A permanent wedding wonderland opened this week on London’s Marylebone Road, billed as the world’s first department store dedicated only to selling wedding-related products and services.
Providing brides and grooms to-be with a one-stop-shop, The Wedding Gallery is the latest venture from George Hammer, the British businessman who developed Urban Retreat, Aveda and The Sanctuary who also happens to be the owner of the wedding and events venue upstairs, One Marylebone. His new retail space, set in the basement of the notable London building, is warm with Instagram-ready decor, the original features of the building maximised by architect Christian Lahoude who has created dozens of exclusive mini-boutiques within the brick arches.
The edit of bridal brands available is already strong, but expected to grow, with dresses from internationally renowned bridal designers like Oscar de la Renta and Elie Saab currently available alongside the best of British - Temperley London, Halfpenny, Amanda Wakeley, Charlie Brear and Hermione De Paula.
Beyond the dress
Beyond finding THE dress, there are individual departments open for every element of the wedding - from grooms, to shoes, to flowers and cakes, to venues and photographers. This being a Hammer production, there is also an excellent beauty wing, with services like a Jo Malone fragrance bar as well as a hair salon for styling trials.
“Just as weddings today are no longer conforming to tradition, so the wedding planning process and the way brides-to- be are shopping is constantly evolving,” co-curator Anna McGregor told The Telegraph. “With an abundance of choice across all elements of wedding planning, anything goes these days and there are no limits on the lengths couples will go to in creating a completely unique, personal day.”
One of the key aims for staff at The Wedding Gallery is to inspire brides and grooms to think outside the box, introducing them to suppliers who can go above and beyond to deliver things they may never have previously thought of. The other aim, McGregor says, is to take the stress out of it all. The site also operates as an exclusive members’ club, with meeting rooms, bars and lounges for couples to relax in, meet with suppliers, and hang out with their bridal parties.
“Couples are being much more creative, always looking for new ideas and taking inspiration for all aspects of life,” says McGregor. “However, such extensive choice also means that the process of planning a wedding can be daunting, and in reality then both time consuming and overwhelming. The sheer amount of information and knowledge and the comprehensive nature of each and every department is what wedding planning dreams are made of. I wouldn’t want to say that we have thought of everything, but it may just be that we have.”
Appointments can be booked via www.the-weddinggallery.com