Monday, 26 November 2012

Styling Your Bridesmaids!

 

Bridesmaids. Some say no bride is complete without them, and depending on the style of wedding the bride is planning on - I agree. Not only do the bridesmaids aid the aesthetics of the ceremony and the photos - when the bride needs a helping hand, the bridesmaids are there to rely on.
 
The concept of bridesmaids originated during Roman times, when a lawful wedding required witnesses in order to outsmart evil spirits. The evil spirits were believed to be in attendance at all weddings, so the bridesmaids and groomsmen would all dress in identical outfits to the bride and groom - to confuse the spirits as to who was getting married. This was to protect the couple actually getting married, from being cursed. However... clearly times have changed. Instead of blending in to the bridal party, the bride wants to stand out. Evil spirits are clearly not so much of a threat nowadays, at least not at the expense of looking drop-dead-gorgeous on your day.
 
Bridesmaids are usually best friends of the bride, sisters of the bride or at least close family. And the number of maids a bride has is completely up to her. The bridesmaids are there to support the bride, and do all the little jobs a bride shouldn't have to do on her day. The biggest issue faced in this day and age with bridesmaids, however, is what will they be wearing?
 
 
It's easier to decide when a colour theme is already set, but what if one of your bridesmaids doesn't suit the particular colour that the bride has her heart set on? Whether it be unflattering on her body shape or skin tone, or the shape or style of the dress that the bride has selected is ill fitting on some of the maids. There are ways and means to avoid bridesmaid blues when it comes to finding the dresses. For example, have you thought of having your bridesmaids dressed in all different dresses? This can make a huge impact aesthetically, but it has to be done right.
 
 
In my opinion, the best way this can be pulled off, is with 6 or more bridesmaids. If for example, there was just 3 - the girls would blend in with the wedding guests, and just like the bride - these girls have to stand out. So one option is to have a mixture of styles all within the same colour palette, as pictured above. This allows the bridesmaids to personally select a style that they will be comfortable wearing all day instead of being told what they're wearing and having no say in the matter.
 
If as a bride, you are not feeling daring enough to do something so dramatic as to dress all of them completely differently (Bare in mind it might be you paying for them all!). Then have you thought about doing the different style, but in the same colour? This option is great for a bridal party who have lots of style requirements in order for them to look fab! For example, one of the bridesmaids may have a fuller bust and would feel a lot more comfortable in a dress with straps for support, than wear a strapless dress like the rest and feel over-exposed. The same for a bridesmaid who perhaps has less of a bust and doesn't want to wear a low cut V-neck dress like the other bridesmaids. This styling idea can save a lot of tears, body qualms and tantrums!



Or vice versa... Have the bridesmaids in the same style of dress but all in different colours. This works great for those maids who may have a paler complexion than the others, and this allows them to choose a colour which would compliment their skin tones and feel comfortable on the day...
 
 
One theme that has got very popular in the past few years is the Rainbow Theme, which is also demonstrated in the picture above. You could have all the girls in different styles and different colours because this theme is just so quirky! The wedding party in the photo below have gone far enough to incorporate the groomsmen in on the colour theme which compliments the bridesmaids styling too. We here at Vogue Bride love this theme!


Bridesmaids are a great tool for the bride to pull off a great wedding theme, and they're also there to help with anything she may need. There are a billion and one ways that bridesmaids can be styled, from their bouquet and dress style, right down to their nail colour.

I hope this post allowed you to consider colour palettes and the visual aesthetics that bridesmaids can bring. There is so much more to write about bridesmaids, so stay tuned for many more posts about these wonderful girls!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Winter Bride Accessories

So you may have read my last post, all about Christmas themed weddings. I covered topics such as Wedding Dress ideas, entertainment and venue decoration... But I want to take a little bit of a more in-depth view as to how to become The Ultimate Bride this Christmas.
One of the most important planning issues is how you're going to accessorise The Dress. Are you going to make the dress the main feature and aim for simplicity and a low-key look? Or do you want diamonds dripping off you, and lots of non-stop detail? If you're the latter, and getting married at Christmas time - then this is the blog post for you!
 
I have to admit, I do love it when a bride is willing to push the boundaries and look extra-ordinary. It makes my job a whole lot more exciting when a bride is wanting to try on something I've never seen another bride dare try on. For example, the birdcage veils. As you've probably read me mention elsewhere - the vintage theme is HUGE at the moment!

Q: What completes a themed wedding?
A: Attention to detail.
 
