Upminster bridal boutique gives back to frontline workers with £50 wedding dresses

Bella Sposa employees stand at the front of the shop

From left to right: Bella Sposa employees Tilly Johnson and Abbey Forrest. - Credit: Bella Sposa

The owner of an Upminster bridal shop thanked frontline workers by selling them wedding dresses for a very low cost during the pandemic.

Cassandra Williams has owned Bella Sposa in Upminster, where customers can shop by appointment only, for five years. 

She describes her boutique - which stocks designer wedding, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses alongside accessories - as “exclusive and glamourous” with the “wow-factor”. 

But throughout the pandemic, Cassandra openly admits the difficulty of having to close her business amid the multiple lockdowns.  

She said: “It was hard from a business perspective but also mentally.”  

It was “heartbreaking”, she said, to witness so many couples postpone their weddings.  

In a bid to give back, Bella Sposa gave away 30 wedding dresses for £50 to Blue Light card holders, which is available to those working in the NHS, emergency services, social care sector and armed forces. 

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Cassandra said: “As a luxury bridal boutique, we like to offer brides something different.”

A recent cause for celebration at the store has been the arrival of new collections.  

“We have become platinum partners for Pronovias, which is very exciting and we also got a contract to have Vera Wang wedding dresses,” said Cassandra.  

Pronovias is a leading global luxury bridal brand which has a store in New Bond Street. 

“Vera Wang is a part of Pronovias and even though it was very hard through lockdown, I was so shocked to be told I could have Vera Wang in my boutique and I am still in shock now.” 

Cassandra added: “When clients hear the name Vera Wang, they do expect to pay upwards of £5,000, so when they see that they start from just under £2,000 they are extremely happy.” 

Bella Sposa

From left to right: Bella Sposa staff member with a happy client. - Credit: Bella Sposa

Reflecting on the boutique’s niche, Cassandra, who hand selects all of the dresses stocked with the help of her team, said listening to her clients to ensure she understands them means she can stock items to “perfectly suit them”.  

She added: “It was once my dream to own a shop like Bella Sposa and now my dream is my reality.

“The boutique brings in clients from all over the world from Scotland to Holland and Dubai and it’s because of the brands we stock.”