EVERY bride is on a journey and one of the most important parts of that road is finding the perfect gown. At The Bridal Lounge of Accrington in Blackburn Road, owner Lee Douglas ensures every bride-to-be knows she is extra special and her business acumen and success led her to win two trophies at Hyndburn Business Awards. A past winner of Sole Trader in 2017, and highly commended in 2018, she won that trophy again last year and added the much sought-after Independent Retailer title.

Lee said: “When I was on the stage and won the first trophy I was delighted, then I was a finalist in a second category and I was waiting to applaud the winner and was shocked to hear my business read out again.”

Originally from Dublin, Lee adopted Accrington nine years ago when she moved to live with her partner. The Bridal Lounge will have been trading for nine years in June and now the ‘big shop on the corner’ is visited by brides from Liverpool, Manchester, Bolton and all over Lancashire because of the exclusive sought-after designer gowns.

Lee, who has retained her charming Irish accent, said: “I had a bride come to my boutique for her gown that came originally from Accrington, but was living and working in Dubai with her fiancé. She was getting married in the Ribble Valley, but having previously lived in Hyndburn she knew of The Bridal Lounge. I have always worked in retail and I was offered the chance to work in a bridal boutique – Caroline Castigliano – in 2003 and that is when I got the bug. I found myself working with brides and their families, I became part of the experience, I was able to help them search for their dream gown.”

The experience begins from the moment the bridal party enter the boutique for a private appointment and they are greeted by a personally addressed welcome message and refreshments. Lee gets to know the bride and her wedding plans while the bride and her loved ones browse the bridal collection.

She added: “I have been invited to the wedding reception by some of my brides and it is great compliment, but it is their day and I am just happy for them to wear their beautiful designer wedding gown on the biggest day of their lives.”

Story by Catherine Smyth Media