Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Bride turns dress frustration into stunning new business

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Bride turns dress frustration into stunning new business


'Gap in the market': bride turns her dress search frustration into a stunning new business

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A wedding dress is one of the most important elements of a bride’s special day and more often than not finding a dream dress at a dream price doesn’t come with a fairytale ending.

After searching the market for a dress to wear to her own wedding, a Sunshine Coast woman realised there was a gap in the market and has set out to make sure every woman feels beautiful when walking down the aisle.

Debbie Roper, and her husband Simon, are opening Brides First Forever, or BFF, in Warana on January 5.

In a unique offering for the region, the store will specialise in modern, designer bridal gowns at affordable prices, all suited to be worn in a Sunshine Coast climate.

Ms Roper told Sunshine Coast News she saw a need for a store like this on the Coast after  getting married herself.

“We got married recently, hence the idea for the business,” she said.

Brides First Forever will offer a range of dresses.

“We were looking for a wedding dress and believed there was a market for affordable wedding dresses. I wanted to stop the need for people going to Brisbane to buy a dress.

“Going on my experience and knowing how the market is today I feel for the brides today.

“Everyone wants to look beautiful and feel special on their day but not everyone has the $3000 budget.”

Ms Roper has spent the past 25 years running businesses, the most recent in production and importing of custom-made apparel and equipment in Brisbane, prior to moving to the Sunshine Coast a few years ago.

Ms Roper said opening specials will see dresses from as low as $399 but generally prices would range from $1300 to $1900, with higher end options also available for those with larger budgets.

“We will have the more expensive dresses for those with the budget, but I still want to make it accessible for all budgets.”

Gowns at BFF have also been selected to match the warm climate, and Ms Roper said there will be a range of summer-style dresses to choose from.

Debbie Roper, and her husband Simon, at their new store in Warana. Picture: Warren Lynam.

“Most of the dresses are summery, or with low backs – I guess what the Sunshine Coast girls have been looking for.

“We will have something to suit everyone with traditional dresses, plain dresses, floral patterns, mermaid tail, fit and flair – I have a bit for everybody.”

Another point of difference for brides will be the opportunity to make changes to dresses from BFF’s labels, HunniLee and Lusch.

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There will be ‘something for everyone’ at Brides First Forever.

Dresses from these labels will also have a turn around time of eight to ten weeks, meaning brides won’t have to wait too long for their dress to arrive.

“If a bride tries on a dress and they want to make changes, and they are our labels, we can do that,” Ms Roper said.

“If I have a semi sheer bodice on a dress and the girl says she doesn’t want it semi sheer, we can get that changed in the factory. Or if they like a dress but want sleeves, then it’s not a problem.”

BFF will also stock designer brands Justin Alexander, Lillian West and Sincerity, as well as formal dresses.

Brides First Forever will open at Suite 4, 256 Nicklin Way, Warana on January 5. Visit Brides First Forever.