Prom Day Swindon 2016

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend and shoot the inaugural Prom Day show at McArthur Glen’s Great Western retail outlet in Swindon.

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 1

Prom Day is the brain child of the lovely Sarah and Lorraine and it provides schools and prom age young people with a one-stop directory of all things Prom. From venues to dresses, suits to jewellery. The shows bring a range of suppliers together under one roof (and what a splendid roof McArthur Glen provided us with!) to showcase their latest offerings and chat with young people and their parents about plans for their prom and timescales of when they need to be thinking about each element.

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 2

There was a sumptuous range of suppliers on display alongside hair and make up artists preparing the girls for the catwalk shows that took place throughout the afternoon.

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 3

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 4

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 5

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 11

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 12Great Western Outlet Prom Day 23

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 9

But the main focus of the afternoon was the four catwalk shows, featuring some fantastic girls wearing some stunning dresses.

Dresses were supplied  by Sarah Belle Bridal and Silk by Meena. Hair and make up was provided by Karoliina Saunders, Secrets nail and beauty and Anna Fullbrook. Music and PA by Nightlights disco.

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 14

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 24

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 25

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 8

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 7

I had some time to chat with some of the suppliers between shows and got some great tips for planning your perfect prom as well as trends for the 2016 season.

Sarah of Sarah Belle Bridal advised, “Book a trying on session early on. Bring some friends and have lots of fun trying on different dress shapes, styles and colours. You might be surprised with what you find suits you best and your girl friends will always give you an  honest opinion.”

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 27

Karoliina Saunders has an exclusive hire in the salon. Groups of girls can get together and have their own private room for prom preparations. She said of prom hair this year, “Think less structured, less formal. Plaits are proving popular with softer style and boho chic.”

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 15

Baked by butterflies had sumptuous cakes finished with hand made and quirky details, cup cakes are proving popular again at the moment.

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 31

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 30

Let love blooms can make corsages, buttonholes and bouquets from pretty much anything. Adding personal details such as an item of clothing with particular meaning to you, your family or a loved one can make for really special finishing touches.

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 13

Marshmallowficated can provide custom made marshmallows for any occasion and I can assure you they were delicious. Obviously I only tasted them so that I could report back on this! 😉

Marshmallowficated at

The catwalk shows and their preparations were a very popular part of the day with a whole range of visitors to the mall. Sarah Belle Bridal told us, “Purple has been very popular for a few years now, but this year it is all about blues in every shade. Black is also coming back in, although it is usually less popular with the parents than the girls.”

Sarah Belle bridal

Sarah Belle bridal

Silk by Meena

Sarah Belle bridal

Sarah Belle bridal

Braving the cold and rain outside were Kev’s Campers….


Dotty the caravan

Dotty the caravan

and First Group school transport.

First Group transport

Advice from Kev’s Kampers was to start looking into Prom transport early. Many popular providers are already booked up for this year. She also provided some advice for parents, “Make sure that the transport provider has the relevant training, licensing and insurance to carry paying passengers. It may not be the first thing you want to think about, but it could prove very important should there be any kind of incident.”

I managed to convince one hardy soul to come and take some pictures outside very briefly…

First Group transportDotty the caravan

The girls took a train ride around the mall, but I managed to get a few shots with them before they did…

Sarah Belle bridal

Sarah Belle bridal

Sarah Belle bridal

But it is not all about the girls (well it is mostly), there was some advice for the boys too. Chris from Suits Direct was on hand to give advice to boys looking for their prom suit. He suggested not leaving it until the last minute, but to allow plenty of time for accurate measurements and fitting to get a really sharp look on the night. Darker colours are less popular, with many young men plumping for bright, solid block colours for their suit jackets – why should the girls have all the fun?

Great Western Outlet Prom Day 35

The lovely ladies from Emily’s Best Sweet shop were also in attendance, dispensing vintage sweets and providing ideas of how their pop up shop could be incorporated into any theme of prom.




With thanks to all the lovely suppliers who were present on the day and gave their time and energy so generously:

Anna Fullbrook

Baked by Butterflies

Chris Head magic

CKS Productions

Dotty the Vintage Caravan

Emerald Lion photobooths

Emily’s Best travelling sweet shop

First Bus

Karoliina Saunders Hair design

Let Love Blooms


Nightlights Disco

Sarah Belle Bridal

Secrets Nail and Beauty Newbury

Silk by Meena

Simply Elegant Swindon

Suits Direct

Not forgetting of course the fantastic Prom Day themselves and huge thanks for the fantastic venue to McArthur Glen

A full set of images can be found at














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