Spring has well and truly arrived and with building work nearing completion, we are looking forward to welcoming the first fabulous weddings here at our lovely new Cheshire Wedding Venue. We have decided to dedicate a few blog posts to our future bride-to-be in order to support her with preparations leading up to the big day. This week is all about how to find the perfect wedding dress! Earlier in the month, we teamed up with bespoke dressmakers Boutique Alterations, to find out more.
Boutique Alterations is a bespoke dressmakers and alterations specialist based in Bramhall, Cheshire. Its founder, Tusneem Jabbar, specialises in designing bridal wear and Mother of the Bride and Groom dresses and has clients travelling to see her from across the UK and as far as Switzerland, Ibiza and Sweden. We interviewed her about her experiences and loved to hear what she had to say…
Tusneem, your beautiful sketches showcase so much talent and experience, how long have you been working in the wedding industry and what was your inspiration?
“I’ve been designing now for 19 years although I’ve been drawing dresses for as long as I remember. My Dad was a fashion trader in the 1980s and 90s and I used to help him on the market stalls and loved it. I was always drawn to the glamorous gowns and from there it felt very natural for me to go into fashion design. I love the bespoke element, making something completely individual for somebody, and it goes back to me being a young girl. My Mum would buy me an outfit for special occasions and I would always be altering them or adding something to make it that bit different and stand out.
I’m lucky that I work in a job that I love. After I gained my degree, I approached The Prince’s Trust who helped me to start my own business designing evening wear and build up a portfolio of high profile clients. From there I went onto design bridal wear and Mother of the Bride and Groom and am now very proud of our new studio in Bramhall.”
With so many options on the market today, what would be your advice for a bride looking to find her perfect dress?
“One of the best ways to achieve your perfect dress is to have it designed and made bespoke especially for you. Many brides who come to see me say they have looked around lots of bridal shops and struggle to find a dress that has everything they want. They may like the top of one dress and the skirt of another but they struggle to find something that is perfect for them.
Having your dress designed and made is an obvious way to achieve this and not as expensive as many brides think. Not only does the dress look exactly how they want but it fits perfectly to their body shape too, helping every bride to look the best version of themselves and have a wonderful experience whilst doing it.
It is also important to remember your personality. When I meet a bride and design a dress for them, it is imperative for me to understand who they are and what their wedding is like so that the dress works with them.
If you didn’t opt for bespoke then my top tip would be to try on styles you may not even have considered. It’s amazing the number of brides I meet who had their heart set on a particular design and then end up falling in love with something completely different.”
And we couldn’t agree more! Future bride to be Sophia Kulikowski, who is in the process of finding her perfect dress, said “I would say to any bride, try on everything including dresses you are not sure about. At my first appointment trying on dresses, the sales assistant suggested one I would have never considered wearing. I am so glad I listened to her because it really surprised me how much I loved it and it is now in my top three.”
What accessories can a bride add to her dress to make it unique?
“The right accessories really can make all of the difference to a wedding dress and there are so many different styles and ideas to try, there has never been a better time to experiment. Back chains can look beautiful on a low back dress and is a subtle way to add sparkle to a gown that needs a bit of extra glamour. Belts are proving popular too but, to make it unique, some brides are opting for a leather belt, maybe in a subtle pink and with a leather jacket over the top of the dress. It really depends on what look the bride is trying to achieve, whether Hollywood glamour or edgy and bold. Whatever the desired finish accessories are a fantastic way to achieve this and we are certainly seeing more brides requesting bespoke accessories to make their dress stand out from the crowd.”
How should a bride arrive at her dress fitting?
“The most important thing we say to any bride before a fitting is to bring the shoes they will be wearing on their wedding day. The length of the wedding dress needs to be perfect so that it looks its best and is comfortable to walk in. We need the shoes to know what length to adjust the hem to. The correct underwear is also important although the fitting is a good opportunity to try different styles on underneath and see which works best. Above all, it is important to relax and enjoy it. The fitting should be an enjoyable and fun part of the wedding experience.”
Do you have any suggestions for what a bride can do with her wedding dress after the big day?
“Depending on the style of the dress there are quite a few options. A popular wedding dress style at the moment is the Charlie Brear slip dress with a lace top overlaying it. I’ve suggested to a few brides that the lace top could be worn separately with jeans for a really on-trend look. A customisation is always an option too. We often have brides who come in with their dress after the wedding and want parts of it re-designing so they can wear it for a different occasion. The possibilities are endless and we can change almost any part of a dress, whether that is adding sleeves, making it shorter or completely restyling parts of it. And, if all else fails you could frame it. More and more brides are doing this now to showcase their dress at home!”
Special thanks to Tusneem and Claire from Boutique Alterations, Bramhall. All images supplied by Boutique Alterations. Notes: Boutique Alterations is open Monday to Thursday 10am – 5pm and Saturdays 10am – 7pm. Contact tel- 0161 440 7000