Say 'I do' to your dream wedding dress at the perfect price
Rails and rails full of flowing white gowns, regal tiaras, glinting jewellery, ivory heels – it is enough to give any prospective groom palpitations.
When childhood friends Beth Gray and Gemma Gallant finalised their plan to start a bridal business, they hot-footed it over to the British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate.
Beth said: "It is a man's worst nightmare."
Wading through the frocks, Beth was keeping a tight grip on the budget while Gemma was poring over silk and tulle.
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Beth said: "It was so stereotypical. I turned up with my calculator, my notepad and my budget."
As a newlywed, Gemma takes care of the bridal side of things. She married her husband Rob in August and has had her eye on the marriage market for some time. Beth is the business brain who used to work as a management consultant for multi-million-pound international company Deloitte.
Beth is the ying to Gemma's yang. The two have been friends since they went to primary school in Hessle together, riding about on matching bikes.
The close friends even spent Gemma's honeymoon together.
Although Gemma and Ross had a honeymoon booked in New York for months after their wedding, their tight-knit group of friends were going to Ibiza the following day and secretly booked the newlyweds' flights and a hotel to themselves, then they spent the rest of the week with 12 of them in a villa.
"Most people spend their honeymoon on a secluded beach, just the two of them," Gemma said.
Taking a real interest in the bride's big day is what the pair are most thrilled about.
"It is exciting to think it is such a big occasion and we can help them to find the perfect dress," Beth said.
Everything started coming together once they found the perfect spot for the shop. The social hub of Princes Avenue was just what they were looking for.
"We are a smallish boutique, so it didn't feel right to plonk ourselves in the middle of Princes Quay," Beth said.
When Gemma, 30, was rushing around finishing the details for her own nuptials at the KP Club in Pocklington, she saw many of the problems of the trade first-hand.
Best friend Beth was one of the bridesmaids. Between the two of them, they have tried to iron out those creases.
The movies love a good film montage of the bride and crew slipping in and out of flouncy frocks with a glass of bubbly, but many bridal shops only allow the bride to bring two people along. This can leave mums, sisters and friends out in the cold.
The boutique will be available to rent for the night for bridesmaid parties, so the bride can bring her entourage.
"It is like a girl's dream, and you only get to do it once," Beth said. "Well, hopefully."
Since Gemma managed to get everything she wanted on her big day, she really wants to help brides get the most out of theirs.
Gemma said: "It can be a really nerve-racking experience.
"I didn't dream about what dress I wanted, so it was hard to choose.
"I didn't know what would suit me, but now I know all our dresses and I can pick out something our brides might not choose themselves."
Bride & Co cannot stock designs sold by shops within 25 miles but at the bridal exhibition they snapped up established names, such as the Enzoani Beautiful range and D'zage Bridal Range, as well as up-and-coming designers.
Striking the balance between the perfect gown and spending your life savings is important to them.
We have all had a moment like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when you feel snubbed in a fancy boutique because you do not have a platinum credit card.
If you have a budget, Gemma and Beth do not want you to stress. They will point you towards the dresses to get the most out of your money.
Beth said: "It's the elephant in the room that nobody mentions.
"You still want the bridal experience even if you aren't spending £3,000 on a dress."
Gemma knows that it is easy to get in a flap and forget when their dresses go from £500 to £1,500.
Gemma said: "When you are trying them on, there are so many you can't remember how much they all are.
"We don't want people to put the dress on, then find out how much it is."
Beth's boyfriend, Ross Bellingham, is having a tough time since the boutique opened.
Beth said: "When I came home and said I had just bought 50 wedding dresses, my boyfriend's face went blue."
But there are a lot of perks to the job.
Beth said: "My boyfriend just thinks, well at least we can get a cheap dress when the time comes."
Bride & Co in Princes Avenue, west Hull, opens today. Call 01482 341622 for more information or to book an appointment.
Appointments recommen- ded at weekends.