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“Anyone can walk through the door. We never know what we’re getting. In our diary all we’ve got is a name. Three hours later we probably know their life story from start to finish.” Marg, Wedding Shop Assistant
Every year around 250,000 couples tie the knot in the UK. Confetti and Lace is one of Yorkshire’s busiest wedding shops with up to 100 brides a month coming to choose that all important item, their wedding dress.
This new 60-minute documentary follows day-to-day life at the shop and the stories of three brides as they approach their big day. In doing so it captures a glimpse into the lives of families at one of the most stressful and happiest times they will ever experience.
From tears and tantrums to weather mishaps and family fallouts, shop owner Abbi Lewis has learnt to expect the unexpected and admits to having seen it all. She explains: “Not everything goes to plan. I’ve seen bridesmaids slap each other.”
But along with her two right-hand women Marg and Jane, their shared enthusiasm and love of their jobs is without question and they inevitably become very emotionally attached to their brides. As Marg explains: “Every single day we hear a different story and everything is different. You never, ever get bored of this job because every single girl is unique.” Jane explains: “Probably a good comparison, although not the same, is a midwife, who’s there for the birth of somebody’s child. You’re there for the build-up to somebody’s wedding day so if we can make that little bit of a difference, and make it perfect, then it’s a good job done.”
We meet bride Tammy, 24, who has asked her nan Betty to help her choose a dress, as her mum isn’t invited to the wedding and they haven’t spoken for five years. Tammy explains “I do think about it a lot but then there’s a part of me that thinks - it’s her loss. There were just that many more bad times than good times, that the bad just overrules it and I just think - I don’t want you there to ruin it.” Tammy’s dad Chris is looking forward to walking her up the aisle, there is just the small matter to resolve over his preferred choice of attire for the occasion. He says “The outrageous option is the leather jacket with the big skull and the Mohican hair…”
Jo is 36 and has been married to Darren for nine years. She wants to celebrate her ten-year anniversary by renewing her vows in a dress fit for a princess, as her family were absent from the first wedding due to religious differences. Jo is relishing the chance to be a bride all over again and there is no expense spared. She says: “We’ll do it more as a fairytale than as a proper traditional wedding. We’re not quite sure how I should arrive yet, whether it should be a glass carriage, a white horse or a pink helicopter…”
Natasha is marrying Ches, her childhood sweetheart. Their teenage romance ended, only to be rekindled a decade later. Her daughter Taylor-Leigh is her chief bridesmaid. Taylor-Leigh’s dad died in a car accident before she was born and Natasha has been a single mum ever since. She says: “I’ve always been honest with her about the whole situation…so nobody else can ever say ‘this is what happened’…it’s hard sometimes cos she’s never had a male figure in her life.” But there is complete panic at the wedding shop the night before the wedding when Natasha still hasn’t arrived to collect her dress. Has she had second thoughts about the wedding?
The Wedding Shop provides a funny, heartfelt and unique insight into British lives and attitudes to marriage.