June 06, 2016

Bridal Salon Spotlight: Bride To Be

Over the last 27 years Bride to Be has provided award winning service and created a relaxed and friendly ambiance within a beautiful store in the centre of Reading, Berkshire.


The store was started in 1989 by Lesley Rathkey and was an instant hit. So much so that a second store was opened. In 1999 the two stores were consolidated to make one beautiful and larger shop. Eventually Lesley retired and passed along the business to her daughter, the current owner, Stephanie. While Stephanie had already established a successful career of her own in sales, she was always surrounded by the family business! Her Sales career, together with a passion for design, combined with her lifelong knowledge of the bridal industry made her a perfect fit.


Bride To Be has always stocked the top brands - Justin Alexander, Sincerity Bridal, and Lillian West. Their goal is to constantly reinvest in the shop whether by updating the decor, training their staff, routinely updating their windows, or carrying the top trends in bridal. Stephanie says “As a shop owner, we must recognise change with each new set of brides that come through our doors, every year. It is important to know your brides’ aspirations and what they expect from their bridal experience. Here at Bride To Be, we know our brides. They have high standards. They want quality gowns. They don’t want old fashioned or boring. They want both elegant, classic and modern styles that look fresh and timeless.”


The one thing Bride To Be prides themselves in is their customer service, “We will do whatever it takes and whatever it costs to ensure our beautiful brides are happy. We have a team of 5 fitters and seamstresses and each is degree qualified and trained to the highest standard. Additionally, we have our own fully equipped in-house sewing room!” This truly makes Bride To Be a one stop shop.


Stephanie’s number one piece of advice for brides-to-be is simple: Allow yourselves to enjoy the experience and try to keep it all in the correct perspective. “Buying a wedding dress is just one piece of the puzzle… albeit an important piece, but make sure to have fun.” She suggests to be brave and not to limit your options. “Try on dresses that our consultants suggest. 8 of 10 times a bride walks in with a vision of what she wants her dress to look like and walks out with a completely different dress that she is madly in love with.” For Stephanie that is one of her favorite parts of the job: “It is very satisfying to know that you been given the opportunity to play a role in what is one of a woman’s most significant days of their life. To be a part of that is so special. It is a real pleasure to see our brides so happy and grateful.”


A trend that Stephanie is fawning over and doesn’t see going away anytime too soon? Long slim lace sleeves. “This style is very elegant and it's a breath of fresh air to see a shift in the industry and in the bride’s decisions to move away from the strapless looks.”


Stephanie's favorites from the FW16 collections are style 8866 from Justin Alexander "Very classic and beautiful," 3898 from Sincerity, and 6431 from Lillian West "Love the boho look!"


You can view their full collection at and follow them on Facebook for the latest news and offers!

  106-107 Broad Street Mall, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7QA  
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