. And in a nutshell: bagging a Vera Wang without having to remortgage your house is what David’s Bridal is all about.