Lets take an example; from a personal perspective, the birdcage veil immediately creates that vintage look. Forget about the dress for a moment (did I really just say that?!), an engaged woman could walk down that aisle in nothing but a garter and a birdcage veil and I would immediately think "Vintage Wedding" just by looking at that glorious accessory on her head. A birdcage veil is a major statement piece, and all though a little daring, you'd be surprised how many can pull it off. You don't need a particular head shape, hair colour or jaw line to carry off this fantastic, bold look. All you need is confidence and a clear image in your mind of how many heads you want to turn on your big day!
 
 
Sorry - there I go again, waffling on about vintage weddings! I promise I'll try stay on track. My point is, when you find your theme - why not really devote your day to it? To make a really impressive impact on your guests, keep your eye out for ways to incorporate the theme itself. The best way of doing this basically, is by accessorising yourself appropriately!
 
OK, you're a bride, getting married in Winter, with the theme Christmas guiding you through your planning. What on earth can you do to your outfit on the day, that insinuates Christmas, winter and magic subtly - without wearing a Santa Hat and arriving to the ceremony on a sleigh being pulled by reindeer? 
Well, there is an awful lot that can be done to a wedding dress. A lot of brides tend to think when the dress is bought, that's that. Her outfit starts and ends with that dress how it was bought....... wrong! Things can be added, taken away, designed and sewn, to personalise that dress and make sure no one else has anything like it!
My favourite way of doing this for a bride, is by adding a belt (and by belt I do not mean a nice black, leather, buckled belt). There are so many on the market, and they can really add a touch of glamour and uniqueness to your dress. Such as this Justin Alexander, pearl and diamond encrusted sash made of dupioni fabric. The leaf and floral motifs really add to that winter feel.
 
Style: A003
 
Belts like this suit dresses that have very little beading, sparkle or detail. They can really liven up an all lace gown, by having it sat on your waist, and drawing the eye to the smallest part of your body.
Another option (or necessity, especially if you're in England) as a bride getting married at this time of year is a cover of some sorts. Whether that be a little lace bolero, or a full hooded cape. There are so many options out there for a bride, whatever the season! Winter time however, is a fabulous way to add some sophistication and sobriety to your wedding dress.
The best website I've seen for this is www.wonderfulwraps.com. They have some incredible options available to you, and not at too steep a price either!
One of my favourite pieces is this fur shrug at an amazing price of just £95.00. Not only this, but for a little extra cost you can get a personalised label inside, and have your new name embroidered on it. They also ship worldwide which is a massive bonus!
 
 
A piece like this looks gorgeous in any winter wedding, and it's great for pictures too. Especially ones taken outside, it really adds to that winter feel with that little touch of glamour!
Little shrugs like this also look absolutely adorable on flower girls, and very classy on bridesmaids! It's amazing how one little piece of fur fabric, can add so much class and style to a mixture of people. No matter the age or role at the wedding, a piece like this is not to be overlooked!
 
 
If you're wanting to fur-get the fur (...I'm so sorry), why not take a step closer to covering yourself in some sparkle instead? Nothing screams winter-wonderland, than having you glinting and shimmering in the light of your venue. Add some glamour another way, by having an eye-catching head piece like this very snow-princess-looking tiara. Although they can be worn at anytime of the year, they just seem to look a lot more fitting during the winter months. The regal look of them is something to be admired, and can really make you feel like the ultimate-princess that day.
 
 
 
Still not enough sparkle for you? You should consider exchanging your flowers for some bling! Brooch bouquets are taking the wedding market by storm and are becoming incredibly popular. One benefit of this idea, is the fact that you won't have to worry about it dying or staining anything! You can choose your brooches, or find a ready-made one, and that's it! The best thing about them, is that regardless of the season they can be as bright or as simple as you want, for a very Christmassy look - why not try silvers, golds and ivories?
 
 
They really are a show-stopper and are only just growing in popularity. If you want something that's hardly ever been done, a brooch bouquet is definitely an option. Visit www.broochbouquet.com for some inspiration on this fantastically unique idea!  
 
If you've just started your planning and are getting married at Christmas time in the next few years - I hope this may have inspired you to consider some unique detailing!
If you're near the end of your planning and are getting married this Christmas - I hope this may have helped spur you to go do some last-minute shopping!
 
X
 
 
 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

'Tis the season!

Christmas is quickly creeping up on us, and a lot of engaged couples getting married at this time of year,  take inspiration for their wedding from the holiday season! And what a good theme to have.  Let's face it, everyone defines a wedding as something different - but for me a wedding is all about the family being there, getting together, joining sides and celebrating the love of the two getting married. Due to this, the Christmas wedding theme is one of my all time favourites, as Christmas itself is my favourite holiday of the year where families visit and celebrate together. A wedding at this time of year, therefore, is an opportunity to celebrate with twice as much excitement.
But how does a bride-to-be decide on how to incorporate the Christmas spirit, in a stylish, elegant and subtle way, and having the day still be all about the newlyweds? 
 
