ZOE Cornwell admits she took a leap of faith by relocating her bridal boutique during a pandemic when the wedding industry was in turmoil.

But the new venue for Treasured Brides enjoys four times the space of its former home, perfect for displaying gowns and to enable social distancing.

Zoe has run Treasured Brides from a converted barn in the village of Angram for four-and-a-half years and had been hoping to expand. However, she wanted to retain what made her business special - 'being in the countryside with ample free parking and beautiful views with lots of space'.

"Just before lockdown, a couple of barns came up for let with the same landlord. I had a look. It was so much bigger. At the time I thought maybe it was too big a leap.

"Then we went into lockdown. The more I thought about it, I thought I had to take the leap and think that out of adversity comes opportunity."

Treasured Brides reopened on the first floor of Sycamore Barn, also Angram, on Monday.

"It has all the wonderful things as my old barn but on a bigger scale," said Zoe, who lives in nearby Askham Richard. "It means with all the social distancing, now we can display gowns on mannequins and have them forward facing."

Treasured Brides sells dresses by three designers, Richards Designs, Essence of Australia and Romantica, ranging from £900 to £1,800 from size six to 24, along with accessories.

Treasured Brides is an appointment-only boutique, with two-hour bookings available seven days a week, including evenings,with a personal one-to-one service.

Zoe offers Zoom calls before appointments to help put brides at their ease.

"It is a nerve-wracking time anyway trying to find a wedding dress. A lot of brides feel they are three months behind with their planning.

"Zoom calls means they can see me, put a face to the name and I can get an idea of the gowns they are looking for."

She added: "It is a nice feeling to be in a position to be expanding, especially in the circumstance we are in now."

She said her main goal was for brides to feel relaxed and safe. She will be wearing a mask during the appointment, and has bought cotton gloves for brides to wear in the boutique.

"I want to help brides find their gowns and make finding their dress so memorable for the right reasons."