“From the moment I got engaged, I knew that a trip to Ritva Westenius would be in order- not least because my mother was a “Ritva bride” in 1984 and I had heard so many wonderful stories about her dress and also the 12 bridesmaid and page boy outfits that my grandmother had convinced Ritva to make. Armed with my parents’ wedding album, my mum’s dress receipt and even her mazurka fabric swatches from her fittings in 1983, we made our way to Chenca’s beautiful shop in W1 in November 2015.
Chenca’s creativity, professionalism and amazing ideas were apparent from the outset and despite it being only the second wedding dress shop we went to, I knew from the moment we walked in that I, like my mum, would be eventually walking out with a Ritva Westenius receipt. The studio was bright and airy and the loaded hangers truly were a sight to behold.
We were awed by her vast range of styles, cuts and fabrics and her amazing (and generous) mention that she could make me whatever I wanted- I could change the top or the bottom or the fit or the trimmings. Chenca had no designer ego and was totally open to my ideas about what I wanted. Chenca made the dress buying experience completely personal and bespoke and therefore very special. We decided on a dress style and as the months went on we looked forward to seeing the dress again in the final fittings.
Despite aiming to have three or four fittings, we ended up having six due to Chenca’s amazing eye for detail and design- she noticed things I had not even registered! When we finally walked out with the dress carefully wrapped in the bag (Chenca helped us place it in the car and tutored us on how to store it before the wedding), I was thrilled.
I was even more thrilled on the day when it looked and felt amazing- I wore it for 15 hours and it did not have one ache or pain, such was the comfort of the dress. The pictures we got after- professional and iphone alike- also showed the dress beautifully. Going to Ritva Westenius was honestly one of the best wedding related decisions I made and I would highly advise any would be bride in Chenca’s direction. Her eye for detail, attention to every stitch and positive can do attitude will not only guarantee you a great experience but also a fantastic dress. I would almost say- “I wish I could buy another one!
Married: 21 August 2016
“I would like to thank Chenca at Ritva Westenius for my Perfect Princess Dress and for the whole fitting experience.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for but Chenca helped me get there by asking all the right questions. She clearly knows her stuff and the level of service she provided was impeccable.
Not only did I find the dress of my dreams but I was given great advice on details such as, the correct style and height of shoe for comfort to be able to last the day, being aware of measurements allowing for the gaining/losing of weight and even down to which shoulder I should carry my hand bag on in the months before the wedding to even out my neck muscles.
I did gain and lose weight throughout the fittings but it wasn’t a problem and they worked around it for me.
The attention to detail was wonderful and my dress was perfect!
Thank you Chenca x”
Dress: Margot Fontaine
Married: 18 August 2016
“My dress was quite literally perfect! Everyone raved about it and said how beautiful it was and how lovely I looked. I felt a million dollars and the rest.
Your care, help, talent and good humour made the whole experience wonderful and I will be forever grateful.
Thank you. I will send some photos but will always remember your wonderful work and skill.”
Dress: Bespoke Levezza
Married: 8 September 2016
“Chenca, will you make me my wedding dress?” I asked, and I think we both burst into tears!
After having been to many designers and shops all trying to persuade me to have something I didn’t feel comfortable in, meeting Chenca was a wonderful relief. Her calm confidence in what she recommended and what was right for me, meant that the whole experience was fun, yet utterly professional and happy. Her fabulous team supported her in creating a wedding dress which everyone is still talking about. It was elegant, beautifully made, simple and serene and looked stunning in the Cornish village church where I was married. Although I was not a young bride I felt so throughout the day and I cannot think of another designer who could have made a more gorgeous wedding gown for me. A million thanks.”
Married: 8 July 2016
“I fell in love with this dress from the moment I saw it. Chenca and her team worked tirelessly (5 fittings!) to get it to fit perfectly.
I had countless compliments about how amazing I looked – all my friends and family were in tears.
It’s the loveliest, most elegant and classy wedding gown I’ve ever seen and I felt privileged to walk down the aisle in it.”
Married: 24 June 2016
“I was so thrilled with my experience at Ritva Westenius. Chenca made my dress from scratch and it couldn’t have been more perfect. I was a little nervous at first as I didn’t know how it would turn out, but after I saw the dress during my first fitting I was so happy!
The shape was amazing and exactly what I wanted. It was flattering for my figure and the fabric was absolutely beautiful. Chenca put in so much effort and time with my dress and hand sewed extra beading and crystals and added a stunning belt, it was absolutely beautiful. Chenca also took the time to give me a lot of fittings to ensure that my dress fitted perfectly and that I was happy with it. I felt like a princess on my wedding day!”
Married: 5 June 2016
Ritva Westenius Boutique
28 Connaught Street, London W2 2AF