 
Firstly, she needs to decide just how much of Christmas she wants involved. Whether this be full-blown "Winter Wonderland" with fake snow, a Santa Claus, reindeer and Christmas songs. Or subtle decoration, such as a nicely decorated tree in the corner, wreaths on each door of the venue, mince pies and mulled wine. There are a billion and one ways a person can incorporate the Christmas spirit into their day, so I'm going to highlight a few ways it can be done, from minimalistic, to stylish, to full-blown Narnia...
 
The best place to begin on deciding any theme, is colour. With the Christmas theme, there are many ways you can go about it. Obviously - there is the typical crimbo colours that spring to mind; rich reds, forest greens and deep golds. This is a classic, and can really heighten the Christmas excitement all whilst pulling off a very memorable wedding. This colour palette also works great for a bride who is wanting to get married in another colour other than ivory or white. With the next two most popular wedding dresses after ivory and white, being red and gold... why not push the boat out and wed in a Christmas colour yourself? Take inspiration from this Vera Wang red dress from her new 2013 spring collection...
 
Style: Kendall
This rich red, strapless gown is draped in tulle, Chantilly lace and ruffle detailing.
 
The great thing about wearing an unusual colour for your big day, is the fact that you can be even more adventurous and different from any other wedding. A different coloured dress kind of sets its own theme in a way, as its unexpected, and unique; which allows you to include elements of surprise throughout your day to make it truly memorable. For example, with the bride in a different colour, why not put the bridesmaids in ivory to include that traditional style... with a twist.
 
 
 
 
If you're wanting something a little less classic, and a little more contemporary, why not try an all white colour palette? A very risky and difficult theme to pull off, but when done right - it can certainly make a massive impact on the guests and the atmosphere of the wedding. By "all white", its very easy to imagine a clinical, cold look, but it can be warmed up by adding a splash of other colours. Why not include a warm, deep purple, or navy blue to warm up the colour tones?
 
If planning on an all white theme, you want the guests to feel comfortable and at ease in your wedding reception, and I personally love the set up of this table decoration below. The black table cloth and the warm, glowing candles really add a sense of magic and mystery to the ambiance and will ensure that your guests can roam around freely without worrying about marking or staining and crisp white table decoration...
 
 
One of the great things about marrying at this time of year, is the fact that the sun goes down a lot earlier. Some would obviously think of this as a disadvantage, but why not making the most of it? Create a cosy and warm atmosphere by playing with lighting, whether that be candle light, or a cool, modern, luminous glow like the photo below...
 
 
To take a step closer to the traditional, why not pick a venue that allows you to have open fires to really give that toasty, winter feel. Between the ceremony and the reception, allow your guests to roam around rooms that have wide open fires, where they can mingle, sip mulled wine and nibble on some mince pies!
 
 
A couple planning a wedding are also faced with the issue... "Do we invite children?". This again depends on what sort of atmosphere you want, I understand that some prefer that sophisticated feel, all adults, enjoying fine wines and culinary delicacies. However, for a Christmas wedding, if you really do want that family-togetherness feeling, I feel that children are a must! They again, heighten the excitement... and entertainment. If you're worried at all about them running havoc and causing chaos at the venue... fear not! At Christmas plenty of distractions and games can be organised for the little ones, to ensure that you can relax and not worry about having to pay any unexpected damage costs the next day. Have you thought about hiring a "Santa" to keep the kids occupied whilst the adults mingle? I understand at first thought, it may sound a little tacky and "shopping mall" like, but I've seen it been done and it can work really well.
 
 
So if you have your heart set on a Christmas wedding, I hope this post may have inspired you to add some little touches you hadn't thought of before. Good luck with your wedding! And don't forget to e-Mail us your photos to voguebride@gmail.com to feature as our "Bride of the Day" on Instagram and Facebook.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Be our Bride of the Day!

E-mail us your most gorgeous photos of you on your wedding day and you could have the opportunity to be our "Bride of the Day" on Instagram!
All you have to do is attach a photo (or a few!) and include your Instagram/Twitter/Facebook name for a chance to feature on our page!
Get sending, Ladies!
 
