Choosing your wedding gown: tips from Fross Hockley

Choosing your wedding gown: tips from Fross Hockley

Fross Hockley of Fross Wedding Collections in Uckfield East Sussex gives her tips for choosing your wedding gown – and picks favourites from her boutique’s designers

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Fross Wedding Collections offers insider tips for finding ‘the one’. Photo: Kate Nielen Photography

Fross Hockley, owner of award-winning Sussex boutique Fross Wedding Collections believes choosing your wedding gown can be as baffling and overwhelming as it is joyful and exciting – in fact, she says it can bring up a lot of the same kind of emotions, insecurities and anxieties as choosing a partner for life! So how do you know when you’ve found ‘the one’? Here, Fross provides expert advice on making the right choice, and picks five favourite gowns from her boutique’s collection.


Choosing a wedding dress
You may want to try on every gown – especially if the boutique looks as tempting as Fross Wedding Collections – but start with an idea of the kind of dress that will work with your theme and season. Photo: Kate Nielen Photography

1. Be a cool-headed bride

While it can be tempting to try on every fabulous dress in the boutiques you visit, it’s important to keep a cool head. So the first and most important rule is to only try on dresses that work for your wedding theme, venue, budget and the season – that will ensure you don’t fall in love with an unsuitable gown. Do get a second opinion – a trusted friend or family member – but don’t compromise or let other people’s opinions override your own instincts. Trust your own judgement as this is your gown and your wedding.

2. Wait for that little intake of breath

When you first try on ‘the one’, you’ll invariably know because of a little intake of breath, accompanied by a flutter in your stomach, when you look in the mirror. You may also hear people around you – family, boutique stylists, maybe even a couple of strangers, ooh and aah. These involuntary reactions are among the first clues that you could be onto a winner.


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Will you still love me tomorrow? The ultimate test of the dress is not the first but the second viewing, says Fross Hockley, so have a cooling off period. Photo: Kate Nielen Photography

3. Spend time apart

When you have found the dress you think is yours, the right thing to do is to walk away. Not forever, of course, but with the understanding that your dream dress will still be there tomorrow if you want it. A little time apart – think of it as a ‘will you still love me tomorrow’ test – will help you figure out if it’s the real thing or just a short-term crush. If you decide to go back to review the dress in the cold light of day and you get the same rush of excitement when you try it on for a second time, then you know for sure – you’ve found the one for you.

Fross Hockley’s top picks

Working with brides all the time, Fross Hockley has developed an instinct for the dresses that have star quality. Here are five gowns from her designers that she believes pass the forever test because of their style, comfort and photogenic qualities.

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Wendy Makin, Renee – the leading Australian bridal designer offers brilliant cut, gorgeous lightweight fabrics and style with comfort

Wendy Makin: At Fross Wedding Collections we adore the Wendy Makin collection because of her gorgeously soft fabrics and stunning cuts for both style and comfort. This Renee gown has an organza skirt cleverly cut to offer fullness without the weight of lots of layers, which means it suits everything from a rustic setting to a chic hotel with a simple change of belt and accessories.

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Mori Lee, Texas has a wonderfully open neckline, making it ideal for accessorising, while its flattering shape includes a stunning long train

Mori Lee: This gorgeous lace bridal gown from Mori Lee has an open neckline, giving the bride freedom with her accessories as well as offering an extremely flattering shape. There’s a stunning long train and illusion back detail – both of which ensure incredible wedding images from all angles.

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Stella York, Roxy is a wonderful choice for destination weddings and has exquisite illusion detailing at the back of the gown

Stella York: This Stella York gown offers her trademarks of comfort, style and elegance. The beautifully detailed illusion back is breathtaking, while the lightness of the gown makes it perfect for a destination wedding or those brides who want to dance the night away.

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Justin Alexander, Jana – a sumptuous ballgown in silk dupion that can take you effortlessly from daytime to evening celebration

Justin Alexander: This silk dupion ballgown from the leading New York designer is a firm favourite with the team at Fross Wedding Collections. We love its elegant simplicity and the scope it offers to change the look – taking you from day to night with a few simple accessories. This gown also has an incredible train and we love the quirky pockets.

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Sincerity, Sunita – an incredibly flattering neckline and fabulous tulle skirt that looks dreamy in photos

Sincerity:  The off-the-shoulder neckline, and beautiful structure of this gown by Sincerity make it very flattering. The dreamy tulle skirt offers what I’d describe as a truly bridal feel – it also looks wonderful in pictures.

Fross Wedding Collections is based in Uckfield, East Sussex. To view its gowns and make a bridal appointment, visit