Meet...CocoMio Bridal

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Hello there, tell us about yourself!
Hello, my name is Aoife and I am the owner of CocoMio Bridal. I have years of experience in the bridal industry and I always strive to provide beautiful dresses along with the best customer experience. Secretly, I am a workaholic and come from a background of two jobs. I setup CocoMio to specialise in supplying designer bridal gowns to our customers at a time that suits them. We are the only store in Cardiff to be open late five evenings a week and also all weekend.

What was the inspiration for starting your business?
The inspiration came from my dad being an entrepreneur and working hard to get where he is today, and of course I admired him. On top of that, I also had my love for the bridal industry. I used come home and say how much I loved it and how it was more a hobby than work. I left Cork two years ago for a job in Cardiff and I knew after two months in a new role that it wasn’t for me. I had a big dream to do it for myself and it took well over a year to make this dream happen. I noticed every store in Cardiff opened 9ish-6ish and stores in Swansea didn’t open Sundays. From working in my previous bridal role I had learnt fabrics, fits, what worked and what didn’t so I was happy to jump into my business idea head first.

What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Firstly, the hours suit our customers and that is what our business is about. The store is based in the suburbs of Cardiff City so there is free parking readily available, wheelchair accessible premises, spacious viewing space for dresses and we also have a private bridal suite so nobody can see the bride trying on dresses. It is crucial to have this space so the bride is the only person in a gown in the store at any one time. I am also very lucky with my designers. I managed to grab hold of two Spanish designers, an Italian designer and an American designer. 
  • Pronovias San Patrick, which is a well established Spanish brand.
  • Rosa Clara, which is more exclusive with only 3 stores stocking the same range in the UK. Brides feel like they have a one off dress rather than something their friend could also pick from a nearby store.
  • Demetrios, Platinum collection, has been launched in the last month across UK stores and my stock is due in the start of May 2015.
  • Jasmine Bridal is for the more price cautious bride.
We also stock various bridesmaid dresses, we have customised jewellery that is handmade in Ireland so it cannot be bought anywhere else in the UK and I also work close to a designer in Cardiff who makes handmade garters, belts and headpieces for my vintage brides.

What are you tipping as the next “big thing” for weddings?
Lace and traditional gowns are still huge. Especially in Cardiff as the bride is still brought up with family oriented traditions and likes the vintage theme. My designers are bringing out gowns with simple cuts and embellishment on mikados and satins. Rosa Clara has launched a new pique fabric which is fabulous and looks something out of a Dior advert. 2016 is losing the one shoulder style and bringing out nudes, pinks and beiges through dresses. Backless is in again. A lot of brides are now getting married abroad and are shopping for very light fabrics.

A lot of bridesmaids do the different styles and one colour or same style but love the idea of various nude colours along a pallet and breaking the trend of bridesmaids looking like clones of each other.

Again there are no rules to wedding dress shopping, the bride makes her own rules. Veils are still huge with head pieces are not as popular.

Best advice for brides and grooms to be planning their wedding?
Don't feel pressured to buy on a first appointment. Every bride should be allowed to go home and sleep on the thought of her wedding gown. Trust me you will be thankful for it. Start shopping at least a year in advance. If you leave it to the last few months, you may be limited on styles or may have to pay extra money for rush deliveries.

Sometimes it is hard to round everybody up at a weekend as everybody has their own plans so hence the mid week evening hours are a dream. Just contact us if you would like an appointment.

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