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Mrs Fray: a new spin on the Canberra wedding industry

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Inspired by the glossy pages of luxe mags and magical moments on the big screen, it’s no surprise many women dream of the day they finally find ‘the dress’.

But despite this, it’s an unfortunate reality that many brides face the harsh reality of an underwhelming shopping experience when it comes to their big day.

But an all-new bridal concept, Mrs Fray, is set to regenerate the whimsy of wedding season this spring. Described as a trunk show minus the fluff, the tri-annual series of bridal pop-ups is the brain-child of industry experts, Amy Farrell and Andi O’Day.

Amy Farrell and Andi O’Day.

Think stunning gowns by Australian bridal designers Karen Willis Holmes, L’eto Bridal, and Prea James in the stunning surrounds of New Acton’s Nishi Gallery. Completing the experience, Mrs Fray’s debut pop up will feature adornments from By Nye Jewellery, EOD shoes, locally made wardrobe essentials from NATALIJA and Millicent Elizabeth, organic underwear and separates from Baserange, luxe lingerie from Porte-à-Vie, and goodies from OLO Fragrance and Kester Black.

Scheduled for mid-October, Mrs Fray is set to be a game changer. Spanning just four days from 11-14 October, Thursday and Friday will be exclusively allocated to those with pre-secured appointments, with limited opportunities for walk-ins over the weekend. We recommend jumping online to nab an appointment ASAP to avoid disappointment.

For Amy and Andi, the catalyst for Mrs Fray stemmed from their respective professional and personal experiences within the industry. Noting the number of brides heading interstate in pursuit of the dream dress, they decided it was time for a shakeup.

Closer to home, Andi was further impelled to ignite change after watching her own friend spend weekend after weekend travelling north for successive bridal boutique appointments with no avail.

“She spent her time, energy, money and previous Sunday brunch time going to these fittings, three hours away, for months on ends”.

“It got me thinking about all the ways that Canberra has so rapidly excelled in the past five years,” Andi continues. “We’re seeing cafes, boutiques, and luxury services springing up on more corners than we can ever keep up with, so why hadn’t the wedding industry followed suit?”

“There are so many delightfully unique and beautiful opportunities to be had for hosting parties in our gorgeous capital, and we’re just bringing all the nuggets of golden goodness we find to the surface, making it easier for our brides to find in the first place”.

Designed with the unique bride in mind, Mrs Fray gets its name from the pair’s intended clientele.

“A Mrs Fray bride comes to us because she’s itching to see something different happen with her wedding,” says Andi. “She’s a daring girl, happy to ride on the edges or the ‘frays’, of what is usually considered conventional or expected”.

For the debut event, the devil is well and truly in the details with Amy and Andi developing a carefully curated space inside NewActon’s Nishi Gallery.

“Details are paramount. Sometimes even the details that you don’t notice as a patron are the ones that ultimately make or break your time in the shop,” says Andi.

So, forget harsh changing room lighting that somehow highlights every lump and bump you never knew you had. Instead, paramount styling, warm lighting, soft fibres and quality products collide at Mrs Fray for a comfortable experience from start to finish.

“Brides should feel seen, important, and special on their wedding dress hunting trips,” explains Andi. “It should feel a lot less like retail and a lot more like a spa visit in our humble opinions.”

Extending the feel-good atmosphere year-round, the Mrs Fray experience will grow beyond the pop up to become an online platform for discussion, a social media presence for inspiring new ideas in the local market and a holistic revolution of thought surrounding Canberra weddings.

“Through the Mrs Fray online community we will share content, fresh ideas, stories of real weddings, and recommendations on vendors in the industry that we can personally vouch for as good people as well as advocates of doing things on the outer edge of convention,” says Andi.

But it doesn’t stop there, with whispers already circulating of a more permanent Mrs Fray locale.

“In the not-too-distant future we would love to open a flagship store here to represent the new beginning of style for Canberran weddings,” says Andi. “We’d like the Mrs Fray shop to be a place you’re happy to walk into and even happier to book out a time for a 90-minute fitting”.

the essentials

What: Mrs Fray Pop-Up
Where: Nishi Gallery, 17 Kendall Lane, Canberra
When: 11 – 14 October, some days are appointment only
Secure your appointment: Here

Photography: Dan O’Day

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