The Aisle Edit, a highly curated bridal space by bridal shoes connoisseur Charlotte Mills is set to, not only knock off your glittering Miu Miu’s with its selection of brands but steal your heart the moment it opens its iconic pink doors on 11th February 2023.
A newly renovated Church (set in Saddleworth) plays host to the new bridal department store, The Aisle Edit. And, situated within its freshly painted, historic walls, lies a collection of handpicked, highly-coveted, female-run independent bridal brands beloved throughout the industry – and now, housed all in one space. We feel a shopping trip coming on! Born from the creative mind of Charlotte Mills (the founder of the ever-fawned-over Charlotte Mills Shoes) the new bridal department store is laced with the designer’s signature touch (the Church doors will be pink FYI). Sitting alongside a lovingly designed CM bridal shoe studio, will not only be the Edit by Dotty (brought to you by Shannon from Dotty Bridal) but an accessories floor brimming with glittering delights from the likes of For The Love Of Pearls, Rebecca Andrews Bridal, The Bobby Pin, Meeka, Team Hen, Horseshoe Flowers, Jadie Oi and Dove Grey Bridal. And, that’s not all. This is a bridal destination crafted with the entire bridal party in mind with a bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride showroom on offer from Rewritten Bridesmaids and Harper Laine Occasions.
Bridal Editor caught up with Charlotte Mills to get the full low-down on The Aisle Edit, it’s launch and the truly unique experience it’ll offer brides-to-be.
#1 Talk us through the concept, where did the idea for The Aisle Edit stem from? Has it been a long time in the making?
“The first time I walked through the door I knew I couldn’t leave the building as offices. It is just too fabulous. The idea to create a bridal concept store/department store evolved as we moved in and kept brainstorming ideas of what we could do with the space. The team are as mad as me and we are forever adding a million things to our to do list. We thought why not make it into a bridal department store!! Mad I know! It’s been so much more work than we anticipated but it’s looking incredible and I think it’s going to be amazing. Everyone has worked so hard to get it over the line.”
#2 Tell us about the The Aisle Edit’s location. Why is it so perfect and how did you come across it? Talk to us more about the interior vibe you’re creating within…
“The church is just across the road from my house, it came up for sale over lockdown and I always walked past it, thinking how amazing it would be as CMHQ. But I always assumed it would be too expensive. The girls encouraged me to book a viewing and chat to my accountant and we managed to make it work. As soon as I went for the first viewing I just knew it would be perfect for our head office. Especially with the location being so close to home.
For the interiors we wanted to create a really luxurious bridal experience for our brides. We understand that a lot of brides will be travelling from quite a way to visit and we want them to have the most magical experience. We’ve gone for herringbone flooring throughout, with white walls to make sure the original stain glass windows really pop! The gable end wall is a huge twelve metres high wall, which is pink and can be seen from every floor.”
#3 What sort of experience are you creating for brides and their bridal party when they visit The Aisle Edit? Will there be 1:1 appointments with each brand? Or can you just browse with your bridal party in tow?
“We’re offering 1:1 appointments in every department, all the appointments are bookable through our website. Each department will have their own dedicated The Aisle Edit stylist which will be with the bride from start to finish.
Our brides will have a bespoke card given to them when they arrive for their appointment, so that when they make their way round the space, going to each department our stylists will make a note of their purchases, and they collect them at reception on their way out.
After chatting with brides on Instagram, we’ve introduced browsing appointments, from 9-10am brides can arrive at The Aisle Edit and browse each department, with no appointment charge. We’ll then start our 1:1 appointments at 10am.”
#4 Is it true that the Church doors will be pink?
“Yes! We just had to have our brides walk through big pink church doors to enter into our bridal heaven…”
#5 Talk us through the curated selection of brands The Aisle Edit will offer…
“It was really important to us to ensure that the brands we bought into The Aisle Edit were female-founded, independent bridal brands at the right price point. We know how important it is for our brides that they can treat themselves to something really luxurious but still at an accessible price point.
With the church being a whopping 6000 sq ft we knew we had a lot of space to fill. We approached Shannon from Dotty Bridal about opening a new location and we’re so ecstatic that they were on board. Edit by Dotty is Shannon’s newest venture, stocking their own label Nori Ivy along with other premium bridal designers. We know how incredible it will be for Dotty brides to say yes to the dress on the top floor of our church, surrounded by incredible exposed church beams and stained glass windows.
After working in the bridal industry for nine years now, we’ve come to know a lot of incredible independent brands, so we already had a good idea of who we wanted to fill the space ahead of reaching out. We had the accessory showroom filled within a week. To complete the bridal experience, we wanted to also offer a bridesmaids showroom and mother of the bride. On the middle floor of The Aisle Edit you’ll find the Charlotte Mills flagship showroom, Rewritten Bridesmaids, Harper Laine Occasions for Mother of the Bride and our champagne bar. It really will be the perfect girly wedding day out.
And, the following brands are housed in our accessory showroom:
For the Love of Pearls – Beautiful embellished jackets and bridal accessories
Rebecca Andrews – Embroidered and personalised veils
The Bobby Pin – Hair accessories
Meeka – Luxury sustainable bridal nightwear and pyjamas
Team Hen – hen party accessories
Horseshoe Flowers – Incredible dried flowers
Jewellery will also be available by Jadie Oi and Dove Grey.”
#6 Does the opening tie in with your other up-coming new launch?
“It’s a busy start to the year in the CM office, with our new bridal shoe collection launching on the 27th January, our new slippers launching and our Hen Dress range on the 2nd February. All our new launches will be available to shop exclusively at The Aisle Edit from 11th February onwards.
Our capsule collection of Hen Dresses, features three styles that have been specifically designed by Charlotte for your hen party. All featuring incredible hand embellished beading and sequins for the perfect bridey look. The dresses will retail between £150-180, and brides can sign up to the waitlist here to be notified as soon as they launch.”
#7 Have there been any stumbling blocks along the way? How have you solved these?
“HELL YES!! Too many to mention, today alone we have had a gas leak and ceiling leak all before lunch. My husband Ross is doing the renovations along with family and friends. As the building is so old you do uncover a lot of issues as you go along. But we always find a solution.”
#8 Have brides already booked in? If so, how do they do this?
“Yes! Our booking system is live on the site now, you can book all our appointments and our afternoon tea on the website here.”
#9 How are you planning to celebrate the opening?
“We’re hosting a launch party for brides, industry and press on 11th February. We’re so excited to celebrate the completion of the renovations and the opening of The Aisle Edit. We’ll have a female DJ playing all the best tunes, a photo-booth and lots of fizz and canapés.”
#10 Your favourite moment of The Aisle Edit’s journey so far…
“When the scaffolding came down inside the interior atrium, revealing our three story high pink wall. It was the first sign of us putting this beautiful space back together and creating the vision which has just been in my head for months.”
P.S. You can read Charlotte Mills Shoes’ Taking The Plunge interview here and find out more about how the business began.