Looking for the perfect wedding dress or not sure what you want? Charlotte Pearson heads to Southsea to talk to Creatiques’ ‘bride whisperers’.
They say that when you find ‘the one’ you just know.
Be it a full skirt, short skirt, lace bodice or covered with Swarovski crystals when you spot ‘your’ wedding dress nothing else comes close.
And thankfully the team at Creatiques Bridal Boutique in Albert Road are on hand to make your dreams come true.
“We know what our girls want,” reveals Andrew Pearce, who runs the boutique with his husband Robert. “We know our area and we know our brides.
“We are very honest, if something isn’t quite right we will say. We want the bride to look and feel their best.”
Andrew has been making dresses for more than 20 years and gives me a brief education in lace, silks, satins and crystals, which simply baffles me.
Within minutes of meeting Andrew says he knows he says he knows exactly the type of dress that would suit me, and goes on to describe my perfect dress.
I can see why it is a popular destination boutique for brides.
“We have been overwhelmed with how well it is going,” Rob says. “Saturdays are always busy. We are appointment only so we advise people to book well in advance.”
The shop comes from humble beginnings, created by closing a Creatiques store in Marmion Road and Inspired Bridal in Old Portsmouth and then opening this brand new store in July.
“Our first store in Marmion Road was tiny, so we moved up the road,” Rob explains.
“We had been looking for a larger space and a friend told us about this place, we loved it.”
“It is great as I am a trained hairdresser and the size means I can have my own salon,” Andrew adds.
As a dancer alongside many of the Strictly professionals, wedding dresses were not Andrew’s original plan.
“I have always been creative and a friend asked me to make her wedding dress,” he recalls. “I was a little daunted, but I gave it a go and really enjoyed it.
“I always wanted to work in the theatre but never did, but what is more theatrical than life and weddings.
“I never thought when I made my first dress on my dining room table that I would end up somewhere like this.”
With dresses from Justin Alexander, Sincerity, Maggie Sottero, Mark Lesley plus Mark Lesley bridesmaids, Andrew still gets to showcase his creative flair.
“We recently had a bride who bought a simple silver dress,” enthuses Rob, who also makes some of the tiaras and jewellery, “but her theme was steam punk so Andrew made an organza skirt for it in the style.”
Alongside a passion for weddings at the heart of Creatiques is quality and getting to know their brides so they can find them ‘the dress’.
“You have to think about where you are getting married,” Rob explains.
“We had a girl in recently who was getting married in a country house and had her heart set on a large, sparkly, showy dress which seemed more suited to a hotel wedding.
“There was one in the window that was more elegant, understated. She held a pastel bouquet in her own colour scheme and fell in love with the dress.
“When she tried her first choice on she didn’t want it any more.”
And a testament to their reputation is the fact that after the big day brides still keep in touch.
“A lot of our brides do, we get a lot of thank you cards,” Andrew says.
“One bride asked us to be godparents to her children. After the wedding we were invited to dinner and they are now great friends of ours.”
“We also get invited to a lot of weddings,” Rob smiles.
What is also clear is that Andrew, Rob and their staff work hard and put in the hours.
“You get what you put in,” Andrew explains. “Some weeks we work more than 100 hours, with little or no time off, but it is worth it at the end of the day when we look at what we have.”
This is a bridal boutique, which even after you marry ‘the one’ in ‘the dress’ you will find yourself heading back to catch up with the successful business duo.
For more information, visit creatiques.co.uk,
call 023 9282 6622 or email couture@
Creatiques, 151 Albert Road, Southsea
Pictures by John Snowden, Snowden Photography, www.snowdenphotography.co.uk
September 25, 2014 Fashion and Beauty