 
 

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Wedding Hairstyles

After deciding on the dress, what's next? Well - (depending on the bride of course) the suits, the bridemaids, the rings, the decor and after the bride takes a step back from the planning and preparation, she realises she needs to decide on finalising the look on the day. This then includes finding the underwear, the accessories, the jewelry and most impotantly - the hairstyle!
 
Just like the bridal magazines, in any supermarket you will find shelf after shelf of hairstyle ideas mags, and a lot of these are in fact specialised for the bride herself. Infact, most of the actual bridal magazines tend to have sections on hairstyles, for example this months issue of Wedding Ideas Magazine...
 
"40 HAIR LOOKS THAT SUIT YOU"
 
But what is the most popular wedding hairstyle? Are you interested in going for a long and flowing, curled and bouncy style? ...Are you wanting a sophisticated and classy, glamourous and elegant updo? Or maybe you're indecisive and have your heart set on a half-up/half-down look? The choices are endless. However, the choice itself always tends to resort back to the dress itself (probably like a lot of the decisions that go into planning a wedding!). For example, if you were to wear a dress with a high collar, a silhoutte which has become very popular this year - especially in lacy fabric such as this Charlotte Balbier fishtail gown...
 
Style: Etta
 
Then you wouldn't want to have long, tousled hair as it would hide the detail around your neck and shoulders. An updo is much better suited to a dress with a high collar, as the model in the picture demonstrates. As I mentioned earlier - this lacy high collar neckline is becoming a very popular option on the market, especially for those brides who are indeed wanting that antique, vintage look. So why not set off the vintage lace detailing on the shoulders and neckline of a dress like this, with a striking updo?
 
Plaits, twists, buns, pins... an awful lot can be done to make not only the perfect hairstyle for your wedding, but a mini work of art! Check out this hairstyle from BrookeHackettBeauty, the hairstyle is so bonny and sweet, and could work for anyone from the bride herself to the bridesmaids.
 
Instagram: brookhackettbeauty
 
Curled, flowing locks are much better suited to a strapless dress with anything from a straight-cut to a sweetheart neckline, such as this Vera Wang wedding dress from the current Fall Collection 2012...
 
Style: Jasmine
 
The long hair is great for breaking up your decolletage area from your shoulders, as from experience I have known some brides to feel a little over-exposed with having too much flesh being bare.
That doesn't mean to say however that updos do not work with strapless dresses, and having your hair down with a dress that has detailing around the collar can't look "right". It depends solely on your comfort as a bride, the dress itself and the hairstyle you're wanting.
This is just a guideline!
 
 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The vintage wedding theme

So 2012 saw the rise in popularity of the vintage styled, shabby-chic wedding theme. It introduced brides to explore the ideas of pastel colour pallettes, classic cars, whitewashed wood, bunting decoration, antique iron birdcages, farmhouse venues and handmade wedding favours. Regardless of what a bride has spent during the planning process on this theme, the required outcome is something that is supposed to look "thrown together" and effortlessly done.
 
 
What's also great about this theme is the amount of personal touches you can add throughout the decoration. I really love this, because I am one of those who favours sentiment, and I especially enjoy the weddings when the couple themselves has added personal aspects. From my point of view, it gives the guests a better understanding of the two of them, and demonstrates the love and that's brought them to where they are on that special day!
 
One of the main reasons I am so pleased that this vintage theme has risen to popularity, is the fact that is has reintroduced the elegance of The Lace Dress. Ahh, The Lace Dress - it's had its highs and lows and it's funny to think that merely 5 years ago lace was seen as a boring, granny-like, netcurtain-esque (yes - that is a word) fabric, and here it is now at the peak of bridal fashion. This is another reason that I love fashion in general, the way in which fashions, trends and opinions change is fascinating and how people can be influenced by merely a fashion icon wearing something once. The prime example of this in the wedding industry, is that of our very own princess, Kate Middleton, who wore the infamous lace gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexader McQueen. She is lady who I would hold responsible for making lace the wedding fashion statement of the year,  I do actually want to dedicate an entire blog post to this fabulous woman and ofcourse that dress (so stay tuned!) Therefore I am actually trying to refrain myself from going off on a tangent here... Let's just say if it wasn't for her wearing that stunning gown last April, lace probably wouldn't be as popular as it is right now. (I also want to quickly commend myself for keeping that part about K Middy so short)
 
Currently, brides-to-be having every single shape, style and silhoutte possible all with with elements of lace, whether it be figure hugging, slim line and covered in chantilly lace like this Amanda Wakeley gown from the Morocco collection...
 
