Shop Savvy: Off The Peg Bridal by Dotty

Sarah Symonds

Today we’ve been chatting to Shannon and Beth, the ladies behind Off The Peg Bridal by Dotty, which sells wedding dresses… well, off the peg!

Yep, you read that right! This means that brides like you are able to have their dream gown at a fraction of the price, opening doors to luxurious and well-known designers that you may have heard of or seen online but thought you could only dream of!

Off The Peg is an off-shoot of the successful UNVEILED Network Member boutique Dotty Bridal and many of the dresses at Dotty end up on the rails of OTP, meaning you could easily bag yourself a real bargain. Perfect for all you savvy shopper brides!

We’ve been speaking to Shannon and Beth to find out how OTP came about, where they reckon you should start your bridal journey and why RESEARCH is so important it has to be written in caps.

And watch this space as OTP is expanding to an exciting new premises very soon!

Images provided by Off The Peg Bridal by Dotty

Hello girls!

Hi! We are Shannon and Beth, owners of Off The Peg Bridal by Dotty. OTP is a bridal outlet like no other. Our luxury bridal boutique houses an abundance of designer gowns at discounted prices from leading designers such as Pronovias, Madi Lane, Madison James, Willowby, Justin Alexander and many more.

Where did your passion for bridal fashion begin?

Shannon’s passion first began back in 2013 – “When I got married I loved everything about planning my wedding and all things bridal. Having worked in retail since the age of 16, I knew that I had the background and the skills needed to open my own boutique. When we were lucky enough to acquire the bridal kingpin that is Pronovias, I knew that I just had to go for it and open my very own boutique. Dotty Bridal has grown year on year in both size and staff and then from the success of Dotty came OTP. As owners we really saw that lots of brides wanted to be a Dotty bride and experience what we had to offer, however not everyone had the budget to purchase a gown from Dotty. This led us to wanting to provide a gown for all budgets and so Off the Peg was born.”

Tell us about what makes your outlet special?

We aren’t like any other outlet out there. We have a very relaxed, welcoming boutique feel. Your bridal appointment is with a highly trained stylist who knows the designers, dresses, body shapes and dress changes and alterations. You have a personal boutique experience with lots of beautiful designer one-off gowns but for outlet prices as you are taking the dress off the peg – straight home with you!

Does the boutique have a signature style of gown?

Nope! We get all brides with different styles and sizing so we try to carry a vast range of styles in all sizes.

Which labels do you stock?

Pronovias, Madilane, Justin Alexander, Madison James. These dresses come from Dotty Bridal. Lots of brides love the dresses available at Dotty but the price point can sometimes be a little high. When the dresses come here we reduce the cost of the dress by a huge amount, making that dress more affordable for the bride to buy that exact dress off the peg. We also stock Adore by Justin Alexander and many exclusive gowns only available in OTP. Selling straight off the peg makes them a more affordable price for so many brides.

What sizes do you carry?

Sizes 6-18

What sort of price point are your gowns?

Most are between £900-£1300. Although we do have some slightly more and slightly less.

Where would you advise brides to look for inspiration when beginning the dress hunt?

RESEARCH! A Lot of brides have absolutely no clue where to begin when searching for their dress. No idea where to go, styles or price points. Start looking at different dresses on google or Pinterest! Pinterest is your best friend throughout the whole wedding planning process.

Get a feel for the shapes and styles you seem to be drawn to. You may find that many of the dresses could be by the same designer. Certain designers have a recognisable design and feel for them. Once you find a designer you love the dresses from, find out their price point. Some may be well into the thousands, others more reasonably priced. Once you have found a designer you love that is within budget, look for a local stockist of that designer. You can usually find this on the designer’s website.

This is where we come in! Some of these stunning Pinterest-worthy dresses that you think would be out of your budget are the ones we stock! We stock top designer dresses but sell for a fraction of the price by selling them straight off the peg rather than ordering the dress new.

How do you approach each appointment?

We will call each bride before their appointment to discuss their wedding, get a feel for what kind of styles the bride is liking and advise what we have in each size at what price points.

