Expert advice about wedding dresses

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your West Midlands 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


Wedding dresses

Wedding dresses

Q. My future husband and I are planning our wedding and I want the perfect dress, what styles and collection are set to be hot for 2020?

A. Caroline Vickery-Clark says: Firstly congratulations on your forthcoming wedding! Here at Caroline Clark Bridal Boutique, Droitwich, we're so excited for the 2020 wedding dresses designs, they're sure to impress. Some of the key styles and trends for 2020 are elegant simplicity, pretty necklines and extraordinary sparkle. Designers such as Aurora by Nicole and Romantica have created the most beautiful elegantly simple dresses. From completely plain mikado ball gowns to fitted crepe gowns featuring the most delicate lace, these dresses really allow brides-to-be to shine.

From Bardot necklines to V-necks and pretty spaghetti straps. These unusual and flattering necklines offer a modern alternative to the strapless gown and offering glamorous gowns for brides.

One of my absolute favourite trends for 2020 brides is extraordinary sparkle. Whether you like a little hint of sparkle or you want a dress which sparkles with every step the 2020 selection of wedding dresses feature sparkling sequins and elegant sparkle tulle. One of our favourite gowns is AUA20251 by Aurora, a beautiful tulle gown featuring the softest tulle with floral lace cascading through the dress which sparkles every time you move.

Caroline Vickery-Clark


Pinching the pennies

Pinching the pennies

Q. I'm on a strict budget for my wedding dress, however I don't want to compromise on style and quality. What would you advise I do?

A. Jo Taylor says: Having a tight budget definitely doesn't mean you have to compromise on quality. Buying off the peg whether it's pre-owned or sample can save you time and money.

This way you can often get a gown for half the original price meaning you can invest your cash in other areas of the wedding if you wish.

Bridal Reloved specialised in high-end designer dresses so you can have an exquisite, couture dress for your big day – plus recycling or upcycling a wedding dress can help save the planet!

Jo Taylor


The perfect pair

The perfect pair

Q. I'm going to be tying the knot al fresco this summer and want a dress that will suit my pear-shaped figure. What style would you suggest I try?

A. Rebecca Lavelle says: For a pear-shaped body you're going to want to opt for a dress that has a natural waistline. An A-line or ball gown style wedding dress is going to be the perfect option for this bodyshape as it will flatter your waist and create a beautiful silhouette. Opt for a dress that focuses on the detail within the bodice. An elegant lace perhaps with a sequin overlay, a pearl embellished pattern or for something a bit more sparkly chose crystal beaded embroidery.

Stick to a simple satin, English net or tulle skirt to cinch the waistline and ensure the focus remains on the bodice of the dress. Layers of fabric below the waist will disguise larger hips and balance you out.

There are may different types of sleeve you could pick that go with an A-line or ball gown dress and it really depends what you feel most comfortable in. If you're conscious of your arms you could chose an illusion sleeve, all the cover up benefits of a sleeve but much lighter for the summer months. However if you're not a sleeve fan or usually get quite hot and flustered go for sleeveless, straps or spaghetti straps.

Rebecca Lavelle


Free spirit

Free spirit

Q. My wife-to-be and I have set the date for our big day in August. I'm looking for a lightweight gown that will allow me to dance freely during the reception while remaining elegant. What would you suggest?

A. Caroline Clark says: An A-line gown with straps is not only light but it also allows movement for dancing. However, if you prefer a more manageable dress, opt for a column design.

A beautifully elegant dress like Katrina by Romantica has a soft lace-illusion neckline falling into a beautiful crepe skirt that skims your hips and allows you to move freely on the dancefloor. Crepe is becoming a favourite as it's lightweight yet drapes beautifully. The detachable cowl back gives a touch of timeless elegance and it can be removed during your reception to create a different look perfect for partying the night away.

Caroline Clark


Go your own way

Go your own way

Q. I'm looking to have a bespoke gown made for my nuptials. Are there limitations on what I can ask for and how long would the process take?

A. Jennifer Bone says: At My little Wedding Shop, we work with you to transform the image in your head into a beautiful outfit that works for you on your big day.

The design process for a bespoke gown is fun and can really open your mind up to the possibilities. Once you've chosen the silhouette and overall style that you'd like, then together we start to explore fabric options, lace choices and personal embellishments that make a design truly yours.

We have books of lace designs, a range of fabrics in different weights and shades and our own in-house collections to give lots of inspiration.

During the design phase, I'll sketch up your idea with the different options we've shortlisted and provide you with a quote, and I'm happy to keep updating your design until we have it just right!

There are no limitations on what you can ask for, the key is ensuring the final product is not only beautiful but comfortable, wearable and within your budget.

The creation of your gown includes a minimum of three private fittings. In each appointment you'll see your dress progress until your final fitting when you'll get to try your gown on with your chosen accessories and see your full bridal look.

One of the lovely things about having your wedding outfit made is that if you would like to change your long sleeves to three-quarter-length sleeves then you can! Or if you decide on a different belt design, more or less embellishments or even beading, then these can be mocked up options for you to choose from in your fittings.

At the boutique my team and I usually work with brides from six months to a year, but it really does depend on your time frame. We can accommodate most brides whether you're getting married in two months or three years – all you need to do is ask.

Jennifer Bone


Help, I need somebody

Help, I need somebody

Q. I'm really struggling to find the dress of my dreams, but I've no real idea as to what I'm looking for. What would you suggest I do?

A. Joanne Taylor says: Our best advice is to get yourself to a bridal boutique and try some dresses on!

Tell the bridal consultant that you have no idea what you are looking for so they know the level of help you need. While lots of brides find their dress on their first outing, we recommend visiting at least two shops and try on at least a handful of designs.

Too few and you won't have given yourself a chance to try all the styles, and too many might just confuse you. Because of the nature of our business we find our average bride tries about 10 gowns in our store alone as we stock more designers than regular boutiques – there's currently 30 here at our Coventry store.

You should also be considering trying different shapes such as A-line, fishtail, fit to flare and empireline, and in different fabrics too including, satin, lace, taffeta, organza and tulle.

Joanne Taylor

Manor Hill Weddings
Mercure Walton Hall Hotel and Spa
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