Here’s a bit of a different post from me, although one I feel fairly confident in posting about; the best bridal shops in Kent. It took me a while to find my wedding dress, which meant I’d visited several bridal shops in Kent before finding ‘the one’.
I think I went to around 10 bridal shops in Kent in total. And yes that sounds like a lot, but contrary to popular belief (or to what Bridal shop employees kept telling me), I don’t think this is too many. I didn’t want to settle for a dress I didn’t love, after all.
Anyway, here’s my list of the best wedding dress shops in Kent, in my opinion. In case it helps anyone else. ?
Amore Brides, Canterbury
This was the first bridal shop I visited and although the price range was high for my budget, I’m glad I went here for my first experience. I found the staff incredibly helpful and kind, not sales-y at all, and they took me through different dress styles to try on and to find ‘my style’.
Amore Brides is based in Castle Street, which is away from the main high street. The shop front has large windows where passerby’s are able to peer in, but the shop is quite large and goes far back, so you can avoid being very close to the window if you don’t want to be seen by onlookers.
There’s a lot of classic wedding dresses here (princess and a-line), but with Jenny Packham here too there’s also a lot of vintage inspired designs.
Pronovias, Jenny Packham, Ian Stuart, Lusan Mandongus, Diane Legrand and Paul Zeni.
This depends, buying a dress that’s made-to-measure from one of the designers here can range from £1,000 to £3,000 plus. But they do have a sale room, where you might be able to find an ex-sample dress if you’re lucky!
Bridal Boutique at Chilham
If you’re looking to save money but still love designer styles, then Chilham Bridal is definitely a wedding dress shop in Kent to check out. A really lovely little place just outside of Canterbury that feels private and tucked away, all dresses here are pre-loved (secondhand) or ex-sample. You might be able to bag a designer dress for half the price!
Another benefit of visiting here is that dresses are available to try on in a number of sizes. (Whereas most other shops will stock a ‘sample size’, which always turned out too big for me.) The staff here were really helpful in giving advice about alterations too. They also buy dresses if you’re thinking of selling yours after the big day.
Pronovias, Sottero & Midgley, Stella York, Modeca, Essense, Willowby, Watters and Wtoo, to name a few. However with the owner regularly buying pre-loved wedding dresses, there’s probably more designers available here than those I’ve listed here. Tip: the owner is very active on Instagram, so follow her to check the latest arrivals.
Anywhere from £600 to £1,500, depending on the designer available. Bear in mind that buying a dress pre-loved/secondhand isn’t fitted to you (unlike buying a dress made-to-measure). So budget for alterations too, if needed.
Wed2B is a fantastic choice if you balk at the price of most wedding dresses. They are nationwide, but luckily for us there’s a shop based in Ashford in Kent. I really can’t fault Wed2B, and if I hadn’t have found the wedding dress I did, I found my very close second choice here.
All dresses here are ‘off the peg’, which means you can buy a dress off the rail (so to speak) and walk home with it the same day. (Instead of made-to-measure, like Amore Brides above, which is fitted to you.) Most standard sizes are available and the dresses have only been tried on by other brides-to-be. Again this is a great shop to go to if you want to try dresses on in your size (rather than a sample size).
Anna Sorano, Bellami, Heidi Hudson, Viva Bride and their own collections.
Around £500 to £900. Like some other bridal shops in Kent, bridal veils and accessories are available here too, as well as bridesmaids dresses, at fantastic prices.
Harper Smith Bridal, Canterbury
Tucked away on the King’s Mile in Canterbury, Harper Smith Bridal was a new shop when I visited it. I really hope this place becomes as successful as Amore Brides on the other side of town, as there’s a great selection here. The selection ranges from floaty, bohemian dresses from modern designers, for brides-to-be who are looking for something a little different.
This shop felt nice and intimate, as I think I remember the staff were able to draw curtains across the front window to stop onlookers peeping in too.
Lillian West, Justin Alexander Signature, Wtoo by Waters, Catherine Deane, St Patrick by Pronovias, Theia and White One.
It’s been a while since I visited, but with dresses being made-to-measure then you’re looking at around £1,000 and higher.
Birchington Brides, Thanet
I didn’t expect to find a bridal shop in a business park but really, why the hell not. This made Birchington Brides easily accessible and I didn’t have to worry about paying for parking either! There’s a reception area downstairs and the bridal studio upstairs, which my mum and me had to ourselves on our appointment, which was great to really have a rummage through the rails.
There’s a big selection of dresses here, but unfortunately for me they were different styles to the ‘fitted’ style dress I was looking for. Despite that, the staff were brilliant and even gave advice on which stores stock the style of dress I was looking for. There’s also bridesmaids dresses and suits hire available here too, with package deals on offer.
Enchanting by Cheri, Georgia Bridal, Romantica, Sophia Tolli, Venus and White Rose Graceful. As well as bridal shoes and accessories.
If I remember rightly, dresses were around £1,000 and above, again. However, the same owners also have BB Bridal in Westgate-on-sea too, which is a bridal outlet and clothing alteration service. So you might be able to pick up dresses reduced in price here too.
The Bridal Boutique of Jules, Deal
The Bridal Boutique of Jules was the only bridal shop in Kent I visited twice (apart from the shop I eventually got my dress from). I was getting to the stage where I’d visited more than 6 shops and I hadn’t got that feeling of ‘yes, this is the dress’. After visiting here once, I discovered a dress on Pinterest available here which I must’ve missed the first time round. So I booked a second appointment.
I cringe a little bit when I think of this place because I must’ve appeared to be such a fussy bride to the staff. (I still left without a dress the second time round.) But the staff were so lovely and really made me feel welcome and relaxed, both times, I doubt they minded.
Anyway, this felt like such a treasure trove of different style dresses. The shop layout too really added to the experience. From vintage inspired designs to more modern cuts and flares, the owner told me she’s had brides-to-be visit her from all over the world.
Madi Lane, Eliza Jane Howell, Stephanie Allin, Dando London, Bowen Dryden and Catherine Deane.
There was really quite a range here, from around £700 to £2,000 plus. I think I remember that they also had separates from the Catherine Deane collection, so you could really create your own dress.
Wedding World, Folkestone
And finally, I thought I’d end on the shop where I finally found my dress! After looking at the designers available at Wedding World Kent several times, I wasn’t drawn to many dresses, apart from one dress from one designer. I tried it on and that was that! It goes to show that you should just try any shop, because this was my ‘last resort’ shop. (Before deciding from the dresses I’d tried on previously.)
I found the staff really helpful and honest, in a good way. Kirsty just seemed to get me and what I was looking for – after a few dresses she discounted a dress because she didn’t feel like it was right for me, and she was totally right.
Anyway, there’s a small dressing room at the back, for a private or small appointments (which I used, as it was only my mum and me). Or if you want to bring more guests there’s a sofa and a pedestal in the main shop too, in case you want that American experience.
Maggie Sottero, Justin Alexander and Sottero & Midgley.
Between £1,000 to £2,000.
Best Bridal Shops in Kent
Although I visited many of them, I didn’t visit them all. Making this an article of the best bridal shops in Kent to me personally.
So if I’ve missed any where you had a fantastic experience, then please leave a comment on this post to let me – and other brides-to-be – know!