Your Cheshire and Merseyside Wedding - May/June 2022 (Issue 63)

Q&A Fashion Shopping for the dream dress PERFECT TIMING When should I start looking for a wedding dress and do you have any advice on how to go about my search? Ali Hamilton at local boutique Blue & Sixpence ( gives us the benefit of her experience. Work backwards from your date and venue. These are the crucial factors in narrowing down your style. There’s no point setting your heart on a summer beach boho gown for a grand hotel. Your wedding gown should be your first big purchase, then the bridesmaids’ dresses, not the other way around. The focus is always on the bride! Next, set a budget. Research within it and maybe 10 per cent extra, but no more. Also, remember to factor in alterations and accessories. Be realistic and honest with yourself and your bridal consultant. It also helps to choose a boutique that offers payment plans, like we do, as this will really help you spread the cost. If you need to economise anywhere, do so on the things that won’t be seen, such as underskirts, shoes, garters and so on. You can save hundreds by buying these pre-owned or even borrow them. We specialise in sample designer wedding gowns, which are bought off-thepeg. So, we recommend shopping 12 to 15 months in advance, particularly if you still need to purchase other big-ticket items. Don’t leave it until the last minute as seamstresses get booked up months in advance. But also, don’t shop too far ahead as your plans, taste or venue may change. THE ENTOURAGE Who should I bring to my boutique appointment with me? Heather Laver from The Bridal Lounge in Northwich ( shares some words of wisdom. The great thing is there’s no right or wrong answer here. Normally, brides bring along their mother, maid-of-honour and a few bridesmaids, but you can choose whoever your wish to join you. I’ve even had a few fathers, brothers and grandfathers come along to appointments. Usually, the guests you choose to accompany you are there for one of two reasons: you either want their seal of approval for the dress or you want their honest opinions. Bring people who know what you like and what you look good in. The last thing you want is to wear someone else’s idea of the perfect dress when it’s clearly not right for you. Also, don’t bring too many people. If you want to invite several family members and all the bridesmaids consider booking two separate appointments. Everyone will want you to listen to their opinions, which can get confusing and stressful when eight people are talking to you at once! We recommend keeping the entourage to a maximum of four guests per appointment, then come back with others if you need to. 81 Q&A