Bernice Fashions

(29 reviews)
Service Area
Geelong and Surroundings
Business Hours
Monday to Friday 10 - 6
Saturday 10 - 2
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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Bernice Fashions offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

What can I do to make sure my wedding dress appointment is a good experience?

I've heard some horror stories about wedding dress shopping. How can I make sure it's a great experience? What should I expect from my first appointment?

Bernice Fashions

When looking it can be very overwellming, it certainly can help if you have a vibe what your looking at with your dream gown.  Try on various styles, fit and flare, plain or lace.  All gowns have a personality - find the one that matches your style.

Friend and family know you and your personalitly though it is your day, though lots of opions can be stressful.  Come on into  a wedding studio and enjoy the time, have fun.  Your wedding gown is your personality.  It should make you feel prety, sexy and present the very best version of yourself as you walk down the aisle.

May you enjoy the whole experience.

Kind regards 

Bernice Fashions

How long do wedding dress alterations usually take?

I'm really worried that I've left dress shopping too late and with only 3 months until my wedding, I'm stressing I won't have time to get my dream dress done in time. So how long do the alterations normally take, if I have to get my dress taken up or taken in?

Bernice Fashions

You have plenty of time at this stage for you alterations to be done, with 3 months until your wedding.  Time wise really depend on the gown and if it is intricate with beading etc.  We allow up to 3 fittings and this also comes back to when you the bride is avaiable also as you will have other appointments and work to work around.  We also suggest that one of these appointments you coincide with having a hair trail and if possilbe makeup as this is the only time you may see the full picture together prior to your day.

I hope that this may help you as you continue to plan ahead for your wedding day.

What type of bustle should I have?

Hello, I have an A-line wedding dress with horsehair trim. What do you recommend for the type of bustle?

Bernice Fashions

Hello Bride to Be

Bustle that we would most likely suggest is the French Bustle that we do with ribbons that go underneath,  this makes it really easy for your bridal party to tie up so that you can party the night away.  We suggest ribbons as buttons don't always hold for the night depending on the weight of the train.  When we see a gown we tend to also give other options.

We hope that this may help as you plan your wedding.

Why do bridal store staff suggest styles different to what I came in to try on?

Is this legit or just some kind of sales tactic?

Bernice Fashions

Hello Bride to Be

You have ideas of what you like which is fabulous and we let you try on what you like, sometimes we also like to throw in a curve ball as it maybe a style of fabric you hadn't thought of.  You don't have to like it but it is good to see other options as at times they can surprise you.  Each bride has their own style and theme.  

You know  what you are after and this journey on finding your special gown is an important one.

Are bridal stores taking appointments and doing fittings at the moment?

Hi there, we are planning our wedding for next year and I know the dress needs to be ordered pretty early. Are wedding dress stores open at the moment? Are they doing online viewings or anything like that?

Bernice Fashions


I don't know where your located, though we still take bookings and these are one on one with your bridal party, though we are limited at to the amount of loved ones that come with you at present.

We could look at online viewings though it is so much better to see and feel and try on.

As we have Designers that are in Australia or off shore our delivers have been slightly longer, We would reccommend around 7-8 months if your able. As this also allows for alterations to be done to your gown also, so that your Wedding gown is Wedding Day Ready.

Hope that this helps, all the best looking for your dream gown

Is it ok to buy a wedding dress online?

Have you guys bought wedding dress online? I found an affordable lace dress at, but never heard them before, I really like the dress, just don't know if they are legal, what do you do when buying dress online?

Bernice Fashions

Have you had the experience of trying on wedding gowns and see styles, we would highly suggest that you try on gowns.  As when purchasing gowns online from O/S they use our Designers pictures and then use second quality lace and construction.  They maybe cheap, you get what you pay for.

Where can I find coloured wedding dresses?

I am looking for a blue tulle wedding dress. I'm struggling to find anything so was wanting to know where I could find a designer that could make one or if you know of anywhere that would stock them?

Bernice Fashions

We have a number of Designers that will do color, should you be looking at lace this can be hard to get. 

What type of dress should you wear for renewing of vows?

My husband and I are renewing our 20th wedding anniversary next year. Should I wear my wedding dress or should I buy something new?

