'Just a dream' - Bridal suite and photography studio open in Dereham
- Credit: Breckland District Council
Two friends have made their dream a reality after opening a bridal suite and a photography studio together in Dereham.
Nikki Finch opened LEH Bridal Dreams on Saturday while friend Steve Hitchman opened his studio under the same roof, creating a one-stop-shop for anyone planning a wedding.
The businesses are located on Norwich Road, just a few minutes' walk from the town centre.
Breckland District Council (BDC) chairman Roy Brame cut the ribbon at the grand opening, which featured a model sporting one of the gowns, flutes of prosecco and a sweet cart.
Ms Finch and Mr Hitchman received funding, advice and a bespoke e-commerce course from BDC.
As well as having a photography studio on-site, Ms Finch will create wedding packages with other suppliers. Mr Hitchman’s studio will meet the bridal photography needs, in addition to the family and pet sessions he will be offering.
“I want to cater for people who want to get married without spending tens of thousands of pounds,” said Ms Finch, “which is why I decided to stock a selection of pre-loved wedding dresses, shoes, centrepieces and artificial bouquets.
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“What happens to everything you buy after the wedding? You shove it in a cupboard. Reuse in this way is more sustainable and it makes the dresses more affordable.
“I buy dresses outright, or sell them on behalf of the owner. I’m happy to accept donated dresses - I’ll give 80pc of their price to charity.”
Mr Hitchman said: “For me and for Nikki, it’s just a dream.”
“We have no idea what’s going to happen in a year, but it’s a dream that we’ve both wanted so to be able to have that opportunity is amazing.”
Addressing the gathering of friends and family, Mr Brame said women would be able to visit the shop to buy their dress, while Mr Hitchman would make couples "both look lovely - how [much] more could you ask for?"