Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Top Wedding Dress Tips For Destination Weddings

Getting Married Abroad?

A guide to choosing, preparing and packing your bridal gown for a beach or faraway wedding

Beach or destination wedding

Whether you're getting married or renewing your vows, destination weddings remain a very popular choice for couples who want to celebrate their love in a wonderfully romantic setting often on sun-kissed, faraway shores.

But however idyllic, a destination wedding can present its own challenges - especially for the bride and her treasured dress.

So here are a few tips for brides heading for distant shores to take her vows and what she needs to consider when choosing, preparing and packing her bridal gown.

Choosing fabrics for your gown

For a hot climate, it's always better to go for a floaty or natural fabric and preferably in light colours.

While chiffon is often the fabric of choice for warm weather destinations, consider taffeta which is also a lightweight fabric. Charmeuse too is a light, slinky satin that can also be used in vintage styles and silk is a good choice too as it's a natural fabric that breathes.

Dress to chill... no bride wants to feel hot and sweaty walking down the aisle!

Preparing for the journey

Informal wedding dress
Informal gown by Alexia Designs

Your bridal retailer or dressmaker should be able to advise you on packing your dress for travel. If you're planning on shipping your dress, do so with lots of time to spare in case it takes longer than you expect to avoid any last minute worries.

If you're flying to your destination, plan to carry your dress on-board if possible along with any other wedding accessories you'd find hard to replace at short notice.

It's important, however, to make sure before you set off that your gown will meet any airline baggage requirements although some airlines will actually hang your wedding dress in the cabin so you won’t have to pack it.

If in doubt, check with your airline first!

Adjusting to the climate

One of the biggest attractions of getting married abroad is lots of sunshine and it's likely you'll spend a few days or more in your resort before it's time to tie the knot.

So brides should bear in mind that a strapless wedding dress doesn't look great with a sunburnt back or shoulders, not to mention a 'lobster' face.

Take care with the tanning sessions prior to your big day!

The photographs

Of course, a fabulous location will most likely mean some fabulous photos and your wedding dress will be a vitally important part of your album. Any lace on your gown can look quite stunning while a little bit of sparkle can really make a difference - especially in those sunset photographs.

Remember that your wedding photos are forever!

Informal wedding dresses

Informal bridal gown
Informal gown by Alexia Designs

Stylish, elegant and highly versatile, informal wedding gowns are ideal for destination or beach weddings, second weddings or weddings in less traditional settings.

Their softer, lighter fabrics pack easily and travel well and give a real 'sand-between-your-toes' feel.

These types of gowns are also a great choice for wedding ceremonies held in a castle, a stately home, a hotel or your own dream location.

Daisy by Alexia Designs is a wonderful collection of affordable yet incredibly stylish informal wedding gowns. Each one is embellished with an amazing elegance and a lavish feel that's ideal for brides who are planning a slightly more relaxed wedding.

Need more info?

If you'd like any more information on informal wedding gowns, please get in touch now or telephone us on 01256 474 004.

» Back To Elderberry Brides' website

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

When Should I Order My Wedding Dress?

A bride's guide to timing the purchase of her bridal gown

Discover the best time to buy your wedding dress and why

Now I know this may sound a bit simplistic, but the straightforward answer as to when you should order your wedding gown is neither too early nor too late.

OK. Let's look at it another way. We recommend that brides ideally order their gown between six and nine months before their big day. However, this is only a guide because every bride's circumstances are different as well as sometimes subject to change.

So whether you're contemplating taking the plunge early with tons of time to spare or whether you're conscious that the clock's ticking and time's definitely not on your side, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account.

So what are some of the reasons why timing the purchase of your gown is important?

Let's look at each scenario in turn and examine some of the implications of the timing of your order.

What if I order my gown too early?

Life changes

3730 by Sincerity Bridal
3730 by Sincerity Bridal
It's possible a bride may experience changes to her body shape over time which can directly affect an order she placed for her gown. Consider what the implications would be if you were to either lose or gain a bit more weight than you'd anticipated between ordering and receiving your gown? Also consider what the impact would be on your wedding gown if you were to become pregnant?

Fortunately, your gown can usually be altered in a number of ways and in most cases up to two dress sizes either way. But there are limits to alterations and these will vary from dress to dress depending on how they're structured.

