Tara helps make the big day

Tara Mason with Gemma Kerr
Tara Mason with Gemma Kerr

TWENTY five years in business is proof in itself that Tara Mason knows her stuff.

And when it comes to providing wedding dresses, there is no-one better for our Bride of the Year Gemma Kerr, 28, as she prepares for her big day.

“I am 42 now and I was 17 when I started”, said Tara who owns and run Exclusively Yours, the excellent bridalwear shop based at the Front Street in Wingate. In that time, she believes there has been three major style changes to wedding dresses.

“We’re back to lace now. That is very strong and so are fitted dresses,” said Tara who said despite all the fashion changes which had come and gone down the years, “people are still getting married.”

As well as wedding gowns, Exclusively Yours also caters for bridesmaid dresses and prom dresses.

She has been designing and making wedding dresses for more than two decades, and sewing since she was six.

Over the years, she has turned her hand to making everything from dancewear to clubwear, and curtains to car interiors. She first opened wedding dress shop Exclusively Yours in 2000.

The process of choosing a wedding dress usually starts many months before the wedding day when the bride-to-be will choose her gown.

“It can take four to six months to order and fitting starts six weeks before the wedding,” said Tara, “with another fitting three weeks before.”

Her shop has a vast range of dress varieties to cater for every bride’s need. There are five full and part-time staff at the shop which has clientele from an area covering Barnard Castle to Newcastle.

Gemma and Andrew Bazeley, 25, will marry in a £13,000 wedding in the Captain’s Cabin on board HMS Trincomalee on Friday, September 6. Their big day was made possible after the couple won our Bride of the Year competition, in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.

Gemma said: “The wedding dress is such an important part of the day for the bride and Exclusively Yours has an unbelievable selection. I am going to feel really special on my big day and that is down to Tara.”

Tara said the best part of her job was “seeing everyone happy on their big day”.