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Finding the Perfect Dress for your Wedding Abroad – By Stylist Danielle

Posted on 24/09/2019 at 12:45 PM by in Blog

Hello Ladies,

I hope you had a super summer of wedding planning….

The cool days and dark nights will soon be upon us, so as we snuggle infront of our log fires and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) why not emerce yourself in a bit of shopping……I’m about to share some inside information with you that will make finding your dream dress SO much easier!

Choosing your wedding dress can be one of the hardest parts of planning your wedding – there are so many styles, fabrics & designers to consider. Which style will be best for your body shape? How do you match your dress to your venue style? Can you get your dream dress within your budget? The questions are pretty much endless!

When it comes to wedding dress shopping, you need to try and keep an open mind. You have that jam–packed Pinterest board dedicated to fabulous gowns, adorned with lace & embellishments, everything you’ve ever dreamt of, but when you come to try them on you feel horribly underwhelmed. Why do I not feel like the god damn QWEEN I am?!

So, let’s break this down; Before you get your heart set on a particular style of dress, you need to figure out your body shape. This will enable you to find a beautiful silhouette that will highlight your best-loved assets and conceal your less favourable traits.

Now, Body Types can be quite complex. Let’s face it, not every body is the same (how boring would that be?!) However, the majority of us want the same thing, to look & feel freakin’ faaaabulous. I’m a huge believer in wearing what the heck you want, as long as it makes you feel good, although I’m yet to find someone who doesn’t feel amazing by dressing to complement their figure. Dressing your body is all about creating balance.  That being said, check out my five featured body types that will best define your figure… Bear in mind, there are `full’ & `slender’ versions of each category (I told you it was complex!!)

* T R I A N G L E  S H A P E*

O N E . Your shoulders are narrower than your hips

T W O . You tend to take a smaller size on top & larger size on your bottom half

T H R E E . Your hips, booty & thighs measure at least 5% wider than your shoulders

Flattering a Triangle shaped body (also known as pear shaped) is all about highlighting the natural waistline. Triangle shaped women usually have a very feminine neck and shoulders that are quite narrow and dainty.

——-

A V O I D

Loosely fitted dresses or Empire Line dresses. These styles won’t enhance your figure and will tend to make you look bigger than you actually are!

T R Y

Wedding dresses with voluminous details on the bodice, a fit-and-flare silhouette or natural waistline. If you want something more figure fitting opt for a fishtail style, with sleeves or shoulder detailing to balance out your smaller shoulders with your slightly wider hips.

Y O U R   S T Y L E S

Fishtail, A-Line or a Ball Gown that cinches at the waist and keep the focus on the bodice

 

**S T Y L E   P I C K S**

Dress by Moonlight Bridal

Dress by Suzanne Neville

 

*I N V E R T E D  T R I A N G L E  S H A P E*

O N E . Your shoulders are wider than your hips

T W O . You take a larger size on top & smaller size on your bottom

T H R E E . The slender figure can be quite angular with no obvious curves, whilst full figures have a generous bust, heavier arms at the top & a shorter waist

This particular body shape is where your shoulders tend to be broad and your hips and waist have a slim, column shape. Your aim when shopping for your wedding dress is to draw the eye down, away from the heavier top area. You want to minimise the top half while adding balance to the bottom half.

——-

A V O I D 

Halter neck, boat neck and off the shoulder. These will draw attention to your wider shoulders.

T R Y

V-Neck wedding dresses are perfect for this body shape. Look for dresses with sleeves or thick straps to make your shoulders appear more subtle. To create balance, opt for a wedding dress with lots of detail or an all over lace as this will draw the eye downwards instead of emphasising your broader upper half.

Y O U R  S T Y L E S

Sheath, Embellished and V-Neck Wedding Dresses

**S T Y L E  P I C K S**

Dress by Justin Alexander

 

Dress by Lihi Hod via Pinterest

*O V A L  S H A P E*

 

 O N E . You have rounded (often sloping) shoulders

T W O . You have an average to generous bust

T H R E E . You tend to carry your weight around your tummy

F O U R . You have balanced hips & shoulders but little waist definition

An oval body shape, sometimes known as the `apple’ body shape, is very curvaceous. You tend to have a large bust, narrow hips and a fuller midsection which is wider than your bust and hips. You can create balance by enhancing & defining your waist whilst taking emphasis off the shoulders & hips.

——-

A V O I D

High necklines which will add width and unnecessary bulk. Strapless dresses can also be abit tricky, especially If you do have a large bust, you don’t want to look like the puppies are falling out! You also want to avoid dresses which cut across your widest points.

T R Y

V-Necklines with plenty of upper body detail, to take the attention away from the midsection. Gently flared A Line dresses which flow through the waistline, will skim your body beautifully. Embellished patterns that travel in vertical lines are super flattering & will add height.

