Phillipa's Top Tips On How To Choose A Wedding Dress


Phillipa’s Top Tips On How To Choose A Wedding Dress

With over thirty-five years of experience designing bespoke wedding dresses for brides, Phillipa Lepley offers her advice on how to choose your wedding dress.


#1 Start your search early 

A couture gown with us can take between 8-18 months to make due to the meticulous detailing involved, so make sure to allow enough time when you begin your search for a wedding dress. 

The couture possibilities are endless, so it’s important to allow room for creativity to flourish – each one of our dresses is crafted by hand in the Atelier by my talented team of artisans. I am incredibly passionate about detailed hand-embroidery, which takes some time to develop and refine, particularly with bespoke designs.

In saying this, my team are well versed in guiding brides through the couture journey and have been known to make dresses in a much shorter time frame if necessary. If you do find yourself running out of time before your wedding, don’t panic and do enquire with us, we can always find a way.


#2 Go bespoke

Exploring bespoke options when choosing a wedding dress means you can design a gown that reflects every part of you. Creating the dress of your dreams with us is a joyous and highly creative affair, where clients work closely with myself and my team to create a one-of-a-kind dress perfect for you in every way.

Going bespoke also means you can even design a dress that is two or three bridal looks in one, with versatile styling pieces that you can take on and off during the day. You also have the option to include personal touches with bespoke embellishments like an embroidered initial, favourite flowers or a coat of arms Cartouche. 


#3 Consider a corset 

I have been perfecting the art of corsetry for over 35 years with my incredible team in the Atelier and truly believe it is the key to any couture wedding dress. It can transform any design, creating a desired silhouette that defines your shape in the best possible way. Each corset is completely unique to the bride with every detail refined and moulded to your frame to beautifully flatter. 


#4 Let the mirror tell you

I am always guided by the mirror when designing to create the most beautiful piece. I’m often asked what my favourite dress in the collection is, and my response is always that the right dress comes alive on the person. During appointments in our tranquil Chelsea Shop, let the mirror tell you what you need to know – brides stand taller, more assured and confident in their dress, it is so beautiful to witness. There is no right or wrong decision, it’s all feeling – trust your instincts and you’ll know when you’ve found ‘the one’. Leaving preconceived ideas outside the door is often very rewarding. 


#5 Enjoy the couture process

Our brides tell us often how much they cherish their Phillipa Lepley fitting experience, looking back on it as one of the most enjoyable and calmer parts of planning their wedding. 

Your couture fittings in the serene space of ‘The Conservatory’ are an opportunity to spend lots of time in your dress, to step away from the stresses of planning and be present in the moment. You’ll witness the organic evolution as the dress transforms on you during each fitting, inching closer toward the final design, so take it all in! It’s a wonderful and special opportunity to be in your dress for more than just your wedding day.


#6 Try a veil

When choosing a wedding dress, it’s important to keep an open mind – don’t dismiss something straight away, just try. This advice can be said for veils too, it’s worth exploring all options before deciding on a bridal look that’s right for you. You will only get to wear it once!

I simply adore the romance, mystery and framing effect of a veil as it creates a triangle around you, mirroring the definition and silhouette of our dresses. Our brides can also have bespoke sentimental touches embroidered into the design. If you hadn’t considered a veil, perhaps try one at your bridal appointment. I am deeply passionate about our very special hand-worked silk veil collection, we have many different hand-embroidered designs, each of which can be personalised. We can also design completely bespoke veils incorporating all of your ideas into this wonderful final touch. 


Phillipa Lepley is recognised globally as a leading British wedding dress and eveningwear designer, renowned for bespoke couture dresses of the utmost luxury. Her wedding dress shop in London, Chelsea, has over 50 dresses, all of which have been made in England from start to finish at her Atelier.