We’d tell them how we work at OTP so they are all ready and prepared for when they come to their appointment. It is always good to speak to the bride before their appointment as sometimes what a bride is looking for we might not have here so whilst on the phone we can always re-book their appointment across at our main boutique Dotty Bridal. We welcome all our brides to browse all the dresses at their appointment and pick out their favourites. We then also suggest what we think would look amazing! Once The One has been found, the lucky bride will then walk away with her dream gown on the same day.

Tell us about the fittings and alterations process?

A lot of brides are finding their dream dress at OTP is actually their size, which is saving them a huge amount by taking the ‘off the peg’ one home rather than ordering a new one in the same size. That being said most bridal gowns can be adjusted, let out to be a size bigger or taken down by potentially two sizes. So if you find your dream dress that isn’t in your size, don’t worry our seamstress can work their magic to make it fit you perfectly. Almost every dress will need some adjustments to fit and sculpt your body perfectly, it is usually the length and around the bust area. We have a recommended seamstress with her own studio you can go directly to or an in-house seamstress for a small fee. A seamstress makes the dress look incredible and fit you perfectly, they are also amazing at custom changes to make the dress exactly as you want, add sleeves or a dropped sleeve, fill in an open back and much much more!

Why should brides shop in independent, local boutiques?

A lot of brides on a budget will sometimes visit chain outlet bridal shops. We pride ourselves on giving brides a luxury boutique experience where they get to try lots of luxurious dresses and styles till they find the one. We will then give our expert knowledge in styling the dress and alterations, and any bespoke changes to make the dress perfect for the bride.

What do your brides love about your service?

We offer a good range of dresses, expert knowledge in styling and body shapes and an in-house alteration service. We are well known for bringing brides the luxury boutique experience at outlet prices.

What are your top tips for brides when choosing their wedding outfits?

  1. Keep an open mind! A lot of brides have a style and idea in their head of what they want and when they try, it isn’t how they thought it would look. More often than not a bride will walk away with something they never would have even picked up off the hanger. A wedding dress isn’t something you wear every day so it can surprise you the feeling it gives you in something totally different!
  2. Budget and Research. Every bridal shop will carry different styles, designers and all different prices. Find the dresses you love that are within your budget and a store that sells the styles you are after.
  3. Choose a shop that cares! Your bridal journey doesn’t stop when you find the one. You have multiple appointments in the shop to find the right veil, accessories and dress fittings. Find a shop that has the right vibe, comes highly recommended and stocks the right dresses for you. Many brides will book several appointments to fill their weekend of bridal shopping to make sure they find the one. Many then feel extremely overwhelmed when doing too many appointments together, so you don’t have a clear vision of what you like as you can start to get very confused.

And your no-nos?

  1. Don’t bring too many people to your appointment. Bring a couple of people whose opinion matters the most to you. You may find bringing all your family and bridesmaids can be extremely overwhelming. There are lots of opinions flying around of what they like and what you should try. You don’t want to be put off by a comment from someone else when you’re actually in a dress you absolutely love and feel amazing in.
  2. Don’t panic! We have looked after brides getting married literally weeks before their big day. We have brides buying from us with close wedding dates very regularly because we’re ‘off the peg’. We can find you your perfect dress and start alterations straight away.
  3. Don’t set your heart on anything before you’ve tried. Many brides will spend hours researching to find the perfect dress and when they try it on, it’s nothing like they’d imagined. The dresses are photographed on bridal models so you need to see how the dresses look on your shape and suit your style.

What trends do you see emerging in bridal fashion for 2021 and beyond?

Detachable skirts! A lot of brides like the fitted and ballgown style and find it hard to choose between the two. Detachable skirts give the brides both! You can then have two different looks for day and evening.

Dropped ‘off the shoulder’ sleeves too. A lot of dresses are having these sleeves now, but also a lot of brides request this on a lot of strapless dresses. This changes the dress and gives it more of a romantic feeling. A lot of brides also want to cover their arms but wearing a full sleeve can sometimes be too much, so a dropped sleeve gives the bride slight coverage and more confidence.

And what about accessories?

Yes, we stock many accessories! An accessory can completely change a bridal look or just add a finishing touch. We have many hair pieces, belts and veils to finish off your dress.

How can brides get in touch with you and book an appointment?

Instagram – @offthepegbridaloutlet

Facebook – Off The Peg Bridal Outlet

Email – hello@offthepegbridal.co.uk

Phone – 01484 866 891

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