The Wedding Shop was established in late 1980 by Les & Jean Coverdale and is now owned by their daughter Nicola Garton. The shop has built a reputation as one of the country’s leading bridal boutiques. Over the last three decades The Wedding Shop has perfected an award-winning service and created a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that many brides consider the perfect way to choose a wedding dress.

The experienced staff at The Wedding Shop know that all brides are unique and not everyone is a standard size 12. Petite girls usually find wedding dress shopping very hard because most bridal shops have gowns that are too big and need to be pinned in. Full figured girls find sample dresses too small, making it hard to get a real idea. Our bridal department store always stocks hundreds of gowns, ready for you to try on.

The Wedding Shop has a range of sample dresses sized 8-28, so no matter what your individual shape and size we’ll have lots of wedding dresses that fit you. From this, it’s easier to try on dresses that don’t fit and make an informed decision on what dress will suit you best, without feeling that you haven’t even tried on just one dress that fits properly. No wedding dress shopping experience would be quite complete without the elastic bands and bulldog clips!

Find a wide selection of stunning mother of the bride dresses and outfits, including Veni Infantino, which can also be purchased online.


The Wedding Shop

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Our History

The Wedding Shop

  • 1980

    Les & Jean Coverdale found the perfect starting place for The Wedding Shop at the bottom of Colchester’s East Street.

  • 1980

    These three girls made up the first ever Wedding Shop team.

  • 1981

    Window display celebrating the marriage of Prince Charles & Lady Diana.

  • 1981

    Michael and Jean Coverdale outside the shop on the shop’s first anniversary.

  • 1981

    Window display complete with waterfall cake-stand. We added food dye to the water to match the bridesmaids.

  • 1982

    How times have changed. It looks like the dress and curtains are made from the same lace!

  • 1983

    The shop front gets a makeover which sees the brickwork give way to a more cheerful coat of paint.

  • 1985

    The launch of the new Pronovias Collection, brand new to the UK.

  • 1989

    Moving to St. John’s Street was a huge step. We were lured by a beautiful oak beamed Grade II listed building with 30ft high ceilings.

  • 1996

    This year saw Nicola take over the running of the shop, and it won the Wedding & Home Magazine ‘Wedding Shop of the Year’ award.

  • 1998

    The Wedding Shop was bursting at the seams with new collections, so the shop next door became the home for the bridesmaid dresses, and new Mother of the Bride department.

  • 1999

    In February 1999 we launched our first website. This two-page beauty served around 50 people per week.

  • 2005

    By the mid-noughties, The Wedding Shop improved alteration turnaround times by introducing an in-house seamstress team.

  • 2012

    The biggest change yet for The Wedding Shop. 2012 sees all departments come together under one roof to create a bridal department store.

  • 2021

    The Wedding Shop gets a refurbishment during the 2020 lockdown and returns, brighter and better for 2021 with a new bar for prosecco appointments.