Making dreams come true

TEXT: SIGNE HANSEN | PHOTOS © PANAYOTIS

Many a bride’s dream has come true in Panayotis Bridal Salon in Vejle. Set in an elegant old theatre, the boutique provided the settings for the Danish version of Say Yes to the Dress and was in 2017 named Bridal Salon of the Year.

When he first came to Denmark in 1965, Greek dressmaker Panayotis Diakovasilis had a humble ambition: the young tailor wanted to stay for a couple of years, save up a bit of money, and return to his home country. However, as it happened, in Denmark Panayotis did not just find work, but also the love of his life, Jette. Their love turned into a marriage and four children, while Panayotis’ love for beautiful wedding dresses turned into a thriving bridal salon.

Today, the bridal salon is run by Diakovasilis’ son Michael Panayotis, employs around 50 people, and presents a collection of around 400 dresses from designers from all over the world. “A lot of things have changed since the beginning, but one thing that remains the same is the special experience we aim to give our brides,” Michael Panayotis explains. “It’s about helping the brides-to-be find their dream dress, and that’s why we call our employees dream interpreters.”

To ensure that everyone will find the dress of their dreams, all the shop’s dream interpreters are trained in how best to match dresses to different body types and personalities. “Once they find the right dress, there’s no doubt,” says dream interpreter Louise Strande. “When you see that spark in their eyes and their mum is tearing up, you know you’ve got it right.”

In 2017, Panayotis moved into its current location on the first floor of a grand old theatre building in the heart of Vejle. That same year, the shop earned the title as Bridal Salon of the Year in Denmark. “With its high ceilings and unique history, it’s a very special building, and just coming in here is part of the experience,” says Panayotis, and rounds off: “It’s a different universe, and that’s why we named it the Theatre of Dreams – for many, it’s where their wedding dream comes true.”

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