Bernice Fashions

Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary.  Where what you feel comfortable in, it could be a simply evening gown in whatever color.  We have been seeing may that are wearing a lovely after 5 dress or some have had their orgianl wedding gown altered so as to wear their gown again.

I'd like to know how much it would cost to shorten a train?

Dress has a very long train. I would like to have it shortened. Make it a smaller train

Bernice Fashions

Happy to help if you near our area.  Depends if your train has lace on the edge or is a plain fabric.  We tend to do a French Bustle on the gowns we work with as we find it is better for lots of styles.  Also looks at how many layers are on your gown and fabrics and some can be quite fiddly.

Hope this helps you in sourcing the right dressmaker for your requirements.

What type of wedding dress will suit me?

I am an hourglass shape, but not skinny :)

Bernice Fashions

The best thing is to try on styles, you may be heart set on a particular style. Slim line fit and flare.  Their are so many various styles.  My suggestion would be to try on styles fabrics you never know what you may love on, you maybe surprised.

How much does dress dry cleaning cost?

Bernice Fashions

Depending on the detailling on your gown $350+ should you wish your gown to be boxed or just hanging.  Pop into at least two drycleaners.

Is 15,000 too much to spend on a wedding dress?

Bernice Fashions

What your willing to spend is entirely up to you, You may be surprised what you may end up with and it really sets the styling for your whole wedding.  We wish you both all the best and you plan your wedding.

Why shouldn't I buy my wedding dress online?

Bernice Fashions

Why purchase on line and miss out on tryng on gowns, budget can play a part in purchasing your gown online, though this doesn't work for many Brides.  Fabric, Laces, shape and you should have fun trying on gowns with you friends around.  

Here at Bernice fashions we are not just selling the gown we are also qualified dressmakers.  Everyone deserves a dress that celebrates your style, beauty to create lifelong memories

How much roughly does a Suzanne Harward wedding dress go for?

Just wondering what the price range of suzanne harward wedding dresses, for each type of wedding gown. I have a budget of about 8,000 and am wondering if there is a change i can afford a suzanne harward dress as I love them!

Bernice Fashions

It would be best to contact the Designer directly and make an appointment.

We can certainly help if your looking for your dream gown.  They are certainly beautiful gowns though you may like to see other styles also, you really need to try on and play to see what suits you the best in style and to your style.

Wish you all the best as you go on the hunt for your dream gown.

Is it weird to not have a budget for my wedding dress?

I went into a store and the first thing they did is ask my budget. I said... I don't have one. She seemed to think that was hard to grasp... needless to stay I am still looking

Bernice Fashions

It certainly isn't weird not to have a budget, as long as you find you dream gown.  Some brides may have  a budget and we work within their budget and others don't, so enjoy the looking and trying on, to find your special gown.

Is it inconvenient to lose weight for the wedding for the alterations?

Or what happens if I gain weight?

Bernice Fashions

Never inconvient to lose weight at all.  Alterations can always be done.  Just need to take your gown and whatever under garments with you to your fitting.

All brides tend to lose weight so we are always ready to run in gowns accordingly.

So do the opposit and still options can be done to take in or let out.

We do all our altertaions in house so that fittings can be done at any time.

We wish you all the best on your wedding day.

Bernice Fashions

i feel weird doing the 'i said yes to the dress' thing. can i tell the sales girls not to say it?

Bernice Fashions

 You nned to find your gown, your Dream gown that you feel special in.  The most inportant part is finding your own special gown, We wish you all the best as you go out and find your wedding gown for your wedding day.

It is fine to ask the sale's person that you don't like to say  "Yes to the dress".  Not all of us say that, as we aren't the TV show.

How should I go about buying a short wedding dress?

I want a wedding dress that is above the knee and have a fairly decent idea of what I want but have no clue how to go about finding one. Also is there any range of options for me? I don't know if its worth going to a boutique knowing they probably don't stock many but am too concerned about quality and finding someone to alter to shop online.

Bernice Fashions

Pop on along to se what is avaliable, we currently have a couple of styles on our rack that are short.  Also some of the fully length gowns can be ordered shorter also.  May options can be made avaiable to you, have a chat to the various stores.  We are happy to help in any way even for just a chat.