While weight loss, weight gain and pregnancy might all be reasons for celebration, each can have a big impact when it comes to fitting into your gown a few months down the road. So maintaining a consistent body shape is much easier if less time occurs between ordering your gown and your first fitting.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask your bridal consultant how easy or otherwise it would be to alter certain aspects of your gown.

Seasonal styles

It's perfectly natural for a bride to be incredibly excited about her special day and want to get her dress right away. However, if you intend to buy your dress more than a year before your wedding, you should bear in mind that bridal styles and trends can change throughout that time so you need to be certain that you won't be tempted to change your mind about your chosen dress as time slips by.


8681 by Justin Alexander
8681 by Justin Alexander
Another consideration for a bride who's ordered early is to plan on where to keep her gown for what may be quite a long time. You need to take into account that the way your gown is stored is very important to its shape so it needs to be kept in a suitable place to avoid unnecessary creasing or folding.

Also, most brides are very keen to avoid prying eyes so finding a secret hideaway for your gown might not be the easiest thing in the world over the long term.

And if storage space is at a premium, that too may present a challenge when storing your gown as not all bridal shops will be able to keep your dress for you for much the same reason.

What if I order my gown too late?

The delivery time for a wedding dress differs depending on the supplier and can vary from between three to six months although a four to five month delivery is the most common.

In theory, you can't order your gown too late as it should be pointed out to you by your bridal retailer that there won't be enough time for your order to be fulfilled. It's for this reason that one of the first questions any good bridal shop will ask you is the date of your wedding - it's not because they're just being nosey!

Don't delay

J'adore by Nicola Anne
J'adore by Nicola Anne
Another consideration if you've delayed placing your order for too long is that you could find that the dress you've set your heart on is no longer available. OMG! If only I'd known? Why didn't anyone tell me this might happen?

Very few gown styles stay around forever and even the most beautiful and desirable dresses will eventually stop being produced at some point. So it's always a good idea if you plan to leave ordering your gown for a while to check with your bridal retailer whether the gown has been selected (or is likely to be selected) for discontinuation.


If you're wedding day is approaching faster than a speeding bullet and you still haven't decided on your gown, the one thing you should try to avoid is pressing the panic button. Almost all bridal retailers will have sample stock dresses or even a sale room from which they'll be happy to sell gowns directly off the rail.

It's likely that there'll be a surprising number of gowns available for you to choose from so ask around your local bridal shops and, with a little luck, you'll be tickety-boo in no time.

Made to measure

Many brides don't realise that having a dress custom made can actually be quite a long process and involves a number of fittings which can stretch the timing to that beyond a standard order. Unless you can get a cast iron guarantee on delivery, this may not be the best option if you're short on time.

In a nutshell

To help maximise the possibility of you getting the dress of your dreams, we've created an infographic (below) which offers advice on the ideal timeline for getting your gown - from the point at which you should consider starting dress shopping right up until your big day.

Need more info?

If you'd like any help or advice in the search for your perfect wedding dress , get in touch now or telephone us on 01256 474 004 and we'll do our best to help.

« Back To Elderberry Brides' website

Friday, 18 January 2013

Why We All Still Love Lace Wedding Dresses In 2013

The continued popularity of the lace wedding gown

And the reasons why brides still draw inspiration from them

It shouldn't really come as any surprise that one of the biggest bridal trends for 2013 will see brides continuing to surround themselves in a sea of lace as they search for their special gown for their special day.

It was, of course, a lady adorned in a lace wedding dress making a dramatic entrance into Westminster Abbey a couple of years ago that firmly re-established the lace wedding gown as both incredibly elegant as well as highly desirable. But since that day, lace has not only remained prominent but new and innovative detailing and inserts have taken this classic material to new heights.

So what is it about a lace wedding dress that continues to inspire brides?

Romantic lace

Grace Kelly in 1956
On a romantic level, lace offers a timeless look combined with a vintage feel that captures the grace of a bygone era. So often the choice among the Hollywood glitterati, lace perfectly reconstructs and effortlessly radiates a time of Garbo, Kelly, Hepburn and Taylor.

