Visit us in Helston, Cornwall  -  Book an Appointment

Help & Advice

Hints & Tips

To get the most out of your shopping trip it is worth doing a little research first.

Find out the colour scheme of the wedding, particularly the colour of the bridesmaid dresses and the colour that the other Mum has chosen.  Look in your wardrobe and make a note of the colours that really suit you. 

Look in our online shop before you come, and get an idea of the styles that you like.  We also have a price range on each designer collection, so if you are on a budget please let us know and we will attempt to stay within your set budget when trying on styles.  We also usually have a sale rail with some half price bargains on.

Choosing a style

Come with an open mind and try on things that might be out of your normal comfort zone.  It is good to reject outfits as well as putting them on a favourite list, but only if you have tried them on.  Even the most expensive clothes do not look very flattering when on a hanger; they need a body inside them.  It is not uncommon for a lady to walk out with an outfit that , without our help, she would have rejected on the hanger.

All the designs that are stocked at Manor Fashions are specifically designed for Mother of the bride/groom and therefore the designs have ladies of a certain age in mind.  You will find that there are a lot of myths in the fashion world.  For instance, you may have heard that anything horizontal makes you look big but horizontal ruching and pleats are very flattering and hide just the right parts.  Unlike the high Street our designs are all on or below the knee, with some designs being midi or ankle length.

How to get a perfect fit

The length of a dress is not an issue as our seamstress service can adjust this.  Many of our clients need slight adjustments on fit and again this can all be done by our seamstress service.  Although some mother of the bride shops advertise a petite range there is no such range but there will be styles that are more suited to petite ladies and we can advise on this and any alterations that may be necessary.

Finding a hat to suit me

There is no need to be worried about wearing a hat as we have a range of hats, discs and fascinators.  Some ladies say that they don’t suit a hat but that is usually because the hats have not been properly adjusted for fit and perhaps have been tried on out of context e.g. wearing jeans and T shirt.  As you try on different outfits we will try on you the headgear that goes with each outfit.  You can then get a feel for which type of hat you prefer and feel comfortable in.

Will my appointment be private?

Many ladies find the task of shopping for the special day is daunting but you will be welcomed into a calm atmosphere in our shop.  Having made an appointment, you will have the privacy of the whole mother of the bride department to yourself and up to two companions, which may be a friend or your husband and daughter etc.  We give you individual 1:1 attention and can offer advice on any aspect of dressing for your son or daughter’s wedding.

Larger ladies needn’t be embarrassed at coming into the shop as we stock up to a size 30.  However, it is worth bearing in mind that what suits a size 10 may not suit a size 24 and therefore not all styles will be available in all sizes.

Try to enjoy the experience of buying your outfit and we will be guiding you to find that perfect dress with the perfect fit that you feel wonderful in.


We would say to come about 3 months before the wedding but many Mothers come a year in advance and some just 3 weeks before the wedding.

One aspect to bear in mind is that, unlike the High Street, all the outfits come in at the beginning of the year and therefore you will have more choice if you come to see us earlier.
It is important that you choose a colour that suits you and it would be difficult to get an exact colour match. You may go for a different shade to the Bridesmaids e.g. if the bridesmaids are in a pale pink you might look better in vibrant colours and go for something in fuchsia pink.

Complimentary colours are good and some colours will tone with all colours such as navy, champagne and silver. The most important consideration is that you look good and feel good.

Some ladies are afraid of trying the more muted colours but you might be pleasantly surprised how good you can look in these.
The bride and groom set the formality of the wedding and not the venue. If the bride is wearing a traditional gown then her mother needs to be fairly traditional and formal.
You don’t have to wear anything that you don’t feel comfortable in but we do recommend that the Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom wear something on their head. When you try outfits on we will try different styles of hats, fascinators and discs on you. Sometimes it is just a case of becoming familiar with something on your head.
To keep the exclusivity of their designs our designers will send us one in each size of a particular style and once sold we are unable to obtain more.
We stock lots of different styles in different fabrics and there will be something you like in a fine fabric to keep you cool. Fine silks are a good option if it is going to be really hot and they travel well in a suitcase.
Our designers are designing dresses for ladies just like you and many have sleeves and details such as ruching or pleats that can flatter your figure.

We are used to seeing ladies that have a colostomy bag or have a mastectomy and we understand that these need to be disguised. This is where our experience comes in to help you feel good on that special day.
Visit us in Helston, Cornwall  -  Book an Appointment