Expert advice about wedding dresses

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your London 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


Catwalk style

Catwalk style

Q. We quizzed boutique owner Valentina Mihalcea on bridal fashion...

A. Valentina Mihalcea says: 1) Tell us about your boutique: Nivaldo is a bridal boutique, based in Harrow, specialising in wedding gowns, occasion wear (bridesmaids and flower girls dresses and outfits for mother-of-the-bride/ -groom), veils and accessories. Our range spans more than 400 designs and thanks to our team of in-house designers, all our dresses can be customised. We're very proud of our designs and our name is synonymous with quality materials – lace, guipure, satin, tulle, beads and Swarovski crystals among them. We aim to deliver the one for each of our brides-to-be.  

2) What's your advice for brides on the hunt for the one? Any dos and don'ts?  
* Have a budget in mind but be flexible
* Be open minded
* Take advice from experts
* Do your research before you start shopping
* Decide on any 'must-haves'
* Start the search at least six months before the wedding

* Give up on your dream – if you can't find it, customise it!   

3) Which is your favourite area of London and why? Central London for its beauty, variety, choice, multiculturalism and diversity. London is a place where even the wildest dreams can come true.  

4) What's trending for 2020 weddings? Bridal fashion has shifted recently with a massive emphasis on comfort and fresh styling. Some brides are still after a timeless silhouettes while others are seeking out more relaxed designs but they all want something special and extraordinary.  

5) Talk us through your most requested bridal look… One of our most popular looks is a lace dress with a cathedral-length train. The other trending style lace bodice combined with an A-line skirt in soft tulle. 

Valentina Mihalcea


That perfect dress

That perfect dress

Q. I've been searching high and low for my dream dress but nothing's hitting the mark, so I'm considering a bespoke design. How does the process work?

A. Nailya Belkacemi says: Finding that dream dress is so important and yet can come with its challenges. There are many considerations ahead of the big day: fabrics, colour, comfort and, of course, choosing a style and design that embodies your vision and fits perfectly. That first idea can often change and as the journey of trying on different dresses and outfits continues, it's often the case that we're drawn to specific parts of each gown.

Working with experts in the industry to fully design an outfit is often the answer and enables your vision to become a reality. Designers have the experience, knowledge and expertise to help you create the one.

Nowadays, there are reputable online companies that will help to create a bespoke outfit that is handcrafted, made-to-measure and delivered to your door. The process is simple with choices provided across designs parts, including: bodice, sleeves, lower dress, collar and accessories. Finally, you choose a luxury fabric and colour, and your one-of-a-kind outfit will be created and finished to a high standard. Advice is offered throughout the process via a phone call or personal video appointment.

Personal consultations are also very popular. This process begins with a design consultation, during which designers will take the time to understand your thoughts and inspiration about style, colour schemes and fabrics and themes.

A second meeting gives designers the opportunity to present suggestions together with advice about fabrics and details. With a final design agreed upon, the process moves to a toile fitting and finally the dress is created and final fitting dates are agreed.

Nailya Belkacemi


The perfect fit

The perfect fit

Q. I bought my dress and had it professionally altered at the store but it doesn't fit me properly and they are refusing to do any complimentary alterations. Do I have to pay for alterations or are they obligated to provide this as part of the service?

A. Sarah Garner says: If the boutique has failed to provide the service that you have agreed with them or failed to provide the service with reasonable care and skill, you would be able to argue that they have breached the contract under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The store would be required to provide the service that you have paid for at no additional cost. This would not be the case, however, if the shop has made the alterations as agreed, and the bride had changed her mind about those alterations.

Sarah Garner


Personal service

Personal service

Q. I've been searching for my dream dress but I just can't find anything I like so I'm considering going the bespoke route. Can you talk me through the process?

A. Catherine Shaw says: The process starts with an informal consultation where I gather enough information to form an idea of what it is you're looking for in a wedding dress – so style, fabrics, colour etc. Designs are drawn up and, once approved, a toile is made out of calico to the exact design of your dress.

At the next fitting, I make alterations to the toile so that it fits perfectly and can tweak the design. After, I cut out the dress in your chosen fabric and then the magic begins.

There will be four to five additional fittings to ensure the dress fits perfectly. Over the course of a few months, you can see your dream dress beginning to take shape.

Catherine Shaw

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your London Wedding when making any enquiries.

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