More recently, brides have also been drawing inspiration from popular TV shows such as Downton Abbey which marks a return to the elegance of the Great Gatsby feel. This romantic style will continue to be seen during 2013 in everything from drop waisted, lace, wedding dresses to gorgeous wedding hair accessories.

The unrivalled beauty of lace

It’s the lace itself that 'carries' the look through its very design and make-up. It could, for example, display either large florals or tiny, delicate rosebuds. It's this that provides a lace wedding dress with a natural ability to project refined restraint - even modesty - while at the same time still exuding a special charm and opulence.

It's also worth bearing in mind that that while it's vital that the lace is of a very high quality, the type of lace used is also an important factor. Examples of different laces include:

Alençon Lace
- An ornate needle lace with a floral design on a sheer net.
Chantilly Lace
- A handmade bobbin lace with a netted background that's soft to the touch.
Venice Lace
- A heavy type of lace with a needlepoint design featuring floral bunches or other patterns.

Justin Alexander

The Justin Alexander Collection features a range of stunning lace gowns in different silhouettes, necklines and colours.

Justin Alexander 8626

Justin Alexander 8626

Chantilly lace and tulle, cap sleeve, V-neckline gown with a regal satin cummerbund accented with a flower and lace. Buttons over zip-up back. Chapel length train.

Justin Alexander 8628

Justin Alexander 8628

Mermaid style, Chantilly lace gown with sweetheart neckline and chiffon overlay at the bust. Lace cap sleeve detail adds an elegant twist to this sweep train gown. Gorgeous!

Justin Alexander 8630

Justin Alexander 8630

Sleeveless gown with Sabrina neckline in Alençon lace. Full circular-cut tulle skirt with floating appliqués. V-back with buttons over the zip. Chapel length train.

Justin Alexander 8641

Justin Alexander 8641

A mermaid lace and tulle strapless wedding dress. Includes a sleeveless lace and tulle jacket featuring a Mandarin neckline and button back. Chapel length train.

Exclusive Justin Alexander Designer Days

How would you like to see more dresses like those pictured above?

Well, Elderberry Brides is delighted to announce that we've partnered with Justin Alexander to showcase a series of Designer Day events at our bridal shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Request your personal VIP invitation to the Justin Alexander Designer Weekend at Elderberry Brides
Request your personal VIP invitation.
There'll be many more gowns available to look at than would normally be available in store which means a huge choice without having to travel for miles around.

Generous discounts will also be available to those brides who find their dream dress and place an order during the event.

Find out more and request your personal VIP invitation to preview the fabulous Justin Alexander bridal collection.

Need more info?

If you'd like any more information on other lace wedding dresses at our bridal shop, get in touch now or telephone us on 01256 474 004 and we'll do our best to help.

« Back To Elderberry Brides' website

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Getting Married in Basingstoke

Looking to marry in a civil ceremony in the Basingstoke area?

A quick guide to approved venues for marriages and civil partnerships.

First of all congratulations. A wedding ceremony is a joyous event and a significant milestone in the lives of those involved and a lasting, public proclamation of a couples' commitment to each other.

Basingstoke Registration Office
A ceremony room at Basingstoke Registration Office

Whether you're 'tying the knot' or renewing your vows, everyone will have their own ideas of how they want to celebrate this very special occasion.

While some people choose a traditional church wedding, the prospect of a religious ceremony doesn't appeal to everyone. So if you fall into the latter category, what venues are available in the Basingstoke area that are approved for marriages and civil partnerships?

An A-Z of approved wedding venues

The following is a list we've put together of approved venues that are made up mostly of hotels but also include a golf club, a castle, a country house and of course the Basingstoke Registration Office.

Apollo Hotel

Aldermaston Roundabout, Basingstoke, RG24 9NU

Hampshire Suite - up to 300
Basing Room - up to 70

Map: See interactive map

* Elderberry Brides is a regular visitor to this venue's wedding fairs.

