Featured Supplier : Princess Brides Stafford

Stafford Wedding Bridal Boutique

Searching for the perfect bridal boutique for your Staffordshire wedding? Look no further!

I’ve known Claire Garfield from Princess Brides in Stafford for many years now and always love an excuse to catch up.

A lady that loves the industry she is in, and always goes above and beyond for her brides.

When meeting with Claire, I can only imagine the whole experience is incredibly relaxed. From walking into the light and airy shop to choosing your favourite gowns and trying them on, of course, leaving “squealing down the road” as you head home! What more could you ask for?

Claire has been established at Princess Brides in Stafford for over 11 years now, and it’s easy to see why!

When I first started my interview with Claire, the first thing that she said struck a chord with me:

“I love what I do! The brides are fantastic. I especially love the bride’s that come in, which is probably about 98 percent, who come in and say I don’t like my arms, I don’t like this,  I don’t like that, and they just think they’re not going to look good in a dress. They think there’s nothing out there for them. We know what you can look amazing in and you know we get them to try that on even if they don’t want to and you know if when they find the one that’s it. It’s a treat. You know we still cry and appointments. You know we get the Goosebumps.”

That right there is a lady who LOVES this business of weddings!!

A few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

I imagine choosing a dress, much the same as planning all of the wedding, really can feel like a daunting task for brides. Afterall, with a lack of prior experience, where do you start? That’s where the expertise of Claire comes in:

“We let the brides choose dresses, but we also pick out dresses that they may not have thought would suit.  A that a lot of brides do think that they won’t look good in certain things like strapless or fishtail, but actually, you get the right dress for them, and it’s just it’s amazing! The confidence level you can just see you know going through the roof.”

For me, that is what it’s all about, and I just know Claire is the same!

A few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Partnering with the right supplier is so important in this industry, and the options that Princess Brides hold help too:

“The main designer that we use has got so many different designs what we’ve got is quite a diverse range so, and I buy my dresses for the fit and for the fuller figure as well,  to make sure that anyone can wear the dresses.”

Knowing which dress to choose, when considering your season, your type of wedding, and the style of your day, can be a big thing too.

” It’s thinking about your venue, and thinking about this type of dress. If you have a ceilidh band, and you know you’re going to be up on your feet all night, then maybe a fishtail isn’t for you because it’s going to be difficult to move about and compared to a ball gown or a straight dress. So it’s thinking about the whole package. When our brides come and see us, we want to know all about the wedding, so that’s the first thing we ask you know we ask the venue we ask at what suppliers they’re using. It’s fabulous we get to hear the whole thing better, and yes get just getting excited about our brides!”

Being comfortable with your wedding suppliers is so important, after all, you should be enjoying every second of the wedding experience!

Claire’s attitude and approach here are fabulous, with her brides feeling relaxed and at ease.

“The feedback that we get from Brides is that we’re friendly, not pushy.  I don’t have an agenda when a bride walks in, yes, this is my business. This is what I do. But my focus is just to make sure the bride gets the dress that she wants, not what I think she should have, or because I need to sell a dress. The focus is on the bride and getting her excited and making sure she’s happy with what she’s chosen.”

Personally, I think this approach is fabulous – and it’s how it should be!

A few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

So as I’ve never been in the position of buying a dress, I asked Claire to talk through the experience for you:

“I always stand in front of the dresses, which is probably not great, but at the same time, I want to find out about the bride and what she is doing for her wedding day. I want to know the venue. I want to know what’s in her head. They’ve usually got a Pinterest board, so I like to have a nosey at that and just see where their colours are, the kind of styles they’ve been looking at, that kind of thing, so I know which dress to pull out. Afterall, as a bride you walk into a wedding shop, and all you see is just a sea of Ivory. Especially if they’ve never been married before, and they just don’t know what they’re looking at all, so, if I can find out exactly what they’re looking for I can then guide and pick the dresses out. From there a Bride usually picks three dresses, some Brides choose 13, and it doesn’t matter.

We head up to the private changing area, and I always say to my Brides: ‘right you are getting married in half an hour, the car is waiting outside. Your hair and makeup are done. Which dress are you going to just grab and put on?’ And I would say nine times out of 10, that’s their dress!”

