Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - June/July 2023 (Issue 95)

GIS FOR GOWNS There are so many silhouettes and styles to choose from, so start by having a look in your own wardrobe to see what vibe you usually veer towards for a special occasion or what you know feels comfortable on your body. If you’re not used to something fitted, your wedding day might not be the time to try – so avoid the fit and flares and look at the A-lines. Likewise, think about your overall vision. For example, a boho rustic event cries out for something relaxed, soft, non-structured and flowing. HIS FOR HAPPY TEARS Fear not, when you find the one all is not necessarily as we see it on TV with much arm flapping and tears. If you’re not the emotional sort, it’s unlikely you’ll suddenly start while you’re dress shopping, and that’s completely fine. Sometimes, it will simply be a case of weighing up your options and feeling satisfied with your decision. As long as you feel comfortable in that, there’s no reason to doubt it, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I IS FOR IVORY Here comes the bride, all dressed in white... or is she? While Queen Victoria made it popular for the bride to wear white, having done so on her own wedding day, commitment to this tradition has by and large been relegated to the annals of history. “Many designers are now offering their dresses in different colours to help emphasise their designs,” Sarah says. “Essense of Australia have a range of hues available from almond to biscotti and rum, and more. Lillian West use sublte shades such as sand and pink champagne, which I'd recommend to any bride. There are even black options available of you really want a different look.” J IS FOR JEWELLERY It’s generally recommended to shop for accessories after you’ve decided on your attire as it’s easier to make the jewellery work with the dress rather than the other way around. The right piece can elevate your look or solve any niggles you may have. Your choice can depend on your neckline, hairstyle and detail on your dress. KIS FOR KICK UP YOUR HEELS Once you’ve ordered your gown, it’s time to give your footwear some serious thought. You’ll need to have your shoes in the bag by the time your alterations appointment comes round as it’s important to make sure the seamstress knows the exact length the dress needs to be. Make sure you’re comfortable. If you live and die in trainers, there’re some gorgeous bridal options out there. Alternatively, many brides choose to make their shoes their wedding-day treat to themselves and spend months saving for the ultimate Jimmy Choos. LIS FOR LACE We adore lace! It has long been used in wedding dresses largely thanks to its luxurious nature, having historically been labour-intensive to produce. Once again Queen Vic is in part responsible for its popularity, sporting handmade lace on her wedding dress. But if you’re now thinking of grandma’s doilies – stop! Modern lace is as varied as it is beautiful. As, Cathy says, “There are so many options and deciding on the ones you love is so personal. You’ll be drawn to laces that fall into a couple of categories...  Vintage or boho styles are sometimes created using a cotton or knit lace, which are super soft; or feature Chantilly lace, which is a classic on a wedding dress when delicately used as the second layer of a tulle gown.  Guipure or Venetian lace offers a bolder look, something very elegant that makes a statement.  For a soft, feminine look, you may just want to add some appliqués with a beautiful scattering of lace pieces throughout.” MIS FOR MONEY It’s easy to get swept up in all the gorgeous gowns on offer, so how to avoid busting the budget and before that, how to settle on one? There’s a general rule of thumb out there on the internet that says you should allocate five to 10 per cent of your overall budget to the dress but it really does depend on what you feel comfortable with and whether this is one of your non-negotiable elements. We recommend that above all you’re realistic about what you want and the rest will fall into place. For example, if you love lots of detailing and heavy beading, an acceptance that this isn’t going to come cheap will stand you in good stead, it’s then up to you whether you want to compromise. 14 & Sixpence Charlemagne by Elysee, available at 14 & Sixpence 60