Audleys Wood Hotel

Alton Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG25 2JT

The Gallery Restaurant - up to 100
Sir George Bradshaw Suite - up to 50
Simonds Room - up to 16

Map: See interactive map

Basingstoke Country Hotel

Nately Scures, Scures Hill, nr. Hook, RG27 9JS

Naseby Suite - up to 120
Woodlands Suite - up to 120

Map: See interactive map

Bartons Mill

Bartons Lane, Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 8AE

The Restaurant / Dining Area - up to 60
The Lounge - up to 54

Map: See interactive map

Basing House

Redbridge Lane, Old Basing RG24 7HB

Great Barn - up to 310
Little Barn - up to 140
Cart Shed - up to 120
Stable Block - up to 60
Exhibition Rooms in the Lodge - up to 60

Map: See interactive map

Basingstoke Register Office

Goldings, London Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4AN

Wellesley Room (50 people including the couple, two registrars and two witnesses)
Carnarvon Room (24 people including the couple, two registrars and two witnesses)
Arlott Room (6 people including the couple, two registrars and two witnesses

Map: See interactive map

Clock Barn

Tufton Warren, Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7RH

Main Barn - up to 250
North End - up to 100
Garden Room - up to 50 seated or 70 standing

Map: See interactive map

Hampshire Court Hotel

Centre Drive, Great Binfields Road, Chineham, Basingstoke, RG24 8FY

Hotel Main Restaurant - up to 150
Marston Suite - up to 200
Chineham Suite - up to 95
Basing Suite - up to 95
The Hampshire Room - up to 30
The Winchester Room - up to 27
Vyne Room - up to 40
Tournament Suite - up to 80

Map: See interactive map

* Elderberry Brides is a regular visitor to this venue's wedding fairs.

Highclere Castle

Newbury, Berkshire RG20 9RN

The Saloon - up to 200
The Library - up to 200

Map: See interactive map

Hilton Basingstoke

Old Common Road, Black Dam, Basingstoke, RG21 3PR

Winchester Room - up to 100
Audley Suite - up to 70
Andover Room - up to 40
Alton Room - up to 60

Map: See interactive map

Holiday Inn (Basingstoke)

Grove Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 3EE

Eton - up to 140
Oxford - up to 50
Cambridge - up to 40

Charterhouse - up to 20
Restaurant - up to 80

Map: See interactive map

Oakley Hall

Rectory Road, Oakley, Basingstoke, RG23 7EL

Garden Room - up to 100
Austens Room - up to 60
Library - up to 60
Steventon Room - up to 100
Alton Room - up to 40
Winchester Room - up to 60
Bar - up to 61

Map: See interactive map

Pitt Hall Barn

Pitt Barn Farm, Ramsdell, Basingstoke, RG26 5RJ

Pitt Hall Barn Ceremony Room - up to 90 seated and 10 standing

Map: See interactive map

Red Lion Hotel

London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7NY

Wellington and Basing Room combined - up to 80
Festival Suite - up to 100
Basing Room - up to 30
Wellington Room - up to 45

Map: See interactive map

Sandford Springs Golf Club

Kingsclere, Hampshire, RG26 5RT

Octagon Suite - up to 80
Rosamund Restaurant - up to 100
Fairway Room - up to 40

Map: See interactive map

Silchester House

Holly Lane, Silchester, RG7 2NA

The Hall - up to 50
Drawing Room - up to 30 seated or 60 standing
Library - up to 35 seated or 70 standing
Music Room - up to 185
Gazebo - up to 6

Map: See interactive map

The Wellington Arms

Stratfield Turgis, nr. Basingstoke, RG27 0AS

Hampshire Suite - up to 150
Wellesley Suite - up to 40

Map: See interactive map

* Elderberry Brides is a regular visitor to this venue's wedding fairs.

Please note

Just a quick word about the list. Firstly, it isn't exhaustive so it's likely that one or two venues may have been missed out but this wasn't intentional.

Secondly, it's likely that some aspects of the list may change over time, however the details were correct at the time of publishing.

Lots of choice

Whether you're looking for the grand setting of a castle or something a bit more more down-to-earth, Basingstoke offers a wide choice to suit both your needs as well as your budget.

Have a great day!

So whatever venue you decide on for your wedding ceremony, either within the Basingstoke area or not and whether you opt for a religious or non-religious ceremony - we sincerely hope you have a fabulous, fun-filled and truly memorable day.

Need more info?

If you'd like any more information on the 'new look' Elderberry Brides, get in touch now or telephone us on 01256 474 004.

» Back To Elderberry Brides' website