Kind regards Bernice Fashions


why am i not allowed to take photos in the bridal boutique? i wanted to skype my mum

Bernice Fashions

We work with our Deisgners and some of our Designers have strict rules to protect there designs. We allow facetime  and video calls for those that have loved ones further afield and are unable to come along while you are trying on gowns.

what underwear should i wear to my dress fitting?

Bernice Fashions

When trying on gowns, best to wear knickers tahtwon't give you lines so you want the IKL (invisable knicker line), a good supportive bra.  Until you find your dream gown then you go and find suitable required under garments,.

is it even worth going to bridal boutiques if you have a budget under 500?

Or should I be looking online?

Bernice Fashions

It is so worth going to a bridal store! You will definitely be able to pick up a gown within your budget, and they are qualitly gowns with or without the structure and beautiful fabrics. We are currently about to start a Clearance Weekend on September22-24 in which a massively reduced gowns need to go so that room is made for the next collection. So we are offering 40% off the marked price even if already reduced. You may fined what you are after.

Happy planning for your special day

Kind regards Bernice Fashions, Geelong

Where can I find a dress in Melbourne with No Lace and No Beading that epitomises opulence?

Looking for a wedding dress - plain fabric - preferably satin silk or silk with some sheen. I loathe lace and beading and am looking for a dress which is made stunning by the cut and the style as opposed to tacky bling. Any suggestions?

Bernice Fashions

Hi Stephanie

We work and carry the designer Caleche which make gowns without detail. Caleche is an Australian Designer . We also have a number of gowns by vaious designers with no embelishment. Happy to help we are just down the Highway in Geelong. Bernice Fashions

is it possible to buy a wedding dress under $500?

Bernice Fashions

Hi Bride to be  It is possilbe to purchase a gown for under $500.  If you purchase off the rack as majority of stores have SALE rack also.  We would let you know that coming up on September 22-24 we are having a Designer Clearance in which we are offering 40% off the marked price. So gorgous gowns will be on the rack and these have oly been tried on by protencial brides.

Wish you well i your planning of your special day.

Bernice Fashions

wedding dress alteration costs?

I have been quoted $2300 for alterations on a wedding dress that cost $3500, it need to be taken up ( 2 layers with small train ) a small area added to back to make dress more comfortable with a very small amount of beading ( approx 2 inches by 4 inches ). I feel as though Im being over charged but with wedding 6 weeks away I have no other options , what are your thoughts on this

Bernice Fashions

It really depends on the detail on your gown and where you have gone to have the alterations quoted. Happy to help and give you a quote. just as an idea we do a hemline and a train bustle starting at $265. With the beading, beads wuld require to be purchased to match in, this can be done. We are located in Geelong. With 6 weeks to go this is still plenty of time to have the alteations done.

Feel free to give us a call at Bernice Fashions

I'm plus sized, does that mean my dress will cost more?

Bernice Fashions

Being a Plus size doens't always mean you shall always pay more.  We carry a Designer, Sonsie that  is for the Plus size bride.  Other deisgners we carry depending on cuts, such as laces etc can charge a little more.   

if I'm shopping by myself do i still have to book an appointment with dress stores?

Bernice Fashions


If your able to make an appioitnment it is most certainly worth it so that you can have the one on one time and try on in comfort. We do take walk ins though if we are busy at that time it may not alway be possible. Our studio is small with losts of varierty and we prefer to give you an experience. We wish you all the best as your find your dream gown, happy planning. We offer appointments after hours if this at times may be required.

Kind regards Bernice Fashions

is it better to walk into a bridal boutique or to book an appointment?

Bernice Fashions


If your able to make an appioitnment it is most certainly worth it so that you can have the one on one time and try on in comfort.  We do take walk ins though if we are busy at that time it may not alway be possible. Our studio is small with losts of varierty and we prefer to give you an experience.  We wish you all the best as your find your dream gown, happy planning. We offer appointments after hours if this at times may be required.

Kind regards Bernice Fashions

87 Fitzroy st


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Can bridal shops modify a designer dress substantially??

I have made up my dream dress in my head but need it to come together, for example I want a mermaid style but want the train a particular design and length and I also want off the shoulder (more structured than just arm bands though). If I were to purchase a strapless dress from a botique would the alterations be allowed to modify the dress to this degree? And in saying this would matching lace be hard to get ?