Y O U R  S T Y L E S

A-Line & Empire waist dresses. Embellished necklines, V-Necklines, Sweetheart Necklines

**S T Y L E  P I C K S**

Dress by MoriLee

Dress by Maggie Sottero 

*H O U R G L A S S  S H A P E*

 O N E . Your shoulders are about the same width as your hips

T W O . You have a clearly defined waist

T H R E E . You wear almost the same size on your top & bottom

F O U R . Full figures have a generous bust & hips. You have a clearly visible but shorter waist

An Hourglass figure is similar to the Triangle body shape, however the shoulders and hips are perfectly balanced and the bust is more apparent. Women with this body shape do tend to have a very defined waist and super curvaceous assets.

——-

A V O I D

Dresses which have no shape. You don’t want to add weight to your bust or hips as they are already balanced. Princess style skirts and Empire Wedding dresses will tend to be less flattering than other styles as they will bring imbalance, unless you can even out the top half!

T R Y

Dresses that are fitted around your waist, we want to accentuate those gorgeous curves, not hide them! A Sweetheart neckline is feminine and will work well for keeping your boobies and hips well balanced.

Y O U R  S T Y L E S

A- line dresses with dropped hem, Spaghetti Straps, Strapless, Fit-and-Flare dresses, Mermaid/Trumpet style. Pretty much any style will flatter your hourglass figure, aslong as you are keeping the balance!

**S T Y L E  P I C K S**

Dress by Pronovias

Dress by Justin Alexander

*R E C T A N G L E  S H A P E*

ONE: Your bust, waist & hips are all similar measurements

TWO: You have very little waist definition

THREE: Your limbs are strong & solid and you carry weight evenly over your body

Women with a rectangle body shape will find they have a less defined waist than most. Your bust & hips tend to be pretty balanced and you are not as curvy. This is known as more of a sporty, athletic body shape. It is important, when picking your wedding dress, to opt for a detailed waistline to really cinch you in and create the illusion of curves.

——-

A V O I D 

Strapless dresses. These can make your shoulders look broader than they are, so avoid harsh necklines and column style wedding dresses with no shape, as they won’t give you a defined waist.

T R Y

Wedding dresses with full skirts will give the illusion that your hips are wider than they are and will add a feminine shape to your figure. Dresses with embellishments around the neckline and bust that are V or U shaped as they will add more angles to your body. Tailored pieces like a Wedding Jumpsuit (Yes, they really are a thing!!) or even a bridal suit can look super stylish and flatter your figure beautifully.

Y O U R  S T Y L E S

Embellished dresses, ruffles in the skirt to create balance, ball gown style dresses.

**S T Y L E  P I C K S**

Dress by Eddy K

Jumpsuit by Maggie Sottero

 

Phew, that was a long, but hopefully helpful section. You still with me?!

Before we move on ladies, please just remember when you’re frantically pinning and browsing designers’ websites, the dresses are put on models to sell a brand. It can feel so overwhelming to imagine yourself in a dress when all you can see is a perfectly airbrushed model. So, instead Google real brides wearing the designers you love, read testimonials from real brides & remind yourself that perfection isn’t real!

So, next up…

Location, Location, Location

If you’re reading this, you will more than likely be getting married overseas. Be it a hot or cold climate, you must make sure you have your date & venue sorted before you even start to think about shopping for your wedding dress. Are there a lot of steps at your venue? How easy will they be to tackle in a figure-hugging fishtail gown? Is the aisle/walkway narrow? A wide princess style gown won’t make an elegant entrance easy if you’re trying to squeeeeeze yourself through! Are there any religious factors you must consider for certain venues? You may need to cover up if you’re getting married in a church. Are you getting married on a beach? In the snow?! These are all important factors when deciding on the style, fit & material of your dress.

Budget?! What Budget?!!!!

Yes ladies… unfortunately the majority of us don’t have an endless amount of wonga, so setting yourself a budget is SO important! You need to be realistic. This will narrow down your search & means you won’t be disappointed by trying on a dream designer or style which is ultimately, out of reach. In turn, the same does apply if you’re a thrifter. You may love a bargain & get lured in by discounted prices but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting a good deal. You could be compromising on the quality of materials used, which will not only make you feel conscious, but it will also show in your photos for years to come!

You can also turn to Sample Sales if you are on a slightly tighter budget. But just be warned, they won’t carry a large stock of sizes. You could even consider going High Street! There are multiple high street retailers who are now offering affordable bridal wear. ASOS, Topshop, Whistles, Coast and Needle & Thread all have beautiful designs for under £1000!

Remember, you’re not only buying your wedding gown but you’re also possibly buying the veil, the shoes and accessories. It’s the complete look!