A few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

So from finding “the dress”, the service from Princess Brides continues.

From the in-house seamstress who adjusts your gown when it comes in, to the help Claire gives when explaining how to put the dress on, you are looked after all the way through!!

“Normally if it’s a lace-up back, ask who is going to be helping the bride into her dress, and I have them to come to the appointment. We obviously teach them how to put the dress on, and even create a video for them so that they can look back on the day.”

Care and instilling comfort and confidence! Fabulous!!

When planning your wedding, consideration and thoughts always have to come toward pricing, and it’s great to know that at times of the year, Princess Brides can offer amazing “off the peg” gowns at fabulous savings! My tip here – get in touch with Claire, and keep following her on Facebook!! Having your dress from a boutique does not have to be expensive at any time of the year.

A few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James A few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart JamesA few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

When talking to Claire, I also asked her to share her top five wedding planning tips, that can all help you with planning your wedding:

  1. Be true to yourself –  actually make a plan and realise what it is that you want. Rather than trying to please lots of other people just do it for yourself. It’s your day.
  2. Give yourself time and write down exactly what you want from your wedding. Make a plan and control that Pinterest board! I can quite quickly go out of control and become stressful, which is presumably what you don’t want, so it’s about making time and planning writing everything down.
  3. Buy good shoes!  Shoes that fit. Shoes that you can run around. Shoes that you feel comfortable in all day. You are on your feet all day long, apart from your wedding breakfast, but you know you’ll be dancing. You’ll be greeting guests, you’ll be having candid photos from not just the photographer, but all your friends and family who are going to be clicking away at you all day long if you’re grimacing in those photos it just doesn’t look great – so, get good shoes.
  4. Involve the mother-in-law – We understandably get to hear all of it! Woes and problems and issues while we’re here and a lot of it is around the Mother-in-law. So instead, invite them to the bridal appointment, ask them to do something, maybe sort out a few flowers or anything!
  5. Get a good photographer! – After the day, that’s what you’re left with. No disrespect to anybody else in the wedding industry, but the cake’s been eaten, the foods been eaten, the venues been stopped in, but you are left at the end with a wedding photo album of the whole record of your day, so for me it is hugely important to find a photographer who you get on with.

And finally, picking that wedding brain of Claire, for her top wedding tips!

  1. Menswear – Brides, you’ve got to sort them out. I will never take any menswear order without the Brides say so!
  2. Make sure when you get to the venue, or if you’re getting ready at home, make sure the gown is hung, and the train pulled out. Also take the veil out too!
  3. Make sure you go for a wee before you put your dress on! 
  4. Just enjoy yourself. It’s not a tip, but I see a lot of brides that get quite stressed in the few weeks running up to their day, and they forget that it’s all about them! Being just too busy trying to sort out everything out takes over. So give people jobs to so you can just chill and enjoy and enjoy it for what it is.
  5. So you’ve had your dress on all day. You’ve been taken by the photographer to random places to have your photograph taken. When you walk down the aisle, it’s pristine, but by the evening you don’t care so much! You will just get on with it; the train will be down it will get filthy!  My top tip is to make sure you get it cleaned quickly after the day especially if there’s any moisture or water on it, as this will start to rot the fabric over time. So get the dress cleaned! We have a boxing service as well, and then your dress is returned pristine ready to do what you want in the future!

A few photos from a beautiful Princess Brides Bride at Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

And there we have it! Top planning tips, and top wedding tips from a very experienced Bridal Gown Supplier in Stafford.

To see the full video from our interview, please see below:

I can wholeheartedly recommend visiting Princess Brides. Claire is fabulous and will make you feel completely at ease!

If you want to find more about Claire, you can find her website and social media linked below:




If you have any questions you would like me to put to Claire, please do get in touch or leave a comment below.

Ready to do this?

Let’s chat!

I’d love to hear your plans for your day, and if you have something a little more offbeat or unusual in mind, count me in. Create a festival atmosphere, end your evening with an Irish Ceilidh or say your vows on a mountain in Wales – from fun-loving to adventurous, give me a call to talk about your wedding photography.