Bernice Fashions

Best to go to a local designer or dressmaker chat about your ideas. You could purchase a ready made gown and order extra fabric so that changes can be made using the required fabrics.

We also have an Australian company that will make the design you wish using gorgous fabrics.

Wish you all the best as you plan your dream gown and wedding.

Bernice Fashions

do princess dresses cost more than slimline dresses because theres more fabric used?

Bernice Fashions

Cost really comes down to embellishment, and structure in many case.  Alwyas pop out and try on various styles of Princess gowns.  All Designers do offer price point so that you can have something to suit your price range. 

How many dresses would you try on?

If you fell in love with the first dress, would you try on a few more to be sure?

Bernice Fashions

Enjoy trying on gowns to fnd your style, and to suit venue.  It may be the last of 7 dresses you try on , or it could be the first.  What you have in mind may be the gown or it may be something completly different.  As you go looking at gowns don't be dishearten if you don't find your gown straight way.  Just remeber you do need a min of 16 weeks to order though christmas being around the corner this does change delivery times for each Designer.  So always ask if there is enought time.  Gowns can also be rushed.

Just enjoy the experience. If we can help in anyway ,drop us a line, happy to help.

All the best as you plan for your Wedding Day. 

what colour dress goes with pale skin?

I have very pale skin and light hair and eyebrows.. i think white might wash me out. what colour would look best on my skin?

Bernice Fashions

It is worth trying on various colors. so Champagne, Taupe,Caramel with Ivory laces. The Champagne comes in different depths and can be called various names. You may even like a pink tone, Really is best to go and try on various tones to see which you prefer as skin tones will change when various colors are placed on you

Returning a wedding dress

Hi, hope all is well. Just wondering if I have purchased a dress and paid for it fully. Is it normally possible to return and purchase another one that is more expensive?

Bernice Fashions

Best to speak with the store, normally if ordered in for you specially they are under no obligation to exchange. Speaking with the store is the best way to go.

Wedding dresses: where to start?

I'm the first of my friends (and family!) to marry so I have no idea what I'm doing! I've been looking at websites but they seem to flaunt a particular body shape, newest trends (NO interest there), and no prices. How am I supposed to figure out which stores i should actually make appointments with? I should mention, I hate shopping and would rather not go to more than 1 or 2 stores (or spend more than a couple of hours doing this), and do NOT want to spend a fortune

Bernice Fashions

If you have seen pictures of styles you like but don't worry if they aren't the style you end up with. Then walk into a couple of stores and get a vibe or ask work colleagues of where to go. have a little bit of fun when trying on. Wish you all the best as you plan your wedding. If you were in Victoria I would suggest popping in to see us. If you are near brisband you could give the ladies at Nicolina a call.

Will a sequin lace wedding dress look out of place in a low key daytime wedding?

We're planning a low-key daytime wedding with a very small number of people followed with a lunchtime party at home to celebrate. I had been leaning towards a slim fitting sheath style dress with sequin lace for a shimmer all over. My friend has advised me to drop the sparkle and go for a more flowing dress, as she thinks that for the sparkly dress I'd need a more formal "black tie" dress code. Although both dresses look good on me, I associate more flowing dresses with feeling "pretty" and I'm after an elegant look which I associate more with the sheath dress. Our dress code for party guests is "cocktail attire (ties optional)". It's not too late to change the dress code for guests to something more formal and we could push the party timing back to late afternoon / early evening but with the party being at home (on our deck) she thinks black tie will probably look out of place. How formal / later in the day would I need to make the party for the sparkly dress to look appropriate?

Bernice Fashions

Sounds like you have found a beautiful gown and now having second thoughts, go with your heart. Sequin can be worn anytime, it comes back to how you wish to look and this will show through on your day. There is no right or wrong. The gown sounds beautiful and shall look stunning. Photo's will come up a treat and being in August shall be devine.

Why not to order your dress over the internet?