Style: AW156

... Or whether the dress has a full skirt with the traditional princess look, like this Justin Alexander half tulle/half lace. The high neckline on this with the lace overlay radiates elegance and it also helps the bride step away from the traditional neckline that the majority of these full-skirted dresses have. The small silk gloves, the pop of red lipstick and the twisted loose updo all contribute to that vintage look...
 
Style: 8630
 
Regardless of the silhoutte, pattern, quantity or type of the lace on a dress, it is definitely the must have for the majority of brides who are aiming for a vintage themed wedding. The lace dress is the pièce de résistance in a sense, and a vintage wedding is complete with one. Put it this way, it is basically the very elegant, beautiful, ultimate-bride cherry on top!
 
So if any of you reading this, are headed to a wedding with this theme, prepare yourself for delicateness, daintiness and perfection. If you're lucky enough to have been invited to one of these fabulous occasions, I urge you to get involved. A vintage styled wedding is not one to be missed!



Wednesday, 7 November 2012

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Bridal Body Confidence

I have dealt with many different brides, all ranging from below a size 4 to way over a size 30, and I of course am not stereotyping all brides either side of this size margin, but from personal experience many of them feel uncomfortable trying on dresses and do not show half the excitement of that as a body confident bride.
From my point of view, regardless of the dress a bride finally chooses, she will always look a million dollars. Be it that she's chosen a sale gown, borrowed a dress from a friend, made the dress herself or even is she has splashed out thousands on "the one" - you stick a woman in piece of flowing white material with a splash of make up and a beaming smile, and they will look the part.
Very often we have brides-to-be come into our shop who sadly sometimes feel as though they will not make the picture-perfect bride. The hang-up that these brides have is the fact they feel their bodies are inadequate to pull off an expensive, beautiful gown. I have dealt with many of these brides and I have to admit it is heartbreaking to see women feel so self-conscious over something they feel will stop them from being jaw-droppingly stunning on their Big Day.
Unfortunately, once or twice I have struggled to find the beaming smile which completes a bride-to-be. A brides first experience in a bridal shop ought to be where that grin starts, and that dazzling smile should continue right up to the wedding day. I imagine ALL brides are apprehensive when headed to their first consultation in a bridal boutique, overthing about being stood infront of a total stranger who will be dressing them in thousands of pounds worth of material goods... in underwear! (...Not the consultant. If it is - get out.)
All us women, unfortunately, have some flaw we notice each day, or something we'd prefer to have altered or removed. Very rarely is there a woman who is 100% satisfied with herself (if there is, email me her details... I'd like tips!). And unfortunately this is just the harsh reality. However, no matter what this particular flaw may be, you should never, ever let it ruin your experience as a bride. Each woman deserves the chance to shine on their day, as we do everyday. (In reality though, nobody really has the energy to shine EVERY single day, it would take an awful lot of expense, dedication and time, and let's face it - we're all too busy!) Which is why a wedding day is classed as the bride's day. It is her day to look flawless and beautiful, and walk with confidence down the aisle in THE stunning, white dress.
As I said earlier, it breaks my heart to see women shying away from being confident in respect to finding the right dress. As bridal consultants, we do not notice these flaws that worry these women so. We notice the beaming smile, the excitement in their eyes and the beauty that is in every single bride-to-be. So if any future brides are infact reading this, listen to me when I say you will look gorgeous on your day, and enjoy every single minute that you spend in the boutiques you go to, it's the first big step on the way to being that picture-perfect bride.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

My first picture

Is it normal to be wanting to post every 5 seconds? I promise I won't...

Anyway, here's one of my all time favourite wedding dresses. Designed by Sassi Holford from the recent So Sassi collection.

I absolutely adore the waistline that is accentuated by the structured peplum band and the bonny little bow at the back. Very much a "cutesy" wedding dress, with some haute-couture, sophisticated elements. A very difficult design combination that looks effortlessly glam!

The first of many!

For many, many years I have sat reading bridal blogs, collecting monthly wedding magazines and followed as many people from the bridal industry on Twitter as possible. Just to get a small taste of the beauty that is the Bridal Fashion industry.
After successfully landing my dream job of working alongside the gorgeous dresses and being able to show the beauty of these dresses to blushing brides, I have decided to start a blog.
I have to apologise now, as my only true experience of the blogging scene is by reading blog after blog of others, who have digitally shared their creativity and imagination in everything they are passionate about.
I hope to inspire other women in this industry, whether they work, simply admire or are indeed, brides-to-be by sharing with you my love of the written word and beautiful gowns. I intend on bringing to you all the upcoming fashion within the Bridal world, and share with you stories, memories, dreams, videos, blog posts and pictures.

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