The best London-based bridal shops to visit ahead of your big day

The best London-based bridal shops to visit ahead of your big day

The best bridal shops offer that personal experience you just can't get when browsing from home. More people are buying online than ever in 2023, but it comes as a surprise that internet searches for 'wedding dresses' haven't increased at all in the past decade.

"Shopping online can be tricky for any clothing, so when it comes to bridal most customers prefer to shop in person," Annelise Sealy, Founder of The Fall Bride, tells us. "These are special and expensive pieces, after all." She's right, of course. Every bride wants the perfect outfit on their big day – whether you're planning in advance with a bespoke design, require multiple fittings, or looking for something off-the-rack.

The consumer tendency to buy multiple items online only to return 99 per cent of them can get pretty impractical when it comes to bridalwear. It's unsustainable, too – and given that weddings by nature are wasteful, brides-to-be are becoming more considerate of the impact theirs will have on the planet. "The number of brides considering what happens to their outfit after the day has been steadily increasing over the years," says Sealy. "I would say about half of our clients are extending the life of their wedding dress, whether they're bringing their dresses back to resell through our (Re)Cycle service, or dyeing and hemming it to keep as a special piece in their wardrobe."

Of course, one of the most sustainable things you can do – besides walking down the aisle in something from your existing wardrobe – is buy a wedding look that you'll wear again. Brands like Rixo (with its vintage-inspired midis and retro minis), The Own Studio (incredible after-party pieces) and Whistles (affordable tailoring and minimalist bridesmaid gowns) are wonderful for this, and you can shop both online and IRL in their dedicated bridal departments.

The best place to start is with a browse online, then you can take the plunge and book an appointment with the boutiques that catch your eye. Keep scrolling to see our pick of the best bridal shops in the UK.

(the own studio)

Cult British brand Rixo launched its debut bridal collection in 2021. These more casual (read: wearable) designs couldn't have been better timed, mid-pandemic, when traditional meringue gowns didn't sync with reduced guest list. Two years on and the brand's vintage-inspired dresses, retro suits and playful separates are still selling out with every new drop – most likely because they're wearable once the ceremony is over. The collections are available on various stockists, the brand's own website, or you can book a bridal styling session in its newly opened King's Road boutique in Chelsea (alterations are available as a separate appointment).

Prices start from £250


The Own Studio

Best friends and designers Jess Kaye and Rosie Williams founded The Own Studio with a view to freshen up the wedding-wear scene. The duo's in-house designs, handmade in their London atelier, are totally unique. Think modern wedding dresses and separates that feel contemporary while nodding to vintage eras – from minimalist silk slips and expertly-draped duchess-satin gowns, to feather-trimmed mini wedding dresses and flared trouser suits. If you're conscious of one-hit-wonders and looking for something you can wear post-ceremony, this is it right here.


(the own studio)
Halfpenny London

Kate Halfpenny founded her namesake label in 2015 with the intent to create bespoke bridal via private appointment; she was able to use word-of-mouth recommendations in lieu of marketing, since she'd already styled the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emilia Fox, Kate Moss and Rihanna. Luckily, Halfpenny London has since opened its doors to the public – but every wedding gown is designed and handmade within the UK. Halfpenny's ready-to-wear is stocked all over the country and online at Net-a-Porter, but if you're looking for custom bridal gowns head to its Flagship boutique in Bloomsbury.

Prices from £1000


(Half Penny)
Whistles Wedding

High street favourite Whistles launched its bridal department in 2016 to huge success. Beloved for its directional suiting, timeless gowns and candy-coloured bridesmaid dresses, the line offers quality at impressively affordable price points. You can browse the full collection online, but if you'd prefer to shop in real life, head to Whistles' London flagship store in St Christopher's Place – you can book private styling appointments for bridal parties as well as alterations in this dedicate space.

Prices start from £199


The Fall Bride

When Annelise Sealy realised there weren't many contemporary bridal offerings out there, she founded The Fall Bride in 2019. She's since launched an e-tail store, but what customers are really interested in is a trip to her serene East London studio. There, you can peruse ready-to-wear wedding dresses and accessories from brands like Galvan, Katherine Tash and Jessica Bennett, commission custom orders via private appointment, or select a pre-loved gown from the (Re)cycle department. And once your big day is over, you can sell your once-worn gown back to The Fall Bride for someone else to cherish.

Prices from £450


(courtesy Charlie McKay)
Jenny Packham Bridal

Jenny Packham's exquisite gowns are a red-carpet favourite for the Princess of Wales, Kate Beckinsale and Adele, so it was only natural that the label should expand into bridal. The designer's attention to detail – think clever nude inserts, lace panelling, feather trims and intricate beading – really shines through against the neutral canvas of ivory tulle, georgette and silk-satin. You can buy the brand's white gowns on Net-a-Porter, The Outnet and Farfetch, but we recommend taking a look at them up close and personal at the Jenny Packham flagship in Carlos Place, Mayfair.

New-season from £2,675, outlet from £750


(Jenny Packham)
The Mews Bridal

Gail and Lauren Crispin have a thing for French fashion. So do most style enthusiasts, of course, but the mother-daughter duo have taken this one step further: launching a dedicated bridal shop that only stocks French designers. It's worked a treat – what started off as a small boutique store on a quaint mews in Clifton Village, Bristol, has expanded to a line of stores in Notting Hill and New York, as well as pop-ups around the globe. The Mews Bridal is the exclusive UK stockists of Parisian labels suchs as Rime Arodaky, Laure de Sagazan, Delphine Manivet, Donatelle Godart, Margaux Tardits and Mademoiselle de Guise.


Emmy London

Emmy London specialises in handmade accessories, but bridal shoes are its main focus – the brand makes everything from ballet flats and block heel styles to crystal-dusted stilettos. Each pair is crafted from Italian leather (although there are some beautiful vegan options) in the brand's Portugal-based workshop before arriving at the Flagship store in South Kensington. Browse the core collection here, or create your own bridal or bridesmaid shoes for the big day via virtual or in-store appointment. Because details don't just stop at the dress.

Prices start from £295


(Emmy London)
Emma Beaumont Atelier

Emma Beaumont is a fashion industry favourite, with many stylists and editors opting for the label's bespoke gowns on their big day. It's down to Beaumont's creative approach, whereby she allows her customer to be as collaborative and creative in the process as they want – every single aspect of the gown is customisable. What to expect? You'll walk away from your first appointment with an initial sketch, then come back to the label's Knutsford atelier for toile fittings, with the final fitting being two to four weeks before the big day.

Prices available on request


(Emmy Shoots)
Grace Loves Lace

Australian brand Grace Loves Lace is known for its contemporary lace wedding dresses and minimalist slips that prove perfect for beach weddings and elevated boho themes. You can shop the full collection online and consult the brand's stylist via virtual appointments, but we recommend visiting bridal boutique in Shoreditch to really get a feel for the different lace fabrics. Each bridal appointment takes place in the brand's private styling suite, with complimentary fizz and a one-on-one stylist for advice on fit and stock. The boutique does not offer a tailoring service as of yet.

Prices start from £1,200


(Grace Loves Lace)

If you're looking for the best bridal shops for wedding dress browsing and custom fittings these are the UK boutiques to know about.