I'm a fairly standard size so i'm not sure

Bernice Fashions

When purchasing over the internet you are unable to guarantee fit and fabrics.There is no substitute for the care and quality service you will receive when purchasing a gown from Bridal Store. Take you best friend(s) and enjoy a fun and exciting time. If you feel apprehensive , we like to make the Bride feel at home and relaxed and enjoy the whole expercience at Bernice Fashions. You need to see what styles suit you best and fabrics as your personality comes out into your gown of choice. Gowns also have various sizing charts of each Designer. We love working with Bride to be's and see what styles suit them best. You can purchase gowns straight off the rack that stores use as samples or order your gown in. Even if working to a budget whatever that may be you can still find a style that you like.

The risk of purchasing online, you are a one-time purchaser. They don't always care about giving you customer service and the quality you deserve. Many sites use the Designers pictures and do a copy, they are unable to purchase the same fabrics as Designers, they are unauthorised dealers. Problems from buying online, wrong or different dye lots, defective garments, incorrect style or size, inferior quality design and materials.

Your wedding day is an important day and memories are made on your day.

How much should I expect to pay for taking the hem up on a simple wedding dress?

I've bought a simple wedding that fits well but needs a few inches taken off the bottom. The dress has several layers but no delicate lace or anything on the bottom

Bernice Fashions

When we do a hemline we also do a train pick up, or bustle. Depending on the fabric if it is tulle, chiffon, light weight satin. It is also measure while your standing in the gown. We normally look around the $265. We also steam up your gown prior to collection.

Where would I find cover ups/bridal jackets?

What kind of options are there and where would I find them in stores?

Bernice Fashions

We have a number of lace jackets, cap going into a veil/train and feather boleros. If your wish to have a jacket that completely matches these can be made. You could got for a beautiful wool wrap, pashmina. You could also look around for a little cardie, Myer, David Jones, Dangerfield.

What's a good dress option for a simple courthouse style wedding?

Or styles you think would suit? I want something simple but elegant and relatively low key.

Bernice Fashions

There are simple gorgeous styles available if you wish for no train or very small one. You can look at the bridesmaid range so you don't have to go the traditional ivory/white look but a subdued color or destination gowns which can be simple yet a little more elaborate. Best to look at try on don't get nervous in trying on gowns. It really is the best way to see what you like and wish to way for the day.

What to wear for my second wedding

I dont wish to wear a wedding dress - I'm trying to not choose to young style nor something with the older lace. My figure has changed from a model figure to now an apple due to early menopause. I have no idea what style to choose. my partner is wearing navy.

Bernice Fashions

It really is a personal choice and is great to try on various styles and colours, Champ, Blush. Could be little lace beaded bodice with soft flowing chiffon, though not too gathered if at all to create height. We wish you all the best as you find your perfect gown, there is still time to order you gown, you still have choice.

Help! I have an issue with my dress fitting. What do I do?

Hi there, My wedding dress is a strapless sweetheart neckline design that fits like a glove but I am quite concerned about the gapping at top bust area, especially when I team it up with a strapless push up bra. I am thin on top and god has given me very little in terms of cleavage. I have tried wearing the dress without a bra and the gapping is less as I'm able to tie the corset back tighter. However I look flat with no cleavage. What to do?

Bernice Fashions

Without out seeing the actually gown, it can be altered in the front area so that it can stop the gapping. I would suggest taking your gown to a good dressmaker/seamstress. You could also have bra cups placed in your gown to alleviate wearing a strapless bra

Is it a bad idea to buy a dress slightly too small and lose weight?

Or am I better off picking a new dress? I want this one dress but I can only find it in one size too small and I can't seem to find it anywhere else similar. What should I do! :(

Bernice Fashions

Best to purchase your gown closest to your measurements, easier to take a gown in. This can also help with a little nip and tuck in required areas for your gown to fit accordingly. Wish you all the best on your wedding day

How much should i expect to pay for my bridal dress dry cleaning?

Any suggestions in melbourne?

Bernice Fashions

Always pop around to the various speciality cleaners, and weather you wish to have your gown boxed

I found a dress, but I'm worried I won't be warm enough?

My wedding is outside, and I don't want to freeze while we have our photos done... it only has cap sleeves.

Bernice Fashions

July can be either cold or a very pleasant winter's day. Depending on your gown have a look around for a vintage lace wraps or faux fur wrap. Or you may like a lace Jacket depending on the style of your gown that has buttons down the back

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