Cassey knew that finding her dress was going to be the most important decision she'd make as a bride... and her experience was far from normal!

Cassey began the search for her dream wedding dress the second she and her husband-to-be started their planning.

"Straight away I started hunting for the perfect wedding dress, scrolling through Pinterest and visiting various bridal shops."

But Cassey's initial shopping experience didn't go to plan.

"I was shocked that most bridal shops weren't welcoming," she says, "and it felt far from the experience I'd dreamed of.

"I also didn't like the way the dresses looked or how they fit me, and there was nothing in my budget that I fell in love with."

Then Cassey found Elite Bridal.

"The first thing that stood out to me was the pricing," she admits.  "I Knew for sure I would find something within my budget.  But I felt very nervous that this was going to be one more failed shopping trip..."

Cassey first vitied our Hull boutique, and as soon as she stepped through the door she knew this experience was going to be very different.

"From the moment I walked in, I felt at ease," says Cassey.  "I told them I'd really struggled finding anything I loved.  They really sympathised and told me they'd do their best to help me."

Cassey picked out a few different styles to begin with - and she remembers every one.

"A very sparkly, blingy A-line gown... a fishtail... a big sparkly princess dress...  But none of them felt like the one," Cassey recalls.

But when Cassey chose her winner, it ended up being less about the dress and more about herself.

"Then my Maid of Honour I try a strapless taffeta A-line dress, which was nothing like what I wanted.  But as the bridal advisor laced me up, I saw my waist coming in...  For the first time in years I had a tiny waist, and I fell in love!  I bought it there and then."

But Cassey's dress shopping journey didn't end when she said yes to the dress.

Fast forward 18 months, and between wedding planning stresses, job changes and house purchases, Cassey realisesd she'd put on weight rather than losing it as intended.

When she came back for her first fitting in Hull, she was nervous about the fit of her gown.  She walked past a stunning mannequin in the boutique's window and swooned at the idea of walking down the aisle in her own dream dress... but as soon as the dress was back on, she knew it was all wrong.

"I just didn't feel the same," Cassey remembers.  "It was partly my own fault for not losing the weight I'd wanted to, but I just didn't feel comfortable."

Cassey was living a bride's worst nightmare - she'd completely changed her mind.

"7 weeks to my big day, I left the shop feeling so deflated.  I was gutted that I just didn't love my dress any more.  I'd spent the last year and a half staring at photos of it and dreaming of walking down the aisle...

"I messaged my sister and told her how I felt, and straight away she said, 'I'm not having you walking down the aisle feeling uncomfortable.  Let's go shopping and get you something you love!'"

While Cassey was grateful for her sister's reaction, it was definitely an added stress in the run-up to the big day.

"Like I didn't have enough things to sort for the wedding, I now had to find a new dress as well!"

Having been to so many other bridal stores and hated her experience, Cassey knew she wanted to go straight back to Elite Bridal.  Cassey headed back to our Hull boutique, once again on the hunt for her dream bridal gown.

"The second I walked in, I knew exactly which dress I wanted to try - the one I'd seen on the mannequin a few days earlier!"

The style that had caught Cassey's eye was part of our new collection, and completely different from her original dress.  But as soon as she put it on, those butterflies were back.

"The idea of walking down the aisle in this dress made me so excited!  But it would need a lot of alterations to fit me perfectly..."

Thankfully, Cassey had chosen a day that one of Elite's lead designers and seamstresses was based in Hull, so she got the best advice possible on her complex alterations.

She needed the dress taking out at the waist, the straps adjusted and the length of the skirt taking up.  None of these alterations are particularly complex under normal circumstances, but because Cassey's gown was a brand new style we only had one sample size available - and our seamstresses had all on to make it the perfect fit!

But for a girl who'd already lost her confidence in one dress, the team were determined to give her her second one.

The seamstresses also added some extra lace to the gown so Cassey would feel more comfortable and covered.

When Cassey tried on her new dress again, two weeks before the wedding, she was overjoyed - and it was one of the final touches to her big day.

"On the day I felt amazing," says Cassey.  "I got so many comments about my dress, and I knew in my heart that I had made the right decision.

"I'm so grateful to the Elite Bridal team for allowing me to change my dress and not making me feel like I was a hassle to them.  They gave me so much support throughout my wedding planning, and I cannot recommend them more."

After her unusual shopping experience, Cassey has some advice for other brides-to-be:

"In retrospect, my advice would definitely be to try as many different styles as you can - even ones you think you won't like!  And it's ok not to find your perfect dress the first time you go shopping.  Trust your gut!"

To book your appointment at any of our boutiques in Hull, Castleford or Brighouse, just click here.

If you're an Elite Bride and would like to share your story, please get in touch!  There's nothing we love more than hearing from our beautiful brides after your wedding day.