Chesterfield bridal boutique celebrates award win voted for by customers

Finesse Brides, located in High Street in Clay Cross, won the accolade for the best bridal retailer in the East Midlands at the I Do Wedding Awards last year – beating 400 other businesses.

The official ceremony was held virtually, with winners celebrating separately in their living rooms instead of at the usual black tie event.

Business owner Debbie Smart and her colleagues Codie, Holly and Kirsty collected their award – which was voted for by customers rather than a panel of judges – two weeks ago.

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The Finesse Brides team collecting their trophy at the I Do Wedding Awards. Pictured (left to right): Holly, Debbie, Kirsty and Codie.The Finesse Brides team collecting their trophy at the I Do Wedding Awards. Pictured (left to right): Holly, Debbie, Kirsty and Codie.

Debbie said: “It is just an amazing feeling to know that we are getting it right and we are doing what our customers want from us, rather than just blindly selling one dress after another and it means so much.

“There was tears all round when we found out that we won because for us it is personal.”

The 51-year-old set up Finesse Brides, which was initially housed in the upstairs of her former furniture shop, in High Street six years ago following a negative experience trying on dresses for her own wedding.

Since then, the boutique which specialises in wedding gowns, suits and bridesmaids dresses has gone from strength to strength and moved into their own shop before taking on even bigger premises during lockdown last year.

Debbie (right) previously met wedding dress designer Randy Fenoli – most known for his appearances on TV programme Say Yes to the Dress.

Finesse Brides now has separate prom and menswear departments too along with selling off-the-rail gowns and boutique numbers.

Debbie added: “For us it’s not about the money, there is no pressure sales, if you want to go away and think about it for a week then you go away and think about it for a week.

“We’re here to help from buying the dress and advising on everything right through to the day you say your ‘I dos’ if you like.”

She shared how it had been ‘heartbreaking’ to watch brides reschedule their weddings up to four times over the last year – with others even postponing until 2023 – due to ever-changing coronavirus restrictions.

The boutique located on High Street in Clay Cross specialises in wedding gowns, bridesmaid’s dresses, men’s suits and prom attire.

“That has been the worst part for us, the brides not being able to have their day and having to keep rearranging them, that’s been awful”, Debbie added.

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The Clay Cross boutique specialises in providing a personalised service for brides.The business moved next door to bigger premises on High Street to house it’s separate bridesmaid, prom and menswear departments.There is also a special space for flower girls to pick their outfits.