Too Blessed To Be Stressed

You are getting Married! This is such an incredibly exciting time. Don’t let the stress of not knowing what you want ruin your once in a lifetime (hopefully) experience!

Its ok to not know what you want yet.

I suggest getting yourself on Pinterest, if you haven’t already. Start pinning styles & designers that catch your eye and that you can picture yourself in. Pinterest is huge nowadays & is used for inspiration for a multitude of things.

I have curated my own Pinterest board here for you ladies, full of different gowns, suits, jumpsuits, necklines, sleeve styles for all different shapes & sizes, so you can save them to your own bridal boards.

The next step would be to visit a bridal boutique that stocks a good variety of brands. Their knowledge on different collections, brands, budgets & styles is second to none.

In A World Full Of Trends Remain A Classic

I know how easy it is to get sucked into the latest trends. Trust me, I’ve been there! Just be true to yourself, your style & your taste. Don’t choose a gown or designer just because it’s been featured in the latest bridal magazine, or because the latest Z list celeb has been pictured getting married in it!

Let’s face it, unless you have the body of a supermodel and you don’t eat much more than a bag of Kale & a slice of Avocado, chances are you’re not going to opt for a super slinky contemporary design with a plunging neckline, cut-outs and see-through bodice.

In all honesty, no wedding dress can ever be truly timeless. Whatever style you choose, eventually it is always going to be outdated and upgraded at some point! Like I said, the best way to approach it, is to be true to yourself & YOUR style.

Baby I Want You To Be My Entourage

If you’re not familiar with that noughties hip hop banger from Omarion, you won’t have a clue what this title is all about… *tumbleweed*

SOOOO, this section is all about (drumroll please) your Entourage!

You might be excitedly planning a dress shopping trip with your mum and all 12 of your bridesmaids, but I urge you to really think carefully about the personalities of all the people you take dress shopping with you. Your mum may have strong or even traditional opinions, and your bridesmaids might be thinking about how they are going to look next to you (shocking I know, but it happens!)

So, who SHOULD you take?! You need to take someone you trust. Someone who will give you impartial advice & be 100% honest.

In my case, I took my Mum & my Maid of Honour. These were the only 2 people in my life, who I trusted to give me their honest opinions. They know me, they know my style & they know my personality more than anyone else (bar my hubby, Hi Hubby!) So, for me, it was an easy decision!

Prepare To Cough Up For Alterations

High quality bridal stores usually make all dresses to measure; however, you may find you lose a few pounds for example & need a few tweaks to ensure your dress fits your body perfectly. Seamstresses are incredibly skilled & paying for this skill can be quite pricey, but it is so worth it for the end result.

A seamstress is also invaluable if you fall in love with a particular dress, but it’s too low cut for instance, or you may not want to show the tops of your arms perhaps. There are various different methods dress makers & seamstresses can use to get your dress to look exactly how you want it.

Don’t Panic About Time

There is a common misconception that you need ATLEAST a year to find your perfect dress. That may have been the case a few years ago, but the truth is, designers and manufacturers have acknowledged consumer demands, so retailers can now turn around a dress in pretty much any time frame.

I got engaged at the end of December 2016 and Married on the 1st June 2017. I had 5 months to find my dress, and it was totally doable. I was lucky enough to fall in love with a dress in the first shop we went into, and all the alterations were done in time.

Research Gurl

Do.Your.Research. Please. It is so easy to go with the grain and book yourself an appointment in the most sought after, high-profile bridal stores. But what if you have a quirkier sense of style than this boutique? What if this high-end store doesn’t cater for the curvier ladies? What if they don’t stock the designer you love? You will find researching & heading to a specialised store is a much better use of your time.

The world of Wedding Boutiques can be a strange one, with lots of interesting characters. Find a boutique that not only stocks your dream dress designers but also fits your vibe! Wedding dress shopping should be the most amazing experience, that you deserve it to be. Don’t accept anything less.

Don’t ever feel pressured to buy, made to feel like you’re on a time limit or even made to feel like your hard-earned money isn’t worthy of the store!

That being said, there has been a huge increase in the number of brides contacting professional stylists, like myself to help with their dress journey.

If you would like my help in choosing your dream gown, please do get in touch!

To conclude, here are my biggest Do’s & Don’ts

DO

  • Wear well fitting, nude underwear
  • Remember to sit down in your gown! You need to make sure your dress is comfortable to sit in
  • Take a pair of shoes that are a similar height to what you’ll be wearing on the day
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Remember your budget
  • Have fun!

DON’T

  • Forget about your venue
  • Choose a gown just because it is on trend
  • Wear black underwear to an appointment
  • Wear too much makeup – you don’t want to get foundation or powder on the dresses
  • Rush your appointment

Stylish Wishes,

 

Email hello@dressedbydanielle.co.uk

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