Sunday, November 25, 2012

Styling Your Bridesmaids

Recently, we discussed the attire elements for you, the Bride.  But once you have your wedding dress, headpiece, shoes and accessories selected, its then time to turn your attention to how to dress and style your bridesmaids.

Your gown will set the tone for the wedding as to how formal or how casual, how traditional or how trendy your day will be.  When selecting dresses for your girls, keep this same tone and theme in mind for them. 

Traditionally, the bride had full say and control over what dresses her bridal party would wear.  She selected the style and colour and her choice was not debated.  And for a more traditional or formal wedding, all bridesmaids usually wear the exact same dress.  The "PROS" of tradition is that there is no arguing or debating among bridesmaids which means less drama to deal with... and in the end, all the girls have the same look.  The "CONS" of tradition is that the bride may select a style (or colour) that really doesn't look good on all of her girls, leaving some feeling self-conscious and less-than-thrilled about an expense that she'll never wear again.

More recently however, the dynamics of bridesmaids styles have shifted somewhat, allowing the girls to have more input and say into the dresses that get selected.  And there has also been a trend towards allowing the bridesmaids to choose a dress of their choice, within certain parameters set out by the bride.  The "PROS" of being more flexible is that each girl can select a style that she feels secure and comfortable in, and they'll be happier about putting out money for a dress they will indeed wear again.  The "CONS" of individual choice is that the girls may look totally uncoordinated and sometimes giving too much freedom can end up with a bridesmaid selecting a dress that the bride totally dislikes. 

So, what is the best option for choosing your bridesmaids attire? 

In my personal opinion... it all goes back to what the tone, feel or theme of your wedding will be.  If it is very traditional and formal, then all the same dress (or at least all the same colour and length of dress by the same designer, but in different styles) is the best way to go.  But if your wedding is more casual and informal, then giving your girls guidelines about the colour and length and letting them choose their own dresses might be a better idea.

Regardless of how you decide to attire your bridesmaids... just remember to be considerate of their body styles, personal styles and budget as you make your decision.  Don't alienate a dear friend over a dress disagreement. 

And don't forget:  
on your wedding day
it is MORE important
that your BFF's are standing up with you as your maids
than what dress they are wearing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Accessories

You have your wedding dress, your wedding shoes and your headpiece... the bridal look is coming together and is almost complete. The final elements are your accessories - which include jewellry, your handbag and of course, your undergarments!
It is common for brides to use their jewellry and accessories to fulfill the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" traditions of weddings. An old brooch of grandma's pinned to your bouquet. A new clutch to hold all your day-of necessities. A strand of pearls borrowed from mom to compliment your dress. A garter of blue satin ribbon to entice your beloved! For Brides who love traditional jewellry looks for their wedding, these gems include gold, diamonds, crystals or pearls.
Choose jewellry with simple lines and delicate elements to add a nice touch to a formal gown.

For the more modern or unconventional bride, bold jewellry can really make a statement, bringing in whimisical elements or shots of colour or artistic interest. As always, keep in mind the overall look of your dress and the style of your wedding... and keep your jewellry selection in line with that.

Jewellry tip - don't wear your watch! Its the one day that you don't need to worry about time... let others do that for you!
Your next accessory for your wedding day is your purse... and for this one day, leave behind your super-size, carry-all bag and opt for a simple yet elegant clutch-style purse. You don't need to carry much with you for the day, so a small bag to hold your touch-up makeup and some tissues is about all you really need. The clutch can be the same colour as your gown, or you can choose a colour to match your shoes or the wedding theme. Just keep it small and easy to carry.

Probably the most important accessories for your wedding attire will be your undergarments, so be sure to choose these carefully. Whether you wear a bra or a bustier, you'll want to be sure that no straps show. Take your wedding day undergarments with you to a dress fitting so that you can be reassured by a professional seamstress that you will not be fussing with straps or bras peeking over the edge of your dress bodice. There are many different kinds of undergarment accessories you can buy to fix various "faux-pas" and keep those garments hiding! Also, you want to ensure that there are no unsightly seams or lines showing through your dress from your panties. You'll want to wear undergarments that lift and tuck and support in all the right places without adding bulk or lines. Thanks to the invention of shapers, such as Spanx, you have lots of great options for looking your best in your dress.

You are now all set to be the best-adorned, best-attired bride you can be... you've selected the dress of your dreams... the headpiece sends you over the top feeling like a true bride... your shoes will add a personal touch to your look... your jewellry and handbag will accent your dress and you'll feel supported and confident with your well-chosen undergarments!

Now all that's left for you to do is to
go get dressed ... its time to be a beautiful and confident bride!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Headpieces

So far in this "Bride's Attire" blog series, we've discussed wedding dresses - and then wedding shoes. Today, I want to chat about headpieces... the crowning touch to your bridal attire!
As in all other aspects of wedding wear - the options available to brides are endless! And again, what a bride chooses to wear on her head or in her hair is often dependent on the style of her dress and the theme of her wedding.

So, for a more traditional bridal look, veils are still the option of choice. Veils are usually attached to a comb so that they can be easily removed, while leaving the rest of the headpiece intact. Veils come in several different lengths (elbow, fingertip, chapel, cathedral lengths) and can be simple, plain tulle or embellished with pearls, crystals, ribbons, etc.
More modern options include combs, barrettes or headbands adorned with pearls, crystals, flowers or feathers and these can range from simple elegant styles to ornate, flasy "statement" creations. For those who love the princess look, what better headpiece than a sparkly tiara. Pillbox hats with bird-cage veils are a blast to the past and look lovely with a vintage look dress. Flower wreaths are a nice touch for soft, romantic, whimsical weddings. Thanks to Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and her recent Royal Wedding, hats and fascinators are more popular than ever at weddings both for brides, bridal parties and guests!

A fascinator is a head piece, or style of millinery, commonly made with feathers, flowers, jewels or beads that attaches to the hair by a comb, headband or clip, and is usually worn on the side of the head. For a bridal fascinator, there is often a bird-cage style veil included that is detachable, making it easy for the bride to have one look for the ceremony and a different look for photos and reception.
Many brides today are choosing to not wear any headpiece or veil, but instead, to just add small jewels or flowers to their hair style, giving them a simple and natural look.

So... here's my tips for headpiece shopping:

* keep in mind your dress style - and whenever possible, try on various headpiece options while wearing your dress so you can be sure that the headpiece looks appropriate with your dress. Sometimes, brides who are indecisive about a wedding dress find that by adding a headpiece and/or veil to the dress is all they need to convince them of the dress and the whole look comes together.

* be sure your hair is clean and nicely styled when trying on headpieces... maybe bring along a brush and some pins/hair elastics if you think you might wear your hari up abit... style your own hair a couple different ways to see how it affects the look of the headpiece.

* if your wedding will be outdoors, think carefully about whether to have a veil or not - I've seen several brides who have become flustered during the processional, ceremony and photos as their veil was whipped around by wind.

* when you go for your hair trial, be sure to take your headpiece or hair accessories with you so that the stylist will know how to do your hair while incorporating your headpiece for the best possible look.

So... dress, shoes, headpiece... check! Last items to discuss for your complete bridal attire... accessories & undergarments! Stay tuned...