Daunting and exciting in equal measure – how to find the prefect wedding dress for you….
Few items of clothing are invested with such a special significance as your wedding dress. Rarely does an outfit inspire so much thought and devotion – and pressure. Even if you think you know what you want, the amount of choice can be a little overwhelming. To give you a helping hand, The Luxury Channel has put together a stress-free guide to navigating the rails of lace, tulle, satin and chiffon. “It isn’t about being a slavish follower to fashion,” says designer Phillipa Lepley. “It is about elegance and simplicity and designs that flatter the individual bride’s figure.” Thinking about your shape and style, along with venue and weather, can all help.
In order to streamline your search, decide a budget and allocate this between dress and accessories. If you’re not sure which designers you like or can afford, head to a boutique that stocks several, like Pronovias. There are options for every budget and plenty of stunning, ready-to-wear dresses, such as from Monsoon. Personalise it with accessories and you have a beautiful dress that won’t break the bank.
Alternatively, if you’re splashing out, consider a bespoke dress. You will meet with the designer and create something that fits your exact requirements. This takes hours of workmanship and top designers such as Sassi Holford or Phillipa Lepley can cost thousands, but it’s a real treat and in return you’ll have something that is unique to you. Most designers also offer made-to-measure services, such as Le Spose di Gio, where a design from within the collection is tailored to you over several sessions. This costs much less than a bespoke dress, while ensuring a perfect fit. Plan ahead; appointments get booked up well in advance and the process can take over six months.
If you’re slimming, try to reach your ‘‘wedding-shape’’ by your last fitting and remember to wear the right underwear to avoid unsightly seams, and the right shoes to measure the hemline. Talking of hems, how low do you go? Many designers offer shorter dresses, which can look refreshingly different. Charlotte Balbier’s puffball Carrie is very ‘‘modern Grace Kelly,’’ while Jenny Packham’s Melody is a sexy thigh-length. You might think you know the style you want, but allow yourself to be surprised. Sales assistants at Vera Wang in Selfridges insist customers try at least one style that they wouldn’t normally consider – you never know, you might fall in love; after all, didn’t you once swear that your perfect man was tall, dark and handsome?
Colour is another consideration. White can look harsh against some complexions, so try ivory, cream, or even gold or pastel shades. Remember, you can wear whatever you want to. If that’s blue, red or even black – go for it! Suzanne Neville has some fabulous colours in her ‘‘Niche’’ collection.
Finally, choosing the dress should be fun. Take someone you trust, who won’t push their ideas onto you, plan to have a cocktail or two afterwards and enjoy dressing up. When you find a dress you just don’t want to take off, well, you’ll know it’s ‘‘the one!’’
Phillipa Lepley – www.phillipalepley.com
Pro Novias – www.pronovias.co.uk
Le Spose di Gio – www.lesposedigio.com
Monsoon – www.uk.monsoon.co.uk
Sassi Holford – www.sassiholford.com
Charlotte Balbier – www.charlottebalbier.com
Jenny Packham – www.jennypackham.com
Suzanne Neville – www.suzanneneville.com