Your Sass & Grace Experience
We know that for some of you finding your wedding dress can feel a little daunting. Most of us have never considered spending so much on one dress before and choosing “the one” for such a big day can feel like a big responsibility.
That’s why at Sass & Grace we passionately believe that from the very first phone call to the final fitting we try and make your dress shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. Buying a wedding dress shouldn’t just be a transaction but an unforgettable experience that allows you to make treasured memories that last a lifetime.
Prepare for your appointment
Being prepared for your appointment will help you enjoy your Sass & Grace experience even more, so we’ve put together some advice that we hope you find useful!
Book your appointment
Create your wishlist
You can’t help but feel the romantic excitement as you make your journey to Sass & Grace. Coming through the pretty Hampshire village of East Stratton, past the idyllic 18th century church and beautifully thatched cottages, then back out into the lush green of the rolling Hampshire countryside.
Our award winning boutique is housed in a stunning converted dairy barn, in the heart of rural Hampshire. We carry a super-stylish edit of designers from around the world, offering something for every shape and size.
Our tranquil and unique setting adds to your dress shopping experience and with the addition of free parking directly outside our door we offer you an unhurried and wonderful shopping trip with your loved ones.
Each appointment starts with us getting to know you, as we recognise that finding your dress can be great fun in the right environment and with the right people.
We only ever have one bride in the boutique at a time, enabling us to give you our undivided attention.
We want you to feel completely at ease with us, so that you feel confident in making a choice that is right for you.
Our appointments are around one and a half hours and we recommend bringing one or two close friends or family members whose company you enjoy and whose opinions you trust.
Remember choosing your dress is only half of your dress adventure, what happens after you place your order for your dress? Our journey together doesn’t end once you’ve found your dream dress, in fact it really is just the beginning.
Your Dress Arrives
How exciting your beautiful dress has arrived at the boutique! You will be invited back to try your dress on and maybe you could combine this with an accessories appointment to style your look further. We also offer free storage for our brides so you don’t need to worry about where to keep your dress and anyone seeing it that shouldn’t!
4–6 weeks before your big day
Whether your wedding dress needs a minor adjustment, adding a touch of unique detail or creating a bespoke gown to wow on your special day, our exclusive and extremely experienced seamstress will ensure your bridal gown fits and flatters you perfectly. All fittings are carried out in the boutique in front of our specially commissioned mirror which allows you to see your dream dress from all angles. We do not profit from our seamstress service, all payments for alterations go, in full, to our seamstress.
Fittings for your wedding dress start around 4 weeks before your wedding date, or your fly date if you are getting married abroad. The majority of our brides need 2 fittings and your second fitting is planned for 2 weeks after your first fitting.
Collect your dress
We are beyond excited for you that the big day has finally just about arrived! Many of our brides choose to take their dress home with them at the second fitting, however some prefer to leave their dress in our safe care until just before their wedding date. Speak to us to organise your preferred collection time so we can ensure your beautiful dress is steamed ready for her place on centre stage. You will collect your dress in a non see-through dress bag and on a sturdy hanger.
Take a glimpse
We set out to create the best bridal boutique we could dream of! A luxurious haven nestled in a tranquil location in rural Hampshire, just a few miles outside the pretty city of Winchester and within easy travelling distance of Reading, Salisbury, Guildford, Southampton and Bournemouth.
The high ceilings and open beams create an airy and spacious feel to the 1000sq ft Bridal Boutique, and it is an oasis of serene calm and opulence. Although we have plenty of space, we only have one bride in our wedding dress shop at a time. This means that we can devote all our attention to you and that no-one, apart from the odd sheep, will see your dress unless you decide to show them.
The boutique, which picked up The British Wedding Awards 2019 accolade for Best Bridal Retailer, has been converted to the highest standards — think high-beamed ceilings offset with a striking French chandelier, custom-lit dress rails and a specially commissioned mirror which allows you to see your dream dress from all angles.
The multi-functional lighting feature is a highlight of our bespoke interior, as we can simulate how a dress will look both in daylight and during an evening reception. You’ll find gorgeous designs from the likes of Lyn Ashworth, Ellis Bridals, Julie Vino and Cymbeline, among others, and to complete the picture, there are handcrafted accessories from Victoria Fergusson, Freya Rose and more.
