The Bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as £50 for brides on a budget

the bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as 50 for brides on a budget - The Bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as £50 for brides on a budget

There’s nothing more disheartening than finding the dress of your dreams that simply falls way outside of your budget.

And with the average price of a wedding dress effortlessly flowing into the thousands, preparing for your big day can be stressful – unless you know exactly where to look.

Which makes the hidden second-hand bridal shop, hidden above a Gloucester Road charity shop, a secret of many Bristol brides.

The ground floor of Tenovus is filled with everyday clothing, books and accessories but upstairs is another story.

the bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as 50 for brides on a budget 2 - The Bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as £50 for brides on a budget

Tenovus on Gloucester Road sells sells luxury dresses for as little as £50 (Image: James Beck/Freelance)

The store sells dresses for brides on a budget with low costing designer brands such as Pronovias, Jen Jen House and Benjamin Roberts.

But as soon as you ascend to the upper-floor, you’re immediately blown away by rows of bridal dresses you can try on ‘till your heart’s content’.

Shop manager Sheila Cleary says customers are often surprised and shocked by the huge variety and affordable prices.

She said: “We once had a shopper that was fuming because she saw the exact same dress she had recently purchased for £1,400 and the same identical dress was in our store for £200.”

While there is nothing better than spotting an inexpensive dress that fits you like a glove, this charity shop allow you to explore with ‘no strings attached’.

“It’s about creating an experience for everyone with no strings attached”

the bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as 50 for brides on a budget 4 - The Bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as £50 for brides on a budget

Bristol Live reporter Shashana Brown browsing through wedding veils (Image: James Beck/Freelance)

Mrs Cleary said: “Just pop in, you don’t need to make an appointment you can bring a couple of friends with you just try on anything – hopefully you’ll find one that suits and fits.

She says people can often feel under pressure when trying on different styles of dresses – especially price wise but at Tenovus, “there is nobody hassling you”.

She said: “Instead of people feeling embarrassed that they have got a second-hand wedding dress, they should be chuffed – now they have money to spend on other things.

“People want retro dresses these days – they don’t want great big meringue.”

the bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as 50 for brides on a budget 5 - The Bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as £50 for brides on a budget

Bristol Live Reporter Ella Buxton looking stunning in a form fitting dress (Image: Bristol Live)

Mrs Cleary who has worked in the charity industry for 28 years says Gloucester road has become very cosmopolitan.

She said: “The area has become very green with people now more aware of saving the planet – donating is a great start.

“We have had people calling to tell us they have wedding dresses from the 1980s, and we say that is absolutely fine.”

Mrs Cleary says dresses that are stained or ragged around the edges are sold even cheaper for Halloween or hen parties.

the bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as 50 for brides on a budget 6 - The Bristol shop selling wedding dresses for as little as £50 for brides on a budget

Luxury wedding dresses sold at Tenovus, a charity shop on Gloucester Road (Image: James Beck/Freelance)

She said: “Some people just want to come in and spend £20 on a wedding dress and use it for a fancy dress that night.

“I sold my wedding dress four years ago to be used for bride of Dracula.”

What was the experience like?

“As soon as I walked in asked to see the bridal section – the staff did not hesitate.

“I was led up the stairs and told to have fun, explore and take as much time as I needed – it was great,” said Shashana.

For Rema who has plans to get married in the future, experimenting with different styles was just what she wanted.

She said: “I’d never tried a wedding dress on before, so it was definitely a fun experience and nothing like what I thought it would be.

“I’ve always said I only want a small wedding on the beach, but when I put on that dress I didn’t want to take it off hahah!.”

Ella said: “Whenever I think of a charity shop, wedding dresses do not spring to mind so to discover a whole floor of second-hand gowns was unbelievable.

“Tenovus offers a great way to save money on dresses without sacrificing style and  I think it’s important to make brides aware that they’re other options, rather than spending a fortune.”

What shoppers can look forward to

In spring next year the store is set to welcome £70,000 worth of brand new stock including mother of the bride dresses and accessories.

As part of its bridal launch, shop assistant Lyn Lewis said: “We are hoping to have an opening with balloons and entertainment.”

For 67-year-old Mrs Cleary reusing a ‘pre-loved dress’ is not only great for the environment but also people on a low income or people having a second marriage.

She said: “I think people are realising that to pay £1,500 to £2,000 on wedding dresses is just crazy for one day – so it benefits them and the charity.

“It’s about creating an experience for everyone with no strings attached.”

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