Wedding tips and industry insights from Opus Couture founder Sharon McPherson

As bridal boutique Opus Couture celebrates its 20th anniversary, founder Sharon McPherson shares her advice for brides-to-be

Opus Couture founder Sharon McPherson

This feature is in partnership with Opus Couture.

Sharon McPherson (pictured above right) has been part of the wedding industry for 38 years, and she now welcomes brides-to-be to try to find their perfect gown at her bridal shop in West Kilbride, Opus Couture, which she set up in 2003. 

The team at Opus are excited to be celebrating the shop’s 20th anniversary and as part of the celebrations, Sharon opened up about all things weddings. She explained how she got her start in the wedding industry, her advice for couples planning their nuptials, and of course there was plenty of chat about wedding dresses!

How long have you worked in the wedding industry?

“Forever”, Sharon laughed. “I think it’s 38 years. I was the designer for Isobel Love, who was the main bridalwear designer in Northern Ireland at the time, and this was in ’85.”

What’s your favourite wedding dress of all time?

As well as listing some beautiful famous wedding gowns, including Lady Diana Spencer and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding dresses, Sharon revealed that her favourite wedding dress design of all time is one by David Fielden from the early 80s, which actually inspired the dress she wore on her own wedding day!

Princess of Wales Diana Spencer and Princess of Wales Kate Middleton's wedding dresses
Left: Diana Spencer’s wedding dress by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Photo: @anwarhusseinphotography on Instagram; Right: Kate Middleton’s wedding dresses by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. Photo: @voguebridesaustralia on Instagram

“It was just beautiful soft satin, it was cut on the bias, it had a high neck, long sleeves and a really low back, and it had a huge fishtail skirt in tulle and I loved it.”

What is the inspiration for your wedding dress designs?

Sharon revealed that Scotland’s beauty is actually the inspiration for her work. “We’ve got pink sand, we have beautiful sunsets to die for. It’s taken from the colours, the ombres of the different weather that we have, texture of the rock, the colour of the sand – all of that is very inspirational for me.”

Opus Couture wedding dresses
Opus Couture wedding dresses

What’s your advice to anyone planning a wedding in 2023?

“Weddings are stressful, it’s exciting, it’s wonderful, everything you ever dreamed of is happening. But at the end of the day, don’t forget you’re there to make vows.

“The most important thing in all of this is your relationship with the person that you’re marrying. You’ve got to treasure that, you’ve got to put that at the heart of it. Everything else is just frill.”

What’s the secret to a long marriage?

Sharon and her husband Stewart have been married for 38 years and Sharon puts it down to having good communication! Passing on some advice she lives by, she said: “My dad once said to me ‘never sleep on a cross word’. I think it’s important that you challenge each other but communicate about it.”

Why did you start Opus Couture?

“When I first came to Scotland I went bridalwear shopping with a friend, and I didn’t feel that she got the service that I would have liked her to have, so that planted the seed.”

Opus Couture bridal store in West Kilbride
Opus Couture bridal store in West Kilbride

What’s your advice to anyone looking to start their own business?

With 20 years of experience running her own successful salon, Sharon is certainly a good person to ask! She explained: “Take all the advice you can get, listen to every single thing people tell you but always listen to your gut.

‘What’s really important is that the business you’re starting is your passion.”

Watch the full chat with Sharon below

Brides-to-be can make an appointment at the Opus Couture shop in West Kilbride, to browse the best designers in bridal including Berta, which they are the exclusive stockist for in Scotland. Sharon’s own wedding dress designs also make up the range of luxury dresses available at Opus Couture. 

Opus Couture strives to bring a Couture experience to the brides of Scotland and throughout May 2023, you can even book a bridal appointment at the store for free. See which appointment type is right for you.

You can find out even more about Opus Couture on their Facebook, TikTok and Instagram pages.

See some more bridal style inspiration or check out our wedding planning guides