Expert advice about wedding dresses

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire & Merseyside 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


One of a kind

One of a kind

Q. I've tried on lots of styles but still haven't found the dress of my dreams. My friend suggested having it made but I'm worried as I have no idea what's involved. What is the bespoke process?

A. Matthew O’Brien says: Couture can often get caught up in the latest trend, being more about the dress than the model. Whereas, bespoke bridal is the other way around. It's all about the bride; her ideas, needs, foibles and tackling those little problem areas we all have so that she looks and feels amazing. The process is simple. The first step is to make an appointment. You can either come into the showroom with a picture and a design in mind or, as most brides do, come in and try on lots of dresses to find a style or combination of styles you like and look at fabrics, from beautiful silk to exquisite lace. From here I can start to sketch your perfect dress.  
The whole process usually requires three fittings and each time you can come along with a friend and relax with a glass of champagne cocooned in all things fabulous whilst we create your personal masterpiece. I never tire of seeing the delight on a bride's face when they have their final fitting.  

Matthew O’Brien


How to find the one

How to find the one

Q. What should I bring with me for my first bridal appointment?

A. Emma and Sophie Page says: In our experience, it's not what you bring but who you bring. In the boutique we offer everything you need for trying on dresses, from a fabulous pair of heels to a box of tissues to wipe away your bride tribe's happy tears. It can be very hard choosing who to invite, so make sure you ask those whose opinion you really value. It can make the experience extra special to share it with your loved ones. We love it when friends and family come along; it makes such a fun atmosphere. We've even held appointments for 10 people! We can host big and small parties in our private dressing room with its own runway, to help you choose the most important dress you'll ever wear.

Emma and Sophie Page


Oh-sew chic

Oh-sew chic

Q. After much searching I've found a dress but I'm still not totally sure that it has everything I'd dreamed of. How can I make it mine and what's the alterations process?

A. Maria Shenton says: Look around for a specialist bridal seamstress that has lots of good reviews or recommendations and don't be frightened to discuss all your concerns and ideas with them. Their aim is to make you feel comfortable and look a million dollars on your big day. Social media is a good place to start on your search.

We'd usually start fittings six to eight weeks prior to you wedding date. The number of fittings would depend on the type of dress, fabric and the alterations required. On average most brides need three fittings, with the final fitting being around seven days before the big day, leaving enough time for last bits of hand sewing and steaming. Remember to take your underwear and shoes to all your fittings, also if you have a bigger skirted gown you may want a separate hoop and/or petticoat.

Maria Shenton


Modern love

Modern love

Q. We're having a contemporary city-centre wedding. What new bridal styles are coming through that would suit this?

A. Camilla Britten says: There are so many new trends in the coming season that'd be perfect for your wedding. It's important to think about the practicalities of the day. Is it an intimate setting with little space? What are the logistics of getting to and from your venue?

Something we've seen from designers, which would be perfect for you, is the detachable train. This is a thoroughly modern way of ensuring you have grandeur for your ceremony but comfort throughout the rest of the day. St. Patrick by Pronovias has done this perfectly with its 2019 gown Katja. A stylish, fitted crepe number, it's sensual and delicate, like the flower petals that inspired the design. It features a detachable embroidered train that cascades down with drama and grace. This can be removed to reveal a smaller puddle train for dancing the night away.

Camilla Britten


Glitz and glam

Glitz and glam

Q. How can I glam up my simple strapless gown to give it some Christmas glitz?

A. Gail Bell says: At this time of year, low-key looks go out the window – more is definitely more! A simple gown is the easiest style to glam up. Statement Swarovski crystal elements will make you shine; make pieces slightly larger than your normal comfort level for real impact.

A crystal crown or tiara instantly brings the wow factor. Team this with drop earrings and a glitzy bracelet. If tiaras aren't your thing, then a side headpiece is a fabulous alternative and is easy to wear no matter how you style your hair. Don't want to wear anything on your head? Draped body jewellery could be the way forward. This can even be added after the ceremony to give your outfit a lift for the evening party.

Some brides like to bring in a touch of colour to their accessories. Emerald green and red siam crystals dotted throughout your pieces would work perfectly in December.

It doesn't have to stop at your jewellery. We make gorgeous embellished belts that can be sewn directly on to your gown to stop any annoying belt movement on the day

Gail Bell


The perfect fit

The perfect fit

Q. I'm struggling to find sample dresses that fit me, so I can't see what they'll look like on the day. How do I find the right style for my curvy shape?

A. Marisa Rooney says: No one wants to put a big deposit down on a dress when they haven't seen it on their own body, so it's worth visiting a curvy specialist who can give you a choice of styles to try in your size and a wealth of experience to guide you through the selection process.

Try to choose from a range that's specifically designed and cut to enhance your figure. These dresses will feature extra boning and wider internal straps to give you the choice of not wearing a bra – I say the less layers the better!

Lots of girls talk about weight loss when they come to my shop, but it's amazing what you can do just by getting the correct shape. Understanding how the lines of a gown work for particular body shapes by balancing proportions can make you look two sizes smaller.

The number one concern of my customers is covering their arms, but once we find a dress that suits them, more often than not these worries disappear. Making the dress work for the bride and not the other way round is what we're all about.

Marisa Rooney