Expert advice about wedding planning

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Glos & Wilts 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


Best-dressed brides

Best-dressed brides

Q. How long before my wedding should I be looking at purchasing a dress and how much time should I allow for any alterations that might be needed?

A. Patricia Ireland says: Meet the expert: Patricia Ireland founded Test Valley Textiles in 2016, a small business offering clothing repairs and commissions, before merging with Burleys Bridal Boutique in 2018 due to an increase in requests for bridal alteration work. The business has recently been renamed the Test Valley Bridal Boutique, stocking a range of quality dresses from Victoria Kay that can be altered to fit perfectly. Patricia can store a bride's dress safely ahead of the wedding, free of charge, and she has now introduced her dressing of the bride and bridal party service where, for a small charge, she will attend the venue and dress the bridal party on the morning of the wedding.

Patricia says: If you're searching for a quality bespoke dress for your wedding day then you should ideally start looking 12-18 months beforehand. Our main supplier, Victoria Kay, has a lead time for bridal dresses between 16 and 20 weeks from the date the order is placed by us.

If you've purchased an off-the-peg style, it's best to allow three to four months before your wedding for the alterations to be completed. Even bespoke dresses will require small alterations to make them fit you perfectly for the special day. We complete all alterations as close to the wedding date as possible to ensure a perfect fit.

Patricia Ireland,Test Valley Bridal Services


Big-day tips and tricks

Big-day tips and tricks

Q. I'm about to start planning my wedding and want a large affair. Can you offer me any advice before I start?

A. Julia Sibun says: - When you first start planning your wedding day, sit down together (with both sets of parents if they're contributing towards the day) to work out your budget before you start to book suppliers. Try to be realistic and stick to it during the planning stage. If your parents are contributing, be mindful that you may need to ask for their input from time to time!

- A wedding planner can take the stress out of the day for you by coordinating and overseeing the various suppliers and contractors, as well as being responsible for the timing on the day, leaving you to completely enjoy it without any worry, stress or responsibility.

- When planning, don't ask too many people for their opinions, as sometimes this can become confusing and may blur your vision on what you would both like for the day.

- Always be honest with your choices and decisions because it's your one and only wedding day, so it's important that it reflects your personality and ideas.

- Send out your invitations earlier than you think you need to because guests need plenty of notice, and always give an RSVP date that's earlier than you need it by – some guests will need to be chased for their replies!

- Key items to book first are your church, venue, photographer, wedding dress, catering (including the bar) and then your entertainment.

- A good way to consider selecting your suppliers is to chat to friends who have recently married for their recommendations, and don't forget to task those suppliers to recommend people that they have worked alongside. Often, a small network of suppliers all work together extremely well, which can achieve excellent results as they know how each other operate.

- Always ensure that your band arrives, sets up and sound tests in good time before your guests arrive at the reception so that they have a surprise when first hearing them and have not been disturbed during the reception.

- Be prepared for the unexpected because arrangements may not always go to plan, but always try to relax because your guests are there to be with you, enjoy your day and are completely unaware of any small hitches!

- Don't forget to allocate the flower table arrangements to family and friends at the end of the evening a lovely surprise to take home with them!

- Brides are told, and it's true, that the day passes very quickly. It's so important to enjoy every moment and to not rush it. Give yourself plenty of time for the ceremony, reception and party. A good photographer will always record all those wonderful moments that you may miss!

Julia Sibun

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 Glos & Wilts Wedding when making any enquiries.

The Wedding and Event Works
Metal and Stone
Bees Knees Barn Dance Band
Best Western The Gables Hotel