When my husband and I were planning our wedding we made a trip to Bicester Village, a designer shopping outlet near Oxford. Our only regret was that we hadn't visited sooner, we couldn't believe the significant savings that we could have made on amazing fashion and beautiful accessories. I bought my wedding shoes from Bicester Village - a muted silver pair of peep toes from Dolce and Gabbana. A fraction of the recommended retail price and even less than what I would have paid for a mid-range high street store. My husband bought himself the ultimate Groom's shirt and tie, also Dolce and Gabbana - timeless and beautifully tailored, as you would expect from such a covetable brand. From the 9th to the 19th February Bicester will be embracing all things Bridal which will see many of their boutiques themed with a generous dose of Happy-Ever-After and a whole host of new arrivals suitable for your big day. Oscar De La Renta will welcome 20 new bridal gown styles for you to admire and try on and Paul Smith are offering groomsmen the opportunity to acquire a new shirt with every suit purchased. The vast range of groomswear means there will be something to suit all tastes - with an abundance of affordable options. We have included some of our favourite wedding party fashion ideas in the galleries within this post.
If you are looking for somewhere to take your best girls for some wedding party prep combined with retail therapy, then a day our at the Bicester Village Bridal event is perfect. With several restaurants to choose from, you can drink champagne and discuss colour schemes in-between visiting stores such as Reiss, L.K Bennett, Sandro and Maje for contemporary and stylish bridesmaids dresses. For pretty gifts that any Maid of Honour or indeed Mother-in-Law would love then you might want to head to Links of London for their collection of elegant and delicate necklaces. Alternatively Marc by Marc Jacobs offers designer leather card holders, earrings and scarfs without the associated often eye-watering price tag. For the smallest members of your wedding party The White Company have a super cute selection of outfits and mini-knitwear. The multi-layer tutus are definitely a Rock My Wedding favourite. Of course you don't want to take a shopping trip just for the benefit of everyone else. I am a huge advocate of purchasing investment pieces for your wedding day that can be enjoyed long after you say "I do". A stunning shoe doesn't have to be a bridal shoe per se. I recently treated myself to some patent Prada pumps in nude that I know will work with the majority of my existing wardrobe - £250 from Bicester village. Spendy admittedly, but less than half of the RRP and considerably less expensive than a pair of shoes that you have possibly already thought about that you would probably only ever wear for one day. Am I right?
And then there's the bags. ALL. THE. BAGS. I'm thinking honeymoon tote (the stone leather number in the gallery is from Coach) or perhaps a feminine clutch or large purse for the day itself where you can house your essentials such as lipstick, powder and perfume. If you need any more persuading to spend a day in February perusing the gowns and treating yourself to all manner of discounted designer pieces then you should also know that Bicester Village is welcoming the revolutionary women’s social enterprise, Brides do Good, which will open its first-ever pop-up boutique, with part of the proceeds from its collections of pre-owned and sample dresses being donated to two partner charities – Plan International and Too Young To Wed. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18; that is 28 girls every minute, 1 every 2 seconds. Selfless and pioneering brides donate their dresses to Brides do Good to pass on their good fortune to young girls around the world with the aim of helping the United Nations’ fight to eradicate child marriage by 2030. Instead of relegating their dress to the back of the wardrobe, modern brides are utilising their power as women and brides to effect change where they can. It is an excellent cause and the Brides do good "e-tail" boutique will showcase up to 50 styles from the most-coveted bridal designers including Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Marchesa, Elie Sabb, Vivienne Westwood, Ian Stuart and Vera Wang. I am so jealous that I'm not planning a wedding myself so I would have a legitimate excuse to take a trip myself. Although, I probably need at least one more pair of shoes come to think of it...... The Bicester Village Bridal event is from the 9th until the 19th February - we'll probably see you there!
Charlotte O'Shea

Written by Charlotte O'Shea

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