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


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


Lovely in lace

Lovely in lace

Q. I love lace and would like to incorporate it into my dress. Do you have any suggestion

A. Felicity Westmacott says: - Lace is a great way of adding detail and interest to your dress. There are lots of different types, so find a style you adore and make sure it flatters your figure.

- Chantilly lace is perfect if you want a head-to-toe look. It's delicate and isn't too over-powering.

- A shrug, bolero or lace-edged cape will add coverage and is ideal for cooler evenings or more modest ceremonies.

- Most lace comes with a scalloped edge, which can be used to soften the hem or neckline of a dress.

- Corded lace sewn on to the skirt or bodice will give your gown a bit of texture and definition.

- Illusion bodices are made from skin-tone tulle with chunky guipure lace sewn on. This will create a vintage yet modern feel.

- The open and low back gowns can be filled with an all-over-lace or scrolling motifs.

- Coloured versions are great if you don't want to wear all white.

- Add beads, sequins or diamanté stones.

Felicity Westmacott

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