Meet Maria Claydon of Eternal Weddings in Camberwell
Article posted: March 15, 2016
Brides looking for a personalised wedding dress fitting experience should head to Eternal Weddings in Camberwell.
With one of Melbourne’s largest ranges of wedding dresses, in-house alterations and a beautiful selection of accessories, this store promises to make buying a wedding dress enjoyable.
Owner of Eternal Weddings Maria Claydon said she started the business because she wanted to give brides a genuinely welcoming and personalised fitting service.
Back when Ms Claydon was a bride looking for her own wedding dress, she recalled feeling so overwhelmed with where to start and equally unimpressed with the level of service.
After several years’ experience working in the bridal industry in London, Ms Claydon returned to Australia with an idea to start her own bridal shop that offered exceptional service and on-site alterations.
She opened Eternal Weddings with her mother, who does the alteration work, in Carnegie before moving to a temporary location in Burke Rd, Camberwell and finally settling in at their spacious studio in Riversdale Rd in September 2015.
A complete wedding look
Eternal Weddings stocks a range of international and local wedding gown brands, and is the exclusive stockist of Australian label Connie Simonetti.
Pronovias and La Sposa, both made in Barcelona, are styles that tend to have more lace work.
“The detail is more in the fabric and the folds in the fabric rather than on the bling,” Ms Claydon said.
“But then we have designs from America, including Morilee by Madeline Gardner, who love incorporating a bit of sparkle in their gowns.”
The Connie Simonetti gowns are designed and made in Australia, and sit at the higher end of the market because the styles are more couture.
Ms Claydon said her studio offered wedding dresses to suit any bride, at any budget.
“We’ve got dresses that start at $500 and go right up to $12,000. So there is something for everybody. Our seamstresses can also make custom dresses for those brides who can’t find something ready-made that they like,” she said.
Eternal Weddings also sells accessories to add the finishing touch to a wedding outfit, including waist belts, head pieces, veils and jewellery.
“It means you can put the whole look together in store and you’ll know that it all matches,” she said.
The veils sold at Eternal Weddings are all custom-made to ensure the bride gets the length and shade that they want.
“Often when a bride gets her veil from somewhere else and brings it in, nine times out of ten it’s the wrong shade – it’ll be too white or too yellow and doesn’t match the dress,” Ms Claydon said.
Finding a dress to suit
For brides who have no idea what kind of dress they want, fear not.
Eternal Weddings can assist with finding a wedding gown to suit just about any body shape or style of wedding.
“It’s actually easier if a bride comes in with no idea of what kind of dress they want. That’s because when they have a preconceived idea of what they want they become very set on that style of dress, even if it doesn’t suit them,” Ms Claydon said.
“If someone comes in who has no idea what wedding dress they want we’ll try them in a princess style, a mermaid style, a lighter ivory and a more creamy ivory. Usually by the third or fourth dress, she’ll know which styles she likes most.
“My top tip for brides searching for their wedding dress is: be open to trying on different styles even if you think you won’t like them.”
A personalised experience
Ms Claydon said the concept at Eternal Weddings was to make the wedding dress fitting experience something that family and friends can be part of.
“That’s why we have the sofa and chairs so they can sit down enjoy a coffee or drink while the bride is trying on a dress. Then the bride can come out and show off the dress. We like involving everybody,” she said.
The studio also offers a high tea experience as part of the bridal gown fitting. The exclusive 1.5 hour appointment allows the bride and her guests to enjoy some champagne and nibbles before beginning the consultation with a stylist.
“After the fitting, and once a bride chooses the dress she wants, we take the measurements and send it off to the designer and they’ll make it to the closest size. Then four weeks out from the wedding, the bride will come in to meet with our seamstresses in store and they’ll check how the dress is fitting. We’ll work with the bride right up to just before the wedding day,” Ms Claydon said.
“We do all gown alterations in-house, meaning we can do them at an affordable price, with seamstresses who know the designs well.
“We’re here to create a stress-free and enjoyable experience for brides.”