No matter which appointment you book, you’ll be chaperoned by one of the store’s experienced staff members, most of whom have a background in events planning or styling.
A browse around the gallery may be enough for some – these appointments are free, but limited to three guests and last no longer than 75 minutes. The stock is available to buy, so in that sense it does operate like a traditional department store, but if there’s a wedding ring or a guest book that catches your eye then it’s probably worth investing there and then to save having to book another session.
Consultations (£50) are also 75 minutes long and offer a more personalised service. A dedicated specialist will find out a bit about your style, how far along the planning journey you are and most importantly – your budget. Some of the suppliers inside these walls are at the more luxurious end of the price spectrum, with one particular invite designer charging around £25 per piece.
If you’re in the very early planning stages of your wedding and really have no idea what style or angle that you want to adopt, then an appointment could be worthwhile.
What’s more, the tips your consultant will give could prove to be invaluable; take a trip to Vauxhall flower market the year before your wedding date, make your table plan as simple as possible, and save the dates are a thing of the past were a few ideas that stuck, for example.
This might be enough, and that’s fine. You’ll receive an emailed list of the partners that you showed the most interest in as a follow up, but if you require something more comprehensive in terms of service then The Wedding Gallery can offer anything from budget planning to an end-to-end wedding design service and on-the-day management.
A new idea that mixes an in-store experience with personalisation and feels more like a Harrods than a Debenhams, the world’s first wedding department store seems to be a proven success so far, and even exclusively stocks Vera Wang dresses.
Whether or not it’s a trend that will catch on will remain to be seen, but for newly engaged couples looking for inspiration, something novel and perhaps some help with the overall plans, it’s worth looking in to.
Find out more about The Wedding Gallery here.