Welcome to the Helena Fortley Bridal Boutique
Other than the groom himself, choosing your dress is quite possibly the most important decision you will make whilst planning your wedding.
At Helena Fortley Bridal Boutique, it’s all about The Dress, and we believe it carries a responsibility all of its own. Infusing you with confidence, complimenting your style and expressing your personality; it has to do the job that no dress has ever done before… make you feel like you are the most beautiful woman to have ever walked this earth.
We believe the pursuit should be one of the most memorable experiences, prior to the actual day itself. Whatever your budget, style or theme, choosing your dress should be relaxed, exciting and magical; it should leave you walking on air and feeling completely indulged.
Your dress is the dress of all dresses, the crème de la crème, what dreams are made of and of course the centrepiece of photos that will live on forever; at Helena Fortley Bridal Boutique we know, like the groom, it’s got to be… The One.
Since leaving school (many many years ago!!) I had worked in Property Sales and then Interior Design so very creative roles but a million miles away from Wedding Dresses. The story of Helena Fortley began in July 2011 – when I got married, My Mum and I loved dress shopping but were really disappointed by the choice and the customer service we received, Unfortunately my mum passed away before my wedding which was devastating…but at least we got to choose the dress together…we had many chats about opening a boutique as we were then hooked on everything wedding related but of course dresses….as we say “Its all about the dress”. so after lots of searching I found the perfect premises here in Caterham and opened our doors to the world of brides in February 2014.
I remember taking the first sale of £40 for a beautiful perfume……I couldn’t believe we were actually taking money….
Our first bride Denise came along the following week and we couldn’t have had a better first bride – she choose a Watters dress and looked totally fabulous in it…
Four years on we are now very established in Caterham and the world of weddings, being listed in the top 50 wedding boutiques to visit. Brides travel from across the UK and some from overseas to visit so it is all very exiting.
I’m so very proud of Helena Fortley and I know my mum would feel the same
I am Sharon and I have been working with Sally since February 2016. My background after getting my Diploma at Art College was to go into Display Design for a menswear company and then as an Area Visual Merchandiser in women’s fashion. A change of career took me into Interiors for a newbuild company before I then very happily headed for Helena Fortley, working with a lovely team in a beautiful shop with equally beautiful gowns. I was married in 2016 and obviously my gorgeous dress was from here…..
Most of my spare time is spent on the ocean where I will be found either sailing or on the Lifeboat working for the RNLI.
I started to work for Sally after my daughter chose her wedding dresses at her beautiful shop.
We were so impressed by the personal, thoughtful and relaxed caring service we received, we bought both her dresses there!
After my daughter’s wedding I retired as a school teacher after 18 years. I was delighted to find Sally advertising a part time position. Which I filled and am now part of her splendid team.
I have always loved fashion modern and vintage and have always taken a keen (my husband might say fanatical) interest. Some of my favourite designers at the moment are Rixo of London, Alice and Olivia. Rutzou, Gustav both Danish based and of course our own designer Kay Heeley!
Designer and owner of the Couture brand ‘Angel Couture by Kay Heeley,’ Kay combines magnificence of high end couture and the free movement of dance wear to create stunning bespoke dresses for individual clients. www.angel-couture co.uk
With a loyal and increasing followings in the couture bridal, special occasion and performance wear markets, Kay has an enviably large portfolio of clients, and ‘Angel Couture by Kay Heeley’ dresses are often worn by celebrities on the red carpet, on television, music videos, DVDs and magazines. Kay has worked on TV productions such as 3 series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and 4 series of Austrian Television’s ‘Dancing Stars.’ Other work includes creating spectacular windows and in store displays for one of London’s most famous department store.
Recently this year, Kay has appeared on Channel 5’s ‘Cruising with Jane McDonald’ in Vienna after a long working relationship with Jane. Kay has designed all of Jane’s stage and evening wear since 2004.
Kay has worked alongside Sally at Helena Fortley in Surrey for almost 3 years, giving expert knowledge of dress construction and helping brides create the perfect dress and silhouette for their special day. Kay and Sally are good friends and this creates a warm, relaxed non-intimidating approach to the whole bridal boutique experience. Kay’s 13 years in the industry means that however large or small the alteration process, Kay is dedicated to ensuring every client receives a beautiful, bespoke dress that reflects them alongside Helena Fortley’s excellent customer service.
Hi I’m Libby and I started working here as part of my work experience when I was 15 in summer 2016. Since I’ve worked here I have grown a strong love for fashion and acknowledgement of styles and shapes of dresses. My favourite style of dress is a modern dress with a full skirt and a detailed top, however I also like the fit and flare style with lace detail.
I started at Helena Fortley in 2014, doing two weeks of work experience and shortly after began working on a Saturday. I loved the French vintage decor of the boutique and instantly fell in love with the job itself. My favourite thing is the fact that I am able to help each bride find the perfect dress for themselves; and this will ensure that they feel extra special on their wedding day. There’s dedicated staff at Helena Fortley, and working together as a team to help each bride find the dress is another very unique aspect of my job which I love!
I have been passionate about the art of dressmaking since I was a child. With an inborn love of luxurious fabrics and delicate detailing it has always been clear that I was destined to work in couture.
Working alongside world-renowned British designers, Catherine Walker, Phillipa Lepley and Caroline Castigliano helped me perfect my craft as well as my vision. During my many years spent perfecting my artisan skills at these high-end studios, I worked with many brides-to-be, guiding them through the design process and learning how to tailor a dress according to their specific shape and style requirements.
My gowns are created with the intention of enhancing every bride’s unique silhouette. All my exclusive designs are handcrafted to create delicate garments which perfectly marry each client’s personal femininity with the timeless sophistication of a couture gown.
The ultimate goal of everything I do is to help each bride create an heirloom piece that she will treasure forever. I also work to make the dream of a bespoke high-end gown accessible to many women, by pricing my expert skills competitively. I take my inspiration directly from my clients and help them bring their fairytale wedding to life.”