My story begins when I started to plan my own wedding and felt my experience of choosing my dress fell some way short of where I felt it should be. Over time, I became aware that friends and family had also been left disappointed with their personal experiences.
I had worked in bridal some years previously and having led the Customer Experience within leading luxury brands I had a very clear vision of what that very special and unique experience should entail. Being a perfectionist by nature, I was driven to really examine what ‘perfect’ looked like at every stage of a bride’s journey. Defining what I believed to be the best possible experience, from first contact to fittings, to your wedding day and beyond, became something of a personal mission.
And so, the seeds were sown for what would become Sass & Grace Bridal Experience. Next on my list was to find the perfect venue and to surround myself with a team who shared my vision!
Frequently Asked Questions
We know you will have plenty of questions, if we’ve missed anything, just ask!
This so much depends on you. Many brides prefer to choose a dress quite early on so that they can relax and focus their attention on other parts of the wedding safe in the knowledge that their dress is taken care of. Other brides are quite relaxed and choose their dress later on in the planning process. We would recommend choosing your bridal gown at least 8–9 months before the big day to ensure that you have the widest possible choice and adequate time for fittings, however we have had brides finding the dress of their dreams and having it fitted to perfection in much shorter timeframes. Please get in touch to discuss your particular requirements.
Yes, to ensure complete privacy for our brides we work on an appointment only basis. No other bride will be choosing a dress while you are with us. This ensures our boutique, time and attention are focused solely on finding the right one for you.
Styling appointments are great for getting to know your style and finding out what looks good on you. Sometimes you can have a specific style in mind, but until you try on a wedding dress you don’t know if it will suit you. Sometimes it is the unexpected dress or style that steals your heart. Under the expert guidance of our stylists you can try on 5 – 7 different dresses to give you a great idea of your unique style for your unique day. Styling appointments are £25, refundable against your dress.
We allow at least one and a half hours for a first Bridal appointment and that usually flies by!!
There are no hard and fast rules but if you have created a wishlist on our website then click the Email icon and pop in our email: [email protected] to share it with us. If you have a Pinterest board and ideas of what you want for your wedding day, these can also be very useful in understanding what you really like. It’s also useful to have some idea of your budget, and please don’t forget to bring an open mind! Sometimes it’s the one you’re not too sure about that ends up being ‘the one’!
We would recommend bringing one or two close friends or family members whose company you enjoy and whose opinions you trust. Although you may be tempted, or feel pressured to bring more, having lots of different opinions can become quite confusing and spoil your enjoyment. Due to Covid19 and social distancing the number of guests who can attend an appointment have changed. Please speak to us about who you would like to bring as it depends on whether you, and they, need to social distance from each other.
It’s best to wear nude underwear. Most wedding dresses don’t need a bra (yes really!) but if you are more comfortable in a bra then a nude strapless one works best. We’re mindful of your privacy when you are in the changing room. If you have some idea of the heel height that you want, bring some shoes in that height. If not, we do have some sample shoes that you can use.
Owing to Covid19 and the extra work and equipment needed weekend appointments are now £25, refundable against your dress, weekday appointments are currently free.
Normally there is no limit for you to try, however due to current Covid19 sanitising requirements we are asking brides to choose a limited number of dresses. This ensures we get a good feel for your look and style and then we are happy to recommend dresses for you.
As you would imagine with a broad range of dresses we also have a broad price range. We go from around £1,000 to £5,000+, however for those wanting to spend less check out our Ready to Wear collection. Have a look at each of our designer pages for an idea of their cost.
Generally 2 or 3 months from the time of ordering, plus we like them for a couple of months for fittings so the ideal time to shop dresses for your girls is around 6 months before the wedding date. However we have got them in shorter time periods and if you like to be organised remember we offer free storage for bridesmaid dresses too.
We would love to help you find ‘the one’ and feel fantastic on your big day. Each and every wedding dress is specially ordered for each individual bride to ensure the best fit. However, we only stock one size of each dress so, inevitably, that is likely to be either too big or too small for many brides. You can rest assured that we can help you discover the right dress for you based on what structure, support and style you would like in your dress and to ensure the right proportions to flatter your figure. Body image is a big deal, read our reviews; no-one leaves our boutique feeling bad about their bridal experience with us.
Book Your Appointment
Are you ready to start your dress adventure? Request an appointment so we can hear all about your plans for your big day!