EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about wedding dresses

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Hampshire and Dorset 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@yourhampshiredorset.wedding

Dressed To Impress

Dressed To Impress

Q I'm looking for a second look at my wedding while keeping costs down; what would you suggest?
A Erica Arnold says: There's an increasing trend for brides to buy a second or third dress on their wedding day. Your ceremony dress might be too sleek for the evening, you can't dance at a Ceilidh in a fit and flare, a ball gown with a long train and veil may ignite the late-night fire pit or maybe you just fancy letting down your hair and changing your look for the evening.

If you've discounted the idea of a second dress because of your budget or it seems a little unethical, how about giving a vintage dress a second chance to shine? Real Green Dress has many affordable options that are eco-friendly at the same time! You'll find a wide choice of styles from skimpy '60s mini dresses to swirling '30s glamour. Maybe you'd prefer one of our contemporary dresses made from vintage fabrics; if so, we have plenty of ceremony dresses too!

Erica Arnold, Real Green Dress

It's All In The Detail

It's All In The Detail

Q I've bought a dress with no embellishments, and now I'm worried it's too plain. How can I add the wow factor?
A Sylwia Handrysik says: Congratulations on finding your dream dress! If you're concerned about feeling too plain, there are numerous ways to add that wow factor without compromising elegance. Why not incorporate a statement accessory, such as a bejewelled belt or a delicate lace sash, to cinch the waist while adding a touch of glamour? Alternatively, explore the option of a beautifully embellished veil for a dramatic and enchanting effect as you walk down the aisle.

Talk to your dressmaker about adding carefully placed lace appliqués or intricate beadwork for a more subtle enhancement. These details can transform the simplicity of your dress into a masterpiece, ensuring all eyes are on you.

A lace bolero is ideal for a winter wedding as it won't just add sophistication but also provides warmth during the chilly weather. Opt for a delicate lace that complements the style of your dress, ensuring a seamless and elegant look.

Don't underestimate the power of well-chosen accessories like dazzling earrings or a bold headpiece that complements your style. Remember, it's the personal touches that make a gown uniquely yours.

I'd be delighted to assist you by incorporating these elements into your dress, ensuring it reflects your style and radiates sophistication on your special day

Sylwia Handrysik, Wedding Dress To Be

Dress Sense

Dress Sense

Q Who should I bring to my bridal appointment to ensure I get the right dress?
A Debbie Harrison-Sales says: The journey of finding your dream wedding dress can hold some of the happiest memories in your life. It can also create moments of despair if your search is endless and you're confused, given your entourage's thoughts about what suits you. We've all dreamed of the moment we try on a gown while all our loved ones are crowded around, falling in love with the look. However, no matter who you bring to your appointment, your opinion is number one. Trust your instincts; don't let anyone else's opinion come before yours. The feeling you will get when you find that dream dress is your heart and your head telling you this is the one.

You may want to share this experience with all your bridesmaids, mum, mother-in-law, aunts, grandmothers and wider family members, but bringing a huge entourage can lead to stress. The bigger your entourage, the more opinions. Some can be helpful, but too many could lead to disagreements. Bringing two or three people you're closest to may give you the best chance of saying 'yes to the dress'. These special people are the ones you would regret not being a part of your shopping experience and may include your mother, maid-of-honour, best friend or future mother-in-law. These people know you the best and if they don't absolutely love the dress you pick, they'll love it because you do!

Debbie Harrison-Sales, Avenue 51 Bridal

Setting the tone

Setting the tone

Q We're having a wedding in December and would love my dress to feature seasonal touches. Do you have any ideas of how I can do this?
A Sarah Pardey says: Christmas is a magical time of year to tie the knot and when it comes to adding seasonal touches to your wedding dress, think glitter, sleeves, lace and perhaps a beautiful ballgown style. We love Tahani by Sophia Tolli, which is both bold and sophisticated. The snow-like bodice, delicate lace sleeves and subtle glitter is a perfect option for the time of year. Not to mention the jaw-dropping Mikado skirt that gives an incredible shape and weight. Why not add a sparkly belt for the perfect finishing touch?

Sarah Pardey, Sarah Jane Bridal

Fashion-forward

Fashion-forward

Q I want to look on-trend on my big day. What's fashionable at the moment, and what designers I should look out for?
A Anneliese Ward says: We were lucky enough to visit both the London and Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week this year. After two years of Covid restrictions, we were keen to feel and touch all the dresses and fabrics again. Here we have scouted all the latest fashion trends in the bridal world.

There's a huge trend towards plain and classic styles but with a modern twist. In particular, overskirts are in huge demand as it allows you to have two different looks with a dramatic A-line skirt for the day and a more fitted sleek silhouette for the evening. One designer who does this well is Eva Lendel, a Ukrainian company that has set up a second hub in Poland despite the war to continue to serve all their beautiful clients.

Modern brides are pairing their clean gowns with understated pearl details. Cathedral-length veils scattered with tiny pearls teamed with a pearl headband are uber fashionable at the moment. Another trend which graced the runways is frothy blouson sleeves that can be detached for that desired second look.

The bridal world is also seeing a move towards a sexier trend with some skirt slits, so brides can show some leg and those all-important shoes. If you don't want to go full-on femme fatale with a figure-hugging silhouette and skirt slit, go for a timeless look with a twist and opt for a formal ball gown with sleeves and an unexpected thigh-high slit.

Anneliese Ward, Chameleon Bride

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