Expert answer: Sassi Holford advises on commissioning your dream gown

Expert answer: Sassi Holford on commissioning your dream gown
Sassi Holford's beautiful weddding gowns are quintessentially English. Photo: Martin Dabek Photography

The quintessentially British design house of Sassi Holford is celebrating 35 years of designing dream wedding dresses. Here, Sassi advises brides on commissioning their dream gown – including all-important advice on getting the timings right

Winner of Best British Bridal Designer at the Bridal Buyer Awards 2016, Sassi Holford
Sassi Holford has been creating gorgeous bridal gowns since 1981, also making glamorous occasion wear. All her dresses are designed and made in Taunton, Somerset


Brides often worry that if they choose the dress too early, they won’t be at their target shape, but all our dresses – both our London exclusives and full boutique ranges – are made in our workshop in Taunton, so fittings happen as close to the wedding as possible.

Because our gowns are designed and made here, that does give us more flexibility on timings, but I still advise brides to plan early – nine to twelve months ahead is the ideal schedule. This ensures the process is a beautiful rather than rushed experience and gives space to research and plan. This is especially useful if we are working with unusual or technical fabrics or using a specialist technique such as full beading. Of course, not every bride plans so far in advance and we help many of them create their dream dress over a shorter time period.

Weddings have changed a lot over the past 35 years; the choice of venues is much wider now and this has influenced styles of dress. While going-away outfits no longer seem to exist because brides stay on for the party, the extra dress for pre- or post-ceremony event (or both) is now increasingly popular.

A smart alternative that we also love to create is one gown that is designed to take you from wedding to party with a few small adjustments. This can work very well in our experience at a wedding that moves from day to evening event. The day passes all too quickly as it is, and many brides find they can’t or don’t want to spend too much time changing their look.

Expert answer: Sassi Holford on commissioning your dream gown
Leila, a flowing gown with fine bodice illusion detailing, is part of Sassi Holford’s sumptuous 2017 bridal collection


We’ve always designed occasion as well as wedding gowns, so the recent relocation of our Chelsea flagship into a bigger store just down the road has enabled us to showcase a much bigger range. Alongside wedding gowns, we are going to include smart but non-traditional mother of the bride outfits, which we’re very excited about because so many brides’ mothers have asked us to design something for them over the years. Emmy London has just moved into our old address in Chelsea and, as we already work very closely together it is lovely to be such close neighbours.

Sassi Holford’s flagship store is located at 82 Fulham Road, SW3, a short walk from South Kensington Underground station. For more about Sassi Holford designs or to book an appointment, visit