We’ve turned today’s blog over to wedding dress experts Hayley Hoyle from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and Jacqui Baker from Curvaceous Brides to help you solve your dress-buying dilemmas…
“Most wedding dress designers request four to six month delivery and we ask where possible for eight weeks for any alterations that are required when it arrives,” says Hayley. “There are however quicker services and there is always the option of purchasing a gown ‘off the peg’. Almost anything is possible but your choices may be limited with less time.”
What should I wear to an appointment?
“Most girls feel that a supportive strapless bra and a good pair of structured pants that us ladies need from time to time is adequate,” Says Hayley. “Most importantly, be comfy.”
What are the emerging trends at the moment?
“Brides are getting braver! Ruffles are big at the moment. Statement skirts create an instant wow factor; look out for more unusual textures too like feathers! Sleeves and straps are back and provide a very elegant look,” says Hayley.
“Lace continues to be the fabric of the moment and now appears in the form of beautiful corsets on fuller gowns too. A flash of colour for the bride is also a hot look, be it a pair of sparkly Blue shoes, Bright Red lips or even a bright clutch? Whatever you choose, find your style and don’t be afraid to show it.”
Describe a typical appointment at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge.
“When a bride initially comes to see us we firstly sit and have a chat, we want to know a bit about you, your style, and the look you hope to create for your wedding. We then talk you through our range of gowns, our size and price ranges and the different shapes and fabrics,” says Hayley.
“You then have time to browse the selection to choose what you wish to try while we make refreshments for you and your party. As we go through your appointment we have a tendency to throw in a couple of wildcard dresses too, you would be surprised how many times it’s the one.”
What additional costs do I need to budget for?
“Aside from the cost of your wedding dress you will need to think about alterations. Some shops add this in to the price of the wedding dress and some prefer to keep it separate so you only pay for what you need, says Hayley. “You may also want to think about your accessories. Veils, head pieces, jewellery and shoes will all need to be budgeted for.”
I’m trying to lose weight, when should I start looking for my wedding gown?
“All bridal shops will be used to brides changing shape, and they will work with you to determine how much you wish to change and which size you should order,” says Jacqui.
“Delivery time for most gowns is around 16-24 weeks, so you should still start looking for your gown as soon as you can. Give yourself at least six months to ensure you don’t miss out on your dream dress.”
What style of dress will suit me?
“The most important factor in choosing a wedding dress that suits you is your shape, not your size. Your shape will determine which dress style will look amazing on you, and you deserve to look as beautiful as you feel on your wedding day,” says Jacqui. “Your local boutique will be able to advise you on the best styles for you.”
What sizes do plus-size collections cater for?
“Each plus-size wedding dress designer’s collection is different, but they usually start at around a size 16-18, and will go up to around a size 36, says Jacqui. “Wedding dresses are a different size to high street sizes and come up quite small,so don’t be surprised if you need to look at sizes that are a little different to those you would normally wear.”
Do I need to think about supportive underwear?
“A lot of the gowns you try on will have corsetry and boning, but some will be more supportive than others. If you are fuller busted, it makes sense to give yourself some extra confidence on the day, either with a corset or a strapless bra,” says Jacqui. “It will help the bustline of the dress keep its shape and keep you looking fabulous all day.”