In 1999 Michaela’s mum Jo purchased some wedding gowns from a friend leaving the industry, and started to sell and hire them from home. It only took a short time before they decided that they needed premises as the business was growing so fast. After finding some top designer gown companies who snapped up the chance to have them as stockists, the shop Brides & Gowns opened its doors.

In January 2000 Brides & Gowns started life in a humble situation in Long Eaton. Jo (Michaela’s Mum) ran the business at the time, whilst Michaela worked there in the afternoons after her accounting job in the morning.

Their business continued to grow and develop and only a few years later the first premises was almost completely out grown. In 2004 the decision was made to expand the collections and pricing of the gowns they stocked, so Jo opened a second store in Nottingham which would offer gowns in the upper market. This is when Michaela took over Brides & Gowns, and with her growing knowledge of the industry became one of the youngest managers in UK bridal wear, at that time. Within another year, Michaela had located the second premises for Brides & Gowns, and with a second level to the store, she introduced storage services and a wider range of bridesmaids and alterations on site.

This new shop was a lovely upgrade until it flooded downstairs 3 times in 3 years. After finding a problem within the walls that the landlord would not fix, Michaela decided it was time to conquer Derby City Centre, where she found an amazing Grade II listed building on The Strand. It had beautiful arched front windows offering true daylight, and after designing the layout and decorating it herself, it became the perfect bridal store. Before settling in the premises also underwent a vast amount of building work, to allow a second floor which was installed by the landlord. This allowed Michaela the opportunity to not only have a dedicated bridesmaid’s department, but also a sewing room within the premises.

Michaela has extensive knowledge of all Bridal Gowns and the Bridal industry, which is reflected in the confidence of their services and helpful staff. Brides & Gowns now has some of the biggest collections in the world, and is one of the top recommended Bridal Boutiques by many of their collections. With collections such as Maggie Sottero, Rebecca Ingram, Sottero & Midgley, Ronald Joyce, Willowby, Jazz by Modeca and Rita Mae, Brides & Gowns are confident they have something for every bride, and with a variety of Bridesmaid dresses and accessories, they can complete your perfect look.

Michaela believes every bride should have an enjoyable experience when searching for the gown of their dreams and that is why Brides & Gowns was one of the first bridal shops in the midlands to offer plus size gowns on shop floor, allowing all their future brides to see and feel that perfect fit while trying on. Each bride has their own bridal stylist, who will go on their journey with them from the beginning to the end, and with so many events and promotions available to their customers, you can be sure to receive the best value for your day.

Now with in-store seamstresses, Brides & Gowns can easily redesign gowns and offer bespoke work, so if you can’t find what you are looking for, go and have a chat with the team and they will try to create it for you. As part of their unrivalled service, alterations are also offered to all brides, even if their gown was purchased elsewhere.

Once your big day is over Brides & Gowns can even have your dress dry cleaned and professionally packaged into a beautiful hand made box ready for storage, for many years to come.


Brides and Gowns,
26 The Strand,

01332 267000