When I started Savvy Brides two and a half years ago, my dream was always to have a shop. A gorgeous little spot that was girly and comfortable where brides could come and try on lots of beautiful dresses and even though they were buying a second hand dress it wouldn’t feel like a second hand experience.

As time has passed, my business has grown and I have been so lucky to get lots of amazing preloved designer gowns by brilliant designers like Jenny Packham, Vera Wang, Oscar De La Renta, Steven Khalil and Johanna Johnson. As word spread and dresses started selling it soon became apparent that I was outgrowing my current space and so the search began for the perfect spot! I hunted around and eventually found a pretty little shopfront exactly where I wanted to be – in Double Bay.

The day I got the keys was so exciting! But the minute I started looking around, I realised how much work was involved to get the shop looking and feeling the way I wanted it to. My long suffering husband and my father did it all (with the help of a very patient builder for a couple of days) and it was a massive task which took about a month! It involved removing and replacing a floor, ripping down walls, rendering, painting, sanding, drilling and lots more things that I don’t even know about! I spent this time finding beautiful pieces to furnish the shop, lighting, rails, shelving, mirrors and decoration.


I decided to celebrate the opening of my new shop by having an opening event. When I set the date we thought we had plenty of time to finish the shop and so the invitations went out.

By the time the week of the opening rolled around, the shop was not actually on track to be ready and 100 people had RSVPed that they were attending!

There was a massive push at the end to get it all finished and on the day before the opening I came into the shop and could have cried! My husband and my father were there as usual working very hard. A builder my husband had befriended was there working on the electricals, a man from two doors down was helping with the door handles, the neighbour from the cafe next door was there working too. It was an amazing moment! So many people from our little community had come together to try and help give Savvy the best start! It seriously brought tears to my eyes!

Standing in my finished shop on the day of the opening was one of the happiest moments of my life. Seeing this gorgeous space, even better than anything I had pictured was this amazing feeling of seeing my dreams come true. Watching my Savvy Brides sign go up out the front and all my beautiful dresses go up on my bespoke wrought iron dress racks was just perfect!

For the opening I made contact with lots of fabulous vendors that I either knew or had heard about to ask them to get involved in the event. I was so lucky that so many got on board.

The shop was filled with beautiful dark and light pink peony roses and soft cream David Austin roses, lisianthus and gardenias all provided by Merci Bouquet. Love and Protect provided masses of flameless candles to cover every inch of the shop and as the sun set, the twinkling of the candles filled the shop..

Waiters served peach bellinis, champagne, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and rose all supplied by Jacobs Creek from their new ‘Cool Harvest’ range and Peroni beer. The delicious catering from Mason Rose included: tartlets of roasted tomato with smoked mozzarella and olive tapenade, wholemeal pancake of roasted duck with shallot and cucumber, char grilled mini medallions of beef en croute with wasabi mustard and blue cheese tarts with onion and cardamom jam. Guests were also treated to the sweet delights of a gorgeous lolly buffet provided by Sugar Cube Lolly Buffets. The lolly table included delicious treats including nougat, caramel popcorn, milk bottles, marshmallows and fudge. Wedding cake designer, Yummy Cupcakes also provided cakes in luscious lemon and hazelnut truffle.

The fabulous Nadean from Photography by Nadean took photos on the night which turned out beautifully! I was very lucky that Vanilla Jam (the café next door) stayed open for the night so that guests could spill over into the café and onto the street. We had about 100 guests and it was so lovely to have so many brides, wedding vendors and friends there to celebrate this milestone in the Savvy Brides journey.

Guests all took home a goodie bag containing:

–       Chocolate from Lindt chocolates

–       Candle holders from Favour Perfect

–       Hair masque treatment: Al’chemy

–       Lipgloss: Zuii Organic

–       Hair shampoo and condition: Everescents

–       Pilates class voucher: Kiralates


Now that my shop has been open for over two months I know it was the best decision I ever made. I have so many more brides coming into the store, I can take lots of dresses and I know that the brides are having a first class experience finding their designer dress without the price tag!

Photography by Photography by Nadean

Renovation photos by Mandy from Savvy Brides

Ms Gingham says: Congratulations to Mandy and everyone who helped put this fabulous event together. We wish you every success in the future and we are certain that all your hard work will pay off!

About Savvy Brides: Savvy Brides is a bridal boutique located in Double Bay sells pre-loved second hand, sample wedding dresses and affordable wedding gowns made by top bridal designers.