Hi I’m Heather, the owner of Alice Elizabeth!
I get asked all the time how I got into Bridal…..my wedding dress obsession started at a very young age. My Mam, Grandma and Nanna were dressmakers and taught me to sew when I was so young that I can’t actually remember. I watched them turn a piece of fabric into the most beautiful dresses and after making my first designs, for my Sindy dolls, I moved on to making my own clothes as a teenager so that I always had something new and different to everyone else….this is what Alice Elizabeth is all about!
In 1982, aged 15…..ok, you’ve now worked out how old I am…..my Auntie took me to London to see Princess Diana’s wedding dress and that was it, I knew I wanted to make wedding dresses. I can still remember staring into the glass cabinet at this amazing creation and thinking it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Love it, as I did, or hate it, you can’t deny that her dress was different and that’s what I loved about it. It wasn’t safe or boring, it stood out and made a statement which is what I look for when choosing the gowns for the boutique or when I design a bespoke gown.
My favourite part of my job is the fitting process, I do every fitting myself and I am obsessed with showing off your best bits…..especially your bum! For me, altering a wedding dress isn’t just about a nip and tuck here and there. It’s about fitting that dress to your figure perfectly, removing lace and trimmings to take in seams that are hidden, so that your dress looks like it was made for you and then putting it all back together so that nobody will ever know I’ve been there!
From then I have designed, made and altered countless wedding dresses and these years of experience have given me so much joy. Being involved in the most wonderful time of a girl’s life is an honour I am so grateful for.
My beautiful boutique is my pride and joy, and having three sons and then a Daughter I named it after her and my own Alice Elizabeth is now our Saturday Girl. We pride ourselves on our amazing customer service which lasts way beyond your wedding day, we make lifelong friends who come back to show us there photographs, have their dresses cleaned and boxed and we often make heirloom christening gowns from their dresses too!
The Boutique is situated in Coxhoe, a busy little village on the outskirts of Durham City. There are lovely little shops, cafe’s and restaurants as well as free parking and we’re just a couple of miles off the A1 so really easy to get to.
An appointment with us starts with a warm welcome from your own Bridal Stylist, there really is no need to be nervous! You’ll have your own private dressing suite so nobody, other than your guests (and us) can see you in a wedding dress.
We’ll have a chat about your wedding and your ideas for your dream dress and then we’ll choose dresses from our beautiful collection for you to try. Your appointment lasts two hours and there’ll be refreshments and our much talked about cupcakes! Expect excitement, fun, laughter and (happy) tears whilst you try on stunning dresses to find “The One”.
Of course this place is not just about me, it wouldn’t be what it is today without my amazing team of girls…..
My right hand woman, she’s the organised one! Anne Marie will book your appointment, order your dress, organise your fitting appointments and make sure you know exactly what’s happening every step of the way. You and your dress are in very safe hands.
Our lovely Bridal Stylist Lauren is from South Africa and came to the UK with a degree in fashion. She loves our statement dresses with fashion forward elements and is usually the first to try them on, she also comes in really handy as a model too! Lauren, Emmie and myself are designing an exclusive collection for Alice Elizabeth so watch this space!
Emmie is our Saturday Stylist and if you follow us on Facebook or Instagram then you’ll recognise her from lots of photographs! She’s studying Costume Design at Uni and we’re going to lose her this summer as her course ends and she returns home to Sheffield. I will be very sad to see her go, she’s an amazing designer and I know her name is going to be well known in the world of Bridal Design over the next few years.
My mini me! Alice could use a sewing machine confidently by the age of 6 and I’m pretty sure she’s going to end up in the world of design in some shape or form, but for now you’ll find her helping us out on Saturdays and during school holidays ( if I’ve managed to drag her out of bed…….she is only 14 after all!)