Norwich brides are bucking the national wedding trend

Norwich brides will forge ahead with the spring and summer weddings despite the recession, according to city stores.

National statistics suggest couples are increasingly choosing winter months to marry, in a bid to save money through cheaper venues.

But according to bridal shops and venues around the city, the seven per cent national rise over two years does not apply in Norwich.

Bridal store La Belle Ang�le on Bridewell Alley is busy all year round, said partner Melanie Fletcher.

'The Norwich bridal market is totally different, and quite traditional,' she said. 'At the end of the day, girls won't put their wedding on hold - they will find other ways to save money.'

Traditionally the most popular months to marry are from May to September, when weather is likely to be warmer, and funds less drained from festivities.

But with venues like Dunston Hall giving a �10-15 per person reduction to those marrying in winter, their figures have doubled from three marriages in December 2010, to six in 2011.

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Brides Boutique store manager Gemma Bean has seen numbers steadily increase for weddings between January and March, from nine dress orders in 2007, to 28 for 2011, and already 30 for the early part of this year.

Norwich Register Office records don't reflect the most up-to-date numbers released by the Office for National Statistics, but suggest a prolonging of the traditional season, spilling into winter.

Caroline Clark, of the Register Office, said: 'There has certainly not been an upsurge towards winter alone, but rather the wedding season has become a lot longer generally.'

But for brides who are looking to save money, the collection of second hand wedding dresses in the upstairs of the Big C charity shop on Timber Hill provides an alternative. Store manager Ruth Perfitt said: 'We have had an increase in dresses bought, even in the last few days.

'Since opening after Christmas we have already sold two wedding dresses, which we can alter if requested. So charity shops are clearly a very viable alternative in the economic downturn.'

Are you planning your wedding? Don't miss the two day wedding show at the Norfolk showground on Saturday February 25 and Sunday February 26. More than 150 exhibitors will come together under one roof for this massive two-day wedding event with a catwalk show and exhibitors from every section of the wedding industry.

Tickets on sale at Evening News offices or by calling 01603 693880.

You can find out more online at