Wedding Dress Shopping Reducing The Overwhelm with Ian Stuart

Oh I do love the opportunity to meet some of my gorgeous couples.

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at Nu Bride Ambassador Ian Stuarts’ latest workshop  where I was name the ‘Olivia Pope’ of the wedding industry lol. The bridal event was held the very grand; Ian Stuart Blewcoat, to educate and cut out some of the overwhelm for brides in the early stages of their wedding planning and wedding dress search. It was a pleasure and always a privilege to see Ian in his element and to watch his audience in awe of him and his designs. The excitement and joy from our guests was just infectious. 

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Read more from the man himself! 

ian Stuart | Skins Photography

Last Thursday night, I hosted my second workshop at my flagship store in Victoria, London. Aside from it being a fun social event, and a chance for me to be in the limelight for the evening, I wanted to do this because I’ve noticed that more than ever before, brides are finding it extremely difficult to shop for their wedding dress. And why do I think this is so….

In my 25 years designing wedding dresses, I have seen the bridal landscape change drastically. Gone are the simple days when a bride went to her local boutique, which she had admired growing up, passing the window display and fantasising about the day when she would make her visit there. When her time had come, she would go and choose from the selection of say, 50 styles they had in store, perhaps if she was a little more particular, she would go to a few boutiques before making her final choice.

Fast forward to the digital age, a bride now faces a minefield of choice. Millions of dresses, thousands of designers, endless possibilities. Before a bride even steps foot in a bridal boutique, Pinterest and Instagram have opened Pandora’s bridal box.

I’ve seen a common story emerging through the use of these modern day tools, which although perfect for inspiration, on the down side are making brides decide on many aspects about their wedding dress without ever even trying one on. Now when brides have their first appointment, unreal expectations and fixations on pin board looks are creating a recipe for disaster, taking away from the magical experience of buying a wedding dress.

So I decided to take up a role as teacher. Giving brides down-to-earth, practical advice, on how to find their dream dress, and letting them know what is really possible when you put down your smart phone, and step into bricks and mortar.

Here is a little peek at some of the advice I was giving. My No. 1 Rule when you are in your appointment is ‘Don’t take the sample you see at face value’, here are a few of the reasons why….

Don’t like it? Ditch it

ian Stuart | Skins Photography

If there are elements you dislike about a dress, don’t discount the style because of it. Your dress can be made without them.

Equally, if a style you love doesn’t have a feature that you require either for religious purposes, you want to cover a part of your body, or you just like the idea, this can be added to your gown.


ian Stuart | Skins Photography

If you are a petite bride, when you try a dress on, don’t take what you first see as how your dress would look when it has been made.

When a dress is made to order, it will be made in proportion to your height, and not just the length cut from the bottom.

Ask your consultant to lift your gown and show you how it would look.

Colours & Mood

ian Stuart | Skins Photography

The same dress in alternate colours and styled in various ways can so look so dramatically different, that it is advisable to talk through appealing gowns with your consultant, asking what colours are possible, and how they might accessorise it to achieve a certain mood.


Ian Stuart

If you have a part of your body that you want to hide, for whatever reason, the top of arms and armpit area is a common one for brides, a style can be ‘built up’ to cover that particular area, without taking away any of the design concept and beauty. Ask your consultant to illustrate this on you.


This also works really well if you have a bigger bust, and need the bust line raising to prevent the fear of ‘falling out’

Finishing Touches

Ian Stuart

As well as my tips for wedding dresses, we also had my dear friend Jens, of Jens Jakobsen Floral Construction demonstrating how the bouquet can really bring the gown alive, and advising the audience to ALWAYS HOLD LOW!

Ian Stuart

And of course what night of advice would be complete without our favourite blogger, Nova from Nu Bride on hand to share her wedding wisdom with our guests.


The Talent

Photography: Skins

For further information on Ian Stuart Blewcoat please visit;

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One Response to “Wedding Dress Shopping Reducing The Overwhelm with Ian Stuart”

  1. Labella Bridal Shop & Consignment Boutique
    August 31, 2016 at 7:50 am #

    Ian Stuart looks a great wedding fashion designer. I appreciate his work.