FAQs and expert advice about wedding dresses

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Surrey Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yoursurrey.wedding


Bridal beauty

Bridal beauty

Q. I'm going to start looking for my wedding dress soon and wondered if you have any advice?

A. Lorraine Longridge says: It's never too early to start looking for a wedding dress but if you want to see the most current collections, then visit stores around a year before your nuptials. Most dresses can take between three to five months to order (don't forget to allow time for your alterations), but some bridal studios have an off-the-peg range to choose from.

If this is the first time you have tried on gowns, look for different shapes and styles as you might surprise yourself. After all, it's not every day you try on wedding dresses, so how can you be sure unless you try? Be guided by your consultant, as they have seen all their gowns on and will know which ones will work for you.

We tell our brides, 'be brave and think outside your comfort zone. You want the wow factor, but you want people to look at you and be impressed, not surprised. Be you, but the best you that you can be!'

Be open to the consultant about your budget, this will help them find styles for you to try without wasting everyone's time and causing an embarrassing situation when it comes down to the cost. If your budget is flexible, tell them. It doesn't mean that they will always go to the top of your price range but they will know not to go over it.

Here at Brides Visited, we love to put on a dress that ticks all the boxes first so that we have a great benchmark to try and beat. If we can't improve on that first gown, then you know this could quite possibly be the one. How do you know is a question we are often asked. You will know but not always the first time you put it on. Sometimes you need to try on other gowns, just to check that it's right, and then put the one back on again to be sure.

There is something called the first dress syndrome. This refers to when you cannot believe that the first dress you tried on could possibly be the one. Please don't fight it! It doesn't have to be difficult if you have the right consultant with a great collection of gowns, then it could be quite easy.

Lorraine Longridge, Brides Visited


Here come the girls

Here come the girls

Q. I've fallen in love with a beautiful bridesmaid's dress, but I can only find sizes that are too big for my maids. I'm thinking of purchasing them anyway and having them altered. Is this something that can be done? If so, how long will it take?

A. Heidi Ferrucci-Gray says: In theory, it's something that can be done, providing that the dresses aren't too much bigger than your bridesmaids. Most seamstresses will tell you that the rule of thumb is that they can only be taken in by two sizes. After that, the shape and structure of the gown will start to look and feel out of place. I would normally recommend booking an initial consultation six to eight weeks before the wedding. This will give you time to have fittings and ensure your best girls look amazing. Don't forget to book your seamstress in advance as they tend to get booked up quickly, especially during wedding season.

Heidi Ferrucci-Gray


Winter chic

Winter chic

Q. We're getting married next December, and I'm not sure when to have my dress alterations done or what to do with the leftover fabric. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Heidi Ferrucci says: Most seamstresses are booking up quite far in advance, so I would always recommend you secure a booking as soon as possible. Once you've done this, discuss with the seamstress the type of alterations that you might need carried out. Having the length altered can be done a few weeks before the wedding but if you've bought a sample dress that may need resizing then be prepared this could take up to eight weeks with numerous fittings. Excess fabric can be be used to tie around your bouquets, or if you have an amazing supplier, you could suggest they make an accessory such as a garter, hairpiece of a bridal sash.

Heidi Ferrucci


A passion for fashion for the big day

A passion for fashion for the big day

Q. I'm on the hunt for my big-day gown but I'm struggling to find a style that suits me. I'm quite short and curvy, what would you suggest I look for?

A. Julie Aitken says: * Look for a soft A-line that will show off your waist, while also flattering your tummy and hips. * Alternatively, opt for a fitted gown and embrace your silhouette.
* Cap sleeves or V-necklines will make your body look longer.

Julie Aitken


Beautifully bespoke

Beautifully bespoke

Q. I can not find the dress of my dream so have decide on going bespoke. What shall I take with me to the initial consultation?

A. Terry Fox says: Before you embark on the wonderful experience of having your dream dress made for you. I'd strongly recommend you put together a moodboard; not only will you have lots of fun, you will feel totally creative, super organised and most of all you will be focused. You need your dress to reflect your personality. So be true to yourself. If you can have anything you want it's like being let loose in a sweet shop. But what do you start to eliminate. Sometimes some beautiful things have to go just because they don't work with the rest of your love story. It can be hard, but trust me you won't even notice on the day.
First of all collect pictures of everything you love, photos, tear sheets from magazines and include pics of venues, hairstyles, jewellery, flowers, accessories, bridesmaids, other weddings – anything that makes you feel 'ooh' inside. Add swatches of fabrics, laces and embellishments and colour swatches. Paint colour charts are fabulous for this. And really importantly print or cut out words that describe what you feel is your 'look' such as vintage, romantic or classic with a twist. Lay them all out on your moodboard, giving priority to anything you may have already bought or booked such as a venue. Then add your dress ideas. The board should now set the mood for how you feel. Making it easier for others to understand. Take this everywhere when discussing your wedding. Especially to the first appointment when meeting a designer/maker to discuss. This will save you a lot of time. All you need to know is does this person really 'get you'. If yes, you can relax and leave it to them. You may want to go away and have time to think. But if you are ready to go, you may wish to consider what underwear you have on as you will need suitable support and shaping. It would be an ideal time to take your measurements.
The the process can begin straight away. You won't need shoes at this stage. But a rough idea of heel height would help, but not essential. Give yourself plenty of time before the wedding. Easily six months, longer if you can. Go to your appointments excited and have fun, every fitting should be amazing.

Terry Fox

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